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Deep Empire

Written By:James Axler - 1994

  • Deep Empire - James Axler cover


A struggle for survival in a savage new world


Once an idyllic chain of inlets running from Key Largo to Key West, the Florida Keys have become an isolated universe of grotesquely mutated wildlife and bizarre submarine malformations. Blind seventy-foot sea snakes lurk among the reefs around underwater volcanoes, while typhoons and pirates turn the crystal waters above into a death zone.

But Ryan Cawdor and his band of warrior-survivalists find a slice of heaven in this ocean hell at a marine research center created to further the amazing promise of the dolphins. Here, a brilliant scientist offers the perfect vacation of sun, fishing and fun. Until Ryan discovers this post-holocaust aquatic paradise is a hoax—and gentle dolphins are being mutated into killers.

Welcome to the Deathlands, and the future nobody planned for.


The sea around Krysty was flat and undisturbed. Michael had vanished

Before her mind started to cope, Ryan was in motion. He struck the water to Krysty's right, heading for the spur of rock that marked the sunken entrance to the redoubt.

J.B. was a moment behind him, followed immediately by Dean. Krysty drew breath, ready to duck dive after them, when Doc exploded into the sea only a yard away from her.

A moment later Doc's head broke the surface, his white mane pasted to his thin skull. "No sign," he bellowed.

"He'll be..." Doc began, striving for a note of reassurance, the sentance dying stillborn as Dean, J.B. and Ryan appeared from the cavernous redoubt. With no sign of Michael.

"Oh, Gaia!" Krysty's voice was harsh with shock. She stood, pointing toward the western horizon, her face frozen. "Look out there!"

There was a massive eruption about three hundred yards from shore. White froth and a burst of spray soared into the sky. All that they could make out, writhing at the core of the thrashing disturbance, was a giant, sinuous shape.

"Sea snake," Ryan said. "And—" He broke off as the creature crashed back into the water again, rolling to reveal, for the first time, its hideous head.

And the limp body of Michael Brother clasped in its blunt, hoglike jaw...




Other Titles in the Deathlands list

0     Encounter

1     Pilgrimage to Hell

2     Red Holocaust

3     Neutron Solstice

4     Crater Lake

5     Homeward Bound

6     Pony Soldiers

7     Dectra Chain

8     Ice and Fire

9     Red Equinox

10     Northstar Rising

11     Time Nomads

12     Latitude Zero

13     Seedling

14     Dark Carnival

15     Chill Factor

16     Moon Fate

17     Fury's Pilgrims

18     Shockscape

19     Deep Empire

20     Cold Asylum

21     Twilight Children

22     Rider, Reaper

23     Road Wars

24     Trader Redux

25     Genesis Echo

26     Shadowfall

27     Ground Zero

28     Emerald Fire

29     Bloodlines

30     Crossways

31     Keepers of the Sun

32     Circle Thrice

33     Eclipse at Noon

34     Stoneface

35     Bitter Fruit

36     Skydark

37     Demons of Eden

38     Mars Arena, The

39     Watersleep

40     Nightmare Passage

41     Freedom Lost

42     Way of the Wolf

43     Dark Emblem

44     Crucible of Time

45     Starfall

46     Gemini Rising

47     Gaia's Demise

48     Dark Reckoning

49     Shadow World

50     Pandora's Redoubt

51     Rat King

52     Zero City

53     Savage Armada

54     Judas Strike

55     Shadow Fortress

56     Sunchild

57     Breakthrough

58     Salvation Road

59     Amazon Gate

60     Destiny's Truth

61     Skydark Spawn

62     Damnation Road Show

63     Devil Riders

64     Bloodfire

65     Hellbenders

66     Separation

67     Death Hunt

68     Shaking Earth

69     Black Harvest

70     Vengeance Trail

71     Ritual Chill

72     Atlantis Reprise

73     Labyrinth

74     Strontium Swamp

75     Shatter Zone

76     Perdition Valley

77     Cannibal Moon

78     Sky Raider

79     Remember Tomorrow

80     Sunspot

81     Desert Kings

82     Apocalypse Unborn

83     Thunder Road

84     Plague Lords

85     Dark Resurrection

86     Eden's Twilight

87     Desolation Crossing

88     Alpha Wave

89     Time Castaways

90     Prophecy

91     Blood Harvest

92     Arcadian's Asylum

93     Baptism of Rage

94     Doom Helix

95     Moonfeast

96     Downrigger Drift

97     Playfair's Axiom

98     Tainted Cascade

99     Perception Fault

100     Prodigal's Return

101     Lost Gates

102     Haven's Blight

103     Hell Road Warriors