The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War)
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The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF's toughest operations. They're young, they're fast and strong, and they're totally without normal human qualms.
The universe is a dangerous place for humanity―and it's about to become far more dangerous. Three races that humans have clashed with before have allied to halt our expansion into space. Their linchpin: the turncoat military scientist Charles Boutin, who knows the CDF's biggest military secrets. To prevail, the CDF must find out why Boutin did what he did.
Jared Dirac is the only human who can provide answers -- a superhuman hybrid, created from Boutin's DNA, Jared's brain should be able to access Boutin's electronic memories. But when the memory transplant appears to fail, Jared is given to the Ghost Brigades.
At first, Jared is a perfect soldier, but as Boutin's memories slowly surface, Jared begins to intuit the reason's for Boutin's betrayal. As Jared desperately hunts for his "father," he must also come to grips with his own choices. Time is running out: The alliance is preparing its offensive, and some of them plan worse things than humanity's mere military defeat…
sensitive information,” Robbins said, pitching his answer to Szilard. “His groups handled consciousness transfer, BrainPal development and body-generation techniques. Any of that could be useful to an enemy, either to help it develop its own technology or to find weaknesses in ours. Boutin himself was probably the leading expert on getting minds out of one body and into another. But there’s a limit to how much of that information he could carry. Boutin was a civilian scientist. He didn’t have a
it’s good or bad, aside from being inefficient,:: Curie said. ::I’m just as alive as they are. “Realborn” is a misnomer—we’re really born too. Born, live, die. It’s the same.:: ::So we’re just like them,:: Jared said. Curie glanced back. ::No,:: she said. ::Not just like them. We’re designed to be better physically and mentally. We move faster. We think faster. We even talk faster than they do. The first time you talk to a realborn it will seem like they’re moving at half speed. See, watch.::
squads at Camp Carson were presented with enough sugar cookies for every recruit (and their superior officers). On the fourth day the members of the 8th tried to tell each other jokes they’d found on the Phoenix data net, and mostly failed to make them work; by the time their BrainPals unpacked the context of the joke, it was no longer funny. Only Sarah Pauling seemed to be laughing most of the time, and it was eventually determined she was laughing because she thought it was funny that none of
desk had long since floated away. Jared opened the desk drawers to find office supplies, hanger folders and other, not particularly useful things. As Jared was closing the drawer with the hanger folders, he saw the papers in one of them. He stopped and pulled one out; it was a drawing, signed by Zoë Boutin with more enthusiasm than precision. She drew me one a week, in Wednesday art period, Jared remembered. I would take the new one and hang it with a pushpin, and take the old one and file it. I
behind. He blinked furiously in the light until his eyes adjusted, and then sensed around for his squad. Tightbeams found him and highlighted the others, their bodies almost invisible thanks to their input-sensitive unitards; even the capture pod was camoed. Jared floated toward the capture pod to check its status but was warned away from it by Sagan, who checked it herself. Jared and the rest of the squad grouped closer together but not so close they would get in each other’s way when they