By the time he was ten, Axel Scott Fargo had seen his world turned upside-down when rebellion hit Ranite, his home world, and suffered his father’s death by a terrorist bomb. Still, thanks to the efforts of his mother and her widowed sister with whom they lived, Axel managed to graduate primary learning with high enough grades and athletic development to enter the Unity Fleet Prep Academy on the small planet’s southern continent. Though not traumatized by his father’s violent and senseless death or the strife that reigned terror on his world for four years, Axel never stopped thinking about either, or about the helplessness they made him feel, and found, at the age of sixteen, the Fleet Academy the perfect channel to help him relieve his frustrations and fears.
Axel grew to above-average height, with a firm athletic build, rugged, handsome features and a solid moral and ethical center. With his mother’s blessing and understanding he applied for the two-year long Tactical Assault Training Program at the Officer Training Command on Cerradis, one of the Unity Sphere’s founding planets. Departing upon completion of his final Academy year, he arrived on Cerradis five months ahead of training, and upon the recommendation of his Academy sponsor was allowed to serve on the Unity Fleet corvette Skellmex as an acting junior ensign for additional training. It was during this tour of duty, when the Skellmex docked at Port Kinmar, he met Celeste Gran-Johns. Hopelessly in love for the first time in his life, and certain she had similar feelings for him, Axel pursued her hand while not out on patrol, and two weeks before beginning his Tac-team training convinced her to join him on Cerradis.
Determined not to disappoint Celeste, or his family and friends on Ranite, Axel persevered through the first six brutal months, where the Fleet weeded out those mentally or physically unable to withstand the rigors of being a Unity Fleet tac-team commando. On his first extended leave (a week), Axel and Celeste found their love to be solid and true, and Axel asked his senior training office, Tac-team Captain Daniel Tayson, to officially wed them. Now, with a honeymoon to look forward to, Axel completed his second six months at the top of his class. He and Celeste returned to Port Kinmar for the first week of Axel’s second extended leave, where he met the small Gran-Johns clan, then traveled to Ranite where Axel introduced his bride to his mother and aunt. On their return they stopped again at Port Kinmar, where Celeste’s mother holographed them for the official family holo collection.
Axel remained at the top of his class through the final year, and graduated with top honors. Now a full ensign, and the rigors of training behind him, Axel and Celeste joined Axel’s classmate Raymond Senderson and his fiancee Tanra Jecks for a dinner celebration at a distant restaurant that specialized in old Earth recipes. Afterward, they planned to spend Axel’s two-week leave visiting at both Port Kinmar and Ranite, before Axel reported to duty at Colnate Station as a member of Unity Fleet Tac-Team Four. But a terrorist attack on the restaurant left Celeste, Raymond and Tanra dead, and Axel gravely wounded.
Devastated by his loss, Axel threw himself into his work after his extensive rehabilitation, dedicating his life now to eliminating the bug scum that threatened the Unity Sphere within and without. Always careful to maintain appearances, Axel walked a fine line between duty and obsession as he hunted Hetz, the terrorist who’d murdered his one and only true love. Along the way he rose through the ranks of his tac-team, earning himself a reputation as a tough, thorough soldier, and in time replaced Captain Tayson as the tac-team’s leader, with Tayson moving up to become Colnate Station’s Highcaptain, in charge of tactical operations.
When an intelligence operation managed to infiltrate Hetz’s organization, the Black Diamond, the Unity Fleet’s worst enemy, Axel maneuvered his team onto the assault force. But he found his hopes of confronting and killing his nemesis dashed when the assault force rained photon clusters down on the Black Diamond’s bunker instead of initiating the capture-and-kill operation he might have led. Though scans confirmed no survivors in the bunker, Axel harbored doubts as to Hetz’s death, and allowed his anger at losing his face-to-face with Hetz continue to fire his career.
Then, two years and continuous success later, came the threat of a forced vacation and an assault on a dirty planet known in the Unity Sphere Registry as NR-7710…
TERRORCRUISE – a science-fiction action-adventure novel by Charles Brass
Published March, 2011 by ClearView Press, Inc.
Available in soft cover ($12.99) and Kindle ($3.99)
Contact Charles Brass by email at: email@example.com