Backmatter Part 7: East of Uruk

Saqi, give that wine which silences me,
And robes me in nothingness.

Saqi, give that wine which drowns my self-esteem
and carries me beyond all thought of right and wrong.

Saqi, give that wine, that I might lose the ego,
Become hidden from myself, freed from bonds of place….

– Recording from American Airlines Flight 11 black box, September 11, 2001

Genre: Orientalist military urban wainscot horror

Overview: The true War on Terror had been fought on the bloody ground of the Middle East for millennia, with generals ranging from Harun al-Rashid to Solomon struggling to maintain Hijab-e-Azmat, the Great Veil, and carve out a place for humanity free of the machinations of the djinn and the Annunaki.

The War came west when agents of the djinn sacrificed almost 3,000 in an effort to restore the great Caliph of the Ifrit to his full puissance. The armies of the West struck at the terra incognita of Afghanistan before mortal agencies desperate to end unfinished business in the East maneuvered the war to Iraq, the home of the Caliph’s oldest enemies.

And now all sides wage a shadow war, hidden in the roar of the desert wind and the space between stories on the evening news. In the Rub’ al Khali, U.S. Marines set out on patrol from Firebase DeMolay and besiege Ubar, the City of Pillars while soldiers hunt scorpion-men and lammasuthrough the streets of Tikrit and Baghdad. Long-retired MI-6 and Mossad agents train scholars and commandoes in demon-hunting techniques while CIA agents fight their Hashishin opposite numbers while they search for the head of Baphometand the edge their predecessors lost with the fall of the Knights Templar. And in mountain fastnesses, desert strongholds and blind alleys, the djinn and Annunaki plan their next strike…

System: Cinematic Unisystem or Savage Worlds
Illustrator: Jock
Director: Sam Mendes
Potential casting: Dennis Haysbert, Parker Posey, Tony Shalhoub, Peter O’Toole, Ralph Fiennes, Joel Grey, Oded Fehr, Indira Varma
Royalties paid in advance to: Tim Powers twice over

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