Author: Peter Watts
Original language: English
Starfish lit the fuse. Maelstrom was the explosion. But five years into the aftermath, things aren’t quite so simple as they once seemed…
Lenie Clarke—rifter, avenger, amphibious deep-sea cyborg—has destroyed the world. Once exploited for her psychological addiction to dangerous environments, she emerged in the wake of a nuclear blast to serve up vendetta from the ocean floor. The horror she unleashed—an ancient, apocalyptic microbe called ?ehemoth— has been free in the world for half a decade now, devouring the biosphere from the bottom up. North America lies in ruins beneath the thumb of an omnipotent psychopath. Digital monsters have taken Clarke’s name, wreaking havoc throughout the decimated remnants of something that was once called Internet. Governments have fallen across the globe; warlords and suicide cults rise from the ashes, pledging fealty to the Meltdown Madonna. All because five years ago, Lenie Clarke had a score to settle.
But she has learned something in the meantime: she destroyed the world for a fallacy.
Lenie Clarke—amphibious cyborg, Meltdown Madonna, agent of the Apocalypse—has grown sick to death of her own cowardice.
For five years (since the events recounted in Maelstrom, she and her bionic brethren (modified to work in the rift valleys of the ocean floor) have hidden in the mountains of the deep Atlantic. The facility they commandeered was more than a secret station on the ocean floor. Atlantis was an exit strategy for the corporate elite, a place where the world’s Movers and Shakers had hidden from the doomsday microbe ?ehemoth—and from the hordes of the moved and the shaken left behind. For five years “rifters” and “corpses” have lived in a state of uneasy truce, united by fear of the outside world.
But now that world closes in. An unknown enemy hunts them through the crushing darkness of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. ?ehemoth— twisted, mutated, more virulent than ever-has found them already. The fragile armistice between the rifters and their one-time masters has exploded into all-out war, and not even the legendary Lenie Clarke can take back the body count.