Power Vacuum Chapter 2

Power Vacuum Chapter 2

Almost cut off. Chris stomped on the brake and slewed the wheel over, throwing Gorman and David against me as I was crushed against the inside of the door. A moment later, he stomped on the gas again, struggling slightly against the sluggish weight of the armored vehicle, roaring up Am Pumpwerk, around the back of the “Autohaus” at the intersection. The other vehicles followed, chased by bullets and at least one rocket, which skipped off the pavement, as the idiot shooting it apparently tried to compensate for recoil that wasn’t there. We didn’t get far, though. A black UAZ Hunter roared out into the middle of the road in front of us, the doors flying wide and an HK21 sticking out through the “V” of the door on the right. The machinegun opened up with a ripping, staccato thunder. The gunner wasn’t very good, fortunately, and rounds sailed over our vehicle with a snarling crackle, but this wasn’t going to end well. We might be able to push past that Hunter, but then a moment later, two more shooters with LAWs came around the back. We weren’t going to dodge those rockets, even if they flinched. “Get out, get

Power Vacuum Chapter 1

Power Vacuum Chapter 1

I hate PSD work. One of the benefits of being in the Grex Luporum teams is that we can be mobile and unpredictable, moving quickly and often invisibly through the AO to get the mission done. When the mission is to act as a Personal Security Detachment, escorting a public figure, though, especially one who might end up becoming the next Prime Minister of Germany, it gets harder to stay unpredictable. Which was why I wasn’t all that surprised when the lead vehicle blew up just short of the bridge over the Ochtum. The armored Land Rover disappeared into a boiling black cloud that slammed out of the trees on the side of the road, the heavy thud of the detonation traveling through the ground toward us. I caught a glimpse of the vehicle a moment later, slewed halfway around with its back wheels against the median, the armored glass starred and a few hundred frag holes punched into the doors, as I keyed my radio. “Contact, right.” The Land Rover that had been hit cracked its doors, the Germans who formed the bulk of Wenzeslaus Gorman’s official PSD sticking their MP7s out through the “V” and covering down on

Badass or Buffoon? INFOSEC and Going Gray

The Europe of Power Vacuum has changed considerably. So has the war. The Triarii’s operational constraints have changed with the situation, and Matt and his Grex Luporum team have to adjust and reset to many of the tactics and techniques they had to use Stateside, before the war kicked off in earnest. There’s a lot more gray man stuff in Power Vacuum, so I’m happy to bring a guest post from Steve Tarani about how INFOSEC and physicality are a part of truly going gray. In today’s world of open-source accessible information, perception is reality. People look at your physical and digital footprint and may think ‘Hey what’s this person all about.’ Whether you are aware of it or not, how you are perceived by potential predators, opportunists, co-workers, family members, passers-by, social media monitors and others, is what contributes to their subjective evaluation.  Badass or Buffoon? Steve Tarani Ranging from the bumper stickers on your pickup truck to what you post throughout all your social media platforms, all kinds of data are readily accessible to the entire planet rendering them plainly observable. To the outside observer, these all paint a picture of who and what you’re all about. You can be

Power Vacuum Prologue

Power Vacuum Prologue

New Russian Military Exercises in Serbia   Recent reports indicate that what appears to be an entire Russian airborne battalion from the 7th Guards Air Assault Division has entered Serbia and is conducting joint exercises with the Serbian Army near the Hungarian border. So far, there have been no border crossings, but there are reports of live fire near the border. Hungarian Defense Forces are on high alert. Serbian relations with the West soured considerably following the Fourth Balkan War, in which Western forces intervened in the dispute between Serbia and Kosovo for the second time. The aftermath of that war saw Serbia drawn far more firmly into Russia’s orbit. With Russian forces pushing along the borders of Slovakia and Poland, ostensibly to create a “security buffer zone” between Russian-occupied territory and the war that erupted in Slovakia last year, this new movement presents a matter of some grave concern.   Chinese Naval Forces Shift Focus   Following reports of violence on and around the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, including the reported—though vehemently denied by PLAN spokesperson Bai Guanting—sinking of several PLAN destroyers and severe damage done to the PLAN aircraft carrier Shandong, it appears that the

Interviews about the Ice and Monsters Launch

Interviews about the Ice and Monsters Launch

So, for the launch of Ice and Monsters, the first WarGate Books title outside the Forgotten Ruin series, I went on a few podcasts and interviews lately. First, we had a launch party on the Galaxy’s Edge stream on Tuesday night: Then came the Blasters and Blades podcast, with JR Handley, Nick Garber, and Cisca Small (JR’s got jokes, even in the title): And this afternoon, I was on Keystroke Medium with Josh Hayes and Scott Moon: I’ll be on the Superversive stream on Sunday, at 6pm CST. Overall, this launch has been a blast. Got my first orange #1 Best Seller tag. Looking forward to Shadows and Crows coming out a month from tomorrow.  

