Squad Commander Fraser shifted his machine pistol onto the  other shoulder and squinted into the low-hanging sun. The hummocky terrain beyond the wall was baked hard, any remaining grass  withered white, bouncing the harsh rays into his eyes. Little by little the barren zone merged into scrubby brush, desiccated and  barely alive, which stretched as far as the eye could see.  

Published  (Feb 2024) in: Emerging Worlds, Speculative Fiction MagazineFind it here