The Cost of Lies

Fiction Contest Week

This is a sequel to “At the Moral Level.”

By Major Ian Brown, USMC


Jayna woke up and the river was on fire.

Her mind throbbed with dim memories: the smell of gas. A whisper. A tug on her squid skin suit. Then light, heat, tumbling—

Focus. Her cheek was cold and wet, and she realized she was lying in mud. Beyond the mud was the river, its surface glowing with patches of flame. Then something else penetrated her awareness—staccato sounds, thumps, sirens. She remembered where she was, and why.

New Orleans. Where she’d come to make war. 


Look around, look around at how lucky we are,

To be alive right now,”

Jacen softly sang along as he and Jayna danced lazily across the wooden floor.

“A little grim for a wedding, isn’t it?” Jayna asked. He smiled.

“Kat’s a big Hamilton fan,” replied Jacen. “She wishes she’d been born when it was still on stage so she could’ve seen it live.” He paused and look straight in her eyes, the smile gone. “Besides, after what happened to you all in China…at least, what you’re allowed to tell us…I feel lucky to have you here.”

The fact that you’re alive is a miracle,

Just stay alive, that would be enough…”

Her brother wasn’t wrong. She’d come out of the China war unscathed, certainly compared to the rest of her squad. As if reading her mind, Jacen’s face darkened, and she knew what was coming.

“I don’t pretend to know

The challenges you’re facing…”

“I still can’t believe you’ve got that fucking…thing inside you, ” he growled, his eyes smoldering. She sighed inwardly. Really hoped he wouldn’t bring that up tonight.

“It’s not how it was in the war,” she replied. “You know that. The new sub-derm’s been tested more, it’s implanted away from the brain, it uses all the lessons we learned—“

“—from half your squad getting their brains fried,” he retorted. “All so you could play mind games on ignorant conscripts.”

“Its advantages kept the war short and saved lives on both sides,” she replied, hoping there was sufficient steel in her voice to steer the conversation away from the subject.

“Sure. It’s the moral version of you on the rifle range, right? Boom-boom-boom—three-round burst, center mass, they drop, except you’re shooting lies at them instead of bullets.”

“Jace…not now, please,” she said, switching to a gentle plea. “It’s not the night to talk about the war. Tonight’s for you and Kat, for us to be happy for you. I’m lucky to be here.” It worked, as she knew it would. His fire burned hot, but short. The anger left his face, his mouth twisting into a guilty half-smile.

“There you are, the big sister always keeping me safe from the dark,” he said quietly. “Refusing to hurt me, even when I totally deserve getting punched in the face.”

“Damn right,” she replied, grinning. “You know me, baby brother. I’d never hurt you.” The song ended, but instead of pulling away, she wrapped her arms tight around her brother, warm with gratitude for this night. He’s right, she thought. I’m alive. I’m lucky. Tonight, that’s enough.


It started with a protest. Months after the China incursion, drip by drip, details on how the U.S. had won leaked to the public. Some details were even true, but alts- and trolls injected so much calumny into the discourse that almost no one, besides those who’d fought in the war, knew the truth.

Calumny turned into national protests. Protests boiled into violent unrest. New Orleans was touted as the biggest protest yet. Then came the video. It showed New Orleans cops and Louisiana National Guardsmen walking up to a line of protestors hurling volleys of insults, along with the occasional brick and bottle. They stopped within a few paces of the protestors. Then as one, they raised their pistols and shotguns and carbines and turned the protestors into piles of bodies, some unmoving, some writhing and screaming. 20 seconds of video, occasionally blurry and garbled, but the broad strokes of the incident were clear enough.

Except they weren’t. The mayor, police chief, National Guard commander, local business owners all gave the same inexplicable message: the video was fake. It never happened. The mayor escorted video crews around the city. Hospitals that should have been choked with casualties were empty. Streets that should have been coated with blood and bullet casings were clean. The mayor and the rest all pleaded the same message: the video is fake, we will find the truth, but it will take time, please don’t lash out. Please, trust us. Please…

The mayor’s efforts bought a few days of uncertain peace. Then other videos circulated, showing hospital corridors and city streets clogged with bodies and ground slick with blood; a couple even purported to show THE COVER-UP!!!!! CLEAN-UP CREWS SANITIZING THE CRIME SCENE!!!!!! With that, smoldering national tension erupted into conflagration. The president, as was her wont, poured gasoline on the fire, screaming about her reelection and deploying active duty military units to the worst disturbances whether local authorities asked for them or not. And New Orleans—senior officers whispered Fallujah, and sent Jayna’s team there. Her team…

Squad, check in, Jayna flashed through her sub-derm, as she began her own self-assessment. She blinked the sequence that triggered her internal diagnostics and felt some small relief. Superficial lacerations to her suit aside, the squid skin, her two-way 3D printer backpack, and sub-derm were still functional. That was the good news. The bad news was that none of her squad had checked in after she’d flashed them. Pressing her hands into the mud, Jayna pushed herself up to her knees, looked around, and understood the silence.

