NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON! – “Ready Player One meets Halo, with a touch of Wreck-it Ralph.”
“Ten… Nine… Eight…” The Marines were calling out the numbers along with the screen, and when we hit one, the screen lit up with fireworks over the White House, illuminating the crowds cheering us on.
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. (more…)
NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON/KU! Star Forged, Book 1 in the Ascension Gate Series
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.” (more…)
UNEDITED (This is book 4 of the Valerie’s Elites books – Available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited)
Swarthian Extended Detention Environment (SEDE)
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. (more…)
UNEDITED (SPOILER – PROJECT ASCENT IS BOOK 3 IN THE SERIES)
Alicia: Arriving in Washington, D.C.
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. (more…)
UNEDITED (This is book 2. Book 1 is on Amazon now and in KU. This is the first half of Ch 1)
The transport ship Dynastic had nearly cleared Space Station Horus’s outer limits when the ship started to slow at the sign of approaching Horus fighter crafts. An announcement rang out that all personnel were to remain in their rooms as Project Destiny soldiers came aboard and searched for two stowaways. Never one to jump to conclusions, Marick’s first hope was that this was a random check performed on all transport ships traveling between space stations. They were transporting miners to a prison station, after all, and it seemed that those in charge would want to be careful of just who was on board.
All of that was thrown from his mind, however, when the overhead speakers further announced, “We are being hailed in regards to a certain PD soldier Stealth, a.k.a. Marick Carter, and a hacker known as Alice, leader of the Looking Glass terrorist team.”
“A.k.a. Alicia,” Marick said, turning to his wife. She was still in bed and had been catching up on some well-deserved rest. Impersonating a PD recruit and challenging New Origins itself in an attempt to save Marick was a feat worth celebrating. (more…)
NOTE: THIS IS THE 4TH SNIPPET IN MY GENETIC ENGINEERING SPACE STATION STORY
Stealth stormed into the command room, tearing off his helmet and holding it in his left hand as his eyes darted about in search of Captain Legorn. Several officers stood about, most leaning over screens in discussion. A couple at a table in the back played Celtic chess—a strange, circular game that had made a resurgence in the early twenty-second century, but that Stealth couldn’t quite figure out.
None of them, however, had the trademark stark-yellow hair of the captain.
Where the hell was that piece of slime?
The captain, however, found him first. He stomped forward, a group of lieutenants jumping out of his way as he came for Stealth, hands balled into fists.
“Captain—” Stealth started, prepared to get down to business, but a fist caught him across the jaw. Next thing he knew, the captain had him by the hair, pulling his face in close enough for Stealth to see the yellow stains on the man’s teeth, the bloodshot red of his left eye, though oddly not his right. (more…)
NOTE: Uploaded this genetic engineering/ space station book today – February 20th release date! Exciting!
Alice and Scorpio passed an opening where the hall led into a larger chamber, light falling down on them. The SCIF was hidden in the inner workings of the space station, one of many secretly carved out rooms in this subsection. As they continued along the corridor, several guards stood at their posts, pretending to be working on repairs if asked by outsiders.
Alice greeted each of them with a nod, stopping to hand a few metal chips to an especially large one they called the Bull. They exited their hall to find the section with the head and another hall that led to their private chambers.
“Just remember why you’re doing this,” Alice told Scorpio.
“Don’t have to remind me,” he said, eyes finally abandoning that hard look he so often wore, turning to her with compassion. “We’ll get those bastards, and we’ll learn the truth.”
“Is there ever a moment when you, I don’t know, wonder why we’re doing it?”
He frowned. “I thought I just said… the reason.”
“That’s not what I mean. My conviction is as strong as any, but why? Why is it necessary? What the hell kind of world do we live in where a corporation has this kind of power? It didn’t use to be like this.” (more…)
UNEDITED (First Half of Ch 2 of my new space station scifi adventure)
Fist in the air, Alice spun in her chair with a shallow smile—the smile for her team, but not coming from her heart. She never enjoyed hurting the individuals who’d come up through Project Destiny (PD), but she celebrated it for her team.
The individuals weren’t the ones pulling the strings, but The Looking Glass had to hit them where they could. Soon they’d hit them where it hurt, making a run on PD headquarters.
As if the name weren’t bad enough, with its promise of something greater, something more than what they were. Now the project had opened its doors to new recruits, bringing men and women off the streets in droves to get enhancements and serve as the eyes and ears of the corporations that ran the space stations. They would become part of PD, though not its elite soldiers, not the group she had hit tonight.
“Lured ‘em in like the rats they are,” her teammate Scorpio said. The guy was tall but lean, and had earned his name for a fascination with the constellations and a love of martial arts—that axe kick of his had once broken a PD soldier’s helmet in two. As if he needed more reason for the nickname to stick, the left side of his face had been marked by the enemy when they had captured him once. He now sported the branding of a scorpion with pride, though it meant he was confined to operations HQ, as he’d be made too easily in public. (more…)
UNEDITED (I have a new book coming – here’s a peek!)
Subsection Alpha: Outer Halls
None of the red dots on Stealth’s HUD would be alive in a few minutes, so he had no reason to worry. No, it wasn’t worry that crept up on him, sending the taste of bile into the back of his throat and a building tension in his chest.
What then, he wondered as he lifted his rifle and prepared to breach Subsection Alpha of Space Station Horus’s living quarters. This was a known hangout of the lowlifes of this place, and rumored hiding spot of the hacker group that called themselves “The Looking Glass.” His target.
This wasn’t Stealth’s first mission, so the reaction his body was having to it didn’t make sense. A glance at Red showed that the man was ready, breaching charge in place and hand up. He stared back through his faceplate—full, to protect against explosions. It reminded Stealth of a bug, with its built-in air filter in case of gas attacks and the small antennae-like horns on the top and rear, similar to the helmets they’d worn in their Marine Corps days.
Stealth did his best to push the unsettling feeling down, focusing instead on a memory of his training in the Marines before coming here. A drill instructor back on Earth, standing before him in his body armor of green and black, shouting at him to do just one more pushup, then another, then another. “Just one more,” and it went on and on. Repetition, something familiar… order to the chaos. That memory always calmed his nerves, though he was certain it had been the source of an opposite reaction at the time.
Since it was one of his few remaining memories, he clung to it like a dog with its favorite chew toy—which happened to be another snippet of a remaining memory, though one he relied on far less often. (more…)
Someone saw this on FB today and sent it to me – loving it 🙂
Death isn’t so bad if it means saving the universe.
Samantha was badass even before she learned magic. Fending for herself in the cauldron of a planet torn apart by an alien invasion taught Samantha how to kill. Ruthlessly efficient, her abilities have caught the attention of the Shadow Corps.
A group comprised of deadly warriors who focus on galactic safety, using any means necessary.
A battle-hardened warlord causing you trouble? The Shadow Corps will ruin their day.
Her first mission puts her team up against a space dragon, death reapers, and the ultimate sorcerer.
Samantha had better learn to master her alien magic, or be forced to watch her world, and many others, burn.
A Seppukarian universe series for fans of Destiny and Warhammer 40K.
Note: For fans of LitRPG who like level-ups and skill trees without being in a video game.