BOOKS ONE & TWO RECAP
Forgot a 7th Son plot point? Need a quick reference guide for the story so far? Feast your peepers on this Descent synopsis. Warning: Spoilers abound.
Three days ago, seven strangers — all named “John Michael Smith” — were torn away from their normal lives and brought to a “Beyond Top Secret” facility in rural Virginia. There, they learned a horrifying truth about their past: These men were human clones, unwitting participants in a decades-old experiment called “7th Son.”
These seven men not only shared the same DNA — they also had identical childhood memories. This biological and emotional information hailed from their progenitor, the original John Michael Smith — code-named “John Alpha.” Alpha had once been a key member of the 7th Son experiment, but escaped several years ago — and was found dead not long after.
But the recent assassination of the U.S. President — and clues left behind at the kidnapping of the clones’ mother, Dania Sheridan — indicated that John Alpha was still alive, and was planning more destruction and chaos. The seven clones — Michael, Jonathan, Dr. Mike, Kilroy2.0, Jack, Father Thomas and John — had been assembled by 7th Son staffers Dr. Kleinman and General Hill to stop Alpha before the villain could realize his plans.
Over the next day, the Beta clones split into two groups. One group, armed with clues gleaned from a Morse code riddle left by John Alpha, traveled to West Hollywood, California, to rescue their kidnapped mother. The other team remained at the 7th Son facility. With help from Kilroy2.0′s flock of conspiracy theorist followers — and the mysterious hacker Binary_Fairy — they hacked into governmental websites and followed a trail of reports that led to even more encrypted clues left by the villain.
But the clones were unaware of John Alpha’s full plans. Using stolen brain-erasing NEPTH-charge technology, Alpha had commandeered a nuclear missile outpost in Russia. His NEPTH-charged army — all possessed by the mind of former government-spook-turned-assassin Doug Devlin — was prepping the missiles for launch. In addition, John Alpha’s own psyche was now residing in the mind of U.S. Vice President Charles Caine. Unlike the NEPTH-charge used for Alpha’s army (the side effect of which is a neural liquification weeks after the procedure), Alpha used the upgrade of this technology, a system called Psyjack. Alpha had full access to the VP’s memories and mannerisms.
The clones’ mission in California was a disaster. Although they rescued a severely-beaten Dania Sheridan from the abandoned building, Beta Clone Michael and John Alpha himself were killed when a bomb beneath the night club exploded. At the 7th Son facility, Clone John learned the dark past of the 7th Son project from his father, Hugh Sheridan. 7th Son was the brainchild of Nazi doctor Klaus Bregner. In exchange for his life, Bregner brought his cloning research to the States, and helped create 7th Son.
As the second day of the clones’ adventure concluded, Vice President Caine — or more appropriately, Caine-Alpha — contacted his other Psyjacked “selves,” and confirmed that his scheme to hijack nuclear weapons in Russia was still going as planned. While speaking to a computer hacker in his employ named Special(k), Alpha also learned the recent activities of the Beta clones.
On their flight from California to Virginia, Dr. Mike and Father Thomas mourned the death of their brother Michael, the first-born of the Beta Clones. They spoke to Dania Sheridan about Psyjack, and how Alpha could have obtained its secrets. She didn’t know.
At the 7th Son facility, the clones reviewed the data they’d recently stolen from the government sites. According to reports, ninety men and women across the U.S. had died in the past five months — all from “brainrot,” NEPTH-charge’s horrifying side-effect.
The mystery deepened as Kilroy realized Alpha’s likely delivery method for NEPTH-charge and Psyjack: special ultra-high capacity prototype DNACs — DNA computers.
The men decoded some of the messages, finally understanding that the sequence of the riddles was based on the birth order of the clones themselves. The clones must split into two groups — one heading “north,” the other, “south.”
Dr. Mike, Father Thomas and Dania Sheridan returned from California. The clones were ordered back to the Common Room, and the injured Dr. Mike and Dania were sent to the facility’s infirmary.
Meanwhile in Houston, megalomaniacal oil tycoon A.U. Rookman – the man bankrolling Alpha’s conspiracy – hosted a meeting with the villain– a version of Alpha lurking in the brain of Mira Sanjah, the nurse who had Psyjacked Vice President Caine. Rookman’s incompetent son Lionel was brought in, and became the latest victim of Psyjack. A.U.’s consciousness was now in his son’s brain … and elderly Rookman (who suffered from Alzheimer’s and cancer) was killed by Sanjah not long after.
