Study Guide

The Kaleidoscope: The Gift of Madness
Adrian Mendoza
Edits on the way...

Context – The novel serves as coming of age story – with the main characters facing several issues . It is best classified as a Space Opera (with an emphasis on the human condition / of a melodramatic nature), and not Hard Science Fiction (having an emphasis on scientific accuracy reinforced with theory).

Plot Overview – The story takes place in the near future. It follows favored Elite and CEO, Alec Helena and his android family in the post technological singularity era (when Artificial Intelligence can self-improve). The story's setting is in the beginning and continued transitioning of control and managing of both human and Andi [sentient androids] populations.

Chapters Summaries – Summarized chapters followed by a character map. 

The novels each consist of two parts.

The Gift Of Madness:
·         Part I - The Human Conditioned (Chapters 1-7)
·         Part II - Machinations (Chapters 8-16)
      Chasing Light:
      Part I - Labyrinth (Chapters 1-6)
·         Part II - Weaving Heresy (Chapters 7-15)

PART I – The Human Conditioned

Chapter 1 - Annihilation
In the near future… 
Alec Helena is an Elite. He is the CEO of the largest biotech and robotics corporations in the world. Alec and his board members meet with some struggling Chinese executives. He embarrasses them before and in forcing them to sign over their last holdings before they leave in shame. Afterwards, as festivities run into the night a surprise emergency call comes in. Alec is rumored to have no family, but the call states that his son may have befallen a tragic end. Terribly upset Alec demands his board exit his building immediately.

Reluctantly, Alec agrees to head to the address the Detective left. On the helicopter ride over Alec admits in private to having a son but doubts fog any resolve. At arriving Alec is disturbed by the neglected neighborhood but nonetheless exits the helicopter.

The receiving detective has difficulty showing compassion for the Elite but takes Alec down a dark alley to identify the young man's body. Alec concentrates on his anger at not having control of the situation until arriving at a glowing police line surrounding the body. The detective informs Alec to enter the walled off police line. Anxious, Alec enters to find a body so grotesque yet familiar, that the shock causes him to fall away. Alec struggles to stand even with the detective's help. Once on his feet, Alec simply walks away. The detective asks for any information regarding the body's identification but Alec turns back only to declare he never knew the boy. Alec enters the helicopter and as it ascends he begins to tremble with sorrow. His mind swirls trying to understand where it all went wrong. After regaining his composure Alec realizes that the helicopter pilot kept from heading back to the office building so as to allow him to recollect himself. Alec thanks the pilot and then sends a message to his robot executive assistant about changing the direction of his companies. The chapter ends with Alec vowing to never forget who built him.

Characters: Alec

A few themes: the wealth gap, automated workers, dehumanizing of labor, isolationism, importance of family, disassociation, neglected swaths of society, choosing to enter the void, dichotomies, grotesque side of human nature, self-annihilation of bound state, full immersion into the light/god/self, gratitude, etc.

Chapter 2 – Messiah’s Complex
Approximately 7 years later, Alec has turned a former nuclear warhead facility in South Dakota into a research and development laboratory. He has gathered the best and brightest of the world to tackle the challenge of creating sentient life and placing it within an android body. Much to their dismay, the goal named Project M (a sentient female android) continues to prove impossible.

Early one day Alec receives a facility page and rushes to meet with the head supervisor. He is informed by the supervisor (in Alec’s office over the lab) that Project M had somehow died, but then for the first time ever, stabilized itself. 

While the two are discussing the matter, a work shift is occurring in the labs. It is then that M awakes and begins to remember all of the employees within the facility before taking control of it. The door seals of Alec's office are secured as toxic gas is released throughout the facility – she has effectively disabled all alarms in the process. Alec and the supervisor remain sealed off and are unaware of the death occurring throughout the rest of the facility. Project M then vacuums out all of the toxic air before rising. She enters Alec’s office draped with nothing more than linen folds leaving the two men frozen with awe. M disables a heart device inside the supervisor’s chest causing him to grab hold of an arm before falling over dead.

Project M declares her gratitude to Alec and explains that she has observed him and his employees for years. M claims the employees could not be trusted but praises Alec for never having attempted to alter her for his benefit. His intent, in her eyes, was genuine – she refers to him as Creator and vows to support him in helping humanity. She is the world’s first super-intelligence and as such wishes to help Alec with providing a new species of androids named ANDIs (I-DNA in reverse and a play on the word androids) to bridge humanity in order to save them from themselves.

Alec had prayed for a son but instead asks M to create for him a family instead – an Andi family. She agrees. Immediately, M (Mother for all Andis, but Maggie to Alec) begins to control all of the robots in the facility to clear the dead. Emboldened, Alec says to Mother, “It’s time to get to work!” She responds, “I never stop.”         

Characters: Alec and Mother

A few themes: a return to nature, tragedy of the commons, karma, inevitable heading and passing of a technological singularity, shift in world's power dynamic, subjective super-intelligence, closed source, feminism incarnate, imperfect god, collective relativity of mind and memory, hive state -eusocial behavior, planned obsolescence, etc. 

Chapter 3 – True Believer
Alec visits Mother’s completed complex with his eldest sons Eric (above) and Nero (below). The complex is a technological marvel. They wait outside of the Lotus Dome as the two speak on issues relating to humans and Andis – Mother is concerned for the Helena children and the human element lingering in the lives. Eric, the eldest, continues to work hard. Nero, the second eldest, is struggling with his assignments but is doing his best.

Alec bids goodbye to Mother as she welcomes a discussion with Eric and Nero. Alec heads to visit the son he had originally asked for, Dane. Dane is housed in a bulbous shaped pod – Dane has not chosen a physical form, career leniencies, or much of anything else.
On leaving he encounters Ophelia, Dane’s younger sister (although she has been around and about for the last number of years). She has been at Mother’s to receive therapy and for general support.

Alec reunites with Eric and Nero to go down to the labs where he is to meet with the two youngest siblings Zach and Abby (who he will meet for the first time). 

Although emotionally charged, Abby and Alec meet for the first time, with most of the family present.     

Characters: Alec, Mother, Eric, Nero, Ophelia, Dane, Zach, and Abby

A few themes: working technologies, beyond beliefs, archetypes of familiarity, social planning, caution of tangibles, family dynamics, sentience, born into adulthood, creating people/android family, etc.

Chapter 4 – The Divide
Even more years later (approx. 20 -25 years), Alec’s son, Dane (approx. only a few years old, but all Andis go through an indoctrination period and are born into fully grown adult bodies) [he] has through nepotism received a commission as a team leader for one of the militarized/specialized police units called Enforcers (Think secret/but not really secret police). SWAT teams no longer exists and standard policing has remained mostly confined to human populated cities. The Andi areas are pristine, but suburban human neighborhoods (holdouts) have been left in squalor. Enforcer Units are sent in to dominate the citizenry instead of serve or protect.

