By Matthew De Abaitua
James has a scar behind his head. It's the place he was once wounded within the conflict of Suvla Bay on August 1915. Or is the scar the mark of his implant that permits the method to fill his brain with its personal reality?
In IF, the folk of a small English city grasp on after every thing fell aside less than the safety of the method, the pc approach that runs each point in their lives. yet occasionally humans has to be evicted from the city. That's the task of James, the bailiff. whereas on patrol, James discovers the copy of a soldier from the 1st international battle wandering the South Downs. This unusual assembly starts a brand new cycle of evictions within the city, whereas out at the rolling downland, the method is methodically transforming into the warriors and construction the guns required to relive a protracted misplaced battle.
In THEN, it's August 1915, on the conflict of Suvla Bay within the Dardanelles crusade. in comparison to the millions of allied infantrymen touchdown in this overseas seashore, the boys of the thirty second box Ambulance are misfits and cranks of each stripe: a Quaker pacifist, a freethinking padre, a meteorologist, and the personal (once a bailiff) recognized easily as James. uncovered to consistent shellfire and haunted by means of ghostly snipers, the stretcher-bearers paintings day and evening at the lengthy hold of wounded males. One evening they stumble throughout an historic necropolis, disturbed via an exploding shell. What they become aware of inside this historical web site will lead them to query the truth of the struggle and shake their realizing of what it capability to be human...
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Additional info for If Then
He’d done it before. He was doing it now. Fuck him. I didn’t want to die of old age walking out of the south Gobi, but fuck him. Then the intercom crackled to life. The pilot said something fast and tonal—Cantonese, I thought, not that I could follow it. The Antonov banked hard and picked up speed as the engines coughed a bloom of black smoke. Whatever it was we were looking for, we’d found it. Hannaday just smiled. ” Ladder work? Out here? * * * And damn me if we didn’t bounce to a landing somewhere not much different from anywhere else.
He was an Agency cowboy I’d last seen on the wrong end of a Glock in Kandahar two years earlier. Whipcord thin, still wearing the same damned Armani suit. How the fuck had that spook gotten into the camp without me seeing him? My legs still ached whenever it got chilly. I briefly considered firing off my Stinger inside the ger, just punching the warhead into Hannaday’s chest, but that would have pretty much toasted us all. “Stow it,” growled Korunov. Two hundred kilos or not, that man could and did snap necks.
He was pale and sweating. ” I said. ” I went and looked. Our spaceman was a girl, not more than fifteen, eyes bloodshot from reentry gees, barely moving even as she stared at us. Blue-black skin, shaved head. A girl. Who’d dropped out of the Central Asian sky in a Russian spaceship. Kids on the International Space Station? Not fucking likely. Not in this lifetime. ” * * * The Antonov lumbered back to camp. Nichols sat in the back of the plane with his shotgun, watching the kid and cursing in an extended monotone, mostly Russian.