Held captive in the frozen wilderness, transhuman Chase Sterling almost loses faith that he’ll ever be reunited with his bride and with the persecuted souls he’s promised to guard. His escape leads to even greater struggles, and discoveries about his own abilities. At last, he arrives at the unusual location his people have chosen as a hiding place.
And then things get complicated.
His wife’s been kidnapped and the underground faces annihilation. Victory and heartbreak build Chase’s resolve, until he is forced to face his worst fear. Now he must choose whether to sacrifice himself.
He's endured so much since they transformed him into the world's first transhuman, but will he survive the final transfusion?
Chase considered his audience. Thirty men in ragged coats snarled like wolves judging bait in a trap. The alpha wolf—a guy they called Ep—paced at the far end of the narrow room. Long, bony legs. Impatient puffs of frigid air raging from his flared nostrils. A polished wooden nightstick dangling off his belt.
Alpha Wolf had decided it would be beneficial for Chase to tell the pack what he could do for them. Outlaws seeking revolution couldn’t be trusted with too much information, even if revolt was the solution. But Chase had to gain the wolf’s trust. Or at least secure the respect of the pack.
He smiled—he always smiled for the crowd. Millions of fans once adored him. But his last audience was a hundred believers stowed deep in the Underground Church. The fans had likely forgotten him. The believers…
The smile left him.
Now this—renegade dissenters holed up in an old campground two hundred miles from Chase’s destination. He’d been here three weeks, captured on his way from Quebec to Detroit. Nothing good remained in Quebec since the destruction of the underground’s base. He wasn’t sure what he’d find in the rundown city of Detroit, but God told him to go there.
“What do you know about God?” Switchblade grumbled behind him.
Chase angled his vision to the left. “Did I say that out loud?”
“All those superpowers and you don’t even know when your stupid thinking is coming out your mouth. These people don’t care what you think God told you.”
Murmurs filled the room as Chase swung around. “You know as well as I do God is sending us to Detroit.”
Switchblade folded his thick black arms. A vein bulged up the middle of his forehead. “Then how’d we end up in this Godforsaken place? Huh? Why ain’t we in Detroit?”
“Why don’t you just rub it in? I thought I could get us there and I failed. You think I don’t want more than anything to wake up to my wife’s beautiful face instead of your ugly mug? You think I don’t wonder how we’re going to find her if we even make it to Detroit? All I can do is to follow what little instruction I get from God.”
The muscles in Chase’s throat tightened and his tone rose an octave. “I can’t depend on intel from the underground, because it shut down. Remember? But God will get me there. That is what I know about God.”
Switchblade’s furrowed brows relaxed. “Now you’re ready.” He placed his big hands on Chase’s shoulders and forced him around to the stunned audience.
Alpha Wolf snarled.
Switchblade smacked Chase across the back. “Go on and tell them what you know about God.”
“I don’t think that’s what the boss man wants.”
“You scared of that old dog? We got stuck here for a reason, robot.”
Laughter rose among the men’s agitated whispers. Alpha Wolf slapped the nightstick against his leg.
Tell them what he knew about God? These men weren’t waiting for a Sunday school lesson. During his time here, Chase had read the irises of most of the outlaws. Files kept by the Western Republic listed them as thieves. Murderers. Swindlers. Hackers. People like that served a purpose in the Dissenters of the Republic. The leader had no felon’s record, but he was an outlaw just for going rogue. Anybody bowing out on the government’s agenda was a criminal. Including Chase, who’d long since found his own name among the WR’s Most Wanted.