Danger Close (Drop Trooper Book 3) by Rick Partlow
English | 2020 | Sci – Fi | ePUB | 2.9 MB
Rick Partlow is that rarest of species, a native Floridian. Born in Tampa, he attended Florida Southern College and graduated with a degree in History and a commission in the US Army as an Infantry officer.
All Cam Alvarez has known is war.
For three years, he’s fought the marauding alien Tahni on one God-forsaken planet after another, leading a squad of armored Drop Troopers.
But the war is about to change.
Cam is an officer now, fresh out of OCS and taking charge of his old platoon, and things have reached a tipping point. Instead of fighting a desperate holding action against the enemy, the Commonwealth is finally ready to take back the human colonies the Tahni seized early in the war. To free the people the enemy have kept as human shields.
However, victory comes at a price. Both for the hostage colonists and the Marines who fight to free them. When innocent lives are at stake, every shot fired is danger close…
Which was bullshit, of course. The Academy didn’t just teach students how to be officers. It was a college, teaching history, advanced math, science, literature, engineering. It awarded a degree right alongside the gold bar.
Off to my right, someone collapsed, a victim of the heat, or maybe of locking their knees at attention. No one moved to help them.
“It’s a fool’s errand. But orders are orders. And I’ve decided that the best way for me to protect the institution of the Marine officer’s corps is to do my best to make sure anyone who graduates from this course is worthy. Which means most of you will be returning back to your units with your tails between your legs.” I couldn’t see his sneer but I could sure as hell hear it. “Which should be about ninety percent of you.” He sniffed, and I thought if he were an NCO, he might have spat. “Platoon trainers, take charge of your units. Get this gaggle of wannabes out of my sight.”
The usual procedure for a formation like this would have been to call us to attention to turn us over to our officers, but Brena had never called us to parade rest in the first place, so we’d spent the whole twenty minutes of his rambling introduction braced and dying slowly of heat prostration. My own vision was beginning to haze over and I barely noticed when the smaller figure moved out in front of our platoon.
“Platoon,” the younger man barked, his voice higher-pitched and more pleasant than Brena’s, “at ease.”
The breath went out of me in a whoosh as my shoulders relaxed and I stepped into a wider stance, hands clasping behind my back. It was a small motion, but it made me feel as if I’d dived into a swimming pool of cold water by comparison. I was able to take a better look at the man standing before us. He was about my age, maybe a couple years older, probably no more than a year and a half out of the Academy himself, though certainly no less full of himself for all that. His face was lean and sharp-edged and pale, his eyes a dusty brown.
“I am Lt. Manzer,” he told us, his tone stiff and awkward, like he wasn’t at all used to addressing trainees. I wondered if we were his first class. “I will be your training officer for your entire OCS class, unless you’re recycled. Besides the classes you’ll be taking in the regular, organized instruction, I’ll be teaching lessons on a platoon level after training is over for the day. You will be tested on these lessons, so please treat them as just as important as your classroom education. If you have any problems or questions for me, you need to go through your training NCO, Gunny Reznick.”