Title: Solar Warden
Author: Peter Fuller
Genre: Military Science Fiction
“After Air Force pilot Steve Richardson crashes his F-35 in the mountains of Afghanistan, the last thing he sees before blacking out is the UFO that caused his flame out.
And it's coming for him.
Steve didn’t expect to survive his injuries, but he did...to find that the universe, as he understands it, will never be the same again.
Steve is aboard the space carrier SWS Nautilus, flagship of the Solar Warden fleet—a military arm secretly tasked with defending Earth from an extraterrestrial threat he can hardly believe is real.
Asked to join the program, he struggles to master technology half a century beyond his training and experience. But he has to learn it if he’s going to help defend humanity from complete and utter annihilation.
And he has to learn it fast.
The Nautilus is under attack, the enemy vanguard is on its way and the aliens may not be the only ones who want to see him fail.”
Sprinting away from the burning F-35, Scarecrow began a frantic search for a firebreak or outcropping that could shelter him from a blast. There was none. Dodging brush and rocks, he raced as fast as he could away from the crash site, despite being weighed down with his flight gear.
Just when he thought he might make it to safety, the feared explosion erupted, launching shrapnel-like debris in all directions. A smaller piece hit him in the back of his HMD, cracking it open and pitching him forward to bounce and flop across the hard desert ground like a rag doll in a gale. While his helmet kept him from being killed instantly, Scarecrow still suffered a massive concussion. He managed to stop rolling and lay face up on the packed earth. Dazed, he fought to remain conscious as flaming debris landed all around him. Unable to move, he was convinced that if he was hit again, it would all be over.
This time providence smiled on him, and he remained unscathed. When the echo of the explosion subsided, Scarecrow’s ears were filled with a loud ringing, augmenting the pain now growing inside his wounded skull.