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“What Lies Behind”


What Lies Behind

Now that the humans seem to have come together against a common enemy, they are attempting to assist each other in their encounters with the Naxli. That is what SSG Reverent (Rev) Pelletier, Perseus Union Marine Corps, is attempting to do with the Manifest Destiny Sphere (MDS) on the MDS planet Alicia’s Bounty. Since Rev had found out about the Naxli gnist and their strange desired to fight only limited engagements, it was thought that the Third Platoon to which SSG Pelletier was assigned could help guide the MDS in this type of fighting. Still, it didn’t seem like the MDS wanted any kind of “advice”, especially on how to wage war.

Yet, an MDS Under-Colonel went out to meet the sole representative of the Naxli to start the conversation leading to gnist. They had agreed to limit this engagement to one thousand one hundred seventeen warriors. In as much as that number didn’t include SSG Pelletier or his platoon as they were there strictly as observers, Rev thought the initial meeting between the MDS and the Naxli when as well as could be expected.

Now the battle was on and the MDS were losing! The Naxli were very capable at the unit level and tactically sound at all levels. Their armor and weapons were just as good as what the MDS had or in some cases better. The Naxli always started these engagements with a communications blackout so it was difficult for the MDS to talk to their various units unless they used an old fashion land-line. All that seemed to be doing was informing their HQ that they were being overran. Unfortunately, that was something that could always happen in these engagements. Who ever lost the battle would usually have to vacate the planet.

So, Rev thought this battle would be over soon. That is until the MDS did what they should have never done and that is broke the gnist agreement. That was a grievous error! It meant that the Naxli were also going to bring in their entire array of forces including their space Navy. Now was the time for Third Platoon to hastily depart the planet if they didn’t want to die with everyone else. Getting off Alicia’s Bounty wasn’t easy and it was a very close call. But they did make it and now the waited to hear the fate of the planet and the Naxli’s reaction to the MDS very ill advised tactics.

It appears the Naxli were pissed! Very, very pissed. And they started taking it out on the MDS by attacking Gorton Grove, a planet occupied by about 6-billion people or it was. The Naxli wided out the entire planet. The Naxli had now apparently classified the humans as hreetz, which translated into something without honor and not worth gnist fighting. But, the attacks had stopped for quite a while now and the Congress of Humanity wanted to find out if gnist could still exist between humans other than MDS.

So that was Rev and his platoon’s next mission. It was on a planet called Syron II a watery-swamp type planet that had just about 600 Naxli doing who knows what on a proscribe (protected) human planet. A combined force of First Heavy Infantry, a Union Marine battalion, a Paxus cohort, a Mezame Concordat battalion of Naval Infantry, and a Centaur flight. It didn’t take long to find out that this whole mission was a bust. The Naxli didn’t offer gnist and started blasting every thing both in space and on the planet. Rev’s platoon had to fall back and begin survival tactics since their space transportation had to leave the system and they had no way for resupply or rescue. It didn’t take long for Rev to find himself with only five individuals in his small group trying to survive on a planet where they couldn’t eat anything for food and no hope of rescue anytime soon. What did eventually happen is they ran out of power for their armor, then out of food and then ammo. It didn’t look to promising for Rev or Tomiko’s future and yes, they were at least together.

But, the story continues as it always does in this book. Now back on their home base of Safehold, Rev gets some good news. He’s been promoted to Gunnery Sergeant! He’s also been told that he’s going to a new unit, one made up of mostly all the augmented humans with some non-augments included. Still, this new unit will include every planets military forces similar to what he experienced working with the Congress of Humanity forces. HIs only concern is that Tomiko isn’t an IBHU or enhanced Marine so she might not make the list of assigned Union Marines. And to make matters worse, Tomiko is a resurrectee, and that’s another strike against her even though she’s one of the most capable Marines Rev has ever known.

While all this is going on, there’s another subtle story-line that seems to have just started. Rev has been informed that someone has threatened his life. He has been restricted to base for quite some time, but just recently got permission to go off-base to be with his family, but first he has to host his “wetting” down or promotion party. As he and Tomiko depart the club after closing it down very late at night, he’s approached by no less than seven thugs. Now, what’s behind all this and why? More to come in future books, I hope.

Yes, book 9, “Gods of War” should be out o/a 24 July 2022 according to Amazon. It’s already on my list.

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