The Phantom

The brightest light often comes from the deepest darkness. Jonathan Attier was framed for the murder of his best friend, stripped of his family’s accumulated wealth, and thrown into the deepest hole Absalom had to offer: Dis, an upstate supermax prison meant for containing those who turned their Leyline gifts toward harm, or to hide those who would expose corporate corruption in Absalom’s food chain. With no other choices left to him, Jonathan turned his efforts toward appeals, but always he was denied, and always he tried again, desperate to prove his innocence, and ten years later, he was released. No word, no apology, nor any promise of compensation. He was turned out of Dislike a dog past its prime, and left to fend for himself.

And the one who greeted him at the gate instead of a taxi, was the icy beauty known as Helena Grinspoon. Distrusting of her motives, Jonathan could not turn away help when offered and heard her out: work for her, as her personal enforcer, and see his name restored, and his family’s assets and fortune returned to him. For five years, Jonathan worked under a new name, Eidelon, cleaning up after Helena’s messes, burying more bodies than he would ever want to before his incarceration. But so too did he build his skills as an investigator, a sharp mind made only sharper working alongside the enigmatic but deeply troubling Helena Grinspoon.

It was a chance find in every sense of the word. Jonathan had not expected to find much, but it had been ten years and he had to know what his friend had died for that would prompt Absalom to throw him in prison without evidence...and he found it.

The files, classified and redacted mostly, hinted at a project Helena was funding, one that involved not just Absalom, but New Songhai, Goa, and even Heaven’s Seat, the untouchable utopia that kept to its own. Project Singularity it was called, and from the implications, Jonathan knew it was no good. His friend had been a junior researcher on the project, and likely had stumbled upon the bigger picture. Using his newly rebuilt resources, Jonathan copied the files and took them with him. A severance package that would have dire implications if he tried to stand against Helena alone.