In an overcrowded world Gerrid Lytum believes he has found a new way of finding freedom, a place of endless expanse -- and fantasy -- that can be entered with a single command. Meanwhile a secret cabal, known as the Group of Nine, are manipulating world events, controlling governments, planning their final solution. But the Nine rely on their key players - those with the power of persuasion, the innovators, the technologists. Not all can be persuaded; not all can be fooled.
A covert resistance movement, led by the son of a murdered tycoon, attempt to defeat the Nine. And with some powerful allies, this may not seem such an impossible mission. However, the Nine are not without their own powerful support working behind the scenes. Is the world destined to be ruled under a new regime...?
In her office, Elekka sat before a holo-display perusing the layered stacks of documents, sections of text highlighted, suggesting information that may provide a clue. They pushed at her mind; she pushed them into the background. Hacked files, messages, and netsphere inserts which had been encrypted within standard news-docs, their concealment fleeting until the overseer in its coldly efficient way identified such rogue information. At some point they would all come together to form the basis of something substantial, emerging again like an ancient forgotten city from the mist; the seeker of truth as she had been since her teenage years and that first fictional foray into The Hidden Province.
Elekka Nushak never claimed to be psychic as her peers, who worked for Investigative Monthly, had suggested (although she could never convincingly deny it). It was envy, pure and simple. At least that’s how it seemed to her in those early days. The remit had changed and the team was reduced to a few dedicated and trusted colleagues. She was now regarded as their chief investigator – and she always got her story, maybe from a hunch, no more than intuition. But in the process – as a requirement for remaining alive and unharmed – she had to endure countless changes of identity to the point where sometimes even her family could no longer recognise her. It was the price you paid to get to what particular reality lay behind, thereby avoiding the wrath of those whose precious secrets became less protected each time their conspiracy had been exposed. Their machine of disinformation was powerful, and was still able to throw the general media and public into a state of bewilderment ... if only at the level of absurdity generated.
This time Elekka could sense it was something special. A tip-off from her net connection, from someone who seemed to be becoming embroiled in a conspiracy she had known about since she’d been given her job. Before, there was never the proof, no one on the inside to provide something tangible. There had previously only been the odd disappearance and, what appeared to be, alien abductions, causing the trademark loss of memory. Now this contact had already done some investigating – clumsily. A different approach was required, though something that would be a departure from her own subtle methods.
She used ways to infiltrate that left no clues. This is what gave her the edge. There had been various theories for her perceptual abilities: aspects of soul leaving the body or a conscious link with remotely entangled particles. The science had been obfuscated along with the truth of those who’d been exploited by the intelligence services. When her mind became focused and meditatively calm, it was like seeing the elements of a painting gradually coming together to form a composition. She would see mere fragments – a shape, a colour, little clues eventually culminating towards a whole.
Her ultimate challenge now lay ahead.