From Los Angeles drug dealer to hero of an alien world, the Universe must have a sense of humor. Tyler Jensen, an earthling lost in the cosmos, struggles to understand the technologically advanced world whose hero he has inadvertently become. Posing as the Supreme Commander of the planet's fleet, Tyler must quickly learn the murky alliances of the military to succeed against their neighboring enemy. Will Tyler's naivet? doom the warring world or can he navigate the political trappings of the Admiral's world to conquer another?
Tyler Jensen woke slowly to the sound of traffic drifting throughan open window. His body was sore from the hardwood floor he’d slept on, and his thoughts swam thick from the night’s party. As was common these days, he wasn’t certain where they were. Memories of the night’s activities ran through his mind in incoherent flashes of people, music, and consumption.
The room was large with vaulted ceilings and sparse furnishings. Cluttered remnants of the party lay scattered throughout the room as bodies slept off various effects. His girlfriend, Linda, was quietly curled in a blanket on the corner of a large rug against the back wall.
He didn’t recognize the place, but assumed they were in a loft converted from an old warehouse or manufacturing facility. From the sounds coming in through the open windows, he figured they were somewhere in an industrial park. He leaned stiffly against the wall, lighting a cigarette to start his day. He was accustomed to waking like this and wasn’t even sure what day it was.
His head throbbed with the dull memories of consumption, and spotting a partially filled beer bottle, he drank the dregs hoping to ease the incessant pounding. The beer was warm and flat, but it contained the precious alcohol that would ease his pain. Hair of the dog, he thought absently.
Across from Tyler, a large archway led into another room where industrious sounds mixed with the occasional clink of bottles. Somebody was cleaning up. One of the hosts? Who cared, Tyler never offered to help.
Snuffing his cigarette out in the empty beer bottle, he nudged Linda. She groaned hollowly before pulling the blanket tighter around her. Despite the hard night, she was still beautiful. Only her mussed up hair betrayed the debauchery that was a regular part of their lives. Tyler didn’t understand why she’d stayed with him. She deserved better, and he was the first to admit it.
Linda Ashton came from an affluent family in Bellaire. Tyler had met her six years earlier at a beach party thrown by one of her fellow UCLA students. He’d been one of the ‘suppliers’ invited to the outing, but after meeting Linda, he’d spent all his time entertaining her.
Tyler, on the other hand, had come from a dysfunctional, lower-middle class family in the valley. After his parents split up, he’d drifted through the rest of high school before moving out after graduation. During those final years at home, he’d become a distant member of the family he no longer felt part of.
For several years afterwards, Tyler had drifted in and out of low-end jobs while attending the local community college. He was declared for an associate’s degree in business, but his heart never fully embraced academics. As the years went by, he lost what limited direction he’d had and replaced his goals with substance use.
It was during a brief stint as an assistant manager of a movie theatre that he’d met Raul Sanchez at a co-worker’s party. Like Linda, Tyler and Raul quickly became friends, and within a few short months, Tyler quit his job to sell drugs for Raul full time. Tyler still attended the community college, for a while, since it proved lucrative for his new business venture.
It was a great life. He earned five times what he’d made before and all his party supplies were provided. It didn’t take long before he became well acquainted with the elite of Los Angeles.
Fortunately, Raul wasn’t connected with the typical gangs controlling much of the drug market. Instead, his clientele leaned heavily toward upper-middle class and wealthy youth. It was a safe market, and Tyler quickly established himself as a top distributor.