If you haven't already checked out the ever-growing Broken Empire novella series, click here! At the forefront of an interstellar civil war between the Alliance and Conglomerate, a group of young adult recruits must learn how to survive a dystopian military regime manipulated by a madman while surviving the onslaught of the Corporate Authorities.
So, where have we gone so far in the story and where are we going next? The road ahead contains spoilers.
Volume #1: The Introduction
Broken Empire: Volume 1 was an ambitious project that sought to introduce readers to a long-winded war between the United Alliance of Planets and the Conglomeration of Corporate Authorities through the eyes of four young naval academy students. We primarily are introduced to the situation at hand through the eyes of the late Raelynn Kent and the ambitious recruit Ryan Kent.
Through Ryan, we meet Kelly, Greg, and Stacey, all of who have their own unique personalities and interests, but also come together as friends (Stacey being the outlier). Aside from a mysterious introduction to the Exotics, we are also introduced to Admiral Eldritch Pickett who takes a rather peculiar liking to Ryan who just learned of his sister's untimely death.
Aside from a skirmish between Grant and Ryan that could bring Ryan and Kelly closer together, and some additional worldbuilding/quality-of-life elements, that concludes the first volume of Broken Empire.
Volume #2: Things Escelate
If Volume 1 was where we introduced a nice house of cards, Volume 2 is where that house of cards got shaken a little bit.
The first duty assignments are undertaken by our four protagonists who are split up; Ryan and Kelly end up on a destroyer (Montgomery), Greg and Stacey find themselves on a battlecruiser (Stonehaven). However, fear not, they're back together in no time after an attack on the Montgomery.
The attack on the Montgomery leaves Ryan with permanent damage and a bruised ego. Yet, it's due to the advancements in medical technology, and a powerful benefactor, that Ryan is back on his feet within a month. Regardless, he finds that he isn't exactly the same as he was before.
It isn't long at all before he discovers that the benefactor is none other than Admiral Pickett, the same man who plotted the attack on Montgomery. Greg, Stacey, and Kelly all know something isn't quite right either, but Alliance intelligence doesn't make it easy to find information. Pickett's revelation serves to deepen our understanding of both the Alliance and the Conglomerate and their relation to one another.
Ryan is only conflicted more with his new (and rapid) promotion, information, and responsibility. He vows to take down Pickett one day, but there are more pressing matters at the time. By the end of the volume, the Stonehaven is deployed to the Medius system and Admiral Pickett prepares to mobilize a large naval force.
Volume #3: The War
If the nice house of cards was shaken in Volume 2, then it got hit by a missile in Volume 3.
The Stonehaven embarks on its mission to the Medius system with a flotilla at its back. Ryan is forced to share his command position with Joshua Jackson, a man with more experience than Ryan and a small grudge against his family. Greg receives firearms training from Akasuki and Kelly encounters Grant once more.
Despite the conflicts personally, the Stonehaven is thrown into a naval engagement almost as soon as it reaches Krotoan. Ryan and Jackson have to work together to thwart an assault while Kelly proves herself as an engineer. Greg struggles with his own place on the ship while Stacey puts her medical knowledge to the test. Meanwhile, Admiral Pickett discusses an issue concerning the Exotics with the Alliance Security Council.
Under Ryan and Jackson's command, the Stonehaven is shot down and crashlands in a hostile environment. The crew members are forced to come together if they are to survive a Conglomerate ground assault. Despite their shortcomings, it doesn't take long for General Greene's ground forces to arrive and save the day.
In this volume, we also meet Ghost, an Alliance spy who escapes a destroyed Conglomerate ship. Everything comes to a head as an Alliance destroyer launches an orbital bombardment against Conglomerate positions on Krotoan, a cloaked Conglomerate battleship destroys the destroyer, and the entire colony of Atrizar is destroyed in the aftermath.
As the topping on the cake, Admiral Pickett's fleet arrives only moments after the excitement ends.
Volume #4: The Tide Turns
Volume 4 is still being released by episode on Kindlevella, so check that out here if you haven't already.
In Volume 4 thus far, the consequences of Ryan's failures catch up with him as his command position is replaced by Captain Wong, a mildly incompetent naval commander. Once the Alliance receives information that the Syndicate leader Hawke is in hiding on a neutral colony within the Medius system, the Stonehaven is deployed to hunt him down. Surprisingly, they succeed in his capture.
Admiral Pickett unveils his new secret weapon in the war against the Conglomerate, an energy weapon that renders known defense technology useless. Unfortunately, the weapon requires the element known as Atherion, rarely found in nature. Yet, the Exotic ship's core is almost entirely composed of it, so Pickett's next target is in sight.
Ryan is forced to assault Wong, his superior, to save the battlecruiser from certain ruin. While the crew is saved from Wong's ineptitude, the consequences of Ryan's actions cannot be ignored. Once the Stonehaven reconvenes with the Leviathan, Admiral Pickett administers punishment in the form of public flogging, an Alliance favorite. Before that, however, Pickett engages in the brutal torture and interrogation of Hawke.
The Reunification War and the Road Ahead
The Reunification War is also ongoing on Kindlevella right now, so click here to see that!
While The Broken Empire novella series begins in 2156 CE, the Reunification War began far before that. Following the perspective of Cal Copus, an Alliance Marine, we see the downfall of the Alliance's unity and the beginning of what turns into one of humanity's darkest periods. The story begins with Alliance force's failed assault on an insurrectionist colony in the Cerberus system. Things only go downhill from there as a number of powerful corporations leave the Alliance and back the insurrection. Cal and his men are caught in the middle of what will become humanity's most brutal war.
The Reunification War will establish and clarify some of the extensive lore behind the Alliance and Conglomerate while providing readers with an intimate first look at how quickly a war can escalate and how easily democracy can dissolve in a crisis.
The Broken Empire novella series will continue on for a number of volumes that will feature an end to the war between the Alliance and the Conglomerate, and present a new conflict between the Exotics and humanity. Just what exactly the Exotics are is yet to be revealed.
Further one-shots like the Reunification War are planned in the future.
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