The year is 2804 AD. Humanity has colonized the universe. But the authority of the Confederation of Human Worlds is spread thin. Where the Army of planet Earth cannot reach, mercenaries must keep the peace--and the Dirigent Mercenary Corps are the best of the best.

As a young cadet, all Lon Nolan ever dreamed of was serving in the military of planet Earth. After a dishonorable discharge on trumped-up choices, he saved himself and his honor by joining up with the Dirigent Mercenary Corps. Over the decades he’s forged himself a place with the DMC, and shown himself to be a true hero. There’s even talk that he might become the next General.

But Lon isn’t after a promotion--in fact, he’s thinking about retirement. With his son in the Corps, he’s hoping he can leave the fighting to the next generation. But when the political machinations of the Confederation of Human Worlds get in the way, Lon has to return to the front lines, leading not just his troops, but his son among them, into a final bitter campaign.

The Dirigent Mercenary Corps books are classics of military science fiction. Rick Shelley was himself a veteran of the U.S. Army, and his experience and knowledge shine through on every page.

"Rick Shelley was a soldier at heart, and his books were written from the heart. They carry the real feel of the sweat, blood, and camaraderie of those on the front lines." --Jack Campbell, author of the bestselling Lost Fleet series.

Cover Art: Dirk Berger

This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

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eISBN: 978-1-93653-537-8

Copyright 2016 by Rick Shelley

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.

Electronic version by Baen Books