Blood on the Stars
Duel in the Dark
Blood on the Stars 1
The Confederation battleship Dauntless has spent ten months patrolling the border, alone, watching for an attack from the enemy Union. Her crew is exhausted and the aging vessel needs repairs.With the fleet mobilized, and the forward bases overloaded beyond capacity, she is sent clear across the Confederation, to a base along the peaceful and sleepy sector known as the Rim.
But the quiet frontier isn’t what it seems, and when a distress call is received from a mining colony at the edge of Confederation space, Captain Tyler Barron must take Dauntless forward into the unknown.
Barron and his crew have their ship–and each other–but they can expect no reinforcements. His superiors believe that Union deceit is at play, that the attack is merely a diversion,intended to draw Confederation forces from the disputed border. Their orders are clear: no ships will be transferred from the front. Stopping whatever is happening on the rim is Barron’s responsibility, and his alone.
Barron’s grandfather was the Confederation’s greatest hero, the father of the modern navy. His name has always carried great privilege, and crushing responsibility. Now he must prove that he has inherited more than just a name. He must face the enemy, and win the victory.
Before the Confederation is caught between two enemies and destroyed.
Call to Arms
Blood on the Stars 2
Captain Tyler Barron and the crew of the battleship Dauntless are lightyears from the front lines, at Archellia, waiting for their damaged battleship to be repaired. Their ship is only just operational, but there is no time. The Confederation forces need every reinforcement they can get, and Barron and his survivors board their vessel…and rush to the battle lines.
When they get there, they encounter nothing but fleeing ships and shattered fleets. The Confederation is losing the war, falling back steadily, yielding system after system to the invaders. The Union fleets continue inexorably forward, seemingly immune to the supply constraints that have bogged down past invasions. Dauntless finds herself trapped, cut off from the rest of the fleet along with another Confed battleship, and a trio of small escort vessels…deep behind the rapidly moving front lines.
Barron must make a choice. Pull back, try to find a way to get around the enemy and rejoin the fleet. Or press on, strike deep behind the enemy advance, an almost suicidal thrust toward the Union’s main logistical supply base…and the one way Tyler Barron can think of to buy the fleet the time it needs to regroup. To survive.
Ruins of Empire
Blood on the Stars 3
Captain Tyler Barron and the crew of Dauntless are finally enjoying the rest they’ve earned while their aging battleship Dauntless gets the repairs and refit it desperately needs. But their respite will be short-lived. In the Badlands, deep in the haunted vastness of pre-Cataclysmic space, a new discovery threatens to upset the balance of power.
Orbiting a world in a distant system is an ancient battleship, vastly larger and enormously more advanced than anything possessed by the contending powers…and the Union has already sent forces to seize it. The Confederation has no ships close enough to intervene, to get there before the enemy…none save Dauntless.
Barron and his crew must race across the Badlands, find the ancient artifact, and somehow hold it, keep the Union forces from taking it, until reinforcements arrive. They will be outnumbered and outgunned, but there can be no retreat. Not this time. Nothing less than the fate of all human-inhabited space is at stake.
If the Confederation is able to rediscover the technology of the ancients, it will be safe for generations to come, its defensive forces untouchable by its enemies. But if the Union gets there first, if it can adapt the incredible power of mankind’s lost technology, it will gain the power to enslave all humanity.
This fight isn’t for territory. It isn’t for position or tactical advantage. It is for the future.
Echoes of Glory
Blood on the Stars 4
The Confederation and the Union have fought each other to a standstill. Battered, exhausted fleets eye each other warily across a border that has been a battlefield for three bloody years. Neither side has the strength to attack, and both wait for reinforcements that will allow them to resume the fight.
On the worlds of the Iron Belt, the heavily industrialized sector near the Confederation’s Core, massive shipyards operate around the clock, producing the great vessels that can end the war. The Union knows it cannot win the economic struggle with its wealthier, more productive enemy, and Sector Nine, its feared spy agency, is not idle. Their focus is not on the front lines, the ravaged border between the two nations, but far off, beyond the Rim, in the strange, militaristic realm know as the Alliance.
