An old enemy returns. High Prince Saar, the despot of the Tor Regency, has completed his years-long descent into complete madness. Obsessed with finding Thaddeus Marcell, he is wreaking havoc across the Independent Regions, and his goal is simple: To make Thaddeus pay for Saar’s own failures during the Tor-Dravon War. In his quest for vengeance, he will settle for nothing less than the complete destruction of Marcell and his Organization.
Now, for the first time ever, Thaddeus and his band of mercenaries must go on the defense. He must fight Saar and bring him down, both to protect himself, and for the good of the galaxy itself…
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 4 – R Rated
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This is the third book in my series "The Thaddeus Marcell Chronicles" and it serves to tie up some loose ends left over from the first entry. My inspiration was pretty ad-hoc. When I started writing, I only had about two sentences to describe my plot idea, and I had to find and recall quite a few minor details from the first entry to expand upon.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I have a number of returning characters in this entry, but there are a few new ones, too. Most of the new ones were needed to provide a specific point-of-view and purpose, such as providing background to the Tor-Dravon War which happened long ago but is the basis for this story. I wanted to give my universe a sense of life, so I wrote a variety of minor characters just to provide different perspectives.
I also had to bring back a minor character from the first novel to be the main antagonist. To characterize him, I had to imagine a fairly arrogant and narcissistic but harmless person who then lost so much and suffered so much pain that he snapped and became something far, far worse.
“Our scouts have returned from the Byoram system,” Commodore Reynolds said in a displeased tone. “Preliminary analysis suggests that High Prince Saar and the bulk of his force left Alliance territory nearly two weeks ago, right after their bombardment of Byoram II.”
Thad instantly frowned. Two weeks? He hadn’t even been in Alliance space for that long. “How’s the damage look there?”
Reynolds’ expression was dour. “Not good, Admiral. The initial estimates of four hundred thousand dead are clearly low. Cities are still on fire. There are hundreds of civilian starships and tens of thousands of volunteers in-system trying to render aid, but it’s going to take a while and a lot more people are going to die before they get things under control.”
Thad’s mouth went dry. “This is just outright genocide,” he said in a near-whisper.
“He left a recorded message before leaving,” Captain Laraby added. “It was addressed directly to you. It had a public and an encrypted component. I just set my techs to work on the encrypted portion, but it sounds like Saar expects you to know the decryption key.”
Thad pulled his hands away from his face and sighed, then pointed towards the open door of the smaller briefing room attached to the frigate's Command Center. “Show me.”
A moment later, he, Reynolds, and Laraby surrounded the small conference table as it projected a two-dimensional video recording of High Prince Saar into the air above it. “Admiral Marcell, I hope you’re near the Byoram system when you receive this message so you can appreciate my handiwork. Isn’t it wonderful? So much death and destruction! I only wish you had millions of people beneath you for me to kill, but since you don’t, I’ll have to settle for this partial repayment for what you did to my world.
“Now, I’m sure your men have already told you that this message has an encrypted portion.” Saar suddenly smiled. It was broad and toothy and appeared a touch insane. “I’ll give you a hint on the decryption code. It involves something very, very important to you.
“Don’t worry if you can’t figure it out,” Saar continued. “I have a courier set up to bring you the code forty-five days after this message was recorded. Of course, you’ll need to be in Leonan Alliance territory to receive it, otherwise my courier won’t know where to find you.
“Good day, Marcell, and I await our next meeting.”
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