In 2060, the Naga are in charge. Humanity lives off of 1940s technology and teenagers are expected to spend their post-graduation lives serving a Naga overseer. Living with his adoptive parents in an upscale human city, Olton Sorrell has studied hard to have a great career serving under his father’s Naga friend. But as graduation nears, Olton meets the enigmatic Orun, a Naga who reveals the truth about his species’ arrival on Earth and sympathizes with the anti-Naga human resistance. Upon learning the secrets of the Naga, Olton must choose whether to stay true to his family or true to his past. What will happen if he does the unthinkable and serves Orun instead of his father’s friend? Olton’s decision will take him to the labor camps of a land once called Greece. Now a slave under the Naga, he is assigned to a top secret operation that may change the world. As Olton navigates dangers both ancient and new, two questions trouble him. What are he and his fellow slaves digging for? And what will he do once they find it?
“You already know why you never had a head-sculpting ceremony as a baby.” Because he was adopted. Olton looked at the sheets padded tight beneath the door. He was confronted by an image of himself trying to wrench the door free as his grandfather smothered him with his hideous, skeletal frame. He fought back the urge to call out to his parents because it seemed pointless. Either they wouldn’t hear or wouldn’t do anything to stop his grandfather. “I know I came from somewhere that didn’t remain loyal to the Naga,” Olton said. After the Naga left Earth centuries ago, most people forgot about them. Only a small sect of humans stayed loyal. When the Naga returned in 2012, they rewarded the loyal humans with the elite status of Nagavanshi citizenship. “South of here, to be slightly more specific.” “You were born in a region south of here. In fact, your people once worshipped the Naga. They called them different names, though.” They’d taught him differently at the academy. “No. Naga loyalists didn’t live in the south. I mean, if they did, what happened to them?” His grandfather gave a long sigh. “I’m not at liberty to tell you.” Olton snorted in disbelief. A person only withheld information if revealing it posed some sort of a problem. Was his grandfather aware of something he shouldn’t be? Olton charged over to his bookshelf and ran his finger from book to book until he located an old history class text. “Look.” He flipped through the pages to a historical map of continents, color-coded red for anarchist regions, green for Nagavanshi regions, and white for neutral zones. The absence of green indicated no Nagavanshi lived on the central or southern continents of Quadrant 1 before the Naga returned in 2012. In fact, ever since the fallout of World War II, humanity’s own infighting had threatened to plunge the entire world into anarchy. Only after returning to Earth, and cleansing it of most anarchists, did the Naga reward the Nagavanshi with rich, safe lands scattered throughout the Dominion’s vast territory. His grandfather gave a faraway look, slouched forward, and pointed to a bright red patch of land. “You were born there. In Chiapas. Formerly part of Mexico.”
About the Author
Gibson Morales is the author of the young adult novels, The Deadliest Earthling and upcoming The Boy Who Wields Thunder, as well as the satirical novel, Johnny Ali vs America. He publishes these under his imprint, Mo Bros Books, which he formed with his brother and writer Vicente. Gibson graduated from USC and lives in Los Angeles. When not writing, Gibson enjoys boxing, most things geek-related, truth-seeking, and, occasionally, satirizing.