River of Blue Fire (Otherland, Volume 2)
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Otherland. In many ways it is humankind's most stunning achievement: a private, multidimensional universe built over two generations by the greatest minds of the twenty-first century. But this most exclusive of places is also one of the world's best kept secrets, created and controlled by an organization made up of the world's most powerful and ruthless individuals, a private cartel known—to those who know of their existence at all—as The Grail Brotherhood. Though their purpose in creating Otherland is still a mystery, it may not remain so for long. For they have exacted a terrible price from humanity in the process, and even their highly organized global conspiracy cannot hide the nature of their crimes forever.
And now a small band of adventurers has penetrated the veil of secrecy that prevents the uninitiated from entering Otherland. But having broken into the amazing worlds within worlds that make up this universe, they are trapped, unable to escape back to their own flesh-and-blood bodies in the real world. And as dangers and circumstances split their party into small, widely scattered groups, their only hope of reuniting lies in returning again and again to the River that flows—in one form or another—through all the worlds.
But the odds seem to be completely against them as they—and the one outsider with whom they might join forces—become hopelessly lost in realms where an Ice Age tribe's fears can only be quenched in blood...where insects are as large and deadly as dinosaurs...where they are caught in the war between a man made of straw and one made of tin...where cartoon ads take on a life of their own...where humans strive to survive in the aftermath of an alien invasion...and where one among their party is actually The Grail Brotherhood's most terrifying weapon—a sociopathic killer who has never failed and whose current mission is to make certain that not even one member of this little invasion force lives long enough to reveal the truth about Otherland to the people of Earth...
Castle, with fog rising from the Rhine) VO: What kind of world would the richest people on Earth build for themselves? BBN has announced that they are preparing documentary on the “Otherworld” project, a simulation-world much whispered about in virtual engineering circles. Does it exist? Many say that it is no more real than Never Never Land or Shangri-La, but others claim that even if it has been decommissioned, it did exist at one time, and was the single greatest work of its type . . .
major wrong. I want to go home—I really, really do.” Orlando looked at his friend, doing his or her best not to cry, and suddenly, unexpectedly, felt something open up inside him. It was as though a door, long shut, its hinges gone rusty with disuse, had suddenly been kicked wide. What lay on the other side wasn’t a bright spring day, but it wasn’t darkness either. It was just . . . something else. The door had opened inside him—in his heart, he supposed—and beyond that door the rest of his
mysterious figure gave her, it opens into an amazingly realistic image of a golden city. Renie and !Xabbu seek the help of Renie’s former professor, Dr. Susan Van Bleeck, but she is unable to solve the mystery of the city, or even tell for certain if it is an actual place. The doctor decides to contact someone else she knows for help, a researcher named Martine Desroubins. But even as Renie and the mysterious Martine make contact for the first time, Dr. Van Bleeck is attacked in her home and
gone away or dead. No one cares what happens to us, even during Carnival.” He spread his arms like an albatross banking on the breeze as he led them around the side of the building, then through a door that Paul would have never seen in the mist and on into the dark, echoing interior. “The front is barred tonight, to keep us out of trouble,” their guide said, then tapped with his finger on the side of his nose. “But they cannot keep old Nicoló inside. And now I will have wine, and drink until my
subsequent trials also failed to reach a verdict. Gomez was never tried in America, even though all five victims were Americans. (visual: Gomez being greeted at airport in Buenos Aires) For years after the incident, he was a featured speaker at meetings of anti-crime groups in many countries, and the expression “to Gomez” became synonymous with violent and even excessive retribution . . . * * * “IT seems scanny,” Fredericks said, enjoying the shade of a grass stem. “I mean, I