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By Michel Robert

Un monde en guerre perpétuelle, à travers trois continents. L’Empire étend peu à peu sa domination sur les Clans, des peuples non humains. Malken, surnommée Balafrée, est orpheline et vit dans un camps d'internement réservé aux femmes. Recueillie par les Clans, avide de se venger de l’Empire qui a assassiné sa mère, elle intègre l’armée. Sauvage et rebelle, elle peine à supporter l’autorité militaire. Toutefois, au cours d’une embuscade perpétrée par l’Empire, l. a. jeune femme sauve un éminent personnage, l. a. quaestrice Valéna d’Aubépine. En récompense, elle reçoit une formation d’élite et devient une redoutable guerrière. Mais gouvernée par ses instincts violents, Malken est condamnée à servir dans les rangs des Bannis, une escouade des Clans chargée des pires missions. Malken saura-t-elle survivre aux nombreux hazards qui l. a. menacent ? Saura-elle se faire accepter par des compagnons rétifs à sa présence ? Et surtout, pourra-t-elle assouvir l. a. vengeance qui los angeles consultant depuis son enfance ?

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A quiet hand that he at once responded to. ” “I’m tired,” he said. “I was up two nights and two days counting bugs. Counting them and putting them in bottles. And finally when we crashed and got up and got ready the next morning to put the bottles in the car, to take to the doctor to show him, there was nothing in the bottles. ” He could feel the shaking now himself, and see it in his hands, on the wheel, the shaking hands on the steering wheel, at twenty miles an hour. “Every fucking one,” he said.

He was talking to nitwits. Mental simps. It had to be put in the same way it had been put in first grade: A is for Apple and the Apple is Round. “D,” he said aloud to his audience, “is for Substance D. Which is for Dumbness and Despair and Desertion, the desertion of your friends from you, you from them, everyone from everyone, isolation and loneliness and hating and suspecting each other. D,” he said then, “is finally Death. Slow Death, we—” He halted. ” His voice rasped and faltered. “As you probably know.

At the corner people had halted for the sign to say WALK instead of DON’T WALK; cars were making wild left turns. But the girl continued on, fast but with dignity, threading her path among the nut-o cars. The drivers glared at her with indignation. She didn’t appear to notice. ” When the sign flashed WALK he hurried across after her and caught up with her. She declined to run but merely walked rapidly. ” he said. He managed to get in front of her to examine her face. “No,” she said. ” She came toward him, directly at him; he retreated backward, because she held a short knife pointed at his stomach.

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