No Alarms and No Surprises

Porteus's matey smile disappeared as fast as a banker's conscience. "OK boys, let's go and clear up that mess." He scuttled off, Muldoon frowning behind him.

"Miserable tosser," commented Dook when he judged him to be out of earshot.

#

After hiking the mile across the desert, Mickey and Dook found themselves in the smoking ruins of the demolished hill. They picked their way through the remains of what had turned out to be a relic of a previous conflict. There were a series of badly battered trenches and shallow bunkers, not very extensive, and they were carefully checking them for any occupation. So far there was a striking absence of any sign of insurgents. The Stereophonics' Just Looking was playing in his head.

Dook prodded at something in the debris with the end of his rifle. It was half of a broken wooden sign, black Cyrillic script painted on a faded white background.

"This must have been a Russian position," Mickey reflected.

"What do you think it says?" pondered Dook.





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