The War for Profit Series Omnibus

BOOK: The War for Profit Series Omnibus
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The War for Profit Series Omnibus

by

Gideon Fleisher

Copyright © 2013 Gideon Fleisher

Kindle Edition

All rights reserved

Dedicated to those who served

Foreword

 

The first novel in this series began as fodder for writing classes, to meet the assignment requirements to produce a chapter or short story for review and criticism by the instructor and the classmates every couple of weeks. Later, in a class called ‘creative writing: the novel,’ I had to complete a novel. In one semester. And I did.

Originally entitled
War for Profit
, that first book sat in a box for nearly fifteen years. I was busy doing Army stuff and didn’t have time to seek out a publisher. Then I retired and ebooks came about and I scanned the manuscript in as text and made it into an ebook and loaded it up for the entire world to read. It was more successful than I’d hoped and I was inspired to make the story into a series. I changed the title to
First Contract
in one edition and
First Enlistment
in another. I then spent the next two years producing the next five novels of the series and a prequel novella as well.

The inspiration for the series was various military science fiction stories. The books that first sparked my interest in that genre were David Drake’s
Hammer’s Slammers
. I was handed a tattered paperback copy of a
Slammers
book by a battle buddy while deployed to Operation Desert Shield and I read and enjoyed. The book was therapeutic and enlightening. The world made more sense and I became a better Soldier because of it.

And then there was more, and I read through Drake’s entire body of work over the next year and I was inspired. I became a
n avid reader of Military Science Fiction. But then I ran out of things I wanted to read and decided it was time to write, to give something back to the genre. And I wrote, and took writing classes, and I’m happy with the results.

However, comparing my work to
Hammer’s Slammers
is completely unfair, to Mr. Drake. First of all, I had the benefit of reading his stories long before I wrote mine. Secondly, the passage of time has made criticism of the technology of the
Slammers
too easy, unfairly easy. I’m sure my own fiction will suffer the same fate in a few decades, but for now it’s based on known scientific principles. Third, I had a word processor when I wrote.

Another advantage I had was my decades of military service, serving in an all-volunteer military that had no technological equal on this planet. Truly professional, and sometimes criticized as damned near mercenary. The enforcer for a global banking cartel that runs this world, perhaps. Maybe. And then maybe we’re relieved to know that someone is actually running this world and it’s a group as benign and as predictable as the bankers. Pay your bills and keep your word and you’ll be fine. Similar to how a Bonding Commission would control
this galaxy in the distant future, perhaps.

And now I humbly submit for you approval, the
War for Profit
series.

Enjoy!

 

This edition includes the entire series complete, consisting of:

 

Armor Academy Space Cadet (War for Profit Prequel)

The prequel novella for the novels of the War for Profit series.

Two millennia in the future it's graduation day at the Ostwind Armor Academy on the planet Ostreich. Follow the actions of Cadet Galen Raper as he gets his final transcripts, graduates, has a graduation party and then goes to find a job the next day.

 

First Contract (War for Profit Part One)

A hard science fiction novel set well into the future, where professional space mercenary units dominate the battlefield. Follow the adventures of a young mercenary through the events of his first enlistment with an armored brigade.

 

Lord Master Governor General (War for Profit Part Two)

In need of a rebuilding year, the Jasmine Panzer Brigade takes a garrison contract on a backwater world. Hoping for a chance to get the unit more organized, the commander finds himself beset with one crisis after another, everything from relationship troubles to civil unrest to corporate malfeasance.

 

Long Shot (War for Profit Part Three)

The third novel of the War for Profit series. For the Grinder contract, Colonel Raper brings the entire Brigade: a battalion each of Hercules heavy tanks, Stallion medium tanks, Hornet light tanks, the Mechanized infantry battalion, the Cavalry battalion, the Light infantry battalion, half a dozen Interceptor aerospace craft, the Reconnaissance company and a self-propelled heavy artillery battery and a specialized artillery section, plus a dozen helos, and of course the Brigade support battalion.

 

Stallion Six (War for Profit Part Four)

The Stallion Tank and Mechanized Infantry battalions are sent on a contract to help pacify and then re-locate the indigenous population of a backwater planet so that it can be further terraformed to more closely match Terra itself.

