I've finished chapter 7 of the first draft of The Path and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
This chapter gives some insights on why and how the human race spread from earth amongst the stars, and hints at a war long long ago in which Earth was destroyed. I plan to eventually write a book about that war, or rather the civil war amongst humanity afterward, but it'll be a long time in the future before I get around to that, so I'll give a little background. About 150 years in our future scientists discover alien ruins on a newly colonized world with instructions to creating a Jump Drive, which allowes instantaneous travel between two points in space. They built it, but got it a bit wrong because their translation computers were not perfect in translating hte alien writing. The result was that when the Jump Drive was activated, it tore a hole in the universe to a different plain of reality where beings of pure energy lived. Seeing our universe they began flooding through the tear and wiping the human race out, taking our worlds for themselves. They could easily read human minds and they quickly learned what frightened us, using the forms of biblical demons in psychological warfare, and those of angels broadcasting that god had sent them to exterminate his mistake of hte human race. So the humans started calling them Demons, and their dimension the Netherworld. eventually the humans developed weapons capable of affecting beings of pure energy, and the Demons were pressed back, but the breech between our two universes was never completely sealed. There are thin places where Humans can be pulled into the Netherworld, and where Demons can be brought into this universe by trapping their energy and consciousness into flesh. This is where Heretics and all that come from in the worlds of Spires of Infinity. Eventually the Jump Drives were perfected and the human race scattered throughout the universe exploring and colonizing countless worlds.
I also had an interesting idea with this chapter. What would happen when a world is colonized, and then all the people with the educations, the engineers, scientists, doctors and such died off? Would they train more to take their place, or would technology begin to degrade and disappear? I think that without outside contact with a larger civilization, recieving teachers, teaching materials, and supplies, that civilization would eventually degrade back to pre-electric times, and basically start over again, with the people discovering for themselves what makes electricity and electronics work rather than standing on the shoulders of long dead scientists taht no one remembers anymore.
There are also some further insights into Sam's character here, like her complete lack of modesty. When I first concieved of her character I was trying to make the most over the top offensive woman that Gabriel had ever met. And once I'd done that I had to go back and bactrack on her character and come up for motives as to WHY she was the way that she was. She acts like a total slob to make herself less appealing to rapists, for instance. In this chapter you find out that she doesn't care if she's seen naked by anyone because that's how she grew up. She lived on the streets. She had no money for clothing until she met Mister Mittens, and so she had to make due with rags that didn't always cover everything that needed covering for modesty's sake. When you don't have access to clothing that covers all of your naughty bits, you either learn not to be affected by people seeing them, or you live in a cave out of the way of other people's eyes your entire life. She is still outraged at invasions into her privacy, but if she's showing it, she doesn't care who sees it.