Before we get to the main event, I just wanted to say that Jason’s had some luck with our patch manufacturer and we’re expecting to see a preview soon. When that’s ready, we’ll be releasing more details about the Test Pilot Program. We look forward to bringing you more news and content soon.
As promised last week, here is a raw, unedited excerpt from the manuscript of Red Giants: Last Stand of the Nova Riders, selected by the author, Brandon Fero.
Neils ducked his Bear into another depression while a salvo of rockets shook him. The Earthers’ firebase had been the target of this mission. Intelligence related to Colonel m’Bashan that the enemy’s last offensive had been substantially weaker. That meant they weren’t prepared to mount a defense of their base of operations in this sector.
Intelligence was wrong again.
The Earthers’ firebase was heavily defended. They used directed-energy weapons in every bunker, and their minefields were largely impenetrable without the right resources. Neils and the Apaches were escorting a bunch of engineers to the front to try and detonate the minefields so that they could get their forces inside the walls of the firebase.
The Earthers didn’t want that to happen, so they were sending out their Mordred shocktroopers to run interference throughout the minefields. Each minefield had small trenches that ran the length and breadth of them. The Mordreds were using those trenches to hop from one small pre-fab bunker to the next, carrying spare ammunition and rockets for their launchers. It was a hell of a game to be playing in a place where you couldn’t stick your head up without getting it shot off by a high-powered laser blast.
‘Novan artillery had tried to soften up the firebase, but the lasers weren’t just good for shooting enemy personnel and vehicles. They also served as anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense. Every salvo of shells that the ‘Novans batteries had put out, the lasers had defeated, except for some that landed short in the mines.
These craters were the key. The Heavy Gears were maneuvering up through them, hopping from one to the next.
The Demolisher with Neils’ Bear was a derivative of the Hunter. Like other combat engineer vehicles, it wasn’t heavily armored, but it did pack a wallop in its Riley demolition gun. The only real trouble was its cockpit wasn’t armored; instead, it was an open ballistic-glass compartment that the pilot looked out through. From here, Neils could look in and see the Demolisher’s pilot working frantically to try and keep his charge low enough in the depression that he didn’t get hit.
“Demo 6, Apache 1, you alright?”
“Keffin’ great, Apache, best thing for breakfast is a little shot of adrenaline when somebody’s trying to kill you.”
A pair of Mordreds appeared behind the Demolisher. Neils pushed the smaller Gear down with a shove while his 10mm machine-gun spat out a brief burst. The Mordreds jerked like they were puppets on strings when several dozen bullets tore through their torsos, then fell stone-dead.
“Stang, warn me the next time, Apache!”