PW #401: Adult Science Fiction: PLANETSIDE

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Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Dan Koboldt
Mentee Name: Michael Mammay
Category: Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Word Count: 81,000


An alcoholic Colonel near retirement races across the galaxy to find a politician’s missing son. The cover-up leads him right into a combat zone, where he must risk his life to expose a conspiracy that threatens all of humanity.


I stepped off the shuttle in a shitty mood. Three straight days on a crowded ship with two jumps and no booze would do that. Nothing good ever came from answering a communicator in the middle of the night. But when a friend calls, you pick it up. When that friend happens to be the second most powerful man in the military…well he’d have found a way to get through anyway.

The buzzing crowd rushed past me in every direction, one out of ten in some kind of military uniform. Advertisements for armament and defense companies plastered every flat surface, all dazzling colors and lights. I spotted a sign for ground transport, slung my bag over my shoulder and waded into the river of humanity.

“Colonel Butler?” A lieutenant with a pressed uniform and a round Space Command patch on his sleeve stood at a respectful distance. Headquarters guy.

I glanced down at my nametag. “Yeah.”

“Sir, Lieutenant Hardy—“

“General Serata’s aide?” I asked.

“Yes, sir.” His eyes widened in his dark face, his bearing slipping for a second. Aides had a look about them. Stiff and official. Young. “How was your flight, sir?”

“It sucked.” Ferra Three to Gamma Six was one of the shortest interplanetary flights going, but that didn’t do much to recommend it. “How’d you find me?”

“The general said to look for the Colonel wearing the Training Command patch, sir. It stands out here.” He pointed to the triangular green and yellow patch on my shoulder, not so affectionately known as the Pyramid of Death.


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