When strange seizures threaten the life of the girl he loves, a young man leaves a protective enclave of ancient machinery and searches the ruins of civilization for a cure. Three centuries after a global pandemic and nuclear war, the mountains and plains of Colorado flourish with wildlife. The survivors avoid the blasted zones of ghost-sickness, hunt mule deer in the pine forests, and cultivate new strains of crops. Scattered tribes fight short, brutal wars and trade slaves for rifles made by a rising power in the south. High in the Rockies a collective thrives in the still-functioning remains of a research facility. With each passing generation the true nature of the founding ancestors has become fantastical myth to most villagers, who spend their time hunting outside the valley or farming corn and hemp. Carefully selected priests serve as caretakers of the ancient machinery, doctors, and librarians of the past. One of the hunters, a tough and resourceful teenage girl nicknamed Badger, falls unconscious with momentary, uncontrollable shaking. Wilson, a bookish apprentice priest, searches the library and the old databases for a cause to the mysterious illness. Together he and Badger crawl through abandoned tunnels deep within the mountain. What they discover about the past forces them to choose between love for each other and the strict rules of the village.
Wanted on twelve systems for a crime he didn't commit, the author grew up watching anything and everything sci-fi: Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Space: 1999, Star Wars, and The A-Team. Oh, and Airwolf. Author is elbowing me in the ribs painfully--I am to emphasize his love for Airwolf, and not screw it up by making it sarcastic or hipster-ironic like I always do. Author wishes he could fly a secret government helicopter with Ernest Borgnine behind him in the dickie seat? (That's what he said, trust me.) Author's early years were spent running from wastelanders in the hills of southern Ohio. After college he turned away glittering job offers in food service and insurance and worked for the post office. He taught Bad English in China and Germany, became a Master of Teaching English Thing, joined an internet startup for the free lunches, learned about the science of fire (this can't be a real thing), and worked on a 911 ambulance (he's still working there, trust me). In author's free time he stays one foot ahead of the federales and gives his assistant a raise of 20,000 kopecks and a car and Diner's Club. Author says to tell you his literary influences are Hemingway and Raymond Carver but I can see him through the basement window and he only reads garbage Star Trek fan-fic and that Alan Partridge biography over and over.