When The Gods Fail: Journey – prequel to the Failure of the Gods series – finds 2050 Earth embroiled in a widening regional war, deadly politics and economic collapse. Even so, nations team together to extend man’s presence beyond Earth by establishing a permanent presence on the Moon, Mars and even beyond. The project costs trillions of dollars and all will be lost unless the trained crews and colonists can make the dream a reality.
Colonel Bryce Tyrell leads one of the few military units still manned by actual pilots. Fresh from combat, they're testing their skills against next generation of artificially-intelligent drone aircraft – aircraft designed to replace them. But there are forces conspiring to ensure the results lead toward only one conclusion - the conspirators driven by power and greed and willing to go to any length, including murder, to achieve their goals with a cold-hearted ruthlessness knowing no moral or legal bounds.
Half a world away, Tatiana Melankov, Commander of a Russian Air Force fighter squadron, finds herself shot down and in a desperate battle against a small squad of highly motivated enemy soldiers. No stranger to death, she’ll have to rely on every skill she has to survive the combat in a cold, snowy, war torn and abandoned town where no quarter will be given by either side.
Bryce and Tatiana will join thousands of men and women from all nations and cultures who must learn skills they’ll need if they are to survive Mars. They find themselves assigned as Commander and Deputy Commander of one of twenty Exploration vessels - responsible for a self-contained team designed to conduct long-term exploration of remote locations on the Martian surface. Both feel an attraction to each other and soon they’re more than just Commander and Deputy Commander. The relationship, intense and consuming, will test them, their desire to go to Mars and their ability to command a crew. They must survive the struggle to make the relationship work, as well as attacks against the team and even their own naivety if they are to journey to Mars. Through it all, Bryce will find a love he’s always longed for and Tatiana a love she never thought existed.
The day comes and seven hundred men and women embark on a journey as the enormous ship, Intrepid, leaves Earth orbit, bound for the red planet. Within the ship are the crew, seven hundred pioneers, twenty Explorer craft and thousands of containers holding everything these men and women will need to survive and thrive on a hostile world. Unfortunately, the Intrepid will never make it to Mars.
Thousands of light years away, an advanced civilization is, itself, embroiled in conflict. Faced with potential destruction by an adversary more powerful than they realize, they're trapped in layers of politics and deceit they've created over centuries. The abduction of the Intrepid may be a last desperate act – an effort to introduce new technology to assist cultures opposed to a ruthless effort to develop a superior species or an effort to save a ship from certain destruction. The men and women of the Intrepid, the last hope of either a planet destroying itself or a civilization depending on them to develop a way to defeat a biologically manipulated nightmare. But before the Intrepid and her crew can have any impact on this brave new world, the ship is destroyed by a catastrophic accident and all hope seems lost.
Yet there are survivors. Bryce and his crew, caught in their ship as the destruction starts, manage to get away from the Intrepid before the ship disintegrates completely. The entry into the planet’s atmosphere is rough and the Explorer craft is buffeted, battered and barely able to stay aloft. Systems failing, Bryce and Tatiana must use every bit of their flying skills to try to put the stricken ship down anywhere they can find a suitable place to land. The ship crashes within a civilization whose roots mirror those of ancient Rome, the fate of her crew unknown.