Guardian (War Angel Book 1) - David Hallquist
Описание книги Guardian (War Angel Book 1) - полная версия
War Angel Book One
PUBLISHED BY: Theogony Books
Copyright © 2021 David Hallquist
All Rights Reserved
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This book is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.
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To my father, Roy S. Hallquist, Sr.
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Cover by J Caleb Design
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About the Author
Excerpt from Book One of the Chimera Company
Excerpt from Book One of Murphy’s Lawless
Excerpt from Book One of the Revelations Cycle
Excerpt from Book One of the Salvage Title Trilogy
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I get shot out of the gun like a human cannonball hurtling into space.
I’m inside a Warrior Atmospheric Entry Pod (officially abbreviated to WEAP, known to everyone else as an “eggshell”), that surrounds the Guardian-class exo-frame I’m piloting. It’s shaped more like a barrel than a ball, though. Also, it’s not a “gun,” it’s a magnetically driven rail launcher that shoots me out far faster than any cannonball.
The violence of the launch crushes me deep into the acceleration padding of my space suit; even with my Jovian physiology and cybernetic augmentation, it feels like a Venusian thunder lizard dancing on my chest. Then it’s gone, and I’m floating weightless in space.
For now, it’s just me in my space suit, which is inside in my combat exo-frame, all tucked into my pod. With my cyber-augments, my exo-frame becomes my body, and the eggshell around it also comes alive to my senses. I give the mental command through my cybernetics to extend a fiber-optic camera outside and get a look at what’s going on.
Now I can see everything around me with perfect clarity. Stars turn slowly around me as the pod rotates for stability. Directly behind me is the Host Carrier, the Admiral Marshal Weston, or “Westie” as we call her. The ship looks like a giant arcology on its side, a collection of blocky structures, spars, and hatches floating in space. I just got blasted out of the cluster of launch rails amidships. That’s the business part of the ship—the hangers and launchers for all the exo-frames. Fore and aft are several counter-rotating habitat rings for the crew, so we can have gravity when we’re not under acceleration. The carrier’s defensive weapons clusters—the railguns, particle beam lasers, and missile packs—are all out and ready for action. I’m still in the shadow of the great ship, and she’s haloed with the blue aura of her fusion torch drive as she keeps on accelerating.
As my view continues to turn, I can see the blue drive flames of the rest of the task force. My on board computer helpfully supplies the names and identification numbers, floating in my vision, of the various cruisers, destroyers, and escort craft supporting the carrier. I can’t see any flashes of beam emissions or their hyper velocity projectiles as they fire, but sparks of missile drive flames streak out from all the ships in the same general direction I’m heading. The firepower of a carrier task force adds up to a lot of heat.
The pod turns a bit more, bringing our target into view. It fills half of space with its terrible majesty and beauty. Golden storm bands, white clouds, and deep brown, stormy, lighting-shot depths fill my view until it becomes recognizable as the king of planets.
I’m coming home, but I’ll have to fight to get there.
Ahead, I can see the faint blurs of other pods or combat drones ahead of me. They don’t quite come into view, even when outlined by Jupiter, because of the variable camouflage covering them, and the radar stealth systems protecting them from infrared or radar detection. If they weren’t so close, and I didn’t know exactly where to look, I’d never find them at all.
Also falling along with us is all the chaff—decoy pods, countermeasure drones, clouds of nano-filaments, and all sorts of other things to confuse sensors as much as possible and to give us a chance to actually get down there in one piece. Flashes of light ahead of us show where some of the scrambler warheads are going off above the upper atmosphere, blinding sensor systems and unleashing clouds of countermeasure dust and micro-drones, all while pumping even more ionized plasma into Jupiter’s already static-heavy magnetic fields.
Fortunately, there’s no fire coming up from below yet; we’ve managed to achieve surprise. Our fleet came in out of the Sun before dawn. It turns out the Sun isn’t just bright to cameras, it’s also got IR, UV, x-ray, radio, magnetism, and particle radiation coming out; a little bit of everything. To get through that glare, you don’t need superior sensors, you need magic. Then, too, with the limb of the planet between us and our approach, the opposition would need some kind of orbital network deployed to see us coming—and our destroyer escorts have already neutralized that. So, we charge