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Alliance by Blaze Ward

Read Online Alliance by Blaze Ward Fantasy Book

Overview: Yisan conquered by Westphalia? Can the enemy win the war by cutting the lines of communication between the allies?
When Eduardo shows up, running for his life, Lazarus and his friends must fly to the rescue. But a straight-forward assault is doomed.

First, they need a conman. Fortunately, Oluchi Pryce is just the candidate.
Then they need to start down the road to Earth itself, and the final battle of the Lazarus Alliance.
The Lazarus Alliance, book seven.


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Alliance by Blaze Ward

Read Online Alliance by Blaze Ward Book Chapter One

Lazarus

 
Lazarus studied the image of the squadron as he sat on one side of the bridge. They were aboard the captured Westphalian ScoutWall Phalanx Swift. One of three vessels that Aileen’s mob of galumphs had taken at Zhoonarrim Station.

Addison was commanding the Archer Intruder nearby, likely to his eternal embarrassment, while Aileen had moved the two commanders from her escorts, Deni Wallace and Juan Aroñezz, to the Phalanxes in order to train up crews.

Lazarus was mostly just along today to provide moral support. And because both Kuei and Wybert had flatly refused any sort of promotion or transfer than might remove them from their spots on Ajax. At least for now. At some point, that might change, but Lazarus himself would likely have to come under proper military command again first.

Piracy really was more fun.

“Sir?” Commander Wallace speaking perked Lazarus up now, as it did the various crew members around them. About half of this crew were human, with the Pilot that Wallace was overseeing being a Kdari named Jemsik Marraw.

The two protectors’ crews had been thinned down, but after the battle for Zhoonarrim, a huge pool of volunteers had stood up to be inducted into whatever various navies would take them.

Another thing that Lazarus would probably have to sort out at some point, but not today.

Lazarus turned to the Commander expectantly.

“So we’re really just on a long scout here, sir,” the man began, speaking on a somewhat personal level, but loud enough that everyone around them could follow along.

Lazarus nodded to prompt him.

“What happens if we do run into someone?” Wallace asked.

“That’s up to the Commodore,” Lazarus smiled. “But this squadron contains roughly the equivalent firepower of a Westphalian GunWall, and not just a ScoutWall, since P-4282 and P-4317 are along. I’d rate us down a little, only because so many of the crews are just now starting to gel into something useful, but we can do a lot. It also depends on who we find. Another ScoutWall patrol of five might be too much for the Commodore to take on. And it might not.”

“And her orders to clear the entire Nebula of Westphalian vessels?” Wallace asked, again mostly for the benefit of everyone else.

“If Westphalia can’t take the time to locate other corridors through there then we can defend the Phraettis Alliance with the ships we have, at least until such time as Rio sends more,” Lazarus spoke louder than necessary. “And patrolling like this gets everybody better trained for what comes next.”

“What comes next, sir?” Wallace asked.

“Pretty soon, I think this squadron will be worked up to the point that we can go back and get Ajax, Commander,” Lazarus smiled. “Then we’ll go find some friends and take the war to Westphalia for a while.”

The Pilot rotated his head back to look now.

“Will the Innruld let that happen, sirs?” Marraw asked.

“All those guns and systems that the Commodore brought back from Brasilia mean that the Species Underground can start attacking Security Barcs anywhere they find them, Lieutenant,” Lazarus said. “Part of all this training is to prepare you so that some teams can stay here and continue this battle, while others help in Human Space. Only together can we achieve our final victory.”

“How soon?” the man asked.

“That’s up to Aileen and Admiral da Silva,” Lazarus nodded.
Addison

 
Addison was still getting used to this bridge. Westphalian ships tended to be shaped strangely by the need to have that big, metal shield forward, providing shelter as well as a better parallax on sensors. At the same time, the central column was hinged in the middle, so that the ship could maneuver sideways, almost like a Churquen slithering.

The Star Lance was forward, with this small bridge tucked in behind it, and that made the whole bridge a long, narrow cylinder. Extremely cramped in here, for reasons he really didn’t understand, especially since Addison had been aboard the ship while it was being repaired. They could have just as easily moved all the walls out several feet and not lost anything particularly important.

He shrugged as he looked around. At his order, the repair crews had also nearly doubled the amount of lights in here, so that it was less a dreary, quiet chamber and more like the various command spaces on Ajax, or his old bridge on Shiva Zephyr Glaive.

What did it say about Westphalian mental processes that their ships were uncomfortable and dark? Except that Lazarus had assured him that their Starcruisers were more like Rio ships.

Weird, but it did show a tendency to social stratification that Addison found distasteful. More distasteful than Westphalia itself.

“Sensors, what is your status?” he called, mostly just to pass the time.

They were surveying in the Nebula today. Akeley’s Passage was getting a thorough mapping, since that was one of the things a ScoutWall did better than almost anyone.

Lt. Rister Pera. Yithadreph female. Louder than Aileen, but nowhere near as supremely confident.

Everyone was operating under something closely approximating the Rio Alliance Navy, if only because Lazarus had training materials and videos that covered a frightening level of detail for how to do things.

After all, it wasn’t like the Innruld had a navy worth mentioning.

She looked up now and frowned. Uncertain, but everything was new to almost everyone. Addison only had a year’s head start.

“I’m seeing indications of a ship’s transit, sir,” Pera said sourly. “Recent, I think. Recent enough that I have echo marks of them dropping into space nearby and then jumping again.”

“Show me,” he ordered her.

Westphalian equipment wasn’t anywhere near as good as what Lazarus had installed on Ajax, but still better than what the Species Underground had had before.

Yes. That was a ship with jump drives, navigating more or less down the central lane of Akeley’s Passage. It had jumped out and spent a while triangulating as well as it could against visible stars, then jumped again just a few hours ago.

“Sound the alert and roust the Commodore,” he ordered. “Transmit your findings to the rest of the squadron and tell everyone to stand by for jump.”

That would be what Aileen ordered, so he felt okay anticipating. He smiled at the thought that she was in charge here, instead of him or Lazarus. Of course, Lazarus would step in if he felt the need, but this was just supposed to be a familiarization patrol.

“Signal from Swift, sir,” Pera said. “Captain Lazarus.”

“Put him through to my screen, Lieutenant.”

And there he was, the man responsible for such upheavals in everyone’s life.

“Coming or going?” he asked immediately.

“Yisan side, transiting towards Aceanx,” Addison replied.

Aceanx was closer through trans-space, but Human ships could leap in a straight line, so they could go straight to Zhoonarrim when they got into open space.

Aileen arrived before they could say more.

“How big?” was the first thing she asked when she got into her own modified command seat.

Every single chair on this ship had been ripped out first thing, and replaced with modifiable seats the Species preferred.

“One ship, Commodore,” Pera responded. “Unable to identify size at present.”

Addison figured that they could actually move to a spot where they could scan the wave of arrival for details, but that would require more time than he expected Aileen to give them.

“Lazarus, are we ready to chase someone?” she asked, joining in on the open line.

“I think so, depending,” he replied. “If nothing else, we need to get back to friendly space so we can bring in heavier firepower, assuming an unfriendly vessel.”

He watched the woman nod. She’d been a mostly quiet, introverted Cargomaster for him for years, but a change had come over her. Firefights on rooftops, commanding convoys and then armadas.

Now, commanding a patrol squadron.

“All vessels, come about to this vector and prepare to jump,” Aileen said. “Oh, and battle stations.”

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