The sentry picked up his rifle from where he’d propped it and looked out across the crenelations and over the dark valley with its ink-black mountains and spectral white, snow-covered hills, down to the dim glow of the lights in the town in the distance where his detachment was garrisoned. It was blessedly silent and still; dawn was no more than an hour away, and his watch would be done for the night, then sleep and perhaps dreams of home.
The sentry never saw the dark figure detach itself from the inner battlement wall and almost glide silently across the walkway toward him; his scarf-wrapped and helmeted ears never heard the faint crunch of the booted feet in the brackish gravel and snow.
At the last moment, a flicker of movement in the corner of his eye alerted him, but it was already too late.
The leather-gloved hand came in like a sledgehammer to the side of his neck and the sentry collapsed like a sack of coal. With easy grace, one of his assailant’s gloved hands caught the rifle as it fell from the sentry’s grasp, and the other held fast onto his coat collar, easing the sentry’s tumble to a soundless slide.
Major John MacNeal bent down over his victim, pulling off the Reich sentry’s distinctive coal scuttle helmet and looking down at the face of his enemy in the predawn gloom. Marine Corps rules of engagement said to kill quick and clean. No mercy.
The year is 1949, and in a dark and violent alternate history, the Great War never ended. The forces of the Reich, led by the occult-obsessed Kaiser, have sold their souls to demonic powers as they scour the earth in search of paranormal weaponry. Meanwhile, President Edison has sanctioned the use of potent alien technology recovered at Roswell, in hopes of aiding the beleaguered Union in its fight against tyranny. This is the world of Tannhäuser.
But now, a series of events has been set in motion that could tip the balance of power forever. When the occult-obsessed Reich sets its sights on an ancient artifact held in Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian Castle, the ruthless Hermann Von Heïzinger plans an unprecedented raid on U.S. soil...and only Major John MacNeal and the elite soldiers of the 42nd Marines stand before them. There’s more to this mission than meets the eye, however. Why has the enigmatic Matriarchy mobilized its forces? And to whom is the mysterious mercenary Wolf truly loyal? Prepare for an epic battle that will rage deep into America’s heartland!
Author Blaine Lee Pardoe is most well known for his military non-fiction books, though he’s written in the gaming industry for over twenty-five years, to include for FASA, GDW, Catalyst Games, and many others. Pardoe has been a featured speaker at the U.S. National Archives, the United States Navy Museum, and the New York Military Affairs Symposium. Perhaps most recognized for his BattleTech and MechWarrior books, he is a huge fan of science fiction and alternate history fiction.
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The copyrightable portions of Tannhäuser: Operation: Night Eagle are © 2012 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Tannhäuser is a trademark and/or registered trademark of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.