Wild Energy. Lana
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2009)|
|Author||Maryna and Serhiy Dyachenko|
|Original title||Дикая энергия. Лана|
|Language||Russian, Ukrainian Polish|
|Media type||Print (Hardback)|
Wild Energy. Lana (orig. Ukrainian Dyka enerhiya. Lana) is a 2006 fantasy novel, written by Maryna and Serhiy Dyachenko and published in Ukraine. The authors were named the best European fantasy writers in 2005.[who?]
The storyline of Wild Energy. Lana was inspired by Ukrainian musician Ruslana, and contains many elements from her unique lifestyle. The main character Lana is supposed to become the prototype of Ruslana's new music project. The first music video for this project was due in summer 2006. In 2008 the English version of the book should be released in Europe. A German version is also planned.
The book was released with two different covers.
The story begins in a city where every evening every person hooks up to the power grid via an armband and given energy, which helps them last until the next power up. The heroine, whose name isn't revealed, works as a pixel. Her job involves standing in a giant grid, while wearing a special suit. The suit's arms have flaps of several different colors, and via headphones she is given instructions on which colors to display. With several hundred pixels each displaying a color while standing on the grid, it forms a giant telescreen which displays advertisements for 20 minutes each day. The heroine's best friend is Eve, also a coworker. One day, after a power up, the heroine finds that due to a blunder on Eve's part during the 20 minute show, Eve has been denied her energy packet for the day. Since Eve didn't have a backup packet, she didn't get energy and is now rapidly losing the will to function and live. The heroine has no choice but to drag Eve to a black market dealer who illegally sells energy packets and can administer them through a portable power up machine. The heroine and Eve barely have enough money to cover the cost of the energy packet, but Eve's life is saved. Suddenly, a mysterious individual shows up and kills the black market dealers with advanced weaponry. After some deliberation, he spares the heroine and Eve.
After the incident, Eve starts acting more and more strangely. Eventually she disappears and after some time her body is found in a sewage drain. The heroine is saddened by this event and decides to seek answers. She learns of the rumor of The Factory, a mysterious place where the energy is supposedly produced and then sent. She also hears rumors about people who live in abandoned skyscrapers and don't rely on any energy packets to survive. She travels up one of these skyscrapers. After riskily getting around a broken flight of stairs by climbing on the outside of the skyscraper, she encounters a man who derisively refers to her as a "synthetic". However, he is impressed by the risk she took getting up the skyscraper and invites her to an event in one of the skyscrapers where synthetics go to try and get over their dependence on the energy packets. After asking one of her friends whether he'd be willing to share even a small portion of his energy packet with everyone, she realizes the addictive properties of the energy and decides to go.
The event turns out to be a rave supervised by the people who have learned to live on their own energy. The heroine sees many people and recognizes that the journey up to the event is a big risk since there isn't enough time to get back down in time for the power up. The heroine, due to her work as a pixel where she has to rely on the beat of the commands, feels the beat of the music and feels energy flowing through her. In a moment of euphoria she climbs onto the stage and her newly discovered self energy is powerful enough to make the old projector lights on the roof work at full power. After the event, she is adopted by the wild people. The wild people live in the tops of the abandoned skyscrapers, and live like birds. They rely on flying harnesses and the wind currents to get around. The heroine learns their way of life and lives there for a while. She finds out that the Controllers, the city's police, actively try to hunt down the wild people, therefore the wild people have to stay in the safety of the skyscrapers and only go down to scavenge supplies. One day, a kid crashes while trying out his flying harness and ends up with several broken bones. The heroine goes back down to the city to try and buy painkillers, but since she has been missing for a long time, her card has been flagged and she is captured by the Controllers.
She is taken to the precinct. At the precinct, she is taken to the office of an agent called a Catcher who tells her that she has been misinformed, and that the Controllers only want to send the wild people to The Factory, where they belong. She is put in a cable car along with several other wild people who were captured, and sent to the factory. Since the cable car will take about a day to get to the factory, most of the wild people go to sleep for the night, except for the heroine. At midnight, she sees the cable car conductor (a synthetic) use a portable power up machine, similar to the one used by the black market dealers, to power up. However, he doesn't power up once but at least 6 times. The heroine realizes that using the illegal energy gets you addicted and that after some time all the energy in the world wouldn't be able to satisfy the addicts, which leads them to die. She realizes that this is what caused Eve to die. She gets into an argument with the cable car conductor. In his intoxication with the energy, he reveals the The Factory takes "generators" aka wild people who rely on their own energy, and rips the energy out in order to feed it to the city. This is where the energy provided by The Factory comes from. Refusing this fate, the heroine jumps out of the cable car, and survives by using the skills she learned in Overground to navigate the wind currents. She lands in a forest.
