Earth’s Survivors United Kingdom Links for the Kindle

Earth’s Survivors United Kingdom Links for the Kindle

Book Previews Posted by Geo Monday February 27, 2017 12:24:22

EARTH’S SURVIVORS: The Earth’s Survivors Series follows survivors of a worldwide catastrophe. A meteorite that was supposed to miss the earth completely, hits and becomes the cap to a series of events that destroy the world as we know it. Police, fire, politicians, military, governments: All gone. Hopes, dreams, tomorrows: All buried in desperate struggle to survive. From L.A. To Manhattan the cities, governments have toppled and lawlessness is the rule. The dead lay in the streets while gangs fight for control of what is left. Small groups band together for safety and begin to leave the ravaged cities behind in search of a future that can once again hold promise. Dell Sweet.

EARTH’S SURVIVORS UK Links

Apocalypse: A free eBook! Get a free preview, like it? Download the entire book free! https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00YDAXFLE

Rising from the Ashes: The survivors of the apocalypse pick themselves up… https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00YDCSF3K

The Nation: The survivors strike out as a group to find a place they can rebuild their lives… https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00YDCSRTM

Home in the Valley: The Nation establishes the survivor base in the wilderness… https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B010T56YXC

Plague: The dead over run the cities, while the living still fight each other… https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0137DRAUY

Watertown: The secret base plays a major role in the Apocalypse. Learn how… https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C9FDAFA

World Order: The Beginnings of the Plague and how the Nation and The Fold were formed… https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C99NG14

Knock: Billy lifted his gun and shot the zombie in the face. It seemed slow motion at first, the face exploded as it fell away into the back of the pickup… https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01I5QF1O0

Box Set: The entire Earth’s Survivors series in a box set! All 7 volumes. Free Previews! https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GULFBQA

Have a great week! Geo


Building Guitars post 2

Acoustic Build 2

Guitar Posted by Geo Fri, February 24, 2017 11:37:05
Late night, last night. I cut the sound board pieces. These are laid out, rough shaped only. They will need to be finish sanded and then shaped to the board and arch I want.

I drew up a rough sketch of the soundboard lay out from the build I based this off of. You can see they are very similar.

I also rebuilt the bridge I used for that build. The wide part will hold a brass saddle, the back angle will hold the strings.

All of the soundboard wood is hard maple, including the piece for beneath the bridge. Spruce is most often used, Hard maple gives the sound a glassy tone, more to the treble side. As well, I built the bridge from hard maple too. Most often Rosewood is used, I have some very old rosewood stock, but I like to use sustainable wood sources when I can, and I have to remind myself this is a quick low-buck build. Additionally Rosewood can be very brittle, maple is strong yet very pliable. With close to 185 pounds of pull at the bridge that has to be a concern to me…
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Hey! Check out my Guitar Works guides!

Guitar Works One: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VF0RYJE
Guitar Works Two: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VITFXZE
Guitar Works Three: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XNPXHQI
Guitar Works Four: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01390FUSY


Earth’s Survivors: The Nation by author Dell Sweet

Earth’s Survivors: The Nation by Dell Sweet

Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 93,930. Language: English. Published: February 9, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
This part of the story really concentrates on the formation of The Nation and the people who will build it and carry it forward, but it also brings along the side story of The Fold and the people who will build that haven. It gives a more complete picture of Adam and Cammy, and picks up the Tale of Billy and Beth, Mike and Candace, Conner and Katie as they work to sort out their lives.
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THIS IS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL
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They had been angling across the state, so most likely they would pass through part of Pennsylvania or Ohio within the next day or so, unless they had dropped lower into the state. It would take more than a map to tell them that though, a roadside sign, something like that.

“Put over… Just over, three hundred and fifty miles on the odometer today,” Conner said. “Of course some of that was doubling back, the long way around, stuff like that, but we have to be close to out of the state by now.”

“We should have hit the thruway,” James said.

“I’ll agree with that,” Jeff said, “Unless it’s gone. Seems to be a lot that is gone.”

“We should have,” Conner agreed. “The problem is there’s so much destruction it’s hard to tell where we really are. That lake for instance, that threw me for a loop. I just wasn’t expecting it. That means there could be other changes. Well, actually that’s a major change, so more major changes like that, or even more so.”

“Like?” Amy asked.

“I don’t know. But have you noticed we haven’t seen a lot of torn up, jumbled mounds of earth?” he asked.

Several heads nodded.

“At first there was, in Old Towne. Then all that rain flattened things out. Then before we left, we were seeing grass sprout up. Might be like that here. If so, it won’t be long before we can’t tell what’s new and what isn’t. This rain just keeps leveling things out. The warmth has the grass seed sprouting,” Conner said.

“You can still tell where the new earth is, or you could before the rain. The grass was thin, but you’re right, as we go it’ll get harder and harder to tell anything old from new,” James said.

“So how will we know when we get to where we’re going?” Katie asked.

“Good question,” Amy said.

“Well, yeah, there is that,” James agreed. “But we’ll know when we get to the mountains that we’re close. Really it’s all enclosed by ranges if you think about it. The first one has a few wide open gaps in it. We’ll pass right through one of those gaps and we’ll be in. There’s another range that cuts across to the east, and then the tail end of the other range picks up there and closes off what amounts to several million acres. I guess it’s like one very big valley nestled between those mountain ranges,” James elaborated.

“It would be kind of hard to miss the mountains,” Conner agreed.

“Other roads, anything like that going in?” Aaron asked.

“Old logging trails and I mean very old. There’s been no logging there in well over a century. But those roads were sometimes still used and maintained by the park service. They don’t go in all the way though,” James said. “There are no roads that go all the way in. There have been no people in there. Some of that area has never even been explored, at least not since this has been America,” James said.

“Roosevelt, right?” Arlene asked.

“Yes, ma’am,” James said, “He set it up. Some land reclaimed and reforested, some never touched. Since then the Federal government has been quietly buying land and adding to it. We have the same thing here in New York, a pretty large area that cuts across more than two thirds of the state. People just don’t know about it. But this cuts into portions of six states. Taking all that land from six states doesn’t make it seem like that much land: a corner of Alabama here, a tract of Tennessee, part of Kentucky there, a short run up into Ohio and down into Georgia. But it all adds up; it’s huge, big enough to have been a state in its own right when you look at it,” James said.

The area was clearly marked with James’s black grease pencil on the map, and the area it covered was enormous.

“I never even knew about it,” Amy said.

“Me either,” Lilly agreed.

“I heard about it in school,” Katie said. “They teach about the Forever Wild lands. Some of it was given to the government to use for that, some of it was set aside for just that reason,” she said. “There are several other areas in the United States, some small, some big that you do know about and you just didn’t realize that you knew… like Yellowstone, or the Grand Canyon. Those are well known; others aren’t.”

Nell and Lilly began calling people to come and eat. That at least seemed to perk up The Dog and Angel.

Conner got a bowl of stew and then went over to relieve David who was on watch so he could go eat. “Take your time,” he told him.

James wandered over with a bowl himself. They both sat on the back step bumper of one of the Suburbans, eating quietly, staring out at the rainy night.

“Think you’ll have any trouble finding it?” Conner asked.

“No. It’s so big it would be hard to miss it. If, or I should say when, we hit the next mountain chain, that will be the back door. The Appalachians. We’ll follow them to the west, to Kentucky, Tennessee, and that will let us in. Somewhere in there we’ll find a break in those mountains. There are two breaks really, the Smokies and the Blue Ridge chain. I can’t see how we could miss it. We should be able to stand on those foothills and look at empty for as far as we can see in any direction. No man made anything. There are just so many places in this world that you can do that,” James said thoughtfully.

“A long time to get there, you think?” Conner asked.

“That’s a good question. Did you say three hundred and fifty miles? I’d say about twelve hundred total miles to get us there, so if we made this kind of distance each day, then somewhere around four days from now, give or take, we should be there,” James said.

Conner nodded, “For some reason I was thinking it would be this long trip.”

“It would be without these trucks. We would’ve already torn up a couple of regular trucks. A regular truck couldn’t get over a foot drop in the road level, or sand instead of pavement, with the mud we’ve had to deal with either for that matter,” James said.

“Even so, I’m not so sure we’ll be able to make that much mileage every day. We’ve been running roads, highway road, torn up, sure, but still good enough for us. This whole area is sparsely populated, and the closer we get, the sparser the population gets. Farm country, walking country, and that means bad roads, poorly maintained to start with, and now probably torn up so bad that they have become impassable.” He paused, took a bite of his stew, chewed, and thought.

“I think our quick time is going to slow down. Even so, once we get there, once we find it, we’ll have a great deal of work to do, a lot of trucks to find. We’ve got what? Eighteen drivers? Can Jessica drive? Probably not, so eighteen drivers, and we need trucks for all of them and supplies also, and I’m thinking some trailers on the back of a few of those trucks, and, well, we’ll just run those logging roads as deep in as we can, get as close as we can, and we’ll have to walk the rest of the way in,” James finished.

“It’s gonna be a big deal, but it will be worth it,” Lilly said as she walked up and listened for a second or two. “You guys want more? Janna sent me, and she sent these.” She held some biscuits with what looked like blueberries baked into them on a large platter. She took their bowls and left them with the platter.

They both thanked her, declined the offer of more stew, and she went on her way. They stared after her. “Everybody has changed so much,” James said.

“I was thinking the same thing,” Conner said. “But for the better. Everyone, me included. For the better,” he said.

~

About two hours after dark the rain really began to come down, turning the surrounding fields into small lakes of their own.

Several people were sitting around talking by the fires, different subjects, all relating to the new life they hoped to be living soon.

Conner and Katie were sitting, listening to the conversations, when the rain suddenly let up, and a sliver of moon broke through the clouded sky.

“Well,” Katie said, “now or never I guess.” Conner looked a question at her.

“Ladies room,” she said. “At least I won’t drown now,” she laughed. She got up and walked away. Conner watched her go, thinking how much he loved her. As she turned the corner of the building, he turned back to the conversation he had been having with Aaron about how easy the steel structures would be to set up.

Katie slipped between two abandoned trucks and made her way around to the back of the main building of the truck stop. The building cast long shadows among the scattered wood pallets, junked trucks and oil barrels. A long wooden fence ran around most of it, blocking the view from the highway. She hurried over next to the wrecked front end of a big tractor cab and squatted down close to the ground, balancing against one of the tractor’s tires with one hand. She finished and had just stood back up, fastened the snap on her jeans, when she felt the cold barrel of a pistol touch her neck.

