Digital Marine

by Duck_No_Duck

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Traumatising content

The class divide still exists in the future, and it has gotten much worse. There are many different types of worlds, from the paradise worlds where everyone is immortal, to the resource depleted, war-torn planets where every day is a struggle just to live.

Freya O'Malley grew up on Earth, the worst of the war-torn planets, and wants nothing more than to leave. With few options, Freya joins the Federation Marines. But, unlike the past, it's a struggle to earn enough enlistment points to stay in. With the prize of a citizenship on a paradise world at stake, competition is fierce. Every week is a new war. Can Freya earn enough points in the constant warring of the Marines to modify her body and mind to stay competitive? Can a girl from the wrong planet make it against those who have all the advantages?

Posting every Monday. Chapters will be roughly 4k or more words. 

Edited by Aldous starting at chapter 19.

If you like this story think about checking out my other web novel Super Soldier not Super Hero.

Please come and enjoy the discussion at Discord

 If you have any extra cash laying around and you feel like supporting the story you can donate here at Pateron or PayPal.  Patreon donators have options to read unedited chapters before anyone else can read them if you can't wait for the next chapter.

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Ch: 1 Welcome to the fleet ago
Ch: 2 First Recruit Mission ago
CH: 3 Second Recruit Mission ago
Ch:4 The Last Recruit Mission ago
Ch 5: Playing the 'What did you get, game.' ago
CH: 6 Finally, Level up time ago
CH: 7 First Tier Mission part 1 ago
Ch: 8 First tier 1 mission part 2 ago
Ch: 9 Crazy and reckless plan ago
Ch: 10 A run to the city center ago
CH:11 Meeting herself ago
Ch: 12 First Flight ago
Rewrite: Added a paragraph to chapter 11. Not a real chapter. ago
Ch: 13 Recruits in a Tier 1 mission ago
CH: 14 Toast ago
Ch:15 Spawning waves mission ago
CH: 16 Upgrading time ago
Ch: 17 The people behind the curtains ago
Ch: 18 The Iron Hand ago
Ch: 19 Meet and greet at Chivia’s  ago
CH: 20 Tier 3 Mission ago
Ch: 21 It was a firefight! Part one ago
Ch: 22 It was a firefight! Part two ago
Ch: 23 Squadmates ago
Ch: 24 The bank job ago
Note from Duck ago
Ch: 25 Sudden interactions ago
Ch: 26 Nice job but don't get caught ago
Ch: 27 Tunnel Vision ago
Ch: 28 First Tournament mission. Part one ago
Ch: 29 First Tournament mission part two ago
Ch: 30 First tournament mission part three ago
Ch: 31 First Tournament mission part four ago
Ch: 32 First tournament rewards ago
Ch: 33 Worries about the future ago
Ch: 34 Second mission Part one. ago
Ch: 35 Second mission part two. ago
Ch: 36 Second Mission Part 3 ago
Ch: 37 Second mission Part Four ago
Ch: 38 Meeting with the Monarch ago
Ch: 39 Ugly words ago
Ch: 40 Third mission part one ago
Ch: 41 Third mission Part two. ago
Ch: 42 Tournament Bye-Week ago
Ch: 43 Blue Curacao ago
Ch: 44 Two nights out. ago
Ch: 45 The start of the final tournament mission: Planning phase ago
Ch: 46 The start of the final tournament mission: Dropping on the planet ago
Ch: 47 The start of the final tournament mission: Bonus mission part one ago
Ch: 48 The start of the final tournament mission: Bonus mission part two ago
Ch: 49 When things fall apart ago
Ch: 50 Alone behind enemy lines ago
Ch: 51 Finding a needle in a haystack ago
Ch: 52 Too many deaths ago
Ch: 53 Barbecue in the park ago
Ch: 54 Unauthorized cookout ago
Ch: 55 Failed plans ago
Ch: 56 Gunnery Sergeant Thompson ago
Ch: 57 Reasons why we do what we do. ago
Ch: 58 The fall of St Ahun airfield. ago
Ch: 59 One last objective. ago
Ch: 60 Finishing the last objective. ago
Ch: 61 Changes ago
Ch: 62 Required skills ago
Ch: 63 Buying the same armor three times Or Marines and their toys ago
Ch: 64 Replacement ago
Ch: 65 Training Missions ago
Ch: 66 An end of a vacation and speeches ago
Ch: 67 Surprise! ago
Ch: 68 When things go wrong they go really wrong ago
Ch: 69 Two Years later ago
Ch: 70 Let’s get to work, people ago
Ch: 71 The shot. ago
Ch: 72 We ain't done yet. ago
Ch: 73 Epilogue to the first book ago
Ch: 74 (Book 2) Melted cheese covered in chocolate ago
Ch: 75 The joys of retail therapy ago
Ch: 76 When you find out that you're awesome ago
Ch: 77 Back to tier one missions ago
Ch: 78 Patrol ago
Ch: 79 So that’s what a tier one mission is again. ago
Ch: 80 The Ketica ago
Ch: 81 Finishing the mission and rewards ago
Ch: 82 A New opportunity and a new gun. ago
Ch: 83 Short Planning Session ago
Ch: 84 Wave mission with spec ops ago