In the forest, she discovers more wild people, except they live a more indigenous lifestyle. They are led by the Queen Mother, who supposedly has mystical powers due to the fact that she has a lot of wild energy. The Queen Mother thinks that the heroine will lead her people to ruin and as such wishes to get rid of her. The Queen Mother decides to put the heroine in one on one combat against her apprentice. They are to fight to the death on a frozen over lake. Although the apprentice is a much better fighter, having grown up in the wild, the heroine manages to defeat her by predicting her movements and breaking the ice underneath her. As the apprentice is about to drown, the heroine decides to save her. While at first she thinks that her act would earn her sympathy, she quickly finds that by saving the apprentice in combat, she has greatly dishonored the apprentice and failed her own test. The apprentice is given the title Unnamed and the heroine is forced into another fight, this time with a towering female named The Huntress. The fight takes place on a tall cliff. The heroine realizes she is physically outmatched, and is soon left dangling on the side of the cliff with the Huntress towering above. She predicts the Huntress's strikes and crawls onto a tree sticking out of the side of the mountain. The Huntress follows her, but the tree falls under her weight, taking the Huntress with it. The heroine, using the skills she learned in Overground, glides to safety onto the cliff. The Queen Mother is angered and declares that she will fight the heroine personally.
The fight takes place on top of a fire pit, which somehow doesn't seem to hurt the combatants. In fact, the fire seems to empower the heroine and she defeats the Queen Mother. In her last breaths, the Queen Mother calls the heroine Lana. After the fight, the heroine is dazed and confused until she realizes that Lana is her new name, and she is the new Queen Mother. Lana lives with the indigenous people for sometime, even falling in love with a man named Yariy, and although she doesn't feel like she has any of the mystical powers the Queen Mother was supposed to have, she quickly realizes that her own wild energy is her greatest strength. During her time, the village elder, takes Lana to see the Factory from a distance. Lana sees that the Factory isn't a happy place filled with energy like so many back in the city believed, but a scary large concrete building surrounded by persistent fog. As she sees the cable car regularly coming to and from the Factory she realizes that she has to stop the killing of wild people for energy. The village elder tells her that he thinks that at first, the Factory used to be powered by weather, hence the lightning rods on its roof, but eventually that was abandoned for a different power source. He believes that at the center of the Factory is a giant grey Heart that powers it and the only way to stop the Factory is to get inside and stab the Heart. She gathers a group of willing village people and decides to assault the Factory. Yariy destroys her drum and attempts to convince her that it was an omen to not go through with the plan, but this only angers Lana who declares him a coward and ends their relationship. The next day, Lana and her people attack the Factory, with the intent of attracting electrical currents to the lightning rods to cause lightning to destroy the security system. However, they encounter the Factory's greatest security system: the anti-rhythm, which causes deafening silence around the Factory, and slowly stops a person's living processes completely. The people are hindered in channeling the lightning and by the time Lana is able to destroy the security robots, all of the people who went with her died. The door to the Factory can't close, the body of the village elder blocking it, and Lana is able to enter. She travels through the foggy dark and damp corridors of the Factory in an attempt to find the heart but is knocked out by a mysterious man. Once she wakes up she realizes that the man is the same person who killed the black market dealers but spared her and Eve at the beginning of the story. He explains that the way the illegal energy packets are obtained is that the black market dealers find people addicted to the energy, like the cable car operator or Eve, and drain them of their energy before dumping their body. The energy drained is resold and is so addictive due to it being the energy of a synthetic. The man finds these people to be disgusting and thus kills anybody he can find dealing out the energy. When Lana questions his identity he simply declares that he is the Heart of the Factory.
At first, Lana is imprisoned inside a room with a foldable TV screen with only 3 channels, one of which only works for 20 minutes a day and displays the same telescreen that she used to work in. Soon, the Heart begins to trust her more and lets her out and shows her around. He shows her the view from the top of the factory and shows her the wires running from the factory in the direction of the city. He explains that via these wires, each power up, everybody hooks themselves up to the factory which gives them energy. Lana is on the verge of committing suicide, but the Heart convinces her the life is worth living. He explains that he himself came to the Factory attempting to change something after his wife died due to lack of energy before giving birth to their daughter, but realized that the Factory must keep running in order to keep everybody living, but with less and less wild people, the Factory won't be able to last forever and give everyone energy. He shows Lana several other things. He shows her a computer that he can use to control what is being said on the 20 minute telescreen presentation all the way in the city. He also shows her a cart in the basement of the Factory which runs on the energy of mating slugs. Lana deduces that he uses this cart to get back to the city. The Heart also explains how the Dessicator works. He tells her that the Dessicator is the "oven" of the factory. It's a membrane that will detect the natural vibration of a person, and cause an anti vibration that fills the person, turning them to ashes and leaving the person's pure energy behind which is then absorbed by the factory. His description reminds Lana of the fire pit on which Lana fought with the Queen Mother, and the Heart explains that the fire pit actually transferred all of the Queen Mother's energy into Lana upon Lana's victory.
