Earth Strike. Ian Douglas

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Earth Strike - Ian Douglas

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       “Too little, too late, I fear. We have lost the planet, either way.”

      He dipped his gravfighter’s nose and accelerated.

      He wasn’t quite “down to the deck,” as he’d reported, but close enough. The Starhawk was dropping now past the twenty-kilometer mark. The sky above was still space-dark, the brightest stars—Arcturus, especially—still gleaming and brilliant, but the cloud decks below rose thick and towering, their tops sculpted by high-altitude winds and tinted red and gold by the rising sun. He’d crossed enough of the planet’s face that the local sun was well above the horizon now, casting long, blue-purple shadows and hazy shafts of golden light across the distinctly three-dimensional surface of the cloudscape below.

      Gray adjusted his ship’s hull-form again, sculpting it for high-speed aerial flight, absorbing the deep entry keel and extending the wings farther and deeper into their forward-canted configuration. Behind him, a sudden burst of shooting stars marked another cloud of sand or debris entering atmosphere, a barrage of silent flick-flick-flicks of light.

      He let his AI target on the Marine beacon, bringing the SG-92’s prow left across the horizon, then dipping down into a plunging dive. He opened his com suite to the Marine frequency and began sending out an approach vector clearance request.

      He hadn’t crossed seventy-one AUs and survived a near-miss by a thermonuke to get shot down by the damned jarheads.



      An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd

      1 London Bridge Street,

      London SE1 9GF

      First published in the US by EOS 2010

      Copyright © William H. Keith, Jr 2010

      William H. Keith, Jr asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work

      Cover art by Gregory Bridges

      A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library


      This novel is entirely a work of fiction.

      The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

      All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this ebook on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins ebooks

      HarperCollinsPublishers has made every reasonable effort to ensure that any picture content and written content in this ebook has been included or removed in accordance with the contractual and technological constraints in operation at the time of publication

      Source ISBN: 9780007482948

      Ebook Edition © September 2012 ISBN: 9780007482955

      Version 2019-01-09

      For Brea, who has seen me through many, many light years

      Table of Contents

       Too little, too late, I fear

       Title Page



       Author’s Note


       Chapter One

       Chapter Two

       Chapter Three

       Chapter Four

       Chapter Five

       Chapter Six

       Chapter Seven

       Chapter Eight

       Chapter Nine

       Chapter Ten

       Chapter Eleven

       Chapter Twelve

       Chapter Thirteen

       Chapter Fourteen

       Chapter Fifteen

       Chapter Sixteen

       Chapter Seventeen

       Chapter Eighteen

       Chapter Nineteen

       Chapter Twenty

       Chapter Twenty-One

       Chapter Twenty-Two

       Chapter Twenty-Three

       Chapter Twenty-Four


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