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“Tango Down”


Tango Down

This was a pretty straight-forward book with a difficult, but simple mission for the Commonwealth Marines, the Tahni, and the lone Resscharr aboard the starship Orion. The mission was lead by Colonel Marcus Hachette, a Commonwealth Intelligence Agent. The ship was commanded by Captain Nance, but he deferred to Colonel Hachette for most operations. They had just left a system that had strange aliens that were a combination of Tahni, Resscharr and humans although the Tahni considered themselves the masters of all. They did find out there was a place to go next called the Cauldron of Creation which could have some information as to the whereabouts of the Seekers.

That’s the mission, to find the Seekers and determine if they can stop the Skrela at their point of origin so humanity and the Tahni wouldn’t have to constantly fight them. The Skrela were bent on exterminating all other life within the galaxy and had to be stopped. So, Colonel Hachette believed that could and would stop them at their home planet if they could find it. The Seekers were thought to have been an advanced race that had made the Skrela. These Skrela outgrew their masters and started attacking them so the Seekers had fled the galaxy leaving the Skrela behind. They had made the Tahni to fight the Skrela and expected them to take over the galaxy once they had wiped out the Skrela. That didn’t happen when the Tahni met up with the humans from Earth. Humanity was supposed to have been a failed creation of the Seekers. They figured the humans were no match for the Tahni and would be easily wiped out in time. Of course we know humanity won the human-Tahni war.

Captain Cameron (Cam) Alvarez was the commander of the Marine contingent with Captain Vicky Sandoval as his XO. They were also married and had been living a quiet, comfortable life as farmers until Col. Hachette showed up and put them back in the Marine Corps. Now Colonel Hatchette was using Cam as his go-between to settle difference aboard ship between the humans, the Tahni and the single Resscharr. That the Tahni even were there was something of a surprise. But, they had volunteered a platoon lead by Captain Lan-Min-Gen to accompany this expedition so as not to be left out on any discoveries. More importantly, the Resscharr had an advanced civilization although they were few in number and they had given the humans some advance weapons capabilities that the Tahni also wanted. So, any future advance technology, if any were found, were going to have to be equally shared.

Cam was going slightly crazy on the ship since the humans and the Tahni didn’t get along very well without a lot of trying. They had limited space aboard the starship so that was another problem. Even eating was an issue because the Tahni didn’t like the smell of human food and the humans just didn’t like the Tahni no matter what. But, periodically, they had to team up to go to the surface of a planetoid or moon to investigate a possible lead on the Seekers whereabouts. Now, it was known that the Seekers had left the galaxy almost six-thousand years ago, so there was a strong feeling among many of the troops that they were on a wild goose-chase that was doing nothing but getting them killed.

Additionally, Colonel Hachette was something of an arrogant bastard that seemed to care little for the Marines or the Tahni. When the had to preform a memorial for lost comrades after one particular battle, Colonel Hachette didn’t even show up for the services. He said nothing to anyone except Captain Alvarez and expected him to explain his requirements for the mission to all. Except Cam and others were beginning to not see any reason to be doing what they were doing. And, that specifically was stopping at every system to see if they could find any evidence the Seekers had come through when they could tell there wasn’t anything to be found. All their stopping did was to get people, Marines and Tahni killed. So, everyone was on edge and sooner or later, something was going to have to be done about Colonel Hachette’s insane mission requirements.

And that’s what this book is about. Can they keep the expedition together long enough to find the Seekers or are the Seekers long gone and this expedition will just go further and further out into unknown space until they are all killed? You’ll need to read the book to find out, of course. They are kind of being directed by an AI named Dwight aboard the Orion. He was an Resscharr AI so he’s highly advanced, almost sentient, but just who or what is he trying to get them to do?

I think a lot of answers will come in book 12, “Blue Force” shown as available for pre-order by 18 April 2023. I think I’ll be adding it to my reading list around that date.

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