Sword of Tomorrow
Publication date: February 2012
Digital Book format: PDF (Adobe DRM)
Trance-borne to a far distant age, Pilot Ethan Court is plunged into peril and adventure on a strange new world where his courage and idealism are put to a stern test! Excerpt It was always easier when he sank into the opium-drugged stupor from which not even torture could rouse him. At first he clung to two memories-his rank, and his Army serial number. By focusing his pain-hazed mind on those realities he was able to keep sane. After a while he didn't want to keep his sanity. Men can survive a year, or two years, in a Japanese prison camp. They may emerge maimed, spiritually sick, but alive. They remember their own names. He used to say it aloud at first, in the musty darkness of the cell. "Ethan Court," he whispered to the black, hidden walls. "Ethan Court." And then-"Times Square. Tiffany's, Bretano's, Staten Island. The Yankee Stadium, pop corn, whisky sours, Greenwich Village." Presently he noticed that the sound of his voice was different, and after that he scarcely spoke. The horrible lethargy of inaction closed around him. Occasionally, though less often now, he was taken before Japanese officers who questioned him. He was somewhere in Occupied China, he knew, but since his plane had been forced down, he had been shunted for a long distance by a roundabout route. He guessed that this was a temporary headquarters, probably on the site of some old Chinese town, and he suspected that it was in the hill country. His savage captors told him nothing, of course. They just asked questions. How much could he disclose in the way of military information, the Japanese did not know. Hard-pressed, they were overlooking no bets. His stubbornness enraged them. The commander of the post, a disappointed samurai of a politically-unpopular family, gradually came to believe that a feud existed between Court and himself. It became a contest between the Japanese officer and the American, entirely passive on one side, ruthlessly active on the other. Time dragged on, while bombers roared in increasing numbers over Japan and the brown hordes sullenly withdrew from Burma and Thailand and the islands north of Borneo. This headquarters was isolated, but in a strategic spot. The commander saw the tides of war rage past him and recede. The radio gave him no comfort. The Emperor of Japan was silent upon his throne. A transfer required time. In enforced idleness, the Nipponese commander devoted himself to breaking the will of the American. Torture failed, and so he tried an ancient Japanese trick-opium. It was mixed in Court's food, and, after a while, the craving grew in him. The Jap officer kept his prisoner saturated with the drug. Court's mind dulled.