When career-driven Apryl Sallow’s shipments of rhodium start coming back light, it doesn’t take long for the Induna, governing body of United Africa, to take notice. The rare mineral is a base requirement for global technology, and nobody provides more than partially-terraformed Mars. Apryl wants to pick up Admiral, but unless she fixes the problem she can’t even be considered. To make matters worse, Apryl’s abusive ex-fiance somehow has risen to become the new Enze, or supreme leader, of Mars — and has a weapon that controls the destructive power of gravity.
Apryl’s future hinges on her ability to convince her ex to finally give her up and to reconvene rhodium shipments to United Africa. But when she makes it to Mars to begin negotiations, she realizes the cold truth: her ex isn’t just negotiating for rhodium.
Apryl finds herself reliving familiar patterns, this time with an entire world in the balance. Will Apryl reclaim her career by re-opening the rhodium trade routes? Or will she sacrifice her freedom to save all she holds dear?
A tantalizing cocktail of deception, betrayal, and black holes, Southern Highlands follows the tradition of Ghosts of Mars by John Carpenter, with a touch of John Woo’s Broken Arrow.