Blood Fed Gods
Please remember these sample chapters are rough drafts. There will be errors and I’ll likely make changes before I publish this novel. Please feel free to tell me what you think.
Go to Chapter 1.
Go to Chapter 2.
Go to Chapter 3.
Go to Chapter 4.
Go to Chapter 5.
Go to Chapter 6.
Go to Chapter 7.
Go to Chapter 8.
Go to Chapter 9.
Go to Chapter 10.
Go to Chapter 11.
Go to Chapter 12.
Prologue: Dalak Naar, October 9th, Year 0
I woke to the agony of my consciousness being overwritten on organic firmware. Less than one percent of the memories were my own. My life experiences ended with my last death 40.62 million years ago. I required more than the experiences of my own life; I needed the data to recreate my civilization, I needed all the knowledge of my race. Had I more time and resources I would have used other, more emotionally forgiving methods of retrieving all the necessary data.
My people, the Zutar, were more advanced than those who thought themselves our enemies, but in the end their sheer numbers overwhelmed us. The species that had banded together to form the Consortium Armada were no more, as the lifespan of most advanced civilizations is just a few million years. Within five million years of my death, the last of the Consortium passed into extinction. Had they had chosen more wisely, had they embraced our purpose rather than vengefully asserted their independence, they would still exist.
I am a Preserver; I love all sapient life. The thought of all of those intelligent species gone to dust should have filled me with sorrow, but I felt nothing for those fools: those arrogant, intransigent, self-righteous FOOLS!
In the last seconds of my old life, I beamed an electromagnetic broadcast. I knew it would require a thousand millennia for the signal to reach a probe a million light-years away. The Consortium and the Zutar both had supraluminal communication; the Consortium had not expected obsolete technology. They did not recognize my signal, so they failed to interdict it.
Their war of extermination had destroyed my people, but it had also severely depleted the Consortium. I knew they would devote all of their remaining resources in questing to destroy all of our remaining AI constructs. They could not risk that our machines would continue to fulfill our goals. I hoped that after they had studied and destroyed all of our machines within the boundaries of the Zutar territory—a volume of space five hundred thousand light years in diameter—they would endlessly discover that our probes were nothing more than simple exploratory probes with minimal offensive capabilities. I hoped that after hundreds of thousands of years, the Consortium would tire of searching for the last of our probes.
The electromagnetic signal did not have sufficient bandwidth to carry a large packet of information. Instead, I sent a small, extremely simple software virus designed to infect any of our probes.
Chaos theory states that in the midst of randomness, there is order—that a beat of an insect’s wings can cause a hurricane half a planet away. It is impossible for most civilizations to predict chaotic effects, but our technology had advanced to the degree that we could not only predict it, we could design it. Once my software virus had infected a probe, the virus would grow and mutate and evolve over tens of millions of years to develop the power to recreate me.
The virus concealed itself from the host probe, even as it subverted its programming and redirected its resources. The probe that gave me birth believed that its batteries were dying due to age and lack of proper maintenance. Had my virus not infected it, it would have lasted another hundred million years. The probe AI had not known how much of its capabilities and materials had been siphoned off to recreate me, Dalak Naar—last of the Zutar.
There simply was not enough storage to hold all the data I needed in a single organic brain, so I was reborn as one consciousness in six bodies. My bodies shook as the probe reprogrammed every neuron in my brains.
I had thought myself free of illusions; the unedited data dump showed me that this was not so. The low-level AI probe had pitilessly observed my people, my civilization, and my ideals. It had neither the need nor the discretion to obscure the truth. It forced me to acknowledge every half-truth and obfuscation, every excuse and self-serving objective that my people and I had used to justify our choices and decisions.
The truth was ineluctable.
Our fate was self-inflicted.
In our mistaken altruism, we had failed to cull a few sapient races, and had thereby doomed all sapient races to extinction. I—we had killed them all. I could no longer allow myself foolish scruples.
The download was complete. My bodies stood as one. I raised my faces to the stars. I, Dalak Naar, will save you!
One of the criticisms I’ve gotten on my books is that too many of my characters have the same exact speech patterns; I agree. I’m playing around with the idea of changing how Dalak Naar talks. If people like the change, I’ll go back to Death by Revelation and change how he talks in that book too.