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At an early age, Martin Quigley learned he had the ability to kill anything he touched. His mother died after kissing him goodnight. His father died twenty-four hours later after consoling a young son worried about his sick mother. An orphan, Martin went to live with family close by.
When an older cousin found out his ability, Martin was given the nickname Decay.

Now an adult, Martin finds himself conscripted to join the Union army in the war between the states. He leaves home and fights the war alongside fellow soldiers from Massachusetts. His commanding officer learns of his special ability and now wants to use Martin as a weapon of war. But Martin is the most powerful weapon on either side in the gruesome war and he has a deadly decision to make.

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