Copyright 1988.

The Freedom Federation has approved an expedition into the outlands. Blade, Hickok and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi are picked to take the SEAL and explore the city of St. Louis. Rikki immediately gets involved with the inhabitants by rescuing a statuesque redhead named Lexine. The city is controlled by a female biker gang called the Leather Knights. Lexine has run afoul of the leader and both her and Rikki are taken prisoner.

Meanwhile Blade and Hickok are attacked by a strange helicopter gunship that knocks the SEAL on its side. Blade goes into St. Louis to rescue his companion Rikki while Hickok stays to guard their vehicle. While guarding it he is taken prisoner by the men in the helicopter. Hickok finds himself in Washington D.C a prisoner of the Soviets. Washington was not destroyed in the war but hit by a neutron bomb. Now it and a chunk of the northeastern U.S. stretching from New England to Illinois is under Soviet occupation.

Now Hickok is not an easy person to keep prisoner. Still he will be challenged to escape from a hostile Washington and cross over 800 miles to reach his friends. Blade has his hands full trying to rescue Rikki and Lexine from the Leather Knights. Including two vicious mutants known as Slither and Grotto.

This book probably should have been called the St. Louis Run since that’s were most of the action takes place. The main thing we find out is the Soviets are occupying a part of the country. You can’t have an eighties post-apocalypse series without the Soviets occupying some part of America. Now even back at the Soviets height they never had the air/sealift capacity to mount a full scale invasion of the east coast. Still I suppose it isn’t unreasonable that they could have developed it some time in the future.

This was another fun book. It sets up a new enemy. We hear about the Technics and Dragons which we will run into in future books. And we get to find out about the Beta Triad leader Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.


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