Admiral and Commander


It has been 15 Terran months since Colonel Rodger Murphy and his Lost Soldiers were dropped in the 55 Tauri binary system. Since then, they have forged an uneasy alliance with space-dwelling descendants of the Ktor, liberated the earlier human inhabitants of the planet R’bak, and driven their oppressors from the neighboring system back into a few fortified cities.

But there’s another pivotal battle looming before them: intercepting the Harvester fleet sent by those same oppressors, the Kulsians. And time is growing short. The two stars are nearing periastron, which the natives of R’Bak call the Searing, due to the approach of the blistering F-class star. That’s when the Kulsians cross the 10 AU separating the systems to strip R’Bak of rare biological resources and destroy any powers that might become a challenge to future Harvesters. But Murphy has a plan to break that cycle of interstellar rapine. With the cooperation of both indigenous R’Baku and the mutually suspicious Spindogs and Rockhounds, the Lost Soldiers—now sporting the nickname Murphy’s Lawless—have pulled off a delicate scheme to capture an advanced Kulsian corvette. The objective: to improve the cutting-edge warship and use Spindog “autofab” technology to create a flotilla with which to repel the Harvester fleet.

But true to the source of the Lawless nickname, Murphy’s Law may be their greatest foe. Murphy’s worsening multiple sclerosis is becoming impossible to hide, and the corvettes are proving far more difficult to replicate than anything the Spindogs have ever attempted.

However, it’s the job of training and forging crews from the highly competitive Spindogs and Rock Hounds that is pushing both groups toward mutiny—and possibly murder. The only chance to bring all those forces together? Ex-Navy fighter jock Kevin Bowman—now known as “The Admiral”—who has his work cut out for him.

Problem is, both Bowman and Murphy are running out of time. Not only is the Harvester fleet coming earlier than expected, but it’s bigger than ever before. Much bigger. And its objective is clear: to reassert complete control over the system and annihilate Murphy’s Lawless, their allies, and any who would stand with them.