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By John Birmingham

In Kuwait, American forces are stacked up, locked and loaded for the invasion of Iraq. In Paris, a covert agent, a girl who inhabits a twilight of lies and demise, is with reference to cracking a terrorist phone. And simply north of the equator, a forty-foot wood-hulled sailboat, manned via a drug runner, a pirate, and gun-slinging beauties, is witness to the unspeakable. in a single rapid, all over the international, for politicians and peasants, from Gaza to Geneva, issues seriously is not an identical. A wave of inexplicable strength has slammed into the continental usa.

America, as we all know it, is long gone. . . .

WITHOUT WARNING

Now U.S. squaddies are scuffling with a battle with no command or keep an eye on. A correspondent files horrors for nobody. Washington is long past and the road of succession is in tatters; the functioning remnants of presidency are in Pearl Harbor, Guantánamo Bay, and one determined, remoted nook of the Northwest. For the jihadists, it’s Allah’s miracle. For Saddam, it’s an opportunity to assault. Iran broadcasts conflict on an the United States that doesn’t exist–except within the hearts and souls of the lads and ladies who wish it to.

In this spectacular paintings of exchange fiction, John Birmingham hurtles us right into a state of affairs that's unbelievable yet shatteringly genuine: an international of monetary wreck the place a cloud of noxious waste–from America’s burning cities–darkens Europe, whereas women and men in places of work worldwide fight to make judgements that can't carry and opportunists unharness their mystery demons.

From a slick Texas attorney who occurs to be within the correct position on the correct time to a hard-working urban engineer in Seattle who turns into his terrified city’s in simple terms desire, from the cancer-stricken undercover agent to a drug runner off the Mexican coast and a U.S. basic in Cuba, all of sudden tells a quick, livid tale of survival, violence, and a brand new, soul-shattering truth. the 1st in an epic trilogy that might go away readers breathless and astounded, unexpectedly bargains a global with no its policeman, its nice devil, or its savior–as an unknowable destiny struggles to be born.

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They’re gonna choose you up and move you to a airplane someplace. A C-130 or anything, they stated. certainly one of them colossal fats ones. It’ll get you immediately in the following. Council’s known as an emergency assembly. All heads of division. Governor’s workplace is sending a crew, even though no one can locate Gary Locke. His time table had him in transit this day. within the air,” he further, as if that defined every little thing. “Barney, is my relatives secure? ” requested Kipper. “They’re fantastic, blood brother, they’re superb. Barb gave me your quantity. glance, I gotta pass. The safeguard can fill you in. I bought one thousand calls to make now that i discovered you. simply fan the flames of that beacon, take a seat your ass down, and wait. ” “Bar …” however the line reduce out. “What the fuck used to be that approximately? ” he muttered. Shaking his head, Kipper knelt in entrance of his pack and popped the snap lock at the pocket containing his own locator beacon, a light-weight ACR Terrafix unit. He powered up the little yellow machine and couldn’t aid looking out the skies, although he knew his journey used to be most likely nonetheless an hour away. Assuming it got here in any respect, and Barney wasn’t now roaring with laughter, approximately to fall backward off his chair. Who knew? Subzero air torrents excessive above him stretched a number of scraps of cloud into lengthy white ribbons, streaming away towards the coast. He stuck sight of a big hawk because it dived into the valley, wings folded again. “Someone’s approximately to get eaten,” he proposal aloud. Then he spotted the contrail, possibly twenty miles farther north. The sky used to be crisscrossed with contrails throughout the chillier months, nice white arcs of vapor trailing the jetliners as they headed for Seattle, or the Pacific and the lengthy haul to Japan or right down to Honolulu. There appeared to be fewer than ordinary, simply this one truly, and he had by no means visible a airplane monitoring that low over the Cascades sooner than. His unease on the bizarre name from Barney tightened into alarm as he watched the sluggish arc of the airplane and learned it wasn’t going to transparent the mountains towards which it was once headed. “No,” he whispered, acutely aware that he nearly by no means spoke aloud on his mountaineering journeys, and that he used to be absolutely yapping his head off at the present time. “No, don’t. ” His mouth was once dry, and he drank from his canteen with out pondering. The chilly water hit his clenched abdominal like acid, and for a moment he idea he may vomit. That remote airplane, a skinny tube of steel enfolding—what? 100, 2 hundred souls? —slowly, gracefully, inexorably speared itself into the facet of a mountain, impacting simply over the snow line, releasing nice blossoming petals of soiled yellow flame to roll away into the morning air. “Ah shit. ” Kipper shook his head, and took a number of steps towards the small, roiling ball of fireside prior to he stopped himself. He could by no means make it, and besides he needed to remain right here and look ahead to the chopper. He it seems that had his personal catastrophe to house. nonetheless, he needed to do whatever. He keyed 911 into his sat mobilephone, glancing down momentarily to envision that he’d gotten the numbers correct. He may perhaps a minimum of name this in. might be somebody had survived.

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