Roaches In The Attic 1 – Now Available!

*** The original novella that grew into this series is available at 50% off, but only until Marth 12th. See my last post for details. ***

This novel of military science fiction was recently re-edited and re-released. It is available for purchase at $7.99 on Smashwords.

About this series: For the first time in recorded history, humanity has developed the technology to travel among the stars. The unrestricted exploration of space begins, only for our first wave of pioneers to discover abruptly and brutally, that we are not alone in the cosmos. It will be up to the Space Marines not only to counter this new threat from far, far way, but also to prevent these bizarre new enemies, the Roaches, from finding Earth and bringing their unforgiving brand of destruction down on all of us.

Series page on Smashwords.

About this title: The natural inclination of Man is to war with other Men. This is our destiny, to grasp the stars and to bring our weapons of destruction with us. But what really is Man, and more importantly, why is Man? The great voyage begins here as Man encounters other Men, equally clever and as warlike as He is. This time, war will be waged for the conquest of the entire universe. Rating: HIGH controversy.

Title page on Smashwords.

An excerpt from the novella The Fall Of Valhalla:

MDS (Marine Division Space) Sergeant Russell Nolan was the first to step out of Unilink Transport, number one-oh-one. He moved to one side of the vessel’s hatch by about five feet, giving the Marines behind him ample space to exit. Half a dozen men streamed out into the frigid air and immediately took up positions on the opposite side of the transport. The second half of his squad lined up in a column beside him. Already, Nolan could see the white clouds of their breaths from the frigid air.

They all stood in full combat gear, dressed a little on the warmer side due to the planet’s harsh conditions, and they all kept their fingers close to the triggers of their M-16s. Their platoon wasn’t even complete yet; it was still being put together back on MDRS Paradise from a rag-tag assembly of veteran and rookie Marines being culled together from Earth. Sooner or later, they would officially become Squad Two of the Ten-Eleven; the first platoon designated exclusively for space deployment.

Now that an enemy species from the other side of the galaxy had been encountered, the assignment looked to be permanent, but that was fine with Nolan. He’d taken the SPAT to see space for himself. Although he was surprised that he’d been discharged from Earth’s Marine Division so quickly, and re-enlisted into MDS with credit for time served, thankfully, he had no regrets over the choice he had made.

Behind the Sergeant, Corporal Lucifer grunted, “Fucking Pulse was probably as bright as a second sun out here for a good two seconds. So much for the element of surprise.”

“You’re the morning star, baby.” Private First Class Osuki joked. “People should know you’re coming.”

Nolan allowed himself a quick grin. The other Marines were always riding Lucifer over his last name.

“Son of a bitch!” Osuki cried out, as he peeled back the thick sleeve of his jacket and glanced at his multi-function watch. “It’s fucking thirty-eight degrees Fahrenheit out here!”

“No wonder my nose just got stuffed up.” Lucifer joked, exhaling another cloud of steam from his mouth.

The Sergeant’s eyes scanned across the small field they’d landed in. It had a light coating of snow on its dark soil surface, further giving him the impression that they were out in the frozen tundra somewhere. Trees were present at the edges of the field, but these were all leafless and as black as the ground.

Knowing that his new PFC was something of an encyclopedia, Nolan made a quick request. “Osuki, why don’t you give us all a rundown of this planet’s stats?”

“No problem, Sergeant. Valhalla is at zero-point-one-four AU from its parent star, Gliese Five-Eight-One. It has a year of thirty-six-point-five Earth Standard days, but it does not have actual days because it does not rotate due to it being tidally locked. What this means, for all you illiterate turkeys out there, is that the front side of Valhalla always faces the sun, while the other side does not. Normally, this creates a planet where one side has scorching heat, while the ass-end has freezing temperatures. Tidally locked planets usually don’t have atmospheres, and they face a constant bombardment of radiation from their star. Tidally locked planets are unable to have any moons, because they are too close to their parent star’s gravity.

“Valhalla, however, has overcome this drastic problem by having a very dense atmosphere, as well as a very high gravity to help keep this heavy atmosphere in place. If you look up above your heads, you will see a thick and dark gray cloud cover. This cloud cover is constant and captures the sun’s heat and spreads it all over the surface of this world. This allows Valhalla to maintain an average surface temperature of minus-six-degrees Celsius, or about twenty-one degrees Fahrenheit. There are trace toxins such as excessive hydrogen in the air on most of the planet. There are also oceans with no substantial marine life. At a couple of fairly small spots, such as this one, the air is breathable and the environment is relatively safe to live in. The vegetation around here is sparse, but it is capable of absorbing tiny amounts of carbon dioxide and producing larger than normal amounts of oxygen. This is because the plants here don’t work on photosynthesis like they do on Earth, where they thrive by soaking up sunlight. Instead, they work on chemosynthesis, which is done through chemical reactions that are unique to this kind of atmosphere. Every time we exhale, we are in theory enabling the vegetation to expand the habitable zone even wider than it is now. Valhalla is three-point-one times bigger than Earth, its gravity is at one-point-eight Earth Standard, the air density is at one-point-four and fairly dense, and… Sergeant, is that enough, or do you want me to go into the planet’s composition too, because I can.”

“That’s more than enough, Osuki. Thank you for all that.”

“Copy that, Sergeant.”

At a distance of about one hundred feet, Nolan could see a short series of wooden longhouses, built in accordance with whatever specifications the Norse peoples had actually used way back in the Middle Ages of Earth history. It was no small coincidence that the colony’s name was Valhalla, as it had been modeled in a medieval and non-technical manner by the religious extremists that had come out to settle the planet just under three years ago.

The transport pilot, Spaceman Falcone, anxiously poked his head out through the hatch. “Sergeant Nolan?”

“Yeah?”

“The Pulse Generator here is still functioning.” Falcone revealed. “It should take me about eighteen minutes to reload the Magnifiers to one hundred percent.”

“Good.” Nolan answered. “When you arrive at CP-2 (Command Post Two, MDRS Paradise), inform them that there does not appear to be any immediate threat. The colony looks undisturbed, but there are no civilians visible.”

“Will do.” The Spaceman slipped away.

Nolan frowned. Space Corps was going to have to come up with some new forms of communication if they wanted to keep abreast of the latest news. Or heaven forbid, in the case of unforeseen catastrophes like the recent one on Paradise.

The squad waited impatiently, still surrounding the transport and with their weapons ready, getting colder by the second, until the pilot reappeared. “Magnifiers are now at one hundred percent.”

“Okay,” Nolan nodded. “Give us a minute to reach cover, and then Pulse out.”

“Affirmative.” Falcone replied. “You should have two more squads here in less than twenty minutes.”

Nolan nodded once again, before he turned toward his team. In a quiet, but authoritative voice, he announced. “All boots, activate bucket (helmet) radios, and be ready to move to that first longhouse in Fire Teams.”

The soldiers passed the instructions on to those on the opposite side of the transport. All of them, reached up and into the right side of their combat helmets to turn on the built-in, short-range radios. Only the Fire Team leaders pulled the microphone sticks that extended from the helmet’s edge. They assembled in three tight rows beside the Sergeant.

“FT Delta, go!” Nolan ordered.

Four of his Marines hurried across the open expanse, and soon had their backs to the longhouse wall. Sergeant Nolan went with the second team, which spread out to the left of the first, and together they waited until the third team joined them. About a minute later, the bright white glow of the Pulse surrounded the transport. When the glow vanished the transport was gone as well.

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