Blood River (Amtrak Wars, Book 4)
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Steve, Cadillac and Clearwater meet with triumph and disaster as they try to evade the clutches of both the Iron Masters and the disguised killer squads sent out by the Lone Star Confederation to purge the overground of renegade Trackers and deserters. Clearwater's earth-magic gets them out of several tight corners but the Iron Masters prove to be tenacious adversaries and the First Family - the sinister oligarchy who rule the Confederation - have no intention of loosening their grip on Steve Brickman. Despite his apparent treachery, he is a valuable pawn in a game which, if lost, could spell the end of the First Family's dream of reconquering the blue-sky world.
change of clothes for the two Mute guides. If the commander of the military expedition, or one of his subordinate officers, wished to question the grass-monkeys it was necessary to make them presentable. That meant changing their stained, greasy ‘walking-skins’ for clean trousers and tunics, and making sure they smelt of nothing stronger than soap. Kurabashi summoned Steve and Cadillac onto the deck of the houseboat and gave them the good news. The bad news was that they were not permitted to
place. The bunkers, which hugged the earth like a cubist sculptor’s vision of a beached jellyfish, were the interface between the underground world of the Federation and the Blue-Sky World above. Like the network of smaller way-stations and work-camps, they were artefacts of the third millennium. Some dated back to the early part of the twenty-fourth century; beyond that very few traces of human habitation remained. All outward signs of the twentieth century had disappeared – vaporised by
nuclear explosions or razed to the ground in the internecine struggles between crazed groups of survivors for control of uncontaminated resources in the immediate post-Holocaust period. The shattered ruins, the ransacked shells and anything left standing by the gangs of looters had been slowly destroyed by wind and rain, storms and hurricanes and the relentless passage of time. But despite being dealt an almost mortal blow, the planet had endured; had begun to heal itself. Unchecked for over
mooring. Judging from the size of the boat, he doubts it could be more than fifty, all told. You mentioned seeing fire on the water. Did you get any clear images of the boat?’ ‘Only that it was huge – like those at the trading post.’ ‘That squares with the inside view I got. The cabin we were in was like the one Side-Winder had, forward of the engine room. Which makes sense. If these guys at Benton Harbour were going to try anything, they’d have been here long ago. ‘No. After what happened at
Wantanabe pressed the trigger, an explosive blast of air shot from the muzzle. CHU-wii-CHU-wii-CHU-wii!! Hawwwwww! The Jap was taken by surprise, but fortunately he held onto the gun and covered his confusion by laughing loudly as Steve and Cadillac leapt into the air with expressions of mock terror. The watching soldiers men joined in the laughter at the exaggerated antics of the grass-monkeys, neatly avoiding a loss of face. Taking care not to appear too knowledgeable, Cadillac explained