Preview: Second Wave

The second installment of The Amargosa Trilogy, Second Wave, will be released on February 28. The live launch event has been rescheduled for March 11. Here now is another sneak peak.

Suicide’s team had setup camp on the maglev rails themselves. Nano-tents had formed themselves around the edges of the rails trench and along the wall of the tunnel where they sat on the maintenance path. Suicide herself used a large tent between the north and south rails as her headquarters. She had JT, Yuwono, and Davra taken there to wait for her.

JT realized he and the others did not consider Suicide’s reaction when they caught up to her. The longer she made them wait alone, the more convinced JT was that he and Yuwono would be shot. Davra might survive. Those in authority seemed to have a soft spot for her.

Suicide entered the tent, a scowl on her face like JT had never seen in the short time he’d known her. “Five extra patrols went out to look for you. The entrance to the Founders Mine left unattended.” She looked pointedly at Davra. “The team trying to make contact with Riverside is a person short. And Colonel Jovann has ordered a stockade to be built. Care to guess who the first three guests will be?”

More after the jump

“Ma’am,” said Yuwono, “we only meant…”

“Silence!”

JT felt his bowels loosen.

Pacing in front of the three, Suicide continued. “You’re lucky no one was killed looking for you and that Wat’s patrol happened upon you. If those lycanths had managed to take you, we’d have been searching an extra week, never knowing you’d become dinner for the local wildlife.” She leveled a hard stare directly at Yuwono. “It’s stands to reason that we’d have lost at least two people if we’d have had to carry a search to its logical conclusion. Think about that. At least two people might have died looking for you because our orders weren’t good enough for you.”

JT decided to take the brunt of the blame. “It was my idea, Commander. I made a promise to Lizzy…”

Fuck your promise, little boy! This is war.”

And suddenly, JT’s bladder wanted to loosen as well. He hoped they had a portable latrine here when this was through.

“The three of you disappoint me,” said Suicide. “Davra, I expected much better of you. You’re supposed to be the smartest girl in the camp. And Yuwono, a former cadet. Did you forget how to take orders, Cadet?”

“No, ma’am,” said Yuwono.

She saved her iciest glare for JT. “And you. I’m most disappointed in you. You basically lied to me, disrespected me, and put your own selfish needs above everyone else’s. Do you think, little boy, that you’re the only one who lost a wife, a husband, parents, children, siblings in all this? Half the planet is dead. So what makes your loss any greater than anyone else’s? The only way we survive this is if everyone plays their part.”

JT rose, but he could not look up at Suicide. His own mother had never dressed him down like this. He wanted to go outside and vomit on the rail. Instead, he swallowed and said, “It’s my responsibility. They’re guilty only of listening to me.”

“Get out of my sight,” said Suicide. “All three of you. Go see Kapoor about where to pitch your tents and getting some ammo for your weapons. Go.”

They turned and started out the tent’s opening. JT stopped and turned. “May I ask a question?”

The anger still burned in Suicide’s eyes, but they also held a faint trace of recognition. She knew the question before JT asked it. “Tyler Wat.”

“He’s a war criminal, ma’am. A murderer and a traitor, no better than Lucius Kray.”

A faint smile played at her lips, but it was cold. The anger never left her eyes. “Kid, there’s an old Caliphite saying, ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend.’ Know it?”

JT nodded.

“Tyler Wat has paid his debt to humanity, though I think he got off too easy. Nonetheless, he hates Lucius Kray for the same reasons you and I do. That’s all you need to know.”

 

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