Sector Nine’s intrigues are targeted at nothing less than instigating a coup, and bringing to power a regime that favors war against the Confederation, a change in government that will bring the fresh fleets of the Alliance into the war, striking at the Confederation’s unguarded flank.
Once again, Captain Tyler Barron and his battleship Dauntless must go back to the Rim, and on to the Alliance itself to somehow thwart the Union’s plan…and prevent a two-front war the Confederation cannot win.
Cauldron of Fire
Blood on the Stars 5
The warrior culture of the Alliance has fragmented, and comrade fights comrade, brother kills brother. The Red Alliance forces, backed by the Union and its propaganda machine, have the advantage in numbers and position, and they are pushing forward, driving relentlessly toward the final attack, the one that will destroy their enemies.
The Gray Alliance forces are weaker, trapped in the great Sentinel-2 fortress where they’ve established their headquarters. Their enemies have the larger fleets and armies, and control of the homeworld…but the Grays have Tyler Barron and Dauntless.
The Confederation’s celebrated captain and his famous ship have been reinforced, and the newly promoted Commodore Barron now commands a small fleet of battleships, every vessel Admiral Striker could spare to reinforce the faltering Gray forces.
One final battle is all that stands between the Red fleet and victory, and it seems the Grays have no choice but to stand on the defensive and wait for the fight they know they can’t win. Unless they try something else, a wild gamble, a desperate plan to pull victory from the jaws of almost certain defeat. It will take all Barron and his people can give, and put Dauntless and the ships of his task force to the test. But it is the only way to win the victory, to prevent the Reds from a triumph that can lead only to a disastrous invasion of the Confederation, one that Barron knows he has to stop…whatever the cost.
Blood on the Stars 6
There is a chance to avoid annihilation, a small one. The Confederation has its own ancient device recovered from the Badlands, a stealth generator. It is not as powerful as the pulsar, but it just may be enough.
The generator can hide a single vessel, so Tyler Barron and the crew of Dauntless reunite to take their aging battleship once more into the breach. They will go to the Bottleneck, the system where the Union is preparing the final assault. They must sneak around the vast forces of the Union fleet, into the heart of the massively-defended system, and somehow destroy the pulsar.
The fleet will be with them, all the might the Confederation can muster, but success hinges almost entirely on Dauntless’s desperate attack. And, even if Barron and his people succeed in their mission, they will be trapped behind the enemy fleet, cut off and alone.
The White Fleet
Blood on the Stars 7
Tyler Barron and his spacers have set out into the unknown, deep into the Badlands, seeking to discover the empire’s old tech and the secrets of its tortured history before Gaston Villieneuve and the resurgent Union can beat them to it.
The White Fleet is a vast force, powerful and crewed by the toughest veterans from the war. Barron and his people know the future of the Confederation, even its survival, depends on recovering the scientific secrets of the empire before the enemy can do the same.
Barron and his people push far beyond the Confederation’s borders, to space untraveled since the Cataclysm. They are seeking the past, its secrets, its knowledge…but they will find a present that they never expected, a new and terrible danger, one that threatens not only the White Fleet, but the Confederation itself…even the entire Rim.
Blood on the Stars 8
The Hegemony is coming to impose its brutal system of genetic supremacy on the Confederation and the other nations on the Rim, to make its elite Masters the unchallenged rulers of all human habitation in the galaxy.
The White Fleet had been an expression of optimism, a grand expedition to explore the vast reaches of the long-dead empire. Tasked to uncover the secrets of the devastating Cataclysm and to seek and recover the advanced ancient technology that humanity had once possessed, it found something else instead.
A new enemy. A vast domain, one with advanced technology, massive fleets, and a genetically-ordered society and hierarchy it intends to impose on all humanity everywhere. The Hegemony is like nothing Tyler Barron and his comrades have ever encountered…but the veteran admiral must find a way to fight the far superior enemy, to rally the Confederation’s forces, and those of the other Rim nations, for what may well be the final war.
