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Germline: The Subterrene War: Book 1 by T.C. McCarthy

Germline: The Subterrene War: Book 1 by T.C. McCarthy

Author:T.C. McCarthy [McCarthy, T.C.]
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Tags: FIC028000
ISBN: 9780316128186
Publisher: Orbit
Published: 2011-07-31T22:00:00+00:00


Retreating forces before us had transformed the northern outskirts of Samarkand into a defensive paradise, and I realized that over time I had become unable to see towns, and might not have recognized one for what it was. It wasn’t that I’d studied warfare. Instead it had poured over me for the past years, fully submerged my consciousness into a broth of screaming and blood so that theories had infiltrated through my pores, soaked into my DNA to the point where instead of Uzbek villages I saw fortifications, fields of fire, and cover potential. Uzbekistan even had real people in its towns who occasionally ventured out of their basements to sell or beg. But at the same time, these weren’t people; they were possible insurgents or, at best, noncombatants, and nothing about them triggered pity, let alone the sensation that they and I belonged to the same species. One child approached the kid and me when we disembarked from the APC, and as I stretched, the kid started gabbing in Russian, holding out his hand so that within a few seconds word must have gotten out to the other Uzbek children that these were new faces, new pockets, a new source of handouts. Instantly a crowd of them surrounded us, and I leveled my carbine at them.

“Get the hell away from me.”

“Easy,” the kid said. He muttered something in Russian and the children scattered.

“You speak Russian?”

“Kind of. My mom and dad were from Lviv, Ukraine. It’s close enough so they get it. I’m surprised after all this time that they still speak Russian here.”

A new sensation of respect crept in, and I grinned. “What are you, smart? How do you know about Uzbek history, or what they should or shouldn’t be speaking?”

“Just lucky, I guess.”

“Come on,” I said. “Let’s get going.”

“Where?”

“We aren’t attached to any unit. I wanna see if there’s an airfield and check if we can get a flight out to Bandar. I’m done with this crap.”

It had only just occurred to me: neither the kid nor I belonged with the Legion, and it might be possible to get out sooner than I had hoped. The dream of escaping seemed so far-fetched that I almost didn’t want to think about it, but at the same time, it was irresistible, and as we walked quickly toward the nearest village with a renewed sense of purpose, I thought of little else. The Legion troops, who now headed in the same direction on foot, ignored us.

Units at Tashkent had done their job of holding back Popov so well that they had given retreating engineers more than enough time to build up this, our fallback position, which really encompassed the tiny villages of Bo’ston, Pahtakor, and Jizzakh, with the city of Samarkand at its center. As soon as we passed the outer markers, I felt a sense of calmness that I hadn’t felt in a long time. Nothing would get through all this. The outer ring consisted of deep concrete-lined trenches with



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