“Well, look at this,” a low voice said, “Ain’t you something.”

Katie’s heart crashed hard against her ribs. Her fingers, in the act of tugging her zipper home, froze. She sucked in a breath and tried to quiet her racing heart. Her voice sounded shaky to her ears as she spoke.

“What… What do you want?” she managed.

“Wha… What do you want,” the voice mimicked. “What do you think that I want?” he asked. One hand stroked lightly against her face, leaving the feel of calloused fingers and the smell of unwashed flesh.

“I think you know, Missy. I think you know.” His hand dropped down to her thigh and caressed it roughly, then moved around to her hand still frozen on the zipper “What’s this?” he whispered in her ear. His breath smelled of rotting teeth and rancid food as it blew hotly across her face.

His hand batted her own away and fumbled with her zipper, jerking it roughly downward and plunging his fingers into the opening, pulling at her panties.

“Don’t,” she whispered, “You don’t have to do this.” Her voice sounded weak and panicked, and she hated it, but she couldn’t get her heart to slow down or get her voice to sound normal or authoritative. She twisted to get away from him, but he had settled his weight on her, and she could not stand up or get a good footing so that she could turn and fight him. And the fear was loose in her. She couldn’t think past it…

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Read More Now: Amazon U.S. | Amazon U.K. | Smashwords | Nook | i-Tunes


Conversations with Cats and Random thoughts about Fat men

Posted by Geo 02-20-2017

Conversations with Cats and Random thoughts about Fat men…

First, I said Fat Men. Not People. I am a Fat MAN this gives me rights by Proxy to use my own situation as humor. So don’t write and tell me I’m an insensitive bastard, I am, but that’s beside that point, the point being I am only being selectively insensitive to Fat Men…. Oh, and If you happen to be a fat man that takes exception to this, I would just remind you that you are being a little too sensitive. Take a break, get a tissue, and put down that friggin’ doughnut while your at it… And don’t cry…

A conversation with Fred the other day about why he could not go to the dump in the Truck with me. It probably also qualifies as a random thought…

So I said to Fred, … “Well the dump is where all the big rats live… Bigger than you… You couldn’t eat one of those rats, they’d eat you. And the cats there are three times the size of you… But they eat rats all day long… They have to be big… Think of it like going to one of those all you can eat restaurants… Only it’s the dump…. And the only thing on the menu is rat… Yeah… That’s it exactly…” …

One of the justifications I have used as a Fat Man…

I had the big breakfast this morning (Translate Big Breakfast as Two glazed donuts and Morning as 1:36 P.M.). Sometimes you just have to feed yourself well…. (That’s two, a lie, and then a justification) …

When I say I am not a cat person I mean that I love animals. For years I was a vegetarian, even now I am not thrilled about meat (The root of all fatness… All right plaque build-up… Heart attack and stroke! Cholesterol… Okay, I’ll stop), but I do eat it. So I love animals, but I would not choose a cat. The temperament is all wrong for me. I want a bog goofy Malamute or a big Pit Bull, Boxer, Chow, or even a little schnauzer.

Dogs are like this…

Hey, man. Where ya been.. Good to see you, man… Yep, I’m happy to see you that’s for sure, mind if I sniff a little? Oops my whole body is wagging, but it sure is good to see you…”

On the other hand Cats are…

Who the hell are you and where’s my cat food? That crap? You call that crap cat food? Do you? Wow, you are so stupid, inept… I guess you’re just my burden… Okay, listen… walk a little away from me, okay? I don’t want anyone to think I’m with you…”

Here’s my analogy, dogs are like a fat guy who just discovered an abandoned doughnut. Happy, Joyful… Cats are like that same fat guy when his doctor put him on a celery and carrot diet. Miserable… Pissed off…

So it’s February, and ripping through February too. And one of the things I noticed is, siting on my derriere doing HTML, I have turned into a fat man. Yes I have. And if spring doesn’t get here soon I may have to actually choose some sort of winter sport to get my self moving. But there are some problems with that:

One: You can not UN-eat a doughnut…

Unless you’re a super model… Don’t get me started on those skeletons… Sorry, my insensitivity. I’m a fat guy. What did you expect?

Two: The first time you fart when you bend over to put on your shoes you should know what the deal is…

But no. I just set the doughnut down and continue to lace my shoes.

Three: When you have to practically break your neck to see your feet you’re fat.

You’re not a little overweight, you’re fat. A big fat Bastard. You are. Get over it. PUT THE CAKE DOWN RIGHT NOW!!!

Four: Yes. You can get fatter. It’s a fact.

Your ass will continue in one direction and your belly in the other until you resemble a snake that has just eaten a small child, dog, grandmother (A small grandmother) or a Dingo that has just eaten a small child or Olivia Newton john. So stop kidding your self. WAKE UP!

A Random conversation with Fred

… “Fred, you are a cat. Yes I love you but if you keep putting holes in my good leather boots I’m going to…. Well, I don’t know, but this is serious, Fred…. Fred? Fred? Do you hear me, Fred?” …

More Thoughts About Fat Guys…

So, some help for you fat guys from a fat guy. Lucky for you that I have been through this a few times and know what to do. I could make money with this knowledge. I could, but I’m giving it to you for absolutely nothing. … Here is my advice… Ready? …

STOP EATING YOU FAT BASTARD! STOP! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!! PUT THAT GODDAMN CHICKEN LEG DOWN!!!

Guaranteed to make you lose weight… Hey. That’s my Monday. I have vowed to stop looking in the mirror in the bathroom… Is that really me? Geez… I look like a dingo that swallowed Olivia Newton John! …

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Hey! Reading is fundamental and it also is what pays the bills around here. Check out the Earth’s Survivors Link below and get a FREE eBook for your troubles!

Earth’s Survivors: Apocalypse…

New York

12:30 am

Carl Evans watched from the mouth of a dark alley. It was one of the things he loved about this place. You could hang out in an alley, smoke cigarettes all day and night long if you wanted to, and nobody said a word to you. Where else, but New York could that be true, he asked himself.

He leaned back against the wall, one sneakered foot propped on the brick behind him to hold him, the other flat on the cobbled stones of the alley. Another thing about New York, he thought as he inhaled deeply of his cigarette, and then let the smoke roll slowly out of his mouth. Old things everywhere you looked. These cobblestones for instance. He wondered how old they truly were.

“Young man.” The deep voice startled him from his thoughts. He lifted his head to see an old, gray haired gentleman standing at the mouth of the alley a few feet away. His face was creased and seamed. His skin so dark it was nearly blue. A cane in one hand supported his weight.

“What’s up, Pops?” Carl asked politely.

The man placed his second hand on his cane and leaned forward. “That cigarette will kill you.“

“Pops…”

He held up one hand as Carl began to speak. “Just telling you. Don’t need an argument. It will kill you. The big tobaccos, they knew about it back in the day when I was a boy chasing that habit. And they knew about it when it was in commercials in magazines, and T.V. and what not. That cowboy died from it you know, they knew it and they still know it. It will kill you. In case you didn’t know it I wanted you to know it.” He straightened his back, lifted the second hand, nodded once, and moved across the mouth of the alley disappearing as though from some sort of magic.

Carl chuckled, lifted the cigarette to his mouth, took a deep drag and then found himself blowing the smoke out, dropping the cigarette, and crushing it. The old man had ruined it for him. He hadn’t smoked in ten years, but it tasted as good now as it had then. And he had figured with the way things were nobody had much time. Certainly not enough time to die from cancer or some other nasty surprise from cigarettes, but just the same the old man had ruined it for him.

He looked down at the blackened mess he had made as he ground the cigarette into the cobbles. Just as well, he told himself, it was time. He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a small silver canister. He inhaled a sharp breath involuntarily. He knew what it was. Knew what he was doing, but he still couldn’t believe he was actually going to do it.

He fingered the small red button on the top of the silver canister, hesitated, and then pushed it down. Something inside clicked. There was no other sound in the stillness. He tossed it down the alley, turned, and walked out to the sidewalk…

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EARTH’S SURVIVORS APOCALYPSE: A FREE eBook at all major booksellers!

Published: January 30, 2015 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic

Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse follows survivors of a worldwide catastrophe. A meteorite that was supposed to miss the earth completely, hits and becomes the cap to a series of events that destroy the world as we know it. Police, fire, politicians, military, governments: All gone. Hopes, dreams, tomorrows: All buried in a desperate struggle to survive. From L.A. To Manhattan the cities, governments have toppled and lawlessness is the rule. The dead lay in the streets while gangs fight for control of what is left. Small groups band together for safety and begin to leave the ravaged cities behind in search of a future that can once again hold promise…


Weekly Zombie Plagues Post 2

Weekly Zombie Plagues Post 2 Geo 02-17-2017

The Zombie Plagues Book One

Created by Dell Sweet

PUBLISHED BY: Geo Dell and independAntwriters Publishing

The Zombie Plagues Book One

Additional Copyrights 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2017 Wendell Sweet & his assignee Andrea Scroggs All rights reserved

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

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Journals and Diaries

Mike

March 8th

I debated with myself about how to start this. Isn’t that stupid? Not whether I should start it. I guess that means that I have some hope that I am not the only one.

Actually, I know that I’m not the only one. I’ve heard gunshots more than once. I’ve heard a dog barking as well. And I’ve seen several dogs, cats, squirrels, etc… I’ve also heard what sounded like a car or a truck, but I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Everything is so quiet; it could be anywhere.

The sound of the river drowns things out. Even so, I haven’t seen any other people. None. And, I’m getting ahead of myself again.

I have no idea what has happened, even here in this town. It doesn’t really matter either, except to tell you, whoever you may end up being, what happened from my point of view, I guess. Maybe it’s the same for you. Maybe writing this out is a waste of time. But, it keeps my mind off shit, you know?

So, I wondered where to start? Today? Last week? Just start, I guess…

I have heat, food, fire. And I’ve finally gotten myself moved into this cave, so my mind is more at ease. But, again, I’m getting ahead of myself. It started for me last week on the 2nd of March. Only six days, but everything here has changed.

I was having a few beers, watching the coverage of the world countdown party; hey, it was supposed to be a joke, right? And, supposedly, we had a few months to go. It was supposed to be one long countdown party. One minute everything was fine, and the next the power was out.

