Captain Riven Grimrock of the good ship Rattledower was doing well for herself. She had a fine ship with the best crew in the lands, and the loveliest lass on her arm. The sea was fair, the wind in her favor, and the hold runneth over with the spoils of their brave exploits. But everyone has to sleep some time.
Outside the virtual fantasy world of Morana Ba’nile, Riv is just another jacker. One of the masses of desperately poor, struggling to survive in the shadows of the wealthy few. Everyone she knows, and everyone she’s ever known is just like her. The wealthy few have their towers, and the poor have their runoff beneath the grates of the upper streets.
Down in the Mire, the only thing worth living for is the one thing you can never have: escape.
That’s why the elite created Eternal Beyond, the hit fantasy cyber-reality game played by millions of jackers every single day. After all, no one can jack out of reality, but with Eternal Beyond, you can jack into a better one.
But Riv isn’t just any player, and “Ebb” isn’t just any game.
When Riv gets an offer for the score of a lifetime, she leaps into action with her IRL crew—a merry band of hackers of myriad specialties—to pull off the heist of the century. All they have to do is hack an unhackable system by breaking into an unreachable virtual space, and acquire information designed so that no chip or neural could hold it. If they succeed, they could buy their way out of the Mire, but if they fail, the system will fry their brains in their skulls.
And the only way into the system…
…is to play the game.
Part One of Two