Gray Panthers: Earths Revenge

 

 

 

 

Gray Panthers Earths Revenge

 

By David Guenther

 

Gray Panthers Earths Revenge

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

Copyright © 2015 by David E. Guenther
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Printed in the United States of America

First Printing, August 28, 2015

 

 

    It is my pleasure to dedicate this book to my beloved wife, Lily.  Who has persevered as I became unavailable more and more frequently. After I am done with my next book, I promise to catch up on my honey do list.

    I can’t fail to thank Jeff Ellison, a dedicated, overworked and underpaid science teacher who forcefully pointed out errors in the book and let me know when I had gone off track and I was becoming hard to follow.

    My thanks go to my comrades who I served with during my 21 years in the Air Force.  You are the ones who let a young man learn the true meaning of camaraderie and esprit de corps.  The importance of real leadership and the courage in purpose was demonstrated time and time again.  I would be remiss if I failed to thank those who are the present guardians of the republic, Thank you for your service.

 

Glossary and Equipment

10mm:
Standard issue side arm used by GPs. Fires 10mm gyro jet ammunition

40mm Cannon:
High-powered auto cannon of Earth design. Fires intelligent ammunition.

AI:
Artificial Intelligence. Used to run ships and facilities, use interactive avatars of their persona to communicate

Beamer:
Main infantry weapon of the Gray Panthers Larger versions used on ships and for planetary defense batteries.

Beater:
GP space ship captured from the Libra and used as a raider behind enemy lines.

Bia:
Queen Mary V1 ocean liner converted to space ship

COB:
Chief of Boat.  Senior Enlisted Member on ships responsible for enlisted members

Comm:
Gray Panthers have voice-activated communicator behind their ears and near their neck.  Units look like small moles on the skin and are able to translate all known languages. Comm is also the term for using the device

Cornucopia:
Captured Libra ship put into service as Gray Panther ship

Dart:
Libra single seat space fighter armed with one 40mm cannon and two beamers modified for human use.

Droids:
Robots controlled by AI used for ship maintenance and mining

Faeries:
Small Flem designed cloaked units that are used to collect intelligence.  Also used as a weapon to protect ships from boarders by being flown into the boarder until they are injured or killed.

FTL Drive:
Faster Than Light Drive on ships

GPs:
Gray Panthers, used to reference Gray Panther troops and equipment

LCDR:
Lieutenant Commander USN officer rank

Nanites:
Flem designed device used to rejuvenate and enhance humans.  Used to enhance senior's bodies to that of a twenty year old and repair injuries.  Facial features are unchanged.

NCOIC:
Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge.  Senior enlisted member responsible for unit.

Nike:
First space ship of the GP fleet converted from the Navy ship Enterprise.

ODCS:
Optical Deflection Combat Suits, field uniform of the Gray Panthers, bend light to make wearers almost invisible

OIC:
Officer in Charge

OPFOR:
Opposition Force.  Team used as adversaries during training and exercises

Phoenix:
Captured Libra ship put into service for Gray Panthers.

Rail Gun:
Electromagnetic weapon that fires projectiles

Robert Rogers:
AI used by OPFOR, avatar based on Rogers Rangers leader from 18th century

Spectrum Glasses:
Glasses and scopes used to view infrared, heat, night vision, and assorted forms of light

TSgt:
USAF Enlisted E5

USA:
US Army

USPACFLT:
US Navy Pacific Fleet

 

Characters

Flem Race:
Subterranean technologically advanced race that adhere to a strict code of pacifism.  The entire race evacuated their home planet to avoid subjugation to the Libra Alliance. Previously as members of the League of Planets they were protected, until the Libra showed the League of Planets to only be a paper tiger.

Libra Race:
Believe it is their destiny to oversee the universe, to ensure all are equals, without fear, the only problem is that they are in fact set to rule the universe for the sake of power itself.

 

Jacka Race:
Patriarchal society consisting of ten Clans. Entire economy is based on serving as mercenaries. Culture demands strict honesty and honor, respects courage.

 

Republic:
Federation of planets guaranteed to protect its members in event of war. Also ensures free trade among its numerous species.

Abdul “Abby” Bahadur:
Sixty. USA, Translator Iranian War, refugee, retired, head of manufacturing for Gray Panthers.

Butch "Butcher" Bad:
Seventy-two. USN, Commander, retired, Gray Panther Space Forces Commander

Caleb “Red” Erickson:
70, USN, Commander, retired, Captain of the Bia

Daniel "D2" Daniels:
Seventy. USA, Sergeant Major, retired. Prospector, Owner of Gray Panthers

David “Dusty” Rhodes:
Seventy, USAF, Colonel, Commander of GP Fighters and shuttles.