Then the first quake hit…

I made it through that night and… two more quakes? Aftershocks? Who knows? I was just trying to get through to the morning. Phones were out; Sirens everywhere; No power. But, the closer it got to dawn the less noise there was. The sirens fell off. The rain started hard, and then the lightning came. A thunder and lightning storm in the middle of winter!

It was spooky, and when morning finally came, it didn’t make much sense at all. Almost everything I could see in every direction was flattened. The streets had cracked open and had become rivers. The temperature was higher than it should have been. But that didn’t last.

By noon the rain stopped, and I kept expecting to see someone. Emergency workers… Power Company… Somebody. Even a neighbor. But I saw no one at all that day.

I guess as serious as it was, I wasn’t taking it seriously. At least not the first day. I was still thinking rescue, help, it’s on the way. This is the most powerful country in the entire world. Help is coming. So I sat on my ass and drank beer and ate bologna sandwiches and chips, staring out at the street from my front porch, which was perched on the edge of a twenty foot rain gully.

Just before dark, the real quake hit. It had to have been stronger than the previous ones. It felt like it anyway.

I barely jumped off the porch before it fell into the gully. Scared the hell out of me. It wasn’t long after that when darkness settled in and I knew I was in trouble. Something in the whole structure of the house was damaged. Every aftershock made it dance, sway around me. It was also now a two foot drop down to the ground since my porch was gone. And I didn’t dare leave, because I had no idea what it was like outside. No Streetlights. No Moon. No starlight. No starlight, none! Then the storms came back, and the air turned back to cold.

Every time the lightning flashed I could see the street, or what had been the street. There was no more street, not really. It was a river; wide, and it looked pretty deep, all the opposite side of the street was gone now. No houses, cars, telephone poles, satellite dishes. Nothing. It seemed like the entire side of the street had washed away right down to the river. The water roared past me – just a few feet from where my porch had been – flattened out, and then turned into rapids breaking away to crash into the Black river further down the hill. That was when I realized it wasn’t just the other side of the street that was gone. The other two blocks that had been between me and the river were also gone.

Later on, the rain turned to snow, but the lightning kept up. Lightning in a snow storm. How crazy is that? By the morning of March 4th, the river running past my house was down to a trickle, but the snow was piling up. Down the hill the Black was over her banks. There was nothing else to see, a few solitary houses still standing as my own was. But there was no one around anywhere. That’s when I got into the hard stuff.

I drank myself to sleep, and when I woke up I’d lost several hours. My watch still worked at that point. When I walked to the front door, the first thing I noticed was footprints in the snow. Three sets, two small, maybe kids or women, one big, going just past my house, no more than three feet from my house, where once upon a time in some other world my porch had been, and I had slept through it. I yelled and screamed for a half hour hoping that someone would hear me, but no one came. No one yelled back and told me to shut up either. Just absolute silence. No birds, just the roar of the swollen Black. Nothing else.

I’ve thought about the day, the fourth, a couple of times. Was it the fourth? The fifth? Did I sleep more than a few hours? I don’t know. And that was the day my watch stopped working, so I don’t know. One minute it was working, the next it wasn’t. The face was blank.

There were a couple of more aftershocks that day, and I began to wonder if my house would be standing much longer. After all, nearly everything around me was destroyed already. And, I thought, what if that was an aftershock? Like I had thought the first quake was the real one and then the one the next day was so much stronger. It made me realize how stupid I was to still be in that house. And, I thought, no wonder no one is answering when I yell. They were all smart enough to get away from the buildings. Leave. And if I left also, I reasoned, I’d most likely catch up to them, whoever they were, wherever they had gone. That was when I had glanced at my watch and noticed that it had stopped working.

I had been in the habit of looking at my watch all day. Just nervous, I guess. I was positive that I had just looked at it and it had been working. But, when had that been? What time had it been? And when had it been that I had looked at it? How long ago? All I could remember for sure was that the last aftershock that had started me wondering had been at 2:57 P.M. I wasn’t sure of anything after that. Even when I thought back on it later, wondering what day it was, I wondered why I had never thought to push the little date button to see what the date had been. Or had I? Had I and then forgotten that I had? Had I only remembered subconsciously that it was the fourth? Anyway, the watch was dead. And what time was it? And where should I go? And how soon would it be dark? After wasting time wondering about things like that, things that were absolute bullshit in light of everything else, I just jumped down into the snow and headed off towards downtown.

There were a few buildings standing in that direction. It was still snowing pretty hard, but I could see the outlines of the buildings through the snow.

There were planes overhead in the night. I know that sounds crazy, but I awoke to hearing them. There was a strange smell in the air, and I was thinking, in my dream? Maybe in my dream or maybe awake. Anyway, I was thinking crop dusters. Like they were crop-dusting. Spraying something. It was weird. Now I could see traces of blue… powder? Something on the snow, and it made me remember the dream. But I pushed it away and walked. Too much to see and comprehend as it was without worrying over bad dreams.

Normally it’s no more than a fifteen minute walk to the Square. Watertown has an old New England style Public Square that is the center of downtown. I figured that if anyone was still alive, that was where they would be.

In fact, I told myself, they probably would have some buildings open for shelter. Fire Department passing out blankets, bottled water, hot soup. I could see it so clearly in my head. I was wrong, of course, but that’s a story for tomorrow. My fingers are shot. Hey it would be easy to write this on my computer keyboard, but computers are a thing of the past now.

I’m warm. I’m dry. I’m pretty much okay. I survived the day the world ended, but my fingers are sore and I’m tired, so I’ll pick this up tomorrow.

Candace

March 8th

Fresh snow today. The whole world is covered in clean, white snow. It makes it look like nothing ever happened here.

I’m with a man named Tom. He’s crazy about me. I just can’t feel the same. I could fake it, but I told myself I’m not going to do that. But I can’t keep on this way either. It is too hard on him, too hard on me.

Bob and Jan Dove are also with us. I don’t know what I would do without Jan. She is level headed where I am impulsive, a thinker where I tend to just act. A good balance. Bob has an idea of rebuilding his peoples’ lands. He’s Native American, and so is Jan. It sounded crazy when he first said it, but after I thought about it, it began to make sense to me.

Lydia is the other member of our party. She hates me. That’s because Tom wants me, and she wants Tom. Maybe that will fix itself before I have to fix it by leaving and going on my own.

Today we decided to see if the city was any better on the other side of the river. It isn’t. We crossed the river, the Black river, on a railroad trestle. There is a traffic bridge, and it looks passable, but it’s clogged with cars and some of those cars look purposely placed to block it off. That creeped me out.

We walked across the trestle, carefully, and went up State street. There’s a store there, a supermarket, and we found tracks in the snow. One person. A man I would guess from the boot tread.

I can not tell you what that was like. Seeing a footprint left by someone else. Someone else alive in this whole mess. I felt connected to him. I can’t say it or explain it any better than that. Like a connection existed forever and I only had to find it. I tried to explain it to Lydia but she just shrugged. We have this thing with Tom between us though. She wants him; he wants me. I don’t want him. It could be so Goddamn simple, but it isn’t.

Except the footprints. Maybe the footprints are the answer. I think they are. I believe they are. We just need to find the person, the man, that goes with those footprints and… And I don’t know. I really don’t. But I think he’ll know.

The only bad thing today, we came across a dead man laying crumpled by the side of the road. I could have sworn he moved, so I hurried to him. But as I got closer, I could see that he was dead. Long dead. We stood for a moment and then walked on. Later when we came back he was gone, and I thought, was he dead? Was he? But I know that he was. I suppose that wild dogs or something got him. We didn’t talk about it, but it bothered all of us.

Mike

March 9th

Maybe it’s March ninth. I guess I really don’t know. But that’s what I think it is, so that’s what I’m going with.

It’s late. I spent today getting food, canned stuff mostly. It was rough. Almost everything is flattened, and what isn’t flattened is badly damaged. I spent about five hours a few days ago digging my way into a supermarket on State Street. The roof was down but held up by the tops of the aisle stacks, so I was able to make my way through. I just had to be really careful of broken glass. That was where I went back to today.

I had no flashlight at first, but I managed to get a small flashlight and batteries. I had to take so much stuff out of the front area of the store, that all the impulse stuff they sell was right there, candy, little radios, and of course flashlights and batteries. I tried a small portable radio. Nothing but static on the A.M. and F.M. bands both. I brought it back with me along with some extra batteries. I listened to it a short while ago; still nothing. Maybe tomorrow.

I spent the day at the supermarket digging out canned goods and bringing them back here.

Here is a cave. The cave is down in back of the square, downtown as it’s called. I knew about it from growing up here. It used to be bricked up. The quake took care of that though. I was worried about the cave itself collapsing, but it seems to be fine.

It’s only about a mile and a half from here to the supermarket, but with no vehicle it’s slow going. I’ve been piling stuff up on a large sled and making trips back and forth.

I found several cars and trucks, snowmobiles, but none of them will run. Most of them have no juice, but even the ones that do just turn over but won’t fire up. Maybe if I was a mechanic I could do something, but I’m not. So, it’s the sled and a lot of muscle work.

I did notice today, after not going there for two days, that no one else had been there either. No tracks in the fresh snow. It’s depressing. No way can I be the only freaking guy here, right? And that made me wonder, what the hell am I writing this for? I mean, if there’s no one left, who will read it? I guess those are questions for another day. Another day because, truly, I don’t want to deal with them today.

So I spent my day getting food. There are maybe two dozen buildings still standing downtown. But that’s where I was when I left off writing yesterday, heading for downtown, so I’ll pick it up from there.

When I got downtown there was no one there, only the handful of buildings standing as I mentioned, and two of those went down a short time later from an aftershock. The Police department… Gone. The Fire department out Washington Street… Gone. I know I walked out there. Ditto the high school. All the old houses, the newspaper, the museum. Really, it’s all gone.

There were some tracks, but how old were they? I couldn’t tell. And I couldn’t tell where they were headed either. I got pretty down about it and ended up walking back down to the square and then down towards the river in back of the square. There was a porn shop, still there. It seemed like the dirtiest place I’d ever seen. I mean, why would a place like that still be there, still be standing when almost nothing else was?

Is that a statement or what? Hey, maybe it is. But since I was down that far, I thought I’d take a look at the river, and that made me think about the cave.

This whole area is limestone, caves everywhere. This one just happened to be a big one.

