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This is a new author that I will be reading again. A new series that sounds like it’s going to be very interesting. I have no idea where it’s going to go or what will happen next. I’ll fill you in a little on what happened in this book. Our main character is either Grand Admiral Nicholas Stone, or it might be his grandson, Lieutenant Benjamin (Ben) Stone. Both are in the military, the Admiral obviously part of the space Navy while his grandson chose to go with the Alliance Ground Forces (AGF) as a Marine. Admiral Stone is about to retire. He’s way past his prime or so he thinks and has let himself go physically so much so that he probably shouldn’t still be on active duty. Yet, he’s a hero of the Solar Alliance.

Way back when Commander Stone was serving aboard the Rubicon, the ship was one of the remaining few that were defending the Sol Alliance against the Arcanus Collective. The aliens were also known as the Arcoenum or “Archies”. They had weapons some what less capable than the Alliance as were their starships. Yet, they also had a far more dangerous weapon in that they were capable of infiltrating the minds of the humans and cause the to do their bidding. Early during the war, this had caused great losses for the Alliance not knowing why their own ships and crews suddenly turned traitors and started firing on supposedly friendly ships. The Alliance had adapted countermeasures to prevent these mind incursions, but sometimes they didn’t always work especially if a ship had received damage. The Archies, on the other hand, started sending small remote controlled “clampers” that attached to a ship and drilled through it’s protective layers providing a pathway for the Archies to then attack the crews minds.

The Rubicon was headed towards Gibraltar Station and with it a major battle between these two enemies. A defeat here by either force would spell disaster for the losing side. At first, the humans seemed to gain the upper hand, but as the pounding on Alliance ships continued the Archie “clampers” began digging their way into various ships. Soon, one of the most advanced human starship broke ranks and headed to seemingly joint the ranks of the Archies. Other ships also began breaking formation and going over to the Archies side. Even on Commander Stone’s ship, the Rubicon, the attacks were relentless. Then Captain Richard Merrick began giving orders not like those he would normally. As a final precaution against a ship’s crew, including the captain, being compromised by the Archies, each crewmember was armed. Unfortunately for Captain Merrick he lost control of the Rubicon and only through the direct intervention did Commander Stone regain command of the Rubicon. Since the Rubicon was the command ship of the fleet, Stone now found himself as the Fleet Commander and he had to do something or the fleet would no longer exist. Well, he did, and now, many years later, he’s known as the Hero of Gibraltar Station.

Time passes and in this case, fifty years have gone by with peace between the Archies and the Sol Alliance. During that time, political leaders also change. The new President of the Sol Alliance was about to be sworn in, but he and the out-going President thought it would be a fine idea to promote Admiral Nicholas Stone to Grand Admiral, a rank not normally given to anyone in the fleet. Stone didn’t want the rank because he thought it pretentious and silly. Yet, he only had six days to go before retirement and he would be done with all this stuff. But the new, incoming President-elect had another agenda. The Alliance had recived a distant distress call from a young girl somewhere out on the Frontier.

This distress call had been going through space for at least three years and the President-elect wanted to make a big public relations splash by rescuing the girl, but he also wanted proof that the Archies were responsible for causing the crash of the scientific spaceship, the SS Seeker, on the planet Drake’s World. He had no proof whatsoever that the Archies were involved, but he was a war hawk, always assuming that the Archies were preparing for their next attack. He was not familiar with war as was Grand Admiral Stone and didn’t know better than to avoid it at all cost.

In Grand Admiral Stone’s mind, the President-elect was a danger to the peace between the two civilizations, but if the President-elect wanted him to go on this rescue mission, he would follow orders and go. HIs grandson, Ben would also go with the potential to make another hero out of a Stone. And to make matters worse, there were officers, senior officers aboard the now restored Rubicon and her escort, the Eliminator, that were very loyal to the new President. They were there to ensure the President’s orders were carried out, including finding proof that the Archies were involved, even if they weren’t!

This is a different kind of book. One that shows how military and political minds can become so out of wack with each other that the military-mind can only fall back to his duty. His duty is to protect the citizens of his civilization, all the citizens or even one citizen. The military mind does not want war no matter how badly the politicians want to start one. So, Grand Admiral Stone has to make some monumental decisions that might well get his retirement thrown right out the window.

The next book should be very interesting. There are several undercurrents yet to be explored in this story. I don’t even know if Grand Admiral Stone will continue to be part of the story. I guess in Book 2, “Warpath”, we’ll find out.

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