by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright 2010
Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein was the first science fiction story I ever read, way back in 7th grade or so (1960). That book was the first inspiring book I read myself, and started me on a years-long devotion to reading science fiction.
In 1990 I reread Starship Troopers, and it wasn’t the same story. My impression the second time was of a Sands of Iwo Jima in space. Either way, the heart of the story was power armor, how to use it, and how its presence affected people’s thoughts.
In 1999 I saw the Starship Troopers movie, and saw that the director had missed the point of the story entirely by taking out the power armor. Without power armor, the soldiers were transformed into World War One “over the top” infantry who would be discouraged from asking “Why?”, and because of that, they lost any reason to be “responsible for the community” in the sense that Heinlein was emphasizing in his book version of the story.
These changes in what I read, and misinterpretations in what I saw depicted in the movie, inspired me to write my own version of the power armor story. …
The Mercenaries (and their suits):
Frank (Mary Mayking)
Azzeed O’Malley—arms dealer
General Nolentov—invasion commander
Major Sean “Flyboy” Bourke Rufus—chopper pilot and hostage liaison
Simon Algers—governor of Artemisia, a medium-sized province
Danago—xenophobic religious sect in Gontal
Jackov Martin—head of Danago
George Harris—second in command of Danago
Markov Smallet—financial backer of Danago
Gonjiha—deity of Danago
Ka-sharma—ritual of Gonjiha