It wasn’t hard to find it. It’s on an old abandoned road below the level of the square, but a good hundred feet or so above the level of the river. All the brick work that had once closed it off had fallen. The cave itself seemed okay. Some rock had come down, but not much. Most of the rock lying around looked pretty old, like it had been there for some time. Given the buildings, which were still falling, or the cave, I chose the cave. It just seemed to make more sense.

It’s quite deep. I have no idea how deep it goes and no inclination to follow it and see. The front area is huge, and dry, more room than I could ever use, so there’s no need for me to go into that darkness and find out how deep it goes. And that’s funny, isn’t it? What is it that I’ll need? Might need? Could need? I don’t know. I do know I won’t be spending the rest of my life living in a cave, that’s for sure. But it’s winter. I have to stay somewhere for the next few months. Then maybe I’ll head south if no one shows up to rescue me. I guess it would be me, there’s no one else here. It shouldn’t be that way though. There has to be more than me.

I spent the rest of the day looking around. I walked all the way out to Arsenal Street as well as Washington Street. The mall, or most of it, has collapsed. But I should be able to get some stuff out of it. The interstate is car wrecks and bodies everywhere. I could see it from the overpass. I didn’t feel a need to go down there to see it in person. I didn’t want to.

I hadn’t really seen many bodies. Some at the mall, some at the supermarket, a few others here and there, but there is so much ground, houses, things missing, that I think the other people just got swallowed up by the quake. There is a lot of raw earth. Most of the streets are messed up. The interstate is like that in places, what I can see any way, but close to Arsenal Street, it’s all wrecks and bodies, wrecked and burned vehicles; and it smells horrible. I could smell it long before I came up on the overpass. I’ve decided it will take a lot to get me to go back out Arsenal Street again.

The supermarket has that smell also, and I found two people up by the checkouts when I first dug it out, but none since then as I’ve dug out other parts of the store. Maybe it’s the meat department at the back of the store that smells like that.

I spent most of the next day wandering around, trying to start cars and trucks, calling out to the people I had hoped were there. Nothing. I heard something that sounded like an engine running, but it came and went on the wind and I couldn’t tell where it had come from. But I took that as a good sign. It has to be someone, right?

I can’t imagine being alone.

I tried to start new cars, old cars, new trucks, you name it. None of them do anything except turn over. But at least their batteries are working.

That was the day I realized that the daylight seemed to last way too long. My watch wasn’t working, so I can’t say for sure, but the sun just seemed to hang in the sky all day, then it seemed to sink in the wrong direction once it did set. And I was sick all day. My stomach. And I was light headed.

The night lasted a long time, and the sun came back up in the wrong place, unless my sense of direction is off. Maybe it is. In any case, I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was the earthquakes? I don’t know. It could’ve been, but it doesn’t seem possible.

The end of the world books were saying the Earth would stop and then run backwards. Maybe it did, but I didn’t feel weightlessness if it did, or at least I don’t think so. But I thought about the vehicles, magnetic poles. Maybe because everything is electronic now they can’t work? I don’t know. It’s just an idea, but I’m thinking I’ll look for an older vehicle to try out my theory on. Like I said, I wish I were a mechanic, and then I’d know.

I spent a lot of time clearing out the rock and broken bricks in this cave, bringing food in and even some chairs, blankets, things like that. I’ve collected a lot of firewood and every butane lighter I could find. Paper plates, plastic forks and spoons. And, man oh man, coffee. I found a small metal coffee pot in an aisle with camping gear. It works pretty damn well. I got some heavy duty pots and pans there too.

All of that over the last few days, but still no other people. It makes me wonder about the tracks that went past my house. Where did they go? Where is there to go? I turn the radio on every once in a while, but nothing. Even so, I’m keeping my attitude upbeat. Positive. There has to be other people. Doesn’t that just make sense? Winter can’t last much past May, and then it will be time to get out of here… hopefully with other people.

……………………………………………………….

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The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Fun With Lyrics

Alternate verses to

‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’

Music and lyrics ©1976 by Gordon Lightfoot

Many people think that Gordon Lightfoot just sat down and wrote The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald but it didn’t go quite that way…

At first it was entitled The Death of My One Eyed Dog Bill. Lightfoot worked hard on this song. Few actual copies of the lyrics remain. Here’s a short Section I was able to retrieve…

..

There’s a stop sign on the corner of BillyBong street, just East of here in the Hampton’s…

Old Bill made the corner and tried to cross, but he stumbled when his old paws cramped him…

The screeching of tires made a horrible sound as a car broke over the hilltop…

Old Bill never looked, he was blind in one eye, and distracted by a smell from a butchers shop…

..

That song really didn’t do it for Gordon. Although he missed old Bill the recording just didn’t happen. So he sat down and wrote another, but he only had the one tune at the time. Inspired by a short time down on his luck he decided to use his own life as inspiration…

..

Oh does any one know where the food stamps go, when you blow ’em on cigarettes and Whiskey…

The guy on the corner offered two for one, to me it didn’t seem all that risky….

Early next morning on Baker Street… I woke up with a hangover in my easy chair…

My wallet was gone and my car keys too, the T.V. And my dogs were just sitting there…

..

About that time Gordon got a job in a Proctologists office…

..

Just put on the gown and bend over the table, and the doctor will be with you shortly…

..

Thankfully it didn’t inspire him to write any more verses for that song. Next came the love life falling apart song…

..

I hope you choke on that piece of toast… and I’m not paying any Alimony….

And by the way that plastic surgery you had? Well I told everyone they were phoney….

..

About that time Gordon got a job working the docks. He played Guitar on weeknights at a little Cafe, and so he had a ready crowd to try his musical ideas out on. He soon learned though, that sailors only wanted to hear Sea songs. This was after the Cat in the Pillow Case song…

..

Have you ever stuffed a cat in a pillow case… Let me tell you they ain’t happy about it…

Now the inside of my truck is all covered with #@*$ and my wife ain’t too happy about it….

..

This was followed by what was called the Alien song….

..

With a boatload of Spaniards, twenty six hundred tons more, than the country of Mexico holds…

None of ’em had green cards or gardening jobs, but we smuggled them in by the boat loads

..

The sailors tried to help him by steering him in the right direction….

..

Oh there was an old man from Nantucket…

..

Thankfully Gordon didn’t really pay much attention to the sailors. Then one day he read about the Edmund Fitzgerald and it hit him. Hey, he thought. I should write a song about that! And the rest, as they say, is history. Yet even so the song writing process is not always easy and some verses got left on the cutting room floor…

..

She was a big ship made of Iron and Steel, and the captain stood hunched at the wheel….

The clams for dinner must’ve been bad, the trots were the worst that he’d ever had…

..

There once was a cat that belonged to the ship, but she slipped right over the railing….

Or maybe that was the night the Captain was drunk, he kicked her and she went to sailing…

..

Does anyone know where the ship keys are… I swear that I parked her and locked her…

But she don’t seem to be where I thought that she’d be, and most of last night is a blur….

……………………….

Hope you laughed. It is Wednesday after all, the week is half done with. Check out the Zombie Plagues below to give you something to do until Friday and the weekend!

The Zombie Plagues

The Zombie Plagues Book One

Series: The Zombie Plagues, Book 1 · Free eBooks. Price: Free! Words: 73,100. Language: English. Published: September 14, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories:Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic

(5.00)

What if the world ended tomorrow? What would you do? Would you be able to survive? The Zombie Plagues books follow a small group of men and women as they struggle to survive on a vastly changed earth, where the dead sometimes do not remain dead. Follow along as they try to rebuild their own lives as they rebuild their world.
The Zombie Plagues Book Two

Series: The Zombie Plagues, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 65,700. Language: English. Published: September 14, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead,Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Book Two picks up the tale of Mike Collins, Candace Loi, Patty Johnson, Ronnie Vincent, Robert Dove and the other Survivors as they make their way across the country and into the Heartland, Looking for Robert Dove’s promised land. A place where they can live their lives in peace, rebuild their worlds and those of the people they meet along the way. But the world is not done with them yet…
The Zombie Plagues Book Three

Series: The Zombie Plagues, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 82,190. Language: English. Published: September 14, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead,Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
The Zombie Plagues Three Is Here! The struggle to stay alive has leveled out. The Survivors have found their place in the wilderness and The Nation is growing. Life is good for those who are lucky enough to be there. But out in the real world it’s a different story. The dead are taking over. The cities, the countryside, small towns and villages, everywhere the living go the dead are there.
The Zombie Plagues Book Four: The Outrunners

Series: The Zombie Plagues, Book 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 58,680. Language: American English. Published: November 14, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead,Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
I saw the Zombie on Madison take a mouthful of her back, just below the curve of her neck, and rip the flesh away from her spine. Cammy’s rifle came up and barked, and the zombie blew apart, raining down on Madison, a storm of black blood. Somehow, I managed to switch to full auto, get my rifle up, and spray an entire one hundred round clip into the other zombies where they rushed along the path..
The Zombie Plagues: Book Five

Series: The Zombie Plagues, Book 5. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 57,580. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2015 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead,Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Something hit the truck hard and it rocked on its springs. The smell of death hit them at about the same time. A rotting hand came through the open window and fastened around Beth’s throat, yanking her backwards. The truck spun hard to the left and accelerated, her foot still mashed on the gas. A second later they slammed into the house and Billy watched as Beth hit the dashboard face first…
The Zombie Plagues Dead Road: The Collected books.

Series: The Zombie Plagues. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 436,750. Language: English. Published: July 18, 2016 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic,Fiction » Horror » Undead
This book contains all the published Zombie Plagues books, one through five, as well as book six that was not published. It also contains a complete character bibliography and a small series epilogue. If you were waiting to read the complete series in one place, wait no more. From the first days of the apocalypse to the first babies, and then the epilogue, and the last days of Bear…

Lost pet food lottery

Posted by Geo 02-13-2017

 

Good morning! I think luck has come my way this week. No really. You know those bags of dog food, cat food, cow chow, goat chow that have the woven string that if you pull a certain way are supposed to open right up? You know, it’s like they’re sewn shut, you pull the string the right way and voila it comes apart like butter. Never has for me. I’m 55 and for all of my years I have pulled the string, it starts to unravel, and then it stops dead. I pull more… And more, but it’s stuck. Finally I give up and get a steak knife and cut the top of the bag open. Why a steak knife? Because it would be too easy to just get a pair of scissors and be done with it without possibly cutting a finger, which is pretty much mandatory for me. So my point is it has never worked before. Never. Not once, but this morning I went to open some cat chow, pulled the string and it opened like, well, at least like margarine. I was so shocked that I nearly dropped the bag. Fred Meowed at me, probably thinking I would drop the bag. But I gathered it in and just stared stupidly at the string in my hand. It’s like magic… Magic I tell you…

No I am not scheduled to fly on a plane today, but if I was it would probably be the perfect day to do it without risk of crashing on some DHARMA controlled island. I mean luck is completely in my corner. I should play the lottery, today, right away. Okay, well maybe I’m not that lucky, but it would be nice to be. Of course some folks don’t believe in luck at all, it is all fate, or preordained. And some are carefully plotting out each footfall so they get where they want to go in one piece. I am already in several pieces so I’m not so careful. I have my GPS off, but I know the general direction. I’ll stay in the car, shoot anybody that approaches armed and shooting or looking like they might shoot, and I’ll get there, maybe, because there are no guarantees. And that, my friends, is why I do not sweat it; life I mean.

