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Authors: Honor Raconteur

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Special Forces 01

BOOK: Special Forces 01
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Special Forces 01

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honor Raconteur

 

 

Published by Raconteur House

Manchester, TN

 

Published in the USA through Raconteur House, LLC.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

SPECIAL FORCES 01

 

A Raconteur House book/ published by arrangement with the author

 

PRINTING HISTORY

Raconteur House ebook edition/December 2012

 

Copyright © 2012 by Honor Raconteur

Cover design by Michael Ash

 

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

Purchase only authorized editions.

For information address: Raconteur House,

164 Whispering Winds Dr., Manchester, TN, 37355

 

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. Neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

 

Acknowledgements

 

Special thanks to my mother, for all of her interest and encouragement in the story. Special credit goes to my brother who got me unstuck after beating my head against the desk for six months. Thanks as well to the regular suspects – they know who they are. Also included in this are my wonderful fans that begged, pleaded, and attempted blackmail to get me to finish the story after posting the first part on livejournal. All of your messages were not in vain and here is the proof!

 

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
3

 

Prologue
4

 

Chapter One
8

 

Chapter Two
13

 

Chapter Three
23

 

Chapter Four
31

 

Chapter Five
40

 

Chapter Six
45

 

Chapter Seven
67

 

Chapter Eight
77

 

Chapter Nine
85

 

Chapter Ten
92

 

Chapter Eleven
102

 

Chapter Twelve
116

 

Chapter Thirteen
131

 

Chapter Fourteen
141

 

Chapter Fifteen
156

 

Chapter Sixteen
164

 

Chapter Seventeen
170

 

Chapter Eighteen
183

 

Chapter Nineteen
197

 

Chapter Twenty
202

 

Chapter Twenty-One
213

 

Chapter Twenty-Two
227

 

Epilogue
234

 

 

Prologue

 

Admiral Jeremy Bloch thoughtfully studied the five young men standing at attention in front of him. They stood ramrod straight, wearing uniforms that spoke of pride and professionalism by their flawless appearance. They were also young — so terribly young. The oldest one among their ranks had just turned seventeen yesterday. In spite of their youth, they were tough, savvy, resourceful, experienced, single-minded, and wise beyond their years. They were the most deadly combat force he had ever encountered on a battlefield. They had seen more action in their comparatively few years of service than he had in his entire career. The most seasoned front line combat troops of the entire Bijordan military looked like a bunch of prep school boys stacked up next to them. The description didn’t just apply to the five Captains in front of him, but to their teams as well. If they were assigned a mission, it was a foregone conclusion that the mission would be an overwhelming victory. Bloch had only worked with them a short amount of time. Although he had been assigned to Fourth Colony’s space, he had always been on the front lines and so had limited contact with the Colony itself. It wasn’t until that last battle that he had gotten to know these young men better. He was profoundly grateful they were on his side.

Well,
most
of the time, and he was satisfied with that.

At the moment he had an uncomfortable feeling that he was somehow working out of sync with them. That wasn’t a sensation he enjoyed, but he wanted what was best for these incredible young warriors who had been forced to grow into adults far too soon.

His introspection and pondering wasn’t going to change anything, or make this any easier, so he cleared his throat and leaned forward, letting his elbows rest against his desk. He tried to project an air of confidence, more confidence than he felt at the moment, knowing they would not respect weakness or indecision. “Gentlemen, I realize that this is a decidedly unorthodox idea for you. It will mean some drastic changes in your immediate future, but the Combined Forces Council has unanimously agreed that it will provide a good cover.”

“Yes, sir!” Captain Aaron Jeconiah barked out immediately, but the skepticism was transparent on his face. Even as they flowed to parade rest in unison, with a brief nod from the Admiral, they gave the impression of being wound tightly and one second away from exploding into action. “We are always willing to go with the mission’s parameters, sir. But…permission to speak frankly, sir?”

Did he dare grant such a request? Bloch, somewhat reluctantly, gave a nod.

“Sir, I can’t help but feel that part of the reason for our cover story is to help integrate us into Bijordan society.”

Admiral Bloch barely concealed a wince, locking his facial muscles to keep them from betraying him. It was a little disconcerting that Captain Jeconiah had boiled down the entire situation and hit the nail square on the head. Clearing his throat again to ensure his voice was steady and firm, he continued, “There were some members of the Council that voiced…
concerns
in that frame of reference. By taking this approach, it is hoped that you will be more well-rounded as individuals, by viewing our society alongside a group of your peers.”

Bloch personally shared that assessment. These young men had been in a battle zone most of their lives and didn’t have a good concept of ‘normal.’ In fact, if he’d had his way, they’d be suspended from all active duty until they turned eighteen.

Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough military personnel for that. The war with Nova had cost them—not just in time and resources, but in manpower. They needed every person they had. The Council had been especially vehement about keeping the SF01 at least partially active. This group had more expertise, ability and battle experience than any other officer in Bijordan. They simply couldn’t be kept on a shelf.

“I trust, sir, that plans for validating our cover are already underway?” Captain Arystair Savar looked slightly amused, eyes sparkling with good natured patience.

Bloch shot him a grateful look. Out of all the Captains in this elite force, Savar was the one that he liked the most. Bloch had personal experience with him, as his own Flagship had been in eminent danger of being destroyed during that last, desperate battle in Fourth Colony space. It was Captain Savar, and his team, that put the three enemy battleships out of commission before Bloch’s ship,
Trojan
, could be reduced to globs of molten slag. For that alone he owed this young man a huge debt. Bloch also knew he probably would have liked Savar anyway. He was a very charismatic and likeable individual.

“They are indeed. Gentlemen, I must tell you that you are not alone on this mission. We are indeed counting on your field intelligence to figure out what Nova is up to, but we’re gathering all available intel and analyzing it. You and your teams will have support every step of the way if you need it.”

“That is reassuring, sir!” Captain Miles Diener glanced at his fellow Captains. “Have you set designated territories for our teams to cover?”

Bloch shook his head. “No, we thought it better if you analyze the area and make such determinations yourself. Frankly, you know your teams’ abilities and Nova’s tactics better than the Council. I convinced them to let you decide and then report back to us.” The five Captains looked back at him with a slightly awed look, which Bloch well understood—getting a council, any council, to agree to let someone else make the decisions could be considered a miracle straight from the Guardians. “Don’t look so impressed,” he added dryly. “The only reason they agreed is because we’d already been in the meeting for five hours and we hadn’t even touched who was going to be in charge of the
rest
of space.”

“Now it makes more sense, sir.” Captain Duane McBurgh wasn’t undisciplined enough to roll his eyes, but it was a near thing. “Steve? Rys? You’re the only ones who haven’t weighed in with an opinion yet.”

Captain Steve Curtis was significantly larger than his brother captains, and his deep voice seemed to roil up from the depths of his impressive chest. “We’ve done enough intel gathering with Nova that I can’t imagine it will cause us any real difficulty, even if it is on a planet. I also can’t fault the logic of our men being incorporated into a traditional family structure. I think…” he hesitated, his peripheral vision taking in Savar’s nod in surprise. “You agree?” There was a moment of silence as the two men regarded each other, obviously something private and significant passing between them.

Bloch bit back a sigh of impatience. One of the “upgrades” done by Fourth Colony on this young group of Special Forces soldiers was a microscopic electronic chip inside their heads. That chip allowed them to do all sorts of impressive things. They could access any computer, net service, communication device…and each other, if they needed to. From an outward appearance, Bloch could almost believe in telepathy, if he hadn’t known exactly what they were doing.

“Gentlemen, speak
out loud
, if you please!”

“Sorry, sir,” Savar apologized, chagrin running across his face. “Habit, you know.”

He did know, all too well. The first week he’d spent around these men, all they had done was communicate mentally to each other.

“I do agree with Steve,” Savar continued with a nod. His voice fell to a quiet, solemn tone. “None of us have a good handle on what you might consider ‘normal’, sir. I think being included in a family structure will teach us things no classroom ever could.”

Jeconiah frowned, but his expression looked more thoughtful than argumentative. “I hadn’t thought about it that way.”

“It is indeed a valid point; most of us grew up in the Academy,” McBurgh acknowledged slowly. “It would also look very odd to Nova if we’re just wandering around without being somehow directly connected to Bijordan society, wouldn’t it?”

Grateful they seemed to be actually considering the idea, Bloch gave them an encouraging nod. “That was the conclusion we drew. And even though you and your men will be dispersed into different homes, we will ensure that your entire team will remain in the same city together.”

“I do feel more comfortable hearing that,” Diener admitted.

“Sir, I do want to add two things,” Savar interjected, without any hesitation. His eyes, a cool grey, seemed to nail Bloch to his chair. “I think that if there is ever a situation that can be more efficiently resolved by our men, we should be called upon. Agreed?”

Bloch made a mental promise to himself to make certain that such a situation would never arise. These men would already have their hands full trying to analyze the movements of an entire planet. But, if this concession got them to agree to the arrangement, he could live with it. “Agreed.”

“Also, if we feel that our men are in danger, or that the home they are billeted in is not suitable for whatever reason, we reserve the right to pull them out immediately. No home will be considered suitable until we approve it.”

BOOK: Special Forces 01
11.74Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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