Staff Sergeant John Toombs, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, is having a hard f*cking time of it.

He’s been in the Army for a couple of years now and he’s seen some sh*t, first in Afghanistan and now in Iraq. People die, and Toombs can deal with that. But lately he’s seeing something else; something different. One moment he’s shooting insurgents, and that he can deal with. But then the world throbs for a moment and the haji he was shooting at is suddenly some weird thing with five eyes and stars for hair, and Toombs’s buddies look like lions with wings. He’s seeing some f*cking Biblical stuff, no bullsh*t.

He was almost ready to talk to the Chaplain, even though he knew it would mean his buddies would think he was either a faker or a genuine psycho; but one night, after Toombs gunned down a bunch of al-Qaeda that looked like little bull’s heads with four wings each, his buddy Mack said to him, “Man, did you… see what I saw?”

Turns out SSG Toombs’s visions have grown contagious. When the sh*t goes down, anybody within ten feet of him starts seeing the same crazy stuff he does, and the range seems to be increasing. And once in a while it hits his buddies even if he isn’t around. This hasn’t exactly made Toombs a popular guy. He’s way beyond having a clue what to do about all this; he just wishes like Hell it would go away.