Si-Ar, first of the Alcadan Raiders, has yet again boarded a starliner, viciously murdered a dozen crew and marooned most of the 1,400 passengers to die in space. Leaving alive only “those passengers we deem ransomable, saleable or of entertainment value to my crew.”
Rangers Luke Anthony and Dave Simmons, of the Intergalactic Medical and Justice Corps (IMJC), scour known space for this murderous madman. Luke has vowed that nothing will stop them from bringing these bastards to justice. Especially now that he has discovered the pirates’ true identity and their connection to the death of his brother. But apparently a direct order from the Intergalactic Medical and Justice Corps council trumps a vow.
The IMJC sends them to Aegus Three, a planet with a problem. A big problem–nearly a third of the population is barely clinging to life and Ranger Simmons is their best hope. Unfortunately it is a planet of androids, and Luke hates androids. And worse, the council wants Luke to play diplomat and evaluate their claim at being more than just the sum of their circuits.
Dying androids or killer pirates, a vow versus a direct order, how can Luke decide? Or does he have to?
While Ranger Simmons works on discovering the cause behind the systems failures of 60,000 citizens–Mechmen, as they call themselves–Luke begrudgingly follows his orders and begins questioning the Mechs. He learns about The Awakening, when the androids became sentient. He learns about their revolt against their owners, their exile from their home world and the new society they have created. He also finds they have a common enemy. Si-Ar! And he’s coming, in fact he may already be there.
Two cloaked ships have been discovered on the planet and three more are hidden behind Aegus Six. And the rest of the pirate fleet is on its way, looking for payback for their rout by the Mechman a few years back.
To some, two men repairing 60,000 Mechs and fighting an entire pirate armada might seem long odds, but these weren’t ordinary men, they were Rangers, IMJC Rangers, which shifted the odds considerably. With just a single ranger patrol ship and some converted jets, the rangers must take on the battle-hardened pirate fleet. The conflict teaches both Si-Ar and Luke some valuable lessons. For one of them, it is the last thing he will ever learn.
Available on Amazon.com.