"Admiral John "Black Jack" Geary earned his rank after being revived from cryogenic sleep to lead the Alliance to victory against the Syndicate Worlds. But his superiors question his loyalty to the regime. Now in command of the First Fleet, Geary is tasked with exploring the frontier beyond Syndic space, a mission he fears deliberately puts the fleet--and himself--in harm's way. An encounter with the alien enigmas confirms Geary's fears. Attacked without warning, he orders the fleet to jump star systems--only to enter the crosshairs of another hostile alien armada. Ignoring all of the First Fleet's attempts to communicate peaceful intentions, this system's species sends its ships into battle on suicide runs while it guards the exiting jump point with a fortress of incalculable power. Now, with a faction of his officers determined to eliminate this new threat at any cost, Geary must figure out how to breach the enemy's defenses so the fleet can reach the jump point without massive casualties--even though the enigmas could be waiting on the other side.."--… (more)
To Lieutenant Colonel Robert W. Lamont, USNC (ret.), who wanted to see the Marines assault a fort; Commander Christopher J. Lagemann, USN (ret.), who really would have made a darn good admiral; and Captain Michael A. Durnanm USN (ret.), who (with varying degrees of success over the years) has tried to keep all of the rest of us out of trouble.
For S., as always.
"When you find yourself going through hell, keep going."
A playing board that already had too many players, many of them hidden, had just acquired more pieces, which might upset a lot of strategies and possibly the Alliance itself.