Lenie Clarke--amphibious cyborg, Meltdown Madonna, agent of the Apocalypse--has grown sick to death of her own cowardice.
For five years (since the events recounted in Maelstrom), she and her bionic brethren (modified to work in the rift valleys of the ocean floor) have hidden in the mountains of the deep Atlantic. The facility they commandeered was more than a secret station on the ocean floor. Atlantis was an exit strategy for the corporate elite, a place where the world's Movers and Shakers had hidden from the doomsday microbe ßehemoth--and from the hordes of the moved and the shaken left behind. For five years "rifters" and "corpses" have lived in a state of uneasy truce, united by fear of the outside world.
But now that world closes in. An unknown enemy hunts them through the crushing darkness of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. ßehemoth--twisted, mutated, more virulent than ever--has found them already. The fragile armistice between the rifters and their one-time masters has exploded into all-out war, and not even the legendary Lenie Clarke can take back the body count.
Billions have died since she loosed ßehemoth upon the world. Billions more are bound to. The whole biosphere came apart at the seams while Lenie Clarke hid at the bottom of the sea and did nothing. But now there is no place left to hide. The consequences of past acts reach inexorably to the very floor of the world, and Lenie Clarke must return to confront the mess she made.
Redemption doesn't come easy with the blood of a world on your hands. But even after five years in pitch-black purgatory, Lenie Clarke is still Lenie Clarke. There will be consequences for anyone who gets in her way-and worse ones, perhaps, if she succeeds...
Behemoth: Seppuku concludes the final act (begun in ßehemoth: ß-Max) of Peter Watts's chilling and powerful Rifters series.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In Canadian author Watts's intense, beautifully written conclusion to his Rifters trilogy (after 2004's ehemoth: -Max), Lenie Clarke, the near-psychotic, bio-engineered woman who loosed the deadly organism known as ehemoth on an already environmentally compromised world, resurfaces from the ocean's depths to discover who's behind continuing efforts to destroy all life on Earth. Together with Lubin, a bio-engineered man who's a highly efficient killer, Clarke discovers an America that has been devastated, not just by ehemoth but by attacks from heavily fortified, high-tech enclaves whose rulers will stop at nothing in a futile attempt to contain the out-of-control organism. Worse still, the battle is apparently being led by Achilles Desjardins, a murderous psychopath who has slipped the protective psychological programming that once kept his darker impulses under control. Aided by Taka Ouellette, a guilt-ridden, second-rate physician, Clarke and Lubin strive desperately to unravel the secrets of both ehemoth and Seppuku, its even more dangerous mutation. Like some adrenaline-charged fusion of Clarke's The Deep Range and Gibson's Neuromancer, Watts's trilogy represents a major addition to early 21st-century hard SF. FYI:As an author's note explains, this is the second half of ehemoth, which was split in two by the publisher against Watts's wishes. The trilogy should be read in order, starting with 1999's Starfish.