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           Excerpt from Chapter Two


A dozen children jogged along the side of the trail, passing the carts. They wore short sarongs made of a rough tan fabric extending to their knees. Except for one of them, they were bare above the waist and dark complected, but not black. They carried bulging goat skin bags with straps over their shoulders. Each one held a wooden bowl in his hand. The bowls were attached to their wrists by a length of leather.

One of the boys spotted Alexander’s platoon and came running to them. He stopped in front of Karina, tilted his goat skin to fill his bowl with a clear liquid. With his head bowed low and using both hands, he held the bowl out to Karina.

“Thank you.” She took the bowl and lifted it toward her lips.

“Hold on,” Sergeant Alexander said.

“What?” Karina asked.

“You don’t know what that is.”

“It looks like water, Sarge.”

Sergeant Alexander came over to her, dipped his finger into the bowl, then touched it to his tongue. He smacked his lips. “All right, take a small sip.”

“Not after you stuck your finger in it.” She grinned at him. “Kidding.” She took a sip, then drank half the bowl. “Thank you, very much.” She handed the bowl back to the boy.

He took the bowl but still wouldn’t look at her. He kept his eyes on the ground at her feet.

When the other children saw Karina drink from the bowl, four of them, three boys and the one girl in the group, hurried over to serve water to the rest of the platoon. All of them kept their heads bowed, never looking at the soldiers’ faces.

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Translated by Leticia Santos

The Last Mission of the Seventh Cavalry

Book One

A unit of the Seventh Cavalry is on a mission over Afghanistan when their plane is hit by something. The soldiers bail out of the crippled plane, but when the thirteen men and women reach the ground, they are not in Afghanistan. Not only are they four thousand miles from their original destination but it appears they have descended two thousand years into the past where primitive forces fight each other with swords and arrows. Apparently they have dropped right into Hannibal’s army as he is on his way to the Alps to take his soldiers and elephants over the Alps and into Italy to attack the Romans. The platoon is thrown into a battle where they must choose sides quickly or die. They are swept along in a tide of events so powerful that their courage, ingenuity and weapons are tested to the limits of their durability and strength.

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