James Young:
Thirty. USMC, SSgt, deserter, Gray Panther Lt. OIC of OPFOR

Juanita Jorge alias Maria Lopez:
Twenty. Executive assistant to Dan Daniels and his girlfriend,

Sigmund "Siggy" Goldstein,
Ninety. President of the United States

Sigmund Goldstein Jr.:
Sixty Governor of Arizona, son of the president of the United States

William "Black Jack" Black:
Ninety-eight. U.S. Army, General, retired, Gray Panther Ground forces Commander

Dart Flight

Matthew Andrews:
Nineteen, high school graduate, unemployed, Dart Flight Commander

Thomas “Tiny” Shaw:
Nineteen, high school football star athlete, bar bouncer

Suzy Hagen:
Twenty-eight, camp ground manager

Mary Engel:
Twenty-five, twin sisters, bartender

Matilda Engel:
Twenty-five, twin sisters, bartender

Andrzej Worchol:
Eighteen, recent high school graduate, one of three triplets

Borys Worchol:
Eighteen, recent high school graduate, one of three triplets

Bronia Worchol:
Eighteen, recent high school graduate, one of three triplets

Scott Scholl:
Seventy, retired factory worker

Zach Miller:
Thirty-six, semi-retarded farm hand

Crew of the Raider Beater

Kyle Johnson:
Seventy-six, retired USN, LCDR. Captain of the Beater

John Poland:
Eighty, retired USN, Pilot of the Beater

Chester Horton:
Twenty-two, recent academy graduate, weapons and navigation officer of Beater

William “Guns” Wright:
Seventy-nine, retired USN, Chief, Crew chief/Gunner of Beater

James “Jimmy” Brewster:
ninety-two, retired USA, Crew chief/Gunner of Beater

Short Blade:
fifteen, Jacka, previously a mercenary assigned for the Libra, Crewman on the Beater

 

 

Prologue

On 31 March 2126 Dan Daniels felt like the luckiest man in the world. His discovery of an operational crashed alien space ship literally gave him immortality and unlimited power. Immediately after finding the ship, the artificial intelligence guiding the ship saved Dans life by giving him a nanite treatment that rejuvenated the seventy year old man to the point he was physically twenty years old again. The AI, named Grub, explained that the ship was used to support colonist with the ability to mass manufacture anything Dan could want and was specifically designed for mining. Grub then informed Dan that there would be an invasion in approximately twenty years. Not trusting the corrupt government that had suspended the Constitution and all human rights thirty years earlier Dan took action. Relying on his fellow senior veterans that also had the nanite therapy to once again be soldiers. After engineering the capitulation of the government and restoration of a constitutional republic Dan built his Gray Panther Army under a legal loop hole. The Gray Panther Army was the official militia of the state of Arizona. While preparing to defend Earth the Gray Panthers were able to destroy an unexpected reconnaissance expedition of two ships from the Libra Alliance on 6 January 2128. The jubilation from that victory was short lived when they learned they had less than two years to prepare for the main invasion fleet.

Coulee Valley Arcade and Simulations, Onalaska, Wisconsin

9 July 2128

The arcade as normal was packed. Matthew Andrews was a regular there and was still uncomfortable with the attention he got, especially with the nickname Ace. The new technologies from the Gray Panthers Industries included full-scale flight simulators that were quickly adapted for commercial amusement use. Matt, though ordinarily quiet and withdrawn, was a dynamo on the simulator flight deck, and accepted by others who wanted him to be the Captain of their team. Each arcade used their simulators to battle their competitors over the internet. Every week the top winners were posted worldwide for bragging rights. The nineteen year old devoted his time outside the arcade reading old books on aviation history, air combat maneuvering, and the application of strategy. Matt still lived at home with his widowed father where he took care of his dad and maintained the house accepting abuse from his three constantly drunk unemployed brothers who had returned from their stint in the Marines. Matt’s father recently started working in the new sand steel factory and tried to encourage Matt to work at the factory with him, but the allure of space was too strong. Matt was on the waiting list to go to one of the new Gray Panthers free academies, where he planned to learn to be a shuttle pilot.

“Yo Ace, you ready to kick some ass?” Matt turned to see Thomas “Tiny” Shaw.

“Tiny” had been a high school football player when Matt was the team statistician and had always enjoyed giving Matt a hard time for being the original ninety pound weakling, especially when he towered over him at almost seven foot and 280 pounds. After high school, Tiny had planned to play professional football until he hurt his knees in practice. Now he was a bouncer at different bars scratching out a living. The two became friends only after graduation when they learned how much they had in common and how well they worked together at the arcade as a team.

