Second Variety

Beyond the road was a flat field. Stones and weeds, and bits of broken glass.

“There,” Hendricks said.

A stone well jutted up, sagging and broken. A few boards lay across it. Most of the well had sunk into rubble. Hendricks walked unsteadily toward it, Tasso beside him.

“Are you certain about this?” Tasso said. “This doesn’t look like anything.”

“I’m sure.” Hendricks sat down at the edge of the well, his teeth locked. His breath came quickly. He wiped perspiration from his face. “This was arranged so the senior command officer could get away. If anything happened. If the bunker fell.”

“That was you?”

“Yes.”

“Where is the ship? Is it here?”

“We’re standing on it.” Hendricks ran his hands over

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