IT ALL BEGINS IN THIS STUNNING FIRST NOVEL!
Born in rage, a killer before she left the amniotic sac, the Lady Desdemona is a genetically enhanced vampire, a death goddess with three thousand years of bloody history tucked under her belt - and no signs of slowing down.
In the festering city of Golgotha Falls high technology meshes uncomfortably with ancient ritual - here there are doorways that exist in the very fabric of space and time, software programmes that can overwrite a man's personality, monsters born on the dark side of physics and demons that bypass the laws of physics altogether. Golgotha Falls is a city that caters to every unholy fetish and every sordid desire, a technological wonderland with a dark, toxic underbelly.
This is Desdemona's squalid hunting ground and for millennia she has struck terror into the city's mortal populace, a creature of tooth and claw with a seemingly insatiable appetite for human flesh she descends each night from her lofty castle to mete out her own perverse brand of justice -
But the city of her birth is spiralling towards all-out civil war as a mortal insurgency gathers force against the God-like rulers of Golgotha Falls. Caught in the crossfire, her enemies closing in on every side, Desdemona must use every ounce of ingenuity and cunning she possesses just to stay alive.
Every God has her day but it looks like the Lady Desdemona's days may just be numbered.
i: THE ELOHIM
Earth was dying.
Ninety-five percent of the planet was uninhabitable, lashed by hyper-storms and chocked with volcanic fallout that left once blue skies charred and lightless. Those that chose to remain on the home world were forced to confine themselves to the last of its cities. Hive-like and vast beyond belief, these cities each contained over a hundred million inhabitants and were environmentally self-sufficient, contained within q-shields that insulated them from the planet's hostile climate; relying on off-world imports to sustain their huge populations, as well as advanced technologies to manufacture local food resources.
Earth was sterile.
Where once the planet cradled man, providing him with all he needed on the laborious journey from cradle to grave, now only technology sheltered him, only science provided for him, only faith sustained him. Not faith in the old abstract gods, the unseen architects of man's destiny. There were new gods to guide him now, gods of flesh and bone. Originally bred from gene vats to serve mankind, they would ultimately become his lords and masters.
These genetic super beings were known as the Elohim. They had been adapted to survive in the depths of space and tasked to discover new worlds for their creators to colonize. But the creation grew too powerful; the Elohim returned from the stars, enslaving all the colony worlds in their path, proclaiming themselves masters of the species, the natural metamorphosis of man into god.
The war between mankind and the Elohim raged on a thousand fertile worlds and consumed the species in an inferno of its own making. It was a war that endured for millennia and the beginnings of the conflagration had already entered into myth by the time humanity's last strongholds fell to the might of the gods. It was the Elohim that scorched the earth. In their quest to subdue man's symbolic cradle they saw fit to destroy the last of his natural habitats. Such was their hatred for the parent race they would allow nothing to survive the harrowing fire. The war, declared the Elohim, would not end until the earth itself had succumbed.
In year zero of the divine calendar the home planet fell at last. To celebrate their ultimate triumph the Elohim named themselves after the deities of ancient myth, and built seven celestial cities, each presided over by an autonomous group of gods.
The mightiest of these was the city of Golgotha Falls.
ii: GOLGOTHA FALLS
Golgotha Falls was a vertical monument to excess. The gods had planned it thus. It was to be the jewel in their crown and nowhere on all the worlds of the empire was there a city to match this one in scale and sheer ambition.
Ninety-six districts, each one the size of a small metropolis, arranged like open drawers along the flanks of mega buildings twelve kilometres high. Known as Olympiads, these parent towers were symmetrical mountains of fusion steels and off-world silicates, the largest freestanding structures in the known galaxy.
The scale was simply mind-numbing; district-cities held in sublime tension, sprouting from the sides of towers the size of mythical world trees. Nothing of its kind had ever been built before, nor was ever likely to be attempted again.
Vacuum-sealed within an enormous dome of dark plasma, the entire megalopolis of Golgotha Falls was protected from the cataclysmic hyper-storms that ravaged the planet's surface. The dome was black and featureless, its shadow casting the city in a permanent twilight known locally as the Infernum. To counter the Infernum, each of the city's ninety-six districts was self-illuminated within its own individual dome covering, each dome a vast holographic screen that projected the illusion of a terran sky onto the city encased within. A holographic sun rose in the east of the district and set in the west. Artificial day gave way to artificial night. Clouds formed and dispersed. Rain fell in summer, snow in winter.
Each district of Golgotha Falls was a semi-autonomous microenvironment, maintaining its own atmosphere, weather system, and seasonal cycles. Everything was designed to mimic the open skies and temperate climates of old earth, once free to all, now only made possible through extraordinary feats of holographic engineering.
Providing each district with the illusion of day and night was a means to stop the incumbent populations going mad. Who could long stand the hellish twilight of the Infernum, the prospect of night eternal? It would have been a twisted existence without the holographic skies. Humanity needed the scaffolding of night and day upon which to organise a collective sense of self, it was a metronome as old as the species without which the mind soon lost coherence and all sense of linear purpose.