(Ascendant Untempered)

by D. J. Baldock

A dark, violent superhero story, which follows a young pyrokinetic called Alicia, as she takes her revenge upon the criminal elements of the city she lives in. After watching a so-called ‘superhero’ murder her father in a vicious assault, she does whatever she can to level the playing field. In her blinding rage, she encounters Violet, a ‘hero’ who works directly for the US government. Combatting her initial desire to apprehend Alicia, Violet finds herself drawn to someone so similar to herself, and finds herself fighting alongside the very person she was pursuing. Attempting to overcome their animosity, they start to discover a years-old conspiracy. Alicia’s life, her trauma, her experiences, is a carefully constructed lie; she has forgotten something important, information that could prevent a catastrophe on a massive scale. Joining a hastily-assembled team of rogue cyborgs and soldiers, Violet and Alicia go deeper into the rabbit hole, uncovering layer upon layer of conspiracy. People are succumbing to a disease, a psychic command that drives them to irrational madness and violence, and it is spreading. The source is a single person, and unless stopped, everyone will become infected. Alicia realises her true purpose; she knows who the source is, where they came from, and only she can stop them. Fighting for their lives, friends are lost, new ones made, and the final truths are revealed.