In Michael Bunker's Pennsylvania Omnibus, Jedidiah Troyer becomes the hero of TRACE's fight against the Transport Authority. But even before Jed's adventure begins, the Second War for Pennsylvanian Independence has raged for a generation. Set in the time of Bunker's novel and featuring cameos by some of his most-beloved characters, Tales of B-Company captures the struggle, tragedy, and heroism of a company of TRACE commandos as they wage war for the freedom of New Pennsylvania. Heroes fight and heroes fall. Loyalties are tested. Friendships are forged.
"Chris Pourteau just gets better and better writing in this world. Crisp and engaging, his words bring you into the action and tension of the Pennsylvania universe with immediacy and drama. The B Company stories are great military tales, but are also stories of humanity and relationships torn in the midst of the ongoing conflict between the Transport Authority, TRACE and the rest of the population of New Pennsylvania."– AnneHope, Amazon reviewer (5-star review of Columbia)
"[Pourteau] has populated the now more tactile and detailed Pennsylvania world with unforgettable characters who live and breathe and leap from the page—characters for whom I began to care more deeply the more I read about them… what Chris has produced here … is on par with or better than my original Pennsylvania story."– Michael Bunker, author of The Pennsylvania Omnibus and Brother, Frank
"Pourteau handles Military SciFi with a deft literary gift for both the regular and the heroic that reminds the reader of Bernard Cornwell. Brilliant in scope, nuanced in execution. Read this and enjoy."– Nick Cole, author of The Wasteland Saga and Galaxy’s Edge
"He wants to take our farm, Poppa!"
The words echo in my head as I sit here, waiting to learn the fate of my child. Words pointing out the path of God's will. A memory of an argument with Thomas, my son.
Thomas is sixteen years old. He questions everything, and this is as it should be. Never fear to question what is known. My father taught me that. But as with most young men his age, Thomas is slow to think and quick to anger.
Ah, I must apologize. I see by the look on your face that you have no idea what I'm talking about. I don't wish to burden you with this, but since we're both sitting here, awaiting the judgment of the Transport magistrate, perhaps you would listen to my story? It will help pass the time. Yes? I thank you for that. I'm alone here today, and though we're strangers, your presence brings me comfort.
I see by your clothing that you are not Amish. Please, there is no judgment when I say this. I simply point it out so that you understand why I explain things about myself. Things that, to another Plain Person, would seem unnecessary. I want you to understand what has happened. To truly know the tragedy that has befallen my family.
My name is Abram Brenneman. My family and I arrived in New Pennsylvania … is it three years ago already? As you might have guessed, we were part of Transport's Emigration Incentive Program. We received the standard land grant—including livestock, seed, and building materials. In fact, we were one of the first twenty families granted land in the newest section of the AZ after Transport increased their recruitment efforts on Earth in 2090. We set up our homestead, planted our ground, raised our animals.
When I was younger, I lived in your world. A world where everything moves quickly, as if trying to catch up to itself. But it never seems to, does it? You fall asleep planning the next day and swear you'll take a moment for yourself or your family. And the next night, you fall asleep reciting recriminations for failing to do that. I remember the cycle well.
The life of the Amish is much slower. Our focus is on the task at hand. Milking the cow, sweeping the floor, enjoying a cold drink on a hot afternoon. We believe that God grants us the grace to experience these things. Some would call that lifestyle simple—and most of the time, they'd be right. But sometimes we Amish face complicated times. History has, on occasion, asked us to conform. Our way is to simply move on, away from that demand to compromise our values, until we find good soil again and can start over. We have learned to stay alert for such times. It's still difficult for me to accept that one of our own, a Plain Person, would have once more invited history to our doorstep.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Matthew Yoder is an elder in our community. I assume you know next to nothing about us, so let me explain: elders are ministers. They lead our community. They conduct worship services, prescribe the scope of the ordnung, our community's rules. They guide our spiritual development. It's important to understand this. Matthew's position made his proposition all the more shocking, and difficult to resist at the same time. Which brings me back to Thomas and our argument.