It is possible to control some things and not possible to control other things. I spent a great deal of my life thinking “Okay, when I hit a certain age I’m going to do this and that.” And that was a great plan except my wife and I became divorced, the kids grew up, I changed careers and then I had major surgery that completely altered my life. You do not get to choose the things that happen in your life. Yes, there is some control, but far less than you think and unplanned things do pop up that can cause major changes or even slight changes that can then cause major changes. I think life is a gift. Live it. Cherish it. Be glad you didn’t wake up in the U.S. today… Homeless… Living on a sidewalk or under a bridge abutment still trying to believe it’s all okay.

I remember a social worker once who really should have been in another line of work, telling me that when I was on the street as a teen I had choices I could have made. And yes, on the surface it appears that way, but just below that surface it is not that way at all. The choices kids have are not as wide as you think. We should support, far more than criticize them. Sometimes when you are in a situation it is not as easy as saying “Okay… I will quit doing coke.” or “I’m done drinking.” Sometimes that avenue is as closed as anything could be because of things even the person who closed it doesn’t understand and maybe never will. One of the things I get on Christians about is shutting people out. I have seen churches who will not accept people who are different from them, or gay, or dress differently, or foreigners. It is stupid. They say “Well, it might infect my church! My mind! My children!” Good, change is good, maybe that is the way to get there! But my real complaint is that if you are a christian how can you turn anyone away if you are emulating Jesus?

I am not going down the religion road. I am against organized religion myself for many of the reasons I just mentioned. I think faith is faith, you have it, it is personal between you and God and that is that. It is no ones business at all. But I just took you from lighthearted to deep, and that is what writers do. You are supposed to tell good stories, teach, impart information. My information to you today is be you, and if it is your super lucky day don’t fly on Oceanic flight 815, okay? Stay home.

I have taken a few swipes at LOST. I love it. I am watching it over again. It isn’t just that the show was good, it was, it was that the writers wrote good material for the actors and then the actors too were awesome. It caused us as viewers to love those people we watched. The entire LOST episodes are on Netflix. Nope they don’t write my paychecks I just like LOST and Netflix.

Okay, I have to actually go and get some work done. Hope you remember to be grateful for your life and remember it is probably just one go around so treat everyone kindly…

I will leave you with the Zombie Plague links on NOOK. Enjoy and I will be back on Wednesday, Geo…

The Zombie Plagues Book One 

What if the world ended tomorrow? What would you do? Would you be able to survive?

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-zombie-plagues-book-one-geo-dell/1116974111?ean=9781492798668

The Zombie Plagues Book Two 

The Zombie Plagues books follow a small group of men and women as they struggle to survive on a vastly changed earth

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-zombie-plagues-book-two-geo-dell/1116974114?ean=9781492798743

The Zombie Plagues Book Three 

Life is good for those who are lucky, but out in the real world it’s a different story…

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-zombie-plagues-book-three-geo-dell/1117027340?ean=9781492798798

The Zombie Plagues Book Four: The Outrunners 

I saw the Zombie on Madison take a mouthful of her back, just below the curve of her neck

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-zombie-plagues-book-four-geo-dell/1117475716?ean=2940045439084

The Zombie Plagues: Book Five 

The Fifth Book picks up the Story of Billy and Beth and their flight out of the ruins of L. A.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-zombie-plagues-geo-dell/1121785682?ean=2940151878876

The Zombie Plagues Dead Road: The Collected books 

Contains books 1 thru 6. Books One through five were published, book six was not…

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-zombie-plagues-dead-road-geo-dell/1124233945?ean=2940153142777


Building Guitars post 1

Acoustic Build 1

Guitar Posted by Geo Fri, 02-10-2017 11:24:08
A new project. I had a talk with someone about building guitars and never playing them, and how I would like to build a jazz guitar. So I decided to build something I would use, a seven string acoustic. I popped the top on a junk acoustic body after removing the neck.

Built a block in to hold the neck and then a pocket for it.


The neck is test fitted in the last photo, at the correct angle, just need to build a new top/bridge/etc lol.

Progress.
I traced the body onto the blank for the new top and then cut it out.

I left it wide to make sure there would be no mistakes. I fitted the piece, took my handy little scuff-pad and knocked off all the rough edges, and then finished the profile for the neck heel I added too.

Lastly, I transferred the neck pocket to the top, leaving it over-sized.

The next step is the soundboard/bracing and then the top will be glued, left over-sized. After drying the sides will be sanded flush…
………………………………..
Hey! Check out my Guitar Works guides!

Guitar Works One: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VF0RYJE
Guitar Works Two: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VITFXZE
Guitar Works Three: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XNPXHQI
Guitar Works Four: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01390FUSY


Dell Sweet’s World Order Preview

Posted by Geo 02-08-2017

Good morning! We made it to the middle of the week! What a crazy week for us in Western New York, freezing rain, then rain, now a day that looks like early spring. But Global Warming doesn’t exist. This morning I will be giving you a free look at World Order from the Earth’s survivors series. I hope you enjoy it and there will be links at the end of the preview so that you can get the balance of the book… Meanwhile, you made it. Two days to Friday 🙂 …

EARTH’S SURVIVORS: WORLD ORDER

Copyright 2016 Dell Sweet

Earth’s Survivors: WORLD ORDER is Copyright © 2016 Dell Sweet

Additional Copyrights © 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016 by Wendell Sweet.

All rights reserved, foreign and domestic

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

LEGAL

This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents depicted are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual living persons places, situations or events is purely coincidental.

This novel contains Copyrighted material. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s permission.

Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PROLOGUE

FOREWORD

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR

FIVE

SIX

SEVEN

EIGHT

NINE

TEN

ELEVEN

TWELVE

THIRTEEN

FOURTEEN

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

FOREWORD

This is a story that veers a little left of center from where the rest of the Earth’s Survivors books go to, and because of that I really thought to make it its own book, not part of the Earth’s Survivors books. The more I sought to do that, the more it seemed to tell me it belonged. In the end I had to leave it. It is one of those anomalies that come along in the midst of writing. It isn’t that it tells a different story, not really, it tells the same story, but it twists it ever so slightly in places, and then it skews it far to the right or left in others. The more I attempted to change it, the more it gave me headaches. In the end I had to admit that sometimes the story is there, and it will tell itself if allowed to: It doesn’t need any help from me at all.

Some people think that writers craft stories, write them specifically as told to, or as circumstances dictate them to. And there are writers who do that. I don’t. I write what comes through to me. What stories I see when I sit down and begin to write. It is that simple for me. Most times I am along for the ride. If that makes me a lesser writer, or a pawn, so be it. I have always suspected there is more to writing than we know there is. Maybe we who write are only conduits to some other place.

This group of stories about people surviving a catastrophic world changing event and rebuilding their society has been with me since my early teens when I first wrote about it. Many things have come along in my life, changed me, the circumstances of my life and even the way I live it, but the story has always been there: A constant for me.

Dell Sweet 03-04-16

WORLD ORDER

Prologue

Year Two

January 15th

The Nation

“As long as it never freezes around the wheel it will be fine,” Dustin said. “It will still work.”

“If it doesn’t freeze solid?” Jake asked.

“If it doesn’t freeze solid,” Dustin agreed. “But it may… We’ll have to see,” Dustin added.

“It shouldn’t,” Josh said. “I have never known the rivers and streams to freeze solid in my area, and we’re much farther south here than I was. Plus all the changes that have happened: Two extra hours of sunlight every day would make things warmer, not colder, wouldn’t it?”

“Might do something,” Jake agreed. They were discussing whether the power house could continue to operate through the winter. Whether the stream that fed it would freeze solid and stop the wheel from turning.

“Well, what I’ve done is simple enough,” Dustin said. “I’ve just vented the water that keeps the generators cool right back out, just down from the wheel. That’s why no ice is forming anywhere around the wheels. That should keep it from forming, but if the entire stream freezes solid then we’ll have to shut down the plant, no flow, no go,” Dustin said.

“We’re going to keep the flour mill open?” Josh asked.

“Keeps the water flowing, keeps the ice from getting a foothold. All we do is take out the drive shaft and the machinery doesn’t move, just the big wheel outside,” Jake said. “Now the sawmill, that’s almost non-stop. I suppose that eventually it will slow down as soon as everyone has built a home, or we finish up projects we want to build, but for now it’s full production every day.”

“I can’t see a day when it wouldn’t be,” Josh added. “People are coming in every week. Slower now, but they’re coming.”

“You should think of something else we can use the flour mill for in the winter, Dustin” Aaron said. “There has to be something.”

“Lots of stuff,” Dustin said. “But the smartest would be to generate our heat from there. A small boiler system could heat everything in the valley. Add a laundry center, or hide washing, processing, which could use the steam heat too. Use the water power when we need it to grind flour, which is really only about a month and a half out of the year, use the water after that to drive steam into the valley. The two won’t conflict with each other.”

Jake was nodding. “One thing though. Move the hide processing far away. Down the valley somewhere where it won’t contaminate our ground water: Where the stench won’t be with us all day every day. I’d really move it completely out of the valley if we could.”

Conner added his agreement. “How hard would it be?”

“Not very,” Dustin said. “I’d put the steam boiler in another building, close by, just run the pumping system from the mill building. We have tons of pipe we bought back. I’d run that pipe about two feet under the ground and right directly under the path we use in the valley. At two feet we should be insulated from most heat loss, but there will be an accumulative effect that will keep the path free of snow or ice. Sort of like a heated sidewalk. A bonus. We can top the path with gravel, install good drainage too so it doesn’t end up a muddy mess.”

