America's galactic foreign legion - book 4: demilitarized zone

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Book 4: Demilitarized Zone


Walter Knight







Story Introductory Summary

Copyright Information

Author’s Acknowledgement

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4


Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Special Tribute

Changing Luckas told by Henry S. Knight, Jr.

About the Author






Book 4: Demilitarized Zone


The sweeping, satirical military space sagacontinues...


Decorated war hero Captain Joey R. Czerinskiof the United States Galactic Foreign Legion faces new challengeswhen he and his platoon are ordered to planet New Colorado’s NewGobi Desert to guard the demilitarized zone dividing human-occupiedterritory from areas claimed by the Arthropodan Empire.

A new alien spider commander – and nephew ofthe Arthopodan Emperor – creates more headaches for Czerinski withhis strict policies and competitive attitude. In the wake of hismany ill-formed decisions, a young local militia hero emerges,giving Czerinski and his platoon even more trouble to deal with.But it is all water under the desert as Czerinski takes everythingin stride and plays a deadly game of tit-for-tat and one-upmanshipwith the spider commander to maintain order in the volatileDMZ.

With chupacabra, Walmart, and McDonald’sthrown into the mix, the fourth installment of this politicallyincorrect military space opera aims straight for the funnybone.


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Book 4: Demilitarized Zone


Licensed andProduced through




EBOOKISBN/EAN-13: 978-1-935563-33-4

Copyright 2009Walter Knight

All rightsreserved


EditingCoordination: Patricia Morrison

Production /Cover Art Coordination: Judith Pilsner

Cover Art: W.K. Danes and G. E. Ambrose


Also available in PRINT ISBN/EAN-13:978-1-935563-34-1


This is awork of fiction. Names, characters, planets, asteroids, alienspecies, evil empires, galaxies far, far way, or future events andincidents, are the product of the author’s imagination, or are usedfictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons or aliens, livingor dead, events or locales including those on Mars and NewColorado, is entirely coincidental.

Licensing Note: This ebook is licensed andsold for your personal enjoyment. Under copyright law, you may notresell, give away, or share copies of this book. You may purchaseadditional copies of this book for other individuals or direct themto purchase their own copies. If you are reading this book but didnot purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, out ofrespect for the author’s effort and right to earn income from thework, please contact the publisher or retailer to purchase a legalcopy.


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I dedicateAmerica’s Galactic ForeignLegion – Book 4: Demilitarized Zoneto the memory of my dad,Henry S. Knight, Jr., my American hero. Dad passed away July 11,2010, at age 88. I’ve included a short story in his honor at theend of this book.

A special thanks to editor Patricia Morrisonfor still finding my books amusing escapist entertainment.

Also, hugs and kisses to my darling wifeBarb, for her continued support.


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Book 4: Demilitarized Zone


Walter Knight





Chapter 1


The United States Galactic Federation ForeignLegion Missile and GunboatPredatorpatrolled the NewMississippi River all the way up to New Memphis. Past New Memphislay the Arthropodan Empire. A demilitarized zone partitioned theplanet of New Colorado since the last war, but New Memphis was ahuman enclave that existed north of the DMZ. It was thePredator’smission to maintain humanity’s right-of-way onthe river to New Memphis. Spider insurgents had threatened to blowup thePredatorwith suicide bombers riding in speedboats,but no attempts had occurred yet on this trip. Until now.

It was late at night, but I could see theprofile of the approaching speedboat. Night vision technologyallowed me to see much farther than the insurgents, even in thenight fog. I ordered Corporal Williams to fire a cannon shellacross their bow as I broadcast a warning on the PA system. “Thisis the United States Galactic Federation Foreign Legion GunboatPredator!” I announced. “Turn off your engines and prepareto be boarded! Failure to comply will force us to takecountermeasures to ensure our safety and the safety of other rivertraffic!”

“They are still approaching,” advised ourradar technician. “They’re coming straight at us!”

“Blow them out of the water,” I ordered. “Hitthem with everything we have. The Legion does not pay you to bringammo home!”

I am Major Joey R. Czerinski, hero of theLegion, and regional commander along the DMZ here on Planet NewColorado. I am more accustomed to ground fighting, but this sectionof the New Mississippi is also my responsibility. I arranged aride-along to familiarize myself with riverboat patrol. A goodcommander learns the jobs of everyone serving under him.

Captain Gregoire let me take command of hisboat as a courtesy. I felt I was doing everything by the book. Theinsurgents were warned. They had no one to blame but themselves ifwe sent them to the bottom of the river. Corporal Williams firedtwo missiles. I tracked the missiles on radar. Both hit, destroyingthe enemy. Our ship then ran aground, bottoming on shallowrocks.

