A Captain of the Gate by John Birmingham

By John Birmingham

A wonderful tale within the 'Without Warning' trilogy. A 'What if' tale of the chilly warfare ... a small piece of exchange historical past of the interval instructed through a biography of 1 of its gamers, Lieutenant department McKinnon, an adventurer in a special post-WWII global of yank isolationism.

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On the pump, the digital readout flickered, prices changing.  .  . 50. It was dropping—­Maria was sure of it. Farmers were still shunting water into drip fields, getting their subsidized price. But the big vertical farms had suddenly stopped pumping, just as the hydrologist had said they would, preparing for a harvest that happened only a few times a year. And here she was, standing beside the pump, watching the numbers. 95. 05. The price was definitely falling. Maria waited, her heart beating faster.

She’d been learning the tones. She’d been learning as fast as she could from the disposable tablets that the Chinese passed out to anyone who asked. The liter price glowed in the hot darkness, blue and indifferent, blurry from the human anger that had been hacked into it, but clear enough. 95/liter. Every time Maria saw the ripped face of the pump, she thought she knew the person who had done it. Dios mío, she was that person. Every time she looked at the pump’s cool blue numbers, she felt rage.

More and more, the blood was a common thing that they never spoke about. “I want to see if something happens,” Maria murmured, her eyes never leaving the pricing gauge. “Is this like when you dreamed about the fire and the man who walked out of the flames without getting burned? Like Jesus walking on water, but with fire? ” Maria didn’t take the bait. She had dreams, that was all. Her mother used to call them blessings. Whispers from God. The wingbeat of saints and angels. indd 38 1/20/15 1:34 PM 39 and some read clear only afterward, like when she’d dreamed of her father flying, and she’d thought it was a good dream about them getting out of Phoenix, and only later found out it had been a nightmare.

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