It may be the twenty-fifth century, but the Marines are still looking for a few good men.
The Confederation has finally disclosed the existence of Skinks, fierce aliens bent on wiping out humankind. While the rest of the universe grapples with the news, the Skink-savvy Marines of the Confederation’s Thirty-fourth Fleet Initial Strike Team (FIST) have their own worries: they’ve just learned they can’t transfer out of the unit. Who else has the skills to fight the Skinks on their home turf when the time comes?
Morale isn’t improved by a report of Skinks on the uncolonized world of Ishtar—which means that FIST must turn around and head right back into the jaws of hell with no downtime. But none of that matters to Lieutenant Charlie Bass and the third platoon of Company L. They’re Marines, they’re the best, and they’ve got a job to do.
Planet Haulover has been invaded by Skinks. Until now, the aliens’ existence has been hushed up. But Force Recon’s shocking report leaves the Confederation no choice but to mount a military campaign against these alien predators bent on human destruction. Meanwhile, back home, the Confederation’s president is being denounced as a warmonger out to exterminate “harmless” aliens. If she loses the upcoming elections, the Confederation will have a lot more Skinks to worry about than the ones on Haulover.
Newly promoted Lieutenant Charlie Bass and his third platoon have more pressing concerns, such as staying alive. But what would be a suicide mission for most—whether it’s raiding a hidden Skinks base or destroying the enemy’s most lethal weapons during a desperate firefight—is just another job for the Thirty-fourth FIST.
Combat vets David Sherman and Dan Cragg know firsthand the courage, sacrifice, and hell of war—and their experiences have made the popular Starfist novels thrill rides of the highest order. Now the explosive action continues on the remote planet Ravenette, where the Marines of the Confederation’s 34th Fleet Initial Strike Team (FIST) find themselves up against a full-fledged rebellion–and a lethally loose cannon of a commanding officer.
Desperate to thwart unrelenting aliens and their quest to obliterate humankind, The Confederation has beefed up its defenses. But to the citizens on the outer edges of Human Space around Ravenette—unaware that a deadly enemy even exists—the government’s move seems oppressive, and ten planets have responded with a war of secession.
In touch-and-go battles with the seceding planets, the 34th FIST has emerged battered but unbowed, refusing to give up . . . even while under the command of a fanatical general. The enemy determined to strike, a new mission must be carried out, though the troops will likely return in body bags.
Should Ensign Charlie Bass and his Marines somehow survive the nightmarishly difficult amphibious landing, they can expect to be outmanned, outgunned, and out-armored in a fierce duel against fresh soldiers. But like any Marine worth his salt, Bass knows there’s only one way to go when facing impossible odds: on the offense with all guns firing. There’s no other choice—because if life was easy, there’d be no need to send in the Marines.
Packed with hard-core action written by battle-savvy combat veterans, the explosive Starfist series has become hugely popular across America. Now the saga of the courageous Marines continues in Flashfire, as the 34th Fleet Initial Strike Team (FIST) ventures to the edge of Human Space to fight a number of enemies . . . some on their own side.
Tensions erupt between the Confederation and several frontier worlds when civilians are shot dead at an army base on the planet Ravenette. Enraged, the Ravenette government and nine neighboring planets form a coalition, and their first act of secession is to overrun Ravenette’s Confederation garrison. With the armed forces of ten worlds seizing the brutal upper hand, the embattled troops need help—now—and they need it bad.
Enter the Marines of the 34th FIST. As the nearest ready-to-deploy unit, the team is sent to Ravenette with orders to hold the line until reinforcements arrive. The upcoming operation promises to be no picnic, for while sophisticates may ridicule the backward ways of the uncouth frontier folk, no one scoffs at their fighting ability.
Charlie Bass doesn’t mince words for his men in Company L’s third platoon. Two army divisions—perhaps thirty thousand soldiers—are being overwhelmed, and somebody expects a thousand Marines to save the day. As pompous Confederation generals wreak even more havoc than the enemy, there are those who call the mission suicide . . . but not the Marines.
Of course it sounds hopeless, but for Marines like Charlie Bass and the rest of the 34th FIST, accomplishing the impossible comes with the territory.
