Nomad’s Force – SNIPPET 2!
Terry Henry Walton Chronicles, Book 9


San Francisco

     It had taken a week before Akio proclaimed Ramses fit to travel. After that, they loaded everyone into the pod and headed home, stopping in San Francisco on their way.

     “Boris. Are you ever going back to North Chicago?” Terry asked as they enthusiastically shook hands.

     “I’m thinking no, Colonel. It really is hard to beat this place, and there are ten times the number of people from which to find new recruits. That’s looking good, too,” the lieutenant replied, turning to look at his adopted city.

     Terry followed his gaze. It was hard to believe how much the city was thriving. A container ship was negotiating the bay outside the wharf. A tug was waiting for it to get closer.

     “I could run a new platoon through training every month, if we want. Is there anything in the training schedule we can cut back?” Boris asked.

     Terry pursed his lips and looked at the blue sky. “I don’t want to short-change training. Two months is an absolute minimum followed by continuous on-the-job training for the next six months. If we hurry them through, then we water down our capabilities. They need both types of training to get the most out of their new profession.”

     TH needed the numbers for his deployment plan, but he refused to sacrifice quality to get them. “Keep the standards up, Lieutenant and if you have to, run bigger recruit training classes until we can run multiple sessions simultaneously.”

     “That’s what I’m worried about, Colonel. Our people with combat experience are limited, especially as we rotate the platoons in and out. I’m losing a lot of continuity. We need a permanent garrison, like you mentioned last year,” Boris said pointedly.

     “I know, but I saw too much partying and not enough FDGing,” Terry replied, looking around to make sure no one was within earshot. “I’ll tell you that it pissed me off. People need to be ready to take on the Forsaken and their minions, whether that happens next week or five years from now. We can’t ever drop our guard, or people will die!”

     “I understand completely, but it’s hard to make the others understand,” Boris said softly.

     Terry put a fatherly hand on the lieutenant’s shoulder. “It’s your job to make them understand,” Terry added. “What do you say we let the newest tactical team members run your people through their paces, and then we’ll leave it to you to find the warriors to establish a permanent garrison? We’ll stay here for a couple days. Decide by then and we’ll take the rest back to North Chicago with us.”

     “Aye, aye, sir,” Boris replied, before hurrying away to find his two platoon sergeants and to rally the troops.

     It took longer than Terry wanted. Kim, Kae, Marcie, and Ramses had joined him as he waited, impatiently tapping his foot.

     When the three platoons finally formed, two from the garrison and the one recruit platoon, Terry was fit to be tied. He demanded the utmost of military discipline. He’d striven for standards that rivaled the Marine Corps in which he was raised.

     “Settle down, please,” Char whispered into his ear. He tried not to smile. “You’re vibrating in place.”

     He stopped tapping his foot and turned to look into his wife’s beautiful, purple eyes. Without looking away, he said, “Kim, Kae, Ramses, and Marcie. Why don’t you guys show them some stuff you learned from Akio, as well as tell a story or two about combat? Take care of it, please,” Terry ordered.

     “That’s more like it. Don’t want my big husky colonel to wear a sourpuss,” Char purred.

     “Moi? A sourpuss? Never, woman,” Terry said. She cocked one eyebrow.

     “You are the king of the sourpusses,” she retorted softly, smiling at him.

     “And you are as beautiful as the day we first met,” he told her as the newly enhanced warriors brought the platoons into a huddle.

     “Of course, I am,” Char answered, taking Terry’s hand. 

Visit Craig Martelle’s website to learn more about his books and his life in Alaska.