EP175: Reparations

By Merrie Haskell.
Read by Mary Robinette Kowal.

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I just swab my arm and administer the cocktail, a booster for my
radiation immunization. The taste of brass fills my mouth in seconds,
and I know that the cocktail has flooded my system. With this stuff
burbling inside, I can stare down three sieverts without blinking, or,
more importantly, losing my immune system, teeth, hair, and intestines.

When I finish with my dose, I grab the skin on the newbie’s arm, swab
her and shoot her up, too. “Ow!” She jumps and rubs her arm. I watch
carefully to see her smack her lips at the taste. “You could’ve warned

“No time,” I say, doctoring Ken and the others just as abruptly. We’re
pressed, and they know it.

We’re all nice and anodized on the inside at 8:12. We’re waiting for
8:16, or thereabouts. There aren’t any atomic clocks in 1945, so all
times are approximate, internally speaking. And from here on in, there’s
no point speaking any other way.

Rated PG. Contains mass destruction and graphic descriptions of the wounded.

Comments (53)

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  1. [...] to the holidays, you might appreciate “Reparations” by Merrie Haskell, in an excellent reading on Escape Pod. Like “Wikihistory” it involves time travel to Worrld War II, but [...]

  2. Jasher says:


    I also caught your outro to EP182, and it made me go back and listen to this story. Thank you.

    I have visited both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and seen the artifact left from those events. Hearing the story brought back the feelings I had while visiting the memorials in the two cities. I was moved, and I pray that the world never will experience another atomic war.

  3. steve pota says:


    I have a japanese wife, as well as a family of inlaws that treat me well and make me feel like I am one of their own .. I currently live in Japan and have for the past three years ..

    About the bomb .. I agree it should have been dropped because at the time america had lost so many, and if you understand the japanese people at this time; there was NOOO WAY they were gonna surrender without it .. If I was gonna go back in time I would rather shoot their generals as well as their at the time emperor ..

    Also I am not American so mere patriotism has not cloudly my judgement