New Messiah is John Frank Marshall’s latest novel, and still being written. The narrative opens in a future world fighting over ever-shrinking resources, where the last hope is for society to utterly change. Biotech federations control the world and Artificial Intelligence decides what is true. The planet is spiraling to destruction when someone appears who speaks with the voice of Gaia, and all the rules change.
New messiah Axel Cain was born in Isoland – a vast, circular expanse of darkness, desert, storms and suffering. Isoland was created for research by biotech industries. Separated from the rest of the world (the ‘Outside’) by an insurmountable wall, test subjects are either convicts or captured from the villages scattered among the enclosed mountains. Axel Cain becomes one of the taken, but his gifts will eventually transform the world whilst endangering his life.
The Vorn Dynasty rules over Homested, the biotech factory at the centre of Isoland. Rebellious Heidi Vorn is the seventeen-year-old daughter of oligarch Maxim Vorn. She learns of a boy named Axel Cain, who is uniting the Isoland tribes with golden words and magical deeds. Known as the Messiah, the boy appears to have other strange qualities, including resistance to the sickness controlling Isoland rebel forces. Preparing for leadership, Heidi travels with Maxim’s troops to capture the boy for research. Tragedy follows as many die, leaving Heidi deeply troubled.
Axel grows into a resourceful and charismatic young man as three years pass. Forced to survive in the brutal conditions of Homested, his powers are growing. Heidi remains fascinated by him but Axel blames her for his suffering and the death of his family. At the same time he can’t stop thinking about her.
Maxim is both curious and fearful of the new messiah, and develops a strange relationship with him whilst trying to discover his secrets. Maxim tries to break Axel in every way he can, but nothing can silence the Messiah. Amica Bright, leader of the scientists also falls for the mesmeric Axel, but her love is cruel and his rejection of her turns love to hatred. In return, he tries to teach Maxim the truth of life, but the words and actions fall on deaf ears.
In the Outside, the fight for remaining resources and viable habitats has led to war between the two confederations. Abandoning her family and her past, Heidi Vorn has joined a radical organisation with a new Internet channel ‘TheTruth’. Exploiting revolutionary quantum hyperchaos tech, TheTruth is able to piggy-back on existing networks to reach a global audience. TheTruth bases its blueprint for global survival on a book written a century earlier – Small is Beautiful – a Study of Economics as if People Mattered, written by E. F. Schumacher. Heidi is sent to London, where TheTruth is based. England is still an independent country, benefiting from its position as the world financial centre following the drowning of New York.
Maxim is given orders to find a new solution and turns to Axel, but his growing powers already divine what is intended and he escapes from Isoland. The threat of Cain falling into enemy hands is too great a risk and death squads are sent in pursuit led by Amica.
Heidi wants to recruit Axel Cain to work for TheTruth, but cannot find him. As she continues her investigations, she begins to realise that TheTruth is not all it seems, and no one can be trusted. Axel somehow travels to London as he searches for Heidi, drawn there by the mysterious power controlling him. The centre of global finance, London is the last free city in the world, and the only place where the truth can still be spoken.
The new messiah revealed
Axel Cain finds a world being destroyed by greed and it is not long before many are following the new messiah. Everyone is talking about the mysterious stranger and the magic of his words. Heidi sees an advertisement for a webcast with a studio audience and attends, watching from the front row. Axel speaks, sharing the truth of the world and sowing the seeds of change using compelling images. He is asked if he is Christ reborn. Axel knows nothing of such things, but he does know that the interviewer’s daughter lies in a coma, and tells her the child will recover. Moments later, the child awakens. Axel also warns that danger is close, but they do not believe him.
At the end of the interview, a bomb explodes and kills many. Heidi escapes with Axel and persuades him to hide with her. During that time, they reveal their love for each other. She begs him to stay with her, but Axel cannot remain in hiding and leaves Heidi. He is able to cure where others have failed, and his teachings are being listened to around the world. Soon, vast numbers of people are demanding change and sharing all that they have.
Axel is a threat to the world order. More governments want to understand the source of his power, and Heidi cannot find a way to see him. It becomes clear to her that TheTruth has its own agenda, and Axel alone can save the world from itself. However, he has powerful friends as well as enemies. Maxim Vorn has suffered greatly and been deposed, but is now determined to let Axel speak.
Assisted by Maxim, Axel Cain travels to the Amazon, determined to save the last few indigenous peoples and to persuade world leaders to change. Heidi has discovered who bombed the recording session, and that they are planning an atrocity when Axel speaks. Amica plans to execute the Messiah as he gives a world address, broadcasting from within the burning forest. Heidi has one chance to save the man she loves, if she can persuade him to abandon his cause.