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drakan_glasses BE NICE! Fair critique is fair, but be respectful & follow the review rules. There will be no mercy.
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This story is very engaging. I like the progression from recruit onwards as the MC learns what it means to become a Federation Marine. The writing is a little rocky at first, not the storytelling, but the editing (or lack thereof), but gets better fairly quickly. Sadly, I'm all caught up now, but eagerly awaiting the next installment 


Duck_No_Duck has written a couple of novels on RR. Both of them have strong female leads which are the exception rather than the norm on RR. This immediately makes him as an author, plus the novels, stand out of the crowd!


Follow our tough MC as she leads from the front, or snipes from up high. In this enjoyable, action-filled, futuristic tale!  


Suspension of Disbelief Required, or not?

Now I'm going to start this by saying that while this story is inherently unrealistic, and there are many people saying just that; there is a grounding in reality that can be found here. The military in this story is more of a systemized form of mercinary corp hired by the collective governnance of human colonized planets as far as I can tell. By large the military seems to act as it's own entity in all it's military endevours, accepting contracts and carrying out military action on behalf of the collective governance of humanity.

Now things get weird very quickly with the introduction of game-like elements in to the sudo-military styled mercanry corp structure. This too can be explained in some way as having a basis in reality. One of the few things people don't realize about the military is that one of the biggest and most important aspects of it is desensitivity training. Of course they don't call it that, obviously. It's "conditioning" to prepare you to act in a stressful situation, like combat. More often than not this is slipped in everywhere it can fit to turn soft pudgy civilians into hardened trained killers. This game-like aspect can be explained away as part of that part of their training that evolved over time to encompus the entirety of the sudo-military styled mercanary corp structure. This continues further into the majority of missions being carried out as simulations. If that were the only thing being offered them I would have assumed we were rolling in on an Enders Game type situation where it was all actually real. However it's been stated in the story that real-life missions are an option, so it's safe to assume that this isn't the case.

Moving back to the desensitising aspect of it we've already seen this to some extent with the third boot camp mission the protaginist undertook. Their mission was to clear out suburben homes in a suburben street like enviroment as far as can be extrapolated from what little was described of the enviroment. They entered each house and cleared it of occupents. Said occupent came in the form of people who either tried to run, hunker down in their house, or were in one case an elderly man caught on the toilet. A dispassionate reader will look upon this and ask, "So what?"

Now, maybe it's just a simulation? Yeah. But they were civilians or self stylized militia being sytematically neutralized in their home. There wasn't some kind of object for them to secure, they weren't taking out some group of people carrying out some secret plot or even to gather information. The protagonist and her team were there to kill the people living in their homes and nothing else... and none of them gave it a second thought because it's just a simulation and their objective says they should kill these people. 

So think about that for a moment, and there you go. Desensitisation training at it's finest. It's pretty low key, am I right? You barely even blinked an eye while you read as they ruthlessly murdered all those people, right?

This is a well written story, with a good premise that was so good it apparently went over a bunch of peoples heads. Tops to the author for being a varitable genius.

