I really look forward to each of the books in this series. They are all so very interesting and humorous. I guess finding humor in most science fiction books is a rarity, but these books do it very well. We’re back with James McGill, Centurion of Varus Legion, Earth. If you’ve read any of the Undying Mercenaries books then you obviously know Jame McGill. He is a galactic screwup, scoundrel, wise-ass, and troublemaker. Plus he’s a womanizer and con artist. McGill is also a very competent warrior. He gets thinks done while everyone else stands around worrying about breaking some Galactic Law, whereas James McGill just ignore them.
Breaking a Galactic Law or rule is a very serious offense. It could result in the extermination of Earth’s entire population. That has been the preferred penalty of most Galactic overlords who have had the unfortunate experience of visiting Earth and interacting with humans. Humans are considered in a similar vein as cattle or worse yet, as slaves who do the bidding of the Galactic masters. Earth sits way out on the frontier of the galaxy and very few of the older civilizations that comprise the center of the galaxy consider us worth having around. They have tolerated us because we have a product to sell and that is our war fighting skills. We have managed to stave off extermination because of our Legions who are sent to various places to enforce Galactic Law although we, ourselves tend to break such when it suits our needs. One James McGill usually is at the center of such law breaking and he’s almost always at the center of whatever method we have found to prevent our extermination and survive another visit by the Galactic overlords. This story follows along the same patterns as others.
Humans have found something on the Moon which is pretty shocking. It appears that the Skay and the Mogwa, both life-long enemies, fought a fierce battle many centuries ago at or near our Moon. That battle resulted in the Mogwa starship embedding itself in the Skay. You have to recall that the Skay are huge creatures. Most mature Skay are the size of our Moon, and this one appears to have been somewhat smaller so that through thousands of years, it and the embedded Mogwa starship have been buried beneath tons of moon rocks. These two galactic enemies now comprise most of what we though of as our Moon. The way we found all this out was by sending a “volunteer” into the depths of these underground objects. Now, we didn’t exactly know what was there, only that one or the other might be hollow. By using a transporter, the Legion at Hq could send someone down through these dense materials and if they came out in a space large enough to accommodate their body, then they would report what they saw. If they unfortunately merged with solid rock then they would be dead and, after revival, would get a chance to try again! James McGill was the “volunteer”!
So he provided the information as to what was embedded in the Moon. He also accidentally triggered a galactic signal that went to the center of the galaxy alerting the Mogwa and the Skay as to the location of their long lost starships. Both entities were going to send representatives to investigate the Moon. For Earth, this is not good. You don’t want to give the Galactic overlords and excuse to visit, but nothing much can be done about it. They will also bring the Naribs, who are kind of Galactic Lawyers. They will determine if Earth was responsible for any of the damages to the Mogwa or Skay starships. Such finding, would of course, result in the total extermination of Earth.
Now, this is the first part of this book. I’m not exactly sure how it got onto the second part, but this is an extraordinarily long book for a book in this series. So, our attention now switches to a problem with a planet in our sector of the galaxy, Sector 921 to be exact, and a planet which is at the edge of this sector, but will soon transition to Sector 926, which is controlled by the Skay. We, Earth, are minions of the Mogwa so if the Mogwa have a problem with losing a planet to the Skay, it becomes our problem too! This planet, 91 Aquarii, was barely habitable, but it was by three different tribes of near-humans. That, of itself wasn’t important. What was important was that the most intelligent of the three tribes, the Shadowlanders, were also the builders of all the galaxies revival machines!
So, the Mogwa were coming to see if there was anything they could do to prevent this planet from sliding into Sector 926, while a Skay was coming to take control of the planet when it did come into his territory. Since the Shadowlanders sold and leased revival machines to everyone that used them, they did so through the graces of the Mogwa as they resided in Sector 921. Earth got a good deal on their revival machines just by the virtue of being under the Mogwa banner, but that situation could drastically change. Earth could actually lose it’s revival machines and would have to supply troops for the Legions who would permanently die in battle. Even James McGill didn’t want a permanent death!
As you can suspect, Jame McGill will be at the very center of this entire story. And it’s a good thing he was. There are so many Galactic rules about all of this that most of the leadership of Legion Varus are at a total loss as to how to handle all this Galactic attention. It’s up to one Jame McGill to figure out how to keep Earth’s steady supply of revival machines and replacement parts coming while at the same time not getting all of humanity completely exterminated. He has to do this while under the watchful eye of a completely hostile group of Naribs!
If Centurion James McGil doesn’t get promoted after this story, then I don’t think he ever will be! At least you can be assured he does survive. Now on to the next book if that’s going to happen.