It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven…

As soon as the order comes – day or night – eight farmers will rush to a battery of 37mm anti-aircraft guns installed in a courtyard in the village of Beixing. Four will carry the shells to the guns, two will load them and two will take aim and open fire at the enemy in the sky.

Their mission is to protect the honour of a nation. But their targets are not fighter jets or bombers; they are the rain clouds and smog that threaten to spoil the Beijing Olympics.

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