The characters are believably human, though no one other than our lord and saviour JESUS and Freya really standout much. I haven't noticed any outstanding spelling or grmmatical errors, then again I'm terrible at that stuff. The story is outstanding and the writing is concise, and devoid of needless exposition. The way it is written makes it clear despite it being written from a third person perpective that protagonist is Freya. That this is a story about her and the life she lives as a digital citizen on board a warship called the Monarch. When it gets down to it--it is a fun sci-fi sudo-militanry styled mercanry corp adventure through a hypothetical government funded game-like militarized mercenary system. Unrealiztic and yet based in reality with it's methods. Real-world military has done stranger things and made it work in the past. A thousand years from now I cannot with all honesty say a system similar to this won't be in effect if it became nessisary. Limited resources and funds would make a digitized military training facility where soldiers can train in a variety of situations and without casualties at the low cost of maintain a server farm and some super computers a hot comodity. In a distopian future I could very well believe something like this could be used in a thousand years to cut costs on maintaining an effective galaxy-wide military presence.

Keep it coming because I can barely wait for more.


Has a lot of fighting, perhaps too much at the expense of everything else.

The LitRPG side is interesting, though a bit thin later on. Still better than those that spend whole chapters detailing their builds and explaining every stat in excruciating detail.

Other than that, it has the same sci-fi vibe I got from Neal Asher's Polity series. That's rare. Very rare.

Did I mention I read the first 31 chapters in a single night?


  Ok. Let's start off that this is the first story I have read that actually has me writing a review about it. 

  The style of the story. I read through the reviews and I have one question. If this story is unrealistic, what basis do you have to say its unrealistic? Did you go to the future (several dozen centuries from what I can tell) and go. "Nope, this doesn't happen in the future, I was there you can trust me". At the end of the day nothing is unrealistic because we dont know how the future will develop and what new discoveries we will make. The style is a genius mix of reality and virtual.

Story. Now the story is what we all focus and care about. Without a good story, everything else is irrelevant. The story is great. You are given enough background information from the beginning to have a similar understanding of the main character. And as you read, you learn with the character. The digitizing of the marines is a genius idea. They are basically immortal, they know it, and its a major problem. If you know you're immortal. Would you place any value on your life? So, they charge you a fine every time you die. Problem solved. The system they have set up is designed to weed out the less effective soldiers and bring out the best of the best. Think of the premises, you have millions of people signing up for the chance to live on a paradise world, most of those will make it past basic training. And since there is no attrition of the troops they have to keep the numbers at a stable level, after all it takes time to create NCO's and Officers. And to encourage the soldiers to risk their expendable lives, you get paid for each kill, and each objective, encouraging you to take calculated risks. And as you develop you purchase better equipment. You may say "Well thats stupid, thats not how the military works" and you're right, the military doesn't have the budget to get every single soldier outfitted with the best weapons and equipment, so they go to private companies and find the cheapest equipment, then put the contract up for a bid. Whatever company that can make the needed equipment for the lowest price gets the contract. So in essence our military today, has crap equipment. More so showed in the story, when you start out your givin awful guns and equipment. The difference is you can permanently give yourself better equipment you just have to buy it. To prevent soldiers from just spraying bullets everywhere, you also pay for your ammo. In response to this, you are paid disgustingly well depending on the mission. For instance the harder missions can pay up to 10,000 credits or more, and we haven't gotten to the real world missions yet. Now lets look at what somewhere between 2-5k credits can get you. You can repair a dock, pay off loans from several years worth of cancer treatments and STILL have enough money left over to live a comfortable if modest life. So a genius idea.

Grammer. Now this one is a little  bit tricky. Did the writer make that mistake because they were trying to show the characters intelligence and thoughts? (Lets face it, most people no matter how intelligent will make mistakes while speaking, or mistakes caused by accents from what region you grew up in). In the end its very well written, and most mistakes you find are minor.

Character. The character development is rather fast paced and alot of personal information is given to us in snidbits. I think it would make the character more relatable if we maybe had a couple flashback chapters to when she was growing up, see what her motivation is, and how she learned her skills.

Over all I think this is an excellent story and I wish there were more like it, both my brother and I became addicted to the story rather early on and cant wait to see what happens next, I highly recommend this story.


This story really grips me. The author does a fantastic job putting together a narrative that keeps me coming back for more. I've never felt dissapointed with this story, and often find myself thinking through the various perspectives of the characters in the scenarios laid out. Rather than merely serving as props I feel as though the story is a living and breathing world to a much greater extent than most other stories I've encountered on here, which is quite amazing. I highly recommend reading this.