Barron understands his task is herculean, but what he doesn’t know is that the Confederation, far from being ready to face a new enemy, is embroiled in a widening scandal, one threatening to devolve into outright civil war, as the fleets and troops needed to face the enemy square off against each other.
Barron and his people will do all they can to prevent the Confederation from slipping into oblivion, and to prepare it to face the new enemy that is coming. They have placed themselves in the breach before, saved the Confederation from disaster more than once, but this will be their greatest test, a struggle like none of them have ever experienced.
This time the goal is not victory. It is survival.
Blood on the Stars 9
The Hegemony has launched the invasion Tyler Barron and his Confederation comrades have feared, and all the Rim is ablaze with the fires of war and destruction.
The Hegemony has brought its vast fleets, its advanced technology, and its endless legions of grim cyborg warriors to impose its system of rigid genetic hierarchy over all humanity on the Rim.
The Confederation fleet is outnumbered and outmatched, but they will fight nevertheless, struggling and dying to hold back the onslaught any way they can, even as the Marines they leave behind dig in and prepare to defend worlds swallowed up by the advancing battle lines.
Barron and his people will fight, they will fight like demons unleashed, and Jake ‘Raptor’ Stockton will lead his wings of strikefighters in one desperate attack after another into the teeth of the enemy armada, but time is running out…even as the enemy pushes relentlessly toward the Confederation’s Core and final victory.
Blood on the Stars 10
The unstoppable Hegemony invasion has reached the very heart of the Confederation. Battle after desperate battle has been fought, and each time, the Confeds have been pushed back, columns of battered and blasted ship retreating from system to system. Now, they prepare to grimly defend the capital world of Megara, the very center of the Confederation.
Tyler Barron prepares for what could be his final battle, a final desperate defense, one last chance to stem the tide of Hegemony conquest and subjugation. The fleet is ready, its exhausted crews prepared to fight with all the strength that remains to them. Still, the enemy is overpoweringly strong, and the odds of victory are slipping quickly away.
But, there is still hope. From unexpected allies. From the grit and determination of the defending fleets and their spacers. And, from a plan so daring it borders on the impossible…a wild and desperate gamble to stem the tide of conquest and halt the enemy.
It is night, and everywhere there is darkness, but the Confederation is not beaten yet. Barron and his comrades will stand, and they will struggle to somehow endure the darkness and fight through to the dawn.
The Grand Alliance
Blood on the Stars 11
The Hegemony controls Megara, the Confederation’s capital. War has raged for five years. Millions are dead, vast fleets of ships have been destroyed. But in the stronghold where Tyler Barron and his comrades have gathered their allies and the last of their strength, a plan is being devised.
Barron and his people have fought bravely, stubbornly, relentlessly, but the Hegemony has been too strong. Now, Barron is relying on the one source of strength that remains to him.
He will not surrender, he will not yield. And he will not remain meekly on the defensive, waiting for the enemy to bring forward reinforcements to launch the final assault.
That leaves only one option. Attack. Take back what the enemy has captured. Bring the war to the invader, and send them reeling back into the Badlands from whence they came.
The fight will be difficult, the odds steep. But Barron is ready to take the final gamble, and as one, the thousands of spacers he leads are behind him, shouting a single rallying cry.
Back to Megara!
Blood on the Stars 12
The Confederation and its allies have won their first victory, retaken their capital from he forces of the Hegemony. But the enemy is not beaten, far from it, and they are back, with an unstoppable weapon, a vast superbattleship, a deadly hybrid of imperial and Hegemony technology, called the Colossus.
The great ship is enormously powerful, nearly unstoppable, and in its armored depths it hides a secret, another Hegemony weapon, one that will change the dynamic of the entire war. One that will challenge Admiral Barron, and his officers and spacers, to the greatest test they have ever faced.
The battle for the Rim has reached its climactic stage, but even as the Hegemony moves forward to claim victory, an old enemy, a terror from the distant past, is about to return…and change everything.
