Blood on the Stars
Duel in the Dark
Blood on the Stars 1
War is coming.
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
War. The word spreads throughout the Confederation…the long-expected Union invasion has come. The enemy is strong, their fleets larger and more powerful than intelligence reports had predicted. They have broken through the forward defenses, sent the Confederation’s proud fleets into an ignominious retreat.
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
War rages between the Confederation and the Union. Shattered fleets watch each other warily across a war torn frontier. Both sides are licking their wounds, gathering strength to continue the fight.
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
A Fight to the End…
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
A Deadly Fight to the Finish…
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
The pulsar…an ancient weapon of unimaginable power, one that threatens the Confederation with total destruction. The Union is preparing for the final invasion, one that cannot fail with the great artifact at the head of their fleet. The clock is ticking quickly toward midnight.
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
The war is over, but the struggle continues.
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
War is coming, darker and more terrible than any that have come before.
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
War…like none that has come before.
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
Night is falling.
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.