The Book of Darwin is a story by Joe Gunnarson and that details the Christmas vacation taken by Outcast Corner in Koala and Razorback's native Australia. It follows Ashes and Steel and precedes Small Mercies.
Chapter 1 (Recovery and Redemption)
During the night, Caitlin meets Kuparr, an old man who keeps watch over the mystic aspects of Urulu. Kuparr guides her to the place she had felt was disturbing the flow of magic. It turns out to be an Artificer's Forge, left there from the time of the Five Fold Court. Caitlin collects three items as gifts for her friends. She doesn't collect anything for Kuparr, partly because his people are not particularly oriented toward artifacts, and partly because the style is too different from native style for these to be "native artifacts" to be believable. She then snuffs the eternal flame due to the danger the forge's continued existence poses, leaving the forge to disintegrate.
The Outcasts have a fun day at the Uluru resort, and finally tell each other the secrets they have been keeping. Caitlin isn't too surprised at finding that Razor and Diamond have changed genders, but the other three are shocked at finding Caitlin's original identity.
At night, Sandra has trouble sleeping, and finally breaks free of the bindings Weaver placed on her as a protective measure. She fully awakens to her shamanic powers, finding out that her right eye, controlled by the "Ryan" part of her mind, was capable of seeing magic and the spirit world. Kumarr meets her and teaches her the basics of her dual nature.
On December 21, after returning to Darwin, the Outcasts take part of the Rager's Night March in remembrance of the events eight years previously, when Connor Edwards lost control and killed dozens of people, only being stopped by the Dragonslayers. Caitlin is wracked with guilt from her part on the tragedy, but Joe gives her emotional support.
Chapter 2 (Death of a Year)
On December 23, while doing some last-minute Christmas shopping, the Outcasts witness a band of thieves headed by a man in a power frame robbing jewelry shops in broad daylight. Jericho reports the crime in progress, but soon the situation is exacerbated by the arrival of a group of superpowered teenagers to engage the robbers. The Outcasts initially restrict themselves to crowd control and civilian protection, but when it becomes obvious that neither the robbers nor the superteens are competent enough to end the firefight soon, they request permission to intervene. Once permission is received, they quickly neutralize both sides for the police to pick up.
On Christmas, everybody opens their presents, including the three that Caitlin retrieved from the Forge: an Adamant shield for Joe, a snake-shaped training tool/familiar for Sandra and an elven music box for Jack. When Razorback experiments the calming effect of the elven music, Sandra realizes that Jack is in fact an Avatar and that his shape is result of his spirit being too strong for his Hallow.
On the last day of the year, Debra Carlyle takes all the kids to the movies. Afterwards, however, they have a surprise beyond unpleasant: Doctor Reaper attacks Darwin, intent on killing at least 80% of the city's population. The Outcasts immediately proceed to help people evacuate.
With the unexpected help of Dr. Diabolik, who happened to be shopping there, the Outcasts manage to take down Goggmagogg, Reaper's demonic ally. Meanwhile, the Overwatch Defense Force was confronting Reaper directly, wearing him down while suffering heavy losses. Eventually, Diabolik and Eldritch go attack Dr. Reaper directly, with the help of Unverziehen. They manage to steal his scythe and hurt him enough for him to run away, but not before Reaper murdered Unverziehen and more than half of the Overwatch, including Hammerhead and Thundercall, who was Koala's mother, and seriously injuring Koala's father.
On January 3, a group of seriously traumatized teenagers returns to Whateley, being immediately taken for counseling. At night, Sandra wakes up to catch a Caliban messing with her roommate Psydoe. She goes on a rampage, killing every Caliban—and unattached spirit—that she can find in Whitman Cottage, including the one that had been manipulating Mrs. Savage. Dr. Bellows and Fubar take three hours to calm her down.
Next day, Jericho surprises Jadis Diabolik with a hug and a message of thanks to her father, promising her help if she ever needs it.
Meanwhile, Doctor Reaper recovers, planning his next attack... on Chicago.
- Outcast Corner
- Koala “Spider”
- Katja Vilenkov MCO Liaison
- Turner family Joe Turner’s family
- Carlyle family Razorback’s family
- Kuparr Something … or someone … else
- Gaia’s Daughters
- Terra-Valeria, Firstborn
- Terra-Verdanis, Secondborn
- Terra-Kashaly, Thirdborn, and eventually Anomaly
- Terra-Nocturne, Fourthborn
- Connor Edwards - Rager, Rager’s Night
- Outback Fury Half-baked teenage hero team. See Small Mercies for description.
- Mega-Death (Mentioned)
- Doctor Reaper Real Big Bad
- Doctor Diabolik
- Gogg and Magogg
- Overwatch Defense Force
- GunRunner (is he an Overwatch member or a Villain)?
- Unverziehen Unforgiven in German.
- Alfred Bellows
- Elizabeth Carson
- Oscar Bardue “Gunny” Bardue
- Psydoe Trisha, Diamondback’s roommate
- Trish Savage Mrs. Savage, Whitman house mother
- She-Beast Jadis Diabolik