After five years of battling invaders, human civilization prepares a strike to drive the aliens from the Earth. But the Clan-Lord of the Sten has learned from the defeats human have dealt him, and has his own battle plan. When he squares off against Major Michael O'Neal, the only winner will be Satan himself. . . .
On the planet Hafardine, civilization must rediscover progress or collapse. Adrian, guided by disembodied electronic mentors from space, has brought gunpowder and steam power to the Kingdom of the Isles to break the stranglehold of the Empire. But he will have to avoid being killed by the suspicious King he serves, by the barbarians he must recruit, and even by his insanely vengeful brother.
"Looks like somebody's coming to meet us," Nathan Brazil said jokingly, a tone that didn't match his inner feelings at all. He pulled and checked his pistol.
They could see a giant figure coming toward them, and all stepped back to the rear edge of the platform. As the figure came closer, they could see that it was like nothing in the known universe: a human torso, incredibly broad, an oval-shaped head with a huge white walrus mustache, six arms spaced in rows down the torso, and the torso melding into a huge serpentine lower half five or more meters in length.
For what seemed forever, they just stared at each other—these four humans in ghostly white pressure suits and this creature of some incredibly alien spawning. The alien pointed to them, then made a motion to remove their helmets.
"I think it's trying to tell us we can breathe in here," Brazil said cautiously, removing his helmet.
The air seemed a bit humid and perhaps a little rich in oxygen—they experienced a slight light-headedness that soon passed—but otherwise fine.
"Now what " Hain asked.
"Damned if I know," Brazil replied honestly. "How do you say hello to a giant walrus-snake "
"Well I'll be goddamned!" exclaimed the walrus-snake in perfect Confederation plain talk, "if it ain't Nathan Brazil!"
With gifts, warnings, and an offer we
Our choice was simple: we could be cannon fodder, or we could be ... fodder. We could send our forces to fight and die (as only humans can) against a ravening horde that was literally feeding on its interstellar conquests—or remain as we were—virtually weaponless and third in line for brunch.
We chose to fight.
Thanks to alien technology and sheer guts, the Terrans on two worlds fought the Posleen to a standstill. Thank God there was a moment to catch our breath, a moment, however brief, of peace—.
Now, for the survivors of the Barwhon and Diess Expeditionary Forces, it was a chance to get some distance from the blood and misery of battle against the Posleen centaurs. A blessed chance to forget the screams of the dying in purple swamps and massacres under searing alien suns.
For Earth it was an opportunity to flesh out their force of raw recruits with combat-seasoned veterans. Political, military and scientific blundering had left the Terran forces in shambles-and with the Posleen Invasion only months away, these shell-shocked survivors might be the only people capable of saving the Earth from devastation.
He was once called Lancelot, King Arthur's greatest knight. She was once called Sabra of the Lake, high priestess to the hidden goddess. Now ... they are vampires, united by unbreakable ties of blood and sworn to protect the weak no matter the cost to themselves.
And at the dawn of the new millennium, Lord Richard still stalks, still fights ... still kills.
In the dead of night, a desperate plea for help calls him to the rescue of a woman he had loved and lost. Reality and dream merge in a macabre dance of death as Richard seeks to save those few fragile human lives he has sworn a blood-oath to protect. Haunted by the anguish and raptures of his ancient past and locked in a lethal struggle to survive in the present, Richard must reconcile the two if he is ever to find eternal peace.
But the price that the Dark Fates demand of him is very high. For over a thousand years he has served them well, yet now they want all he has left: his battered and tarnished soul....
Continuing a great tradition, Chicks 'n Chained Males is not what you think. That place is down the block, on another street, in another city. In fact, if that's what you're looking for one of our Chicks, Helga her name is, will be over shortly to give you a send-off you won't soon forget. (The term Bouncer takes on a whole new meaning....)
All we have here is a bunch of perfectly healthy babes in brass bras and chain-link bikinis, bearing broad swords and filled with good intentions. Never would such as they stoop to the exploitation of those poor chained males who have suddenly found themselves under their protection and succor. Never would they force those poor boys to do anything they did not wish to do; perish that thought on the nearest sharp blade!
No-no—these chicks are here to rescue these victims of male-abuse from any number of Fates Worse Than Death.... Right here. Right now.
Editor's Note: The Editor wishes it known that the title for volume was chosen by the Publisher and not by her. As a card-carrying Thoroughly Modern Liberated Woman, it would simply never occur to her to propose such a title, and she was shocked—shocked—that it did to anyone else, let alone the Publisher, who was formerly known as a sensitive New Age Guy in good standing (subject to change without notice). And besides, if a swordswoman has to chain up a man to keep him in line, she's being lazy and not paying proper attention to obedience training....