Kevin J. Anderson Presents
Empire’s Rift by Steve Rzasa
“In the Senarias Spiral Arm lies a region beyond the Great Desert Rift of Orion called the Rimward Reaches. This vast area is where the great empires of Naplia, Audria, the Briddarri Kingdom and many smaller alien empires fought a series of wars for the possession of millions of star systems.
By the late 27th Century the fighting had spilled over into the human territories of this region, and drastic action forced the Naplians to invade the Terran Empire in 2678. Their target: the provincial capital in the Baedecker star system.
That region of space was quiet, five years after the two brutal Consular Wars had introduced the first use of cybernetics. The rebellious Northern Alliance employed fully-self-aware AI combat robots and also established a force of cybernetic troopers developed through the use of volunteers who signed on to have their brain and nervous system harvested and fitted to a cybernetic human shaped frame. They were designated “Truppen” by the Northern Alliance. Provided with adequate replacement parts, a Truppen could continue indefinitely.
The Truppen met their final defeat at the Baedecker Star System, ending the Second Consular War. Yet, their enemies were unaware they left hundreds of living casualties in the battlefields.
Minds trapped in headpieces, they waited.
With the arrival of the Naplians, and the return of a Northern Alliance scion, Baedecker became the pivotal point in time for the galaxy. Its fourth planet, the exact middle point of destiny for countless species and nations.
The firestorms of war that destroyed the Estra galaxy began there.”
Read an excerpt from Empire’s Rift