Seyger Hetz Fells-Mont’s life before he became a terrorist was one of unpleasant strain. Though not abusive, his parents were remote, often uncaring. His six older siblings took advantage and tormented the younger Hetz, teaching him early in life that he would have to fight to gain and keep whatever he deemed important. His parents successful merchants, Hetz received a modest education but never found direction, and drifted into adolescence unsure of the course his life would take. His only two pleasures were his girlfriend, Sash Denders, and his sailer, on which he and Sash spent weeks drifting lazily through their home system of Port Quowl. Hetz had also discovered he had a remarkable talent with weapons, and won several marksmanship contests during his youth, but thought of earning a living through those skills did not appeal to his more quiet nature.

At fifteen, Hetz’s life was forever changed when pirates captured his sailer. He managed to shoot down four of his attackers before being overwhelmed and savagely beaten. But recognizing his skill, the lead pirate spared the young Hetz, and invited him to join their clan. With Sash held as hostage, Hetz had no choice but to agree. And to his great surprise, within a couple of weeks found the life of a pirate nothing like he’d thought, and one well worth pursuing, as it opened the door to opportunities he’d never before considered. Within months, he’d established a place for himself within the group, earning a reputation as a cold, methodical rogue with little patience or mercy.

Also establishing a place for herself among the clan, Sash, however, faired poorly despite Hetz’s efforts to protect her. A pirate who’d lost his brother to Hetz’s weapon eventually raped and murdered Sash. Hetz later brutally killed the pirate in return, but held the entire clan responsible, thinking they should have stepped forward to protect one of their own. His disdain for the clan grew as he slowly came to realize they had no real ambitions, and would only attack targets they knew they could easily handle, regardless of how little reward such targets provided. Smuggling became their primary means of support, which distressed Hetz, for he knew how risky such business could be. So three years to the day after becoming a member of the clan, Hetz killed them all by blowing their vessel’s locks while protected by a vacuum suit he’d stolen from an earlier victim. Free of the clan leader’s limitations, Hetz relocated to a new system to pursue his ambitions.

Establishing himself as a hired gun, Hetz continued his education as he moved from one organization to another, carrying out assassinations, bombings and other duties. Continuing opposition to the Unity Sphere provided plenty of work, and by the time he was twenty-seven, Hetz had earned the trust and respect of the Kystrum, one of the Sphere’s more powerful opponents. They encouraged Hetz to create his own organization, which he did, naming it the Black Diamond. Their first operation, an assassination of an executive and his associates, proved wildly successful, and Hetz realized he had found his true calling.

But piracy, smuggling and the lure of deep space proved too hard for Hetz to resist and he reorganized the Black Diamond to attempt what had never been done successfully before on a large scale: the hijacking of cruisers and freighters. Through months of practice, he perfected the terrorcruise, as his group came to call it, and when the time came to strike, he started with a relatively easy target, more for the actual experience than any reward. Success led to success, and within six months, the Black Diamond had established itself as the premiere terrorist organization within the Unity Sphere. Despite the Unity’s Fleets frantic efforts to stop him, Hetz led his organization through ten more successful terrorcruises, capturing a wealth of hostages, cargo and vessels, bringing the Unity Sphere to the brink of dissolution.

Only a prototype deanimation station, installed by Hetz only four weeks earlier, saved Hetz when the Fleet finally found and destroyed his command bunker. Though the passage of time was instantaneous for him, Hetz remained deanimated in a burial chute for over a year before a salvage scow crew, a member of which was a cavaxian pilot named Brayn, stumbled across his body. Upon his reanimation, Hetz rewarded Brayn’s crew with loot from one of his many stashes as they expected, but then killed them one by one to preserve his identity. Only because Brayn was a pilot of exceptional skill and inordinate loyalty did Hetz spare his life. Hetz kept a low profile as the effects of his dangerously long deanimation wore off, then quietly made contact again with the Kystrum. Delighted to have their best man back, the Kystrum helped Hetz re-establish himself, providing him with men and a facility to create a new Black Diamond. And Hetz, eager to pay the Fleet back, took to his second chance with renewed vigor.

With Brayn at his side, Hetz trained his new organization extremely well, then finally set his sights on his first target in over two years: the Crown Orion

Terrorcruise cover art

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: seabrass@seabrassproductions.com

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