Thunder Run Chapter 1

Thunder Run Chapter 1

Chris was on point, about five yards ahead of me, when he suddenly froze and put up a clenched fist. I followed suit instantly. When you’re in hostile territory, you pay attention to what your point man does. While every man in a small team has to be alert at all times, the point man is the team’s eyes and ears. And while we were still on the Polish side of the line, I definitely considered where we were “hostile territory.” Staying in place, I scanned the woods around us carefully. We’d switched night vision in the last month, having gotten a new supply shipment in when the convoys carrying the Army in had arrived. I wasn’t entirely sure about losing the thermal capability, but the clarity and the depth perception the PS-31s provided were a lot better. Unfortunately, even with the better NVGs, I couldn’t see what had prompted Chris to halt. The woods were dark, despite the faint lights from Mamonovo about two and a half miles to the north. We’d picked a new moon on purpose. The PS-31s turned the darkness into pale grays, but they couldn’t show me what I didn’t have a line of sight

Thunder Run Prologue

Thunder Run Prologue

Calls for Terrorism Hearings Concerning Texas Representative Amelia Anderson-Pugnoli has openly called for hearings in Congress regarding the recent clashes in West Texas which saw the Texas National Guard seize control of the West Texas oilfields. She and the nearly one hundred twenty Representatives who back her have said that the actions of Texas Governor Hollis, the Texas National Guard, and the right-wing organization that calls itself “The Triarii” amounted to insurrection and international terrorism. “This kind of violence amounts to nothing less than a betrayal of everything America stands for! Texas is not a sovereign country, and even if it were, the attacks on international companies and Mexican nationals are crimes against humanity, and must be punished.” Governor Hollis has issued no statement at this time. Violence Continues on West Coast   Seattle is in flames again tonight, this time in reaction to the alleged killing of a local community activist near Capitol Hill. While the Capitol Hill area has been an epicenter for unrest since 2020, the latest spate of violence appears to be between several local activist groups. As this article goes live, it is still unclear what prompted the latest dispute, but it may have been

Crimson Star is on Audio!

Crimson Star is on Audio!

So, audio has been a tricky proposition for me. Last year, Tantor Media hit me up about the audio rights for Escalation and Holding Action. This was a big deal, so far as I know, so I jumped at it. Only to be rather let down by the result. Despite what they’d told me, Tantor apparently didn’t do anything to promote the books, so they’ve languished. Which led to silence when I asked about continuing with Crimson Star. Well, if you want something done right, do it yourself. Cody Parcell did the audio for Kill Yuan, and he did a bang-up job of it. So, he and I worked out a deal to get Crimson Star done. It’s taken some time–audio is a lot of work–and the quality control check took a long time, but it’s finally done, and it’s finally up. And Cody is currently working on Strategic Assets (he went the extra mile when it came to Mandarin pronunciations in Kill Yuan, and he’s doing the same with the Polish in Strategic Assets.) They call themselves Soldados de Aztlan. The Mexican cartels have a foothold in Phoenix. Can Hank’s team put down the movement? All around the globe, tensions mount. While Matt’s team heads off to

Fortress Doctrine is In Effect

Fortress Doctrine is In Effect

The U.S. teeters on the precipice… …Chaos reigns, as enemies foreign and domestic circle like sharks. Can any part of the Republic be saved? Hank and his section have been reconstituted in the aftermath of the coastal fighting that has seen many—though not all—of the Chinese invaders beaten back. The plot to control the West Coast ports and a good deal of the infrastructure has failed. But the lights are still off. And desperation is spreading like wildfire. America—what remains of it—has been hurt. Badly. And the Triarii are at the forefront of the efforts to try to stabilize the situation. Because the US will need some kind of stability before the external enemies that have nearly brought it to its knees can be confronted. Fortress Doctrine is in effect. But the Triarii are spread as thin as their allies. Hank will have to adapt quickly to a new form of warfare. And outmaneuver enemies he doesn’t even know exist yet… Some of you are probably already aware, as the Kindle version would have downloaded during the night. But Fortress Doctrine is live today, on Kindle and paperback. Research for this one got into some stuff that I hadn’t done a

Fortress Doctrine Chapter 2

Fortress Doctrine Chapter 2

The fact that the Triarii trucks were running blacked out probably saved their lives. Most of the stream of fire went high, bullets cracking over Bishop’s head, though a few smacked into the hood, front fender, and frame with earsplitting bangs. Two rounds punched through the windshield, spiderwebbing the glass. A hammer blow hit Reisinger in the helmet. He almost lost control of the vehicle as his head was smacked partway around, throwing his NVGs off. “Fuck!” The bellow was the only way Hank knew that his driver was still alive. He’d heard the impact and seen Reisinger’s head jerk under the blow, but unless they dealt with that belt-fed, they were all dead. Bishop hadn’t waited, but immediately opened fire. The Mk 48 roared for a second, before Reisinger jerked the wheel as he got hit, throwing Bishop’s aim off. Shell casings rattled off the truck’s roof as it swerved hard to the right. Hank reached out to grab the wheel, more afraid of a rollover than getting shot. But Reisinger was still holding onto the wheel, and rapidly getting control again, though he was still swerving toward the right-hand shoulder. He was clearly not happy. “Fuck, fuck, fuck,

