the smuggler’s bible

White Ratchet

The salt flats sizzle and pop as the crawlers chew up rocks and scrub brush, dispersing it all into a spreading cloud behind the treads. Smaller vehicles churn through the wake. They rotate in formation around the main column and each of them signals in turn to White Ratchet in the lead position.

For miles and miles the semaphores flash all clear.

The column crosses the river late and snakes upward into the valley another twenty miles before stopping to bivouac. They bury the dead by firelight—those whose bodies they could retrieve. The others they simply swear to remember.