The explosion under the armoured vehicle throws clouds of dust high into the clear desert sky. One mote soars to the very edge of space while, far below, a fractured world slowly turns.
Eventually, the speck begins to tumble and dropping through the moist, freezing clouds, six icy fingers grow in intricate patterns, never repeating. The sun’s myriad spectrum refracts through the crystal fronds giving an illusion of white purity, belying its grubby heart.
The child, wrapped up warm, for the first time since her father died so far away, giggles as the snowflake lands on the tip of her nose.