Seems like I got in on the tail end of something. We find Major Jack Forge and Commander Sam Torent separated from their fleet, but desperately trying to catch back up to it, hopefully before they run out of everything on their tiny corvette spaceship. How they got into this predicament isn’t discussed in this book. That’s strange given that this is the first book in this series.
I realized that I’m not unfamiliar with this Jack Forge guy. Yeah he’s a Space Marine and I read some of his story in “Recruit” and “Forged in Space” both in the “Jack Forge, Fleet Marine” series. I’ll tell you right now, I don’t like this guy. Mainly because he’s a wimp! He was in his first two books just mentioned and now he’s living up to that label in this one too even though it’s a different series and he seems to be well into his career.
You see, Jack doesn’t want to “hurt” anyone and avoids confrontation at every possible chance. In this book, his small corvette comes upon a larger frigate that appears to be under attack by some unknown alien vessels. Jack and Same recognize this as a fleet vessel and believe that they need to help out and join up with this other ship so they might have a better chance of finding the fleet.
Only, this frigate has some big problems. Oh, the attacking aliens are driven off and Jack’s corvette docks with the frigate. That’s when things start going wrong. First off, this frigate is commanded by a Commander Garet Bale with only two other crew men/women; Lieutenant Ripa and Chief Stone. Commander Bale is a coward and has almost completely given up control of his ship to Chief Stone who is doing something he’s not supposed to be doing. He won’t say what it is, but he’s lockdown engineering and won’t let either Commander Bale or Lt. Ripa access.
Once the two ships are joined, Commander Bale insists that he now has command of both ships as part of his flotilla. They are going to search Jack and Sam’s corvette supposedly to make sure it’s space worthy even though Jack and Sam tell them it is. Still, the Chief goes aboard the corvette and after awhile he comes back and tells Jack he can have his boat, but he’s to follow the orders of Commander Bale. Instead of telling Chief Stone and Commander Bale to shove it up their a__, Jack meekly acquiesces to their demands.
Once aboard his own ship, they again get attacked by the aliens known as the Mechs. For some reason they target the corvette first and instead of the frigate helping out in the fight, it takes off at high speed. That doesn’t set well with Jack and Sam so they turn in pursuit only to find out they are dead in space. Something was done to their engines and they also have no food rations or medical supplies. Apparently Chief Stone sabotaged the engine and stole all their supplies. He also left a surprise in the engineering room for Jack to deal with.
Of course a normal Space Marine would be out for blood if someone did that to them. But, not Jack Forge! He’s more kind and considerate, wanting to know why Commander Bale took that course of action. Any other Space Marine would have simply decided to kill Commander Bale and his crew once they caught up to him. That’s a real Space Marine and certainly not this guy.
I said I wasn’t going to read any more of these books so I’m going to have to start looking them over better. The cover art suggests a story much better than they actually are.