Once every couple of days, a cable car arrives with new wild people. The Heart and Lana always sit together as they feel the Factory shudder as the Dessicator does its work. The Heart explains that he journeys to the city primarily to see the happy synthetics in order to demonstrate to himself that the work he's doing matters. Eventually, Lana hatches an escape plan. She takes the foldable TV screen the Heart gave her, runs into his room and types a message into his computer "Factory is real, devours human energy. Don't trust the Controllers/Catchers. Search for SYNT - Lana". She sends this message to the telescreen where it is displayed to the entire city. She then runs up to the top of the Factory, with the Heart in pursuit, and then jumps off, using the foldable screen to glide over the antirhythm and out of the Factory. Once outside, she is able to follow a water flow back into the Factory and into the tunnel with the cart used to get back to the city. She activates the cart, however the Heart was expecting this and didn't tell her that she needed to flip a lever in the tunnel, which causes the cart to return to the Factory. The Heart recaptures her, however after more planning Lana decides to escape again. This time she jumps onto a cable car as it's leaving. Suddenly, the cable car conductor is called and asked to look for stowaways. He sees Lana hanging off the side of the car, but chooses not to report her. He drops her off before the cart enters the precinct, and Lana ends up back in the city.
Back in the city, Lana discovers that the Controllers are now patrolling the streets much more actively. She visits the abandoned skyscraper but finds that the wild people aren't there and that Overground has been ransacked. Back in the lower city, she visits a drum shop that was run by a contact who helped the wild people. This time, there is a woman at the counter. When Lana mentions her own name, a Controller immediately arrives and stuns her with a taser. However, instead of taking her to the precinct, he determines that she is indeed Lana and drops her off next to an entrance to the sewers and tells her to climb down. In the sewers, she finds her old friends from Overground who explain that the Controllers raided Overground and they were forced to live in the sewers, which is occupied by its own wild people, the moles. She tells them about her adventures during her absence and explains that SYNT is the name of the organization in charge of the Factory. Her friends explain that ever since she sent that message to the telescreen, the Controllers have been on high alert and searching for Lana, who has become a legend in the city. She goes to another one of the wild people raves where she discovers that she can use her own wild energy to help free synthetics from its dependence.
Lana hatches a plan to take the cable car back to the village where she was Queen Mother and assault the Factory once more. However, most of her friends are captured in a raid. She realizes that she needs to break into SYNT in the next day in order to get on the same cable car that is carrying her friends. Her friend takes her back to the abandoned skyscraper where he gives her a drum. She beats it and people in the other skyscrapers beat back. Eventually, they are able to amass a lot of people who start a riot within the city which draws more and more people guided by the legend of Lana. This guarantees that SYNT will be empty as all of the police are busy handling the riot. As the riot progresses, Lana breaks into SYNT and gets on the cable car with her friends. She wakes them up and once they reach the village, they climb down using rope. Lana enters the village, and as she is still the Queen Mother, the villagers obey her despite many of them believing that Lana caused the deaths of their brothers and fathers. In the crowd, Lana sees Yariy together with a pregnant Unnamed. Despite many people doubting her, all of the grown up children who remember her as a benevolent Queen Mother decide to follow her into battle. As they approach the Factory, the antirhythm engulfs them, however they are able to disable it with their energy and enter the Factory.
In the Factory, Lana approaches the Dessicator and sees the Heart standing next to it. He criticizes her for never settling down even when she had everything, however Lana retorts that she refuses to live in a world where people have to fight for the will to live. At this point the Heart says that she is just like her mother, implying that he is her father. Lana steps onto the Dessicator. Her goal is to overload the Dessicator with wild energy so that it breaks and the Factory doesn't have to kill people anymore to provide energy. Despite her best efforts to maintain her own rhythm despite the membrane filling her with antivibration, she starts weakening. At this point all of her companions jump onto the membrane and each of them starts doing their best to maintain their own rhythm by performing anything that fills them with wild energy such as dancing and playing on drums. The battle starts going much better as the Dessicator starts overloading, but Lana realizes that they won't be able to keep it up for long enough. Suddenly, the Heart jumps onto the center of the membrane and starts channeling his own wild energy. As the Dessicator absorbs him. it overloads, leaving the Heart a pile of ashes and the Dessicator broken. Afterwards Lana sees off her friends by putting them on the same cart that the Heart used to take to the city.
In the epilogue it is revealed that Lana herself provides enough energy to feed the entire city, and that the more she gives, the stronger she becomes. She is the new Heart of the Factory, but she states that the final battle is yet to come, possibly meaning it is up to the population of synthetics to learn how to live again.