Specialist Martel is one of the most fearsome warriors of the Carolingian Pact, the Christian empire that now dominates most of Western Europe. Martel’s experience as a killer is so valued by his commanders that they ignore his insubordination and, when he falls in battle, he always finds a new body waiting for him back home.
When distant colony worlds begin to go silent, a military and diplomatic expedition is assembled to investigate the cause. Martel is convinced to join with the promise that he might finally be allowed to die. For ambitious fleet intelligence officer Karizma Nox, a maniac like Martel is just the man she needs to ensure diplomacy fails.
Severance is the third novelette in Outer Echelon, a series of loosely-related, satirical military science fiction from Zack Parsons, author of Liminal States, My Tank is Fight! and contributor to Welcome to Night Vale.