Kratman Snippets

Days of Burning, Days of Wrath – Snippet 19

Days of Burning, Days of Wrath - Snippet 19 The young Balboan tribune – short, brown, and stocky – answered through a Zhong-descended Balboan interpreter.  He was as level-voiced as possible given the stresses inherent in his very vulnerable position.  "A very important person – no, sir; they didn't tell me who but my guess would be the corps commander – wants to talk with you under a flag of truce with an eye to negotiating an end to this battle." "We will not surrender."  That was a surprise to Wu, himself, because he had...

Days of Burning, Days of Wrath – Snippet 18

Days of Burning, Days of Wrath - Snippet 18 It was also crawling with antaniae, the septic-mouthed winged quasi-reptiles that fed on the young and the weakened and the foolish.  Though they looked reptilian, the Mandarin name for them translated out to, "Genetically engineered murder pigeons."  Maybe worse, the air was alive with mosquitoes, their numbers swollen beyond reason by the stagnant water collected in innumerable shell craters.  While there hadn't been an outbreak of the worst Terra Novan jungle diseases, a good...

Days of Burning, Days of Wrath – Snippet 17

Days of Burning, Days of Wrath - Snippet 17 Chapter Six The difference between stupid and intelligent people - and this is true whether or not they are well-educated - is that intelligent people can handle subtlety. --Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age Estado Mayor, Sub camp C, Ciudad Balboa, Balboa Carrera didn't really listen to the Quartermaster as he droned on about how many shipping containers had been packed with which arms and what ammunition.  It was too soon for it to be that many, anyway.  Instead, his eyes focused on a...

Days of Burning, Days of Wrath – Snippet 16

Days of Burning, Days of Wrath - Snippet 16 And that's why I picked this spot. Marciano held out one hand, palm up.  Automatically, an RTO placed a handset in the palm.  Just as automatically, the general raised it to his face.  He saw the first puff of smoke from the lead aircraft, a single puff, indication a ranging shot. Marciano pressed the key and ordered, "Fire!  Fire!  Fire!" Instantly and simultaneously, those three dozen machine guns opened up, firing from all around the clock and at a combined rate of over...

Days of Burning, Days of Wrath – Snippet 15

Days of Burning, Days of Wrath - Snippet 15 San Juan del Norte, Cordoba When Tsarist-Marxism and the notion of the planned economy had finally gone under, in Volga, and the Cordoban government had lost its deathgrip on the breast and nipple of international socialist aid, the government had turned to the Tauran Union as the next best alternative.  The loss had been a bitter blow, for that government had only thirty or so years before been installed as a result of victory in its own revolution. That Taurans' aid had been fairly generous,...

Days of Burning, Days of Wrath – Snippet 14

Days of Burning, Days of Wrath - Snippet 14 *****      His ship was already listing badly and down by the stern when Liu's smudge-faced, filthy, and apparently singed damage control chief reported in.  He was wet nearly to the waist, which was another very bad sign. "All the fucking hatches in the area are warped, Captain.  We can't seal off enough of the ship.  We're wading through burnt fetus-looking corpses and the fires are out of fucking control, too; so we can't stop the leakage at or near the...

Days of Burning, Days of Wrath – Snippet 13

Days of Burning, Days of Wrath - Snippet 13 Chapter Five No, I have no right to rank with the great captains, for I have never commanded a retreat. --Moltke the Elder. Over and on the Mar Furioso, North of Santa Josefina At about fifty miles out, the package split into three, two of six Finches, each, and one, much more spread out, consisting of the six Gabriels.  One package of Finches circled out to sea, enveloping the Zhong destroyers.  The other did the same thing, but veered toward the land.  The Gabriels just spread out...

Days of Burning, Days of Wrath – Snippet 12

Days of Burning, Days of Wrath - Snippet 12 ***** Marqueli was speaking on the stage now, talking about truth in advertising, her relationship to Carrera through his wife, Lourdes, but also how Jorge's medical care preceded any relationship except that of soldier and commander between him and the Duque.  "You've heard all this before, I suppose," said RSM Ayres to Hendryksen. "One version or another of it, yes.  This isn't the persuasive part.  That comes when they start talking right and wrong, nature and nurture, and...