So in the last book, we read where SSG Vanhorn and Lt. Holly were able to rescue several other survivors of the Rhila although that didn’t turn out so well for the group as a whole. And while SSG Vanhorn did get captured he managed to get himself free and returned the the mountain basecamp. Here he found that some of the people that were rescued weren’t fitting in with the overall group very well. A few were pretty uneasy characters which SSG Vanhorn gave the benefit of the doubt to, but he kept his thoughts and feelings to himself. First Lt. Burrows had taken command from Lt. Holly as she had came down sick and was having a very serious time of it. There were a number of other survivors who were also sick so the numbers that needed to protect the mountain basecamp had not increased.
As introduced in the last book, the Polytrots are turning into very good companions for most of the humans and especially SSG Vanhorn. Not only are they very capable hunters, but they can speak intelligently when they want to. So, SSG Vanhorn has been learning a little bit of their language while they are picking his up very quickly. These are not fearsome fighters. They were used a slave labor by the Orcs to did in the mines on Lenois B. Only after being rescued by SSG Vanhorn have they shown any intelligence and willing to help the humans. Yet, the humans are not helping themselves.
SSG Vanhorn was ordered by First Lt. Burrows to return to the wreck of the Rhila in hopes of finding more material to put together additional communication gear so they could once again try and signal the fleet. They also would attempt build something they could use internally. SSG Vanhorn figured the wreck ship was just a trap waiting to be sprung by the Orcs. They were waiting for the survivors to return just like Vanhorn and Petty Officer Trip were going to do. That effort was going almost as badly as SSG Vanhorn expected it to go, but they had managed to evade the Orcs with the help of the Polytrots. And that help came in the form of discovering a secret but vast underground city built by some intelligent species not currently on Lenois B. It would be the perfect hiding place for all the survivors since their mountain basecamp was now quite crowded. So, Mook, the lead Polytrot was directed by his friend, SSG Vanhorn to lead all the survivors back to their new hideout while Trip and Vanhorn kept the Orcs busy and away from the escaping survivors.
By the time SSG Vanhorn got back in range of the basecamp, he saw that the mountain was almost surrounded by Orcs. He additionally heard via his armor suit comms with Lt. Holly, that Lt. Burrows was planning to surrender all the hostages instead of standing and fighting! SSG Vanhorn just knew that any captured humans would only wind up dead with the Orcs. So, while he and Trip created a diversion, the Rhila survivors did manage to enter Havvar, the underground city named by the Polytrots. Vanhorn managed to get in communication with Lt Holly and she finally convinced Burrows to get the survivors moving since Trip had also brought the capture transporter sled. They could move most of the sick in that vehicle where otherwise they wouldn’t be able to move at all.
Now that everyone has gotten safely inside the underground city, SSG Vanhorn gets a chance to rest up a little and gets some medical treatment for his more serious wounds. He’s still not fully combat capable, but he can do his share and is ready to do so. Yet, he has an uneasy feeling about this new place and it’s not with the buildings. First Lt. Burrows isn’t acting like he should and he seems to be listening to a Petty Officer Malone who was known as a troublemaker aboard the starship. These two seem to think they are the more privileged of the group and are now expecting everyone to bow to their judgements. They both want SSG Vanhorn out of the way and they know that Sgt Baker is going to get that done one way or another.
So, not only is SSG Vanhorn going to have to fight the Orcs, but he’s going to have to fight against his own people or at least those who think they should be in charge. He does go back out on a few more missions and causes the Orcs a lot of trouble, but coming back again to the underground city, he finds it in a total mess and has to do something to get things back together so they all can survive. A very good and exciting story.
And again, this isn’t the end of this adventure. More to come in book 4, “Conquest”, available on Amazon right now.