Authors: Rick Bentsen
Books By Rick Bentsen
The Blademaster Chronicles
** The Age of Darkness
The Audra MacAllister Files
** Midnight Revenge
The Chronicles of Xarin
* Dawn of a New Age
The Dawning of a New Age
* Out of Print
The Age of Darkness
By Rick Bentsen
The Dawning of a New Age
Book 1: Gamma Strike
All Rights Reserved © 2001, 2015 Rick Bentsen
Cover Image: © Philcold | Dreamstime.com
First Kindle Edition
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.
For information, contact the author at
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidences are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual locales or people or events is purely coincidental unless otherwise noted in the acknowledgements.
September 11, 2015
What a ride it has been!
Fourteen years ago, my first novel, Dawn of a New Age, was released. It was a simple little science fiction novel. What was published was my first draft. I did not get the time I needed in order to really go through a second time and edit the book so it would be the way I wanted it to be. And for fourteen years, I just let it be.
In the meantime, I released The Blademaster and Willowdale, the first two books in my epic Blademaster Chronicles. I learned a lot about my craft by writing those two books. They helped me figure out the way to truly weave a story together.
And now, I am getting the chance to redo my first book.
Last month, we pulled the original version of Dawn of a New Age. It’s out of print. That was a bittersweet moment for me. You see, it was my first book. My baby. And I had been telling myself that it wasn’t good enough and needed to be redone. For years, I have wanted to rerelease the book, but I wasn’t sure how to go about doing it.
Now I have the opportunity to bring Gamma Strike home to my press where the rest of my books are. And in doing so, I am getting the opportunity to redo the book.
So what you are holding in your hand, wheter the print version or the Kindle version, is a full retelling of the story that launched my writing career fourteen years ago. The story is the same story as it was in the original book, but there are a lot of additions. I’ve made a lot of much needed changes. And I think that the story is a lot better for it.
I’ve also included not one, but two whole brand new short stories, The Wedding and Blitzkrieg. These stories fill in a little bit of the back story. But only a little bit. There will be other stories that tell more of the back story, I am sure. But I hope you enjoy this little look behind the curtain.
I want to thank each of you for being on this wild ride with me. I could not do it without any of you. Here’s too many more years of great books!
Keep the faith!
I can hear it now. “Oh, goodness me, the author is about to blather on and on about who did what to help him… Do we really have to read this?” First of all, I love the word blather and I now firmly promise to use the word far more often.
Second, no, you don’t have to read this. But I would be remiss if I did not include my thanks. So, yes. Feel free to skip this section, but I shall now blather (told you I would use the word more often) on about Team Rick Bentsen and all they’ve done.
First of all, thanks to God for the gifts that make the writing possible. A little bit of imagination goes a long way, it would seem.
To my parents, who have been arranging many in person appearances for me to sign and sell my books. It has been a very interesting journey over the past several months, but I have enjoyed every bit of it.
To my brother who gave me a great deal of constructive criticism on
Dawn of a New Age
and gave it to me again when I was finally ready to hear it.
To my continuity expert and editor, Joanna, for everything she does.
To my readers, because without you, there would be no point to doing this. I love each and every one of you.
Finally to K’Alan, K’Itea, Mario, and the rest of the crazy cast of characters in Gamma Strike. Fourteen years ago, I first tried to tell your story. And I didn’t do it right. But you gave me another chance and have stuck with me. Thank you for letting me tell your story to the world.
For my parents and my brother
for believing in me when I needed
it the most. And when I didn’t always
quite believe in myself.
The Dawning of a New Age
A Gamma Strike novel
A brief timeline of events leading up to the events of The Dawning of a New Age:
2003-2010: World War III on Earth. After a series of terrorist attacks, the United States of America declares war on Iraq and Afghanistan. By 2003, most of the world has joined the conflict on one side or the other. Over the next 7 years, both sides would use devastating biological, chemical and nuclear weapons causing vast casualties and destruction. Although the side led by the United States would end up the victorious side, the death toll on both sides was far too high for either side to truly celebrate a victory.
2010: Founding of New United Nations on Earth. In an effort to keep the mistakes that led to the devastating World War III from happening again, the New United Nations is founded. Over the next two years, every country on the Earth would sign on giving the people of the Earth their very first planetary government.
2011: First long distance space mission by Duterius Prime.
2014: Duterians visit Earth. After receiving a transmission from Earth, a small contingent of Duterians land on Earth to introduce themselves to the Terran people. This first contact with another planet goes peacefully for the Terrans.
2015: First long distance space mission by Earth. With help from their Duterian friends, Terrans build a ship capable of long distance space travel.
2018: First long distance space mission by Jarada V.
2030: A ship from Jarada V encounters the Brentax Empire for the first time. This contact was not a peaceful contact, and the Brentax Empire is logged as a race to avoid in the future.
