“Black Dawn (Blood on the Stars, Book 8)” by Jay Allan

08/11/18

When we last left our intrepid crew of the Dauntless, it was making a mad dash back to Confederation territory to announce that a new enemy had been found by the White Fleet. This new enemy, the Hegemony, was located out beyond the “Badlands” farther than any fleet or humans had gone. Contact with the Hegemony proved dangerous for the White Fleet in that this new enemy was more advanced in ships and weapons than the Confederation. The Hegemony’s battleship in particular carried large rail guns with a range far greater than even the primaries of the Confederation ships. Damage from a rail gun shot was usually fatal to the ship on the receiving end.

When the White Fleet first met the Hegemony, they started with friendly intentions. Unfortunately, the Hegemony definitely wasn’t in a friendly mood and responded with combat. The White Fleet was barely holding its own and that was due to the fact that the Hegemony didn’t use combat aircraft in their deployment. So, the White Fleet had a small advantage with their considerable number of combat starfighters and they put them to good use. It was also evident that the Hegemony ships didn’t have any kind of close-in defensive systems to target these starfighters. The only problem for the Confederation fighters was that Hegemony ships were massive and unless hit with numerous plasma torpedoes, the could hardly be harmed.

So, the fighting is furious and the White Fleet is out gunned and clearly doesn’t have the assets of the Hegemony. They decide it’s time to leave and break off the fighting, but they don’t want to lead the Hegemony directly back to Confederation space. After a great deal of arguing and almost mutiny, Admiral Tyler Barron has been convinced that he must go back to Confederation space and warn the Senate and the people of the coming enemy. If he goes back, his reputation is enough to rally not only the Confederation but the Alliance and any other civilizations on the other side of the Badlands. The Hegemony threat is for all humanity not just the Confederation.

Dauntless is the ship carrying Admiral Barron back with her Captain Atara Travis in a coma near death. So Admiral Barron is once again the acting Captain of the CFS Dauntless! He has left the White Fleet with Admiral Sara Eaton and she is taking that fleet farther into unknown space directly away from Confederation space. Hopefully, the Hegemony will follow her fleet while Admiral Barron makes his way back to the Confederation.

Now if that isn’t enough, agents of the Union have infiltrated the Confederation capital and are slowing corrupting Senators of the Confederation Senate. That isn’t such a hard job since most of them seem to already be corrupt. What’s more difficult is corrupting some of the military leadership, but even that appears to be doable. Admiral Barron is going to return to a completely different Confederation than he expects and one that might just be in so much turmoil that any defense against the Hegemony will be impossible.

So the story goes on. While events in the capital city of Troyus City, planet Megara, seem to be pretty idiotic they are working for the Union. What the Union agent gets done by the Senate is pretty much impossible in real life. How one single person can plant so much false evidence is hard to imagine, but she plants evidence on three different people, all well known within the Confederation and two considered heroes of the last Confederation – Union war. Still this makes for a fast moving book with lots of action. Only at the last minute do things seem to straighten out or do they?

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