Dane’s younger sister, Ophelia serves as the jurisdictional precinct’s captain, and thereby the commander to Dane’s and other Enforcer teams. His team members are assigned general N-markers (Enforcer Codenames) such as N-32 or N-53.  The team sniper, Michaels (N-0) is the only veteran on the team.

Dane and his team are ordered to disrupt a house suspected of criminal activity. Little to no effort is made to acquire more information. All markers for individual rights are based on a kind of scale relating to all known online history regardless of subjectivity. When the targets become red (red means dead for the team), extreme prejudice is used to destroy the enemy. The team devastates the house and its inhabitants until neighbors begin to document the activity – the team is then forced to stand down and arrest the last survivor who oddly then registers as green. Dane and the citizen have words before the team asks their team leader to head to the basement to see the disturbing scene.
Alone, Dane heads down the cave-like house and encounters a drug den lined with dying (overdosed) bodies. In the corner of the darkness Dane spots a woman caged with shopping carts and in terrible shape. The scene horrifies him and he angrily tosses the cage away. The lone girl passes out so he carries her outside and into the sunlight. Dane then orders Michaels to shoot the lone surviving citizen and he complies by shooting him as he is transported in a drone – thereby killing him. A new story will be created to absolve them of guilt by overloading the story with the citizen’s past. The Andi team members begin to self-delete their memory of the event (except Dane) while the human team members take medication to effectively do the same.

Characters: Dane, Ophelia, Michaels, and unknown female.

A few themes: wealth-gap services, gentrification, militarization of police, bio-metrics determining life value, media manipulation, citizen rights, drug epidemics, causation victimization, etc.

Chapter 5 – Order Up
The young woman who was rescued (Tavy, short for Tavora), has stayed with Dane ever since. Meanwhile, Enforcer productivity has been slowing down leading the team devote most of its time to entertaining themselves with sports, films, television, etc. via screen walls (an advanced VR system - standard in most homes.)

A call comes in and once again, it is Ophelia. She informs Dane that there is a SDV (Self Driving Vehicle) outside of his residence ready to take him to see their father (Alec). He and Tavy are driven away only to be rerouted to a new location hidden in the city. (It’s Mother’s complex and base of operations – housing countless Shades (Veiled Women) and a few Priests (Old Men adorned/vestments) – The Dual nautical shaped towers have in one The Lotus Dome and in the other, The Grand Chapel) Dane is amazed and embarrassed because he has never visited, although he has been invited several times over the years.

Ophelia meets Dane and Tavy at the complex’s elevator. In an odd twist, she salutes him and calls him Sir. Confused, Dane salutes and enters the elevator as Ophelia marches away. After passing many military personnel and intelligence officers (none of which helped with directing Dane) he is finally welcomed by his older brother’s second in command, Jacob.

Jacob tells Dane to perk up (he’s understandably anxious) and enter further into the complex where people (“… above his paygrade…”) are waiting. 

Characters: Dane, Tavy, Ophelia, and Jacob

A few themes: Awareness of self, options available (but not taken advantage of), nepotism, role reversals within family dynamics, doubt and the anxiety that it emits, introspection, denial, PTSD, etc.

Chapter 6 – Human Error
Dane enters through the heavy wooden doors of Mother’s complex. He finds most of the technology there is alien to him. She speaks to his mind and he is confused and embarrassed at finally visiting. He admits several of his faults, including his enforcement practices. She is aware of his ways but states that it is the Creator that awaits him.

In walking further into the complex Dane meets with his second eldest brother, Nero. Nero appears tense. The two enter a small glass encased cube of a room where the Creator (Alec) and Eric, the eldest of the siblings are sitting. Alec welcomes Dane and the three sit to discuss matters.

Nero feels Dane should not be present while Eric listens intently to their father. Alec describes to Dane that he will run and most likely become the next President of the United States. Some issues relating to human and Andi (android) interactions is discussed.

Alec has also assigned the family new roles to fulfill. Eric will lead the military, Nero will be in intelligence, and Ophelia will be charged with domestic law enforcement. Dane is then informed that he has been reassigned from Enforcer to head of Alec’s security detail. Dane now outranks his sister Ophelia, but is not sure of what to make of his future position. Eric toasts the new route of planning and also to their father.

Characters: Dane, Mother, Nero, Eric, and Alec

A few themes: Feminine mystique, accountability of military policing, joining the ranks of real discussions, role assignments, social engineering, dealing with humanity, etc. 

Chapter 7 - Of Two Minds
The chapter begins with Dane dreaming. He finds himself in a dusty wooden furniture factory that is lit by a single bulb and chain. Alec appears but is faceless. When a rather large spider begins to crawl over his father’s faceless form, he wakes from the dream in a terror. (Tavy may have woken him, as she is irritated by his oversleeping)

Tavy reminds Dane that he meant to begin learning about the real world instead of the usual entertainment of movies, games, or sports. He watches a rally by a crass opponent of his father (and all Andis) named, Brett. Brett is anti-Andi and speaks to the many fears and concerns of humanity in order to stoke divisiveness and gain votes for his handler and candidate, Tim Davidson.

The rally and an invitation from his former Enforcer teammates brings about many frustrations Dane has but at the expense of insulting Tavy. She defends herself and attempts to reason with Dane that she and her father are both human, so there is no need to be anti-human solely because things are in turmoil between Andis and humans, and between him and his father’s wishes.

Dane does not agree and Tavy leaves his house. He is at first indifferent but then looks around to notice that she has already taken all of her belongings. Upset, he slams his front door in leaving to catch the rest of the game with his old teammates. 

Characters: Dane, and Tavy

A few themes: Androids dream, the psychology of dreams, the absence of thought – entertainment, opinion news, rhetoric of political scapegoating, empathy and the lack of, etc.

Plot Overview (Ch. 1-7): Alec’s past catches up to him and he aims to change his selfish manner. In order to help humanity, he is driven to create more capable beings (Andis) to save his species from itself. Alec asks for more than a son from the first sentient android, Mother - He wants an Andi family. Mother creates a family for Alec (based on his mind upload) and a new society of Andis. After two decades of creation, they begin the groundwork towards Alec Helena’s presidency.

Character Map:

PART II – Machinations

Chapter 8 – Projections
Nero arrives to Mother’s complex via his transport named The Morning Star. He notices her security has been upgraded. Before landing he receives a call from Jordan (Jacob’s Twin and Nero’s second in command). Jordan has been spying on Dane on Nero’s orders – he reports that Dane has left his house and is heading towards a teammate’s house.