Blood on the Stars 13
Admiral Tyler Barron and the Confederation navy face a new threat, darker and deadlier than any that have come before.
The Confederation has just concluded its war with the Hegemony, but now that power, so long the hated enemy, is calling for help, for the Confederation to join it to face a deadly invasion, one likely to subjugate all humanity.
Barron must overcome his own resentments, and the resistance of the Senate, and find a way to lead his forces into battle once more. The odds are long, but the stakes couldn’t be higher, no less than a choice between survival and freedom…and slavery and death.
Barron and his people will find the strength, somehow, to face the invincible enemy, to find some way to fight, to overcome the darkness.
Or at least to survive to fight another day.
The Last Stand
Blood on the Stars 14
The mysterious enemy has come, and Tyler Barron and his allies prepare for the final battle, the desperate struggle to save the Rim. Barron’s spacers are ready to fight, as always, but this time they know little of the enemy, and they face technology far beyond their own.
They will fight to the end if necessary, battle with their final breaths to hold back the deadly enemy. They will stand alongside their old enemies, the Hegemony, united for one massive battle, one all out effort to stop the Highborn.
But, even as they prepare to make a stand, they will learn exactly what they are facing, who the Highborn truly are and where they came from…and they will discover that nothing is truly as they’d believed. From the legends of the old empire to the desperate struggle for the future, everything is about to change.
Blood on the Stars 15
While Tyler prepares for an offensive he believes can only end in disaster, Andi Lafarge is preparing to continue her quest for the mysterious weapon the doomed empire used to defeat the Highborn centuries before. That search has largely been one of combing through old data and artifacts…until now. Andi’s path leads into the region of the Hegemony now know as Occupied Space, right past the Highborn defenses, to the shadowy and mysterious coreward regions of the old and fallen empire, and the ancient imperial capital itself.
The fleet will fight, struggling for a victory that may be out of reach, but even as they risk all, a new threat is growing, one far in the rear, along the regions of Confederation space that have been stripped of their defenses to support the war effort. The danger is real, and it is deadly. Tyler Barron and his spacers could see their home space invaded and destroyed, even as they fight for to achieve victory hundreds of lightyears away.
Attack Plan Alpha
Blood on the Stars 16
Tyler Barron and his comrades are ready for their greatest test, but even as they prepare to hold the line at Fortress Striker, to turn back the Highborn’s imminent attack, the enemy have opened another front, one far to the rear. Before Barron and his spacers can face their own ordeal, a ragtag force must hold another fortress, an older one that has seen many battles, but has long been neglected and allowed to fall into decay. If they fail, Barron and his vast fleet will face enemies to their front and to the rear…and any chance of victory will be lost.
Meanwhile, Andi Lafarge and her small crew scour the depths of the Badlands, searching for the secret weapon the empire used to defeat the Highborn three centuries before…and possibly the only real hope for victory in the current war.
The greatest struggle humanity has faced is nearing its climax. Warriors struggle and die, giant warships clash, worlds burn…but will the suffering lead to a new hope for humanity…or the endless dark age that has been feared since the fall of the empire?
Descent Into Darkness
Blood on the Stars 17
Tyler Barron and his associates are divided, split between two courses of action. Barron doesn’t believe in the desperate plan to eradicate the Highborn, the strange virus that has been created for that purpose, but may or may not be the exact formula used by the empire three hundred years ago. There are too many possible problems…a small difference in the virus, a cure created by the enemy…for him to accept the plan. Barron commits instead to a traditional defense, even though he knows the chances of ultimate success are almost zero.
Many of Barron’s cohorts are on his side, but not all. The leader of the other party is none other than Andi Lafarge, Barron’s wife. If the odds were any less gruesome, either one would have given in to the other. But Andi wants nothing less than the extinction of the Highborn, and she believes the virus will work. She will do anything to see it used. Anything.
The two work together, somewhat at least, and apart as well, striving to end the conflict in any way possible, with millions of spacers fighting…and facing probable doom either way. It is the last stand of free humans on the Rim, the final chance to evade slavery…or worse.