Pandora's Box is a tale of humanity and inhumanity, of organic intelligence and inorganic intelligence, each reaching for something greater than itself in a story that spans two millennia of time. It is told in four story-parts, each part defined by the viewpoint of the person that experienced it. The four tales are linked together by the device of an ancient storyteller, Aesop, retelling the tales to a young child, weaving the tapestry of a longer, overall story of life, death, and hope.
The story begins in a dark cave on earth, far in the future. Two ancient combat robots, long forgotten by the nation that made them, while away eternity guarding the cave and it's unknown contents by quietly playing chess with each other.
There had been intruders to the cave before. Most mere animals, whose thirst threatened the meager water supplies the robots had in the cave, needed to fuel their hydrogen-fusion reactor and thus crucial to their survival. A tiny handful were humans - lost hikers, mainly. These hikers, while wandering up in the mountains, had stumbled upon the hidden cave the robots had been guarding for a millenia.
No matter human or animal, though, the bones of all the intruders lay quietly on a pile inside the cave.
Suddenly, a new intruder pushes their way past the thorny bushes at the entrance to the cave, and steps into the gloom within. She is Mrin, and she has come here seeking these robots, searching for the very monsters who had been the death of fifteen humans before her over the last thousand years...
And therein lies the tale.
As I mentioned, there are four story-parts of the novel. The first tells of the rebirth of the NAD and the dire consequences of Mrin's opening her "Pandora's Box," and also sets the stage for the following stories. The second story-part tells the tale of Mars Colony, their growth and survival against great odds, and their eventual encounter with the devils loosed by Mrin when she opened her "Pandora's Box." The third is the tale of the storyteller himself, and is a story of the liberation of a slave. The fourth and last tale is that of the Confederacy, a distant group of human colonies sent out ages before, and is the tale of their encounter with the NAD and the Stoics of Mars during the darkest hour of the Confederacy's history. Each story is woven together into a continuous thread of experience to weave a larger, overall stoy of life and death, logic and insanity, tragedy and triumph, despair and hope.
This novel will be published by Ebooks on January 1st, 2000 - I hope you enjoy it. =)
- Jim Farris
Read an Excerpt from the story