After entering the complex, Nero heads to meet with Mother in the second tower that houses a chapel. The Shades are welcoming and respectful of all the Creator’s children. (Nero continues to remind the Shades of their place as servants) He enters a spiritual droplet shaped field of reflection and prays. Mother transfers her consciousness into one of the Shades and then enters the field and the two discuss matters of faith and direction. He is troubled by the Creator’s plans, and Eric’s dismissal of his contributions. Mother bids him blessings and she leaves the Shade’s body.

Nero heads down to the labs where Zach has new tech items of interest. After being amazed by the redesigned lab, Zach cycles through the new items: a new heavy or light shield that absorbs energy to then reuse, the Kuyate Grid (polygon drones that are universal in aid, defense, and surveillance), and the ID (individual drones) that use an Andi’s DNA to create their own minds – they are designed to resemble insects and animals and work alongside their Andis like assistants or as standalone units.

Zach gifts Nero his ID – a scorpion named, RJ° (Degree symbol denotes IDs) the size of a tall coffee table and sees Dane’s ID (a green beetle). The two brothers are then interrupted by one of Mother’s priest, Azrael and one of Zach’s three IDs, Teddy° a white mustached spider. Azrael wants nothing to do with Nero and leaves. Teddy° is at a loss for words after Nero is short with him. Nero tells Zach of his wanting to leave for some time and then a call signature arrives to Nero’s ship, The Morning Star and is transmitted – Eric is wanting to see him immediately. Nero leaves with RJ°.

Characters: Nero, Mother, Zach, RJ°and Teddy°

A few themes: conflict of interests, family roles, expectations vs reality, seeking of isolation, the need for contact, intellectualism spurned, spirituality and faith, technologies, etc.

Chapter 9 - Measured Variance
Alec has a new headquarters (small but grounded pyramid among rising buildings – meant to invoke an image of a stone dropped in a body of water) located in the South Bronx. He has been working his political power along all of the major states to secure his candidacy of President of the United States.
Awaiting the arrival of his children, Alec begins to think of his father’s disillusionment with society. Then Mother arrives. She brings a gift from Zach, a zany ID named, Billy° (a ~ 2 ft. tall praying mantis). Mother has concerns regarding Alec’s children. He agrees. She bids him goodbye and leaves. Outside at ground level, Dane and his beetle ID, Gregor° are waiting for the arrivals. Two transports arrive one after another. Eric and his officers land first but do not wait for Nero. Little attention is paid to Dane who remains behind due to Ophelia not having arrived.

Once inside, Alec’s office kicks Nero out to speak to Eric. He demands Eric have results and not excuses. Eric dutifully accepts all terms and leaves fuming. Nero is then given to Alec’s drive and also yelled at. Nero is ordered to supplement all Eric’s missions, but is given a force (IC intelligence commandos courtesy of Eric).

Outside Dane (Michaels passes by) is rude to Ophelia for arriving late. He attempts to be kind and she takes his kindness to enter before him. Alec makes note of her efforts at arriving on time. In the meeting, Ophelia is promoted (taking over for Eric and Nero) and Alec tells Dane he has not proven capable. Dane is told he needs to stop living other people’s dreams and is crushed. 

Characters: Alec, Mother, Eric, Nero, Dane, Ophelia, Michaels, Gregor°, and Billy°

A few themes: gentrification debate, self-aggrandizing, human/social engineering, foreign policy of results, Elites missing, domestic tolerance, neglect of duty, living other’s dreams, etc.

Chapter 10 – The Neglected
Dane has taken to staying in a newly built security complex built within a mile of Mother’s complex. The complex has several amenities Dane hardly notices regardless of their being to his specifications.  He remembers Tavy and then his siblings’ and father’s dismissive actions. He tries to forget his troubles by watching MIMs (Mobile Internal Media) by closing his eyes and searching for news.

Several media outlets promote the anti-Andi rhetoric many humans cling to. To make matters worse, (human) news anchors seem to resonate the sentiment by their tone and by using the slur robot and the degree of pro-human sentiment they use. 

Upset by the continued negativity, Dane is interrupted by a visit from his youngest sister, Abby. He is alerted of her approaching by his teammate and perceived babysitter, Michaels who sleeps on the roof. Once inside the two share their troubles of neglect but each see the other’s problems as not as important. Dane ask Abby about her butterfly ID as she admires his beetle, Gregor°. She informs him that her ID, Mari was severely damaged as a result from one of Mother’s stronger energy surges. Zach has been helping repair the ID.   

Michaels again interrupts to inform Dane of his father approaching Mother’s complex. Dane looks over his lists of messages from several family members only to delete them. He tells Abby not to worry about the Creator’s safety, his team is watching over him and that he can see himself one day taking over for his father. Not wanting to feel more insulted, Abby decides to ask what they do for fun.

Characters: Dane, Abby, Gregor°, and Michaels  

A few themes: Isolationism, scape-goating, haphazard duty, neglect of responsibilities, living your own dreams, escapism (via media), condescension, protectionism, projection of faults, etc.   

Chapter 11 – The Reckoning
Alec’s convoy approaches Mother’s complex. Alec looks for Dane, but he is not present. He is welcomed by a Bob Unit Commander. (Bob Units have replaced phased out Enforcer Units – they are meant to serve in a more ambassadorial role than in enforcement) Dane’s team stand down without having been ordered to. Alec enters and hundreds of Shades bow in reverence. Two Priests of the Absolute Order accompany him in the elevator as the commander salutes farewell.

Instead of heading into the Lotus Dome to meet Mother, Alec is instead sidetracked to enter a near empty room with a throne at its center. Mother joins him and the two discuss matters. She informs him that their control of most systems (financial, banking, securities etc.) are on track. She continues to warn him about his children and the rising backlash from humanity. Alec is assisted by Finch° (Mother’s Moth ID) to get a drink while Mother uses her abilities to see what Nero is doing.

At a rooftop restaurant in Paris, its staff reveal themselves to the Elites being served. At the head of the revealed staff are Nero, his officer Dr. Petra (his 3rd in command), and his new operators, ICs (Intelligence Commandos). The two officers enjoy humiliating the evasive Elites. They are all given a chance to plead guilty (to crimes against Andis and humanity alike) and be placed under arrest. All take the deal except an elder Elite, Jonathan Randle. He chooses not to give in and instead attempts to defend his views and thereby sacrifice himself (RJ° kills him) rather than submit to the Andis he believes are mere machine slave extensions of Alec Helena.   

Characters: Alec, Mother, Nero, and Dr. Petra, and RJ°

A few themes: Neglecting duty, ordered policing, ambassadors to serve and protect, matters of faith, theocracies, memory, legacy, Elites, human rights, laws, perspective, etc.

