I had so much fun writing this from the perspective of one of my main characters, Sgt. Jameson Bennett. The thirdbook of the Infinite Spark series is primarily about his character, but this post starts back before the first novel, Stellar Fusion. I hope you enjoy it!
See the original post here: Character Guest Post: Sergeant Jameson Bennett of E.L. Strife’s STELLAR FUSION
Welcome to Earth, 2901, where all humans, no matter of demographics, are equally valued members of society. The Three Hundred Year War, World War Five, nearly destroyed civilization. We crawled from the rubble and toxic land, leaving behind our prejudices, concerned only with survival.
Earth’s continents are no longer divided into countries, only topographical zones. There are no governments or kingdoms ruled by the few. Every vote is equal, every voice heard. There is peace.
But peace has a price.
The Three Hundred Year War created many orphans like those on my team, including myself. It continues to do so as people are exposed to the toxins in our natural resources. We have relocated most of our villages and are rebuilding our cities. But farms need clean acreage we struggle to find. The average lifespan fell in the early years after the war but continues to improve as we find better ways to manage what limited land remains.
Us orphans are taken in as children and trained to be shepherds of Earth’s single force of law: the Universal Protectors. UP is an organization that formed in the ashes of war. It is our duty to protect the people of this healing planet. The instigators of the war do not wish it to end. Their rebel forces, known as the Kronos Clan, must be stopped.
UP protects what is most precious: the life-spark—the beat of a heart.
Our system of discipline is simple. An individual will be punished in a manner relating to how they harm others. If an individual darkens an innocent’s spark—kills another person—then they are executed.
Few escape our Human Cataloging system. Every human is registered at birth and receives a tracking device that relays the location and basic functions of the owner. As expected, some do not agree with the H.Co. procedures, preferring freedom instead of safety and order.
It is human nature to want love, acceptance, and comfort. For some, power is their driving force, like Krage, the leader of Kronos. He’s as bloodthirsty as they come, using women and children as body shields when confronted by us. He likes his crews to poison their bullets. We’ve lost a lot of good soldiers to him.
Shepherds are forbidden from emotion, high levels of adrenaline, friendship. Our Command does not permit us to mate or have families. My comrades are the family I can’t talk about.
The jobs we do require our minds to be focused and unbiased. Command puts us on serum as children. It stunts our ability to feel, keeping us neutral in our opinions and strong in our fight.
I am the only one who resists.
Command doesn’t know that my body requires a higher dose. Rio, the serum’s creator, is my Instructor and guiding shepherd. He keeps secrets for me so I may do what must be done. I am Command’s most effective guard. I am also the oldest recruit on record, signing on at seventeen.
My father was a member of the Shepherds United, the predecessor to UP. He died when I was young. My mother and little brother passed soon after in a house fire—a fire I ran through, chasing their cries for an hour without acquiring a single burn.
At eight, I knew I was different.
Not all of Earth is as wonderful as our impartial system makes it seem. I knew the locals would still find me different, so I ran, let them think I was dead like my family. Years, I was homeless. I begged, stole, fought in knock-pits, and lied to survive. All of my team grew up in similarly rough situations.
Sergeant Steven Cutter is our most calm and controlled team member. He entered the program at just five years old.
I know some of you have heard of mysterious occurrences around the planet: fire-eaters, rock-crawlers, people whose skin has taken on metallic or other inhuman tints, those who learn dozens of languages in a short time, and the increasing incidents of clairvoyance and rumored telepathy. I assure you, Universal Protectors are looking into these things. My Command has expressed their current belief is that they are mutations caused by the toxins in our resources. I disagree, but it is not my place to speak on that matter. I’m a Team Leader, not a member of Command.
We’re more concerned with the massive structure which appeared in Earth’s orbit only moments ago. I’m receiving word it has unleashed hundreds of smaller vessels—and pillars like sky-scrapers that are landing on the planet.
They’re burrowing into the surface!
The ships are capturing people!
We have to return to base and gear up! Thank you all for attending! I recommend you hurry home, get comfy, and pick up a copy of Stellar Fusion to find out more about our new world and the threat unfolding in our galaxy.
Josie, rack up! I need you and Panton on the transport guns. Tanner and Cutter, find us a route back that avoids these alien vessels. We can’t draw attention to ourselves until Command approves us to engage!
Control has requested all available forces on Home Station. Stick to the shadows! Cloak the ship! We have minutes to pack before we punch out of Ocean Base Thirty-three. Let’s move!
Title: STELLAR FUSION
Author: E.L. Strife
This isn’t the first invasion. This time, they’re taking everything… and everyone.
Earth, still patching itself together from the 300 Years War, is severely unprepared and outnumbered when the invasion hits. Their only hope is a small team of soldiers on a suicide mission to infiltrate the mothership and relay critical defense information home.
The last survivor of the first encounter can’t explain why she knows what she does. Sergeant Nakio Atana is the Universal Protectors’ elite assassin and holds within a spark of unimaginable power. But a daring escape from an enemy ship knocked the first fifteen years of her life into darkness, leaving her with only inexplicable apathy and technical knowledge beyond Earth’s evolution.
What she is can change their future.
Sergeant Bennett must guard her with his life.
Together, Atana and Bennett lead the team in hopes her knowledge, and his crew’s skills, will render them a soft spot in the alien armor. What they find when they reach the mothership is entirely unexpected. The truth they uncover will challenge the code they live by and their concepts of the power within.
“Stellar Fusion is the work of a new aspiring writer with a penchant for exploring possibilities of future life for humankind. Good versus evil, loyalty, truth, integrity, and the power of strength, love, and hope are all masterfully interwoven into this inaugural novel by E.L. Strife. With the age-old theme of making the world a better place, Strife casts her characters in the spotlight as they embrace survival on the planet. Stellar Fusion offers readers an opportunity to look to the future and reflect on what is most important to ensure the happiness, success, and survival of the human race.”
“Great book. Would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fast-paced sci-fi action with moments that slow to profoundly grab your heart and draw you into the characters’ lives. Looking forward to reading book 2 when it’s released.”