In a nation divided with only pockets of civilization, defiant personalities are considered dangerous. Rewritten by a regimen described as the permutation, the Western Order is quick to stifle any noise that may seek sedition.
Though her memories are fractured, Rey finds herself forced to choose a side when she is caught in the middle of a civil war between the governments and an organization calling themselves the Vorpals.
Before long, Rey is labeled an enemy of the state and a terrorist herself, and must embrace her past if she has any hope to discover her stolen identity from the Chancellor of the Western Order.
“Fiery the angels rose, and as they rose deep thunder roll’d.
Around their shores: indignant burning with the fires of Orc.”
— William Blake, America: A Prophecy
After waking up in the morgue of an abandoned sanitarium, Rey has only a toe tag to her name and no recollection as to how she got there.
While Engelus, capitol of the Western Order, is under civil unrest by anti-permutation activists, there is something else stirring in that old asylum. Tejinder Wakeman, the government’s own Archiver, is inexplicably drawn to it. So is David Wednesday, accompanied by his friend and roommate, Enid Lyall.
Their paths are about to cross on this Friday evening in Nevada.
“I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark burn out in a brilliant blaze
than it be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor,
every atom of me in magnificent glow,
than a sleepy and permanent planet.”
— Jack London, Credo
Already suffering from martial law, security is tighter than ever after a political assassination has left Engelus in an even more perilous state than before. Rey is guided by a mysterious foreigner, who seems to know her better than she knows herself.
Meanwhile, Tejinder Wakeman has intercepted a message that may imply that the capitol and its citizens is in danger. Also, a private investigator has arrived in town on a lead taking him to Orion Gideon, a man who may have a connection to Rey’s shady past.
“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”
Three months have gone by since the attack on the Capitol of the Western Order. While Rey is catatonic for reasons unknown, it is up to Orion Gideon to figure out what to do next.
Eventually, his search seems to lead them to a strange Oregon town called Old Wayfair…
“Now we are no longer wolves. We are dogs, the servants of men. Keep alive, man! When man dies we become wolves again.”
— Sherwood Anderson, Death in the Woods
Something has triggered inside of Rey. What it is, Orion Gideon doesn’t know. He does know that, as they are closing in on Old Wayfair, the Chancellor has been more prepared than he initially realized. The town itself also seems to house more than its own fair share of secrets, as does its denizens.
They say that time heals, and the truth will set you free. But as Rey draws closer to that point of no return, her role in it all will beg to question if the truth is a skeleton that anyone wants digging out of the closet.