Islands of Rage & Hope | Chapter 38 of 41 - Part: 1 of 4

Author: John Ringo | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 3051 Views | Add a Review

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He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

—“The Battle Hymn of the Republic”

“Permission to poke my head in the cockpit?” Harry asked.

The last lift was going out. Staying behind were twenty Gurkhas and ten Warders. The Warders were all former military, all veterans and all determined that whatever happened, the Tower would remain in British hands.

“Grab the jumpseat,” Colonel Kuznetsov said, pointing to it. “Colonel Nikifor Kuznetsov, Your Highness.”

“Pleasure to meet you, Colonel,” Harry said.

“Captain Milo Wilkes,” Wilkes said. He was piloting the bird. “Pleasure to have you aboard, sir.”

“Very glad to be out of there, Captain,” Harry said. “I shouldn’t feel that way but being trapped like that was . . . unsettling.”

“You’re the first people we’ve pulled out of a city,” Wilkes said. “It’s . . . unpleasant. I can’t believe the fire damage.”

“It is . . . worse than I’d realized,” Harry said, looking at the torched landscape. “But there are survivors.”

“A few, sir,” Wilkes said, pointing to the side with his chin. “We’ve passed this group three times. I’m sure they’re getting annoyed.”

“Can we pick them up?” Harry asked.

“I’m going to request we be allowed to as a supplementary mission from the colonel, sir,” Wilkes said. “That one, at least. But not right now we can’t. From the looks of it, we’d have to winch someone down and then winch them back up. We can do it. We have the equipment. But it’s not part of the primary mission.”

“With a helo and some support we could pick up pretty much everyone,” Harry said. “Most of them had to access rooftops to survive.”

“Like Katrina,” Wilkes said, nodding. “I didn’t work it but I knew people who did. Marine Reserve picked up more people than the Coast Guard. But it would take a lot of support. You’d need somewhere to keep them, food, and . . . Lots of logistics, sir.”

“There is that,” Harry said, grinding his teeth. “But these are my people, Colonel. In a very real sense. It’s possible I’m their sovereign if the reports of Grandmum’s death are accurate. I need to do something.”

“Take that up with higher, sir,” Wilkes said, banking around. “It’s possible they’ll support it. Or give you support to support it. Until the subs are vaccinated, though, we’re sort of focused.”

“You cleared in the Caribbean,” Harry said.

“We were looking for vaccine materials, sir,” Wilkes said. “Give me a moment, would you? Winds are tricky . . .”

* * *

“Welcome aboard, Captain,” Colonel Hamilton said, shaking the prince’s hand. “We’re sort of crowded at the moment but we’ve got a room for you below. Although I’m sure you’d like to get some food in your belly . . .”

* * *

“We can do that,” Hamilton said, nodding. “The one group, at least. I’ll have Captain Wilkes schedule it for later this afternoon.”

“Is there any possibility of staying in the area to do more recovery?” Harry asked. “That’s an official question of the British government.”


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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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