Once again I’m back aboard my old ship, the USS Midway! Only this time, it’s a starship! Would have been really cool if that were the case, but back in 1970, the USS Midway was barely an aircraft carrier considering today’s modern standards. Anyway, this book is again about the USS Midway, an American starship that is commanded by Admiral Jack Mattis, a war hero of the recently concluded American-Chinese War. Both sides were trying to patch up their relationship and start an era of peace when the co-owned space station, Freedom Station, was attacked and blown up by unknown forces. Of course, some Americans felt that the Chinese were behind the attack, but since Admiral Mattis was there and defended what was left of the station, he knew it wasn’t the Chinese.
But, since Admiral Mattis has a grudge against the Chinese for killing his brother, the American High Command and the President want him as far away from any Chinese starships as possible. So, the Midway has been assigned patrol duties in the far fringes of known space. Everything was getting pretty darn boring until they got orders to intervene in a hostage situation at a Chinese Embassy on the planet Sanctuary. It seems as though a group of old war veterans were not happy with the way things were going with the Chinese so they decided to take over the Embassy and get what they believed to be a deep, and dark conspiracy out to the public.
“The Forgotten” as this group of Veterans call themselves, believe that something is going on that the Chinese are behind and if the American government doesn’t wake up, more attacks like the one at Freedom Station are going to happen. So, the USS Midway is sent to try and settle this situation down and deal with these veterans which will also require him to deal with the Chinese.
In the meantime, a wimp of a scientist name Steve Bratta gets himself in a situation where he’s attacked by what he believes are aliens. He manages to video the entire attack while going to work on the planet Zenith for the MaxGainz Corporation. The “aliens” that attacked him did appear to be somewhat human, but far bigger, stronger, and quicker than any human he has known. The MaxGainz corporate cops that eventually rescued him from the attack confiscated his cell phone which they assumed he used to video the “aliens”. They certainly didn’t want that video released to the public, but the actual video was on his portable hard drive and Bratta took that with him and fled the planet. He meets up with his ex-wife, a police officer, and she manages to get the video to a pretty famous TV reporter. Soon the entire episode is made public and people are wanting to know where these “aliens” came from.
Back on the USS Midway, Admiral Mattis gets a strange communication from a Chinese starship with the caller identified as Admiral Yim. Admiral Mattis knows this name very well since it’s the then same Captain Yim who, in the recent war, destroyed his brother’s starship killing everyone aboard, including his brother. Yet, Admiral Yim was also aboard Freedom Station when it was destroyed. So it can’t be the same Admiral Yim, or can it?
This book is very good, but the story seems to have some gaps. I’m not certain how somethings tied together to result in the conclusion that came about. I may have missed something in the reading, but I read pretty thoroughly. There also seems to be some pretty casual contact between Admiral Mattis and the President of the United States. I don’t think real Admirals contact the President directly very often. Also, we have the problem of an Admiral still commanding the USS Midway when it was previously commanded by a Captain. Unless this is a flag ship for a fleet, a Captain should be commanding. And, the author needs to fix this mismatch with the XO’s rank being a Lieutenant Commander while his Chief Engineer is a full Commander. It should be the other way around or both should be full Commanders. I know there is a lot of friendly(?) banter between the XO and the Chief Engineer, but it’s still a subordinate rank (Lt. Cmdr.) addressing a superior office (Commander). Besides, if an Admiral is going to command the USS Midway, then his XO should be at least a full Commander. Ok, enough of my military nit-picking.
I’m really looking forward to the next book since this leaves a lot of the story still untold. It can only get better.