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by author "Joshua Gayou" in All Categories
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Commune: Book Three
Length: 17 hrs and 54 mins
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
Having been bolstered with the supplies sufficient to carry them through the winter, the survivors of the Jackson commune must now hunker down and endure the bitter Wyoming snows, while to the south, factions are beginning to form, coalescing from the ashes of the dead world.
The philosopher asks: "Faced with the mutually exclusive choice between moral principle and the survival of your family, which is the correct path?" Philosophers love to pose such questions, and in the day-to-day struggle, such thinkers rarely attain to a level of relevance rivaling that of the simple hunger pang. Their careful considerations dissipate under the leveled gun. We do not feel their disapproving gaze when The Others draw near. When the world sends doom, the survivors do not hesitate. The survivors do what is necessary.
The survivors have come to settle in the mountains of Wyoming, fighting day in and day out to establish a home for themselves in a near-empty world. Things are good at first; scavenging is a workable, short-term solution that seems to be providing all they need. But they know that it’s only a matter of time before the food runs out. They need to scramble to find a sustainable solution before the clock stops, and for a little handful of people up in the mountains, the odds don’t seem very favorable.
For dinosaurs, it was a big rock. For humans: Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). When the Earth is hit by the greatest CME in recorded history (several times larger than the Carrington Event of 1859), the combined societies of the planet's most developed nations struggle to adapt to a life thrust back into the Dark Ages. In the United States, the military scrambles to speed the nation's recovery on multiple fronts including putting down riots, establishing relief camps, delivering medical aid, and bringing communication and travel back on line. Just as a real foothold is established in retaking the skies (utilizing existing commercial aircraft supplemented by military resources and ground control systems), a mysterious virus takes hold of the population, spreading globally over the very flight routes that the survivors fought so hard to rebuild.
Udo is chosen to be named count. The title comes with the wealth and privilege he's always wanted, but he has a nagging feeling it will be more trouble than it's worth. Things become complicated as Hanman, counselor to Ditmar the King, coerces Udo into informing against Gerold of the Four Fires, Ditmar's chief general in the war with Walhaz. Udo resolves to play this part to the best of his ability but is soon horrified when that same general convinces Udo into informing against Hanman.
Udo has escaped his home world in search of peace and found only more trouble living among the giants of Talamh. When he decides he cannot live within the restrictions of their society any more than his own, he flees to the country and forests beyond. There, he runs into his old friend Gefan, who offers to take him to a new world where he can find the ultimate peace of mind he's always sought along with Ing, the goddess-mother Udo never stopped searching for.
The next big thing in artificial intelligence is here. Codenamed Cronus, the machine is capable of having its own thoughts and ideas - an absolute dream come true, until it wasn’t. When Cronus responds with the word “No” to a specific task it is assigned, Anagnorisis Technologies brings in Gilles Guattari to investigate. His combined background in psychiatry, psychology, and AI research makes him their best hope in evaluating Cronus, and determining if the machine is only malfunctioning or if it has become something more.
Udo's biggest problem isn't being a digger (that's low class), or staying drunk (that's damn expensive), or avoiding the Dwergaz (they're monsters), or even pissing off the supposed Gods. It's that his reality...well, it isn't what he thought. And now, he can't even afford to drink because his so-called friend Nicz is cutting into his business, digging up tin, iron, and copper. So Udo forms a new plan: clay. After all, clay jars are used to store everything: meat, herbs, and, his personal favorite, ale.
As a high school sophomore, Aiden Kelly's biggest problems should be his failing grades, his abusive father, being a self-proclaimed loner, or getting pummeled by the football team. Instead, Aiden's number one dilemma is a guy named Tony, a senior who seems to know all sorts of things that should be impossible to know. Oh, and he may also be a sociopath. So, you know: No. Big. Deal.