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“Veterans Code”


Veterans Code

This is a story I think all Veterans would enjoy to some extent. It is kind of stretching the imagination that a bunch of former military could do something like this, but maybe they could. I think there have been some efforts along this line way back after the Vietnam War, not sure, but I think something similar was attempted. Anyway, back to the future.

Edgar Bryce has left the military and is an independent asteroid miner although he’s just kind of going through the motions. His heart was really back with his former military self. He had left the service after a successful, but disastrous mission that actually was responsible for ending the war with the Xinthal. He and his team had attacked a base that was the HQ for the Xinthal containing a number of their top military leaders and strategic thinkers. Bryce’s team utterly destroyed the base and everyone on it only to find out that below the surface of the base were some 200 hundred human prisoners. They too perished and Bryce was having a hard time accepting his role in that killing.

So, he’s out near the Xinthal/Human border doing what he normally does when he picks up a faint long-range signal. It was a distress priority one, one-way communication. What it said was going to shake up everything Bryce was doing and potentially effect several other people. The peace treaty between the Humans and Xinthal had specifically stated that all prisoners held by either side were to be repatriated without question. The Xinthal said they had complied. But now, Bryce was hearing a plea for help from some 200 human military personnel that were still being held as prisoners by the Xinthal! The Xinthal normally employed humans in mines digging for the resources they needed to build their starships and other weapons. The work was hard, very hard and the Xinthal were not easy on prisoners. They seemed to have no emotions about killing or harming humans if they didn’t do as told.

This message asked of course for a rescue and gave coordinates plus the names and identities of everyone that was being held. Bryce thought he would contact his former boss who by now had been promoted to Admiral. He thought Admiral Keenan would be quick to find out if this signal was actually valid and not some kind of Xinthal trick.

While Admiral Keenan did validate the signal as coming from a source behind the Xinthal border. It did identify several confirmed military personnel that were unaccounted for after the war. Yet, he was reluctant to do anything about this information since they were getting ready to begin new negotiations with the Xinthal. He told Bryce that he was going to turn this matter over to the diplomats since he felt that it would become a diplomatic issue for return of prisoners which the Xinthal should have already done.

The Diplomatic Corps was actually the front runners in the new negotiations with the Xinthal. They didn’t feel that bringing up the fact that more human prisoners were being held by the Xinthal was something that should be done immediately. Both of these responses confused Edgar Bryce. Why wasn’t the military getting ready to go in and get these people? Additionally, why was the Diplomatic Corps acting as if they didn’t want to bring up the issue to the Xinthal at all? Someone had to do something.

So now you know what’s going to happen in the rest of this book. Former Commander Edgar Bryce knows a lot of his former military members who just might join with him in a new mission. It would be a civilian mission, but one that had a specific objective. He didn’t know what would happen if or when they returned, but he also didn’t really care as long as these military prisoners were set free.

The story does kind of reach an end, but just when you think you know all that’s going to happen, it changes. We’ll have to find out what changes in the next book, “[Veterans Gamble](”.

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