“Then I’d build the wash house, hide houses separate too. It’s just a matter of running pipe to them. We would have our mill; our steam for heating and hot water all from the same building,” Dustin said.

“Dustin, what did you do in the old world,” Conner asked.

“School… Video games, little innocent hacking,” He answered. He blushed as he spoke.

“And how did you learn all of this?” He let his hands rise to take in the entire settlement.

“Oh… That… I like to read. I have a memory that works kind of funny. It’s like this: I read something and it goes into my head. Maybe I read something else, other ways to do the same thing. That goes into my head too. Then I visualize it, like I’m actually doing it… Maybe a few times, maybe more, but I see how it works. I see the way to do it. I see the mistakes I could have made too. So when I really do it, it’s like I already did it, I already know how,” he said. He looked prepared to be disbelieved.

“Really?” Conner asked.

“Really,” Dustin answered.

“I can see that,” Aaron said. “I’ve done pretty much the same thing in my head when I’m doing construction work. I work it out in my head and I have it. I didn’t trust it at first, but eventually I came to look at the work I was doing in my head as the same as really doing it.”

Dustin was nodding in agreement.

“I’ve never tried it,” Conner said, “but I will: Apparently it works.”

“Why don’t we get together tonight, have dinner together and discuss it, vote on it,” Jake suggested.

“Kate will be up there anyway,” Conner said.

“She and Amy are up there helping with the new work on the clinic, germs; concrete sealed floor, plastic walls… They aren’t doing the work all alone, more like directing it. Steve says it will be a big deal… Cut down on infections,” Aaron said.

Conner nodded. “So, she’ll be there anyway.”

“They’ll come to a meeting?” Jake asked.

“Positive they will. It’s a good idea. We’ll get all of us together and get it approved,” Conner agreed.

They walked out onto the path that lead back up to the cave. A team of horses was passing by, slowly pulling a sledge piled high with logs toward the sawmill that was farther up the valley. Chloe, who was driving the team of oxen that were pulling it smiled and waved as she passed them by.

~

Lilly waved to Chloe as she passed her a little further down the road, as she waited to cross the slushy path. She was coming from the cave and heading to the school that sat on the other side, the ridge side of the path, nestled up against the steep sides of the valley where it was protected from the winds. The snow next to the path was hard packed. The snow in the field was three feet deep, and there was at least three months of winter left.

A second sledge came following the first, Joe Stevens waved as he approached her where she stood. Jake had hitched a ride from the flour mill, hanging onto the back of the sledge. He peeked around the back of the sledge and smiled. She couldn’t help but return it. He jumped off now as he neared her, and walked across the sloppy path, taking her hand.

“May I,” he asked as he helped her to cross the path. “Going back to the school,” he asked as he walked beside her holding her hand.

She stopped, stretched onto her tip toes and kissed him.

“Yep,” she told him as she began walking once more.

“Is that any kind of English for a teacher to be using,” Jake asked.

“Yep,” Lilly told him and smiled.

“Hey, where’s my kid who’s usually glued to your hip?” Jake asked.

“Annie’s watching him. He fell asleep after he had his lunch,” Lilly told him.

“Nice lunch. Lucky kid,” Jake said with an affected leer.

“Yeah, well, when he’s done with them you’ll get them back,” she said laughing as they walked across the path.

Jake laughed too. “Got a lot to do?”

“Half a day of school. Kids will be back from lunch in just a few minutes. I just stopped off at home to get something to eat myself,” she said.

“Well, I have more to do with Conner and the guys anyway… I just saw you and wanted to see you, you know,” Jake said.

“Yeah? Well, I know what’s on your mind and we’ll see about that later on,” Lilly told him with a smile.

Jake grinned, watched her walk back to the school, and then turned and walked back to the power plant where the others still stood.

When he reached the power plant and jumped up onto the boardwalk all three of the others were looking up toward the main cave. They all looked concerned.

Jake walked closer. “What’s up?” He asked.

“We have a visitor,” Conner said. He jumped down from the board walk and began heading toward the cave with the others.

“Visitor,” Jake asked as he hurried to keep up.

“Rollie,” Aaron said. “The trader? He’s bringing our new doctor and a whole wagon load of supplies.”

“Debbie Jenkins has post this morning down the valley. She said he passed by her about an hour ago, so he should be popping up over the ridge directly,” Conner said.

“Came through the old state park entrance,” Aaron told him. “Says the road all the way in is good… Clear.”

“Parkland,” Conner said.

“Right,” Aaron agreed. “I guess I’ll never remember the name if I don’t keep it in my head. Anyway, Parkland called the day before yesterday. Told us he had gotten there and would be leaving in the morning, that would be yesterday morning. Not bad time for horses pulling a wagon.”

“Hell no,” Jake agreed.

“Who’s the new doctor,” Josh asked.

“Emmett Stiles,” Conner said. “Older guy, don’t know much about him. Kate talked to him more than anyone else. Says he’ll fit right in if he’s anything like his radio personality is.”

“Huh,” Jake said.

“Huh exactly,” Josh agreed.

~

They made it to the top of the pass just in time to watch the sleigh approach the steep grade that would bring it to the top of the pass. An older man sat high on the wagon, driving a team of four oxen. The other man sat across from him. The trader drove the horses easily up the incline and onto the broad terrace that fronted the cave.

The man, somewhere south of sixty, Conner thought, set the brake on the sleigh and then looked down at the five men.

“How do,” The man said.

“All right,” Aaron said.

The other man smiled and nodded hello.

“I imagine you’d be Rollie,” Conner said as he offered a hand. “And you would be Emmett.” He shook hands with the doctor also, and helped as both men climbed down to the ground.

“Rollie drives a fine wagon, well, sleigh this time of year, but I don’t recommend this kind of travel over long distance. This thing need shocks… Something.” He laughed as he massaged his back with both hands and then stretched and yawned.

“Well, you better hope these folks want you or you might find yourself walking back,” Rollie said and laughed.

They all laughed and Conner introduced the others. “This is Aaron, best carpenter we have here. This here is Jake, takes care of our farm with Josh, who actually is a farmer and shows us how to do things right. And this is Dustin who knows pretty much everything else.” They all shook hands and said their hellos. His eyes were drawn to the huge tarp covered load, the wagon and then the Oxen. “You’ll stay a while?” Conner asked.

The mans eyes had caught the electric lights spaced along the tunnel that lead into the cave. The tunnel now ran right down the right side of the main cave. It flowed in a curve all the way to the other side of the mountain and the second cave where it emptied out in the main cave area. You could use the doors there and the built up earthen ramp to continue right down into the third valley. He nodded and then shook his head.

“Yeah… Yes, I thought to stay a bit and rest a little. So… You do have electric. Amazing. I know of no other place that does, excepting Alabama Island, and they are barely up and running with it. I was sure you had it, electric I mean, and so I banked on it: Added a few items you might could use… There a place where I can put up the oxen?” He asked.

“Sure,” Dustin said. He helped the man disconnect the team and then he and Josh excused themselves as they lead the team down into the valley.

Katie, Amy, Sandy and Susan came from inside the main cave.

“Hello,” Emmett Stiles said As Katie stepped forward. He used a walking stick, but did not seem to need it for anything more than an affection. His black hair was long, twisted into a pony-tail that hung between his shoulder blades. A smile rested on his full mouth, his skin a light brown.

“Kate, Doctor Emmett Stiles,” Conner said. He turned and looked from Katie to Amy. “Doctor, my woman, Kate, you two talked over the radio. And my friend Amy, Aaron’s woman. Ladies this is our new doctor. Come to us from Johnson Crossing.”

Sandy overheard the introduction from just a few feet away where she had been looking over the wagon and hurried over with Susan.

“This is Sandy… Susan. Sandy is our nurse. She took over the load after Jessie left,” Conner said.

Everyone said their hellos and Emmett turned to Sandy.

“I wanted to meet you, Sandy. I have heard so much about you,” Emmett said.

“It’s nice to meet you, Doctor. Katie told me all about you,” she said.

“Emmett.” he lifted his eyes to include everyone. “Emmett is easier on my ears.”

“Emmett,” Sandy agreed.

“Sandy,” Emmett said. “Maybe you could show me around? … You too Susan, of course.”

“Absolutely,” Sandy said.

Rollie spoke up as they walked away.

“She’s telling a different story… Just so you know,” Rollie said in a low voice.

“Who,” Conner asked.

“Jessie. Radio, incoming on a relay a week or so before I left. Says you ran them out in the middle of the night… Says they were lucky to make it out alive. Not all did, in fact.”

Aaron shook his head and laughed. “Try to do someone a favor and it bites you in the ass. “We walked them out, allowed them to go when we caught them about to go on their own with nothing. Gave them weapons, food,” He shook his head in disgust.

“You called it though,” Conner said. A sad smile curved the corners of his mouth downward. “You said it would get switched up and it did….” He turned to Rollie. “We’ll talk more later… Maybe others will want to hear what she said.”

“How’s a cup of coffee sound?” Jake asked a few seconds later to break the uncomfortable silence.

“You got coffee?” Rollie asked.

“Well, instant,” Jake admitted. “Coffee is gold here. We hope to grow some next year though.”

“Now see, that’s why you need me. I think we can help each other a great deal,” Rollie said.

The door opened behind them and several people flooded out of the cave and surrounded them. Aaron made introductions as Conner kissed Katie on one cheek.

“Well,” Conner said as things quieted down. “Come on in and let’s get some coffee in you.”

“All right,” Rollie agreed. He turned to the sleigh and in a second one corner of the tarp was loose and flapping. A second later he had thrown it back over the load. Boxes upon boxes, Conner saw. Rollie reached in the midst and pulled out a large sack and then an old fashioned coffee grinder. The smell of ground coffee hit him on the constant wind that blew over the pass and down into the valley. Rollie turned back with a huge smile on his face.

“Let’s make the coffee real. And let’s call this a good will gift to you folks,” he said, holding out the old fashioned coffee grinder and the sack of beans.

“Okay then,” Conner said and laughed. He took the grinder and Aaron took the sack of coffee beans. They walked into the cave together, the crowd all talking at once.

Snoqualmie Settlement

Washington state

April 28th

Year Two

The Fold

“Easy, Frank,” Gary warned, “you ain’t got but two inches, and you’ll be over the damn edge of the roof.”

“No sweat, Gar’,” Frank replied. “That about where she needs to be, Joe?”

“Looks sweet to me,” Joe answered smiling.