 

Fairgotten (War for Profit Part Five)

Two countries on a backwater world go to war and one hires the Jasmine Panzer Brigade to end it for them. Fairgotten is a planet that was abandoned for a thousand years when the Terran Empire collapsed. Fairgotten is then brought back into the interstellar community as a collection of colonies of various planets looking for a place to dump their excess population. Three hundred years later, Fairgotten rebelled to become an independent planet governed by several independent countries. And now, from time to time, those countries settle their differences through force of arms.

 

Against the Odds (War for Profit Part Six)

The Jasmine Panzer Brigade fights the good fight
against long odds during large-scale land warfare of strategic proportions.

About the author:

 

Gideon Fleisher served 24 years in the military,
on three continents and two peninsulas.

Armor Academy Space Cadet

by

Gideon Fleisher

Copyright © 2012 Gideon Fleisher

Kindle
Edition

All rights reserved


Prol
ogue

 

Halfway between the center of the Milky Way galaxy and its outer edge was the Prussia star system, and on its fourth planet, Ostreich, was its capital city of Ostwind. The city was home to the Mercenary Review and Bonding Commission, housed in the largest building on the planet. Standing four hundred meters tall and a hundred meters square at its base, the titanium-alloy-framed and transparent-armor-covered building was filled to capacity with the agents and associates and staff that managed the planet’s largest industry: Mercenaries. Nine centuries before, Ostreich was little more than an operational base for space pirates
picking at the carcass of the collapsed Terran Empire. As more planets became inhabited, Ostreich grew to be the economic and professional center of the Galaxy’s mercenary industry. Above the building’s main entrance doors, in bronze letters three meters high, were the words “LEAVE WAR TO PROFESSIONALS.”

 

Chapter I

It was the morning of graduation day at the Ostwind Armor Academy on Ostreich and Cadets lined the hallway outside several office doors waiting to get their final out-briefs from their academic advisors.

“Next!”

Cadet Galen Raper entered the office of his academic advisor and stood at perfect attention, center front a meter before the desk.

The academic advisor was a sturdy woman of indeterminate ethnic origin, delicate features except for a beak of a nose in a coal-black face with green eyes and a cleft chin, her Brandywine hair pulled back in a high
and tight pony tail. Those who didn’t know better would think she had shoulder pads squaring her dress uniform jacket, dark blue and double-breasted, with a row of awards and ribbons above her heart extending all the way up to the epaulette on her shoulder, the epaulette displaying the Academy crest, its gold piping showing her status as the senior instructor.

“Forgetting something, are we, Cadet?”

Galen rendered a proper hand salute and said, “Ma’am, Cadet Raper reports.”

She returned the gesture.
“Sit down.”

Galen
dropped his salute, took one right-step, looked over his right shoulder then back to the front, took one step backward and sat in the visitor chair, heels together, palms flat on his thighs and back straight. He turned his head slightly to the left to face the academic advisor.

“Relax. You graduate this afternoon. Kick back and take it easy.”

Galen leaned back slightly. “Yes Ma’am.”

“Mello out. Look, Galen, you are aware of the fact you are two
hundred and ten centimeters tall.”

“Yes Ma’am.”

“Then why did you pick armor?”

Galen spread his fingers and rubbed his thighs. “I’m tired of hearing that.
For two years that’s all I’ve heard. ‘Why aren’t you in infantry?’ I’m tired of it. I like tanks.”

“You do realize, Cadet, that you still have demerits against you. But they’ve been waived so that you can graduate. We really didn’t want to keep you around this weekend working them off.”
She studied Galen for a moment and gave a sly smile. “You’re a good looking man. I could make a lot of money pimping you out as a gigolo.”

“Really. Then
how come I had to bring my mom to the Fall Ball? For the Sadie Hawkins dance, I was left alone all evening. Now you tell me I’m good looking. I don’t believe you.”

“I…I guess
most women assume we’re not good looking enough for a man as fine as you.” She sat up straight. “But anyway, enough about that. Back to business.”

Galen leaned back in his chair and crossed his
legs, his right ankle resting on his left knee. “Okay.”

