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The Guardsman #01 - Honor of the Fallen

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A lone man who carries the name of the Empire's ultimate shame and anonymity, 'John Smith.' Stripped of everything from his past, cast out and stumbling through the world, he sees everything he grew up believing with new eyes. The harsh realities of his world nip at his flanks and heels every day of his new life, while memories and painful traumas of his old life plague his days and even nights.

==<<| Excerpt |>>==

      "Alright, what do you want to do first? Today we have stacks of fun, personal signatures on volumes of paperwork, or unit strengths and status reports, or intelligence estimates, or profit and loss statements, or subordinate corporation 'issues'?"
      Before his friend could finish collecting thoughts to finish the retort Thomys cut him off, "Yes you are." Thomys adjusted the stack of hard copy folders on his lap. His leather shoes and silk wool blend slacks, supported by the massive desk. "You are the Chief Executive Officer, Director of the Board, single largest equity holder, and I might add debt holder, in the Chroynos Stellar Hegemony Power and Utilities Holding Corporation. Thanks to the devious maneuverings of your grandfather and his hostile takeover expertise and steadfast consolidation efforts of your father, we control an Empire too. You also just happen to control the entire block of voting stock for the holding company that control our Military Corporations that secures our interests on, what is it now, on fourteen hundred, residential, agricultural, resource and industrial solar systems?"
      Phyllip grumbled and kicked his feet off the desk to the floor, while flipping the top cover of the folder open. The pen he had tried so desperately to forget, found his hand and it started moving down the top page. He read it quickly, and stated "Honor Graduates on the top as usual I see."
      Thomys nodded once. The confirmation was unneeded. The commissioning documents were always ordered like that. Phyllip ripped his signature into the top document, flipped to the next page, and ripped the next signature. This quarter's commissioning cycle had only five hundred new officers. But each was represented by a beautifully carved Certificate of Commission.
      Phyllip read all of the Honor Graduate Commissions, that top ten percent represented the most qualified officers and he liked to be familiar with their names. He didn't remember them all, but it never hurt to try, and he did. Phyllip signed as Thomys watched and shuffled several thick folders, in his lap. The last four hundred fifty moved as quickly as the first fifty.
      Phyllip tried to slam the folder closed but it just drifted softly into place without a sound. He palmed the documents and slid them back across his desk to Thomys. Neither action satisfied his frustration, so once his feet were comfortably back on top of the desk, he threw his expensive pen across the room at the window. It made a very satisfying clattering whack on the window, ten meters away, before falling silent to the thick carpet.
      Phyllip's nose wrinkled as he sneered at the unsatisfying conclusion. Thomys interrupted his foul mood, "Ah, so that's why you're being such an ass today." He pulled the certificates off the desk and slipped them perpendicular under his stack. He pulled on one of the bottom folders and glanced at the cover before pushing it across the desk to Phyllip. "I guess that explains why you didn't want to sign the things this quarter or last."

Word Count: 93,900

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