I’m having a great time reading this story. Military scifi is an under represented genre here and the author has done a good job with this one. So far there has been a lot of action. The author does a great job a drawing you in and making you want to keep reading more.

There are a few jarring moments where grammar and/or misspellings can jolt you out of the story, but it’s not too bad and better than some other stories.

Pros: Great action and story with a main character I like and find interesting. The world has potential but so far there is a lot of mystery about it that is slowly being revealed as the chapters go on. Long chapters with good supplemental notes at the end to help explain terms and definitions if needed.

Cons: Grammar and spelling needs to be cleaned up a bit. So far most characters other than the main character are cookie cutter and forgettable. Most don’t even get a name, just a rank, and aren’t part of the story beyond a chapter or two.

This is the kind of story you don’t want to take too seriously, but if you are looking for an entertaining military scifi action romp then this story might just be for you.


Starting chapters a bit rough, though

Reviewed at: Ch: 69 Two Years later

I am glad that I sticked with the story. I like it very much. It´s one of my very top favorites.

Patreon: Advanced chapters though are much too expensive for me. I have some suggestions below for a better scheme.

Some complained it would be unrealistic to pay for food in a simulation and the economics would make no sense. 
For me the critique is invalid, because: The military wants only the best and the simulation would not be free. In response, they have introduced some mechanisms to promote the good and sort out the bad.
Normally you seldom "fire" someone permanently from holding the same job in any career job like the military or school teachers - only as in extreme cases as far as I know, at least in comparison.
Here this is not so and this could actually be a very good thing, speaking from a standpoint of making the most with the least in a future, super digital society, and only for one aspect of society.
It always costs something to do anything. To simulate an entire world will certainly never be costless. Also there are psychological aspects of eating, even if its simulated.

I think the Patreon advance chapters are much too expensive (10$ for a few chapters) and so I only payed it twice.

For me there is a sweet spot where I am ready to pay for the early enjoyment. For Azarinth Healer this sweet spot is 2$ for half of advanced chapters and 5$ for every chapters except a few side chapters (that would be 10$ - which I payed once also).
Azarinth Healer is updated much more frequently as well and there are lots more advanced chapters. The enjoyment I feel is similar to Digital Marine, but its a lot more frequent.
And so the last months I could not hold back and rejoined every few days, full of Addiction, after I quit on the last day of the month.
I guess for Digital Marine the sweet spot for me would be 1$ for half and 2 to 4$ for full.

I guess he would get at least 10 times more Patreons per month if he did that. Compared to 77 Patreons and 599$ per month now with the 10$ advanced chapters.

A better comparison would be Magic-Smithing. He got more than 10 times the Patreons and makes 5 times as much. He got even less chapters out than yours, but the advance chapters are way more affordable!





I've enjoyed reading this quite a lot. It is a fast-paced action-packed gamelit inspired sci-fi story.

English isn't my first language, so my observations about grammar and style might be a little off. My impression was that the first chapters could be improved by a few more proofreading cycles, although they still come across as perfectly understandable. In the later chapters, Duck_No_Duck has improved the quality by quite a margin.

I've read a few comments where the reader is skeptical about the technology presented in the story. Let me just remind everybody that 99% if not 99.99% of all sci-fi breaks fundamental physical principles like causality by introducing FTL. Spaceships hurdling through vacuum burning off gazillions of jules of energy without boiling their crew and turning said spaceships into molten slag.

If you can accept violations of causality and thermodynamics, a mainstay of almost all sci-fi, then I don't see why concepts like additive manufacturing of materials, both biological and non-biological, shouldn't be possible.

I think Duck_No_Duck intends first and foremost to entertain with a good story, Yet, I think it is fascinating how his universe contains soliders who truly do not wonder why, they merely do and die.

Mister Bill

Excellent military litrpg

Really good military litrpg and really good story, period. I haven’t seen a story like this yet and I’m loving it. It has blue boxes (a plus) and really good worldbuilding. I highly recommend it, especially as it’s so unique. Give it a shot if you like military stories, litrpg, good stories, what have you.