Clive Ranger was born into a war that has raged on for generations.
Across the galaxy, families have been torn apart and cities have been razed. But Clive may be the one who shifts the tide of the rebellion that has risen up against the evil Coalition.
The Coalition has locked away countless men and women utilizing them as slave labor across the galaxy. Clive is one of these unfortunate souls. However, he isn’t alone. Most everyone in the prison has their own scores to settle against the Coalition.
After all, it was the Coalition that killed their families, friends, and everyone they once knew.
Clive has a plan, and followers who have nothing to lose.
Can they finally retake their freedom?
Can they end the war they were all born into?
Targeted Age Group:: 13-45
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I've been writing stories my whole life. One day, I started in on this one, and it just snowballed from there. After writing over 140,000 words, I decided to parse the book out into multiple books and to finally publish. Here I am not even a year later with three books to my name, and several more books in the works!
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
There are some characters that are based off of different parts of me. Others are characters I thought would be perfect for the story, or just "burners" who serve their purpose and can be disposed of. Others still are based off of real-life people, such as historical figures. I took a lot of creative freedom when I made up my characters, so there isn't a specific formula.
Renaissance: The Limit of Infinity
The Limit of Infinity Book One
Northern Union, Earth
Lighting danced on the horizon as the Korolya Ptitsya lumbered over the Bering Strait. Martin Ranger watched as water spattered upon the cockpit windows of the outdated shuttle. Looking about the cockpit, he saw the patched remnant of a World War Four transport. Tools lay strewn about, many repair jobs were left partially done, and wires hung soldered together so many times they were unrecognizable looking more like the art from before the Third World War. The two Russian pilots, veterans of the Northern Union’s most recent civil war, sat in silence, keeping watchful eyes on the gauges because the indication lights had long since gone out, or been salvaged for use elsewhere.
Martin chuckled as he wondered why he even paid money for this flight back to Dallas. Sure, he did want back with his son, but he thought it would be better if he made it in one piece, this hulking junker was a death trap.
The lights flickered and the Korolya Ptitsya shuttered as it dove for the dark water below, the lights then died, and only the occasional lightning strike lit the cockpit. Martin grabbed hold of his arm rests and checked his harness for the hundredth time. He listened as the engines growled in protest to the pilot's’ attempts to restart it. It had already stalled twice, but those were above land. Sputtering, and wheezing, the engines turned over. Most of the lights flicked back on and everyone relaxed a bit.
“Spokoynoy nochi,” Martin said to the pilots as he struggled against his safety harness. Breaking free from its stone grip and exiting the cockpit, Martin heard the copilot said something about “Outworlders” and “Beauty sleep” as the door slid shut behind him. With a laugh, Martin tried to recall a few of the directions the pilot had given him, as he searched among the crates and countless dead ends that made up the bulk of the ship’s cargo bay. Eventually, as if by a miracle, he finally found himself in the passenger area. He looked at the sad faces of the sleeping refugees from all over Northern Europe, as he made his way down the narrow aisle, occasionally tripping over an outstretched leg in the dark. Finally, he slid into his personal quarters. Being wealthy, Martin had decided he wanted a cot and not just a seat to sleep in, he didn’t splurge on much of anything, other than his travel arrangements. It was a nine-hour flight from Arkhangelsk, to Dallas, and then off to his family, in Athens, Alexandria with first-class accommodations the rest of way.
Sitting on the threadbare sheets of the cot -which actually was just several boxes pushed together- Martin opened his suitcase and took out his dated laptop. His father had told him many times the stories that this laptop had lived through, told him how it was good luck and would bring him home. He had told Martin of the time my great-great (and a countless more greats)-granddaddy had bought it when he served in the army about two hundred years ago, told me how it had stopped a bullet when my great-grandpappy had been ambushed in the jungles of Peru on a humanitarian trip—Martin paused to trace the pockmark the bullet had left—his father had told him how it had even brought his parents together. His father had told him, ‘Sometimes you gotta trust the old-fashioned ways…’ that speech like all the others were ignored by the arrogant twelve-year-old. ‘Another long speech,’ was what Martin called them.
Martin tapped the worn power button and the laptop hummed to life. Although the laptop had likely been repaired more time than the trash heap he was flying in, it held much more value. With a buzz of protest, the screen flashed to life. A tear ran down Martin’s face as he looked at the screensaver, which was a short clip of his father waving goodbye on his last trip. Martin had taken that video for his mother when he was sixteen. She had told him that even though she couldn’t see my father off, she at least wanted it filmed. Martin had protested, not only was it weird to see someone filming a video of a space shuttle taking off, but because he had grown apart from his father. He had felt so wronged by the fact his father spent more time on trips than with him. He had grown to the point where he didn’t even go to the ball games his father had bought seats with the team in the dugout. He didn’t dare call him daddy, or even dad. Father was what he called him in his own act of rebellion. He told himself every day that he hated his father. Everyone he knew had their dads with them at every school event, Martin’s father could never make it.
