I’m eighteen chapters deep into book IV of the Effugium series. It’s called Exordium.
Exordium is set on the Galenian colony world of Baltu, which is occupied entirely by fanatical religious extremists. Followers of the Consilium, a hybridization of Catholicism and the teachings of the Prophet Kryuss, dwell in a vast, opulent city called Sanctus, walled off from the dangers of the surrounding jungle and their Kryussian Muslim enemies to the North.
The Exordium, or “Exos” as they’re commonly referred to, are a race of enhanced humans created by TREE. They’re part plant, part man, part machine, and according to the Consilium, all evil. They’re an abomination that shouldn’t exist—a grotesque parody of humanity created by Satan. They live outdoors, in the jungle beyond the city gates, like feral animals.
The Consilium has developed a virus designed to disrupt communication between the nanocytes that live in the Exos’ chlorophyll-rich blood, and their cells, resulting in molecular destabilization and death.
It’s a controversial plan, and public opinion is split on it.
Father Xooka, his eyes set on the office of Supreme Cardinal, has dispatched an order of Crusaders from the Knights of the Holy guard on a quest to locate a missing Exo girl who was previously believed dead.
She’s powerful, this girl, and Xooka knows full well that she and the other Exos she’s joined up with will make short work of the Knights.
When footage of their defeat makes its way to the people of Sanctus, the tide of public opinion will turn against Exo tolerance, and implementation of Operation: Nevergreen will commence with very little opposition.
Something else awaits all of them in the jungle, though, Exos and “prims” alike. Something alien and deadly that neither is ready to face.