Prometheus Rising
The Call
Thursday, 2218 EST ~ December 25, 1980
Fort Walton County, Florida

Lt. Carl J. Grant was a quarter way through a bottle of scotch when the call came—the call that would change his life and set into motion more than three decades of military and political intrigue.

He ignored it.

Setting his glass back down on the table, Grant poured another three fingers, then took up the glass again—all one handed. His other hand stayed wrapped around his service pistol, a Browning HP.

The annoying ringing finally stopped.

With a sigh, Grant leaned back in the chair, cradling both objects to himself. Absently, he gazed around the room through bleary eyes, taking stock. It was a small apartment, obviously the domain of a bachelor. Old furniture, stained carpet, dirty dishes. Certainly not the kind of accommodation anyone would expect of a successful, middle-aged man.

And that was the problem—Carl Grant, aged 45, was not a successful man. In no area of his life could he point to any great achievement. He’d never found love. He hadn’t finished college, instead joining the Air Force at 21 to ship off to Vietnam. And despite more than two decades of service, he still hadn’t earned his captain’s bars, which for a man of his age was nothing short of embarrassing—that particular promotion was virtually guaranteed unless an officer did something to screw it up.

Of course, Grant had screwed it up. Twice. Deliberately.

He poured himself another.

Grant had been transferred to Project Blue Book after his third tour in ‘Nam, and though Blue Book had been officially canceled in 1969, nothing really changed for him and his commandos. If anything, the number of UFO sightings increased in the 70s, and Grant’s team remained one of several which could be deployed anywhere in the world within 24 hours, to investigate the unusual... and respond militarily if the situation warranted. Indeed, Grant’s team had twice been caught in real combat situations, though against terrestrial combatants—to this day, they’d never encountered any real-life extraterrestrials or secured incontrovertible evidence of their existence.

Seventeen years of searching for answers. Two missed promotions, because he’d wanted to stay in the field, be there when it happened—participate in person when first contact finally occurred. And nothing to show for any of it.

Licking his lips, Grant considered refilling his glass… then slowly, deliberately set it down. Turning his pistol over in both hands, he inspected it carefully: the weapon was clean, well-maintained, and he couldn’t help feeling a degree of pride in that, even now. Clicking off the safety, he chambered a round.

The phone rang again, and Grant flinched.

Suddenly shaky, he set the pistol down on the table and pushed it away, then reached for the phone. “Hello?”


“This is he,” he managed to say with very little slur.

Get your team down here,” his commanding officer ordered. “We’ve got a hot one—you’re on your way to England.

Friday, 1013 GMT ~ December 26, 1980
Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean

“Listen up, men,” Grant called over the drone of turboprops. He and his 16-man team were currently motoring across the Pond in a C-130 transport. “Here are the facts: At 2100 local time last night, hundreds of people across southern England reported what appeared to be a meteor, streaking across the sky from west to east. Then at 0230, two Air Force noncoms sighted a possible aircraft crash site in Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk—southeast England, near the coast.”

One of the commandos—Barnes—called out, “You mean Royal Air Force, sir?”

“No, I mean U.S. Air Force,” Grant corrected. “Our people currently rent two airbases from the Brits, and these bases straddle Rendlesham.” He began passing out photocopied maps of the area. “That’s part of why we’re taking this sighting at face value—we’re talking about highly-trained military men here. When these men first radioed back to base, they said they could see all the hallmarks of a crash site: flames, red and blue running lights going off at intervals, the works, though at some distance through dense forest. That report filtered up the chain of command, and it was enough for General Ehrmann to get us out of bed, even though the men didn’t complete their investigation and return to base for several more hours.

“Command just relayed their report to me,” Grant continued, tapping the headset currently resting around his neck, “and it’s stingy on details. Whatever these men saw, it scared them, and they’re being careful not to put anything on record that’ll come back to bite them. All they’ve said so far is that they found an aircraft of some kind, triangular but small, maybe nine feet in length. No evidence of the flames they saw from a distance, or even any damage to the craft itself. It lifted off when they approached, without any discernable noise.”

Grant paused to let that sink in.

Jennings, Grant’s number two, spoke up. “Mission parameters, sir?”

“The usual. Find and document any evidence of a crash or extraterrestrial visitation, however circumstantial that evidence may be, then sanitize the area. Tranquilizers-only if we encounter an actual E.E.—or anyone else for that matter… England is an ally, after all. Your maps show the search grid. We’ll start at the location of the first sighting—marked in grid H-4—and work our way out from there, limiting ourselves to the vicinity of the forest unless nothing turns up. That means we have roughly six square miles to cover, some of it farmland, some of it tree plantations, a lot of it wild forest.

“All of this will be complicated by the presence of civilians and other Air Force personnel in the area.” Grant tapped his headset again. “Also, I’m told that one of those noncoms left base early this morning to return to the scene of the first sighting, despite veiled orders to let the matter drop. Avoid encounters with him or anyone else at all costs. You know the drill: we were never here.”

“What if contact is unavoidable?” Jennings asked.

“We’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.”

“How are we inserting, sir?” Lopez asked. “Obviously we can’t just land at the airfield and hop out, not if we’re keeping our presence secret.”

“That’s correct. As it happens, this bird is going to land at the southern airbase—they’re expecting a C-130 to pick up troops being rotated back Stateside—but we’ll exit the craft before then, while it’s on approach over the forest.” He hesitated. “Treejump.” Predictably, the men groaned at this; low-altitude treejumping was both terrifying and dangerous. “Rendlesham is particularly dense, so be careful. As usual, extraction plan will be developed on the fly, depending what we find on the ground. Any questions?” He waited. “Good. ETA is 1530 local time. This far north in the middle of winter, sunset will come by 1600. Get some sleep.” He didn’t need to remind them that they wouldn’t be getting any tonight.

He looked over his men as they made themselves comfortable in their jump seats. Each one a combat veteran cross-trained in a number of non-combat disciplines. Whatever tonight might bring, these specialists would be up to the challenge.

Still… “One last thing,” he called. “Command has dubbed this Operation Janus. If you’ve studied Roman mythology, you know that Janus was the god of beginnings and transitions. I’m not much into omens”—which wasn’t entirely true—“but just in case, stay on your toes tonight.”

Because, while Janus was a harbinger of all sorts of transitions, it was said that the opening of his gates marked the start of great conflict and war. And if there was one thing this world had seen enough of in recent decades, it was war.

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Prometheus Rising Book Cover

You’ve seen the big-budget summer action flicks. You’ve read the books, maybe played the video games. You’ve heard all the conspiracy theories. But this is the real world, the present day. If the unthinkable happened, if we faced an actual, verifiable threat from outside our planet...

What would we do?
The Gryphens Duology tells that tale.

Blending military thriller and science fiction—with an emphasis on the science—new author R.L. Akers produces a well-crafted story peopled by characters you’ll grow to love and hate. When the threat from outer space becomes known, the U.S. government is caught unprepared. With time running out, the military must adapt to an entirely new variety of warfare. Pilots and soldiers must be recruited, trained, and deployed to defensive installations in orbit above North America, and technology must take a giant leap forward—with considerable assistance from a surprising source.

But there are those who would halt these preparations: mercenaries and even traitors within the ranks. What motivates them to betray their world is unknown, but they will stop at nothing to prevent the newest branch of United States military from fulfilling its mandate.

From the shadows of rural England to the bowels of Area 51’s Groom Lake installation, from the most remote corner of our planet to geosynchronous orbit thousands of miles above, the Gryphens Duology comprises a single well-researched and believable story about humanity’s real-world response to the threat of alien invasion. You won’t want to put these books down!

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