As the third day of the Beta clones’ adventure began, the men solved a critical puzzle and discovered a locale that Alpha apparently wanted them to visit: a Texas ghost town called Prophecy. They also discovered the identity of Alpha’s NEPTH-charge assassin, Doug Devlin. Jonathan left the clones’ Common Room to visit his mother, still in the infirmary. There, Dania Sheridan murdered her son. She had been Psyjacked by John Alpha.
The 7th Son facility was put on high alert, not because of Jonathan’s death – but because of the launch of the Russian nuclear missiles. The nukes struck their targets: Saudi Arabia.
Alpha’s takeover forced John, Jack, General Hill and Dr. Kleinman to visit a room well beneath the facility, called the Proto-Womb. The project’s first cloning experiments were performed here – and it is where John Alpha cloned himself twice before escaping the facility in 2003. He had stolen disk space from the mammoth MemR/I Hypercomputer Array to record and store his memories for his Alpha clones. Those clones were now dead, the most-recent perishing in the showdown at the West Hollywood nightclub.
The Betas and their allies stopped Alpha’s takeover of the facility, but not without a price: Hugh Sheridan murdered Dania-Alpha, and was left to wander the halls of the facility in a booze-fueled depression. The already-depleted 7th Son security force was reduced, due to Dania-Alpha’s killing spree. Jonathan was dead. And Alpha had stolen – and transmitted — special protected information using Dania Sheridan’s Code Phantom access privilege. Her keystrokes had been scrambled and the transmissions encrypted. Several OPS computers were damaged during the re-takeover, as well.
As the clones regrouped, the world reeled from the recent nuclear attack. The planet’s largest supply of oil reserves was destroyed. A global economic collapse was imminent. The international community screamed for sanctions against the attacking nation, Russia. A nuclear winter may be imminent.
While the world outside was in chaos, the immediate crisis in 7th Son was over. Dr. Kleinman began an autopsy on Dania Sheridan, searching for clues about Psyjack. The Betas solved another critical element of Alpha’s clues, learning that John and Dr. Mike must travel to Arctic Village, the tiny Alaskan community from which Doug Devlin was born. There, they learned, Devlin’s mother would reveal a “secret.” The duo vowed to leave that day for Arctic Villlage. The other clones chose to head to Prophecy, Texas.
Using Top Secret “Aurora” hypersonic aircraft – commandeered from Area 51, thanks to General Hill’s Code Phantom security clearance – the groups quickly arrived at their destinations. Father Thomas, Kilroy2.0 and Jack cracked a final piece of Alpha’s puzzle – “Find the A in Main” – which led them to John Alpha’s secret lair: the high-tech renovated interior of Prophecy’s water tower.
The headquarters were abandoned, save for a computer monitor with a live video feed of hacker Special(k), a former understudy of Kilroy2.0, now in the employ of John Alpha.
Special(k) promised to reveal Alpha’s location via GPS coordinates… but only if Jack remained at the water tower. Thomas vehemently resisted this, but eventually acquiesced. Special(k) gave them the coordinates of Alpha’s location. But as Thomas and Kilroy2.0 were about depart from the tower, the evil hacker revealed a double-cross: the town of Prophecy – and Jack – were to be destroyed by a network of explosives.
As Thomas and Kilroy departed, Jack gleaned important clues from Special(k)’s taunts, and plotted his escape from the lair. In a spectacular race against time, Jack leaped from the top of the water tower, smashed through a tree canopy, and successfully piloted his car through the streets of the exploding town.
Jack reunited with the others. They deduced that John Alpha had lured them away from his true conspiracy — and, in the process, was murdering the Beta clones in the order in which they were born. As the jet was prepped for departure to Alaska – after all, Dr. Mike and John were heading into a deathtrap — Kilroy2.0 researched the GPS coordinates he’d received from Special(k). These coordinates matched the location of a Texas-based private airstrip – the perfect locale at which to murder Kilroy and Father Thomas, were they to travel there.
