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The Fall of the Cities series continues! Orchard Close survived Caddi's invasion, and smashed the General's army, but was the price too high? The Riot Squad are dead or wounded, the Army is watching from the bypass, and the attacking gangs were beaten but not annihilated. This time they don't even have a leader, because Soldier Boy will be out of action for months. At least the attackers left behind plenty of weapons, providing the Army don't take them, and one person is ruthless enough to use them all. Without telling even 'Arold, the Killer Queen uses illegal weaponry to recruit, then launches a true Blitzkrieg across the battered city. With their enemies occupied, the Orchard Close survivors try to come to terms with the deaths, the destruction, and a growing conviction they can never win, that the government and scroats will keep coming. The Cabal is distracted because the Reivers spring their own May Day surprise party. The Bruce is aiming high this time, he wants to buy Scotland from the Cabal and the first payment is in blood. As brave men and women launch their attacks or make their last stands, the foreign mercenaries and Specials find that their own families are vulnerable, and even the Royal Navy gets a wake-up call. While they are occupied, Bruce strikes for the real prize, a way to bring the Cabal to the negotiating table. Throughout the summer, as Harold heals, he begins to plan the evacuation of Orchard Close. The gangs are finished, but when the Army withdraws from the bypass their replacements, Mart guards, will have machine guns aiming right into the heart of Orchard Close. Even as he tries to keep his plans secret, a rumour begins to grow, about an operation called Silent Running. It spreads and grows, helped by a song, until even the surrounding gangs believe it; Soldier Boy is leaving to set up a secret base. When the government finally comes for the Cities, there'll be a haven for those who escape and a strike force poised to disrupt the assault. By the time the convoy is ready, even the Cabal knows about the breakout, but with all the rumours Harold hopes that even his resident government spy is confused.
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