jacc in the box  -  about

 
The story...

The Earth has become a garden planet, a world of leisure and indulgence, but the underlining trouble with that...it's dullsville.  For most that's not really living so, instead of marking time as
a consumer, human beings took their act on the road.

At the dawn of the 24th century, after two nasty little wars of attrition around the Hyades, the proverbial shit is about to hit
the fan yet again.  Gloving up in that corner is the juggernaut, Steel Chain Cooperative, and in this corner is the understated welterweight, Steel Annex.

Two guesses as to  who floats like a butterfly...

 
The books...

PART 01 - saltare cüm diablo

        Don't fuck around boy—and if you want to hang
        around people who do, don't be surprised when
        the bill comes due . . .

Jacob Graves, a smart underachiever, quite by accident finds his niche with the Steel Annex—a military organization in the Pleiades Cluster—and no matter how much he looks at this job as just a job, through the years he has earned a reputation that has instilled unimaginable fear in the heart of their adversaries.  Now, being a straight male (an oddity these days) has its share of drawbacks, but Jacob's life is more complicated than most.  Torn between his ex-wife, Maria, and his on and off again lover, Nicole (front cover), as well as all his children, Jacob soon finds out that even he can be redeemed from the indiscretions and collateral damage of his past.

In worlds without hunger, disease and poverty—where wealth
is abundant and want is for naught—it's in the exclusive A-List of politics, industry and society where ambition, avarice and debauchery are redefined.  In this instance children cloned for the sex and military trade have been discovered, and it is up to Field Marshal Graves and his people to rescue them…only to learn that it is a young girl, playing a very dangerous game of manipulation, who is pulling the strings and guiding mankind
to the abyss of interstellar war.

 
PART 02 - pearls before swine

      He who would foresee what has to be should reflect
      on what has been . . .

Maria Ramirez, a chola from the Lincoln Heights, after decades with the Steel Annex she now finds herself in charge of the whole damned mess. Not exactly the expected outcome when at twenty-one she wandered into One-Klick all sliced up and bloody but those were the cards she was dealt.  Now with an
ex-husband who she loves but hates all in the same breath, a cherished son who has become their daughter, a stepdaughter in league with her as if they were blood, and a cloned batch of fifty-two megalomaniacal pre-teens who have come to see her as their mother figure—all Maria can do at this juncture is to step back and drink it in.  Oh, to be so loved.

Now in command of the most powerful military force in history Maria secretly wishes to return to the simple life—like those knife wielding days in East LA.  Maria is looking to start a fight, an interstellar war in fact, and she doesn't want to do this but to control the outcome there is no choice.  How many will die on this go round?  Could it be tens of thousands or maybe even billions?  It all depends on the first few hours and so far it's not looking good.

Oh, yea, and then there's the aliens…

 
PART 03 - diet of worms

      Let us have faith that right makes might and in that
      faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty . . .

Nicole Burke, on the lam at eight, her deliverance was by a slim chance encounter with Robert Jackson, a Deputy Marshal from the Steel Annex.  Raising her as his own when Nicole comes of age she joins the SA looking for payback... 

               (More to come when it's close to done!)

 
The people...

Jacob Graves (Buzzard Chow) considered mediocre at best, and voted "most likely to die" by his fellow recruits, yet when put to the test he surprises them all.  He finds his calling as a soldier, climbing to the rank of Field Marshal, all the while his personal life becomes an unmitigated disaster.  His wild abandon as a youth (though culturally acceptable nowadays) net Jacob scorned lovers and children popping up all over the place—leaving him taken aback as he approaches sixty…

"All the women in my life have been exoskeleton
 hard psychopaths.  Just the kind of babe that
 devours the male of their species like a mantis
 after copulation."  - Jacob

Maria Ramirez (Tiger Bitch) went through boot with Jacob and ultimately ended up as his ex-wife.  Now, as his superior, she would rather opt to strangle him dead if it wasn't for the one son they share.  Their love/hate relationship is legendary in the ranks of the SA, and the sarcasm and hostility she pukes his way fails to quell the sobering realization that her life would be so less interesting without him...

"You ever see me give one of those big doe-eyed
 can't live without you looks for his ass, do me a
 favor I beg you…shoot me."  - Maria

Nicole Burke (Red Hell) a bone of contention between Maria and Jacob, Nicole started life as a clone conceived for the flesh trade.  Having been a lover to both she continues to nurture her strong bond with Maria but struggles with putting Jacob behind her even though she's had two children by him...

"I think I'm the only woman alive who preserved
 her sanity by getting a uterus."  - Nicole

Scott Rutledge (Vader) is an example where the Annex, like the French Foreign Legion, will take all comers and erase their name and past.  Nobody knows where he came from and, whats more, nobody wants to know.  Sincere in his Jamacian wit and "looking behind" grit he is an endearing soul...

"I'm in love...with a woman!  How the hell did that
 happen?"  - Scott

Jessica Burke, the twelve year old daughter of Nicole and Jacob, isn't your normal preteen.  A loner by choice, she tends to be derisive, on just this side of insolent, but she is more than she lets on…

"You mean deny or evade.  Okay, I'll play, father.
 Only to watch you squirm."  - Jessie

 
The author...

Nicholas Ralph Baum is currently an Information Management Analyst with a utility in Phoenix, AZ.  He has one son who he bonds with via -Minecraft- and -Team Fortress 2-  (hdgehog6).  He was married in Feb of '08 to Nedka Petrovova.

 
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