Copyright 2010 by A. Sparrow
To Tucker, of Yorkshire
Prologue: Paxson Seeks
Emerging from long torpor, Victoria heaves her bloated bulk against the chamber walls, sending ripples and reverberations through the corpus of Elysium. It is sure to send her worried and harried attendants scurrying but she has no need of their doting. She takes her daily inventory of her souls, the ascending, the ascended, those in transit to Lethe after death, and a fourth category, unspoken and taboo: living souls. Harvesting souls before their time was a practice unsanctioned by the Seraphim, but thus far, none have dared to stop her.
Two million strong, her people. All their souls belonging to her, the alpha matron of her line. Siblings. Cousins. Uncles. Aunts. Nephews and nieces, many times removed. Every iteration of great and grand going back centuries before her time on Earth.