Lines of Departure (Frontlines)
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Vicious interstellar conflict with an indestructible alien species. Bloody civil war over the last habitable zones of the cosmos. Political unrest, militaristic police forces, dire threats to the Solar System…
Humanity is on the ropes, and after years of fighting a two-front war with losing odds, so is North American Defense Corps officer Andrew Grayson. He dreams of dropping out of the service one day, alongside his pilot girlfriend, but as warfare consumes entire planets and conditions on Earth deteriorate, he wonders if there will be anywhere left for them to go.
After surviving a disastrous space-borne assault, Grayson is reassigned to a ship bound for a distant colony—and packed with malcontents and troublemakers. His most dangerous battle has just begun.
In this sequel to the bestselling Terms of Enlistment, a weary soldier must fight to prevent the downfall of his species…or bear witness to humanity’s last, fleeting breaths.
precisely, but they have a good idea, and trying to leapfrog across the intervening distance would get us killed. Their autocannons are remote-controlled via a data link that’s impossible to hack and very difficult to jam. The Chinese gunners can sit anywhere within a quarter mile of their gun, and hammer us from the air-conditioned safety of a command bunker. The new models can be switched to fully autonomous firing mode, where the gun’s computer selects its own targets. The Commonwealth Defense
all the way to the cockpit bulkhead. Sheer luck of the draw has placed me in one of the spots that didn’t get pulverized by millions of foot-pounds of kinetic energy. In the long run, it won’t matter—the ship is destroyed, and we’re in a very high orbit over Sirius Ad. All our fleet units are either engaged in battle, destroyed, or running away from the Lankies, and there’s nobody out there to stop and pluck me out of the wreckage. Against my better knowledge, I toggle into the pilots’ intercom
Master Sergeant Fallon is the main ass-kicker in the 330th.” I don’t have much to do except to stow my kit and exercise, so I spend most of my time on the flight deck, working out while keeping an eye on the shuttles that are delivering personnel and gear every few minutes. The HD troops start arriving in force in the afternoon. The docking clamps haul up shuttle after shuttle loaded with troopers in battle armor, hauling gear bags. From the other side of the hangar deck, I can’t make out
taken charge of all Commonwealth units in the city of New Longyearbyen. Three hours ago, we received an order to seize the civilian food storage and production facilities in the city. I refuse to execute that order. I will not be part of a military dictatorship on this moon. The troops under my command are now under control of the civilian administration. “All Commonwealth units outside of the city: Do not approach the town under arms, or you will be fired upon. We may be outgunned, but we are
this one.” I take my rifle out of its storage bracket, check to make sure the barrels are both loaded, and check my computer-augmented field of view for the rest of my team. As far as dispersion goes, the aim of the launch team was outstanding—we’re all within a quarter kilometer of each other. They shot a tight group from a quarter million kilometers away, but they missed the target altogether. As I trot down the hillside to join my team leader, I see a Lanky atmosphere exchanger towering above