“Your scores. Some are good, a few are bad, and you excelled in business and mathematics
and management. You have a real aptitude for executive leadership but your combat skills are average. Some, below average.”

“I shot a thousand on the
tank range. This is an Armor Academy, after all.”

“You’ll do well in a tank, but try not to do a lot of walking if you can help it.”

“That’s my plan.”

She leaned forward and said, “I see.”

“Ma’am?”

She stood and handed him a folder. “Here’s your employment prospectus.
It’s a list of units that will enlist you based on your qualification scores. Forget anything beyond a reserve commission; your grades weren’t good enough.”

Galen stood and reached out and took the folder. He stood at attention.

“Dismissed, Cadet Raper.”

He executed an about-face and walked out of the office and
turned left and took about ten steps before he stopped and stood in the hallway reading the prospectus. He looked around for a chair or bench. There were none. This was the brightly lit, shiny-floored hallway of the administrative headquarters building of the Ostwind Armor Academy. He backed to the wall and leaned against it. This was the end of his two-year academy career, a rigorous program, training that included combat skills and academics necessary for a successful mercenary career. Two long years of pedagogic activity and military training crammed into eight accelerated trimesters that challenged and developed mental toughness and physical endurance. There was no half-assing and no shining brighter for a snapshot; they got a good hard look into the very essence of every cadet. Ambition meant nothing. A Cadet either had it or they didn’t. The program…

Galen felt weak and slid to the floor to sit leaning against the wall. Not good enough to take a commission with a unit. Maybe he should have defied his mother and attended a regular academy, a four-year academy,
with weekends off and breaks and holidays and the summers off and three weeks home for Winter break. And time for Cadets to train and study on their own on the weekends, to bolster weak areas, an environment where dedication and hard work and desire could make a difference. But not here. There was no time left to the individual at this Academy.

“Hey Cadet, stop holding up the wall!”

Galen looked up. It was Tad, his classmate and friend. Short red hair and a pink face, tanned just a bit from field training, as tan as his complexion would allow. He extended his hand and helped Galen back to his feet.

Galen said,
“Didn’t make the cut for commission.”

Tad shrugged. “So what? We made it. Half the guys who came in with us didn’t make it past phase one.”

“But…”

“But nothing. The guys who
failed out of here and transferred to four-year schools are still going to be making hospital corners on their bunks for three more years, while we’ll be able to take commissions next year with whatever unit we join.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Galen, it’s like this: after serving a year as enlisted in a licensed and bonded unit, we can apply for commissions. We’re academy graduates.”

Tad pointed at a unit on the prospectus. “Right there. Spike already checked it out and we have an appointment with their hiring agent tomorrow afternoon. You, me and Spike. They’ll take all three of us together.”

Galen squinted at the name. “The Pansy Brigade?”

“Panzer Brigade. The Jasmine Panzer Brigade.”

“Jazz mines what?”

Tad balled his fists on his hips.
“Jasmine. It’s a small, fragrant flower.”

Galen rolled his eyes. “So are pansies.”

“Let’s go. Spike is waiting outside.”

“All right.

Galen followed Tad down the hall, down three flights of stairs and out the back entrance of the building. Tad was normal height, twenty centimeters shorter than Galen. Spike was ten centimeters shorter than Tad, with combed black hair that was at the very limit of the length allowed by the Academy. The
three classmates lined up on the sidewalk, tallest in front and shortest in the rear and marched in step toward the chow hall. They joined the line of Cadets lined up at the position of parade rest, waiting to enter. A Cadet stood outside the door and watched. As four Cadets left the exit the Cadet working the entrance door called, “Give me four!”

All the lined-up cadets came to attention, took four steps forward in unison and the four Cadets at the front of the line continued to march while the rest came to a halt and went back to parade rest. Galen remembered the time
s he’d been tasked to work the door, all three meals for one day. The good thing was he got to leave class a half hour early and eat before everyone else. But he was on his feet, opening and closing the door for an hour and almost lost his voice yelling, “Give me four!” so many times. But afterward he was back inside the chow hall, getting a second meal, and could report back to class twenty minutes late. The extra calories helped a lot. Most Cadets got that tasking twice, but he’d done it three times. Luck of the draw.

