NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON! – “Ready Player One meets Halo, with a touch of Wreck-it Ralph.”
All around the world people were tuning in, preparing to watch the first simulated war in history. Here I was, playing my part in it. A final look around the room showed anticipation, bravery… the world’s finest.
The headsets went on, and I was back in blackness. The light flashed a couple of times, then vanished.
The smell of pines hit me first, then a gust of wind brought a scent like fresh rain. A moon shone down on us from the middle of the sky, reflecting off the damp grass at our feet. It was all so real. I knelt, taking off my glove, and could feel the grass, smooth and sharp to the touch.
“You going to make love to this place, or come fight the war with me?” Relic said, grinning at my side. read more…
Nothing could’ve excited Trent Helms more than the gateway as it opened in the stars above. This was it—the moment he’d been training for, the moment that pulled his entire future together. He and the other Space Fleet Marines gathered with officers and senior NASA officials, watching as purple and blue light flowed through space like a door to heaven.
They’d opened this particular door before for testing and probes, and while no images had made it back, readings had. Results indicated at least one potentially habitable planet in what they’d named the Krastion Galaxy. This information was enough that, on this night, Trent and the other teams would be the first humans through. They’d be the first to investigate the other side, to learn if there was indeed another option for expanding beyond the Solar System.
And maybe, if they were lucky, they’d discover signs of life.
“I hope you have your big-kid undies on, Gunnery Sergeant,” Colonel O’Donnell said, a grin spreading across her normally stern face as she slapped Trent on the shoulder. “I almost shat myself just looking at that thing. Imagine actually flying through it.”
“An image I’m sure to carry with me through the gate, sir,” he replied with a chuckle. “But we won’t have to imagine flying through the gate for long. I want to be the first ship through.”
“Damn right,” she said. “I take care of mine, just remember that. You and me, we’ll shove the rest of them aside if we have to.”
He laughed. “Whatever it takes, sir.” read more…
UNEDITED (This is book 4 of the Valerie’s Elites books – Available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited)
Gara Grayhewn stepped out her front door at the same time she did every morning. She stood on her porch for a moment observing the house-like structures around her, many of whose residents also stood outside. Most were Skulla or Pallicons, though some had been genetically modified so drastically that it was difficult to identify their races.
A casual observer might think this was a normal neighborhood instead of a cellblock in the star system’s most secure prison.
Gara had been incarcerated on SEDE for nearly thirty years, and sometimes she forgot it was a prison too—but those moments didn’t last long. And they hadn’t come at all since her son Kalan been brought back a little over a month before.
Since then her every waking thought had been dedicated to one thing: getting Kalan out of SEDE…again. read more…
UNEDITED (SPOILER – PROJECT ASCENT IS BOOK 3 IN THE SERIES)
Flying didn’t take long when in a jet arranged by one of the top U.S. ambassadors. Soon, land was visible and Alicia found herself almost laughing with relief. Everything they had been through to get to this point was coming to a close. All of her work putting together teams of hackers up on Space Station Horus, fighting to break free once she had her husband back, and now the romp from Japan to Italy—it hadn’t been for nothing after all.
Arriving at Washington, D.C. reminded Alicia of Istanbul in that they had done such a great job of keeping the old while building up the new. The Ronald Reagan airport had evolved over the years into this advanced hanger for local aircraft and craft for intercontinental travel, as well as space travel. Its design was reminiscent of a massive traveling bullet, with metal sheeting glimmering in the afternoon sun, sticking out like wings to symbolize motion.
Other craft circled as they waited for clearance to land, so Alicia and her group were able to catch a view of the monuments and D.C. itself. Monuments shone in white, defined by the large groupings of greenery around them, and the White House rose above the city like the fortress it had become after the large uprising that had nearly toppled it and changed the world. Alicia remembered the feeling of terror as she watched the news years ago, still in school, witnessing the militia charging in. It hadn’t lasted long, but the extensive damage and trauma of it all had convinced Washington of the need for better defenses. The Washington Monument had also been taken out by an attack that day—a symbolic gesture—but now rose twice as high, a spiraling tower with colored glass near the top that glimmered in the sun and ensured everyone knew it was there. No longer just a monument, its missiles and radar made it part of the capitol’s defense network. read more…