“Frank! For God’s sake be careful, you’re going to fall, I just know it,” this from Annie on the ground.

No I’m not, not unless Joe pushes me I’m not,” Frank said, and laughed.

“Oh, when you get down from there, Franklin, I’m going to swat that smartness out of you for good,” Annie called up, sounding relieved.

“She will too,” Frank whispered to Gary.

“I heard that,” Annie said from below.

“Shove it up just an inch, Frank,” Joe said.

Frank shoved the solar panel back up, estimating the inch Joe wanted.

“Good, right there, now hold on for just one second…” a heavy thunk sounded as Joe drove a nail into the roof, through one of the panels tabs. “Two more, Frank…”

thunk … thunk.

Gary was holding the side. “’Bout done, Frank. Got ‘er?”

Frank smiled, “Easy as pie…” his foot slipped, and he slid backwards. Gary’s arm shot out quickly, a startled gasp came from Annie below. Frank held onto the panel, instead of holding the panel, and just hoped Joe had enough nails in it. One foot slipped off the edge, the other held however, and the slide stopped.

thunk … thunk.

“Okay, Frank, you can let go,” Joe told him, and looked up. Gary had him by one arm. Joe bent and quickly drove another nail into the roof.

thunk, thunk, thunk,

Frank pulled himself up carefully, with Gary’s help, and then sat down on the rough shingles.

“I didn’t know,” Joe said.

“Neither did I,” Frank told him. He laughed uneasily.

“Honey?” from Annie on the ground.

Frank leaned over the edge of the roof. “I’m fine, Hon. I think I’ll just sit here for a minute though if you don’t mind.”

“Well damn, Frank, lean over the edge and fall off why don’t you!” He drew back.

Joe handed Gary the hammer and the apron full of nails, and began to work on the wiring. He popped the end of the panel open, fished the cable through, stripped it, and began to finish the circuit.

“Uh, uh,” Frank said. He took the hammer and the apron, and began fastening the bottom of the panel. Gary’s arthritis was bad: Bad enough that he shouldn’t even be up here, and he was afraid of heights too.

“Suit yourself, Frank,” Gary said, obviously relieved.

Joe twisted the wire-nut on the last three ground wires, wound a short length of electrical tape around them, and closed the panel front. “That’s it,” he said, as he stood on the sharply pitched roof.

thunk … thunk

“Me too,” Frank said, handing the hammer back to Gary. Gary turned and dropped it over the edge, close to the house, the nail apron went the same way.

Joe grinned. “Let’s go try it,” he said.

Seven months of scrounging solar panels, back-up batteries and wiring, and now the moment of truth. Joe waited anxiously while Gary negotiated the ladder, a slow trip. Gary did fine going up the ladder, it was down that was hard, he knew.

Frank waited nervously beside Dell, Annie, and Peggy on the ground, until Gary finally reached the end of the ladder. Joe fairly flew down behind him, the excitement evident on his face. They all walked inside the cabin.

It was the largest cabin at Snoqualmie settlement, built the first year with some help from Jeremiah and Anson, when they had come up. They needed a large cabin, so that all of them could get together. Snoqualmie had grown a great deal in the last year. Joe and Becky had bought Dell and Peggy when they had come cross country from the east. Six months later Frank had come without Jessie. Shortly after that Annie had come and they had become an item: Jessie had come on her own, but she had not stayed long. Lisa and her man Sam, six other couples had followed. Now there were better than seventy people here in the first encampment, and over three hundred in the small valley by the lake: The numbers kept rising.

In addition to the larger cabin, there were seven others scattered in a semicircle, and more than eighty down closer to the lake. Most had been part of an old summer camp for kids. Joe walked to a large electrical panel, mounted just inside the doorway, and waited for the others to catch up.

The panel held the main breaker. They had wired the eight cabins with florescent lights. No outlets, they didn’t have enough panels for that yet. Six large sodium lights ringed the cabins outside. Joe hesitated, his eyes locked on the overhead light fixture. “Here goes,” he said, and then flicked the main breaker.

For a split second nothing. And then, softly, a low hum, almost insectile, as the fluorescent light stuttered to life.

Gary levered the front door open. The sodium lights had a sensor switch that would automatically turn them on at dusk, but Joe had installed an override switch next to the door. Gary flipped the switch as he stepped out the door, and the sodium arc lights glowed softly. Within five minutes they were at full power, shining brightly in the late afternoon air.

“Think it’ll run anything else?” Dell asked.

“Eventually, if we can hunt up a few more panels,” Joe answered smiling. “We did it, can you believe it?”

“So long as you don’t want to build a nuclear power plant next, Joe,” Gary said and laughed. The others joined in, their laughter rolling across the clearing As they turned to walk back to the cabin they heard the sound of a motor on the quiet mountain air.

“Damn,” Gary said as he dodged inside the cabin and came back with an armload of rifles.

He passed them around as the motor grew louder.

There was one road into the old forest preserve, and none of them had heard the sound of a gas motor in close to a year, the entire settlement used horses. Their outpost was the entrance into the actual settlement a half mile distance deeper into the forest, spread around the lake.

Joe took a rifle from Gary. He ejected and checked the magazine, then slammed it home once more. The rifles were the real deal, full auto at the flip of a switch, taken from some dead soldiers they had come across on one of their excursions for supplies.

Sarah ran Snoqualmie settlement: She had since Jessie Stone had left more than a year before, and had never come back. Snoqualmie had risen from a disorganized settlement of outlaws, desperate men and women, to a respected settlement that was ruled with a somewhat iron hand.

He could clearly hear more than one motor now, maybe three, Joe thought. Frank looked over at him and arched his eyebrows, but the truth was that Joe had no idea who this might be. There were gangs from the larger cities that sometimes raided the smaller encampments, but none had ever come this far out, and Snoqualmie was far from small. Over three hundred people were here. Armed men and women. Gardens were planted. Houses had been built. It was home and they all felt the same about it. No gang would be taking this place from them, stealing their children, raping their women, murdering their men. It was a question that came up often living so close to what was left of Seattle Washington. It was why the rifles had been picked up, cleaned, and put into service. It was why this house was the outpost you had to pass to get down into the actual settlement.

Becky came from the house with her own rifle. She took up a position by a tree on the other side of the main road where it turned in from the old park road and then angled down toward the lake and the settlements. The motors grew louder as the vehicles turned the last corner and rolled out into the clearing that fronted the house. Three sport utilities that had seen better days, Joe saw. Their drivers shut down the motors and silence fell on the day. The tick of cooling motors came to Joe’s ears. The door on the closest sport utility began to open and Beth called out from across the yard.

“I would step out unarmed if I were you,” Becky told them. The others in the yard had raised their own rifles and pointed them at the door and the person who was stepping from the sport utility.

A short woman stepped out, long black hair, black-lensed glasses covered her eyes. Joe began to lower his rifle. She stripped off the heavy leather coat she wore and tossed it back into the truck. She pulled the glasses down her nose and stared over them to where Becky stood, a wide smile on her face.

“Oh god, no way,” Becky said. Her voice caught as she lowered her rifle and moved toward the woman where she stood next to the truck. “Jessie… We thought you were dead, Jessie. We thought you were dead.” she told her when she reached her. Becky wrapped her arms around the smaller woman and hugged her tightly.

“I get that a lot,” Jessie joked. She made room for Joe as he came over and wrapped his arms around the two of them. “I get that a lot,” Jessie repeated.

……………………………………………………………………….

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Winter and a Free Earth’s Survivors peek

Winter and a Free Earth’s Survivors peek

Humor Posted by Geo, February 06 2017 13:59:44

Happy Monday. It is overcast and pouring here in New York. The weather man assured us we would not get any fallout from the Hurricane that ripped up the coast, and so of course we did. I predict the weather by forecasting the exact opposite of what the weatherman does, and I am right way more often that he is so I think I should have my own weather show.

My winter Forecast: It will be cold, followed by really cold, so cold you’ll wish it was August, but after that it will heat up around next summer or so. Next Fall (the long range forecast: I think we’ll see some rain in September some time and then things will cool off. I think October and November will continue the cooling trend, and if the Zombie Apocalypse doesn’t happen right after that I think it’s gonna snow. In fact I think it’s gonna snow so hard you’ll wish it was August again and the oppressive heat was smacking you up, but before those words leave your lips you’ll swallow them back remembering just how hot it really was.

Then Around January 15th or so it’s gonna get so damn cold that you will curse the day winter was ever born and pray to feel that sweat trickling down your face from back in August. Pray for it as you shiver and wonder if you should set that thermostat just a little bit higher.

After that it’s gonna start all over again and you will begin to wonder why in hell you ever moved to New York anyway. Were you sick that day? Did you have a prophetic dream that when the Apocalypse hits New York would be the safest place? Were you high that day smoking that medical Marijuana? What the hell is wrong with you anyway? Well, whatever it is it’s too late, winter will be coming and it will be such a beautiful fall that you’ll be suckered into another year in New York. Now, let’s see who is right, me or the weatherman.

Take a look at Apocalypse below and if you like it go get the eBook free at all major booksellers!

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EARTH’S SURVIVORS: APOCALYPSE

Published with Amazon

PUBLISHED BY: Dell Sweet

Earth’s Survivors: Apocalypse is © Copyright 2014 Wendell Sweet, all rights reserved.

 

Additional Copyrights © 2010 – 2012, 2014, 2015 by Wendell Sweet, All rights reserved

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

FOREWORD

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR

FIVE

SIX

SEVEN

EIGHT

NINE

TEN

ELEVEN

TWELVE

THIRTEEN

FOURTEEN

PREVIEW BOOK TWO

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Foreword

Here is the story the way I wrote it and the way that it should be…

Dell Sweet: January 28th 2015

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ONE

March 1st 12:06 am.

L.A.

Billy Jingo

Billy knocked back the tequila, and waved off Beth as she motioned to the back bar for another. She came over smiling.

“A man that knows when to quit. I like that,” Beth said.

Billy laughed. “A recently acquired habit, I assure you. Shit will bite you if you don’t set your limits,” He smiled at her, hesitated, and then spoke again. “So, it’s almost over for tonight… Thought you would be dancing?” He raised his voice at the end to make it into a question. He knew it was what she wanted. He had seen her dance; there wasn’t a dancer in the place that could hang with her. She was it, except something wasn’t clicking between her and Tommy, or maybe it went all the way up the ladder to Junior Vitaglio. Whatever it was, Billy was curious about it.

