In ten days the Russian revolution has shaken the world. The phrase belongs to the American John Reed who is also a friend of Corto Maltese, the romantic Venetian sailor and adventurer who is led by fortune and his love for excitement in search of unlikely treasures or lost friends.
From the Urals to Shanghai, this historic convulsion has the irrepressible power to excite both the noblest and vilest emotions: the thirst for gold, the lust for power, nostalgia for a former order that no longer exists, the hope of a new world and a generous and happy era. In all this upheaval, people seek refuge in oracles and prophecies, become assassins out of boredom and are killed for a misinterpreted glance.
Corto and Rasputin attempt to snatch the treasure of the Tsars, which Admiral Koltchak hopes to use to finance the defeat of the Bolsheviks.
On his way Corto encounters several Chinese secret societies, a charming perverse Russian duchess, an eccentric reincarnation of the mythical Genghis Khan, a solitary American aviator and a number of ambitious generals divided between their nostalgia for past glories and concern for the future, which seems highly compromised.
The story is based on the comic strip "Corto Maltese in Siberia" by Hugo Pratt.