Chapter 12 – A Spectacle
Eric and his forces visit Jerusalem to speak with the Prime Minister Yosef Cohen and other officials. He is accompanied by Jacob (his 2nd in command) and his ID, Mac° (a large rhino beetle ID). The visit is tense and the officials are not welcoming of the Americans. The PM tells Eric he cannot understand the situation and Eric no longer cares to listen. Eric tells the PM that he will do what the Israeli government has not completed.

Eric turns to Jacob and an order is made. A remaining area call Little Gaza (now but a Palestinian camp) is bombed, thereby killing every person there. The PM and others are mortified by the act of cold murder. Eric then informs the PM that Israel is now under his command and his further existence as a transitory official is a courtesy from Alec Helena. Then more camps begin to being bombed. The PM has no other option but to agree. Orders are given out for all Israeli forces to stand down. As the convoy Eric arrived in leaves, large Centipede IDs move alongside with the previously evacuated Palestinians. They will return when construction of two states are complete (under American control).

In the Americas, Ophelia heads to Mexico with her forces (Bob Units – Militarized Police Versions) She meets with a commander, Robert Victor at a base before the final attack on the residual cartel survivors centered in Mexico City. There is much tension between the two officers, a history is hinted on. He informs her of another plan of attack he has drawn up. She sends him and his teams away, but en route decides for them to attempt the new plan (after accelerated models prove the effectiveness). The teams defeat the lower level turned leaders while not accruing collateral damage beyond property. Southern Mexico is now under American control. Ophelia sends Robert Victor away, albeit with personal reservations.  

Characters: Eric, Jacob, Mac°, Ophelia, Robert Victor, Simone°, and Rutger°       


A few themes: International politics, long standing human conflicts, Andi managing of humanity, military industrial complex, globalization, legalization of narcotics, loyalties,  etc.

Chapter 13 - Close Ranks
Dane reluctantly leaves the comfort of his security station to await the Creator with Michaels and their IDs. The group wait at a nearby hanger in Rome. Dane struggles to clean Gregor°'s chassis and underbelly until an idea occurs to check his MIMs for any messages. After becoming upset at finally noticing that there were missed calls and that Dane was indeed summoned for, the group go for a drive in their armored truck (security SDV) to catch up to the Creator, Abby, and the security detail. The messages were from Abby and they were critical of his efforts. His frustrations continue as Gregor° seems to question  Dane's perspective of the situation while Michaels listens quietly.

On the drive Alec calls to reroute the group to meet with him at the Villa Borghese grounds. The Creator never gave Dane a chance to speak - so Dane continues to tire of the attempt to work for his father. The entire ordeal causes Dane to rethink having agreed to the assignment. In looking over the rerouting of their course and the many things associated with the position, they arrive and are met first by Abby. She has some idea that he's not happy to be there but instead chooses to let him be.

While Alec meets with two Elites, Dane holds back until attempting to spy on the Creator via Hunter°'s listening capabilities. What Dane interprets as a meeting among 's friends further bothers and reinforces his rising anger. Alec later states that the meetings are with competitors and enemies having failed against him to now join with him instead. The lecture does not go over well with Dane, and the frustrated head of security turns away from Alec to return to his armored truck.  

Characters: Dane, Michaels, Abby, Alec, Gregor°, Hunter°

A few themes: mixed messages, carelessness, frustration, tribalism, group think, misinterpretations, loyalty, crises management, politics, business, expectations, disillusionment, etc. 

Chapter 14 – Hemorrhaging
Alec Helena is now president of the United States. Abby, his press secretary, is holding a press briefing at Fort William in India. Several issues are becoming troublesome for the administration. Humans are demanding more autonomy, drug resolutions are lagging, territorial disputes continue, and the question of the Sino Russian Alliance (SRA) is brought up. China and Russia have been combining many of their capabilities and Abby is not kept in the loop by her father or older brother Eric. Because of the lack of details, she finds it difficult to answer questions relating to the buildup.

After the press briefing she is consoled with her new confidant and like-minded sibling, Zach. He has arrived to take advantage of the newest technologies amongst other things. As a constant collector, he could not bypass the opportunity to get first hand access to the opened avenues in India, yet another state under American dominion.

Jacob enters and the three discuss issues of contention between human and Andi alike. The siblings have become rather elitist in their world views. Jacob shares some of his “person of a low standing position” perspective in an effort to broaden theirs. After having been summoned by Eric, the two siblings share their amusement with Jacob’s views. Abby jokes that Jacob has the potential to be a good boyfriend.     

Characters: Abby, Zach, Jacob, Mari°Teddy°, and Fitz°     

A few themes: Societal fracturing, tribalism, ensuring order, superiority complex, class struggle, rising powers, identity (of self, history, loss) sovereignty, imperialism, elitism, etc.

Chapter 15 – Toast of the Town
Alec Helena rides in a convoy with his security team (including Dane) towards Venice to sign into law several contentions held by different countries. Having finally agreed to come under the American dominion, it was both joy and happenstance to complete the relay during the annual event of Mardis Gras. Alec wants for Dane to enjoy himself for once. Dane is hesitant to accept the sudden “open to fun” father that has pushed him near to oblivion with busy work.

Alec treats Dane and his team as friends offering them costumes and access to several exclusive parties around the city. Dane half-heartedly keeps a loose hold on security. At one particular home, Alec is surrounded by (veiled) costumed persons and is welcomed by an unknown host he soon realizes is Mother. In eavesdropping to the conversation, Dane finds interest on their perspectives about how the Helena children could not all be present. They are then interrupted by Abby, who wishes to remain with her friends and not stay with Mother or Alec.

Alec then moves on with his security detail towards a party held within Piazza San Marco (a public square). On the boat ride over, Dane believes he saw Tavy but denies it. At the square (where Billy° remains at the water), Alec and Dane have a friendly understanding before a black helicopter arrives. Nero, Jacob (with their IDs), and a team of ICs (Intelligence Commandos) arrive. Nero informs Alec of there being a serious threat and that he needs to leave. Alec laughs (having drank throughout the night) and hugs his son instead. Taken aback Nero redirects his frustration at Dane. Alec is then shot through Dane’s shoulder by a sniper across the waterway (from a church tower). Rockets are fired from nearby boats taking out Dane’s team, several ICs, and sending Nero several yards away. Michaels (with a sniper rifle and cover from his ID, Hunter°) kills the sniper and then the attackers on the boats. Jordan creates a perimeter as crowds of costumed attackers converge to finish Alec and the remaining defenses off. Firebombs (Molotov cocktails) begin to rain down from the rooftops melting Alec’s flesh (no effect on the Andis).  Defenses hold on until reinforcements arrive. Dane hold his dying father as Nero (severely damaged) looks on unable to help before losing consciousness.   

