I’ve run Will Diaz through three pretty tough adventures, and he and his team are staring down the gun at another five or so. I think they’ve earned a small rest.

That said, I’ve decided to dust off something that’s been in the wings for a long time. With that, allow me to introduce you to Colonel Jason Tyler.

I created Jason and his people back in high school when they made their first appearance in our high school magazine, “The Eye.” I’ve always liked “Hard Science Fiction” (defined as hardware – think Star Trek vs Logan’s Run), and that’s how it started. The early stories were nothing more than a Star Trek clone. But like all things, you play with it enough, and you develop your own product.

So welcome to the year 2712 AD. Humanity has finally reached the stars, not all of it through their own efforts. Six hundred years before, something came to Earth, wrecked havoc upon us, and after we “appeared” to have beaten them, went away to never return. In the wake of that, and by reverse engineering their technology, a new age for the human race began.

Humanity has spread out into the Solar System. There’s large cities on the Moon, and we’re busy terraforming Mars and Venus. The beginnings of an attempt to harness the full energy output of the Sun has begun with the construction of a Dyson Sphere.

A surprise discovery of a couple of worlds over a thousand light years away is the catalyst for the story. These world are perfect for Earth type life, but seems devoid of any life. Since life had a huge part in forging our world, the question of how two perfect worlds without life could exist is a vexing one.

Enter Jason. Jason Tyler is at once an explorer and a soldier. Called out of retirement, he’s to lead an expedition out to these worlds. An earlier attempt was made, and of the twenty ships full of colonists, one ship returned. It’s badly damaged, and the computer records indicate the fleet was attacked and wiped out to the last man, woman, and child. Only this ship, locked on a course home, managed to return.

Jason is leading a war fleet to avenge the colonists, and seize the system for Humanity.

Welcome aboard the Starship Challenger. This isn’t the Enterprise, or even close. The Challenger is a vessel the size of Manhattan. She and her kind are so large they can’t even come into the inner Solar System, but stay parked out beyond the orbit of Saturn. The fastest she’ll go is three quarters the speed of light. She is at once home and a base of operations.

Given that, it would take the better part of fifteen hundred years to reach their destination. What makes it possible to travel from star to star is what amounted to the discovery of a “Crack” in space. A vessel can enter this crack, and come out somewhere else. According to the science of Jason’s time, this crack shouldn’t even exist. Debate has raged and continues to rage over if it’s natural or something someone built. To make matters worse, depending on point and timing of entry, you can be moved light years across the Galaxy. Also, there’s other cracks. One crack comes out near that faraway system (named Sagan 2).

So off goes Jason Tyler leading his fleet of fifty plus warships. What ends up happening is a war of attrition and the realization that not everything is as they were led to believe.

I haven’t a clue when this will be out. With at least three or four projects in the fire it might be out next year, or two years from now.

All I can say is stay tuned.