“Contact, starboard side, five miles and closing at fifteen knots!” The warning crackled over the intercom speaker in berthing. Hank Foss rolled out of his rack, grabbing for his gear and his rifle. He’d been halfway expecting this alert for days now. Shrugging into his chest rig, he slung the modified M5E1 in front of him as he climbed up out of the berthing, clattering up the metal-grated ladderwell along the starboard side before turning through a narrow hatchway and into the modified command center that they’d built out of about half the galley. Space aboard the Jacqueline Q was at a premium, as large as she was. The Triarii command center consisted of three laptops on a table, with charts, maps, and printed imagery tacked up on the bulkheads. Right then, Cole Spencer, Hank’s second in command and his closest friend, was studying the laptop that showed their current drone overwatch feed. “What have we got?” Hank was tall and spare of frame, with a lean, hatchet face and black hair starting to show some gray at the temples. Having retired from the Marine Corps as a Gunnery Sergeant before joining the Triarii, he was surprised there wasn’t a
Lines of Demarcation Stiffen Within the United States Following the fighting in south Texas, internecine clashes between domestic groups and even states themselves within the United States have seemingly intensified. While rioting has broken out anew in multiple cities, protesting the activities of the right-wing militia known as “The Triarii,” as well as the Texas state government’s cooperation with them, federal authorities have begun intensive investigations into the actions of the Texas governor, as well as what appears to be full-scale war preparations on the part of the Triarii. Support or opposition for the investigation has fallen out along largely state and partisan lines, though several of the Middle American states that have opposed it have large urban populations that have protested their state governments’ stance on the matter. The current—and continuing—disruption of power grids and supply chains has become yet another source of friction, contributing to the spreading chaos. Rumors abound of federal task forces preparing to move into the dissident states, while militias and even state National Guard units are being mobilized to respond. The rumors about open armed clashes between Triarii and People’s Revolutionary Action in several “border states” have yet to be confirmed. A hard
Chaos spreads across the galaxy… …The Galactic Unity seems unstoppable. How can an unprepared galaxy oppose them? With Valdek behind them, Centurion Scalas and the Caractacan Brotherhood face the Unity’s challenge head-on. But this war has been planned for a long time. And the Unity has more weapons than just their vast clone armies. As brushfires erupt across the galaxy, the Brotherhood and their allies must move quickly to band together before they fall one at a time. But can they stand against this juggernaut? This one turns the scale of things up; the action isn’t limited to just one world or star system this time. The war is spreading, and the action is accordingly widespread. I’ve grumped before that Star Wars lost the sense of scale as soon as they started going back to Tatooine again, and again, and again. I hope you’ll enjoy this massive space war story. The next chapter is coming soon. The Alliance Rises is out on Kindle today
If not for many years of discipline, Centurion Erekan Scalas would have been stifling a yawn behind his visor. The Regonese flock leaders, war chiefs, and politicians had been talking at Brother Legate Dravus Maruks for three hours, while Scalas and his other three brother Centurions had stood by and listened. If not for the climate controls in the Caractacan Brothers’ combat armor, they would have been freezing in the cold, whispering winds that sifted across Kego City’s Peace Plaza. Maruks had his helmet off, and his squarish, sun-blasted face was red with cold and wind-burn. Maruks looked tired. As well he might. Regone was the fifth such system that the Avar Sector Legio of the Caractacan Brotherhood had needed to visit recently. It seemed that every brush fire in the galaxy was flaring up since Valdek had fallen to the so-called “Galactic Unity,” two thousand hours before. The Brother Legate was in the midst of telling the gathered Regonese leaders that the Caractacan Brotherhood was not a mercenary company that they could hire to crush the Exiles on the third planet. The fifty, three-meter-tall avian nashai gathered around him at the base of the towering stone spire that formed
While Russian “volunteers,” such as those who inexplicably showed up in Crimea in 2014, without insignia and with full Russian Army gear and weapons, are known as “Little Green Men,” the Chinese have their own equivalent at sea. Sometimes called “Little Blue Men,” the People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia have come to provide a “Gray Zone” force multiplier for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in the contested areas of the Western Pacific. The backbone of Communist Chinese maritime force has long been the maritime militias, largely out of necessity. The PLAN was hardly a force to be reckoned with in the late ’40s and onward. Much of the PRC’s coastal defense was militia, in keeping with Mao’s emphasis on guerrilla warfare. However, in recent years, with some pointing to Xi Jinping’s visit to the Tanmen Militia in 2013 as an impetus, the PAFMM has become more of a force projection instrument, particularly based around Hainan, Guangdong, and Guangxi. Divided into “primary” and “reserve” units, the maritime militia isn’t as equipped as the PLAN, but it is expected to do a great deal, particularly in the South China Sea. Since the PRC claims a number of islands in the Spratly and
There are two story arcs in The Unity Wars. The Defense of Provenia begins the second, from a very different point of view than the Caractacan Brothers we met in The Fall of Valdek. He’s about to get his first taste of combat… …And he thinks that it’s the most awful thing he’s ever seen. He’s about to find out what real horror is. Gaumarus Pell has never heard of Valdek, or the Galactic Unity. To him, the rebels on his own world are enough of a threat. But a greater threat lurks in the shadows. The rebels unleash an atrocity that the Provenians have never seen before. Shock ripples across the face of the planet and, soon, they will have far worse to face than the rebels. A nightmare descends from deep space. If he survives, Gaumarus will have to make a choice. A choice that could change the face of the galaxy. Don’t miss the next episode in the epic Military Science Fiction adventure, as the galaxy gets bigger! It’s perfect for fans of Rick Partlow, Jay Allan, and Galaxy’s Edge. Get it now.
