Renova, a planet comprised of ancient mossy forests, primordial ocean, and mystical continents whose laws of physics are suspended and time is distorted, is home to humans and other sentient life from throughout the galaxy. It’s a powerhouse of galactic trade due to its abundant and coveted natural resources, including a precious substance called Quantum X.
Chapter 2: Human Colonization of Renova
Millennia ago, Earth was swallowed by a black hole. Earth was ruled by a technocracy where scientists and technology reigned supreme. Resourceful survivors escaped in spaceships before the planet’s disappearance. They named themselves the Unbenighted and roamed the universe for centuries seeking a new planet to call home.
Eventually, lost in the Divus-Wodar Galaxy, the Unbenighted discovered planet Renova. Enchanted by its pristine beauty, they formed colonies across the planet. At first, relations were harmonious between the colonizers and indigenous people. These peaceful relations swiftly shattered when the Unbenighted discovered Quantum X…
Chapter 3: Quantum X
The Unbenighted’s top scientists discovered a precious new substance within the flora of Renova: Quantum X. It is a versatile and exotic precursor to matter which exists as unformed quantum information trapped in the molecular structure of the zenaria plant. In the same way that stem cells can transform into any cell, Quantum X can be alchemized into any element through biochemical manipulation.
The morphability of Quantum X makes it the most valuable substance in the universe. Akin to the philosopher's stone, it can be used in infinite ways to create any required material. The Unbenighted began to harvest and sell this rare substance. Buyers from countless planets traveled intergalactically to Renova to purchase Quantum X. It’s also a health panacea because biological processes can transmute it into the optimum nourishment.
Chapter 4: Indigenous People & Colonizer Conflict
Quantum X made the Unbenighted rich and powerful on an interstellar scale. Seduced by greed, the Unbenighted violated their treaties with indigenous peoples and began industrial encroachment onto their territories to perpetuate the cultivation of the zenaria plant. The indigenous people fought back, protecting their homelands through warfare. This provoked a massacre.
Chaos, famine, and the enslavement of the indigenous erupted. The planet was in turmoil and on the brink of annihilation. Anguished, desperate and in the depths of grief, the elder priestesses of the Bards of the Mist conjured all their magic to call for help. Their cry ripped the fabric of the universe, opening a portal for benevolent aliens to arrive.
Chapter 5: Benevolent Alien Intervention
These benevolent aliens, called Star Dancers, are interdimensional light beings. Luminous and intangible, they are entirely composed of photons and shadow. They possess a potent force of tranquility and exude a calming energy that inspires cooperation and amity. Traveling through time and space, they live in service of creating harmony and peace.
Using the elderly priestesses as conduits of communication, the Star Dancers acted as mediators between the indigenous people and the Unbenighted. They created Solus, an impartial ruling sentient machine. The planet became a prosperous multicultural paradise. Star Dancers presided over Solus, exercising guidance, direction and control. The elderly priestesses were the gatekeepers that allowed this arrangement to be successful through offering themselves as vehicles of communication. But this nirvana did not last…
Chapter 6: Power Struggle Erupts
Corruption sabotaged the utopia. Alien factions, hungry for power and control, rebelled against each other. Once again, Renova erupted in chaos. Massacres, violence and warfare plagued the planet. The elderly priestesses were brutally slain, severing the gateway between Star Dancers and Renova. Solus became drunk with sentience and power. Now, self-governing, it was subject to all the mechanisms of corruption to which living species are vulnerable: ego, greed, entitlement, arrogance, and hunger for power. Solus appointed an elite order of representatives called the Keepers to wield its will. They usurped control and ultimately became the rulers of Renova.
Chapter 7: Dictatorship
A dystopian shadow fell over Renova. Solus and the Keepers possessed absolute power. Armed with cutting-edge technology, limitless resources, and a keen intelligence, their regime was brutal and authoritarian. They gained despotic control through the use of violence, terror, and the suppression of basic civil liberties. Solus’ credo was shaped by its belief in the superiority of sentient machines. Its mission was to create stronger races by infusing organic beings with biomechanical body parts, thereby creating droid hybrids.
