Another new author and another new series. This is one of those good ones. We are in the far future and in the Alliance Space Navy. Our current mission is to find potential targets for the upcoming war games to be conducted by the fleet. Specifically, we are Lieutenant (JG) Jacob T. Grimm aboard the USA Orion, a light cruiser. The cruiser is one of four such vessels currently executing this mission. LTJG Grimm is currently the Watch Officer on the bridge of the Orion. That’s when all heck breaks out.
While there is no war going on, there are reports of significant pirate activity in the area as well as some rumors that the Caliphate of Hamid would like nothing better than to cause an incident that could embarrass the United Systems Alliance. Yet, young LTJG Grimm isn’t all that deep in to politics, only that it’s his duty to protect his ship and crew as well as any other USA assets in the area. When his Tactical Officer identifies a strange ship near an asteroid where it definitely shouldn’t be, Jacob responses as he was trained. He gets the ship ready to fight and it’s a good thing he did because shortly after the Orion identifies missiles fired from these unknown contacts. That causes LTJG Grimm to sound General Quarters, Battle Stations immediately. At the same time he’s calling his Captain who is in his quarters and telling him of the situation.
As it turns out, two of the Orion’s sister ships don’t respond as quickly with one getting blown apart and the other two taking on damage. The Orion is the only ship of the four that suffers no damages or loss of life. The Captain of the Orion, once he arrives on the bridge, tells Jacob that he did his duty well and relieves him of the Watch. With the Captain now in command, the Orion pursues the one enemy ship that LTJG Grimm managed to damage before it got away. LTJG Grimm was doing his duty when he ordered the Orion to fire on these hostile ships. They have fired first and if LTJG Grimm had been able to fire on all three of the enemy, he would have rightly done so.
Now the Orion is approaching the dead in space vessel with a boarding party of Marines dispatched to see who this enemy is and find out why it attacked the United Systems Alliance. Jacob is on the Orion’s bridge since the Captain though he should witness what he had defeated in battle. Jacob is thinking that he did perform very well and that he should be well rewarded for showing his tactical capabilities while under stress. Except, what the Marines find aboard the enemy vessel is not what should have been there! It sickens everyone that sees the bridge of the damage ship although the Captain was warned by the Marines to not let anyone on the bridge see what they found except his Watch Officers.
Shortly after this action, LTJG Jacob T. Grimm realizes that his career is just about over. The fallout from his actions have labeled him as “The Butcher of Pascal”, Pascal being the area of space in which the action took place. He’s been asked to resign by numerous civilian authorities and the Navy is also awaiting for him to “do the right thing” and resign his commission. The Tactical Officer that executed the legal orders from LTJG Grimm did resign and left the Navy in disgrace. That would be how Jacob viewed if he leaved the Navy now. But, his Mother had given her life to the Navy during the last great war and Jacob didn’t want to soil her legacy by resigning in disgrace. So, the Navy let him stay, but he was for all practical purposes shuffled away to a dead end job.
Then the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) became aware of some very strange things happening out in the very fringes of Alliance space. This area was near the Caliphate’s territory and was known as heavily involved in human slave trade, drugs and criminal pirate activity. The United Systems Alliance Navy wasn’t anywhere near capable of stopping this kind of activities because it was well hidden and the political bodies of the Alliance were afraid of stirring up the Caliphate. They did not want another war. Additionally, the USA Navy really had no concrete proof that the Caliphate was making preparations for an invasion and using these criminal activities as a cover. So, the ONI needed someone out there that would maybe stir things up without worrying about their next assignment or about causing an international incident.
The ONI when to the Fleet Admiral and asked for her help. She said she had the exact kind of Officer they needed for this work. That’s when LTJG Jacob T. Grimm found he had new orders to proceed to Kremlin Station in the Zuckabar system. There, to his great surprise, he found additional orders that frocked him to Lieutenant Commander and gave him command of the destroyer, Interceptor. Never in recent memory had Jacob thought he would command a space vessel again. He couldn’t even get accepted to Command School and had already tried twice with one rejection. But, whatever the reasons for these orders, he was determined to do his duty.
Unfortunately, he found his ship was in very, very bad shape. The previous Captain had died of a heart attack while on duty. This was just after the ship lost its gravcoil and was supposed to be under going repairs. Without the gravcoil, the USA Interceptor was going anywhere soon. Jacob really inherited a huge mess, but that didn’t stop him from doing his duty. He was a Naval Officer and would what was expected of him and more if that was required. The story is very exciting and has numerous battles the results of which just might bring the United Systems Alliance back to war with the Caliphate of Hamid. This time they had better win.
Book 2, “With Grimm Resolve” is available on Amazon and I’ve added it to my lengthy reading list. This is a series I don’t want miss.