After three more iterations, Tad, Spike
, Galen and a fourth Cadet were inside the chow hall. They picked up pre-loaded trays from the serving line and moved to the one empty table. It was square, with a fixed bench on each side. They and the fourth cadet of the group slid in front of the benches and waited a moment, then sat at the same time. A quick, compulsory bow of the head for a slow three-count, then look up and eat. Eat whatever it was, all of it, a square meal. With the right hand, utensil held up to the mouth, moved straight out to directly above the food, straight down to snag the morsel, then straight back up and straight back to the mouth. Insert, chew five times, swallow, repeat. The left hand gripped the knife, held straight up, brought forward at table height, used to slice food as needed. Continue the process until all food had been eaten. Then lay the utensils on the plate, knife and fork crossed and the spoon up the center on top of them. Left hand flat on the table, grip the glass of water with the right hand and drink it in one continuous swallow.

The four Cadets pu
t their glasses down at the same time, gripped their trays, stood in unison and marched with their trays and laid them on the conveyor of the dish return. Outside, the group of four heard the Cadet working the door yell, “Give me four!”

The group marched to the barracks and halted in front of it and then fell out of formation.
The three friends walked inside the barracks toward their room, a squad bay with bunks and wall lockers and study desks for eight Cadets.

Spike said, “I can’t wait to graduate.”

Tad tugged at the grey material of his Cadet uniform. “I’m getting some new clothes. Tired of looking like everyone else.”


Formation to march over to Convocation is in thirty minutes,” said Spike. “Then an hour of boring speeches, and then we’re free.”

Galen said, “Dinner at home with my mom then a nap and then
it’s party time!”

Tad said, “We’ll be there. Kind of weird, though, partying at the same bar where your mom works. For you, I mean. Won’t bother me one bit.”

Galen said, “She paid my way through the Academy. It’s the least I can do, go to the graduation party she planned for me.” He stretched out on the bare mattress of his bunk. That morning they had turned in their linins. He turned in all the Academy property and now only owned the uniform he wore and a personal bag containing hygiene gear and a set of civilian clothes. The same clothes he wore when he checked in at the Academy, and had only worn once, on his one and only overnight pass. All Seniors got an overnight pass soon before graduation, a chance to make arrangements for after…

“Wake up!” Spike shook Galen’s shoulder.

They ran outside and fell in to formation. The Senior Instructor called them to attention and faced them toward the coliseum. Then, “Forward, March!”

The senior instructor called
cadence, “left, left, left right left,” for most of the march until they neared the coliseum then said, “I’m gonna count down and then you’re gonna sing your class song.”

The class song. Galen thought it was great, two years ago
. The class came up with the lyrics during week zero and week one of training. The class sang it when they marched non-tactical as a group around the Academy grounds. But now Galen didn’t like the song at all. He thought it was tasteless and wondered why the training cadre didn’t make them change it a long time ago. The first rank of Cadets entered the coliseum.

“Four, three, two, one!”

The Cadets clapped their hands in time with each left step and sang in cadence to their marching.

 

“Your daughter’s coming home in a plastic case,

Doo dah, doo dah.

Your daughter’s coming home in a plastic case,

Oh the doo dah day.

They shot her in the chest, she died among the best,

Your daughter’s coming home in a plastic case,

Oh the doo dah day.

We’re sorry
that it brings you so much grief,

Doo-dah, doo dah.

All we could find was half her teeth,

Oh the doo dah day.

Your son’s coming home in a body bag,

Doo
dah, doo dah.

Your son’s coming home in a body bag,

Oh the doo dah day.

They shot him in the head, now your boy is dead,

Your son’s coming home in a body bag,

Oh the doo dah day.

They shot him in the head when they aimed at me,

Doo dah, doo dah.

His helmet’s still hanging in a tree,

Oh the doo dah day.

 

Singing, the class marched past the locker rooms and filed in to stand marking time until the song ended, each in front of a folding chair set up on the playing field. The chairs were lined up facing the stage and podium at the end, a gap four meters wide left down the middle of the chairs. Galen was relieved when the song ended. They stood at attention until the Senior Instructor took the steps up onto the stage and used the podium sound system to give the command, “Take Seats.”

They sat.

BOOK: The War for Profit Series Omnibus
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