Fortress Doctrine Chapter 1

Fortress Doctrine Chapter 1

It was starting to get chilly as the last of the sunset faded away. Hank Foss didn’t shiver as he walked down toward Overwatch Three, but he could feel the desert chill sinking into his bones. The nearness to the river only accentuated it. It wasn’t near freezing yet, but mid-forties in the desert at night can still sap body heat quickly. Getting old. He had to admit that he wasn’t quite as robust as a retired Gunny as he’d been as a hard-charging Lance Corporal. The cold bit a little more, his knees ached a lot more, and it took more effort to get up, whether in the morning or the middle of the night. But I ain’t dead yet. And there’s still work to be done. The gravel crunched underfoot as he and Huntsman walked down Paul Estevez’s driveway. The Rio Grande river valley was deathly quiet in the winter evening, making the sound of their footsteps strangely loud. Even the wind was barely a whisper. A coyote yipped and howled in the distance, but there was no telling how far away it was in the otherwise unbroken desert silence. The lights were off. Texas had fared somewhat

Fortress Doctrine Prologue

Fortress Doctrine Prologue

To: [email protected]   From: [email protected]   Subject: Current Situation Brief   Sir, As requested, I’m including an overview of the last month’s significant events. As you are well aware, the Stateside situation is still volatile, and while we have troops in contact overseas, the information we are getting from Poland is necessarily sparse. As we continue to build our own radio mesh network, that should change, but the Transatlantic gap will still throttle information, simply due to the nature of long-range HF comms. So, the bulk of this report will focus on the CONUS situation. Both coasts and many of the major Midwestern and Southwestern metro areas continue to present significant operational and logistical challenges. While we have eliminated several of the IED cells that had all but brought long-range transport to a halt in many states, we still assess the threat on many major interstates as high. Another truck bomb was detonated on I-5 just south of Tacoma two days ago as of this writing, killing at least fifty people, wounding close to a hundred more, and destroying three semis loaded with food and medical supplies. The IED cells, however, while a significant threat, are not the only factor.

The “Fourth Balkan War” and the Real World

The “Fourth Balkan War” and the Real World

I admittedly haven’t worked out a lot of the details of the Fourth Balkan War. It’s part of the background, though largely as combat experience for a number of the veterans who form the backbone of the Triarii.   The general sweep is that it was, essentially, NATO’s last gasp, trying to defuse a powder keg situation between Kosovo and Serbia, based on news reports a couple years ago about Kosovo seeking to build it’s own army–to Belgrade’s rather strident objections.   In-universe, obviously, the powder keg was *mostly* defused. Though it was a lot nastier than most people Stateside got to see.   Yet, looking at the overall real-world situation in the Balkans right now, as Shirvan of Caspian Report outlines it, the Fourth Balkan War could very easily have turned into the flashpoint that started the Maelstrom Rising series. Not only do you have a large Muslim population–and while it seems to have been mostly supplanted by Chechnya in the popular consciousness, Bosnia-Herzegovina has been a prime recruiting ground for Al Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra, and Daesh–but increasingly Russian, European, and Chinese interests have turned toward the Balkans. It is still possible that a flare-up in the Balkans now would see

Go Behind the Lines – Strategic Assets is Out!

Go Behind the Lines – Strategic Assets is Out!

And it’s time for our second release of the month. Strategic Assets went live at midnight. A few people of the paperback persuasion have already ordered it, since the paperback went live several days early. They retook Gdansk… …At a terrible cost for both sides. Where and when will the next blow fall? Winter is setting in, and Eastern Europe is hurting.  Russians prowl on one side, while the European Defense Council’s forces sit on the German side of the border, strangely quiet.  Matt and his team have recovered from the wounds they received in Gdansk, but as low-intensity warfare continues, the question remains: What is the EDC waiting for? The Triarii are sure that the same people who launched the war aren’t giving up.  They’ve already killed thousands.  Power is their only goal, and the EDC won’t simply leave the Americans and Poles in peace.  They can’t.  Too much blood has already been shed. So, Matt and his team get a new mission. Go deep into enemy territory and find out what is happening. Before the next hammer blow ends the war for good…   Getting back to Grex Luporum Team X in Europe, this one’s a little different from

Strategic Assets Chapter 2

Strategic Assets Chapter 2

Nine men with weapons and gear made for a tight fit in the little van. We ended up stacked up on the street as each man piled in, trying to climb into a seat without getting rifle or pouches snagged on seats, seatbelts, or door frames. Chris was already in the driver’s seat, looking over his shoulder as I climbed into the right seat. I didn’t have to worry about the crowding; privilege of command. Chris had the heater running full blast, and I was already sweating under my jacket, despite the cold. “Come on, come on!” Chris was a bit older than I was, but he tended to be a bit more excitable. He’d been a SEAL before the Triarii, but he was now a minister in some splinter Protestant church, and an all-around nice guy. “They’re moving while we’re still sitting here!” The van rocked on its shocks as nine big men in combat gear clambered aboard. I was trying to watch every direction at once, scanning windows and doors all around us. While the obvious threat might have run to the south, I’d learned a long time before that there was rarely only one threat, and the