Unmoving shapes dotted the mudflats around her. It took her a second to remember where those mudflats were. Her squad had rounded Thirtyfive Point in their drone boats, the lights at the Waterford nuclear plant illuminating the night sky, and she’d seen the dark angles of the quays on the southern bank along River Road. Their cloud of nano-drones hadn’t noted any unusual activity. Then…the smell of gas. Whisper. Tug. Inferno. And mud.

One of the irregular shapes to her right twitched. Jayna sloshed through the mud toward it. She recognized O’Brien, new join to the first fire team. The flames from the river illuminated his torso and face as she approached. Getting closer, his skin appeared…odd.

Flensed? Is that the word? O’Brien’s face was slashed by symmetric cuts, as if raked by a razor-sharp comb. They didn’t look deep, but they bled enough to sheet O’Brien’s face with blood. She noticed the same cut pattern on O’Brien’s squid skin, and looked closer. Along the cut-lines, the squid skin’s artificial cells kept trying to form patterns and lock in their colors—but there was a discoloration along the cuts, and as she watched, it seemed to ooze and spread outward from each laceration, degrading the color and pattern of each cell it touched.

Grimly, Jayna sensed that what she was looking at wasn’t a byproduct of the explosion—the lines were too symmetrical. They showed intent. A cold realization swept over her: we got hit with something besides an incendiary. A weapon specifically designed to wreck our suits so we can’t communicate, can’t camouflage ourselves. Maybe that was the whisper and tug, right before the blast? Bad as that was, the ultimate implication was worse: they knew we were coming. She quickly looked over her own suit. There were a few lacerations, but it looked like she’d avoided the worst of the weapon’s effects. She cleaned O’Brien’s face and sprinkled smart coagulant over the cuts. Satisfied that she’d stopped the bleeding, Jayna then looked around to find everyone else.

Sheets of oily flames still covered the river, illuminating the mudflats with a hellish light. In the dim glow, she saw dark lumps scattered across the mud. One by one, she went to them. Frye, Reynolds, Serra, Tam, Cozner—all dead. Mourn later. Find them all first. Schaefer and Dillon were unconscious, burned, and flensed like O’Brien, but alive. That left Holt.

Jayna couldn’t find him. The knot in her stomach, loosened somewhat by each squad member she accounted for, tightened again. Tension built into panic—I lost him, it’s a fucking war zone, we don’t know where the friendlies are, and I lost him—

A noise grew down the road on the embankment above the mud. Vehicles. Despair tugged at her guts. Most of her squad was dead, those still alive couldn’t fight, and for all she knew, whoever was coming down the road was on the same side as the folks who’d blown her team out of the water. All she could do was stand there alone, and wait.

The first vehicle stopped. Seven-ton truck—National Guard still uses those. Some of her tension drained away. Another seven-ton hissed to a stop behind the first, and figures jumped out. Flashlight beams snapped on and quickly found her, standing below the edge of the road, caked in mud and doubtless looking like a nightmare. A voice lost in the blinding lights yelled down at her.

“Authenticate Liberty Place!” Her knees almost gave out as relief washed over her. “I authenticate James Longstreet,” she responded, and the flashlight beams dropped to the ground. The owner of the voice stepped forward. Jayna saw a young man, face carved by deep lines of tension and fatigue. He spoke in a flat voice.

“I’m First Lieutenant Delenn, Louisiana National Guard QRF. We’d been told your team was inbound.”

 “Sergeant Jayna Monos, Special Battalion,” she replied. “I need a medic. I’ve got three wounded, multiple KIAs, and we need to start protocol for one MIA—“

“We’ll take care of it,” the lieutenant cut in, “but for your MIA, I’ll take you to the command post so you can see the ISR imagery. We know what happened to him. He was taken.”