Ice and Monsters

Ice and Monsters

We hadn’t gotten far before that fog bank rolled up out of nowhere. I’ll admit, I didn’t think it was that weird to start with. Fog is fog. And we were all pretty good at nautical navigation that far into the float. I had my compass board on the gunwale, sure that I was holding course. So, we were fine. Sure, the night was supposed to have been clear. But who really trusts the weather forecasts in the “Situation” paragraph one hundred percent? The fog got thicker, and I eased off on the throttle. Within a couple dozen yards, I couldn’t even see the boats on either side of us, though I could still hear them. I glanced down at the compass, which was still rock-steady. We were good. We just had to go carefully because of the reduced visibility. At least, that was what I thought until we were still chugging through the waves, shrouded by fog, well after the time we should have been at the beach landing site. I started to question my judgement, but it wasn’t like we had a lot of reference points in this soup. The bearing had been spot on since we headed

Amazon, Galaxy’s Edge, and Single Points of Failure

Amazon, Galaxy’s Edge, and Single Points of Failure

So, over the weekend, someone or somebot at Amazon apparently decided that Galaxy’s Edge Press was in violation of their terms of service, and deleted and banned their KDP account. Dozens of books disappeared from Amazon in a heartbeat. An entire weekend’s cash flow was disrupted. It did get resolved, and all the books are back up this morning, though a lot of the details of just what happened are still hazy. There are some ideologues at Amazon who like to pull these little fast ones from time to time. Entire authors have been deleted. There’s no evidence that this is what happened this time, but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. As Nick Cole has said, it still makes one wonder about being Amazon exclusive. Now, this is concerning to me for a couple of reasons. One, my upcoming releases through GE Press’s Wargate imprint were also affected. But that’s almost a secondary concern. Amazon has been a hell of a tool for the independent author. Kindle Direct Publishing has enabled thousands who might not otherwise have gotten published–not necessarily due to the quality of their work, either–to get their stuff out there. That’s one of the

Triarii Patches Are Here

Triarii Patches Are Here

A couple weeks ago, I announced the pre-order for the Triarii unit patches. Well, they’re out of preorder, since the first run just got here yesterday. The pre-orders are going out today. The Triarii were named after the third rank of the Republican Roman legions before the Marian Reforms. While Marius effectively turned the legions into a heavy-infantry-centric professional force, there was a greater variation in the ranks of the citizen-soldier army that preceded it. The basic unit was the maniple, which was deployed in three lines: hastati, principes, and triarii. The hastati were younger, poorer, lighter-armed and armored front line troops. Principes were better-equipped spearmen who formed the second rank. The triarii were the veterans, oldest and wealthiest, with the best and heaviest armor and weapons. They were the final effort, the last ditch when the ranks ahead of them had broken. It was that historical example that led Colonel Santiago to name his paramilitary NGO “The Triarii.” Dedicated to stepping in where the government was either breaking down or deliberately ignoring its responsibilities for political purposes, the Triarii were to be the last ditch defense of the Republic as it had been founded. The helmet in the center

Triarii Patches Update

Triarii Patches Update

So, given the expressed interest, I started working on getting some Triarii patches made. I went a bit of a different route this time, but the end results are on the way, and they’re awesome. Unlike the Praetorian Security patches, these are embroidered, and only in green. Most of that was a cost measure, since I still have an awful lot of Praetorian patches in stock. If we sell enough, maybe we can do a run in tan. I still don’t have them in hand, but they should be here the week after Christmas. The preorder, however, is up, so if you order them now, I’ll get them out as soon as they get here. I’ve seen at least one homemade Triarii badge, so now’s the time to make it official. Preorder your patch here.

Blood Debt Is Live

Blood Debt Is Live

No Going Back He looked up at the towers, just in time to see one of the ballistic windows on the eastern corner tower slide open. He didn’t think. He just reacted. The only reason for one of those windows to open would be that they’d been spotted, and were about to take fire. Snapping his rifle to his shoulder, he leaned around Bianco’s shoulder, put the faint, red chevron in the ACOG, still illuminated despite the fact that the optic was so old that the tritium had to be half depleted already, on that dark rectangle in the top of the tower, flipping the weapon to “semi” and squeezing the trigger as soon as the chevron settled. The M4 thundered in the otherwise quiet night, spitting flame in the dark as Bianco flinched away from the muzzle blast. Wade leaned into the rifle, dumping four more rounds into the opening even as Kirk opened fire on the other tower, if only to cover Wade’s back. They were committed, now. *** Mercenaries strike a hidden base… …But it’s a trap. Now they have only one hope – Brannigan’s Blackhearts When Mitchell Price’s black bag team hit a mysterious former Soviet