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
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
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,
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
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.
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
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
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
We were only about half a block away from Saint Augustine’s Church when the explosion shattered the morning calm. I saw the ugly black cloud of dust, smoke, and debris billow out from around the corner a fraction of a second before the ground shook with the tooth-rattling boom. Scott and I dove between a van and a box truck, getting into the questionable cover of a crooked brick wall that bordered the narrow lawn on the side of the street. I glanced up at the clear, cold, blue sky, scanning between the barren branches above for fast movers. My hand had instinctively moved for the pistol under my jacket, even though there wasn’t a blessed thing I could do with it if the EDC was bombing Wroclaw. The sky was clear, though, and no more explosions followed that first big one. Instead, gunfire rattled down the street near the church, and yells and screams split the morning air as the smoke rose higher in the sky. Scott and I looked at each other for a second before we both drew our weapons. I pulled the radio out of my back pocket. “Chatty, Deacon,” I called. “Contact at St. Augustine’s.
So, some of you might have noticed a bit of a kerfuffle around SPOTREPS – A Maelstrom Rising Anthology during the last couple of days. Someone (identity unknown and uninvestigated due to a complete lack of giving a damn) pulled a drive-by on the reviews within the first few hours after it went live. Most of their one-star review was gibberish. Mike Kupari had to look some of the nonsense jargon up. Turns out, the “reviewer” (who most likely did not like the book and had a grudge against one or another of the authors) was using specifically “ethno-nationalist” terms. Their bitch was that we didn’t buy into the idea that the only viable foundation for a nation-state is race. That a republic based on the Natural Law and the equality of all under the law was “magic” and in no way preferable to Marxism and Communism. Larry Correia promptly rubbed his big hands in glee and turned his considerable fanbase loose. We call it a “Hooning.” (Long story.) Many bought the book out of sheer spite. If the racist punk who tried to drag it through the mud was hoping to damage the anthology, their hatred had the opposite