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Authors: Michael R Hicks

Empire

BOOK: Empire
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Empire
In Her Name: Redemption [1]
Michael R Hicks
Imperial Guard Publishing, LLC (2009)

EMPIRE is the coming-of-age story of Reza Gard, a young boy of the Human Confederation who is swept up in the century-long war with the alien Kreelan Empire. Nightmarish female warriors with blue skin, fangs, and razor sharp talons, the Kreelans have technology that is millennia beyond that of the Confederation, yet they seek out close combat with sword and claw, fighting and dying to honor their god-like Empress.

Captured and enslaved, Reza must live like his enemies in a grand experiment to see if humans have souls, and if one may be the key to unlocking an ages old curse upon the Kreelan race. Enduring the brutal conditions of Kreelan life, Reza and a young warrior named Esah-Zhurah find themselves bound together by fate and a prophecy foretold millennia before they were born.

Contents

Title Page

Copyright

What Readers Are Saying

Dedication

Foreword

Other Books

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

In Her Name: Confederation

Other Books

A Small Favor

About The Author

EMPIRE

In Her Name: Redemption, Book 1

Michael R. Hicks

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations and events portrayed in this novel are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

ISBN: 978-9780984492749

EMPIRE (IN HER NAME: REDEMPTION, BOOK 1)

Copyright © 2009 by Imperial Guard Publishing, LLC

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions thereof, in any form.

Published by Imperial Guard Publishing, LLC

AuthorMichaelHicks.com

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BOOKS

BY MICHAEL R. HICKS

"This book is EXACTLY what I expect of a good sci-fi book. Between the depth of the characters and the extent of the backstory, I quickly lost myself in this wonderful novel. The only downer for me was turning the last page, and there not being any more pages!"

"Michael Hicks has shown great mastery of his subject. This is the Harry Potter of SciFi."

"What many people forget is that at the heart of the In Her Name Omnibus there is a love story that makes Romeo and Juliet look tame. Readers will find themselves experiencing both the joys as well as the despair of the main characters, and I for one, sometimes had to wipe away the tears before I could continue reading, though this is by no means a sad story."

"I took a chance on the first volume of this series and couldn't stop reading until I had finished it all. Although military science fiction is not usually my first choice, an engrossing plot line, a fully developed alien culture and thoughtful characters held my attention and left me wanting more."

"The "In Her Name" series is great. When an author can tell a story of humanity's interactions with an alien race, and make you feel like you know alien people and their culture, I feel like a wonderful job of "universe building" has been done. Also great military story-telling. Great job, Michael!"

"Thank you Michael R. Hicks for deciding to write. I now own everything you've published to Kindle and am anxiously waiting for the final book of the In Her Name series!! HURRY UP!"

"I do not have much to say other than this series was amazing."

"This is the most I have enjoyed a series since C.J. Cherryh's compact space series, and goes miles beyond anything I have read in the last decade. If you want a good read, and a fantastic universe to bury yourself in... this one is high on the mark."

"I found myself reading until 2-3 AM. Lots of action and good character development. Highly recommend this series."

"This series is well worth the money. I buy books all the time, and some are the same cookie-cutter formula as the next; I didn't get that feeling from this collection of books. This may be the first author I can rank next to Heinlein and Asimov on my bookshelf in a very long time."

"The last time I was so hung-up on a book it was Pillars of the Earth. I read fast because I couldn't wait to find out what happened next and then slowed down because I didn't want it to end. I just couldn't slow down on these books."

"Michael Hicks apparently channels the blood of Heinlein and Asimov in his veins. I read all three of these books in 3 days. As a SF fan from the 1950's and 1960's, I grew up with the "greats" of SF and the "trekies". However, in recent years SF has failed to ignite that sense of wonder and I had stopped reading anything new. This series, In Her Name, is absolutely amazing."

"Be warned that once you start reading this book, it would be very hard to put it down. Requirements: 1. alarm clock - to remind you that you have to go to work today. 2. Another alarm clock to remind you of meal times. 3. A very understanding wife."

For Jan.

Your love saved me.

FOREWORD

When I first started writing the
In Her Name
series,
Empire
was the lead book of the overall story. Like George Lucas with the original
Star Wars
movie, however,
Empire
is really the beginning of the end of the overarching story of the war between humanity and the Kreelan Empire. Don’t ask me why I started the story where I did. We’ll just have to blame my demented muse.
 

A decade and a half after I finished
Empire
and its companion novels,
Confederation
and
Final Battle
, I again put virtual pen to paper and wrote
First Contact
, which is the true beginning of the story, and then its companion novels
Legend Of The Sword
and
Dead Soul
.
 

Why am I bothering you with such trivia, when all you want to do is dive into this book?
 

There are two reasons. First, the trilogies have different flavors, if you will. While
Empire
and its companions are generally considered science fiction, they’ve also held great appeal for fantasy and romance readers. The trilogy led by
First Contact
, on the other hand, leans more toward military science fiction. It certainly has elements of fantasy and a dash of romance, but it’s more of a sweeping wartime saga. So, while I hope you enjoy all the books, it may turn out that you’ll prefer one trilogy over the other. And that’s okay, because
both
First Contact
and
Empire
are free as ebooks
. So if you don’t find yourself enjoying one all that much, give the other a try!

