Here's the cover... isn't it gorgeous?
Title Solar Warden Book Two - Requiem
Author Peter Fuller
Genre Military Science Fiction
Earth is in peril. The Reptilians and Grays, led by their Blue Nordic overlords, have suffered a series of unexpected defeats at the hands of the humans–a species they’ve deemed inferior.
Expecting a divide-and-conquer strategy by the aliens, Solar Warden begins reinforcing its Mars base–the enemy's expected target. And the final stepping stone to Earth.
In the midst of the impending invasion, Steve “Scarecrow” Richardson and Sandy Cooper, find themselves marked for death by both alien and human foes.
Book two of Peter Fuller’s Solar Warden series finds the humans faced with an overwhelming force that will not stop until they’ve eliminated the human race. All that stands in their way is the determination and fierce will of a small group of Earth Defense Force combatants willing to lay down their lives to save humanity.
Rear Admiral Louise Stanton ducked out of her stateroom and walked the 20 feet to the command deck of the Solar Warden carrier, Oleander. Named for a flower–beautiful but deadly–she thought the designation apropos. Their current mission was deploying sensor buoys in deep space between the Sol and Proxima Centauri star systems. It had been two weeks since their meeting at the Mars base, and in that time, no enemy activity was detected.
Stanton appeared to be in her mid-30s, but looks were deceiving. She was shorter than her senior officers, with a delicate frame. No one considered her beautiful, or even pretty for that matter, but her size and appearance didn’t diminish their respect for her. Her gray-blue eyes had the same devastating effect as a particle beam weapon, and could disarm even the most formidable of Red Boots. Louise Stanton was a warrior and a leader of men, and anyone who forgot that did so at their own peril.
Stanton strode onto the command and stood beside the captain’s chair.
“What have ya’ll got for me, Skipper?” Stanton said with a mild, Texas drawl. “And whatever it is, it better be good. I was checkin’ for light leaks when you roused me.”
“Ma’am, I thought you should see this.” Captain Samar Sharma motioned to the tactical display nestled amongst the numerous ARI screens at the fore of the command deck. It revealed a tiny blip some 10,000 miles off their port quarter. Stanton leaned forward, squinting as she peered at the wraith-like display.
“It’s too small to be a mother ship … what’s the tactical readout on it?”
“Admiral, it’s a lone enemy tactical-reconnaissance saucer.” Sharma’s TAO, Lieutenant Commander Aaron Clarke said as he brought up the bogey’s vital information on the tactical screen.
“What’s it doin’ out here all alone, Aaron? Where’s its Mother? Skipper, have you scanned for any other enemy assets in the area?”
“Yes Ma’am, but there’s nothing else within sensor range. It appears to be a lost puppy.”
“Lost puppy or not, take it outta my sky, TAO.” Stanton offered a dismissive wave of her hand and slumped back into her own chair, beside, but slightly behind the captain’s.
“Aye, Ma’am. Charging weapons now. Locking weapons … wait a moment.” Clarke peered up from his console. “Sorry, Admiral. It’s jumped to FTL. It’s gone.”
“Sensors, track it. See where it’s headed. Maybe it’ll lead us to its Mother.”
Fifteen minutes later.
“Looks like our lost puppy is back, Admiral,” the TAO said. “It just dropped out of FTL. It’s taken up position exactly where it was the last time–approximately 10,000 miles off our port quarter.”
“Is it still alone, or are there any other assets with it?”
“None, Admiral. It’s alone.”
“Are you sure? I don’t want a dozen mother ships de-cloaking right on top of us.”
“We’ve got nothing on sensors, Ma’am.”
Stanton stared at the displays, pensive. She tensed. “Helm, plot an intercept course. TAO, raise shields and charge weapons, but don’t paint it. Let’s see how close we can get to our lost puppy.”
“Moving to intercept, aye.”
“We’re weapons hot, Admiral,” the TAO said. “Shields are at full strength.”
The tactical display showed the tiny red dot that was the saucer, being approached by a larger green dot that was Oleander, its transponder code following it across the tactical display. When they reached a distance of 5,000 miles, the tiny red dot began to move away, matching their speed.
“Helm, increase speed.”
“Increasing speed, aye.”
The red dot matched their speed, not allowing them to get any closer than 5,000 miles.
“Go to one half light-speed, helm.”
“Increasing to one half light-speed, aye.”
The red dot maintained its distance.
“Overtake it, helm. Whatever speed necessary.”
“Aye, Admiral. Approaching light-speed.”
“That did it, Ma’am,” Sharma said. “It’s jumped to FTL again.”
“What the–?” Stanton exclaimed. “This is odd. I’ve never seen anything like this.” She sighed, perplexed. “Alright. Helm, resume previous heading and speed.”
“Returning to previous course and speed, aye.”
Another 15 minutes later.
“It’s back again, Admiral,” Sharma said. “Right where it was the last two times.”
“I’m tired of this cat-and-mouse game,” Stanton replied. “Just ignore it.”
Twenty minutes later, the saucer was still holding its position, 10,000 miles from Oleander.
“Captain, it’s beginning to transmit a message,” the comm officer said.
“To where? Is it calling for re-enforcements?”
“No Ma’am. It’s sending a message to us. On a neutral frequency.”
“Wash it through our translation program, Comm.” Stanton said. “Let’s hear what our lost puppy wants.”
It took a few moments, but the lieutenant had a translation. “I’ve got it Admiral, but it doesn’t make any sense. The translation program must not be able to accurately interpret the message.”
“Well what does it say, Comm?” Stanton asked with a frustrated bearing.
“It’s only four words, Ma’am. It just keeps repeating, over and over. The same four words.”
“Ya gonna keep us in suspense all day? What’re the four words?”
“Give … Me … Bird … Frightener …” The lieutenant had his head down with his hand over his earpiece. “That’s it. It just keeps repeating.”
Captain Sharma glanced over at Stanton with a surprised air. The expression on Stanton’s face morphed from frustration to stunned realization. She rose from her chair and stared at the tiny red dot on the tactical display.
“I know what it means …” she said under her breath. Stanton stood frozen for a moment, then turned and walked towards the hatch. “Skipper, what’s Nautilus’ position?”
“She’s at Deep Space Platform Six, taking on troops to augment the Mars Base.”
Stanton paused before exiting the command deck. She stared once more at the tactical display. “Comm! Get me Admiral Reynolds of Nautilus on a secure channel and patch it through to my office, ASAP!” She ducked out the hatch and headed for her office, located just down the passageway, right next to her at-sea quarters.