Jacen’s rant had passed the 30-minute mark. For most of it, Jayna had dug her nails into her palms to keep from punching his face. The latest disclosure about American tactics in the China war had triggered it. And Jacen had gotten worse. Since the wedding, something had infected his mind, driving every conversation toward that bitter subject. As it had now, during one of his infrequent visits to her house.

“—porno deep fakes so they’d murder each other, bank hacks that directly led to innocent civilian casualties, everything with the forest fire. Jesus fucking Christ, was there an ethical line you didn’t cross?”

Old argument, new passion. She tried her usual responses—they never convinced him, but helped dampen his rants with their predictability.

“Jacen,” she started, trying to keep her voice tranquil, “I know it’s a new conception of war that doesn’t fit older—”

“Horseshit,” he interrupted. “You deliberately blew up a civilian dam so they couldn’t fight the fire, you spread all that propaganda about how the PLA sent their first responders away to Taiwan so the locals would rebel—” and then the tranquility was gone as her rage spilled over.

“You’re such a fucking child, baby brother,” she cut in. “We didn’t make the Party mismanage the forest, or not keep the reservoir full, or send their own goddamn firefighting reservists away to invade Taiwan. We just nudged pressure points that already existed. Hell, it was our AI-spawned messages that warned civilians about the fire and got evacuations going before official CCP channels said a fucking word. We prevented loss of life even while we played in the information arena.” She paused, wondering how to penetrate the unreality he liked to live in. Maybe the fundamentals would work.

“As for the deep fakes and hacked bank accounts: China started the goddamn war! You’re butthurt about our moral responsibility, but what about the moral responsibility of those greedy fuckers who decided a few lines on a map were worth a bloodbath? Our hacking and faking and squid skins and sub-derms unhinged the PLA and ended the war. We prevented a longer conflict that would have meant massive bloodletting on both sides. A conflict from which my team—me—would’ve come home in body bags.” She’d run out of steam, but the look on Jacen’s face told her she, as usual, hadn’t gotten through. In fact, an arrogant smirk grew across his lips.

“You so sure China started the war?” he asked. “Word I’ve heard…it was a great proving ground if the military and NSA wanted to try out all those little tricks at home. Say, on groups that don’t like the president.” He paused, expectant.

“For f—” and she stopped. This was something new. Something dangerous.

“Interesting theory,” she replied instead. “Where’d that come from?”

“Those fakers on TV aren’t the only ones who talk,” he said, eyes narrowing. “There are folks back in the Bog where your bosses live who still care about the people. About the truth. It only takes one to talk. And where we have one, we have all.”

That last part disquieted her. It didn’t sound like a phrase he’d come up with ex tempore. She realized there was more at work here than in their past arguments.

“Truth,” she said slowly. “I care about truth. And truth takes trust. Don’t you trust me, baby brother?” She softened her tone. “If that was all true, about the war, the tech…I’d know, wouldn’t I?” She looked him straight in the eyes. “I’d know some of it, anyway. Enough to be complicit.” Jacen’s eyes stayed on hers, unwavering. “Not long ago, you said I was the one keeping you safe from the dark. That I’d never hurt you. You trusted me. So—do you still trust me? Or your…alternate sources?”

He blinked a few times, his face uncertain. Inside, she felt her own tension loosen. She’d reached him a little. If she could still reach him, well, that was good enough for today. Then he spoke.

“You left out the virus,” he spat. “The supposed ‘dead-man’s switch’ bioweapon China allegedly released when they saw the game was up. The one that’s so deadly it justifies the president issuing whatever fiats she wants, fiats that conveniently come in her reelection year.”

Jayna sat in stunned silence, genuinely shocked that he’d gone this route. She’d heard this story, which had bubbled forth from the murkiest regions of the digital fringe. She just never thought she’d hear it from her brother’s mouth. For several moments, Jayna didn’t trust herself to speak.

“The virus was deadly,” she finally said, coldly. “It killed Dad because you convinced him it wasn’t. So now he’s dead, and you think me and China and who the fuck else knows are in it together. Whatever it is.”

“Play the dad card, huh,” he sneered. “Three rounds, center mass, that’ll shut me up and let you hide from the fact he at least died free—” and her fist drove into his face. He stumbled back, looking more surprised than hurt.

Enough,” she whispered, and tears blinded her eyes. She did not see, but heard, the front door slam. Jacen was gone.