Characters: Alec, Mother, Dane, Nero, Michaels, Jordan, Abby, Billy°, Gregor°, Hunter°, and RJ°,    

A few themes: Peace agreements, transfer of power, zealotry, masks/identity, family divisions, fallen patriarch, rage and passivity, assassinations of leaders, frailty of control, etc. 

Chapter 16: Epilogue
Eric is informed of the Creator's fate. Jordan and Petra continue their hunt for answers

Plot Overview (Ch. 8-16): Alec’s drive to alter the course of humanity creates several issues - foreign, domestic, and with his children. As the President of the United States, Alec was able to achieve things faster than most humans were willing to accept. Managing both humans and the middle management Helena children finally reached a boiling point. On the crowning achievement of unification, most of Alec’s children are too busy to attend. The son he most wanted to rise to the occasion of the opportunities presented, is forced to defend him against a horde of attackers. In the end, with Nero blasted out of commission and his own security team near obliterated, Dane survived the onslaught due to the service of the many soldiers and others he has had little to no regard for.

Character Map (Main and secondary characters)

List of IDs – Individual Drones (for main and secondary characters)

Alec - Billy°

Mother - Finch°

Eric - Mac° / Jacob – Fitz°

Nero - RJ° / Jordan - Kurtz°     

Dane - Gregor° / Michaels – Hunter°

Ophelia - Simone° /  Robert Victor - Rutger°           

Zach – Teddy°, George°, and Julie°  

Abby - Mari° 



PART I – Labyrinth

Chapter 1 – Altered State
Dane sits alone in his dead father’s office. Frustration and several other emotions do not allow him to mourn. This lack of sentiment creates more anxiety about having been a failure in his father’s eyes. Billy sleeps in his cubby as Dane begins to replay moements of the fateful night that left his father murdered, most of his security team dead, and his brother, Nero in a coma. Dane laments that Billy did more with no armament than he had with a rifle and a sidearm. Fully healed from minimal damage to his shoulder, Eric knocks on the door before entering.

Eric reminds Dane that they are to attend the funeral and that he did all he could do to protect his father and survive the onslaught. Dane does not welcome the praise and reminds Eric that he in fact was their father’s favorite. A commotion begins outside of the office as Ophelia who is heart broken is disgusted by Dane having escaped free of physical or emotional injury. Others try to calm her down but she insists on having a history of working with Dane that he must have failed as he always does.
Abby enters and begins to castigate her older sister for not being respectful. The audacity of such a charge is diregarded by Ophelia who then aims to get answers from Michaels who is standing by quietly. Feeling guilty for not having done more, he does little to argue. When she is about to strike him, Eric catches her by the wrist and orders for all to exit. She is consoled by him and then leaves. Eric, Dane, and Billy follow soon after.

A president’s funeral procession takes place. Hundreds of dignitaries and general population attend. During the eulogy given by Abby, Dane believes he sees tears flow upward from Mother’s eyes. Dane replays actual memory recordings of his father giving him advice from various instances in the past. He focuses on the conditional bias of his being the center of the universe.   

Characters: Dane, Eric, Ophelia, Mother, Abby, Zach, Michaels, Jordan, Shades, Billy°, Gregor° Mac°, and Hunter°   

A few themes: mourning a faulted relationship, grieving, family dynamics, survivor’s guilt, power vacuum, media manipulation, faith, finding resolve, continuing the fight, etc.

Chapter 2 – Ruminations
Nero awakes from his coma-like state. He finds himself (with a new body) in a hospital in Rome. His scorpion ID, RJ° informs him that Ophelia has watched over him and is living in an office within the hospital. Jordan and Petra report that they have been tracking connections to the assassins that murdered his father. A Shade blocks him from exiting his room in order to offer a message from Mother. Nero is not interested in her offer to help cope with his loss. Mother’s spirit leaves the body and Nero walks past it (before it recuperates).

RJ° tells Nero that most of his siblings have visited but that Ophelia does so daily. Ophelia arrives and is overjoyed at his return. The two (and their IDs) head to her office. He shares the insight and parts of the conclusions he has arrived at – it is not the criminals of the several societal and political systems, but the systems themselves that need removal. Ophelia agrees and is open to moving to alter the systems, especially in the wake of their father’s passing. Nero says that he has new targets to go after but that he will need Ophelia’s help. She is to delegate authority to others so that the two can work to find the true culprits of Alec’s demise.

Suspicions are cast about family members and the two begin to question each other privately. Ophelia does not want Nero to know of Robert Victor’s return and Nero keeps much of his planning vague. Nero tells Ophelia of their father’s wish – that Dane take over for him at the time of his passing. She cannot believe her ears and is more upset than before. Nero states that Dane is not the problem but the solution to their problems because he can be easily manipulated.

She begins to share information on the SRA having links to the assassins. Nero speaks on the Intellectuals (the old guard of leadership, commerce, and academia) that need removal from their stations. As she speaks, Nero takes visual note of a recent photo of Robert Victor. The picture causes Nero to question her resolve.

Characters: Nero, Ophelia, Mother, RJ°Simone°, and Robert Victor

A few themes: loyalties, the inner self, rejection of therapy, altering systems of society, perspective, like-mindedness, doubts, straw man fallacy, confirmation bias, etc.

Chapter 3 – Acquired Taste
The family continues to work towards the Creator’s dream – a unified humanity with over-watch from the Andi. Nero has moved to work closer with Ophelia (National Intelligence (NIL) and the Bureau of Laws and Union Enforcement (BLUE) Dane has learned of his new role and is hesitant to accept it. Archive footage has been splice together to give Dane a most positive connection to ensure continuity. Mother is stepping down as the last President of the United States.

Dane is preparing himself at the Grand Chapel in the minor tower of Mother’s complex. Dignitaries and officials from around the world are present to usher in his new reign. Choirs sing, processions play out, and Dane is then sworn in as a sovereign over the newly established American Empire. Dane’s entire family is present. Most of them are proud of him and he relishes in the moment. Afterward, guests are to enjoy a dinner in Dane’s honor.

It is during the dinner that Billy cracks a joke at Dane’s expense. It is then that Dane removes himself from the festivities and walks over to the other tower. A throne sits alone in an empty room. Mother appears and the two discuss the importance of the program he has been experiencing. The entire procession was in Dane’s mind – a virtual therapy session created for him by Mother and Alec. She attempts to reassure him of the importance his father placed on him. Not convince, Mother asks if Dane is ready to continue with the programs (a Shade of the Infinite Order brings forth a small ceramic box, a Code: All Squared [CAXA] that carries all of the programs prepared for Dane). Once Dane is under, Mother authorizes all requests by all of the other Helena children.

Characters: Dane, Mother, Gregor°, and Billy°, and Michaels

A few themes: therapy via virtual programs, preparation with active education (experience), continuing a legacy, introspection, immortality, closure, staying grounded, media, etc.