The second reason is that for those who want to read the books in chronological order,
First Contact
is the one to start with. I’ve gotten a lot of questions from readers about that, so I thought I’d clarify it here. And at the end of each book is a sample of the subsequent novel, so you don’t have to worry about which you should read next.
 

Last but not least, if you read any of the
In Her Name
novels and become intrigued by the history of the Kreelans and their culture, there is another trilogy that begins with
From Chaos Born
, telling the tale of how the First Empress rose to power. If you find yourself enjoying
Empire
, you’ll definitely like
From Chaos Born
.

With that, my dear reader, let’s get on with reading. I hope you enjoy the tale!

DISCOVER OTHER BOOKS BY MICHAEL R. HICKS

In Her Name: The Last War

First Contact
(Book 1)

Legend Of The Sword
(Book 2)

Dead Soul
(Book 3)

The Last War Trilogy Collection

In Her Name: Redemption

Empire
(Book 1)

Confederation
(Book 2)

Final Battle
(Book 3)

Redemption Trilogy Collection

In Her Name: The First Empress

From Chaos Born
(Book 1)

Harvest Trilogy (Techno-Thriller)

Season Of The Harvest
(Book 1)

Bitter Harvest
(Book 2)

Novellas

The Journal Of Avery Moore

Visit
AuthorMichaelHicks.com
for the latest updates!

CHAPTER ONE

The blast caught Solon Gard, an exhausted captain of New Constantinople’s beleaguered Territorial Army, completely by surprise. He had not known that the enemy had sited a heavy gun to the north of his decimated unit’s last redoubt, a thick-walled house of a style made popular in recent years. Like most other houses in the planet’s capitol city, this one was now little more than a gutted wreck.

But the Kreelan gun’s introductory salvo was also its last: a human heavy weapons team destroyed it with a lucky shot before the Territorial Army soldiers were silenced by a barrage of inhumanly accurate plasma rifle fire.

The battle had become a vicious stalemate.

A woman’s voice suddenly cut through the fog in Solon’s head as he fought his way out from under the smoking rubble left by the cannon hit. He found himself looking up at the helmeted face of his wife, Camilla. Her eyes were hidden behind the mirrored faceplate of the battered combat helmet she wore.

“Solon, are you hurt?”

“No,” he groaned, shaking his head, “I’m all right.”

She helped him up, her petite form struggling with her husband’s greater bulk: two armored mannequins embracing in an awkward dance.

Solon glanced around. “Where’s Armand?”

“Dead,” she said in a brittle voice. She wiped the dust from her husband’s helmet, wishing she could touch his hair, his face, instead of the cold, scarred metal. She gestured to the pile of debris that Solon had been buried in. The wall had exploded inward a few feet from where he and Armand had been. The muddy light of day, flickering blood-red from the smoke that hung over the city, revealed an armored glove that jutted from under a plastisteel girder. Armand. He had been a friend of their family for many years and was the godfather of their only son. Now… now he was simply gone, like so many others.

Solon reached down and gently touched the armored hand of his best friend. “Silly fool,” he whispered hoarsely. “You should have gone to the shelter with the others, like I told you. You could never fight, even when we were children.” Armand had never had any military training, but after his wife and daughter were killed in the abattoir their city had become, he had come looking for Solon, to fight and die by his side. And so he had.

“It’s only the two of us,” Camilla told him wearily, “and Enrique and Snowden.” Behind her was a pile of bodies in a dark corner, looking like a monstrous spider in the long shadows that flickered over them. The survivors had not had the time or strength to array them properly. Their goal had simply been to get them out of the way. Honor to the dead came a distant second to the desperation to stay among the living. “I think Jennings’s squad across the street may be gone, too.”

“Lord of All,” Solon murmured, still trying to get his bearings and come to grips with the extent of their disaster. With only the four of them left, particularly if Jennings’s squad had been wiped out, the Kreelans had but to breathe hard and the last human defensive line would be broken.

“It can always get worse,” a different female voice told him drily.

Solon turned to see Snowden raise her hand unenthusiastically. Platinum hair was plastered to her skull in a greasy matte of sweat and blood, a legacy of the flying glass that had peeled away half her scalp during an earlier attack. She looked at him with eyes too exhausted for sleep, and did not make any move to get up from where she was sitting. Her left leg was broken above the knee, the protruding bone covered by a field dressing and hasty splint that Camilla had put together.

Enrique peered at them from the corner where he and Camilla had set up their only remaining heavy weapon, a pulse gun that took two to operate. Its snout poked through a convenient hole in the wall. From there, Enrique could see over most of their platoon’s assigned sector of responsibility, or what was left of it. In the dreary orange light that made ghosts of the swirling smoke over the dying city, Enrique watched the dark figures of the enemy come closer, threading their way through the piles of shattered rubble that had once been New Constantinople’s premier shopkeeper’s district. He watched as their sandaled feet trod over the crumpled spires of the Izmir All-Faith Temple, the most beautiful building on the planet until a couple of weeks ago. Since the Kreelans arrived, nearly twenty million people and thirty Navy ships had died, and nothing made by human hands had gone untouched.

BOOK: Empire
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