Friday, September 19, 2008

The Quiet War, Chapter 2

Cash Baker was just twenty-six, with eight years’ service in the Greater Brazilian Air Defence Force, when he was selected for the J-2 singleship test programme. From inauspiciously ordinary origins in a hardscrabble city in the badlands of East Texas he’d risen through the ranks with astonishing speed. Luckily, he’d received as good an education as anyone in his neck of the woods could reasonably expect, and one of his teachers had spotted his preternatural mathematical ability and given him extra tutoring and steered him towards the Air Defence Force. He scraped into the top percentile in the induction tests, was streamed straight into basic pilot-training at the academy in Monterrey, and a year later, on a hot, thundery day in August, marched at the head of the graduation parade for the class of 2210. He started out flying fat-bellied Tapir-L4s on supply missions to remote camps of the Wreckers Corps east of the Great Lakes, was quickly promoted to the combat wing of the 114th Squadron, flying fast, deadly little Raptors, and distinguished himself in a string of air-support missions during the campaign fought by General Arvam Peixoto’s Third Division, clearing bandit settlements in and around the ruins of Chicago.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Quiet War, Chapter 1

Every Monday and Friday until its publication on October 16, I'll post chapters from my new novel, The Quiet War, at the website. Here's the first:

Every day the boys woke when the lights came on at 0600. They showered and dressed, made their beds and policed the dormitory, endured inspection by one of their lectors. Breakfast was a dollop of maize gruel and a thimble of green tea. They ate quickly, each boy facing one of his brothers across the long table, no sound but the scrape of plastic spoons on plastic bowls. There were fourteen of them, tall and pale and slender as skinned saplings. Blue-eyed. Their naked scalps shone in the cold light as they bent over their scant repast. At two thousand six hundred days old they were fully grown but with traces of adolescent awkwardness yet remaining. They wore grey paper shirts and trousers, plastic sandals. Red numbers were printed on their shirts, front and back. The numbers were not sequential because more than half their original complement had been culled during the early stages of the programme. READ MORE...
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