Meanwhile in Alaska. John and Dr. Mike learned that Devlin’s mother was dead, but connected with Josephine, the killer’s sister. Based on a riddle left at Devlin’s mother’s gravesite, the duo flew to Brownlow Point, in the northern-most region of the state, just west of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. ANWR is a federally-protected nature preserve known for its vast supply of untapped oil reserves.
There, they discovered a vast Rookman Oil drilling camp. The employees there were apparently awaiting orders to roll into ANWR to begin extraction. The clones’ Aurora jet landed – and then a monstrous Komatsu dump truck rolled onto the camp’s airstrip, accelerated, and barreled toward the jet. Dr. Mike and John escaped before the house-sized truck slammed into the aircraft. Both smashed vehicles rolled onto the frozen surface of Camden Bay… and then, as the ice cracked, sunk into the water.
The clones were soon held at gunpoint by a NEPTH-charged Devlin soldier. During a brief interrogation, Mike accidentally identified himself by name … and was murdered for his misstep. John was severely beaten, and abandoned in the wilderness to freeze to death.
John awoke sometime later, and trudged to the drilling camp, determined to find a way to communicate with General Hill and the other Beta clones. On the way, he spotted two NEPTH-charge soldiers. Eavesdropping on the killers, John learned of the Alpha-Rookman connection, and that the psyche of A.U. Rookman had been downloaded into his son’s mind. He was soon spotted by the Devlins. John stole a fuel tanker truck to escape them.
The story then shifted to the villains. In Washington D.C.’s Pentagon command center, Vice President Charles Caine chatted with the United Nations’ Secretary General via telephone. John Alpha — whose psyche was still in Charles Caine’s mind — learned that world leaders would soon convene at the U.N. headquarters in New York to discuss the planet’s fate.
In Texas, the Psyjacked Lionel Rookman convinced U.S. President Vincent Hale to urge politicians to begin drilling in ANWR, to alleviate the world’s new oil shortage.
Finally, the “bona-fide” John Alpha and hacker Special(k) flew eastward in a private jet. They discussed the final stage of their scheme. Hidden bunkers containing stolen low-yield “Red Mercury” nukes had been built five months ago … and now thanks to a new crop of NEPTH-charged Devlins, the endgame would begin. At 10:07 tomorrow morning, the Devlins would attack.
Meanwhile, the Aurora jet containing Jack, Father Thomas and Jack red-lined it to Alaska. As the aircraft screamed northward, the clones pieced together clues from the past day. They realized that John Alpha’s original plan at the 7th Son facility was to flood the complex with poison gas, killing nearly everyone inside. Alpha may have wanted to clear the facility for a later return.
They shared this information with Gen. Hill, but the General said that Alpha’s biometric security clearance — his retina scan — has been purged from the 7th Son security system. No one can enter the complex now, not even the clones. Hill then reported that Dr. Kleinman was creating a diagnostic brain scan to identify Psyjack victims. And Hill himself was supervising the decryption of the valuable data Dania-Alpha had transmitted during her takeover that morning. If successfully decrypted, that data would help to finally reveal Alpha’s real plans.
In Alaska, John’s fight for survival continued. Thanks to some resourceful – and lucky –driving of his fuel tanker, John narrowly escaped collision after collision from two pursuing Rookmail Oil semi-trucks, each piloted by a Devlin. But the killers corralled his vehicle past the relative safety of the drilling camp, and out into the wilderness beyond.
The two Devlin rigs behind John were gaining. Inspired by a plan, John drove toward the nearby airstrip. As he turned onto the runway, John activated the semi-truck’s decoupling device, separating the fuel tanker from his rig. During this, John lost control of his truck. It screamed off the runway, into a field of snow, and crashed.
The pursuing Devlin trucks, unable to turn, smashed into the rolling tanker trailer. The trailer detonated, vaporizing one of the rigs. The second truck rocketed through the flames, and — despite its damage — pulled up to John’s destroyed ride.
John climbed out of his truck, dazed and exhausted. The Devlin assassin strode across the snowscape and aimed his pistol at the clone. John was finished.
But strange scarlet light suddenly appeared near the killer. The lights became bullets … red tracer fire screaming from the Aurora overhead, the jet containing the other Beta clones.
As the Devlin evaporated in a gore-filled mist, John collapsed onto the snow, and wept.