Once upon a futuristic time in Winzles there lived super-saviors. It’s a town pretty much like any other, where the old was overtaken by the new (AKA innovative breakthroughs). The brickstones and cobbled streets at the heart of its downtown give way to slick metalloid towers and miles of slick-track for hovercars. At the center lies an open grassy knoll called Cybavenu, the hot spot for the bustling city.
Hot, humid and ready to explode that’s where Jacqui Valere first realizes she’s a NoVice. Not only is she a newbie out of her sorts in a strange new world, but she realizes her life force fuels the Cypertron—an elite force of cyborgs controlled by a corrupt mayor. A man served by the police known to her super-saviors as SPUDS—Spatial Protection Unit Downtown. To her, they equate bounty hunters determined to rid their fair city of her brand of scum. With their new-age technology, she’s nothing but a glowing green blip to be snatched up and sucked dry.
Enter Cadmus, a genetically-altered team made to save NoVice’s from death. Because of Rad Eadoin’s mistaken identity, Jacqui becomes a temporary Dragon until a NoVice batch is returned home. Taking a tour of their duties, her eyes get opened wide more than once. Take for example the Carcerates, who are prisoners put out on city-wide work detail controlled by drug injections from a gaudy necklace. Add to that automated ads with deterrent reinforcers that zap you it you dare rip them down. Plus tattoos that glow like rainbows under Infared light. Then there’s the heart of Theron’s empire, his pantheon of pain called The Crux.
High atop a mountain it resides in elegance with ionic columns and a pristine marble façade. Underneath it houses a network of tunnels brimming with captives that will end up in the Hive, a warehouse depository of bio-preserved bodies separated from their energy. The only way to revive a lost soul is to merge the fleshy shell with its psychogon crystal vended out during its trip to Theron’s machine.
Since Rad’s become the bane of Theron’s existence, Jacqui has reason to pray her hots for the Dragon leader won’t garner her eternal sleep in the honey-combed hideaway. She’d much rather spend her nights cooped up with her man of steel in his scan-shielding cot.
Who knew? Novice also means “a person admitted to probationary membership in a religious community”, which ties in nicely with BELIEVE IN ME’s undertones.