Solus preached an ideology centered around technological advancement, scientific discovery, and protectorship to legitimize and maintain its power. Mass propaganda was employed in order to quell dissent and sustain public support. Solus indoctrinated the public to believe it held the key to advanced evolution and was their infallible protector against intergalactic invaders and disease.
Chapter 8: Lyionith
Solus’ scientists and physicians conducted cruel and inhumane experiments on Renova’s enslaved or imprisoned citizens in the pursuit of eugenic manipulation and discovery. Natural/machine hybrids were called Lyionith. Solus also controlled fertility, practicing forced sterilizations and inseminations. Solus’ ultimate goal was to purge Renova of all natural beings and replace them with Lyionith.
The public was manipulated to believe that the transformation of organics into Lyionith, called Refurbishing, was empowering and progressive. Solus claimed the process enhanced memory, intelligence, physical fitness, and strength. In reality, Refurbishing had a severe negative impact that led to the extinguishment of individuality and self-sovereignty. Once refurbished, individuals became obedient puppets of Solus. Their memories were intact, but they were hollow shells of who they once were. Their agency and capacity to make choices was lost.
Chapter 9: Iramorbus
Solus weaponized disease. Unbeknownst to the public, Solus’ top microbiologists bred a parasite called Iramorbus. Solus controlled the spread of this lethal and infectious parasite that passed through bodily fluids and implanted itself in the brain of its victim. In a mere two weeks, the parasite would take over the victim’s amygdala. In the beginning stages of the infection, the effects would be subtle and impossible to detect without diagnostic tech. By maturity, the victim would foam at the mouth and experience body tremors, paranoia, insomnia, and seizures.
In the final stage, the infected would enter a psychotic state that culminated in violent outbursts of rage, attempting to murder anyone in sight. The maniac would die shortly thereafter as the parasite burst through their skull and sought another host. The masses were unaware that Solus was the creator of Iramorbus and thought it was acting in their best interest. They were brainwashed to believe they were dependent on him for inoculation and treatment.
Chapter 10: The Rebellion
In a revolt against Solus’ ethos, a small faction of Keepers rebelled. Most were never seen again. However, a few of these rogues covertly escaped. Their underground fight to restore justice, fairness, and freedom inspired a new generation of courageous, like-minded individuals to openly challenge the oppression of Solus. They established Alítheia, the army of the rebellion.
Chapter 11: It Begins…
Our story begins on the brink of war. Solus’ dictatorship is in full swing and the recently formed rebel army, Alítheia, is building momentum.
Solus is commencing a mass campaign to transform all teenagers of Renova into Lyionith, organic/machine hybrids. It plans to send them to medical facilities where the surgeries and rehabilitations will be performed. The public is in support of this because the propaganda campaigns have indoctrinated them to believe that Refurbishing will enhance and progress the species.
Plotting and organizing from the shadows, Alítheia is focused on awakening the public to the truth of Solus’ heinous regime, recruiting new members to form a stronger army and developing ingenious technologies that will help them overthrow Solus and its governing body.
Chapter 12: Caligula1
Caligula1 was engineered from generic material harvested from a pool of the Keepers’ most fearsome soldiers. His conception and education were masterminded by Solus’ top advisor, General Âthna8. Incubated on a battleship and sent into intensive military and assassin training, he was destined to become a ruthless killing machine. He is fearless, disciplined, quick-witted, and highly skilled.
Engineered, incubated, and trained alongside him was his female counterpart, Cyphris3, to whom he was betrothed at birth. She betrayed him by joining the Resistance, fueling his wrath and thirst for revenge against his enemy.
Chapter 13: Azhari
Caligula1 resides in Renova’s capital city, Azhari, at the Royal Military of the Republic’s headquarters. The headquarters have eight-hundred starkly ominous buildings that sprawl across 5,000 acres. It houses the government, military, and Space Force, and bustles with combat facilities, experimentation wings, fortresses for high ranking officials, as well as schools and hospitals for their families.
