The Dragon starts his life in the Philippines on one of the smaller islands.
Ali is the son of one of the town’s local prostitutes Zeena. He works the markets looking for customers for his mother, who is starting to lose her looks due to her age and the volatile lifestyle she has lead over the years. Drugs in her early years did not help.
Zeena’s lifestyle has not helped Ali in his upbringing. He has been beaten by her customers on many occasions as he has tried to stop his mother being beaten by violent customers.
Ali launches into a life of crime after robbing and stabbing an elderly jewellery trader on his way home from work one night. The police are looking for Ali who slips out of town to stay with his aunt Sasha in the mountains.
He is with Sasha for a long time and has met a nice girl in the village. For the first time in his life the eighteen year old Ali is happy. Gentle Sasha is murdered by a young terrorist. Ali catches him and stabs him.
Ali and Zeena leave their island town for Manilla. A sense of normality finds its way into their life only to be shattered by a chance meeting with a violent customer from her past. Ali and Zeena contrive a plan to murder this violent man. He is garroted with a length of wire as he is having sex with Zeena.
Ali is then involved in the drug trade and is warned about a hit on his life arranged by Emelio Sanchez one of Manilla’s head drug dealers and brothel owners. Emilio has threatened to toss Zeena off the local wharf bound with chains if Ali does not show up. Ali devises a cunning plan to murder Emilio on the way home from church one Sunday. Ali burns Emilio in his car after he causes it to crash. He and Zeena leave the Philippines and catch a small ship for Australia.
In Cairns Australia Ali sees his first beautiful opal. He decides on buying opals and having other people steal them for him in his new base At Coober Pedy. Ali has now conscience when it comes to pay backs to and threat to his new business. People just go missing. He now has others to do these jobs.
A sense of normality enters his life. All of this is shattered when a chain of disastrous events occur over a short time.
There is an intertwining of different characters that are also on a quest to find the beautiful Australian black opal.