Warm, damp wind blasted Jayna’s face as the airboat bumped across the dark water. Lieutenant Delenn’s mechanics had done an admirable job muffling the motor and fan exhaust given their time constraints, so wind aside, the only sound was the airboat’s hull periodically slapping against the water.

A faint red line stretched ahead of her in the darkness. Dull throbbing pulsed behind her eyeballs from the sub-derm’s twin feeds, overlaying the pursuit track and sonar picture from her nano-drone swarm up ahead. Jayna ignored it, simply glad to have a path to Holt.

Delenn had been laconic in answering her questions on the way to his CP. No, he hadn’t known her team was coming to support the Guard. It was only a half hour before the ambush that their higher headquarters had gotten word that reinforcements were coming down the river. Just enough time to re-task their sole drone to show up over the river bend right when the fireworks started. Enough time to watch her team die, and Holt get dragged away by shadows from the tree line.

No, the drone hadn’t tracked the attackers’ egress—Delenn’s QRF needed its feed to clear their route to come pick her up.

No, he didn’t know how rebels had managed to breach the grounds of an industrial area to steal the incendiaries for the ambush without raising an alarm. But there was intel that insurgents in unmarked tactical uniforms were all over the place, talking their way through security checkpoints with ease because there were so many other federal forces running around in unmarked uniforms that no one could say for sure who was on the field. Delenn gave Jayna a small ray of hope by noting there was a Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) over the city—maybe her headquarters could pull its data.

The Guard’s CP was at Louis Armstrong Airport. The airfield was a madhouse of trucks, tents, and aircraft crammed haphazardly next to each other. It looked like every governmental and law enforcement agency was here—and the pandemonium made it clear that no one was in charge. She could see fires burning in the distance, though one conflagration seemed much larger than the rest. She’d make the mistake of noting that to Delenn. That, he told her, was where their MEDEVAC helicopter had gone down. She assumed he meant lost to ground fire. He looked her in the eye.

“You know what vortex ring state is?” he’d asked her. Jayna shook her head. “Well, our pilots do. But the federal agents who ordered them there didn’t care. They told our pilots there was a riot in progress downtown and ordered them, ‘under executive authority,’ to do a show-of-force to disperse it. Threatened the pilots—threatened their families—with consequences for disobedience. Our pilots bustered to the grid of the riot before we figured out that it was our aircraft the feds had hijacked.” His jaw tightened.

“We got our drone’s camera on the area in time to watch. They had to hover below the rooftops to disperse the riot.” Delenn was snarling now. “Riot—we saw a bunch of people holding signs, just standing there. Even kids. Not moving, just standing. Our helo’s rotor wash got stuff moving, though. All that swirling air, boxed in between the buildings, bouncing off the walls. It shattered windows into glass rain. I watched a garbage can lid get flipped into the back of a woman’s head. She hit the pavement, didn’t move. The kid she was holding was stuck under her body. Finally, enough of that dirty air got sucked through the upflow of the rotor arc that our bird lost lift and …” Delenn’s eyes unfocused. “You ever seen what pieces of broken rotor blade do to a person? Seen what a wall of burning jet fuel does to a child stuck under its dead mother’s body?” Jayna had no answer.

She left Delenn alone for a while after that, sending requests through her sub-derm to her own headquarters to see if the JSTARS would share its data. After an agonizingly long wait, her headquarters finally flashed back the response she’d been hoping for: TRAP for Holt approved. JSTARS replay and overlay for possible hostile exfil route is processed and available in secondary ISR sequence. Procure own transport. Jayna felt disappointment at that last directive, but then she blinked the hostiles’ GMTI track to life inside her eyeball via sub-derm streaming and felt a flush of inspiration. Based on the track, the transport almost suggested itself. Time for a little guerre de razzia, she thought, and told Delenn what she needed.

He put her on a convoy with some of his vehicle mechanics, and they drove down to the docks at Jean Lafitte. With chaos in the city spreading, no one noticed a few people prowling around the docks. Jayna found an airboat, and in short order, Delenn’s mechanics muffled the engine and fan. She blinked out an order to her backpack to print a cloud of nano-drones, which swarmed on the night air ahead of her. She blinked again to get the stream of their sonar-generated picture into her eyeball, then a third time to overlay the JSTARS’ GMTI track as a ghostly red line stretching out in the distance. Gunning the airboat’s motor, she plunged into the darkness before her.


