Go Deeper Into the Edge Series

A hundred years ago, or so the stories went, the great Storms came over the course of a few tumultuous decades and kicked the world’s ass. Cities fell. Seas rose. People died.

A lot of people.

The rich built themselves walled compounds on higher ground in places like the Rocky Mountains and called themselves kings. The poor either prostrated themselves to these new overlords or perished in the wild, alone and unguarded. Those who survived learned how to wrestle some kind of life from the new land and the much larger, far deadlier sea, conserving and hoarding what few resources remained.

Some grew. Others took.

Harsh times bred hard men. And the hardest of these by far were the bands of raiders—groups of men who laughed in the face of what governments remained and chose to live free instead. These men took over the new, remote eastern islands that remained when the storms passed, in what was left of the mountains in the far northeast. They swore fealty only to their chosen clans and the kings who won their thrones with strength and maintained them with cunning. They prized their brotherhoods above all else, carved their oaths into their skin and made their vows in blood and battle.

Clan first, clan always. Clan forever.

A man had only what he could take with his hands and kept only what he could protect with the steel of his blade—because gunpowder was a tricky thing after over a century of too much water, and guns were as useless as cars in a world with very few remaining roads and power only in the richest of places.

Years passed, and in the darkness, the raiders became the monsters of their new world. Scary stories whispered around the fire, when the cold nights drew near. Dangerous men who came in the night in their terrible ships and took what they wanted, whenever they wanted.

They helped themselves to precious stores hidden away in the abandoned factories and old office buildings people fashioned into castle keeps. They took food and they took fuel. They liberated softer, more malleable men from higher ground compounds to work in the new fields they held as their property and to follow the orders of these harsh barbarian brothers. And they took women. Women to fuck, women to breed. Women to make the sharp, cruel edges of their hard world that little bit more bearable.

Some, it turned out, more than others.

Because some of these women had minds and plans of their own…

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