ESTHER'S STORY:  RECON MARINE

Captain Esther Lysander, UFMC, is a combat Marine. Her new orders, however, are APOC, or “At the Pleasure of the Chairman,” and while she knows this type of assignment could be career-threatening, she feels duty-bound to accept them.

There is no SOP for being APOC, except that it isn't combat-as-usual. Part spy, part soldier, part political window dressing, Esther has to adapt to everything from clandestine meetings with rebel forces, hostage rescues, and off-the-record sniper missions to being a courier between the chairman and other heads of state. There are many ways to serve the Federation, and being a combat Marine may not be the most dangerous one.