By: J. L. Bryan
In the 28th century, humans inhabit more than a thousand self-contained orbital colonies in the near reaches of the solar system. Billions of colonists follow the religious teachings of the Aescelan, priests who promote managed evolution and control their followers' reproduction through genetic engineering. Nicholas Vermeer is the perfect citizen of prosperous New Amsterdam colony: junior police officer, devoted Temple member, soon to be a father. But when he and his wife visit the priests to design their first child, his wife dies in a shocking attack on the Temple, carried out by half-human monsters. The Aescelan priests have secretly and illegally spawned experimental new forms of humanity, and the creations are rebelling against their masters. Nicholas finds among these monstrous "chimeras" the truth about his wife's death, the priesthood's centuries-long manipulation of the human genome, and their dark designs for the future of the human species.