The Archon Sequence is set in a world like ours. Only not.
It is a world some five or so years further along into an uncertain future. A world where a minuscule, all-devouring monster called Vurdalak hangs trapped in an immaterial web at the bottom of the sea, where self-aware machines battle meta-conscious hive minds for the soul of humanity, where alien intelligences usher in trans-human transformation on a beam of light, where reality itself might ultimately reduce to an unthinkably vast equation on the brink of being solved.
For all that, it is a world populated by quasi-familiar analogues of institutions and individuals found in our own. Such as …
The Archon Consulting Group — government and corporate contractor, purveyor of hired guns versed in high-level knowledge and asset management to the highest bidder.
The Critical Resources Oversight Mandate (CROM to its friends) — a clandestine organ of the US Department of Energy tasked with containing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, by any means necessary.
Advanced Curational Technologies — an NSA taskforce intent on building the last intelligence analysis capability the US will ever need, a capability which has taken the form of —
The Delphi Project — a hypersecret facility hidden half a mile beneath the sands of New Mexico’s Mescalero Desert, yet with a reach that can encompass every living mind on the planet.
Grishin Enterprises — a shadow conspiracy decades in the making, in the guise of a modern Russian mega-corporation.
Psyche Industries — the world’s first and foremost nanotech conglomerate, with its fingers in everything and its corporate mission bound up with the fate of a six-year-old child.
StarChild — just your average doomsday cult, only this one’s doomsday is all too real.
One of the country’s most sought-after analysts, Knox’s uncanny knack for intuiting hidden relationships among seemingly disparate events serves his Fortune-50 clients well.
A rookie agent working for CROM, Marianna tracks missing scientists suspected of involvement in weapons of mass destruction research.
At first the trail leads to Rusalka, the luxurious floating corporate headquarters of billionaire Russian industrialist Arkady Grishin. Determined to prove herself, Marianna creates an elaborate ruse in order to infiltrate the megayacht — a dangerous gambit that requires the coerced cooperation of a rather special civilian: Jonathan Knox.
Finley ‘Mycroft’ Lawrence
Archon’s Senior Vice President for Intractables and Jon Knox’s best friend, Mycroft is gifted with an eidetic memory and an IQ score higher than his body-weight. He also devoutly reclusive, with all the social graces of an introverted wombat. When he is compelled to venture out into the world for the occasional on-site engagement, his consulting services command an astronomically top dollar. One month’s worth of Mycroft’s billable hours would set you back more than a Bentley — a well-accessorized Bentley.
Jack Adler, PhD
A maverick cosmologist hailing from the great state of Texas, Dr. John C. Adler (“Doctor Jack” to his friends) is no stranger to conflict and controversy, though his academic disputes have never before escalated to the point of assassination attempts. Not until he heads out into the wilds of Siberia in pursuit of one of his admittedly “crazy ideas” — the one where the devastating Tunguska Event of 1908 was actually caused by a collision between the earth and a submicroscopic black hole.
An artificial intelligence created by Archon client Psyche Industries, Nietzsche represents a radical departure from conventional approaches to AI. So radical, in fact, that “he” may have become the first machine intelligence ever to attain consciousness, albeit at a terrible price. Brooding in his secret redoubt beneath California’s coastal range, Nietzsche is also an AI with an agenda — one more far-reaching and convoluted than even his creators suspect.