2036: The Duterians and the Terrans formalize their friendship into an alliance, forming the Star League. The headquarters for this new organization is located just outside of Falls Church, VA in what used to be the United States on Earth. The Star League is tasked with trying to keep the peace in this part of the galaxy. The Star League Defense Force is founded a year later.
2042: Jarada V joins the Star League becoming the third of the six core races of the Star League.
2047: Angelia joins the Star League becoming the fourth of the six core races of the Star League.
2054: Selvius joins the Star League becoming the fifth of the six core races of the Star League.
2059: Sandaria joins the Star League becoming the final core race to join the Star League.
2087: A small colony ship crewed by Jaradans lands on the third planet in the Khrinnus System. A small, but hardy, colony is founded. The colony grows and thrives over the next 20 years.
2096: The Brentax Empire lands a small colony ship on the other side of Khrinnus III as the Jaradan colony. Not knowing that the planet is already inhabited, the Brentax colonists form a colony of their own.
2106: A survey team from the Brentax colony encounters the Jaradan colony on the other side of the planet. A conflict quickly ensues over ownership of the planet. Not long after, the Brentax Empire declares war on the Star League over the Khrinnus System.
HE alarm woke him with a start.
The man had not meant to fall asleep while watching events on the monitor, but he had. It was an inexcusable lapse in concentration for the man, especially since he would have yelled at any of the others if they had committed such a lapse.
Now fully alert, he immediately turned his attention back to the monitor he was sitting in front of. Looking at the data that was scrolling across the screen, he smiled. He nodded once, knowing that what he was seeing was what they had been waiting for, and shut the monitor down.
He left his quarters and went in search of the others. He knew that, based on what he’d just seen, the events that they had long been waiting for were upon them.
There were twelve of them. They had been watching and waiting for over a hundred years, ever since the Eldest One had told them of what was to come. The Eldest One had spoken of a great war to come. The twelve of them were not enough to turn the tide of the war. But the Watchers were never supposed to be the ones fighting the war according to the Eldest One.
They simply had to find the ones that were supposed to and direct them.
As he walked down the hallway to where he would find his wife, he ran into the Watchers’ engineer.
“Is the holosphere working, Martin?” he asked the engineer.
“Aye, Alan. It should be working now,” the other man nodded.
“Good,” the one called Alan smiled. “Assemble the others in the Central Chamber.”
“Is it time?”
“Indeed,” Alan nodded. “Our long watch is, at last, coming to an end.”
The Central Chamber was dimly lit. The only light came from the soft glow given off by the large holosphere floating in the center of the room. The holosphere was not actively broadcasting but it was ready to broadcast at any time. The glow from the holosphere, however, was not nearly bright enough to fully penetrate the darkness shrouding the chamber. For years, the Central Chamber had been home to the Watchers’ Council, allowing them to watch for the coming of the those prophesied by the Eldest One.
A soft bell sounded throughout the complex. Footfalls and the quiet rustling of velvet against velvet broke the tranquility of the Central Chamber. Two by two, a ring of twelve white lights winked on overhead, shining down in a circle around the softly glowing holosphere. Each light illuminated a figure wearing dark grey robes. Each figure wore a dark grey crushed velvet hood which obscured their faces and made it difficult to distinguish one from another. Indeed, it was even difficult to distinguish whether the individual figures were male or female.
"Are we all here?" one of the figures asked in a soft yet strong male voice. He was easily distinguishable from the others as he wore an ornate golden medallion about his neck. Quiet murmurs of assent from the rest of the figures answered him. "Then let us begin."
The first figure gestured to the person to his right, indicating that she should speak.
"My friends," the indicated woman began as she pulled her hood back. Long curly red hair bounced lightly as it was freed from being under the hood. "The time we have long been waiting for has finally arrived."
"How can you be so sure, Samantha?" another of the figures asked as he too lowered his hood. His hair was close cropped and graying slightly at the temples. He had hawk-like features that were dominated by his hazel eyes. "We've thought that before."
"Events have begun to follow those prophesied by Argus when we began this journey," Samantha retorted, crossing her arms across her chest as she did so.
"Samantha is correct," the first figure said, his soft voice cracking like a whip and silencing the others. "The ones we have been waiting for are about to enter play."
"They are not ready, Alan," the hawk-faced man protested, frowning. The frown only served to sharpen his features even more. His gruff and gravelly voice seemed out of place in the tranquility the Central Chamber seemed to always offer.
"They will be, John," the one called Alan assured the other. "They are, after all, the key to our success."
"So you keep telling us, Alan," another female in the circle grunted. Unlike Samantha and John, she kept her hood up, keeping her face hidden from the others. "Only time will tell if these are the ones we are looking for."
"Yes," Alan nodded, a soft rustling sound coming from the velvet of his robes. "Time will tell. Martin, start the holosphere so we can watch what is to happen."
One of the figures waved his hand in front of the holosphere. The soft glow turned into a gray haze. After a few moments, the haze cleared and the twelve Watchers observed in silence as a new scene unfolded before them in the holosphere…