Kivsa Brigade, Akavish Battalion, Tziraah Company, Platoon Bet, Squad Bet – the Death Alley Ewes, the Heroes of Shujaiyeh, the Martyrs of Salah al-Din Road – wasn’t a special unit, just a specialish unit, not elite, but elite enough. Nothing about them made sense. Take, for instance, their name, which they’d regarded as a joke – that they were referred to as ewes, or frail female lambs – until they went into combat and the joke, like sheep’s milk, went sour. They were infantry, after all, so it was difficult not to feel like sacrificial bleaters, fleecy soldiers who’d been sent off to slaughter.
Kivsa, Akavish, Tziraah.
Ewe, Spider, Wasp.
The source of this, their full unit designation, was to be found in Torah and in other venerably tedious books that were like Torah, whose legends had been introduced to them by an old – but a forty-something-year-old – veteran on the very first day of their training. It’s strange, how your only religious training can come from the army . . . how your only religion can be the army . . .