The Birthday Present (with Millhaven Castle) is a pair of novelettes about a future gone wrong for a millennium. It is set 1000 years after the dystopian era that appears in the Palladia Series books. GMF mutants, once created as improved versions of humans who could aid the world, have nearly annihilated human beings while their leader Emperor Aure, rules over a gray and autocratic society called Aure’s Dominion—in short, the Earth if humans had zero say in how it should look. But in a world in which almost everyone has many memories of anger and injustice, the lines between the two sides can get really blurry. Lucy, a self-centered human who strays wherever she shouldn’t (The Birthday Present), and Alyce, an unselfish mutant who is always responsible (Millhaven Castle) both oppose the rulers of the future in their own way. Both own items that could resolve centuries-old disputes as it turns out even the glum, corrupt Dominion isn’t invincible after all. It has gone stale with repression and hatred and there’s an absolute guarantee the unexpected will catch it off guard.