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Rance Auerbach

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Rance Auerbach
Fictional Character
POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): In the Balance
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Species: Human
Nationality: United States, later resident of Race Colonies on Tosev 3 and Free France
Occupation: Soldier, Criminal
Spouse: Penny Summers (common law)

Rance Auerbach was a cavalry captain in the United States Army. He was of Southern descent, and had ancestors who had fought for the Confederacy during the "States' War". He served during the war against the Race. Originally based in the Northeastern United States, Captain Auerbach and his cavalry unit were assigned to escort General Leslie Groves to Denver with the plutonium captured from the Race in the Soviet Union. Once having delivered General Groves to Denver, Captain Auerbach's unit was assigned to eastern Colorado. There, he and his unit performed raiding missions against the Race, engaging their strongholds in western Kansas. In addition, Captain Auerbach's unit was responsible for stopping the rogue physicist Jens Larssen during his attempt to defect to the Race.

During an unsuccessful raid on Lakin, Kansas, Auerbach was hit by several high-caliber machine gun rounds fired by a Race helicopter gunship. Though recovered by the Race's medical forces and treated for his injuries, he suffered permanent disability. With a permanent limp and shortness of breath, he was left a shattered hulk of the man that he once was. While in the hands of the Race, he was reunited with Penny Summers. Once the cease-fire was declared, he staggered back to United States controlled terrain with the aid of Penny Summers, and ended up in a refugee camp.

After the war, he was discharged by the United States Army due to his debilitating war injuries. Throughout the 1950s, he lived in Fort Worth, Texas, in a small apartment, which was all he could afford on his pension. He spent his days drinking and playing cards with other disabled veterans, being physically unable to do much more. In 1962, as the world was preparing for the arrival of the Race's Colonization Fleet, Penny Summers returned to his life. Auerbach was forced to shoot some attackers out to kill Summers, who had shorted their employers on a ginger deal. The pair went on the lam soon after that.

Auerbach and Summers ran to Nuevo León, Mexico, where the planned to sell a substantial quantity of ginger to a Lizard radar-operator named Kahanass. However, no sooner had they closed the deal than Race anti-ginger operatives appeared and arrested all three.

Auerbach suspected that the Race had been watching Kahanass for some time, not that it mattered.[1] Auerbach and Summers were given a choice: a stint in a Race prison, or participate in a sting operation against a ginger-dealer in Marseille, France. They opted to go to France.


  1. Second Contact, pgs. 367-369, PB.

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