After three years away, Helena remembered how much she loved the place. She could already taste the noodles in her favourite bar, the liquorice of a locally stilled gin she'd discovered by accident on a particularly hazy bar crawl.
More than a million Oligarchs called London home: almost a sixth of all the Families worldwide lived there, including the majority of her family. Helena looked out with a motherly smile; London was the centre of her world regardless of where she had been born and no matter how long she stayed away.
The sight of the glowing pinnacles of the city, the thought that her family were there, working, leading their lives provoked a sense of peace that wiped away the pain and frustration of her flight across the globe.
She could see the three shards of London’s skyline, the home of Euros, the home of the European Parliament and the Greater Trade Zone, where the different Oligarchies, governments and corporations came to do business with one another, to consume luxuries, to enjoy themselves.
Euros’ heart was north of the river. It consisted of five intertwined spikes of translucent pearl. As the sun fell upon them they radiated a light of their own, a golden halo that lit up the land around them for kilometres. Its soft radiance cast no shadows but reached every hidden surface. The material had been invented just for the building, the secret of its creation patented by Euros to stop others copying their pride. The spires twisted together from bases that were hundreds of metres apart; they defied gravity, daring it to pull them down and call them to account. Standing at nearly a mile high the top floor was large enough to house the offices of the CEO’s of each of the five divisions: Helena worked for Resources, Adam for Strategy.
Title: A Family War
Author: Stewart Hotston
Genre: Science Fiction
Helena is one of the Oligarchs, genetically-enhanced, centuries old families who rule the world. As a new world war begins, she is ordered to find a boy who could save the human race from genocide. Yet all is not as it seems; Helena’s finds enemies on all sides, intent on bringing about the war with all its horrific consequences. To make matters worse, Helena’s own integral AI, accidentally freed from its constraints, challenges both her motives and her identity, yet she has no choice but to accept its treacherous aid if she is to have any hope of surviving those who need her dead.
Stewart works in the city but was once a quantum physicist who always liked his science fiction to have actual science in it as well as the thrills and characters that make great stories. Oh, and he likes fighting with actual steel swords.