Gole Naremsa is a raw recruit, new to the trenches of the eternal front. Despite a lifetime of training and a genetic inheritance that makes him a born warrior, it’s not what he expects…
Gole is tossed out of the troop train and into the real war. He’s surrounded by other soldiers just like him, all of them twitchy, impulsive, and deadly. Over the generations their genetic twisting has gone off the rails and turned into the Pollution. Now it howls in their blood for mayhem and violence, and it offers the worst advice.
The enemy wants to kill him — that’s to be expected. The Pollution wants to fight everyone in sight — business as usual. The problem is that Gole’s own sergeant wants him dead too. One blindly thrown punch, one minor accident with a noisy corpse, and now he’s an example for all the other recruits.
As one of the old-timers says: “A fresh, dumb replacement can give service exceeding his value if you plink him at the right time, in front of the right audience. The Pollution sits up and takes notice, if you follow my meaning.”
It’s shaping up to be a race between who will kill Gole first: the increasingly dangerous enemy or his own unit. At least the enemy isn’t rude about it.
Gole needs to stop inventing new ways to get in trouble. He needs to navigate his sanity-challenged unit and understand the harsh world of the eternal front. He needs to do this soon, because the enemy has a big trick up its sleeve, and only Gole seems to see it coming…
Fun sci-fi military mystery…gritty and clever.
…Dirty and gritty, as life on the front would be, with a dark humor about death in the trenches… I enjoyed this read, and would recommend it to anyone who likes soldier stories, especially the in-your-face trenches stuff.
Lines of Thunder: First Days on the Front was edited by Kate Lechler @ Cephalopod Editing.