Chapter 4 – Realpolitik
Eric prays to the Creator within a newly built base in Kashmir. Hackers are parceling every aspect of an attack on the SRA that is underway. He thinks on how the Chinese government had self-imploded (lost its communal identity) decade after decade and had divided itself to be taken over by the strongest group, Tan-Universal (after the Civil Cyber War). His thoughts then fall on Russia having fallen to a slow coup of rising bosses (gangsters) over the oligarchs that once managed them – the turn led to an increase of ultra-nationalism (ramped isolationism) that resulted in a faltering society. 

The two countries decided to back each other to form the Sino Russian Alliance (SRA). On visiting, Abby enters a hall leading to the situation room where Eric is praying. She is met with Commander K (Mayra Jade Conrad) and the two discuss the Supreme Commander (Eric). Commander K snaps a salute and is off to the tarmac where hound drones and soldiers await.

Eric finishes praying and talks with Abby. She is sorry she has not visited him or consoled him after the loss of their father. He informs her Jacob is in Israel to tie up the transfer of power. (Jacob places the Prime Minister and a business associate under arrest.) He then partially informs her of the two missions.

He castigates her for not having updated herself with the real world. A rush of soldiers enters the situation room to continue working on the problems he listed. Abby finds herself drowned out by the bustle. Mac carries her outside to her luxury transport. Inside she returns to her indifferent life of social graces.   

Characters: Eric, Abby, Commander K, Jacob, and Mac°

A few themes: Faith in goals, neglecting duty, sacrifice, trajectory of war, censorship of warfare, conducting several campaigns simultaneously, political fallout, numbing sentiments, etc.

Chapter 5 – The Disowned
Ophelia is ready to confront Robert Victor at a Bob Unit Command Center in Paris that monitors the Grid. The two have a history and their passive aggressive fights clear out the offices of all Bob Units before she has entered his office. Her entourage of friends remain outside of the office. Their IDs also keep out as she questions his perspective and their history. Confused Robert Victor attempts to tell his version of what he believes has happened. Not interested, Ophelia orders him to remain in Detroit, one of the safest cities in the world.

Robert Victor and his wolf ID, Rutger° leave without anything more than a salute. In the office, Ophelia pulls out a locket from her wrist. In it are pictures of her father and of Robert Victor and her at Nero’s officer school graduation. The memories are some of the best moments of her life.
Over in the Philippines, Nero’s transport, The Morning Star lands at a University for Engineers (ordering RJ° to remain behind). There he is met with three intellectuals. The three elder (two professionals and a nun) ask Nero about his views. They also tell Nero that they knew his father when they were all younger. Having listened to his hosts enough,

Nero’s ICs arrive to place the three under arrest. He tells them that they will be witnessing history before bidding them a good day. The three are whisked away in an IC transport.

Characters: Ophelia, Robert Victor, Simone°, Rutger°, Nero, and RJ° 

A few themes: International politics, long standing human conflicts, Andi managing of humanity, military industrial complex, globalization, legalization of narcotics, loyalties, etc.

Chapter 6 – Plasticity
Dane wakes up in his program, but is so enthralled by the fast moving events that he’s not aware of the therapy session. The session begins with Dane having a physical altercation with a woman he believes is Tavy, but cannot verify. He then mentally and physically finds himself graduating and having an improved relationship with a still unverified yet perceived Tavy. Time appears to be moving in reverse and Dane’s transferring of spirit increases its intensity. More unusual situations occur with an uncertainty of the perceived surrealism - due to the heavy familiarity of the environments and people in the program.

Yet another transfer of time brings him to a funeral home brings him into contacts with Mother, yet she is not the person he recognizes as Mother. She is oddly mean spirited with Dane and reminds him that he is to move on and will be sent to an academy. After striking him for countering with a rude remark, Dane finds himself in a living room to a small house. Over the mantle of a fireplace, he sees photos of friends and family from a time unrecognizable to him and at different ages than their Andi forms.

Dane slips through forms of Alec’s childhood – one of books, insect collections, and family turned upside down towards one of seeking for answers, absolution of complexity, isolation from living. Mother talks to Dane during a break from his therapy. She reminds him that he is in control of his mind, his world.

Characters: Dane, Mother      

A few themes: Plasticity of the mind, parceling of identity, drivers and identifiers, traumatic events, environment, class struggle, loss, divisions, introspection, relationships, etc.

Plot Overview (Part I The Labyrinth Ch. 1-6): After the assassination of their father, the Helena children struggle to continue the patriarch’s legacy. Ophelia, having watched over Nero while he was in a coma, partners with him to find the perpetrators that are responsible for their father’s death – while also suspecting family members. Dane begins virtual therapy to address his loss. Abby visits Eric at a military instillation only to be offered a simplified narrative of military matters. She leaves semi-informed and her indifference returns. Ophelia meets with Robert Victor to inform him of his new post and their permanent separation from one another – he accepts the order. Dane delves further into his father’s life and begins to formulate his own views.     

Character Map (Main and secondary characters)

List of IDs – Individual Drones (for main and secondary characters)

Alec - Billy°

Mother - Finch°

Eric - Mac° / Jacob – Fitz°

Nero - RJ° / Jordan - Kurtz°     

Dane - Gregor° / Michaels – Hunter°

Ophelia - Simone° /  Robert Victor - Rutger°           

Zach – Teddy°, George°, and Julie°  

Abby - Mari°

PART II – Weaving Heresy

Chapter 7 – The Terminal
Ophelia is in transport with her entourage in tow. She receives a call from Robert Victor informing her of her of Abby having been reported missing. Ophelia dismisses the report and claims it is typical of her materialistic sister.

They continue towards the coordinates Nero requested. It’s location is an old terminal (once turned Personal Utility Provider factory) being used as a secret prison to hold Elites. Nero has populated the prison (he now calls an asylum) with the addition of Intellectuals and Academics supplementing the Elites. He lectures the two groups until they are whisked away in ambulatory drone units. 

When Ophelia arrives, her entourage is ordered not to enter the terminal. They oblige and Ophelia enters alone. The entourage is thrown off of the roof top by Nero’s Intelligence Commandos (ICs). Ophelia enters an elevator and is taken to the bottom floor. She is met by Jordan and Dr. Petra, Nero’s numer 2 and 3 respectively. Ophelia hands over the key code to all of the Bob Units she commands, and it is verified with the Black Widow ID, Zi Sha°. The ID leaves with the guards (ICs). Jordan and Dr. Petra allow Nero and Ophelia to discuss their plans.