As the fog cleared, it became more apparent Ishould have stayed on dry land where I belonged. Not only had I runthePredatoraground, but I had also destroyed an automatedlighthouse onshore. Dismayed, I put a fishing line off the bow ofthe Predator, and waited for the worst. My riverboat days wereover. Captain Gregoire angrily approached me, carrying gear. Ispoke first to cut off another tirade. “How long until we get offthis sand bar?” I asked. “I don’t want to be stranded toolong.”

“Sand bar? You ran us onto rocks!” shoutedCaptain Gregoire. “Thanks to your incompetence, my ship isruined!”

“Does that mean it will be a while?” I asked,annoyed. “I’m late, for a very important date.”

“ThePredatoris gutted!” fumedCaptain Gregoire. “This ship is not going anywhere.”

“Can’t you call a tug boat to tow us home?” Iasked. “Isn’t anyone coming to get us?”

“It’s a total loss,” growled CaptainGregoire. “Helicopters will lift us out eventually. I will see toit you are busted back to private, if it’s the last thing I everdo!”

“Whatever,” I replied, adding under mybreath, “Annapolis Naval Academy asshole.”

“I heard that! You will show properrespect!”


Helicopters soon arrived, landinglegionnaires to protect thePredatorduring salvageoperations. I took command of a smaller riverboat that brought moresupplies, and I proceeded up river at a leisurely pace to NewMemphis. Captain Gregoire hitched a ride, sitting at the back ofthe boat, brooding. Every once in a while his eyes widened as hejotted down a note about how terrible a commander I was, and how itwas all my fault his prized boat was gutted, and how I should neverbe allowed on the New Mississippi River again because I was amenace to commerce and everyone around me. I ignored the oldduffer, concentrating instead on the speed and maneuverability ofmy new riverboat. This boat hauled ass!

About half way to New Memphis I saw a couplespider insurgents pop out of a spider hole along the bank of theriver. One insurgent was aiming an RPG directly at me. The otherhad an old-style AK47. At first I did not react to the danger. Itjust seemed incredulous that someone other than Gregoire would wantto kill me on a peaceful beautiful river like the New Mississippi.As Corporal Williams began firing his machine gun, I made a hardleft and sped at the insurgents. The RPG went over us, landingharmlessly in our wake. As the insurgents ducked back into theirhole, I smashed the boat onto the soft sandy bank and through thehigh grass. The boat bounced a few yards and came to rest next tothe spider hole. I jumped off, firing my assault rifle into theirhole. Then I dropped a grenade down the hole. When the smokecleared, Corporal Williams went down the tunnel and retrievedspider bodies and equipment. It felt good to finally have somethinggo right.

The good feelings ended when I explained onthe radio to General Kalipetsis how I managed to beach two boats inone day. Also, in the confusion, Captain Gregoire had fallenoverboard and was now missing in action. He had already beenleaning left, scribbling his venomous notes, when he was lostoverboard as I made the hard turn. No loss there, but it looked badin my report.


* * * * *


General Kalipetsis was waiting for me atLegion Headquarters. “The spiders say we owe the Arthropodan Empire$235,000 for destroying an automated lighthouse! What do you haveto say for yourself?”

“Lighthouses don’t cost that much,” I argued.“Don’t let those spiders cheat you. I’ll bet thePredatoralone costs much more. At least I didn’t destroy the second boat.It was just stuck in the sand.”

“You think this is funny?” asked GeneralKalipetsis. “The money will come out of your paycheck!”

“Now that is funny.”

“I know you have millions on your card,” saidGeneral Kalipetsis. “How does a mere major become a millionaire onLegion pay?”

“Lucky at cards?” I suggested. “All you haveto do is tell those spiders that insurgents blew up the lighthouse.They can’t prove anything.”

“What about thePredator?” askedGeneral Kalipetsis.

“We needed a new riverboat anyway,” I said.“That rust bucket was due to be scrapped. Order a new one. Onlythis time get one of those slick new hydrofoil boats. They’re fast.Bigger is better, you know.”

“You will never find out how fast they are,”said General Kalipetsis. “I received a report of seismic readingsin Sector 27 along the DMZ. Go check it out. It might be spiderinsurgents digging more tunnels.”

“Sector 27?” I asked, checking a map. “Isn’tthat in the middle of the New Gobi Desert? There is nothing outthere but sagebrush and rattlesnakes.”

“Good,” said General Kalipetsis. “You won’tbe able to break anything. Let that be a lesson to you.”

“I killed at least two insurgents,” Iprotested. “Doesn’t that mean anything? There might have beeninsurgents in that lighthouse, too. In fact, I’m sure of it.”

“Insurgents in the lighthouse is not in yourreport or anyone else’s account of what happened,” said GeneralKalipetsis. “Take your sun-block. I hear the New Gobi Desert isvery hot this time of year.”


* * * * *


As ordered, I took a company of legionnairesto Sector 27. We were airlifted with our armored cars andequipment. After the planes left, it seemed so quiet. The onlysound was a desert breeze through the sagebrush. There were nolandmarks for miles around, just sand, sagebrush, and a dirtroad.

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