Tiny picked Matt up and gave him a bear hug, then dropped him as he made a path through the crowd for them to get to their simulators, the other eight members of their team were already waiting. Today was the state tournament finals for Wisconsin; their team from Onalaska, called “Matt’s Marauders” was going to take on the “Madison Panthers” a team from the Gray Panthers University of Madison. The entire battle would be viewed in homes across the country for spectators of “Space Battle” on either the internet or those who still had TVs. The audience could switch their view of the show from either the shuttle of their choice or the default view of the action seeing all shuttles engaging at one time.

Gray Panther Colonel David “Dusty” Rhodes made himself comfortable with a huge bucket of popcorn in preparation of watching “Space Battle”. It had been his idea initially to make the simulators available for commercial use in the hope of gaining ideas for tactics as well as finding any talent to join the Gray Panthers. The simulators were two rows of ten huge boxes. Each box contained a flight deck that looked exactly like the real thing. The displays from inside the simulators were the crowning touch. Experienced pilots could not tell the difference between a simulator and an actual flight deck once seated at the controls.

Dusty was not disappointed; with the onset of battle, the Madison Panthers lost the toss and were tasked to defend the moon base against Matt's Marauders. The defenders kept five shuttles in close orbit over the station with five shuttles spread out as a picket, waiting to detect the approach of their attackers. The Marauders did a high-speed slingshot around Mars then shut down all systems except life support to reduce their energy signatures to avoid giving away their positions. Once they made it to the moon, they found the dark side of the moon not covered as part of the defenders protective shield. Immediately they assumed a stationary orbit on the dark side of the moon near the North Pole. Matt used the simulators computer for a firing solution, and then had all ships fire with him through the moons mantle with their beamers, in thirty minutes they had achieved their goal without the Madison Panthers even knowing what was going on until the base was destroyed. Then, rather than attack the shuttle screen Matt ordered his unit to withdrawal, they had achieved their missions goal, why risk any unnecessary casualties?

Dusty watched the Marauders as they withdrew and was amazed and equally pissed off as he had bet on Madison to win. He quickly contacted Space Battle Operations and told them to finish the show, and then have the two teams engage each other in open space with no planetary bodies in the way. He alone would be the only audience.

Matt and the team were initially pissed when they were told they were going to engage the others again, until they were assured they were still the victors and would move on in the finals.

When the new scenario was transmitted to the teams, Matt’s Marauders immediately attacked at full speed head-on in two formations of three shuttles and a four ship formation. The Panthers advanced in a formation of five pairs of shuttles each pair autonomous. The concentrated fire power of the Marauders took first blood as three Panthers were destroyed and a fourth crippled, the Marauders taking light damage to two of their shuttles, but still operational. The Panthers quickly turned expecting to dog fight but instead found empty space as the Marauders continued their on their trajectory away from them at full speed, then turned around intending to make another high speed pass. The Panther commander had his shuttles redeploy in a team of three and a team of four. They were barely in position when the Marauders flew towards them, then came to a dead stop as they again blasted away in a slugging match. The Panthers, not prepared to concentrate their fire, were quickly finished as the Marauders won with a loss of two shuttles and three damaged. Matt sat in his shuttle disturbed with the number he had lost trying to figure out how he could have done better. His shuttle screen flickered for a second and then he was looking at an old timer that was scowling at him.

“Boy you just cost me twenty grand! Let me introduce myself to you. I’m Colonel David Rhodes of the Gray Panthers. You did a shit hot job killing today. What have you to say for yourself?"

“Sir, I played it like I trained it, we did not know what to expect so we had a couple simple plans. Our main tactic is to overwhelm our opposition with firepower, like you did for Operation Recall during the Flem invasion.”

“Sonny, that was an operation of desperation, there was no plan other than keep charging until we had nothing left, we were just lucky to have the numbers. What are your plans?” Rhodes asked, pleased that he had been recognized.

“Well sir I’ve been waiting for a space to open so I can go to college and become a shuttle pilot…”

“Forget it kid, I’ll have you trained in the basics in under a month, then the real schooling will start if you are willing to take a direct commission as a lieutenant in the Gray Panthers.”

“Sir if you extend that offer to my entire team you have a deal.”

“Damn boy, OK. I will evaluate each member of your team, they pass or fail on their own merit. Best I will give you.”

“Sir, when you decide it's the entire team you have a deal,” Matt replied trying to keep his excitement down remembering at this point, the old man was an adversary. “Sir, if we all make it through we’d like to stay as a unit if possible, we have hundreds of hours together and make a damn good team.”

“I will not make any more promises at this point but I will say the idea has merit. I will now make the same offer to everyone on your team at the same time; we will keep this part confidential for now.”

Matt sat in his simulator amazed at what had just happened. When teams had initially been formed his team was composed of those rejected by every other team. Tiny was the original team Captain by force of will. Later as Matt would give advice and suggestions, Tiny conceded as the team started to win every match and the unofficial nickname 'Matt's Misfits was changed to 'Matt's Marauders.'

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