A Protracted Game: An Introduction

A bloody and protracted game has begun. Are you ready?
For readers looking for a trigger warning won't get one before reading this story. I believe in portraying violence, ugliness, niceties, and the like in a realistic manner. With that said, if you don't like stories with violence, some gore, or language that isn't censored, you need to reconsider reading this Web serial.

In the near future, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and the definition of human are being stretched to their very limits. Humanity has spread out amongst the planets, moons, asteroids, and comets of the solar system, fashioning together new societies and new opportunities, but the stars beyond are still outside of our reach.

Old and new geopolitical blocs are seeking to dominate the new order beyond Earth and Luna. One such bloc, codenamed the Alliance, recruits Yang Ru to destabilize Mars, in hopes of securing a political and economic foothold on that planet. Yang Ru’s work stokes the flames of civil war on Mars. Two factions emerge, Colonel Valesquez’s 508th Vanguard and Zeyk Duval’s Concerned Citizenry, claiming ownership over the direction of Mars’ uncertain future.

As Mars burns, the violence begins rippling outward. The Alliance and the Alliance’s adversaries begin posturing and readying for bloody and protracted shadow wars throughout the Verse.

To make matters worse, an emerging (and sentient) artificial intelligence, named Osmanthus, is on the rise, infecting computer systems and infrastructure, making her presence known and felt. The warring factions see Osmanthus as a potential ally and weapon in their war for dominance, and they attempt to recruit her for their respective causes. Others, such as the mega church known as the Brethren and Sistren of the Abrahamic Faiths, hope to convert, destroy, or help Osma, as she grows and blossoms into something either uniquely human or something else altogether.

A Protracted Game, a space opera/sci-fi Web serial, is an account of the next steps in humanity’s evolution, as witnessed by Osmanthus, those who built her, those who wish to control her, those who wish to escape her ominous presence, and those caught in the crossfire.


A Protracted Game hopes to release at least two to three new installments each week. New installments are free for those who want to read them, and bonus episodes, which will come later, will be the only paid postings on this Website.

Current Release Schedule. New installments for A Protracted Game will be released two times per week: Fridays and Saturdays. All new installments will be released at 23:00 (MST). Bonus episodes will be featured every other Sunday, and they will be released at 23:00 (MST) as well.


To begin reading A Protracted Game, you only need to begin by starting 1.1.0, which is the first installment of this Web serial.

Chapters will be labeled as follows: Book#(period)Part#(Period)Chapter# OR 1.1.0.


We all read on computers and electronic screens, so we all can appreciate a chance to get away from those screens. I have made an executive decision to offer free access to the electronic files (i.e., .pdfs) for each installment. You will need to use the following password to access each installment through OneDrive: Gh0$t$urF3r220z. A list of installment files can be found here. If you have trouble accessing the files, please feel free to contact me at gmichaelrapp@gmail.com.


Please note: This Web serial is copyrighted (2019-2020) by G. Michael Rapp. All rights reserved.


Thank you for your support, and thank you for reading A Protracted Game.