This is the official archive page for entries of Fireteam Freelance. Entries are posted chronologically by episode, with the most recent at the bottom. New episodes will be added as they are completed. Note that all chapters posted are pre-Alpha.
If you are not familiar with Fireteam Freelance or have encountered this page from another source, scroll past the episodes for a brief FAQ explaining what you’ve found.
What is Fireteam Freelance?
Right, so you’re new here, and possibly completely confused. Let’s fix that. Fireteam Freelance is an episodic set of side-stories to Colony and Jungle, two of my best-selling books (which you can find on the Books tab). Between those two books, there have been a lot of calls from readers to know what was going on Earth during the events of the series, as Colony and Jungle revolve largely around a colony world named Pisces, offering glimpses of Earth but not being set there.
Fireteam Freelance then, takes place on Earth, filling in moments during the background of the end of Colony and during the events of Jungle. That said, if you’re planning on reading Fireteam Freelance first, be warned that there will be spoilers for some elements of Colony and Jungle, large and small both, in these episodes.
How is Fireteam Freelance Different?
Fireteam Freelance follows an episodic story structure, rather than a traditional chapter structure. That means that rather than a series of chapters, each uploaded portion will instead be an episode, each of which will be self contained but slowly move to an overarching plot.
They’re also more bite-sized and action-packed, focusing on the titular mercenary team and their missions around Earth rather than their downtime between missions (though some of that will still make an appearance). This will make Fireteam Freelance a bit less focused on delving deep into characters (though there will be character on display) and more focused on action, which will feature in spades (after all, every episode is a mission for a mercenary team, and they don’t load their guns with feel-good pellets unless the op calls for it). Again, there’s still character, but primary focus with Fireteam Freelance isn’t going to be on the team sitting around their home base between missions, but on going out and taking care of things on an Earth that’s increasingly an unstable place (but a profitable, job-secure one for a local mercenary band).
In other words, come to Fireteam Freelance for the action and the views of machinations going on beyond the scope of the Colony/Jungle Trio.
Who Are the Fireteam Freelance?
The titular fireteam is composed of five members:
- Commander Valerie Castillo: The owner and commander of the team, and a former member of a well-regarded mercenary company known as the Valkyries. She does not go on ops, but rather serves as an eye in the sky and remote pilot.
- Adah Nay: A young but seasoned mercenary from a family of professional soldiers who serves as the team’s official leader in the field.
- Ania “Anvil” Vade: The boisterous and dangerous heavy weapons and demolitions expert of the team. An exoskeleton user, crashing into battle in a silverback rather than in neural skinsuit armor.
- Lovai “Ursa” Faasulu: The team’s close-combat expert and an absolute titan of an individual, thanks to inherited (and illegal) genetic augments her parents both had.
- Zhang “Owl” Li: The team’s sniper and scout who was plucked from the streets as a young girl by Commander Castillo, and therefore technically the first member of the team.
Why Are They All Women?
Long story, but I’ll make it as short as I can. I actually dreamed up some of the basics for Fireteam Freelance before even Colony. In fact, they originally weren’t even in the same universe (and were very different characters). The only thing that remained unchanged was the core principles of the group: They were a team of four serving under an older and wiser retired mercenary who took what good jobs they could find and tried to make do while slowly getting pulled into a feud between two (and then three) competing corporations (and you can relax, as you won’t see that old plot here).
Okay, so then why are they all women? Because, and I kid you not, I thought “Why not?” There was no reason why they couldn’t be all women, and so I went with it. It had a bonus of fitting the “Valkyries’ Valkyries” nickname with their commander, and there wasn’t any reason not to. “Why not?” is all the reason I needed, and the characters by that point were taking shape in my head. Not as glamorous as my oft-used “flip a coin” method, but hey, it works. They’re their own characters now. I can’t change it back.
Besides, the whole setting is one where it can happen. So away with it they went!
So is This Complete?
No. Not yet. Fireteam Freelance here on the site is going to be updated as it is written. So as each episode is finished, it will be posted here on Unusual Things come the weekend. In pre-Alpha. That means no editing, no polishing. Just the rough (which it notes at the top).
Once the series is complete, all episodes completed, this section will change. Eventually, this series will be compiled and published in its own collection, polished and cleaned for those who want to have a copy in their personal collection. The original form will stay archived here for all who wish to read it.
I Found an Error!
Yeah, that’s not too surprising. My pre-Alpha drafts are clean compared to most, but there’s still plenty of shrapnel to be found. Don’t worry about it. It’s free and pre-Alpha, so you didn’t lose anything.
So Can I Copy This?
No. Don’t be a skag-licker. Fireteam Freelance is copyright 2020 Max Florschutz. You know, like all the other stuff on this site. If you find someone posting it elsewhere that shouldn’t be (or worse, selling it), let me know so that the Fireteam can be dispatched to melt their server and personal devices to ash.
What About Sharing Links?
Oh yeah go nuts. Knock yourself out. If you want to let others know about Fireteam Freelance, be my guest. Totally different than swiping it and taking credit for it.
Though you can take credit for finding it before your friends and embarrass them at parties with that knowledge.
Should I Comment?
Chat it up! Call out what you like, or even what you didn’t! Reply to other commentators! Debate about who your favorite member of the Fireteam is, or who you like the least. Keep it confined to the rules of the site and the episodes you’re talking about, and you’re golden.
What Are Colony and Jungle?
Simply put, two Epic-sized Sci-Fi adventures, one after another, following a trio of individuals who find themselves press-ganged into heading for an alien planet to track down a missing computer programmer. You can check out a free sample of the first book here, then head on over to the Books tab to pick up a copy for yourself!