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Endgame is the fourth and final book in the novelization series written by Dafydd ab Hugh.

Book Description[]

They left behind everything that mattered to them-- friends, lovers, country-- to journey to the stars. Now Sergeant Flynn Taggart and Pfc. Arlene Sanders, USMC, have reached their destination... the homeworld of the demon invaders who destroyed Earth. But there, they find a scene of destruction that rivals any they left back on Earth. And suddenly, "Fly" and Arlene find themselves face-to-face with an even deadlier enemy than the demons they came to fight. The war for Earth is over. But the battle for the stars has just begun...[1]

Plot Summary[]

Aboard the Fred ship, Arlene sinks into a deep despair over knowing she will never see Albert alive again, which makes Fly very anxious. They have synthesized new clothes and weapons, but her ring is gone. To make matters worse, Sears and Roebuck have holed themselves into a sleeping chamber, dreading the coming fight on the Fred homeworld. As they continue flying through space, Fly breaks Arlene's gloom by stepping in front of her as she fired her rifle aimlessly, taking a small hit in the shoulder. At first, Arlene is worried for his safety, but then turns angry at his interference, even avoiding him for a good while until she eventually asks why he did it. When he explains that it was to "piss her off," she is again angered, but eventually breaks free of her depression.

Upon reaching the Fred home world, they find nothing shy of a single Fred corpse. Recovering it and healing it, they question the Fred - a new species which the Fred calls "Newbies" in broken translation they had encountered long ago, that evolves even faster than humans, attacked them. And this new species is headed for Earth.

Unsure if this new species is a threat or an ally, Fly explores and finds one member, dead. An alien gray type creature, they revive it. However, this species evolves at a rapid pace, and tries to disable the ship, fearing what it will find when it meets the rest of its kind as several hundred years had passed since it left its planet. It attempts to get Fly and Arlene to join forces with it, but Fly kills it, not believing a word of it. Following the coordinates from the alien of where the Newbies were headed, a hundred-year trip lands them on an unknown desert planet, which they've dubbed "Skinwalker". The trip takes a hundred years outside of the ship.

They find humans. Humanity, as it turned out, survived the Doom Wars. Albert lived and focused on cryogenic research, only to die before it became reality. Jill survived Los Angeles, to become an author and die of old age.

However, these humans are odd. They fear death and take no risks. And they have personality switches. Fly and Arlene, recognized as legendary heroes, are given a computer sphere to answer questions. But Fly needs one question answered to settle his suspicions, capturing the captain, they take him to the medical lab and confirm his fears - the Newbies have evolved into a microscopic entity which lives inside humans.

But humans now have no faith in anything. And Fly determines that faith is harmful to the Newbies, for unknown reasons, but his sermons on faith somehow start to cure people of Newbie infection. And he and his converted lead a battle to take the ship.

The Newbies win, however. Fly and Arlene are strapped down and with needles in their brains; their "souls" are extracted and placed into computer simulations of Phobos to examine the human soul. Realizing that the simulation feeds off memories, he changes the events, literally recruiting the first Imp to his side in a sermon, and, determined to find Arlene, recruits other monsters.

Arlene and Fly, however, wake up outside the ship. Their souls were not extracted, but merely their minds copied. The real Fly and Arlene, with their human converts and the bodies of Sears and Roebuck, escape the ship's launch rockets. Reaching their destroyed ship, medical machines revive S&R. And, as it turns out, the moon of that planet is a hollow space port.

Using a Fred escape pod to fly to the moon base, the band of survivors secure a ship, knowing that, at best, they will arrive a month after the Newbies. The Newbies, as it turns out, had not yet been to Earth, but had just encountered humans on this world. Another hundred years in real time, mere weeks to them, they reach Earth. Fly and Arlene have returned four hundred years after they last saw their home planet.

Humans survived the Doom Wars, but while signs of civilization remain, all that's left is covered in uncontrolled plant growth. No humans are found. To the rest of the survivors, it has been two hundred years to them. Flying over the United States, they reach Salt Lake City - rebuilt, and the Mormon Tabernacle bigger than ever. And even stranger, the Newbies are nowhere to be seen.

Arlene, realizing what this means, contacts the Tabernacle. Jill's mind had been copied and now operates within the building. Allowing the ship to land and them to enter, Fly and Arlene quickly meet a hologram of Jill, slightly older than when they last saw her, who explains everything.

It seems this war started six million years ago due to the Gate builder race. Twelve million years ago, this race had left behind eleven fragments of an ancient text. For the past six million years, the Klave and the Freds have been fighting a war over the interpretation of these texts, a sort of intergalactic chess game. But humans, in addition to death, also evolve faster than any other race. When the Freds encountered Earth in the 1400s, they set to motion a plan to impersonate Hell demons. But the time of the trip coupled with the time to prepare allowed centuries to pass. Humans had evolved, fought back, and ultimately won.

As to Earth, the survivors slept in cryogenic stasis, awaiting the return of the Doom heroes of legend. Jill, cloned and resting, is found. Fly and Arlene are further led to a box labeled "Albert" with a small light, presumably containing Albert's ashes.

The final chapters explain why the Newbies never arrived. The computer copies of Fly and Arlene continued through the recreations of Phobos and Deimos, building their army of "converted" demons and zombies. They find the "back door" to escape from the program.

But this door does not lead to escape. It leads to a Newbie, connected to the program. Dragging the large black slug body into the program, the fast run time of the simulation causes something unexpected - the Newbie evolves much more rapidly, until it literally vanishes. And Newbies are all linked telepathically. It appears the entire species evolved out of existence by this act.

Believing themselves to be genuine and with no way out, "Fly" and "Arlene" decide to live inside the simulation for as long as it is powered, attempting to make themselves comfortable by remembering alternate events.

References[]

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