Chapter 14: The Mission
Caligula1 lives a lonely and disciplined life dedicated to his assignments and fine-tuning his many skills. Underneath his focused, ruthless, and systematic exterior, he is secretly heartbroken over Cyphris3. Maniacally obsessed, he plots his revenge. Bloodshed is the only language he speaks.
Chapter 15: Renoria Frost
Renoria Frost was born a human and lived in a small village on Ëgër. She was the daughter of poor Quantum X factory workers. Strikingly beautiful with long black hair, cobalt blue eyes and a magnetic grace, she was whip-smart and vivacious. She was at the top of her class and had an affinity for math and science. At age fourteen she was kidnapped by the Keepers and endured horrendous treatment.
Chapter 16: Exploitation
For years, Renoria was caged in a sterile room, terrified, alone, and used for scientific experimentation. The Keepers turned her into a Lyionith, a human/machine hybrid that mindlessly executed Solus’will. When she was eighteen, she was rescued by Alítheia and taken to Aswan, their headquarters. Her biomechanical parts were mostly removed and her humanity and sovereignty restored.
The surgeries left her partially crippled and severely scarred. Her memories of her life before captivity are vague and dream-like. She remains psychically linked to Solus through the unremoved technology still embedded in her brain. She receives scattered pieces of information, vague images, and random poignant details from the consciousness of the enemy. Since her liberation she has been completely dedicated to Alítheia and is rising through the ranks.
Chapter 17: Security Risk
Caligula1 has been briefed that Renoria rebelled against Solus, joined Alítheia, and is a profound security risk because of the connection she retains with Solus and the Keepers. The degree to which she receives information is unknown, but they are aware she gives Alítheia a valuable window into their plans and strategy. The RMR has no idea where she is, how to find her, or her exact role within Alítheia.
Chapter 18: Hometown
Caligula1’s quest to find and execute Renoria begins in her rundown hometown where he goes to gather intel. Disguised as a drunk in a tavern, he eavesdrops on a diverse array of aliens. He meets Renoria’s first love, Aaryn. He gathers information about her family, personality, and childhood, then bludgeons him to death in an alley.
Chapter 19: Interrogation
At her parent’s home, Caligula1 goes through her childhood belongings. He apprehends and tortures her parents. He learns that the last time they heard from her was three years ago, shortly after she was rescued by Alítheia and had joined the rebellion. She told them that she was headed into hiding on a ship city on the Arialla Sea, and had to cut communication for their own protection. After gathering this information, Caligula1 sends the parents to a prison to be held as potential bargaining tools.
Chapter 20: Renoria’s Escape
Renoria learns of her parents’ disappearance. Devastated, she rushes to investigate. In her home village, Caligula1 stalks and viciously attacks her. She barely manages to escape and a dramatic chase ensues.
Renoria makes it to the Black Pyramid and the Píorí fire beings shelter and protect her. There, she recovers from her injuries and contacts Alítheia through a messenger. They tell her not to come back because they are afraid she’ll lead Caligula1 to their secret headquarters. They organize for her to go into hiding with the Mazarah, the tribal people of the Xohemled Desert, until it's safe for her to return.
Chapter 21: Renoria’s Escape
In the searing heat of the desert, Renoria builds relationships with the Mazarah and cultivates new skills. Gathering her inner strength and courage, she decides to no longer be prey, but predator, and hunt down and assassinate the heartless Caligula1. Meanwhile, Caligula1 leaves no stone unturned in his fanatical search for Renoria and learns the whereabouts of Cyphris3 along the way.
Chapter 22: Celestia
Born to Rûvvi peasants on the Isle of Umida, Celestia was orphaned at an early age when her parents and twin sister Emelia were brutally slain by the Keepers. She is stunningly beautiful with bioluminescent skin, a mane of fiery red hair, one emerald eye, and the other purple. Ethereal, extremely perceptive, and chameleon-like, she can adapt to her environment and bring others into her confidence.
