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Hostile Spike

Battlegroup Z Book Two

Daniel Gibbs

Contents

CSV Zvika Greengold Blueprints

SF-86 Sabre Blueprints

Starchart - Sagittarius/Orion Arms

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Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

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Acknowledgments

Hostile Spike by Daniel Gibbs

Copyright © 2020-2021 by Daniel Gibbs

Visit Daniel Gibb’s website at

www.danielgibbsauthor.net

Cover by Jeff Brown Graphics—www.jeffbrowngraphics.com

Additional Illustrations by Joel Steudler—www.joelsteudler.com

This book is a work of fiction, the characters, incidents and dialogues are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

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 author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. For permissions please contact [email protected]

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FREE BOOK: Read the story of Levi Cohen and his heroic fight at the first battle of Canaan in Echoes of War: Stand Firm.

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Battlegroup Z

Book 1 - Weapons Free

Book 2 - Hostile Spike

Book 3 - Sol Strike

Echoes of War

Book 1 - Fight the Good Fight

Book 2 - Strong and Courageous

Book 3 - So Fight I

Book 4 - Gates of Hell

Book 5 - Keep the Faith

Book 6 - Run the Gauntlet

Book 7 - Finish the Fight

Breach of Faith

(With Gary T. Stevens)

Book 1 - Breach of Peace

Book 2 - Breach of Faith

Book 3 - Breach of Duty

Book 4 - Breach of Trust

1

Lawrence City—Canaan

Terran Coalition

25 October 2433

Almost four weeks after his last combat, First Lieutenant Justin Spencer walked into a small bar on Canaan. The capital of the Terran Coalition, Canaan was the site of the largest battle since the end of the Saurian Wars. Six weeks ago, Justin had been serving his last two-week annual tour of duty as a reservist. But suddenly he and every other member of the Coalition Defense Force, active duty or reserves, were locked in a struggle against a numerically superior force, the League of Sol.

Justin had spent the last week on shore leave, while the hangar bay was exposed to vacuum for refitting and striping the deck. He ran a hand through his shortly cropped brown hair and wished they’d ended up in drydock at New Washington. At least I could’ve seen my family. He sorely missed his wife, Michelle, and his daughter, Margaret. But for the next few hours, at least, Justin resolved to push the war out of his mind and focus on the moment. If nothing else, he would allow himself some joy with his friends.

As he pushed the door shut, his second-in-command and wingman, Second Lieutenant Dvora Feldstein, motioned him to a table in the back. She was a short woman, perfectly suited as a pilot, and one of the best in the Red Tails squadron.

“Hey,” Justin said as he plopped his nearly two-meter-tall frame into one of the four chairs at the high-top table. “Took me a while to find this place. Lots of pilots, eh?”

“What makes you say that?” Feldstein replied with a smirk.

“Oh, the general ‘We’re better than you’ attitude everyone in here is giving off, and it’s called The Ready Room, for crying out loud.”

Feldstein snickered. “Valid point.” Her lips curled into a smile. “Feels weird not to have my uniform on.”

“Oh, I think we’re supposed to even on liberty, but I got tired of the attention.”

“A flyboy tired of attention? Be still my beating heart,” she teased.

Justin shrugged. “I mean, I can’t even pay for a meal. Total strangers come up to me constantly, wanting to shake my hand and thanking me for my service.”

“And?”

“Isn’t it weird? It feels weird to me.”

“They know we saved their lives,” Feldstein replied. “And almost everyone appreciates it and the sacrifices made.”

Justin couldn’t readily explain why the attention bothered him. He furrowed his brow. “Six weeks ago, no one cared or gave you a second look if you had the same uniform on.”

“Six weeks ago, a massive empire of communists from Earth wasn’t trying to take over our planets and convert us all to nice little socialists.” Feldstein made a face. “Seriously, Spencer, find something else to grouch about. My bank account looks a little better thanks to the free meals, and who doesn’t want to be looked up to?”

“I guess you’re right.”

“Of course I am. Get used to it.”

Justin laughed loudly and turned to his right just in time to see Second Lieutenant Elisabete Mateus walk through the same door he’d entered. He waved her over.

She flew over to the table, dodging a waiter with a large tray of beers. “Good evening, my fellow warriors. May I?” she asked, pointing at an empty chair.

“Like you have to ask,” Justin replied with a snort.

“Oh, this girl always likes to see if she’s wanted,” Mateus said. Her first language was Portuguese, and she had a slight trace of an accent. “Have you ordered yet?”

“Four beers,” Feldstein replied. “But they haven’t arrived yet.”

Mateus grinned and adjusted her top. “I should’ve ordered for you.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because I don’t look like I came straight from a church service like you two.”

Justin had to admit she had a point. Mateus was a beautiful woman and seemed to enjoy wearing clothes that accentuated that fact. Every time they’d gone out as a group, though, the lot of them ended up not paying because someone was hitting on her. “So, another night with no bar tab?” Nothing wrong with that. I like the free drinks too.

That got him a glowering stare from

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