Kat’s text was short: he’s gone and I’m scared. Jayna called her back, and the story came tumbling out. Jacen saw the video. He said New Orleans was the beginning. He’s going to show the world the truth before the government tells its lies. He left.

Jayna almost didn’t tell Kat that her team had just been ordered to the same place as Jacen. But if anyone had suffered more from Jacen’s changes than Jayna, it was Kat. The texts and calls she sent Jayna since the wedding never came right out and said it, but their tone was clear—Jacen was not the same man she’d married. Kat deserved to know that he would not be abandoned without a fight.

“Kat…you know what I do. I’m going to New Orleans. I’ll find him and take care of him.” Kat sobbed on the other end of the call.

“Oh God, thank you. Just knowing you’ll be there—that’s enough.”


They didn’t know she was coming. Nothing else explained the utter lack of security at the target site. Her drone cloud painted two people at the objective. One lay prostrate on a bed inside a shack by the water—Holt. The other figure bent over the bed, poking something into the prisoner’s armpit…where the sub-derm was. Used to be. The prisoner spasmed. Jayna gritted her teeth, cut the airboat’s motor, and slowly glided toward the dock near the shack.

Since Holt’s captor was alone, her plan was simple. Shoot the guard and get Holt back to the airboat. Her swarm’s picture was clear enough to show that the guard’s pistol was holstered. In. Out. Simple.

The airboat slid silently next to the dock. She quietly padded across the boards to the shack door. The swarm showed the captor bent over Holt, which meant his attention wasn’t on the open doorway. In three steps, she was at the doorway, rail rifle panning the interior. The captor straightened up but was still looking away, so she took a second to steady her body as she tensed her finger on the trigger.

And then the captor turned, looked at her, and her rifle’s muzzle drooped to the floor.

Jacen stared back at her.

His face mirrored her own surprise. But he recovered quickly. In the extra moment it took her to accept that it was indeed her brother standing there, Jacen slid his pistol from its holster and pointed it at Holt’s head.

“Jacen…how—” she began, but he coldly cut her off.

“How did you find me?” he snapped. She tried to ignore the pistol muzzle floating an inch from Holt’s head.

“GMTI record from the JSTARS orbiting the city,” she replied, trying to keep her voice level. “Whatever thermal masking you used at Thirtyfive Point didn’t cloak movement. You got most of us. But not me.”

The tightness in his face momentarily relaxed. But his eyes never left hers. “Doesn’t matter. There aren’t enough of you left to cause us problems, or you wouldn’t be here alone. Besides, we’re almost done.” The smirk she’d seen so often in recent months crossed his mouth. Keep his attention on me. Not Holt. On me. Us.

“I assume you had friends for…this,” she said, gesturing to Holt. “They leave you behind?”

“Oh no. Just offsite, uploading the video of what we’ve been doing to him for the last hour. You know, you guys really need a better way to mitigate the…unplanned extraction of a sub-derm. You said it was made to be frangible when hit directly at high velocity—very helpful, by the way—but when it comes out more slowly, with all those nerve endings stimulated…” Smirk. “Very unpleasant. But maybe you thought your special team wouldn’t be captured. We don’t blame you. We don’t like people who get themselves captured either.” Jacen gestured as if to prod Holt’s wound again but stopped short. “The real question, Jayna, is what you hope to accomplish here. You’re alone. My friends are coming back.” He smirked ear to ear. “And you’d never hurt your baby brother.”

“Holt’s on my team. I’m here for him.”

“Bullshit. He wasn’t even with you in China.”

“My loyalty isn’t transactional. He’s on my team. It’s as simple as that. Now, I’d love to know what you plan to accomplish here, because there’s no option that doesn’t put you in federal prison for the rest of your life. Best case scenario.” She hoped a reminder of consequences might crack his armor. No. The smirk remained.

“Oh Jayna—I came here to get you here. You and your team. The heroes of China. The peddlers of lies you brought back home to inflict on us, the people. The lies were your message, yours and your president’s. You are going to be our message back. You. Your team. This whole city. Let’s see what the Bog does when one of our biggest ports burns.” Jesus. Her guts churned as questions roiled over her. Questions, and fear.

“How could you possibly know we’d get called here?”

“We pushed. When we learned how you ‘won’ in China, we spread it. When rumors started that your president wanted to do the same in the homeland to stay in power, we spread those too. If people didn’t listen, we…augmented the narrative. Got their attention. When the people came to protest, we told them to fight. And they did, everywhere. But we needed something extra to get you involved. So we gave New Orleans a special push.”

“The video. That was you.” It was not a question.

“We know our enemy. Your president—so predictable. She kept bragging about the ‘huge stick’ she’d bring down if we kept pushing. She wanted to use it. The video provided the excuse.” The muzzle of Jacen’s pistol lightly tapped Holt’s forehead. “Kat and I had a good idea what the ‘huge stick’ was. It was you.” He saw her face and smiled wider. “I know who I married. She knew. God, you people in the Bog don’t understand information. Narrative. Story-telling. When you told me what you did in China, I almost thought you’d gotten it. But Americans never think they’ll fall for the shit other people do. They’re smarter. You thought that too. We knew you’d chase after your baby brother. So we primed the pump with the video. Kat told you I’d run off. You told her you were coming. You’d already told me all about how you liked to insert, with your special boats. You’d told me about your special skin, so we made the rockets to slice up your skins to stop you flashing each other. All we needed was the when. You told Kat when. We just grabbed some incendiaries from the petrochemical park at Taft, and waited.”

The question rose to her lips—why? It died there, because that question didn’t help Holt, or undo the inferno in New Orleans. And she suspected there was no why to untangle the swamp of conspiracy, rage, and fear that had brought her brother to this time and place. Not with Holt’s life on the line. Only one choice mattered right now. She made it.

“Walk away from me,” she said. “Let me take Holt, and you can explain everything else another day.” Jacen’s mouth flexed, opened, and—

Her swarm flashed a warning inside her eyeball: multiple incoming ground tracks—

Jacen noticed her eyes unfocus, knew what it meant. “I told you my friends were coming back.” Smirk. Her sub-derm flashed, painting the approaching ground tracks on her optic nerve, over a dozen sprinting toward the shack, and Jacen’s hand was tightening on the pistol grip, trigger finger tensing, the barrel steadying on Holt’s forehead, but she’d already made her choice, her arms were faster, and surprise, real surprise crossed his face as—

Her arms snapped up. Eye narrowed. Finger tensed. Three rounds, center mass. Jacen slumped to a knee. Paused. Fell sideways. Eyes darkened. He was gone. And she was gone too.


[redacted]: —manage to egress?

Holt: I thought she was dead. Her eyes looked dead. But then she moved. Sliced my flexicuffs, slapped some painkillers on where my sub-derm used to be. She pulled me up, grabbed the pistol from his hand. Gave it to me as she dragged me to the airboat. I heard her backpack humming as she dropped me in the boat and put my hand on the throttle. Once I got underway, she moved back down the dock to the shed. That’s when the shooting started.

[redacted]: How did she respond?

Holt: [pause] For a second I thought she’d let them get her. She just stood there. Then…she was like the angel of Death. She laid down fire with her rifle, smart munitions arced from her backpack like fireworks. She turned the tree line into daylight. After a few seconds no one was shooting at her anymore.

[redacted]: What was your last sighting of her?

Holt: She went back in the shack. Pulled him up from the floor. Last I saw, she was holding onto him. Then the firing started from the tree line again. More this time, heavy weapons. Then there were a couple of rockets, and the shack was…gone.

[redacted]: She sent a final flash.

Holt: I didn’t know that.

[redacted]: It wasn’t a code from the mission. We hoped you could explain it.

Holt: What did she say?

[redacted]: She said—“enough.”

Major Ian T. Brown is a Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter pilot. He has written both fiction and non-fiction on military history and future warfare, including the story “At the Moral Level,” published in last year’s CIMSEC Fiction Week. His book, A New Conception of War: John Boyd, the U.S. Marines, and Maneuver Warfare (Marine Corps University Press, 2018), was recently added to the newest version of the Marine Corps’ Commandant’s Professional Reading Program. The views expressed here are presented in a personal capacity and do not necessarily reflect those of the Marine Corps, Defense Department, or any agency of the U.S. Government.

Featured Image: “Concept art sci-fi soldier” by Ht Wuotan (via Artstation)

One thought on “The Cost of Lies”

  1. Wow, what a thrilling story you have here! I have also written numerous fiction stories while I was in the marine corps. Yours is truly captivating! Keep it up, and I am looking forward to more of your stories!

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