Another short, but very good story. Solomon Cready is still not getting any slack from Warden Coates. The man just doesn’t like him and makes it known in the most painful ways. But, apparently, the strange “DNA Complex-strand variant 21” that Solomon has been receiving in large doses, seems to be helping him recover from his injuries and he’s able to think much clearer now. Solomon has been always pretty sharp, but now he seems to be thinking faster also. His days are still one constant bruise after another, but he and his fellow Outcast Marines are getting used to the grind.
Well, those that are still alive anyway. It seems that “variant 21” can cause convulsions and death in some people. Solomon and the rest of the Outcast have witnessed this when one of their members crashed and died while working out on a treadmill. There wasn’t much that could be done for the guy; he just started convulsing and foaming at the mouth and before anyone could get to him, he was dead! Pretty bad way to go, but at least it was quick.
As if Solomon didn’t have enough to worry about, Squad member Jezzie Wen has clammed up with something on her mind and won’t talk to Solomon about it. Little does he know that she’s still debating whether or not to kill him. She then gets another message from the Yakza handler disguised as a Marine staffer, subtly telling her that they know about her Father and if she wished him to stay healthy, she needs to get her job done! But, how can she kill Solomon and not get blamed for it which would definitely send her to the mining prison on Titan or have her executed immediately? And, she realizes, she doesn’t want to kill Solomon.
Fortunately for Gold Squad, they are called out for a new mission, much to the anger and dismay of Warden Coates. It seems the Ambassador to Mars, whom Cready rescued in the first book, has taken a liking to them and has asked for their support in one of her own missions. Not just the Outcast Marines, but for Gold Squad alone! Warden Coates manages to weasel his way on the mission until he meets up with the Ambassador. He finds that she’s a tough character and has no qualms about telling Warden Coates he’s not needed and she just wants Gold Squad for added protection while she meets with other delegates for a conference on, of all places, Titan!
So Gold Squad is off for an interesting mission. Not only does the Ambassador have her own special security detail, but she also travels in style. For a little while, Solomon and his crew get to experience some of the nicer things they’ve been missing since being sent to Ganymede and not directly to the Titan Ice Prison. But, as usual, nothing seems as easy as it should be. While this is a diplomatic mission for the Ambassador, there are others that don’t want the mission to end well. And for awhile, it looked like this was going to be the end of Gold Squad. Very exiting story.