In the near future, humankind has made several important technological advances that have allowed them to begin to explore the galaxy. In response to provocation by an alien threat, they make the overzealous call to eliminate the rival species. The aliens appear to be peaceful but they quickly reverse-engineer many human technologies and tactics which transform them into formidable opponents. After losing his family during a counter-offensive, Private Jeff Grant enlists to enact his revenge on those who are responsible.
After completing basic training, Grant’s unit is assigned to make the first assault against a newly-discovered solar system believed to contain the alien home world. Their initial assault against an orbiting space station nearly ends in disaster when the alien defenders hold the larger human ships at bay, leaving the landing forces without access to support or reinforcements. With their primary objective down on the planet’s surface and their leadership incapacitated, Grant makes the call to blow the station out of orbit and ride it to the ground. Once on the ground, they cut through the remaining aliens to destroy an isolated outpost which coordinated planetary defenses.
As the sole survivor of the initial near-suicidal mission, Grant is selected to join a series of planetary assaults and is recognized as a proficient leader. His follow-on mission takes him to disable a remote staging facility far from the temperate zone of the star. Facing savage weather and desperate defenders upon landing, Jeff struggles to stay one step ahead of the enemy. After breaching the domed base the aliens are quick to turn their own heavy weapons on their structure, hoping to bury the humans beneath the rubble. The attempt costs Grant precious time. He misses his objective and is left for dead along with his team. Refusing to accept his demise, Jeff rescues his men using a heavily damaged downed ship.
With questions left unanswered, he traces the aliens to a nearby asteroid and staging area built into the rim of a massive crater. His direct actions yield him a crashed ship but uses combined fire from his soldiers, nearby artillery, and air support to emerge victorious. His successes warrant the attention of the fleet’s leadership.
Grant is commissioned as a ship’s executive officer, planning more offensives to eradicate the alien presence across multiple worlds. His first ship comes under heavy attack and is destroyed but Grant ensures the gesture is returned by infiltrating the alien’s repair yard and destroying it with their own eerily familiar weapons. He escapes his trap, a tactical nuclear detonation, by stealing an alien fighter and outrunning the ensuing fireball.
The fighter, while obviously not made by human hands, is nevertheless based on similar flight principles, providing Jeff the ability of rudimentary control. During the escape, he meets up with a lone vessel that is on its way to take out another alien base. The acquisition of the alien fighter proves fortuitous, as Grant is able to use it to make an emergency maneuver to rescue a downed crew.
Upon mission completion, Jeff is given his first solo command. After leaving multiple sparsely populated worlds in ruin, and coming under attack unprepared, Grant comes to understand the magnitude of the sacrifices required by his men when several fighter pilots volunteer for a suicide run to save the remaining forces. He realizes his purpose lies on a different path than his campaign of vengeful destruction and requests to autonomously build his own fighter squadron. He plans that they will take the risks that the fleet’s leadership otherwise could not accept and secure humanity’s future.
Grant recruits his team and is equipped with a prototype squadron of the most advanced ships ever created. Together they breach the alien’s last line of defense and cripple their home world. The victory rings hollow as the fleet leadership realize many alien ships broke off from the attack to strike earth. As commander of the fastest ships ever constructed, Jeff is requested to return home, shore up the defenses until the rest of the fleet can arrive, and save earth from certain devastation.
In the closing battle high above earth, the aliens pull one more trick: a munition that can allow a ship to be remotely piloted. Faced with losing the war and his men, Grant’s only option is to fend off his own squadron as well as the aliens. Through terrible losses and extensive damage, he crash lands back on earth.
As the war draws to a close, Jeff is held accountable for his actions and the casualties that were caused through his commands. Although he muses the losses were grievous, Grant instills pride in the readers of his account that humanity will always do what is honorable, what is right, and what is required to survive.
Targeted Age Group:
1. Complete freedom in designing a universe from the ground up. Use the rules of physics to fullest effect or create your own.
2. Many of the greatest adventures stem from life on the frontier; define that as you will. With much of the planet inhabitable, the universe provides the ultimate frontier and struggle for survival.
3. Scifi often establishes a refreshing theme that the petty differences of people can be overcome when they are solidly united around a grand purpose we have yet to see on earth.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Write for the joy of writing. Set out to create your own universe and don’t get bogged down in the details.
Oh, and never give up.
Matthew D. White is originally from a small farming town in rural Pennsylvania. He holds a degree in electrical engineering from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, and currently serves as an officer in the United States Air Force. He currently resides with his family on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
An avid reader of science fiction, military history, particle physics and technology, Matt develops his stories in such a way as to be fantastic in scale, but at the same time retain a degree of realism that is missing in many contemporary works.
In addition to writing, Matt is an experienced woodworker, musician and adventure racer.
Writing gave me a welcome escape from reality and I began with developing some short stories about a series of central characters. Over time it grew into a full-length novel, and something that I still hope to add to. The creation of the story brought me a great deal of enjoyment and I’d like the opportunity to pass that on to others.
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