The colony known as Leviathan swims through the black sea of space, plowing through the silence above Earth with tens of millions of souls swallowed inside its rotating, steel belly.

 

          Rising out of its steel guts is the urban sprawl of a new kind of civilization. Its ubiquitous information network weaves invisible threads through flesh and metal, connecting man and machine into one clamoring entity.

 

          Thoughts and memories now flow between carbon bodies as rapidly and vacantly as they do in the grey matter of just one…

 

 

          PROLOGUE

 

              

          Electric eyes smile in the night.

          From neon-gilded towers flirt skyscraper-sized mannequins, seductively teasing ecstasy that only exists far from here. Rain bleeds color down their two-dimensional cheeks and once coquettish faces are now hysterical, curled in silent mockery of a world drowning in information below.

          Huddled in the miserable lower depths are their creators, shivering in the rain, blinded by the glittering excess of their own creation. Humanity forges through the artificially lit darkness overstimulated, underwhelmed and oblivious to the secret hidden around them.

          Trapped in every crack and pothole, clotting with liquid glass like wounds ripped into the fabric of reality itself, are the enigmatic reflections of Leviathan City. This mirror dimension of deformed symmetries, melting colors and phantom silhouettes capture so many lives that don't really exist moving through a plane of space that isn't really there. Any weeping shape in the night might just be a shadow of a shadow, harbinger of that now inescapable secret: there is no distinguishing between the real and the virtual anymore.

          From the throat of this collapsing reality shrieks a mechanized voice as another life is lost on the streets of the Leviathan. Holographic alerts flash above the dense crowds. No one is looking, however. Each string of text is just one more burning light in the night. One more stain in the wet concrete.

          The howling klaxons have scarcely ceased long enough to identify the next victim from the last. Instead, they endlessly echo between the steel, just more white noise in the flux, so as the next convoy of emergency vehicles races through the night, numbed crowds merely shuffle down the narrow sidewalks with heads bowed.

          From this sea of disillusionment escapes a holo-newspaper, trembling in the wind as digital ink materializes the headline now breaking all over the city:

 

MISSING STUDENT FOUND MURDERED!

THE RAINMAN'S KILLING SPREE CONTINUES!