On his final business trip, Martin had finally broken, telling his dad that he hated him. He screamed it. He had told him he would rather his father not even come home. Pain had overtaken his father’s eyes the moment the word left his mouth. When Martin had told him, he didn't want him back, a lone tear fell across his father’s face. Martin pushed his father away as he tried to give him a so-long hug. Martin remembered his dad telling him no matter what he would always love him as he took a step back. Martin remembered watching the broken shell of a man who had been his father walk to his flight. The broken shell he had just created.
Martin wiped the tear from his face as he regretted everything he did to mistreat his father. Beneath the hate was a caged love. He didn’t truly mean anything he said. Martin remembered wanting to race to his father and hug him and say sorry a million times. As he considered apologizing, the shuttle roared to life, Martin remembered filming the take off with shaking hands. He remembered getting home and calling his father from the in-home comm-station. Behind him he had heard the sound of his father’s laptop chirping with its call waiting sound, his dad had left it on the table. The weeks that followed Martin had starved himself. He hated himself because his father was a great man. He had been going to another war-torn planet to deliver aid to exhausted people who had their lives ruined by the long civil war. Martin had waited awake for hours at the home’s comm-station, awaiting his father to send any message.
Finally, Martin remembered racing to the shuttle depot after the long month. He had planned a week of what he had hoped would lift his father's spirits and show him how sorry he was. He had put together most of his money to take his father and mom to the nicest restaurant in the city. He had planned to tell his father he did love him, to apologize. Martin had waited in the terminal for hours until his father’s shuttle arrived. He had stood to greet him, trying also to see over the heads of the passengers and refugees. One had stopped in front of with his face ashen and had rattled something off to him in some language he had never heard. Eventually, the crowds had all left, and Martin approached the desk clerk, asking where his father was. The look she had given him was one he had never seen before. She had told him to go to the cargo hold, Martin tried to clarify that it was his father, not a piece of luggage.
The clerk had then said, “I know honey. I know. He’s down there though,”
Mystified and hopeful, Martin made his way to the unloading dock, marching through the maze of the spaceport’s innards. He found the man in charge and asked of his father.
“Martin Ranger? Humph. Your daddy’s dead, kid,” He had continued, reading off this and that to me, and even taking time to give out more orders, “Now get out of my sight. I’ve told you where he is.”
A crewmember of his father’s flight guided me to the morgue. Martin was shown the broken shell of a great man. He had screamed in defiance, as if the scream could bring back his father. For hours he had stood there. Lost. Hopeless. A few people drifted in and out. His mom had awakened him hours after he had cried himself to sleep. Tenderly, she had led him out, and after months she had him as put back together as possible.
Martin closed his eyes and let the images of his mother play before his eyes. Her love for him kept her going, while his love for her kept him going. She was too busy with him to care for herself, and after three years she had died. By then though, Martin had grown acquainted with death. His counselor had told him forgetting was how to go on. Sure, forgetting didn't truly work, but it was a defense. Martin touched the screen and the image of his father’s last moments disappeared. They were replaced with the image of his family. His beautiful wife and son—who somehow inherited his mother’s blue eyes and blue tuft of hair—smiled towards the camera as they sat in the courtyard of their penthouse, “Hello, Natallia,” Martin whispered. Natallia had be dead for seven years. Martin’s son Clive was only a year old when she died, so he didn’t go through the pain of loss like Martin had. Martin traced his deceased wife’s face and eventually taped the only icon on the screen. The laptop chimed happily for a moment before Clive answered the call on the other end.
“Hi, daddy,” Clive’s image said as it filled the screen.
“Hey Clivey!” Martin smiled, forgetting his cabin conditions as he looked at his strong young boy, “Where’s Lydia?” he went on to asking of their caretaker whom he hired after his wife’s death.
“But dad… I wanna talk to you,”
“Alright,” Martin immediately gave in. It had been weeks since they last spoke due to his hospital visits and the lack of comm-arrays in Russia, “What do you want to talk about?”
Clive spoke for an hour, as Martin listened enthusiastically. He watched as Clive showed him what he learned at school. Smiled as he listened to Clive recite the last four meals he had had (surely with some embellishment, cookies and cake were brought up countless times). Martin had told Lydia, ‘Only the best for Clive,’ she saw to it. She showed love in a way towards Clive like Martin thought only Natalia could show it.
“Oh, sorry buddy,” Martin cut Clive off mid-sentence, looking at the flashing battery charge, “I’m almost out of batteries, I’ll call you back in the morning.”
The cabin lights flickered again, and Martin paused mid word to search for a safety harness of some sort. The engine continued to hum in the distance. He felt the ground buck and heard a metallic thud as he was thrown from his feet. The lights continued flickering as Martin struggled to get to his feet. The lights shut off, and the only illumination in the room was the laptop with Clive’s face.
Martin looked up to his laptop, and saw Clive’s scared face, “I love you Cli—"
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