Nick Morrow is a convict conscript assigned to 47 Echoa suicide squad. No one cares whether they live or die, as long as they complete their missions. Under the command of a Marine Corps with nothing but contempt for its squadron of felons, they are on a mission to defend what's left of war-ravaged Russia.
A half-Chinese drifter, much isn't expected of Nick. Like the other members of 47 Echo, he's viewed as little more than cannon fodder. However, Nick's sense of honor, analytical mind and skills on the battlefield just might be what the squad needs to survive the meat-grinder that is the front lines of this bloody war. But can Nick himself survive the brutal crimes that haunt his past?
About the Author
Shawn Kupfer was born in 1978 on Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota and grew up in various military towns throughout the United States and Europe. After a stint as a semipro kickboxer in Florida and an EMT in Omaha, Shawn graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska. He has worked as both a writer and editor for various publications.
He started the Twitter Novel Project in 2009 and has since written and published five novels 140 characters at a time. Shawn currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his wife and two dogs.
Read an Excerpt
"What size boots you wear?" The old man hacked as he led Nick through the open-air morgue, his hand already hovering close to the feet of the nearest corpse. The old man was yelling, but Nick could barely hear him over the C-5 engines winding down behind them.
The old man grabbed the corpse's feet, lifted them up, and checked the stamps on the undersides.
"Whaddya know. Twelves. Well, one twelve, one eleven and a half."
Coughing wet, brown mucus onto the dirt, the old man unzipped the sides of the boots and pulled them off the corpse. He tied the laces together and tossed them in Nick's general directionNick managed to catch them before they smacked him in the face. He slung the boots over his shoulder and followed the old man through the field of bodies.
"See that desk down there? That's where you wanna go," the old man said as he pointed.
"What do I do when I get there?" Nick asked.
The old man was already heading back toward the front of the morgue area. If he heard Nick's question, he gave no indicationhe was already coughing phlegm on the next poor sucker in line.
A uniformed soldier poked Nick in the side with the barrel of his M4 rifle.
"Move along, shitbird."
Nick nodded and headed in the direction the old man had indicated. He walked through the rows of bodies, trying not to breathe insome of them had obviously been in the sun for a couple of days. Even breathing through his mouth didn't totally kill the stench; the metallic taste of blood was strong on Nick's tongue. The closer he got to the desk at the end of the long central row, the more bare the bodies becamefirst missing boots, then uniforms, then limbs and implants. The ones right next to the desk were barely identifiable as humans anymore.
"ID?" the man behind the desk growled. He was younger than the man who'd thrown the boots at Nick, but not by much. He was also a lot fatter, and the stripes on his shoulder identified him as a Staff Sergeant.
"No one gives a shit about your name, fuckwad." The fat sergeant sighed, reaching across the desk and grabbing the dog tags hanging from Nick's neck. "Four-seven Echo, 1153," the sergeant read. His fat fingers (of which there were only three on his right hand) tapped the number into his computer. Nick couldn't see the screen, but he knew his file had popped up immediately.
"Here you are. Eleven fifty-three, male, twenty-nine years. Oooh. Multiple Homicide. Aren't we just the little badass?"
Nick said nothing, and the fat sergeant just shrugged. With one of the fingers on his mangled right hand, the sergeant pointed off to the left.
"See those big-ass tents over there? Go to the one labeled Echo. You wait there until someone tells you where to go. You get me?"
"I got you."
"Sergeant. I got you, Sergeant."
The fat sergeant snapped two of his fingers together, and another uniformed soldier appeared. The soldier slammed the butt of his rifle into Nick's stomach, dropping him to the dirt instantly.
"Little tip, convict. Show the proper fucking respect at all times. Get me?"
"I get you, Sergeant," Nick coughed out.
"Better. Much better. Tent Echo, convict. Move!"