Fort Freak (Wild Cards)
George R. R. Martin
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In 1946, an alien virus that rewrites human DNA was accidentally unleashed in the skies over New York City. It killed ninety percent of those it infected. Nine percent survived, mutated into tragically deformed creatures. And one percent gained superpowers. The Wild Cards shared-universe series, created and edited by New York Times #1 bestseller George R. R. Martin (called "the American Tolkien" by Time), is the tale of the history of the world since then―and of the heroes among the one percent.
Now, in the latest Wild Cards mosaic novel, we get to know the hard-bitten world of Manhattan's Fifth Precinct―or "Fort Freak," as cops and malefactors alike call the cop-shop where every other desk sergeant, detective, and patrol officer is more than human.
Featuring original work by writers such as Cherie Priest, author of the bestselling Boneshaker; Paul Cornell, Hugo–nominated comic book and Doctor Who writer; David Anthony Durham, winner of 2009's John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer; and many others, Fort Freak is one of the strongest offerings yet in the ongoing Wild Cards project.
stomped out, a white guy, looking like a frat boy with his tousled blond hair. Behind him came a woman. She looked like a nat, pretty and dark-skinned, wearing a short nightgown she had clamped in place beneath an arm. “Spasm,” she said, “did you not hear me shouting, ‘Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah! I’m gonna, gonna, gonna…’” The temporary look of rapture with which she said these words disappeared. “What part of that didn’t you hear? When I say that, you give the john an orgasm. Quick as possible. That’s
one seemed to be looking their way. “What the fuck? You’re, like, this far from starring on America’s Most Wanted.” “We need to talk.” “No shit we need to talk! Get your ass down from there.” And winced furiously. He was no good at hiding his emotions. He’d just made thoughtless reference to a joker’s deformity. The very thing he hated most when it was done to him. But the kid was oblivious. “No can do, Mr. Herriman. Meet me in ten in the place you’d go to confess to a cephalopod.” “Wait—”
the Rathole.” “Yep. Running into a lot of dead ends, but a lot of interesting stuff too.” Leo shifted in his seat. He tried to keep the sourness of Ralph’s quasi-confession out of his voice, but didn’t altogether succeed. “There was a lot that didn’t get checked out back then.” Lucas spoke, “I was thinking, the other day. I was wondering if the name Raul Esposito ever turned up in your investigations—past, or latter-day.” It hadn’t. Leo said so, and then added, “But it rings a bell.” “He was
obviously, now that I think about it, calls of greeting. I got a huge wave from some guy with enormous hands, who’d been tapping away with surprising dexterity at what to him must have seemed like a toy typewriter. And someone who looked like a whippet in a uniform bared her teeth at me, which I kind of hoped was in the way of friendly badinage, because at that point every single aspect of me agreed that I wanted to run. I did not, however. I continued my blokish saunter. And hoped that I
something, but the blood was pounding in my ears, and I couldn’t quite hear him between the slap of my feet on pavement and the shaking and chattering of the fence. I leaped up, gripped the metal, and started to climb. The perp looked back and kicked at me. I yanked my head away just in time, and his foot just hit my shoulder. I was starting to get royally pissed. I lunged and managed to grasp the purse where it bounced on his skinny ass. I heard Bill whistling as I yanked at the strap. The