To Shaman, the ultimate warrior, the world is a gameboard for his own personal chess game - where living pawns slaughter one another for tactical advantage. But whose tactical advantage? Operation Kalitan is the name of the game, a game of point/counterpoint between two sides of a United States opposed once more in the second Civil War. This time around, the Counter Insurgency Command is fighting to control a guerilla citizenry fed up with economic breakdown and political incompetence. As Shaman successfully infiltrates and intimidates his way into the war councils of first one and then the other side, we gradually become aware that this is a war not between two armies, but between one superb warrior and the rest of the human race. Burt Cole's story deepens and changes into a fantastic exploration of war and the warrior. Shaman believes that he is supernatural, super-human - unbeatable. And perhaps he is. Is Shaman mortal or immortal? Is he the destroyer of the world..or its creator? Through military snafus, through incendiary skirmishes and bloody betrayal, Shaman wins and wins and wins - and wonders if winning will be proof against apocalypse, when agony eats its way down to..The Quick.
Used availability for Burt Cole's The Quick
January 1989 : USA Hardback
November 1991 : USA Paperback