Four Horsemen Universe
Staff Sergeant Markus ‘Spartan’ Nicolos is one of the Intelligence Department’s best. A hacker who can beat any code, he’s in charge of communications intercepts for the Golden Horde’s Computer Operations section. When people can’t break a code, they bring in Spartan.
It wasn’t always this way, though. Spartan used to be a frontline CASPer pilot—someone who could be counted on to get the job done and bring the squad home safely…until he lost his entire squad in an ambush. He also lost his edge in the attack, and he swore he would never pilot a CASPer in combat again.
Everything changed, though, when he came up with an idea for a new type of scout CASPer—one that would prevent what happened to him from ever happening again. He’s been given a mech to convert and a team to help him bring his idea to reality. And he’s been given a chance to test it out on a Golden Horde deployment.
But in the time immediately before the events of the Omega War, forces are already moving behind the scenes, and nothing is as it seems…and they’re bringing along Spartan’s combat mech—which he said he’d never pilot in combat again—just in case.
Captain Markus ‘Spartan’ Nicolos is one of the Golden Horde’s premier hackers and communication specialists, and a top-tier CASPer pilot. His experimental Hoplite scout CASPer aided significantly in thwarting an attempt by a Besquith general to wipe out the Golden Horde.
Now, while most of the Golden Horde goes out on a major contract, Spartan has been given a small team of less than 30 mercenaries—specialists, all—to teach a race that has just joined the Galactic Union how to defend itself. And, in his spare time, Spartan is to spy on the Merchant Guild.
After arriving in the new system on a ship from the Intergalactic Haulers Mercenary Company, Spartan’s group of specialists begin completing their mission, but things rapidly go downhill when they find out the Omega Wars have begun and Human mercenary companies are being hunted.
Unable to contact his company’s leader, Colonel Sansar Enkh, Spartan is on his own to put the pieces together and figure out a new plan to deal with the changing situation. Can Spartan’s small team of Golden Horde specialists complete their mission and find a way to survive the Omega Wars on their own, or is this Spartan’s last ride?
The Peacemaker-enforced ceasefire brought an end to the hostilities, but the Mercenary Guild’s moratorium on new contracts has given the other guilds time—and freedom—to redress long-standing grievances. It has also led to a mindset of “while the cat’s away, the mice will play,” and many are taking liberties they would have not normally.
On Earth, the Golden Horde continues to rebuild, because Sansar Enkh has a good idea of what’s coming. In addition to rebuilding her forces, she knows the Humans will need all the advanced tech they can get their hands on, so she sends Captain Markus “Spartan” Nicolos to search the home world of the SalSha for remnants of Kahraman tech.
The mission is a two-pronged one, as the SalSha leader Thorb needs to return to the world of his birth to recruit new pilots for his war-depleted bomber wing. He also needs to stop along the way at Capital Planet in hopes of getting the SalSha recognized as a mercenary race.
Nothing is as it seems, though, and forces are jockeying in the shadows for power, through all means possible—both legal and not. The team of Spartan and Thorb leave Earth heavily armed and armored…but will it be enough?
This Fallen World
My story in “From The Ashes” titled “Mr. Smith Goes to Toronto” introduces the “Mr. Smith” character to Christopher Woods’ Fallen World.
In the late 2020’s and early 30’s corporations managed to render the major governments of the world obsolete. The big corporations owned most of the territories as well as the majority of the world’s wealth. While many of the old traditions were still observed in various parts of the world, the true power was with the corporations.
In the late 30’s, what would be known as the Corporate Wars began as larger companies initiated hostile takeovers in a whole new fashion. Employees, armed with corporate weapons, warred for dominance. It was a bloody time, and many small corporations were destroyed, as were a lot of civilians in the wrong place at the wrong time…as well as those who’d been buying the wrong products.
On May 1st, 2067, it all ended in nuclear fire.
Sixteen outstanding authors have come to this Fallen World with stories that take place from the islands off the coast of Washington to the plains of central Europe; from the swamps of Florida to the streets of Philadelphia. These stories document the fall…and introduce you to people who might just drag civilization back from the ashes…
Before the Fall, Obsidian Corporation had Agents, and Teledyne Industries had Specialists. Both were deadly. In the Northeast Sector of North America, deep in Obsidian-controlled territory, Teledyne had Mr. Smith, and people fled, just on the rumor he was close by.
Now, twenty years after the fall, former Obsidian executives have formed a tenuous truce with the former assassin to save New Toronto. Smith would have happily lived out his life alone, but when Smith sees that something needs doing, he gets it done.
The Anarchists Legion are on New Toronto’s doorstep, as well as under it, and Mr. Smith must search from the top of the CN Tower, to the PATH system under the city, to the shores of Lake Ontario to find out who’s behind the murders, sabotage, and destruction. Used to being cold and working alone, Smith will be forced to forge bonds with new allies, but with enemies all around him, is there anyone he can trust?
Who will control New Toronto? Who will survive the Anarchists? Mr. Smith will have something to say about both of those questions. And when Mr. Smith talks, people listen…or at least they should.
Salvage Title Universe
My story in Kevin Steverson’s “Salvage Conquest” anthology, introduces the Srpentes to the Salvage Title Universe in the story “Death of a Traitor.”
Harmon Tomeral and his friends wanted nothing more than to go to space, and they have beaten the odds, time and again, to get there. They developed a mech and won the Top Fleet Marine Competition. They brought back a battlecruiser from an unknown system and made it their own. They made allies who helped them achieve great victories, and they ultimately founded new colonies in what has become known as the Salvage System.
Salvage System is a beacon of hope, and a number of other races have begun looking toward it as an inspiration for how to live and govern themselves, and—in some cases—for assistance in defending themselves and throwing off oppressive regimes.
But the galaxy is a big place, and many of the races in it aren’t friendly. Would these forces like to take over Salvage System and acquire its resources? Absolutely.
Fifteen incredible authors take you further into the Salvage Title universe, giving you looks at some of the beacons of hope…and some of the malevolence that has yet to show its face. Can Harmon Tomeral and his friends hold out against it? Take a look inside and find out!
The Serpentes have long felt that isolation was the best way to survive in the galaxy, but a traitor’s actions have revealed their presence to the universe, and Admiral El’Jyiurma of the Serpentes Space Navy has traveled to Gieliv to prevent a terrorist incident from being inflicted on the humans there. She returns home triumphant, but there is trouble brewing—the Serpentes face peril from both internal and external forces, and El’Jyiurma finds herself caught up in the middle.
With word of their existence growing, they catch the attention of a race they’d rather not meet. At the same time, they must battle the hatred and fear that automatically comes from humans, based merely on their appearance.
Fearing an invasion from outside forces, President Frazier of Gieliv sends a desperate plea to the Serpentes, requesting help to bolster their weak navy. With a potential attack looming, the king of the Serpentes sends El’Jyiurma to the Gieliv system to foster diplomatic relations and help defend Gieliv.
Hard choices have to be made, and El’Jyuirma is in the hot seat. Which is the more significant threat, and how can it be stopped? A wrong choice could lead to the end of the Serpentes civilization, and El’Jyiurma has little time to decide.