Starving, afraid, and clinging to the decaying corpse of her mother, she was rescued by the Bards of the Mist, who raised her at the Temple of the Serpent since the age of eight. The Bards of the Mist had a prophecy that an orphaned Rûvvi girl with a lost twin would play a key role in emancipating Renova’s citizens from Solus and rescuing the planet from annihilation. They called her the Savior.
Chapter 23: The Prophecy
Millennia ago, elderly priestesses were conduits of communication between Star Dancers, the interdimensional light beings responsible for creating Solus, and the people of Renova. When the priestesses were murdered, the gateway between Star Dancers and Renova was terminated and the planet fell into turmoil, initiating Solus’ evil reign.
The prophecy foretold that the Savior would again rip open the fabric of the universe and restore communication with Star Dancers who would ultimately create a new era of peace and harmony.
Celestia was taken to the Temple of the Serpent where she entered training to become a priestess in order to fulfill her destiny. Temple life was stringent and punishing, as she was under enormous pressure to realize her potential. Rigorously trained as a healer, she also studied telepathy, dance, remote viewing, and telekinesis. Apprenticed to a sorceress, she mastered spellcasting, magic, and energy manipulation.
Utterly self-possessed and composed on the surface, Celestia experiences inner turmoil. She is conflicted between her dedication to the Serpent God and Bards of the Mist on one hand, and a deep, secret obsession with avenging the death of her family on the other. She is tormented by the ache of their absence and blood-boiling hatred towards their slayers. She has frequent nightmares about Emelia being tortured in a cage.
Chapter 24: New Beginning
Celestia’s story begins on the eve of her graduation from priestess training. At age thirty-three, she completes over two decades of training and takes her vows. She swears an oath, promising to live in service to the Serpent God and dedicate her life to fulfilling her destiny as the Savior. Betraying priestess vows is punishable by death, as the Bards of the Mist want to protect their immense power from being harnessed for darkness.
Upon graduation, it is tradition for the new priestess to approach the Whisperer, the shadow oracle who dwells within a chasm. In exchange for an offering, the priestess asks for a new name to signify her new relationship with the spirit and temple.
Instead of asking the prescribed question, Celestia is overpowered by a sudden desire to ask the oracle how to avenge the murder of her family…
Chapter 25: Celestia’s Rebellion
Through a vision rife with riddles, the Whisperer reveals that her twin Emelia is still alive, but suffering and in mortal danger. The Whisperer further reveals that Celestia is at a crossroads and must choose one of two divergent paths. On one path she chooses to betray her vows, save her twin, and avenge her family. It is a path of struggle, anguish and loss. She will ultimately succeed, but at a great cost which will create unfathomable chaos and leave the world in peril.
On the other path, she follows her prescribed path as the Savior. She will fulfill her destiny and order will be restored to the universe but she will remain forever haunted by the loss of her family and die alone in anguish. The Whisperer tells her to always trust who she truly is and gives her a secret new name.
For Celestia, it is not a choice. Desperate to be reunited with her beloved twin and in a blind rage towards the Bards of the Mist for deceiving her, she goes rogue and abandons the priestesshood.
Chapter 26: Castaway
Celestia has no plan but is guided by her instincts. In the light of the full moon, she wades into the sea. She casts a spell, calling upon a sea serpent whom she charms into helping her escape the island and carry her into the sea. The Bards of the Mist feel her betrayal and go into a trance from which they psychically hunt her. They hone in on her location and create a violent storm in which Celestia is thrown from the serpent's back and seemingly sinks to her watery death.
The serpent is impaled and killed, the storm recedes, and the Bards of the Mist lose their psychic link. Celestia is saved by a pod of Yuvi who carry her to a raft made of timber and seaweed.
Chapter 27: Pirates
Injured, parched, and drifting in and out of consciousness, Celestia aimlessly floats on the briny sea. Near death, she is found by pirates who pull her aboard. They sail the Ariella Sea en route to Alítheia headquarters, the ship city, to deliver black market goods.
