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By Jack Campbell

Captain John “Black Jack” Geary’s mythical exploits are identified to each schoolchild. respected for his heroic “last stand” within the early days of the battle, he used to be presumed lifeless. yet a century later, Geary miraculously returns from survival hibernation and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance Fleet because it faces annihilation through the Syndic.

Appalled by means of the hero-worship round him, Geary is however a guy who will do his accountability. And he understands that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key correctly house is the Alliance’s one probability to win the warfare. yet to do this, Geary should reside as much as the impossibly heroic “Black Jack” legend...

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Geary slumped, observing the notepad and considering if he wanted one other improve of meds or if he used to be simply reacting to the strain of wondering what had long past fallacious and what that had rate. She attempted. whilst almost about all people else was once sitting round making plans their funerals, Cresida provided to paintings that plan. Michael Geary beloved her, i believe. and that i authorized that plan. Me. “I don’t imagine there has been the other method to get Titan out of there. now not with what she needed to paintings with. ” Desjani watched him, announcing not anything. “Can I write my reaction on the following? ” “Yes,” she responded. “The shorter the higher, in fact. ” Geary took the stylus and wrote. To Commander Cresida, ASN livid. Request denied. you keep my complete self belief. Respectfully, John Geary, Captain, ASN. He passed it again to Desjani, who seemed a question at him. Geary indicated she may still learn. She did so, nodded, then smiled a bit of. “Just what I’d have anticipated of you, sir. ” Geary watched her, feeling an vacancy inside of. every thing I do, they interpret as being what they’d anticipate of Black Jack Geary. Or a person even greater than the mythical Black Jack Geary! Ancestors aid us all. Why can’t they simply recognize me, as i actually am? yet, then, how a lot do i do know them? He took one other examine Captain Desjani, attempting to see her as though for the 1st time. “What’s your first identify, besides? ” She smiled in short. “Tanya. ” “I don’t imagine I’ve identified somebody named Tanya sooner than. ” “The identify turned really well known at one time. you understand how that is going. There’s loads of ladies in my new release named Tanya. ” “Yeah. Names do come and move, don’t they? Where’re you from? ” “Kosatka. ” “Really? I’ve been to Kosatka. ” Desjani regarded disbelieving. “In-system or landfall? ” “Landfall. ” The stories tumbled out and left a delightful glow of their wake. “I was once only a junior officer, then. My send obtained despatched to Kosatka as a part of an legit Alliance illustration for a royal marriage ceremony. a few fairly titanic deal. the full planet went kind of manic over it, they usually fell over themselves being great to us. I’ve by no means gotten such a lot of unfastened beverages and nutrition. ” Geary smiled at her, then observed the shortcoming of popularity on her face. “I bet it didn’t make historical past. ” “Uh, no. i assume now not. ” Desjani smiled with politeness. “Kosatka doesn’t pay approximately as a lot cognizance to the royal kin because it used to. ” Geary nodded, attempting to hold his personal smile in position. “Yesterday’s unforgettable pomp and condition acquired forgotten lovely quick, i suppose. ” “But, nonetheless, I’m uncertain someone recollects you have been on Kosatka. That’s anything specified. Did you love it? ” His smile grew to become real back. “Yeah. I don’t take into account any fantastic surroundings or something like that, however it looked like a true welcoming, cozy position. a number of the staff observed going again there to reside as soon as they’d retired. ” He compelled amusing. “I guess it’s replaced, although. ” “Not that a lot. I haven’t been domestic in decades, yet that’s how I commit it to memory. ” “Sure you do. It’s domestic. ” They sat silent for a second, then Geary exhaled seriously. “So, how is domestic?

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