-SUMMARY: After three seasons of Winter, a mysterious pheromone plague, and three nuclear disasters, humanity is on the brink of destruction. With the earth a rapidly growing wasteland and the world governments torn to pieces, all that’s left for archaeologist Sigyn and her team to do is attempt survival. After crossing through state parks, ghost towns, broken cities, and abandoned mines, they come upon an equally lost and equally wayward group of scientists and engineers. But is there really safety in numbers? Sigyn has many questions about the nature of these scientists’ work, the symbols on their notebooks, and she especially has questions about the one they call Loki; the meaning behind his “Chaos” tattoo, and the possibility that he is the origin of all this apocalyptic destruction….

-SNIPPET: “The pheromone trigger, I mean… that was really brilliant, in its essence.” Loki’s eyes glinted though he hid his smile well.

Sigyn looked at him warily across the waning fire. Perhaps they shouldn’t be having this conversation when everyone else was asleep around them. No back-up. She laid a hand over the knife concealed in her boot and continued on anyway, ill-advised.

“You act like you’re proud of the virus. A piece of your own handiwork, maybe?” She said.

Loki looked up at her abruptly, genuinely surprised by her assumption. Then he laughed.

“I’m no molecular biologist! I’ve no idea how you’d begin to create something so monstrous.”

“But you’re an award winning ecologist and physicist. Your life’s work is on atmospheric forces. You’d have an inkling of how to throw the ozone layer off enough to start a nice ten-month Winter all across the world, now wouldn’t you?”

The look Loki threw at her was unsettling in its icy calm. His smile was more subdued through this accusation, but his eyes were brighter than ever.

“Humanity ruined the ozone layer. All of us, together. To insinuate that any one person could willfully affect it more than the other; could put together some heinous master-plan for planetary destruction…. why, Sigyn- we’re not gods, we’re only human. Who could do such a thing?”

He reached out one long white finger and let it glide over the shape of the knife in her boot. Sigyn kept her eyes locked with his as he moved. He reached the heel of her boot and tapped it gently. Her eyes narrowed.

"No,” she said, “I think the question is: who would do such a thing?”

When Loki continued to stare at her and say nothing in response, Sigyn put her hand on the “Chaos” tattoo on his forearm, glaring straight through him as though he were nothing but air, and said “only a monster would.”