About the world of DRAGONFLY

The Empire

A thousand years into the future, the vast New Russiyan Empire rules the galaxy at the point of a plasma cannon. Since the discovery of slipspace, an alternate dimension allowing faster-than-light travel, humans have spread through the galaxy, settling on new planets and searching for alien life. But no 'first contact' has yet been made, and planets originally colonized by other Old Earth cultures have fallen to the New Russiyans through ruthless military conquest.

Under Imperial rule, culture and technology have flourished. Climate is controlled, food is plentiful and safe from alien pathogens, and disease is all but conquered—if you can afford it. For the rich in Imperial favor, life is safe, prosperous and lacking for nothing.

But in the darker shadows of space, Imperial battleships patrol the outposts, collecting tribute and mercilessly crushing resistance. Outlying colonies that refuse allegiance are occupied by force, their populations decimated and enslaved. Despotic Imperial generals rule the occupied territories like bandit warlords, and ordinary people live in a state of fear. Resistance is treason, and everything and everyone is under surveillance.

Yet small pockets of rebellion flourish, hiding in deep space or on isolated worlds, using cybercrime and terror as weapons against Imperial corruption and tyranny. Axis, the feared Imperial secret intelligence service, fights the rebels without scruple, hunting down space pirates and employing deep cover agents to infiltrate terrorist cells and capture their leaders for torture and public execution.

The Imperials are superior in firepower, training and resources. The insurrection are outnumbered, outgunned, threatened from all sides. But the fight endures. The spirit of rebellion won't die. Slowly but surely, the Empire's edges are crumbling, and a talented, fanatical few are emerging as harbingers of a new age of interstellar anarchy.

Its agents and adversaries

Carrie Thatcher, codename Aragon ~ A dedicated Imperial secret agent, skilled with weapons, cybersystems and subterfuge. She leads a fast and dangerous life, immersed in her missions and false identities with little time for personal relationships. Her anti-Imperial parents have disowned her, and the service has become her family, so Carrie is driven to succeed in order to prove she chose the right path, but she's also a thrill-seeker at heart, and relishes the excitement and danger of covert operations.

Dragonfly (real name unknown) ~ A charismatic cyber-thief and a leading light in the insurrection, Dragonfly has a vile reputation in the Empire for indiscriminate killing and violence for its own sake. A mathematical genius, he specializes in codebreaking and hacking security systems, but his secret research into slipspace physics and the idea of instantaneous space travel pose a far deeper threat to Imperial domination—if he can only make it work. Branded a public enemy to be killed on sight, he knows too well the cost of Imperial lies.

Lukas Radjevich, codename Spider ~ Dragonfly's oldest friend and adversary. A reckless space pirate and anarchist with an unsettling talent for leadership and a deep grudge against the Empire, Lukas is a frustrated artist who loves destruction for its own sake. Ever since unscrupulous Imperial nano-surgeons wrecked his nervous system in an effort to replicate his musical talent, Lukas is twisted by lust for vengeance. He has no ambition to take power for himself, but just wants to watch the Empire burn. His pirate ship, a stolen Imperial battleship called LightBringer, is crewed with rogues and oddball talents.

Nikita Karpov, codename Malachite ~ The Empire's top counter-insurrection agent, and formerly Carrie's mentor. Nikita is the perfect secret agent: skilled, suave, a pathological liar and charming sociopath. Nikita was Carrie's first love, but without medication he's incapable of empathy, and his treachery broke her heart. He knows many dirty Imperial secrets, which makes him a threat to the Empire as well as one of their finest assets—in truth, he's loyal only to himself.

Lyudmila Renko, codename Pyrite ~ Carrie's boss, director of operations at Axis, the Imperial secret intelligence service. A tough and clever agent with few weaknesses and fewer scruples, she's immersed in inter-agency machinations and has been known to put political point-scoring above the safety of her people.

Arkady Surov, codename Felix ~ director of black ops at Axis and Renko's enemy. His DNA has been spliced with a cat's, and he has superlative skills and some unsettling eating habits, as well as metal-core bone enhancements (claws).

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