Many of you have followed and loved the exploits of Irregular Scout Team One throughout the years. Right now Brit and Nick are living in semi-content retirement at their farm in Stillwater while I explore other projects. I mean, between them they're lost an eye, a leg, a hand, been shot multiple times and turned undead then returned to life. So even though Brit occasionally makes sarcastic comments about my writing, they're taking a well deserved rest while I remaster and re-release the series.
Meanwhile, I've always kicked around the idea of exploring what post apocalyptic combat for the Regular Army would be like. I have a world, a timeline, an event, but I was always in the light side of the Army, (shout to my 7th ID and 9th Regiment brothers!) except for a brief time with as a tanker with the 101st Cav in upstate NY. So it's always been a "in the back of my mind" thing.
Enter Colonel Shane Gries, with more than twenty years in the mechanized infantry. Shane had just finished writing the excellent contribution to the Fallen Empire Universe, Battle Drills, and was looking for his next project. I asked him if he ever thought about writing post - apocalyptic fiction and he asked, "Like Zombie and stuff?" I explained my ideas behind flushing out the IST World with a series called, "The Line". His answer was to sit down and write a 90k world novel set in the IST-1 world but separate from it, covering the first few days of outbreak in Kansas City. His hero is a disgraced former NCO who, in the chaos, gets mixed in with a mechanized unit of the First Infantry Division. Like IST-1, the book is about the men and women in the unit, how they deal with the stress of the world falling apart around them. About how one man can make a difference as a leader despite his past.
As a creative artist, it's often hard to let others write in your prized universe, but I'm happy to say that Shane knocked this one out of the park. So ladies and gentlemen, I give you: