Copyright 1988.

The Guardians next assignment is to find a desalinization plant around Houston. Well the first thing they find out when they arrive is that Texas has split in two. The southern and western part are part of the Republic of Texas. The northeastern part is under governor Randall Hedison the governor of Texas before the war. McKay the leader doesn’t like the idea of succession but the Republic is an open society and old friends that helped them out including his old girlfriend Marla Ecklund and Dreadlock Callahan are officers in the Republican army. Governor Hedison runs a very efficient police state in the Federal part with his Texas Rangers. Maggie Connolly the chief of staff is a great friend of Hedison. Since she was put in charge of the Guardians they have been reduced to errand boys for the governor instead of securing the Blueprint facility.

Meanwhile a movement in Mexico has grown around the visions of a seventeen year old girl. The followers are called cristeros and are a fanatical religious group that is killing anyone that won’t convert to their fundamentalist views. The Guardians old enemy Ivan Vesensky has survived Casey’s sniper bullet and is now back causing trouble. He has managed to co-opt this religious movement to get them to invade Texas so he can gain control of the desalinization plant. The Guardians abandon their assignment and head out to defend the plant with a group of Texicans.

This book has the team going to Texas and finding that the country is starting to come apart. A bit of a dilemma for the Guardians is that the secessionists are the only ones willing to fight the cristeros while Hedison seems to be more interested in crushing all opposition to his rule. At the end the President orders him to help the Guardians and he refuses which causes the National Guard to revolt and he goes into exile in Oklahoma. Maggie Connolly also gets relieved of being in charge of the Guardians and Project Blueprint. Instead Dr. Morgenstern is put in charge which suits the Guardians fine since he had become their de facto leader anyway.

Another interesting part of this book was the cristeros or translated the christers. They were based on a real movement in the 1920’s & 30’s. They will be a big part in the next book since Vesensky and the FSE are involved with the movement. This book was probably the high point of the series.

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