A BOLD NEW CONTINGENT ' FORCE RECON ' JOINS THE EXPLOSIVE STARFIST SPACE EPIC OF MARINES AT WAR.
A Confederation army is besieged on the planet Ravenette, cut off by and facing destruction at the hands of a dozen Secessionist Coalition worlds arrayed against it. The outnumbered and outgunned forces cling precariously to their foothold, dubbed ' Bataan ' by the desperate men in their fighting bunkers. Reinforcements are on the way, but will they arrive in time And even if they do, can they match the well-led, highly motivated enemy determined to destroy them in battle
But the Confederation commander holds a wild card, an elite force armed only with what they carry on their backs and in their heads: a small detachment of Marines who lightly go where others fear to tread, the Fourth Force Recon Company. For anyone else this mission would be suicide, but for these Marines, it ' s just another day in the maelstrom.
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August 28, 2006
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Excerpt from Starfist: Force Recon: Pointblank by Dan Cragg
Planetfall in an Undisclosed Location
None of the watchers on top of the shore cliffs paid any particular attention to the meteorite that briefly flashed down through the sky before it plunged below the horizon.
The AstroGhost stealth shuttle dropped far enough out to sea that the diffused flares of its braking engines, fired at five thousand meters altitude, weren ' t visible from land. A ship at sea, seeing the diffused flares, might be excused for thinking a meteorite was breaking up in the atmosphere. As soon as the juddering of the firing brakes began to smooth out, the AstroGhost popped a drogue chute. The chute tore off after only a few moments, but it was enough to cut the descent velocity; then the AstroGhost turned its descent from straight down to a velocity-eating spiral, which further slowed its fall. At five hundred meters, it gained a stable orbit and lowered its loading ramp. A Mark 8 Skimmer, a specialized version of the standard hopper troop tactical air carrier used by the Confederation Marine Corps, slid out of the AstroGhost ' s bay and fell a hundred meters before firing its engines. In another moment it demonstrated how it got its name by staying barely high enough above the waves to avoid raising a rooster tail. The Skimmer was fully loaded with the Marines of first and third squads, second platoon, Fourth Force Recon Company, and their gear. Staff Sergeant Fryman, second platoon ' s first section leader, commanded. The nine Marines were wearing chameleon uniforms but the screens of their helmets were up, allowing their faces to be seen.
Fifty kilometers offshore, well out of sight of any watchers on the shore cliffs, the Skimmer stopped, hovered, and lowered itself closer to the top of the ocean swells. Staff Sergeant Fryman didn ' t bother checking his men to make sure they had all their gear; it wouldn ' t have been possible in the cramped quarters of the Skimmer; besides, he and the squad leaders had done that before they ' d boarded the Skimmer. Instead, he stood out of the way and closely observed through his infrared screen as first squad, then third squad, acting by feel, each lowered a chameleoned Sea Squirt out of the Skimmer ' s hatch, then followed the Sea Squirts into the water. Each squad leader mounted his Sea Squirt and operated its controls to extend transparent, bullet-shaped tubes, one on the top, and four more along its sides. The squad leaders slithered into the open ends of the top tubes, their men into three of the side tubes. The gear the Marines weren ' t carrying on their persons was secured in the fourth tube on third squad ' s Sea Squirt.