Absolution is a novel in three parts by Aden Ng. Part 1 has been finished on jukepop. Part 2 is scheduled to start serializing summer 2017.
Kenji Mitsui lost his home when the armies from Westlay attacked. Escaping to a refugee camp in Aston's capitol city of Mullen, the boy finds himself in a struggle to rebuild the semblance of a normal life.
However, that hope might not last as his father is pulled into a clandestine conspiracy that threatens the last bastion of peace in a world engulfed by war.
The story takes place three-four thousand years in the future, but surprisingly little has changed in terms of technology. More significant is the change that the world has been more unified with a common culture. Japanese honorifics have survived to be part of this culture. The unity is, however threatened by the ongoing war against the armies from Westlay. Mullen is temporarily a safe place, but it is the capitol of Aston and thus a natural goal for the enemy. Should it fall, the war would be lost.
- Kenji - Refugee from the war. Quite interested in his family's situation and the prospect of Mullen being pulled into the war.
- Mei - From an influential family, she is a volunteer in the refugee camp. A very friendly person who likes to help people and will go great lengths to do so. According to her sister, she 'has no brakes when it comes to friends. She'll do anything for them.'
- Lin Hua - Mei's older sister, who also works as a volunteer.
- Miyagi - Kenji's father. Formerly an officer of the Intelligence & Clandestine Agency branch of Mullen's Armed Forces (ICA), a man named Ricardo brings him in for a mission where they don't know who to trust except each other.
- Ricardo - Miyagi's boss. He sees potential in Kenji and trusts his instincts.
- Mia - An agent who also works on Ricardo's orders, but close to the action.
- Jacob - Westlean soldier tasked with a secret mission to be carried out in Mullen. He is deeply religious and starts of with a very black-and-white world view.
Chapter run-down Edit
Chapter 1: Home
Kenji is musing over what a crappy place Mullen is when he runs into Mei. They play cards in the crate where Kenji lives while talking about his situation. He thinks back to the attack that caused him to flee his home. His father Miyagi returns from his attempts to get work. It is hard for refugees to get a job, but to their delight, Miyagi was successful this time. After his father leaves, Kenji has a strange encounter with a soldier that gives him a pendant that looks like a key, saying it is for luck.
Chapter 2: Doors
Kenji thinks about how close the war is geographically and how far away it is psychologically for most people in Mullen. Mei, who has no duties as a volunteer that day, joins him as he goes to visit his dad at his new job. Kenji overhears a man named Ricardo tell his father something about 'the game' and Miyagi being uniquely qualified on account of work he had done a decade ago and him not being on any lists. Miyagi is not happy to be a part, but he is doing it for Kenji.
Chapter 3: Watch Edit
While his fathers job gives them a one room apartment, Kenji is back in the refugee camp, now as a volunteer with Mei and her sister. He sneaks out to spy on his dad in the military camp. His dad, Ricardo and a soldier named Jason discuss searching for a saboteur. Trying to sneak off, Kenji litterally runs into Ricardo. Hoping to avoid trouble, Kenji shares his views on how Mullen could potentially be attacked. Ricardo seems impressed.
Chapter 4: Close
Mei has been in the medical ward after a minor accident. Kenji meets up and tells her what he overheard. She thinks they ought to help his father. Kenji is not quite as confident, but goes along with it. Mei wonders where they would flee and Kenji thinks it over a lot without answering. He realizes that if they were to lose the war, he might be safe seeing as he is poor, while Mei, who is from a rich family would certainly need to live in hiding.
Chapter 5: The World Changed
Mia Rain is an agent who has contact with Ricardo. Her team consists of her, Vanmala Roshan and Lee Tian Jun. They are part of the network of groups called 'The Forum' or the rebels, depending on who you ask. Ricardo wants them to initiate several minor operations to distract the enemy. Mia muses about how much she has changed from the quiet girl who loved books and arcades and never put herself in danger.
Chapter 6: Hail Light Edit
Jacob Hawke is a Westlean soldier. His friends Miguel and Linzei don't get along very well - probably due to casual sexism from Miguel. They are all part of operation tiger lily, which is basically to carry out the attack Kenji is suspecting. They are told quite clearly that no one will rescue them, they are to burn their own bodies if they are caught and that the important thing is that one of them succeeds. To achieve this they may kill foes, civilians and even allies if need be. Jacob is not thrilled about the last part as his main source of hate for the Astonians is that they kill innocent people without a second thought.
Chapter 7: On the Door
Jacob is questioning his wordview where the Astonians are warmongering heathens and the Westlean are peace-loving heroes. After all, the Astonians also have churches and he has also been ordered to kill civilians. While he is walking with another soldier, Nosseve, an alarm sounds. The camp is under attack. While cut off from orders, Linzel takes charge, deciding they have to head for Mullen. They don't have time to wait for the order.
Chapter 8: Crushed
After some digging, Mei has found a list of employees in Miyagi's company and their clearance level, theorizing that a woman named Lucinda Bae Mi-Cha could be the informant her father is looking, seeing as her clearing is suspiciously high. When Mei make an 'it's a date' joke, Ken realizes that he like the idea of going out with her.
Chapter 9: Line Edit
Kenji and Mei investigates Lucinda's house, which turns out to be burned down. Kenji thinks that validates their suspicions. As they are leaving, Kenji says 'I love you' in a clause without even noticing it and is confused by Mei's reaction, as she is first stunned, then amused.
Chapter 10: Truth
Kenji delivers the leads to his father, pretending it is from Ricardo. As he had hoped, Ricardo goes along with the lie when Miyagi calls to double check. Afterwards, father and son goes out for pizza while Kenji starts planning a first date to ask Mei out on.
Chapter 11: Cold Shoulders
Mia's team is attacked and suffers one major injury. Mia herself sees the two attackers in the snow and gives chase into the forest. She is able to shoot one, who passes out. She reports to Ricardo that their suspicions were justified.
Chapter 12: Stand or Run Edit
We get the same action scene from Jacob's point of view. He was the one to shoot out a tire and injure one in Mia's team. However Linzei and Nosseve were the ones to be chased by Mia, Nosseve being unsuccessful. When they meet up, Linzei is furious, because Jacob insisted she and Nosseve cause the distraction to drive the action away from civilian children and as a result they lost Nosseve. Their plan had been to steal a vehicle to get to Mullen. As it failed, they continue on foot.
Chapter 13: Take a Stand
Jacob, Linzei and Miguel make it to Bae Mi-Cha, to receive further instructions. She prefers to be called Lucy. The plan involves causing a black-out, assassinating the president and blowing up the radio station and the power plant. The details of the attack conflicts with Jacob's religious views that have given him such a strong sense of purpose.
Chapter 14: Hold
With solid proof of an attack lacking, Ricardo fails to convince his superiors that they need to mobilize. He instead looks to use all the resources he have, including Mia and Miyagi. Meanwhile, Kenji asks Mei out. She refuses, insisting that he ask her properly and accepts when he does.
Chapter 15: Leave Edit
Jacob shoots the president, Miguel blows up the radio station while Linzei establishes radio contact. Lucy, however, has not blown up the power plant. Miguel and Jacob head to carry out the job. As the city goes into panic, Kenji and Mei run to check on his dad. They find Lucy with a gun, standing over a lifeless Miyagi.
Chapter 16: Retribution
Kenji shoots Lucy and kneels over his body. Mia shows up and along with Mei, eventually convinces Kenji to stop moving. However, they are shot at and Mei is hit. Kenji has enough time to tell her he loves her, but then she dies, leaving him in a state of shock. Everything that happens afterwards is a blur to Kenji.