Arlo and Jake:
Galactic Boot Camp
By Gary Alan Henson
The adventure continues as our heroes are shipped to Camp Balator, a Federation of Thirteen Galaxies (FTG) boot camp, reserved for the cream of the crop recruits. The training is designed to push recruits to their limits and beyond.
Jake and Arlo meet new friends and become part of a Triad, a group of three recruits and their partners. Together they struggle to make it through the intensive training and get back the FTG Triumph, where Pixie and Leeta eagerly await their return. But there are other forces in the Universe who have nefarious plans for the prestigious camp; deadly plans.
Can Jake make it through boot camp a second time or is he headed for another Captain's Mast?
Can they even make it out alive? Why does danger always seems to follow our intrepid duo?
This is the opening scene in the second book in the series. I love this opening because it brings the reader into story immediately and sets the tone for the whole book.
It took quite a while to get it 'right'. Not too descriptive but enough visuals to grab you and hopefully hook the reader. It introduces the main characters, shows Jake's sarcastic side and Arlo's funny side. I hope.
I can see the sleek orange and black space ship juking back and forth trying to evade our pursuit. I concentrate on the port particle beam cannon and mentally command “Fire!” A brilliant sparkling red and blue beam instantly leaps from below and left of my heads up display reaching out to the ship. It passes harmlessly above the ship by a country mile. I look at my HUD readout. Ok, more precisely I missed by 800 kilometers. Damn. “Arlo, can you get that cannon gimbal tightened up? I’m having trouble with lateral targeting.”
Arlo’s voice comes through the interface, though I can’t see him. “I’m on it, cowboy. Gimme a second.”
The ship is starting to pull away. “Any time now, Arlo, I’m losing him.”
“Got it, Jake! Nail the bastards!”
I get off two more shots in rapid succession but both miss, though I am getting closer. Any moment they’re going to fold space and I’ll lose them. That’s it I’m done messing around here. I concentrate on my weapons display and crank up the cannon’s power to twenty percent of full and stare at the wildly gyrating ship. The green targeting brackets jerk and twist around the ship as I try to frame it inside the brackets. Finally I get a good bead, the brackets start flashing red and the gotcha tone sounds in my head. Grinning maniacally I yell “Fire!”
Instantly a beam that’s almost as big as the retreating ship erupts from below me and nails the ship in the ass. The explosion lights up space in front of me like an exploding fireworks stand. The heated ball of melted metal becomes a rapidly expanding sphere of space goop with more and more explosions going off, getting bigger and bigger. Uh oh, this is not good. I’m about to yell for evasion maneuvers when the biggest explosion yet rips through the blinding white ball of death and crashes into me. Damn, that’s gonna hurt.
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