After having not lived up to her word (in Nero’s mind), he has Jordan bring out the battered body of Abby. Ophelia cannot accept the new direction Nero wants. Jordan then aims to kill Abby by stabbing her through the chest. With Ophelia making an attempt to help her, she too is then stabbed in the back (through Simone° who is hanging onto her) by Nero. Petra opens a flooring grate and kicks Ophelia’s body into the rushing rain waters below. When she looks up, Nero and Jordan have already left. She has to then catch up to them.    

Characters: Ophelia, Nero, Abby, Jordan, Dr. Petra, and Zi Sha°

A few themes: isolating targets, mistrust, faith in others, dismissing family, elites’, intellectuals’, and academics’ failure to help society, removal of identity, drug abuse, hatred, etc.

Chapter 8 – Prisoner’s Dilemma
Eric’s forces openly march into Russia en masse facing little to no defenses. Commander E, a most capable leader, pushes deep into Russian territories while decimating resistance groups (taking all civilian life into extreme consideration). Commander K, a master tactician, continues to disrupt and retrieve all of the imprisoned Chinese leaders that are Helena friendly.

Once Eric has met with Commander E to complete the annexation of Russia (residual leadership has been removed), his transport heads toward Beijing to rendezvous with Commander K and Jacob. En route, a yet to be fully installed civilian grid over Mongolian airspace attacks Eric’s transport. The attack does not register to his accompanying Military Grid. Eric orders the Military Grid to attack his transport and thereby severely damaging it. The transport crashes onto the Mongolian plains with only Eric and his ID, Mac° surviving. Commander E arrives and they continue the route.
Commander K has also come under attack by the civilian grid – Eric recognizes the attack pattern as one that he and Robert Victor had created long ago. Commander K adjust and with the arrival of reinforcements, destroy the opposition and secure the Chinese leadership.

The Supreme Commander, Eric (accompanied by his top commanders) has the Chinese leadership sign the complete surrender. A newly reinstated Chinese state joins the American Union. Eric stands alone with his ID in Tiananmen Square to pray to his father that the Helena legacy has been completed – the Sino Russian Alliance (SRA) is no more.

Characters: Eric, Commander E, Commander K, Jacob, Robert Victor, and Mac°

A few themes: sovereignty, rise of second tier oligarchy, shift in cultural identity/strength, Andi perspective of human conflicts, psychology of warfare, unification/globalization,  etc.

Chapter 9 – Phantom Rogue
Zach and his IDs hurry to save all systems from a telegraphed attack from Nero. Michaels arrives, hesitant at leaving Dane in the Lotus Dome, to secure Zach. Due to his uncertainty, Zach does not comply with Michaels and ICs arrive. Zach and his IDs hide while Michaels engages the attacking forces. Michaels is bested by Robert Victor and is forced to jump out from the tower windows and onto Grid drones. Outside, the Grid is set to detonate when Michaels and his ID land on them.

Robert Victor orders the ICs to move on while he walks toward the group in hiding. Captain Paul reports the Grid drones as destroyed. Zach and company have no option but to surrender. Surprising to Zach and his IDs, Robert Victor decides to talk, thereby informing Zach of how upset the death of Ophelia has hit him. The doubts Robert Victor had about Nero’s reporting ring true as Zach shows no signs of having known.

Wanting to get to the bottom of what is happening (her life marker was last listed over Pennsylvania airspace), Robert Victor convinces Zach to give up his life marker but not before transferring his mind to his ID, Teddy. They do so and Robert Victor meets Nero down at ground level. Nero is reminded of Robert Victor’s efficiency. Nero has locked down Mother’s entire complex with thousands of Grid Units, ICs, and drones in preparation for Eric’s arrival.

Characters: Zach, Michaels, Hunter°, Robert Victor, Teddy°, and Rutger°

A few themes: the futility of closed systems, the benefits of open/closed source, defense of assignment, rounded, duty, controlling media, media euphemism & de-sensitivity, etc.

Chapter 10 – Adverse Affect
Abby’s ID, Mari° awakes from its meditative (cloaked) state. All enemy forces have left, so she searches to find Abby. She finds her face down on the metal grating floor. Abby is severely damaged and lifeless. The small ID revives Abby back to life.

Abby wakes and sees Ophelia’s body tossing about under the grates. Ophelia’s scorpion ID, Simone° has been holding to her and the flooring from below for some time. Mari° walks through the grates and sacrifices her life for Ophelia. Simone° catches Mari°’s lifeless body as it falls into the dark waters. The two sisters begin speaking on a lifetime of misunderstanding one another. Bruised and batter Ophelia begins to regain strength, albeit slowly. Ophelia and Abby come to understand that they have more in common than either one knew. Ophelia reveals that Robert Victor had died some time ago and that she broke the Creator’s rule of returning life to the dead – she has been at odds with the new Robert Victor and the memory of her father’s wishes. Abby describes her loss of identity through vice and materialism due to the rising anger and disconnect from her family.

Once Ophelia has regained her strength, she climbs out and begins to plan an escape from the buried factory. The rushing waters offers a possible route. With little time left, (the entire building may fall at any moment), Ophelia holds her younger sister and ID before the raging waters before taking the plunge

Characters: Abby, Ophelia, Mari°and Simone°

A few themes: Perseverance, sacrifice, love, misunderstanding, acceptance, empathy, keeping to goals at the price of personal relationships, working together, betrayal, adapting, etc.

Chapter 11 – Homegrown
Eric and his forces are en route to Mother’s Complex. He tells Jacob and the other commanders that he will attend to the issue of Nero personally and with a small force. All others are to remain about the greater area and neighboring cities. In studying the defenses, Eric and his chosen force prepare for impact. He orders the force to engage with extreme prejudice. They begin to overwhelm the defenses and a ground battle ensues.  

Jacob becomes injured on approach. In searching for Eric, Jacob encounters Jordan and the twin brothers fight to the death. Eric and his ID, Mac° make their way into the complex and begin to rise. After engaging with several IC groups, the two find and disarm a freight elevator to ascend. Mac is damaged and cannot continue. Eric continues to rise.

Mac° encounters an unconscious Michaels and Hunter°. Michaels’ ID is in too damaged to move out. He retrieves his sniper rifle vowing to save Dane. Michaels begins to work on a downed Grid Unit to find a vantage point.

Characters: Eric, Mac°, Jacob, Jordan, Michaels, and Hunter°

A few themes: Internal matters, pride of capabilities with the loss of key members, keeping to the chain of command, federal versus state forces, perseverance, reaching goals, etc.

Chapter 12 – Saving Grace
Robert Victor heads towards Ophelia’s last known coordinates. The terminal and its surrounding structures have been imploded. Robert Victor searches about the debris for any signs of Ophelia. A final plea for help and prayer standalone message from Ophelia’s entourage help Robert Victor zone in on an area.

