The Loyal Son
|The Loyal Son|
|Author||Blaine Lee Pardoe|
|First published||29 April 2010|
|Timeline||14 March-31 May 3068|
|Series||Son of Blake|
|Preceded by||Son of Blake|
|Followed by||Desperate Measures|
|“||For Raul Tinker, service with the Word of Blake is a calling he's happy to oblige--but even his faith is tested when ComStar attacks the Blakist capital during Case White.||”|
Having finally arrived on Terra for a training assignment after postings to training facilities on two other worlds, Raul Tinker sees the chaos of the Jihad unfolding after ComStar blamed a nuclear disaster on Tharkad on a Word of Blake surprise attack. From his perspective the Word is fighting a defensive war that they did not start but intend to end; The Master at this point is a mere rumor for him.
Despite a ComStar task force entering the system, Raul's superiors are confident that it has no chance of reaching the planet, and Raul is even sent on leave despite volunteering for the militia. Contacted by his youngest sister Dana, he joins her for a visit to Jerome Blake's birthplace at Galesburg, Michigan, North America, and is bewildered by the religious aspects it seems to have for some members of the order including Dana, like a pilgrimage. He wanders along when TerraSec Command pages him (and others around him). He is directed to an enemy landing in Indiana, near the Ohio border, that seems odd or off-course from the other landings. Dana, a geneticist, privately informs him that they might be after the genetics research facility at Ann Arbor, which is highly secret and, she intimates, vitally important to the order. Raul assembles volunteer veterans from the people around him and, with Dana's guidance, moves to and activates the armory of the 405th Reserves Level II B at Ann Arbor.
The makeshift defense force of civilian volunteers and reservists under Raul's leadership actually manages to fight the ComStar attackers to a standstill in a close, bloody battle.
This brings Raul before a board of inquiry after the action, where he is tried for assuming command and leading civilians to their deaths. The board is split over the verdict but eventually Raul is exonerated of the charges and even commended for his initiative and quick thinking. Based on his performance he is transferred to a military unit involved in counter-espionage, yet part of the military and not ROM, in a secret place that only few people have been to in the past three centuries.
Meanwhile on Markesan, House Davion agent Francis Lyman is promoted to counter-espionage because, in hindsight, he was one of the operatives who reported on the Word of Blake's military endeavours and buildup relatively early. He is still resolved to bring Raul Tinker to justice following the massacre back on Bryant...