Prologue

In 2065 a small number of egotistical and unbalanced world leaders put the wellbeing of the civilised world in jeopardy by internationally embarrassing and then confronting each other. Due to the distrust of those with the responsibility for controlling weapons of mass destruction both on Earth and in Space, the planet was almost destroyed within a few days.

Although shelters had been organised around the world when the international endgame started it left little time for most people to use them. A handful of locations in the world became true safe havens. One of those places was in the Scottish Highlands, a disused railway tunnel becoming the initial place of safety for a coach of tourists.

Among the passengers on the coach were a police detective and a woman condemned of murder. Within the first few hours of the coach having safely arrived inside the old tunnel, the police officer was found dead. A few days later the female suspect left the tunnel via an emergency exit, knowingly submitting herself to survival in a post-apocalyptic wilderness.

Against the odds, she foraged and hunted for weeks before meeting anyone else, but when she did, it did not end well for either of them.

In 2066, one year after leaving the relative safety of the railway tunnel and the companionship of the other tourist survivors, the woman delivered a child in the shallow waters near the banks of Loch Awe.

This is the story of that child, Sylvia, ‘from the forest’.

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