With its down and dirty depiction of warfare written by men who know what it’s like to be under fire, the Starfist saga is a runaway success across America. Now, in the explosive new Starfist adventure, packed with fierce action and danger, Marines at war in future space find themselves pitted against a faceless, insatiable foe bent on destroying them. And that’s just for starters.
How bad is the upcoming mission facing the battle-hardened Marines of 34th Fleet Initial Strike Team (FIST), the military’s unofficial alien first-contact force? Bad enough to make the brass take the unprecedented step of issuing 34th FIST replacements for combat losses before the Marines even leave their home base.
In response to a series of unexplained deaths on a lonely outpost on the frontiers of human space, 34th FIST has been dispatched to investigate–and eradicate– the problem. Beyond that, the information available to Gunnery Sergeant Charlie Bass and his men is meager even by Marine standards. No one knows what awaits them, for the newly colonized world remains largely unexplored. That means 34th FIST can expect creatures they have never seen, or even heard of, much less trained for. It could be Skink acid shooters, could be anything, for the barren station has several secrets–all of them deadly.
But the last thing these Marines expect to find is themselves in the middle of an invasion and a mysterious war–with none other than 34th FIST as Enemy #1. Whatever happens, they’ll deal with it, because they’re Marines, determined to be ready . . . and to give worse than they get.
It’s the 25th century, but the Marines are still looking for a few good men. . . .
In their fiercest combat yet, the hard-charging Marines of 34th Fleet Initial Strike Team (FIST) have finally won their battle against a fullscale alien invasion of planet Kingdom. But as citizens try to return to some semblance of normalcy, the old government is replaced by a ruthless new regime.
Meanwhile, in a cave in some forgotten Kingdom backwater, several humans slowly regain consciousness. Their minds have been probed repeatedly . . . by whom and for what reason they cannot say, for they’ve been stripped of all memories of themselves and their past lives. These half-dead outcasts begin a journey into the unknown— in search of civilization, in search of themselves. And one survivor’s journey will take him to places of overwhelming danger, where his identity will be revealed—to the shock of all.
“Non-stop action . . . This is state-of-the-art military SF.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A few good Marines beat the fierce, fanatical aliens once before. But that was a skirmish–not a full-scale invasion.
The truth is out. No longer are the Skinks just a horrible secret haunting the Marines of Company L. Now the aliens are all-too-real invaders whose savage attacks have devastated planet Kingdom, a world of squabbling religions where the men of the 34th FIST confront a desperate situation. Cities that haven’t already been reduced to rubble are under siege, while starving refugees roam the land. And still the Skinks come, rising from stinking primordial swamps to slake their thirst for slaughter, armed with an uncanny ability to locate the enemy and with weapons so deadly that a single blast can drop a warplane or a decimate a squad.
It’s painfully evident that 34th FIST is no match for these near-invincible killers, which is why third platoon’s been ordered to whip the citizens of Kingdom into fighting shape. With their backs to the wall and time running out, there’s only one way the Marines can turn these timid, quarrelsome men into warriors: Take the battle to the enemy. It’s a brilliant strategy, sure to succeed–if it doesn’t get them killed first. . . .
The Marines were told it was a simple peasant rebellion–but the mission proved to be far deadlier. . . .
Gunny Charlie Bass isn’t the only Marine mystified by the order sending the entire 34th to put down a few seditious serfs on planet Kingdom. Rumors swirl of a deadly alien invasion. But few believe that such sentient beings exist. Except Gunny Bass and the Marines of the 3rd platoon, who once fought enemy aliens called Skinks–fierce, fanatical fighters with hideous weapons who attack for no other reason but to kill.
Then, while slogging through Kingdom’s fetid swamps, the Marines are attacked by awesome unseen weapons that could destroy half a platoon with one shot. Clearly they are facing no normal enemy. And if their adversaries are Skinks, one FIST isn’t enough. Third platoon’s orders are to penetrate deeper into the bloody jungle hell–and find out what happens when a few good men bite the bullet. . . .
Six agents have died hideously trying to penetrate the crime families behind a vast empire of pleasure and debauchery– Now it’s up to the Marines to break the circle.
