- Taschenbuch: 512 Seiten
- Verlag: Pocket Star (27. April 2010)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1439167745
- ISBN-13: 978-1439167748
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 10,6 x 2,8 x 17,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.878.538 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Counterstrike: The Last World War, Book 2 (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 27. April 2010
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Dayton Ward is the New York Times bestselling author of the science fiction novels The Last World War, Counterstrike: The Last World War—Book II, and The Genesis Protocol, and the Star Trek novels Legacies: Purgatory’s Key, Elusive Salvation, Armageddon’s Arrow, The Fall: Peaceable Kingdom, Seekers: Point of Divergence (with Kevin Dilmore), From History’s Shadow, That Which Divides, In the Name of Honor, Open Secrets, and Paths of Disharmony. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with his wife and daughters. Visit him on the web at DaytonWard.com.
Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.
Corporal Bradley Gardner did not see the lone Chodrecai soldier, at least not until the damned thing was ready to frag his ass.
“Gardner! On your nine!”
Reacting to the warning from somewhere behind him, Gardner spun to his left in time to see the wounded alien warrior rising from beneath smoldering wreckage, bringing up the pulse rifle it carried in its bulky, muscled arms. Its pale gray skin was darkened with ash and soot. Shreds of burned skin and muscle hung from its left arm, injuries no doubt resulting from the fuel-air bombs that had blanketed the area less than thirty minutes earlier. It appeared to Gardner that the alien’s molded body armor had melted in places, perhaps even fusing to the Chodrecai’s exposed, scorched skin. How the thing managed to stay on its feet was beyond him.
Then none of that mattered as the gaping muzzle of the soldier’s pulse rifle rose to point in his direction.
Gardner fired without really aiming, the oversized Plysserian weapon bucking in his hands as it belched energy. The air whined in his ears and a bolt of displaced air crossed the space separating him from the Chodrecai, striking the wounded alien in its broad chest and sending it staggering backward. It tripped over a piece of flame-riddled debris and fell, toppling to the blackened ground.
“Get down!” another voice shouted, this time from somewhere to Gardner’s right, and the corporal dropped instinctively to one knee as figures rushed past him. Leveling his pulse rifle at the fallen Chodrecai, he watched as fellow Marines closed on its position, training their own weapons on it. Someone yelled at the soldier in its native language, ordering the alien to remain still and offer no resistance.
“Nice shot, Gardner,” a gravelly voice said from behind him, and Gardner looked up to see Gunnery Sergeant Kelley Owens, his platoon leader. The imposing African-American man’s eyes bored into him from beneath the brim of his floppy green camouflage boonie hat. “Almost makes up for you sleepwalking through the area. You looking to get your ticket punched, or what?”
Rising to his feet, Gardner felt his face flush in embarrassment as he watched fellow Marines take the wounded Chodrecai soldier into custody. “Sorry, Gunny. I was too busy looking for anything we might salvage. I screwed up.” It had been a boot mistake, the kind of error Gardner might have made what seemed like a lifetime ago, when he was nothing more than a full-time hospital payroll administrator back in Kansas City and a part-time Marine reservist.
A lifetime ago, before the war had come.
From somewhere off to his right, Gardner heard more weapons fire and turned to see other Marines—some wielding pulse rifles like his own while others carried M4A1 carbines—converging on another Chodrecai warrior, this one appearing uninjured as it lunged from behind the burnt-out shell of a collapsible shelter. The alien was firing on the run, lumbering toward the protective cover of the forest surrounding the glade where the Chodrecai had made their encampment. Gardner flinched as one Marine caught the full brunt of the alien’s weapon, everything above his waist disintegrating in a cloud of blood, skin, bone, and clothing fragments. What remained of the man fell to the ground as his companions pressed forward, catching the Chodrecai in a cross fire until the alien soldier collapsed in the onslaught.
“Damn it,” Owens said, shaking his head as he and Gardner made their way over to the fallen Marine. Gardner’s stomach lurched at the sight, one he had already seen far too many times in the months that had passed since the arrival of the Plysserians and their enemies, the Chodrecai. Using the muzzle of his pulse rifle to turn the dead Marine’s largely uninjured lower body onto its front, Owens reached down and moved aside a piece of shredded camouflage uniform to read the name tape stitched above one back pocket. “Meade,” he read. “Shit.” Looking to Gardner, he asked, “Did you know him?”
Gardner replied, “Not well. We played poker a few times.” It was a reality of the life he now lived that he did not form close friendships with most of the people with whom he came in contact. That was a consequence of his frequent transfers from unit to unit around the country, as well as occasional trips abroad, thanks to the rather specialized knowledge he mostly by accident had come to possess.
Yeah. Lucky me.
Owens was walking across the scorched ground looking around the glade and the burnt remains of what had been the Chodrecai encampment. Wreckage still smoldered here and there, but some of the Marines already were seeing to the small fires, some kicking dirt on the flames while others used entrenching tools—military folding shovels—to take care of the larger fires. “Doesn’t look like the Air Force left much of anything,” the gunny said.
“Probably not,” Gardner conceded, reaching up to wipe sweat from his forehead. The pair of B-2 stealth bombers dispatched to sanitize this target had done so with their usual effectiveness, all but obliterating the encampment with surgical precision.
“Recognize anything that might be a portal generator?” Owens asked.
Gardner shook his head. Very little of whatever equipment and materiel staged at this location had survived the B-2 bombardment. He pointed toward a larger, curved structure, similar in design to the old Quonset huts he remembered from boot camp at the recruit training base in San Diego. Only a portion of one curved wall still stood, the rest of the structure having been consumed by fire. “That looks like it was the only thing large enough to house it,” Gardner said, “but it got hammered pretty good. I’ll be surprised if there’s anything salvageable in there.”
The camp’s location had been pinpointed less than a day earlier, deep in an expansive, largely uninhabited area of Pacific Northwest forest in Oregon. Orbiting satellites had detected the energy output of what was believed to be the power source for yet another in a series of portals that had been opened between Earth and Jontashreena.
“According to the satellite imagery they gave us,” Owens said, “whatever generator they had here could only have been operational for thirteen or fourteen hours. Still plenty of time to move troops and equipment through.” Giving the area another look, he added, “And I have to say, I don’t see that much stuff lying around here.”
“If they stuck to usual Gray tactics, they’ve scattered,” Gardner replied, using the nickname bestowed upon the Chodrecai during his first encounter in southwestern Missouri with members of the alien race, in response to their pallid skin pigmentation. He waved his left hand to indicate the surrounding Oregonian forest. “They could be anywhere out there. Besides us and maybe Bigfoot, there’s nobody for miles.”
From behind him, a deep voice said, “We must also remember that the Chodrecai who built the generator here had to have arrived via another portal.”
Gardner and Owens turned to see the towering figure of Makoquolax, a Plysserian soldier. He was dressed in a formfitting dark uniform, over which he wore a vest comprised of interconnected armor plates, along with an equipment harness. Large, oval-shaped black eyes peered out from beneath a protruding brow, and small holes occupied the locations where ears or a nose would be on a human head. The pale gray skin of his exposed arms and bald head were...
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The characters are well written and believable. The actions taken by all parties are believable. And more importantly to me, there is no single point of evil, merely the affect of decades of war on people. I think you will enjoy it.
Hopefully this series will continue. The aliens invented the gates for instantaneous military transport on their home planet, It just turned out to have an interstellar range and Earth was accidentally discovered. Therefore, if one planet could be found, There are millions more to find.