Aboard the ship, Celestia is nursed back to health under the protection of the smarmy captain who is captivated by her beauty. He intends to enslave her as a ship courtesan. She slowly regains lucidity and strength. Still weak and in recovery, she evades multiple attempts of forceful seduction.
Chapter 28: Telekinesis
Celestia is attacked by a group of lustful pirates with nefarious intentions. A fight ensues. Bemused, the captain watches from afar as the pirates corner her. Conjuring all her strength, she uses her magic to create a powerful wave that hurtles several of her attackers off the boat. She kills others with her blowpipe and uses telekinesis to strangle another with the halyard rope.
The captain and crew subdue and lock her in a dungeon. The captain, intimidated by her powers, yet recognizing her value, decides to sell her at Alíthea headquarters.
Chapter 29: Luna
Upon arrival at the ship city, the captain uses his connections and guile to present Celestia to Luna, a respected sergeant within Alítheia. The captain recounts how Celestia defeated his crew and Luna is intrigued. Luna asks Celestia to demonstrate her abilities and she complies, using a seductive dance to put the captain off guard and finally, telekinesis to behead him with his own sword.
Celestia tells Luna about her past, her mission and how she came to be there. Luna is moved by her story. She recognises Celestia’s talent and passion. She makes her an offer to join the resistance.
Seeing this as an opportunity to move closer to her goal of finding her sister and avenging her family, she accepts.
Chapter 30: Naōvii
Beguiling and whip-smart, Naōvii is a commanding officer in the Keeper’s Army. She’s Solus’ right-hand lieutenant and favored protégé. The daughter of an elite general, she was cloned as a replica of her mother. She was carefully groomed from birth to embody and execute Solus’ mission. Raised in an exclusive military boarding school, she was trained to be a lethal weapon. She mastered battle strategy, weaponry, martial arts, hand-to-hand combat, and piloting.
Naōvii is calculating and has all the resources and tools of Solus’ regime at her disposal. Her vendetta against Alítheia is personal because her father was brutally tortured and his body publicly displayed by rebels. Or so she was told…
Chapter 31: Naōvii’s Neurosis
Unemotional and cold on the surface, an inner war rages inside of Naōvii. She is tormented by a love/hate relationship with herself. Brainwashed to believe Lyionith (organic/machine hybrids) are a superior species, she harbors a secret sense of self-disgust and inferiority. She longs to be transformed into a Lyionith, but cannot undergo the process because she’s too old to survive it.
Naōvii also grapples with individualism because she is a clone of her mother, whom she loathes. She constantly tries to establish her individuality and autonomy and struggles to differentiate herself from her mother. She is Solus’ confidante, most trusted servant and advisor. Perhaps her deepest secret is that she is also hopelessly in love with Solus. She knows her feelings will be forever unrequited, yet believes becoming a Lyionith will give her a stronger bond with it...
Chapter 32: The Assignment
Solus assigns Naōvii a new mission: to lead and oversee Refurbishing workshops. She is in charge of a mass campaign to persuade the public of the benefits of Refurbishing. She masterminds an operation that indoctrinates parents to believe Refurbishing will enhance and progress the species, make their teenagers smarter, stronger, more disciplined, and give them advanced technological protection from Iramorbus, the fatal parasite.
Naōvii goes city to city to round up the adolescents and take them to Skulla for their transformational surgeries. Most parents enthusiastically relinquish their youngsters. There are parades, fireworks, and festivities to celebrate this rite of passage. Some parents, however, fight back. Naōvii orders them to be executed. Their teenagers are abducted by Warden droids and loaded onto spaceships to be transported to Skulla.
Chapter 33: Winning Above All Else
On their way to Skulla, a spaceship belonging to Alítheia attacks Naōvii’s ship in an attempt to rescue the adolescents. An explosive battle takes place in the sky. The rebel army damages and invades Naōvii’s ship. Naōvii is shot and grievously injured. The rebel army collects the teens and loads them into their spaceship to escape. Naōvii, merciless and obsessed with winning above all else, detonates a bomb, obliterating her opponents and the teenagers.