The Defense of Provenia takes a slightly different tack from The Fall of Valdek. There are two arcs in The Unity Wars, and they will come together in the end. He’s about to get his first taste of combat… …And he thinks that it’s the most awful thing he’s ever seen. He’s about to find out what real horror is. Gaumarus Pell has never heard of Valdek, or the Galactic Unity. To him, the rebels on his own world are enough of a threat. But a greater threat lurks in the shadows. The rebels unleash an atrocity that the Provenians have never seen before. Shock ripples across the face of the planet and, soon, they will have far worse to face than the rebels. A nightmare descends from deep space. If he survives, Gaumarus will have to make a choice. A choice that could change the face of the galaxy. The Defense of Provenia is out on Kindle and Paperback today.
The halftrack grumbled to a halt with a lurch; the driver was clearly new, and hadn’t yet gotten used to the slightly different handling. In the turret above, Mertens was knocked against the double coilgun and swore. “Who let that fumble-fingered nuyak drive?” Mertens demanded, his voice muffled by armor plating. “He needs the road time,” Corporal Gaumarus Pell replied. “I remember your first few musters, Mertens. Don’t make me start telling stories.” There was a general chuckle through the halftrack’s troop compartment at that. Gaumarus looked around at his section. Well, not his section. Sergeant Verlot was the section leader. Gaumarus was just a fireteam leader. He was glad he’d gotten a chuckle though. It had broken some of the tension, and he’d actually managed to relax a little bit himself. On most days, he was responsible for two thousand acres of tillage on the Pell Family farm, both supervising the human workers and the remote tractors. The humans were easy; it was the bots that made him want to tear his hair out. Even after centuries of computer development, they were still frustratingly glitchy, overly literal mechanisms, that could plow up two months’ worth of crops in an
Today is the day. The Fall of Valdek is live once again. Starships plunge through a powerful blockade… …Below them, a world burns. Is the galaxy soon to follow? Centurion Scalas and his brothers ride the thundering ships toward the surface. Some of the finest and most respected warriors in the galaxy. Their code is strict: If you target the innocent…You will fall. But the horrific foe descending from deep space isn’t like anything they’ve faced before. Can they hope to stand against the rising new power in the galaxy? The Fall of Valdek is now available on Kindle and Paperback.
The dropship came to rest with a barely noticeable thump. It wasn’t so much a landing as a docking; the anchor cables had just been reeled all the way back in. The hatches folded away silently; the dropship’s troop compartment had been depressurized all the way in, the twenty-man squad of Caractacan Brothers sealed in their armor and plugged into the dropship’s life support to spare the air supplies in their sustainment packs. As the hatches opened, all twenty men unplugged their packs from the hoses attached to their acceleration couches. They had landed on the dark side, the asteroid’s bulk masking sun and planets alike. The stars were brilliant pinpoints of light against an otherwise pitch-black emptiness, shining bright and hard with the crisp clarity of total vacuum. With the dropship’s drives pointed at it, the asteroid appeared to be “down,” as much as that direction had any meaning in microgravity. Gripping his VK-40 assault shotgun in one hand, Squad Sergeant Erekan Scalas found the control arm for his maneuvering unit with the other. “Keep close to the surface, combat dispersion,” he told his squad, as he jetted out of the hatch. The asteroid designated Akela-Z84 was far too