Following a tattered journal of forbidden handwritten concepts, principles, and maps, 17-year-old Donovan Washington Rush makes a desperate “prison break” from his home, a hopelessly downtrodden land known as “The Sewers.”
Flooded, shrouded in near-perpetual darkness, and overcrowded like a dystopian, underground Venice, Donovan’s Sewers hold the Empire’s refuse, the criminals, political enemies of the state, the poor, and the hard laborers. Hidden by time and buried by dark purpose, the Sewers exist a thousand feet below the street level of Empire City, the crowning jewel of a vast, superpower surveillance state, one of a tiny handful of interconnected governments remaining in this world. The true shame of the Empire is that the city-state itself was built upon the lives, sweat, and muscle of a social class they call the “Sewer Rats” and now literally sits atop their home like a crushing judgment.
To add insult to injury, “Sewer Rats” are occasionally gathered in groups, dressed in uniforms, and hauled off into the sunlight. Before they break the surface, they are tattooed with an Imperial symbol and allowed a few weeks of maintenance and other hazardous and menial work in the city. They are called EMPIRE BUILDERS and sold a tale of honor and opportunity like a giant state lottery. While a tiny handful are kept as a servant class, the rest are dumped back underground with the promise that they may again someday be granted the opportunity to live amongst the elite and powerful. The only price is absolute loyalty, obedience, and servitude to the Empire.
Taken as an Empire Builder and sent on a work detail in Empire City, Donovan meets the enigmatic Dr. Franklin, an imperial leader who knows all too well the tyrannies and oppressions of the Empire. Risking everything, Franklin pushes the teen along a desperate journey that will reveal the Empire and its carefully contrived and well-hidden methods of control, a system that, if challenged, could bring the Empire to its knees and return the power to rule back to Donovan and the people.Meet The Author