The Viridian system, ruled by a ruthless oligarch who enforces their will by mass deportations to a prison planet, seems impervious to attack. A huge army, a massive spy system and an army of robotic cops track down and destroy any resistance. For Greg Trumble, just staying alive is a challenge.
Arrested and sentenced to the prison planet Abradus, Trumble learns it is the headquarters of a group determined to overthrow their cruel masters. Convinced to join the rebellion, Greg is assigned to a prototype shop building a fighter capable of space, air, and under water performance. The enemy had nothing to compete with this marvel.
Trained in intelligence gathering, the skills needed to survive a deadly war, Greg returned to Viridian. Jessica Garcia headed the rebel fighters and Greg supplied the intelligence needed to defeat their cruel leaders. But in war, nothing is as it seems once the first shot is fired. Greg’s involvement becomes more than information gathering. He must fight. His main weapon, the air/space fighter he helped design.
Despite Joshua Penrose having given up pirating years earlier, some elements of the Braeden Navy still looked for an opportunity to fulfil the twenty year old warrant from their queen to hang the pirate. On a leisure spaceflight, Joshua and his wife were captured and hanged without trial. His family, now led by his eldest son, Harmon, want the officers responsible to stand trial. Braeden refuses to give them up. Along with his sister and four brothers, they take the fight to Braeden.
Spacer Buck Fryman emerges from the local lockup with a dream and a plan. He’ll go into business himself, as a space freighter. He’ll take the dangerous routes, sail fast without waiting for the convoys normally needed for pirate protection, and if a pirate does decide to take him on, he’ll prove that he’s not just a barroom brawler, he can defend himself in space as well.
A few years later, his fleet growing and his wealth enhanced by the many pirate ships he’s captured, Buck is summoned before the emperor. While Buck’s exploits have cut into some local piracy, the pirates are increasingly organized and effective. The emperor wants Buck to take charge of the anti-piracy efforts and even Buck doesn’t dare say no the the emperor.
Handling the occasional pirate raid is one thing. Going after the source of the piracy is something else. Even with the empire’s navy backing him up, Buck finds his hands full with Jarred Mahoney, former imperial intelligence minister and former leader of two worlds determined to use the pirates as his wedge to overthrow the empire and make himself emperor. Mahoney will stop at nothing, from loosing pirates on innocent freighters to bringing aliens back into conflict with humanity for the first time since the days of Contact.
Ken continues his exploration of the Contact universe with an exciting space adventure. Buck Fryman is a larger-than-life hero, applying his combination of finesse and brute force against a universe where he seems always outnumbered but never outsmarted. The anti-hero is sympathetic as well as that man struggles to survive Buck’s ever-present threat.
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