I apologize for the late snippet. I have been working to finish an editing project for another author and got involved yesterday. This is one of those projects that are a joy — as well as a frustration — to work on. It’s a joy because the book is really, really good. It’s frustrating because I get involved in the book and forget to keep the editor’s hat on. I can’t wait for the book to be released so I can start promoting it. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I have.
Now for the snippet. As with the others, it comes from the rough draft. So there may and more than likely will be changes in the final release of Fire from Ashes . Also, this snippet does not follow directly after the last one. Yes, I’m an evil writer. VBEG
“Sorceress, we have movement.”
Her XO’s voice held both exhaustion and concern. Not that she blamed him. They’d been dirtside almost twenty hours and most of that had been spent fighting for every inch of ground they’d gained. The fact they managed to take control of the groundside defense installations was a miracle in itself. If this battle ever ended, she wanted a long bath, food and an even longer sleep. Then she would start pouring over the intel gathered to find out why the enemy hadn’t tried overrunning them. Of course, that might be exactly what they were about to try.
She pushed away from the wall where she’d been leaning, listening to reports from the techs as they nursed the defense comps until the reprogramming had been accepted. Now they needed to hold out until O’Malley could get them air support. But that wouldn’t be any time soon. He needed to deal with the enemy ships attacking the taskforce. That meant she and the rest of the Warlords had to hold out. More than that, they had to hold the groundside defense installations. The taskforce would be decimated should the enemy manage to retake them.
“Heavy armor and artillery, you’re with Snapper. Do not let them get a bead on the building. Bird, Falcon, Eagle, I want all our eyes in the sky active. If we don’t hold this position, the taskforce is lost. Reaper, get snipers into position. Then get teams together to reinforce all entries. Stand ready. We will not let them retake this facility.
“Comms, message to the other company commanders. New orders. Groundside defense installations are to be held at all costs. I repeat, at all costs. If the enemy cannot be held off until reinforcements arrive, the installations are to be destroyed. Repeat. Installations to be destroyed before they are allowed to fall back into enemy hands.”
“Roger that, Sorceress,” Comms said and then repeated back her orders before passing them on.
“New message to the admiral. The enemy is making a push to retake our position. We will hold out as long as possible. If forced to withdraw, we will blow the installation. We will not let the defense platforms fall back into enemy hands. Add that I respectfully suggest he get the ships moving and deal with the bastards topside. We need air support ASAP, before we are overrun.”
The building shook as enemy artillery began raining down on it. Ortega cursed softly. Before she could issue new orders, Adamson’s voice came over the battlenet, sending reinforcements where needed. Bird’s report came in next, assuring everyone the enemy’s aim was as bad as ever. Ortega hoped that continued to be the case. The building had taken a beating from her own people before they managed to secure it. How much more it, not to mention the equipment inside, could take was a question she really didn’t want to answer.
The XO’s warning came a scant moment before the building seemed to rock on its foundations. The fight was on – again – and it was up to the Warlords to hold out as long as necessary to keep the defense platforms under their control. Failure meant not only their deaths but the deaths of everyone in the taskforce. The enemy wasn’t known for taking captives, not often at any rate. Worse, if they failed, FleetCom wouldn’t know how they’d been betrayed.
She’d be damned if she let the bastards who betrayed them win!