At 147 years old, Acharon and Sovelet have lived a long and mostly idyllic life. The slow journey into humanity’s’ extinction is accelerated by a friend’s suicide and Sovelet’s diagnosed lung disease.There’s nothing Acharon can do for their friend. But, can he save Sovelet? To do so, he’ll have to get her to the city’s automated medical facility before her lungs fail.
An aged infrastructure, decaying buildings, and overgrown streets complicate their journey through the city. The difficulties are compounded when they draw the attention of a pack of wild dogs. Things look their bleakest when Acharon discovers the bio-cartridges Sovelet needs to print her new lungs are missing. A sinister message reveals the name of a long-dead thief determined to have his revenge.
Now, Acharon must brave the enclave at Huntington Park where the last humans on the west coast lived. The enclave is a place of painful memories and natural dangers that must be vanquished. If he fails to find the cartridges, or even survive the journey, they both may die. Alone.
Tale of the Music-Thief
Music is being stolen. From everywhere. Not just the printed pages and the crystals that playback music, but from the very minds of the people. The latest victim of this theft is the City-Along-The-Lake Opera Company. Their latest production is shut down opening night because no one can remember a single note or word of the opera. Allegra takes it worse than others. From her childhood, she’s been surrounded by music. Now that her clan from the Great Steppes is dead of a sleeping plague she has only the song memories left to remind her of who she is. But those memories scare her, she’s afraid of the pain they will cause her. She has buried them under hundreds of other songs she’s learned since then. Now that those songs are disappearing, the past is rising in her memories.
Allegra tries to hide at home but when the isolation gets to her, she dons the disguise of Allegor, a traveling troubadour. One night, as she plays one of the few local songs she has left in her memory at a local tavern, she feels the music being stolen as she sings. She also sees a strange man in a traveling cloak, carrying what looks to be like a teapot made of crystal. She tries to talk to him but he escapes the tavern.
Suspecting that this mysterious man may have something to do with the disappearing music, Allegra sets out in a pursuit that takes her far down the South Road. Using a magic map she tries to catch the music-thief. But she only has until the music-thief reaches Town-Where-South-Road-Forks. After that, the magicked map will be useless and the thief will escape with all the music.