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Baltic Gambit
Cover of Baltic Gambit
Baltic Gambit
In his latest Vampire Earth novel, national bestselling author E.E. Knight delivers a thrilling adventure when David Valentine’s loyal Lieutenant Alessa Duvalier disobeys his orders—and finds herself uncovering a betrayal…
 
While out scouting in southern Indiana, Alessa Duvalier comes across a Kurian Conference being attended by every major military sect the Kurians have in the Midwest. Taking advantage of the strategic opportunity to cripple their enemy, Alessa and her warriors strike and achieve victory—only to discover an even greater threat to humanity.
 
Most of the world’s resistance leaders and the Lifeweavers are gathering for a peace conference in Helsinki, Finland, and according to the intelligence materials Alessa recovered during her raid, the Kurians have already inserted an agent among the delegates.
 
David Valentine is chosen to be head of security for the Army of Kentucky representatives—and Alessa ignores his order to stay behind. Now, thrust into a lethal intrigue that threatens the entire peace process, she learns that the Kurian agent may be the least of her concerns.
 
For the Lifeweavers themselves are about to reveal something that will devastate the Resistance...  
In his latest Vampire Earth novel, national bestselling author E.E. Knight delivers a thrilling adventure when David Valentine’s loyal Lieutenant Alessa Duvalier disobeys his orders—and finds herself uncovering a betrayal…
 
While out scouting in southern Indiana, Alessa Duvalier comes across a Kurian Conference being attended by every major military sect the Kurians have in the Midwest. Taking advantage of the strategic opportunity to cripple their enemy, Alessa and her warriors strike and achieve victory—only to discover an even greater threat to humanity.
 
Most of the world’s resistance leaders and the Lifeweavers are gathering for a peace conference in Helsinki, Finland, and according to the intelligence materials Alessa recovered during her raid, the Kurians have already inserted an agent among the delegates.
 
David Valentine is chosen to be head of security for the Army of Kentucky representatives—and Alessa ignores his order to stay behind. Now, thrust into a lethal intrigue that threatens the entire peace process, she learns that the Kurian agent may be the least of her concerns.
 
For the Lifeweavers themselves are about to reveal something that will devastate the Resistance...  
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  • From the book The Hub, April, the fifty-sixth year of the Kurian Order: A new military nerve center is growing in the sleepy old resort town of French Lick, Indiana. The roads have been cleared, the rail line up to Indianapolis reopened, and even the tiny airport has a new wind sock, camouflage hangars, and a generator.

    It’s a well-chosen spot. Beneath the layers of dirt and rust, the town is something of a gem in a tarnished setting.

    French Lick in its Gilded Age heyday saw multiple trains daily from Chicago bringing city folk to its two huge resort hotels in the woods of Southern Indiana. It once was the seat of smoky back rooms where political prospects were reviewed and selected by the parties, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the last of the breed, chosen in this corner of Indiana in one of the conference rooms of the older of the two vast hotels.

    The popularity of the resort waned during the interstate age, but the second gilded age of the late twentieth century saw the two big old hotels restored to their former glory, especially the cavernous, cream-colored West Baden Springs resort with its huge indoor rotunda. The natural beauty of the Hoosier National Forest had not changed.

    French Lick had a role to play in the chaos of 2022. During the last days of the United States government in its brief move to Indianapolis, the Kurian Order and its new adherents maintained a headquarters there, briefly, for the fighting that broke up what was left of U.S. civil authority. After that, the Grog armies moved on west to St. Louis, and the Kurian Order returned to the East to make use of the long-established institutions of government and education near the Atlantic Coast. With no more tourists, French Lick quieted again, save for a small training headquarters eventually established by the Northwest Ordnance, the premier Kurian Zone of the old Rust Belt stretching west from Pittsburgh and Cleveland, through Michigan and Indiana, to the borders of Chicago and the huge patch of still-productive farmland in Central Illinois.

    With a thriving new freehold in Kentucky and its attached nub at Evansville threatening the Ordnance, the vast Southern corporate state known as the Georgia Control, and potentially the patchwork of Kurian ganglia on the East Coast, something had to be done.

    A third try is inevitable.

    “I’ve heard we Cats have nine lives,” Alessa Duvalier said, waiting for the dusk to deepen. “I’ve never known one to get past the first.”

    The freckled redhead was talking to herself, as people who spend the better parts of their waking hours outside and alone often do.

    It was a way to handle the fear, to vent it like a waiting steam engine releasing pressure. In this particular time and place, any emotion was dangerous, and fear was probably the worst of all. The Reapers would pick up on it as easily as the soldiers would see her setting off Roman candles on the hillside.

    She’d learned over the years to cauterize her emotions on the job. No matter what she saw, heard, or guessed was going on around her, she couldn’t let it in.

    The problem was, it had to go somewhere. Emotion was a funny thing. You could suppress one, but the pressure built up anyway and came out as another, say with hatred converting itself to an inappropriate laugh, or anxiety to a nervous tic. You could get rid of a little by talking it out with yourself, but only a little.


    With her, the excess always seemed to pour into her stomach. She had a bad gut, undoubtedly ulcerous, but in her line of work chances were that she wouldn’t live to suffer from it in middle age and beyond.

    Opening and shutting...

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