Most people will visit Havanagas only in their dreams, for few can afford the exclusive resort planet that recreates ancient worlds and caters to every taste. Witches are burned at the stake in medieval towns while riotous hordes fill Rome’s Coliseum to watch gladiators battle. Even the basest of human lusts are satiated by deadly sex acts and a thriving slave trade.
The crime bosses’ control of Havanagas and its people is brutally effective. Now three Marines from Co. L’s 3rd Platoon–masquerading as discharged military buddies on holiday–are going in to break the kingpins’ bloody stranglehold. From bordellos and rebellious enclaves to the very pit of the Coliseum filled with deadly beasts, Corporal Pasquin and Lance Corporals Claypoole and Dean face certain death with only their wits and skills as weapons. But they’re Marines, built to survive. . . .
A terrifying secret, an evil coterie of ruthless masterminds, a murderous battle of cunning and deadly skill—it’s time to send in the Marines!
After the Confederation makes a shocking discovery on an alien world, a nefarious band of opportunists from the highest echelons of power plot to steal the vast riches for themselves. Along with the ability to crush any resistance, these moguls possess spacecraft, unlimited resources, and a deadly arsenal of cutting-edge weapons.
The only one without a price tag is the Confederation president. Now she is sending Gunnery Sergeant Bass, the men of third platoon, and a single special agent to expose the shadowy figures behind the corruption. And so, on an obscure planet, home to unimaginable treasure and an unsettling species, the toughest fighters in Human Space confront their fiercest battle. For there will be no losers in this war, only the triumphant, the dead, and the vanished . . .
Through three centuries of interstellar travel, intelligent alien life- forms had never been encountered . . . until now.
When a scientific team exploring an obscure planet fails to make its regular communications check, the Marines of third platoon are sent to investigate. They prepare for a routine rescue operation, but what they find on Society 437 is a horror beyond description. Only a handful of ragtag pirates who were in the wrong place at the very worst time have survived, and there is little trace of the scientists.
What happened to the scientists? Why have the pirates been spared? Gunnery Sergeant Bass and the men of third platoon are about to find out, and the answer carries a terrifying implication for the Marines—and the entire human race.
It’s the 25th century, but the Marines are still looking for a few good men . . .
“Marines ain’t supposed to sit. We’re supposed to kill.”
After the resource-rich planet Diamunde is seized by the armed forces of industrialist Marston St. Cyr, the Confederation Marines face their most desperate battles yet against the mechanized forces of the bloody usurper. Promised a walkover by military planners, instead the Marines must run a gauntlet of steel, with weaponry three hundred years out of date.
For the Confederation’s invasion army to seize the planet, the Marine FISTs first have to secure a planethead against St. Cyr’s much larger forces which are equipped with superior weapons. Together with their outgunned comrades, the Marines of 34th FIST must do the impossible—or die . . .
Combat, betrayal, and murder at the edge of human space . . .
Deployed to assist the oligarchs of Wanderjahr in putting down a rebellion that threatens the planet’s political and economic stability, the Marines must fight two wars at the same time . . . one against the resourceful, well-led guerrillas and another with the entrenched police bureaucracy.
But who is the real enemy and who can be trusted? On Wanderjahr, nothing is as it seems—not even the animal life—and everyone has his own agenda. Inexorably, the Marines of the 34th FIST are drawn deeper and deeper into the politics of a world where murder, terror, and betrayal are the accepted methods of government . . . and everyone is ripe for an old-fashioned butt-kickin’.
“Hard to put down . . . Any book written by Cragg and Sherman is bound to be addictive, and this is the first in what promises to be a great adventure series. First to Fight is rousing, rugged, and just plain fun.”—Ralph Peters, New York Times bestselling author of Red Army
“Marines, we have just become a low-tech deep recon patrol . . .”
Stranded in a hellish alien desert, stripped of their strategic systems, quick reaction force, and supporting arms, and carrying only a day’s water ration, Marine Staff Sergeant Charlie Bass and his seven-man team faced a grim future seventy-five light-years from home. The only thing between his Marines and safety was eighty-five miles of uncharted, waterless terrain and two thousand bloodthirsty savages with state-of-the-art weapons in their hands and murder on their minds.
But the enemy didn’t reckon on the warrior cunning of Marines’ Marine Charlie Bass and the courage of the few good men who would follow him anywhere–even to death. . .