Stratagem has been through an alpha (I like to call them “alphabeta” readers) reader and is now with the astonishing editor MaryN for the first round of hardcore editing. We’re on track for a mid May or end of May release. I just have to figure out a cover…
Here’s a random snippet!
Rett’s thumb had barely depressed the fire control for the main gun when her fighter lurched and bucked. She fought it steady and hauled about to get a look at her pursuit.
“How bad are you hit?” Etron demanded.
Switching her voice com back to their secure frequency, Rett answered. “Minor damage, electromagnetic shielding is down.” She managed to get another Coalition fighter out of the action. “Toasted the port wing a bit. Nothing serious. Yet.”
“The others are clear. If you can maneuver, run. I’ll be right behind you.”
“Not if you don’t break straight up and spit some deflectors right now.”
His hissed curse boomed in Rett’s headspeakers. His fighter went vertical, the missile nearly clipping his rear stabilizers. The sparkle of the deflector attracted the heat-seekers attention, ending that threat.
Rett ignored the chorus of protests from her wounded machine and coaxed it into clear sky, keeping a sharp watch for potential threats. She glanced up a second before her proximity alarm went off—two coming at her from overhead. Damn. She targeted one and barely avoided a collision with the second. Didn’t help that she was rapidly losing power and control response. A light haze of smoke from overheating or shorting-out instruments hung inside the cockpit.
Etron’s voice came back a little later, sounding rough. “Okay?”
“I’m fine.” Rett eyed her instruments and then returned most of her attention outside the cockpit. Nothing she could do for anything in here. “The ship’s taken just about all it could handle. I’ve no control response. Everything’s jammed, including the manual overrides. Anything moveable is locked tight—or getting that way.”
She felt as if it was the strength of her body that kept the ship aloft at this point. For a brief moment she was reminded of the shuttle trip from Nyorfias, when she and Ariam had wondered about the Spacemarines losing the mechanized control of their heavy armored shells. Wasn’t much difference, she mused philosophically, between that and this.
Well, there is one important difference. Her lips twisted into a one-sided grin. Gravity.