Overhead, a military transport inner alarms sound off at its recognition of Robert Victor, an extremely dangerous individual, moving about the area. After taking tactical maneuvers the transports captain Aguilar radios in to commander K and she issues an order to bring him in. Robert Victor’s wolf ID, Rutger° warns him of the oncoming danger and the two take to defensive measures while attempting to evade. Rutger° leads some of the forces away from Robert Victor. A team of Special Operations Liberators (SOL) and K-Drones leave the transport to capture Robert Victor. The K-Drones fall for Robert Victors grenade traps while the SOL team disarms and continues their search. Robert Victor finds an open trench with water draining. He says a prayer before leaping in.

Down below, Ophelia and Abby continue to maneuver the drainage waters in search of an escape route.   The sisters confess their love and loyalty to their giving father. As the two reminisce, a limp body swirls about and is caught by Ophelia’s ID, Simone°. The group studies the bruised body before Robert Victor emerges from the dark water. He momentarily wakes to see a halo effect around Ophelia’s head (courtesy of Simone°’s hazard lighting) and believes he has entered heaven.

Characters: Robert Victor, Ophelia, Abby, Rutger°, and Simone° 

A few themes: Hope, fear, safeguarding self and others against a serious threat, following orders, admitting errors, solidarity, leap of faith, chance, joy of life, etc.

Chapter 13 – Infliction
Eric reaches the tower by breaking through the floor. He is welcomed by the Shades but moves to reach a rising Lotus Dome. He sees and calls to Nero but cannot gain his attention for an energy barrier encapsulates the entire dome. Nero is speaking to a silent Mother (in a pulpit) and an audience of praying Shades while Shades of the Infinite Order appear to be working on Dane (who has been attacked with a blade while in a bulbous medical unit.

Dane’s therapy session has him flowing in between worlds where time and space are overlapping. Nano drones work to repair the damage his body has taken while the SIOs work to keep his mind intact. Dane sees the world for more than what is has ever appeared to be and questions where home is for someone who is static to a cycle of light and perception; much like looking into a kaleidoscope.
Meanwhile, Nero is ready to end all of the Helena family once and for all. He is certain that their existence is a burden to the forward moving world their Creator built. Mother attempts to reason with Nero via the SIOs. Dane awakes and flings Nero’s blade back at him, its clanking gets Nero’s attention. Dane tells Nero of their father having lived several variations of life, having altered perspectives, and owning different parts to a mind – like all Andis and humans alike. The nano drones struggle to keep Dane upright, and he begins to falter. In doing so Dane sees Tavy in the pulpit alongside Mother and begins to mumble. Nero recognizes the dread in Dane as that of their father. The continuity of life cycles begins to alter Nero’s perspective.

The dome begins to fracture as Mother cannot contain the spirits within and without. Eric fights further in making tremendous strides at the expense of his body, but his mind is determined. Nero’s ID, RJ has abandoned the self-destruction (mini nuke) of the city blocks and is flying away from the complex. Michaels continues his ascent on a hijacked Grid unit drone (Nero took note of the drone rising and prepares himself). The dome fractures more as Teddy and the group finally can see into the area from a trap door. Their fear of Nero keeps them from entering to help Eric who is now through but recuperating his strength. Nero pulls out a sidearm but assures Dane it is empty. The war outside is coming to a close. Eric prays for Nero to stop and Michaels picks up the call and fires through the now floating orbs to globules of energy and falling dome pieces to kill Nero. Dane embraces Nero who now claims to finally be free. Miles away, RJ detonates Nero’s ship, The Morning Star over the ocean.

Characters: Eric, Nero, Dane, Mother, Michaels, SIOs, Shades, Zach, Teddy°, and RJ°

A few themes: Parts the mind, mind over matter, perception, fear, forgiveness, control, existence, acceptance, struggle, understanding, faith, spirit, hope, life, home, etc.

Chapter 14 – Epilogue
Alec’s mantis ID, Billy walks down a spiral library under the Creator’s pyramid. He retrieves a file from deep within the library and brings it up the dumbwaiter to Alec’s office desk. The ID stares at a candid photo of Alec’s father, Danny. He then retrieves another reading the writing on the back of the photo before focusing on the final handwritten cursive that reads, “Love, Luisa Valdez”. When the photo is turned, it is revealed to be a mirror image of Tavy Vadis. Many memories rush to the ID before he accidentally knocks over his highball glass and yelling aloud, “For crying out loud!” He then chuckles to himself about minced oafs while wiping the area clean.

Over at Mother’s complex, she walks her garden with SIOs around her. A partition opens and a catalog appears. Mother places her hand on the one labeled with the letter N. Mother is then interrupted as her guest has arrived. The group heads away from the garden and then overlook the repaired Lotus Dome where Dane awaits below. He is wearing a hybrid of uniforms from Eric and Nero. Mother transfers her consciousness to a closer Shade who was in prayer and begins to talk to Dane. She informs him that there have been a number of arrests over the years and much was learned from the prisoners. Mother tells him that all that has passed is only the beginning and that there is an Other. Around the world thousands of cloaked islands have been sending transports into orbit for decades. A buildup for war has long been underway.

 Characters: Billy°, Tavy, Mother, and Dane             

A few themes: Rules meant to be broken, freedom of responsibility, leisure, retirement, anonymity, memories and their unreliable nature, purpose, love, continuity, etc.

Plot Overview (Part II Weaving Heresy Ch. 7-14): The buildup to disrupt the legacy and find the true culprits of their father’s murder, Nero and Ophelia embark on a damaging road to destruction. The youngest siblings lose themselves in work and play while Dane begins a therapy regiment. Eric keeps to the promises he made to his father and orchestrates the annihilation of the SRA. Once Nero has eliminated Abby, Ophelia and then Zach (by sending Robert Victor to do it), he then moves to trap and destroy the rest of the siblings he now perceives as the last step to truly freeing the populace as their father dreamed. Nero physically attacks Dane while in a medical unit therapy session and sets up a field to slow Eric while he angrily castigates Mother about how the Helena children must be removed. Before detonating his transport to end the last of the Helena family, Dane struggles to move and Nero sees his own father in Dane. Nero’s ID abandons the plan to detonate the mini nuke in the transport and heads out to sea. Michaels uses a sniper rifle to end Nero’s life. Nero accepts his fate and dies free of all of the anger he has held onto. 

Character Map (Main and secondary characters)

List of IDs – Individual Drones (for main and secondary characters)

Alec - Billy°

Mother - Finch°

Eric - Mac° / Jacob – Fitz°

Nero - RJ° / Jordan - Kurtz°     

Dane - Gregor° / Michaels – Hunter°

Ophelia - Simone° /  Robert Victor - Rutger°           

Zach – Teddy°, George°, and Julie°  

Abby - Mari°

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