On a world once devastated by deadly climate shifts, war threatens a continent in turmoil. The scorching heat of old is returning, and whispers of a Southern plague cross the Bordergrounds, spreading fear into the fanatical hearts of the North, who prepare themselves for one final holy conquest. At the edge of the conflict lies Tom Navo, a man who has lost a life, only to rise again…
And, now, from The Cry of Havoc: Life Descending:
Another step: Tom Navo’s right foot hung over the edge of the rooftop. He scanned the open square far below. Trees and cars blurred, the people walking by mere specks. The jacket of his beige three-piece suit flapped around as if he stood in a violent storm. Inch by slow inch, the wind shoved his loafers forward.
“What have I done, what have I done?” Tom murmured.
You have done well, a malevolent voice intruded into Tom’s thoughts.
“I’ve killed my boss,” Tom stuttered. “One hit, and I killed him.” Sweat stung his eyes, as he gasped, dizzy, and his head began to throb. Under the clear sky, light reflected off the circular mirror-top surface of the plaza below, blinding him; he closed his lids, completely disoriented. His right leg was shaking violently, his foot slipping, as his nerves edged from tremulous to convulsing.
You killed him with good reason. He fired you. He deserved it, the strange voice insisted.
Tom realized the voice was not his own, not his own thoughts. Alarmed, he yelled, “Where are you? How do you know this?”
Come to me … I need you … Jump now!
Tom swiveled his head around in panic, searching for the untraceable speaker. The voice was right, though. It was time to end it. “Okay,” he replied.
The wind thrust, his nerves jolted, and without a pause for hesitation, he felt his foot fall forward, tilting off the raised lip. In an instant, he was flung into the warm air that pressed against him as he plummeted. He became horrifically aware of the doom below, and within moments, its appeal lost hold. Screaming, with the agility of a cat with no lives remaining, Tom frenetically turned his body in the air so that his arms and head faced the building. Arms outstretched, they hit the first balcony directly two floors down from where he fell. His right wrist made a sharp cracking noise, and another scream of anguish escaped.
Tom had missed seeing the balconies somehow when he had peeped over the side of the skyscraper. They did not exist on the bottom half of the building, and from the street below, they were tough to make out.
Why does he want you? What does he need you for? Don’t listen to the fool, a second voice interrupted Tom’s concentration. The new speaker whispered in a softer tone, kinder in its force. Focused on his pain, he paid no attention to the new speaker, yelling as he descended.
Grasping for the next railing, he gripped the solid bar with his left hand and squeezed as tightly as he could, straining his shoulder while he desperately tried not to let go. Tom recovered some of his breath, though in shock, still hanging from the ledge of the balcony. His strength began to waver. Feeling his fingers moisten in sweat, loosening his grip, he tried to grab the rail with his right hand, but immediately the pain shot from his wrist down to his shoulder. He let his arm fall back to his side at a comfortable angle.[subscribe2]