Broken Angels (novel)
|Author||Richard K. Morgan|
|Publisher||Victor Gollancz Ltd|
|20 March 2003|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
ISBN 0-345-45771-4 (Paperback)
|Preceded by||Altered Carbon|
|Followed by||Woken Furies|
Some 30 years after Altered Carbon, Takeshi Kovacs is now serving in Carrera's Wedge, a mercenary organization that joins a corporate war on a distant planet, Sanction IV, fighting the rebellion against the corporate-sponsored government. Pilot Jan Schneider recruits Kovacs to help him lay claim to a buried Martian artifact that opens a portal linked to a point in outer space where a Martian starship lies. Kovacs and Schneider rescue Tanya Wardani, the archaeologue who coordinated the pre-war dig, from a prison camp. Unable to reach the heavily contested location alone, Kovacs enlists the support of one of the major companies involved in feeding the war, the Mandrake Corporation, which is represented by an executive named Matthias Hand.
Kovacs and Hand select an elite squad of soldiers from a pile of cortical stacks. Hand secretly leaks information that prompts the rebels to drop nuclear bombs on the city of Sauberville close to the site, which clears the site of opposing forces and the recovery expedition begins. While Wardani works on reactivating the artifact, the party is slowly poisoned by radioactive fallout from the blast, someone sabotages the beacons necessary to claim the starship, and a mass of evolving composite nanodes approaches the dig site. Once she is able to activate the portal, the nanode mass deactivates, though it is clear that a rival in the Mandrake corporation seeks to lay claim to the Martian ship.
The party goes through the portal and finds a huge and inactive Martian starship, along with the bodies of Tanya's original archaeologue team. Suspecting that Schneider is the saboteur, Kovacs confronts him. Schneider flees in the shuttle they arrived in, triggering a detonation that Kovacs had set up and blowing the shuttle up.
During their exploration, the Martian starship is attacked by an unknown starship which causes its automated defence systems to come online. During the attack the party begins to experience visions and emotions from the dead Martians and comes close to madness. Hand realises the danger and orders Kovacs to shoot the others with a stunning weapon to render them unconscious.
After the battle is over, Isaac Carrera and a Wedge unit arrive and imprison the remaining members of the squad. Since one member of this squad, Sutjiadi, is wanted as a traitor, the Wedge opt to torture him to death. During this public execution, Kovacs frees his squad and kills the Wedge unit. Kovacs then follows Carrera through the portal and kills him.
Kovacs realises that Tanya Wardani sabotaged the first archaeological team after discovering that they wanted to use the Martian ship as a weapon. She was responsible for the bodies they found, as well as the destroyed equipment in the shuttle. She decides to stay and oversee the recovery of the portal while Kovacs trades the rights to the Martian ship for safe passage out of the war zone for the surviving members of his team, who leave for the Latimer system.