The Firing Squad was the fourth story in the Bernice Summerfield anthology Secret Histories. It was written by Eddie Robson.

Summary Edit

Adrian has landed in the middle of a trench battlefield. He makes his way out of the fighting. He doesn't know where or when he is, but he eventually figures out that he is in France.

He doesn't know what to do, so he walks across the countryside, stealing food when necessary. At one point he encounters a woman who calls herself Lucinda Wharton, though she admits that's not her real name. She knows that Adrian somehow fell through time and has been tracking him. She is set to meet someone named Conchita in two weeks in Jaca and invites Adrian to meet them there so they can help him. Lucinda will take the train, but at this point in Earth's history, Adrian cannot travel in public. So he will travel on foot. She gives him some food and a medical kit before they split up.

After his food runs out, as Adrian travels through the countryside he sees a house on fire. He rescues several people from the fire and helps to contain the fire. Though he can't speak their language, they reward him with food. None of them see a soldier leaving the site carrying a metal box. Adrian continues his journey.

Two nights later, he comes across a house on fire in a small town. Again he helps rescue someone and put out the fire, but this time a soldier (carrying a metal box) pulls a gun on a woman and shoots her, then leaves in a white van with a red cross on it. As he runs away, Adrian tends to the woman, fixing her injuries with the advanced medical kit that Lucinda gave him. The villagers give him food for his journey.

As Adrian continues his travels, he comes across a village hall that is burning. As he helps put out the fire, he hears a voice in his head that congratulates itself and him for doing well out of the fire business. Adrian claims he didn't set the fire, and the voice replies that it started the fires. In the burning building he sees a different soldier with a metal box. He opens the box and a small flame jumps inside. After the fire is put out, Adrian asks the villagers for food. They comply, but he can tell they suspect he may have started the fire. He leaves.

Adrian encounters the white van again and follows it. When it finally stops, Adrian notes that there are at least five soldiers in the van. He easily overpowers them and ties them up, noticing that they look like dead men. He notices a fire nearby. He heads for it.

On the way he encounters another soldier carrying the box. The soldier won't attack him because he's protecting the box. Adrian gets the box away from him; it is empty.

When he gets to the fire, the voice in his head is unfriendly. It tries to burn him, but he withstands it while the townspeople fight the fire. Once the fire is nearly out, the voice begs Adrian to spare it, but he captures it inside the box.

Adrian finally meets up with Lucinda and Conchita. He learns from them that the fire is an Incen that was doing a job for Lucinda but went rogue. She arranged matters so that Adrian could capture it but didn't tell him because it would be able to sense his intentions. Adrian is not happy at being used, but they promise to use their time machine to send him back to his rightful time and place.

Characters Edit

References Edit

  • Adrian landed in Verdun.
  • Adrian doesn't know French.
  • Jaca is on the other side of the Pyrenees.
  • Adrian passes through Montauban.
  • Conchita tells Adrian that she detected Benny and Peter on the other side of the English Channel.

Notes Edit

to be added

Continuity Edit

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