Aris Desun, a soldier with SpecialOps in the heavily fortressed, technically advanced City is convicted of a crime she did not commit and sent to neighbouring Balaat to be hunted down by the brutal mutant leader Pock and a hunting party. Once captured, she becomes one of the many women slaves at Pock's stronghold, destined to fight for her life and body as entertainment in the hugely popular 'Circus'. Her fighting skills help her to survive and she manages to escape the compound where she is held - the only woman to ever do so.
Fleeing from her captors she is rescued by two members of unit CU11 from neighbouring Hellyon. Jak and Tor take her back to their camp but Jak remains unconvinced that she is not just another infiltrator sent from City to destabilise Hellyon. At a time when Hellyon's very borders are under threat from being over-run by its neighbours in Balaat, City and Jerregish it becomes crucial for CU11 to discover the truth about their new comrade. However, Aris is to be the least of their problems ...
This is the first novel I wrote, way before Devil to Pay, before I went to study creative writing at university and before I started writing blogs. My style may have changed a bit in the meantime but, after editing and rewriting some of it I decided it was good enough to go 'public'. As for how it started... actually it was with a dream. In essence I dreamt the entire chase scene in the first chapter, although the participants had lasers not mechanical guns. It inspired me so much that I began to read up on weaponry and special forces (which is, incidentally, how I started off ghost writing about military and survival subjects!). At the time I started it - in the 90s - I was part of a medieval re-enactment society and some of the guys in it were also keen role-players (LARP etc). I decided to create characters based on their input and so, thanks to Paul, Dai and Andy - Jak, Fenim and Torassin came into being. The novel took, in all (including many breaks), about five years to complete - with many rewrites and scratched scenes into the bargain. Finally I put it aside, only sending copies to the lads involved, not thinking it good enough to go anywhere. Actually, I must admit, after five years I was just rather jaded by the thing and looking for pastures new.
The last person to read it was my dad, just before his untimely death in 2001. After finishing it he took my hand and made me promise to keep on writing, no matter what - the first time he had ever acknowledged me as a writer. Of course, I have kept that promise.