Angles of Attack (Frontlines)
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The alien forces known as the Lankies are gathering on the solar system’s edge, consolidating their conquest of Mars and setting their sights on Earth. The far-off colony of New Svalbard, cut off from the rest of the galaxy by the Lanky blockade, teeters on the verge of starvation and collapse. The forces of the two Earth alliances have won minor skirmishes but are in danger of losing the war. For battle-weary staff sergeant Andrew Grayson and the ragged forces of the North American Commonwealth, the fight for survival is entering a catastrophic new phase.
Forging an uneasy alliance with their Sino-Russian enemies, the NAC launches a hybrid task force on a long shot: a stealth mission to breach the Lanky blockade and reestablish supply lines with Earth. Plunging into combat against a merciless alien species that outguns, outmaneuvers, and outfights them at every turn, Andrew and his fellow troopers could end up cornered on their home turf, with no way out and no hope for reinforcement. And this time, the struggle for humanity’s future can only end in either victory or annihilation.
the mission-personnel module of the ship, which is occupied by the Indy’s embarked Spaceborne Infantry squad. All the grunts on this ship have been assigned to the Indy since before she last left the solar system, so they were all on the New Svalbard side of the mutiny a few weeks ago. That means I won’t have to constantly watch my back when I go to the mess hall or the head, which is a relief. There are ten berthing slots in the personnel module. All the junior enlisted SI grunts are sharing
nine grunts in the room take much notice. Some are working out on benches or heavy bags, someone is doing pushups in a corner of the room, and two of the SI troopers are sparring on a square of training mats in the center of the room. When Dmitry walks into the room behind me, however, the moderately busy din in the room dies down gradually as the grunts become aware of the SRA trooper’s presence. He has been around at mealtimes and in the corridors of the ship, so his presence isn’t a novelty
studies the plot again and points to the computer-generated trajectory. “We’ll coast for a bit until we have the worst of the damage patched up. Then we go for a low burn toward Mars, and use the gravity well to dogleg over to Earth. Helm, lay in the course. Tactical, let’s keep the active radiation to a bare minimum. It’s not like we can spot the bastards on radar, anyway. Optical recon only, and stay sharp. I want a recon bird out on our trajectory as a curb feeler. Maximum telemetry range,
slightly different course to avoid swapping hull paint with the Lanky patrolling not too far ahead of us. The bow thrusters do their quick, controlled burn, and the line representing our trajectory bends to port very slightly. Physics being what they are, spaceships hurtling along at hundreds or thousands of meters per second can’t just turn or stop on a dime when something pops up in front of them. I’ve never paid enough attention in physics to be able to begin to make sense of conning a ship
The two nearest cops are cut down instantly, swept off their feet by the impact of dozens of tungsten fléchettes their light armor has no hope of stopping. Sergeant Philbrick gives a signal, and the two privates get up from their crouching position and advance on the two remaining cops. One of them sticks his PDW out from behind the support strut he’s using as cover and starts pouring bursts down the corridor blindly. I pull back behind my own cover and try to meld with the wall. There are two