“Curiosity killed the cat,” Beth said with a wide smile, as if reading his thoughts.

“Damn,” Billy said. “It’s as if…”

“I read your thoughts?” She laughed. “It’s been written all over your face since you came in. I saw you looking at the stage, back at me, back to the stage. It’s not hard to figure it out.”

“Hey, it’s not like I’m some pervert, Beth. I just think you are way too good for…”

“If you say it I’ll smack you stupid,” Beth told him. Her eyes were slatted, narrowed, and focused. Her right hand had doubled into a fist. Billy had no doubt she meant what she said.

“Peace,” Billy said.

“Not that it really matters,” Beth said with a sigh. “Tommy knows, and that means Junior knows, and they don’t care… I thought maybe it was my time on the streets, but that’s not it. I’d feel for the lame ass that came in here if I was dancing, and had anything to say about my time on the streets. He’d find himself bounced fast… No, that isn’t it… We’ve all been there… At least the interesting ones.”

Billy nodded. “So what is it?”

Beth shrugged. “I don’t know, but I’m hoping Junior will be around later on and I…”

“Hey, Baby, what the fuck with the drink?” A big guy, belly straining at the buttons of his shirt. He smiled, but the smile was no more than a rough semblance of a smile.  Billy tried to burn him with his eyes, but Beth reached nearly into his face and said. “So you’re done here?”

Her eyes said don’t, he didn’t, but he would have liked to say something to the guy. Instead, he nodded a yes and picked up the change she had laid on the bar. She was talking to the fat guy before he got his change in his pocket.

“See that big guy over by the door,” she asked nicely.

Billy watched the fat guy turn to the door and then back to Beth. “Yeah?” There was a sarcastic edge to his voice that made Billy slow down. He wanted to see the outcome.

Jon, the big guy on the door had that bouncer sixth sense, and looked over at Beth and shrugged as if to ask if there was a problem. She rolled her eyes, and Jon left the door and headed for the bar.

“I told you no more,” Beth told the guy.

“And I said I don’t take no orders from no bitch,” The fat guy said. He puffed up, but a line of sweat trickled from under his too black hair, streaking his forehead with whatever he had sprayed on his hair to get the color. He swiped at it angrily, and began to bluster a little more when Jon’s heavy hand fell on his shoulder.

“And I missed my workout today,” Jon told him as he easily spun him around. “Unless you’re it?” Jon finished.

“This is a private matter,” The fat guy told him, but there was a quiver in his voice that Billy heard clearly.

“Tried to grab Jill’s breast when she went past him. Jill laughed it off, said he’d been a perfect gentleman all the rest of the night. I said cool, a little mess up, he’s had too much to drink, and so I cut him off.”

Gentleman was a code word for a creep that had been hanging around getting way too friendly with the dancers.

“That so,” Jon asked. He had stepped back to give himself some room just in case things took a physical turn.

The guy noted the movement, set his empty glass on the bar and put his hands in front of him, palms up. “No interest in trouble at all,” he told Jon.

Jon nodded at the door. “Time to go home and sleep it off, I think,” Jon told him.

Billy watched the guy walk to the door and leave. He looked back to see Jon and Beth looking at him.

“You know, this guy is becoming a pain in the ass,” Beth told Jon.

“Ha, ha,” Billy said.

“Beat it, Jingo. Leave the honey alone. It’s off limits. In other words you ain’t getting none of it.” Billy watched a cloud come over Beth just that fast. She had been teasing, Jon probably knew that, but Jon had a thing for her and he hated Billy who sometimes did small things for Junior. He didn’t wait for Billy to leave, but headed back to the door, opened it quickly, and looked out into the lot.

“Probably making sure the guy ain’t fucking up his car,” Billy said under his breath.

“Sorry, Billy. I keep forgetting Jon isn’t human,” Beth told him. That made Billy laugh.

“Anyway, I’ll see you around. I’ll be late tonight.”

Billy nodded. “Good luck, Beth.” He turned and walked to the door at the other end of the club. The one that let out onto the front sidewalk.

~

The night was beautiful, Billy thought, as he walked along Beechwood Avenue. He knew pretty much everyone he passed. He had been here for a little over six months after making his way up from Mexico when things had gone bad for him there. Technically he was on the run. Warrants out of New York. Somebody had put two and two together and dug up some prints from a crime Billy had been involved with. He had only found out about it because he had happened to be away from the house when the Feds showed up. His neck of the woods had no municipal police, but even if it had they wouldn’t have come with shotguns and armor.

He had hid out for three days until the word had trickled down to him that it was him they were looking for to hand over to some federal agents from the U.S. It hadn’t taken much to put two and two together. He had managed to get a beat up old Ford pickup truck, and then he filled a fifty five gallon drum full of gasoline that was strapped into the bed of the truck: He set off into the desert.

The rest had been easier. Despite the laws and the changes in the U.S. it was pretty easy to disappear here. He had come with a little money, and that had helped. He had worked a series of meaningless jobs as he worked his way up the west coast. L.A. had looked good and so it had held him; that and he had met Beth.

Beth had been working the streets, but she was out of reach and he knew it. Even so, that didn’t stop the fact that he wanted her to be in reach. He had never met a woman like her. So he had stayed.  He had seen something in her. Something hard, some will he himself had that was hard to define, but that hardness in her pulled him to her like a magnet. It was that simple.

He had been working for Junior by then, and so he had mentioned Beth to him. He didn’t know how the details had worked out, but a few weeks later when he had noticed she had disappeared from the avenue, he had found her working at Junior’s Palace.

As he walked he became immune to the world around him. He never heard Jon until he was on him, had spun him around, and dragged him into an alley.

Hey… Hey! Jon… What the fuck, Jon… Hey!” but it did no good. The first punch nearly shut him down. The second did. The rest he never knew about.

L.A.: 2:00 am.

Beth

The night wore on. The morning came and went and the club shut down for another day. Beth worked at cleaning up the last little area of the bar as two of the dancers finished their drinks and hushed conversations, smiled at her, and walked away. A short conversation with Jon, he had probably made some crude remark; Beth had seen how both of them had instantly stiffened their backs after he spoke. It wasn’t just her, Jon was an actual creep. Whatever he had said the two girls chose to ignore it, turning away, making eye contact with Beth, waving as if they had been at the bar talking to her, and when Jon looked back to see who they had been waving at they slipped out the door. Jon made his way over to the bar.

“You scared my honeys away,” he told her.

“I think you can do that all on your own,” Beth told him.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jon asked.

Beth frowned and shook her head. Sometimes she wondered if Jon even knew what a creep he was. How he made the girls who worked here, her included, feel. “It means that not everyone is always on the same page,” Beth said. She had changed her mind at the last second. She had to work here. Jon was the nephew of the owner. Creep or not he was part of the package.

Jon looked confused.

“Jon, Jon, it means that sometimes you just have to let things happen. Go slow. A girl wants to think it was her own idea to like you,” she told him.

“Yeah… I can see that, but when you need it you need it. Some of these bitches need to be on point.” One finger disappeared into his nose and then he seemed to suddenly remember she was there. “You know, me and you need to hook up. I got …” One massive hand settled onto his shoulder, and he stopped in mid sentence.

“Disappear, Jon, Jon. I need to talk to Beth right now,” Tommy told him as he sat down on one of the stools.

‘We was just talking, Uncle Tommy.”

“Right, and now you’re done talking… Unless you’re not? Am I interrupting you?”

Jon turned beet red. He laughed to hide the embarrassment. “No… No,” he turned and walked away.

Tommy turned to Beth. “I guess you’ll have to get used to the kid. He’s a pain in the ass, but he’s my pain in the ass… Load to bear,” He turned and watched Jon step out the door to the parking lot. “Jon, Jon,” Tommy yelled. Jon poked his head back in the door and looked at his uncle. “Take a good look around out there, make sure the lot’s empty, and the girls all got to their cars okay.”

“Okay, Uncle Tommy,” Jon called back. The dopey smile that he usually wore settled back on his face as he stepped out into the darkness. Tommy turned back to Beth.

‘Billy Jingo,” he said.

Beth looked at him.

“I think that kid is bad news for you… Not telling you how you should live your life, just distributing advice… A girl like you, a dancer, don’t need a distraction like that. The customers don’t want to see no boyfriend hanging around. Spoils the fantasy.” He held her stare.

“It’s not like that, Tommy. “Billy is a friend only… Lives in the same building.” She had caught the fact that he had said she was a dancer. Something she wasn’t yet, unless…

“Uh huh, but he wants you. The kid is like a love sick puppy. If you could step back and look at it you would see it clearly. Are you telling me you are smart enough to handle Jon Jon, and you can’t see this Jingo kid has it bad for you?”

Beth shrugged. “No… I know… I know that, but he knows it isn’t going to happen. He knows what the deal is.”

“Good… That’s all I’m saying, but you need to tell him to stay away… Can’t be hanging around while you’re working… See?”

Beth nodded. “I see.”

“Good, cause next week you start as a dancer. I know you…” He stopped as Beth lunged across the bar and hugged him, squealing as she did. He hugged her back, laughing.

She kissed his cheek, and then her smile went away a little as one of his hands cupped the side of her breast. Her eyes focused on his. “I think we’ll become good friends, Baby,” he told her. She nodded as his hand roamed a little further, and then trailed away across the flat plains of her stomach. She pulled back. Tommy wore a crooked smile on his face. “So we understand each other?”

“Yeah,” Beth told him.

“So smile then. Let’s have a drink… On me… Pour us something good, Baby,” Tommy told her.

3:00 am

Beth smoothed her skirt flat as she stepped out into the darkness of the parking lot. She had spent over a month trying to convince Tommy to let her dance. She had gotten her wish, and more than she had bargained for, a relationship with Tommy. She wasn’t sure how that was going to be defined in public, but in private it was going to be defined as a sexual relationship. He had just defined it for her, she would have to wait to see what the public definition was going to be, but she had a good idea how it was going to be.

Nan, the dancer Tommy was currently seeing, was going to be upset. Tommy was not subtle. It had been clear that they had been seeing less and less of each other. She had no doubt that her first night of dancing he was going to make it clear she was his. Like a dog marking his territory. She sighed, off the street, but still getting fucked for money. She hated putting it that starkly in her head, but that was the plain truth. She was still selling it, just different terms, better money and better protection. She heard footsteps running behind her and her breath caught in her throat. She turned as the club door that exited to the parking lot banged shut.

“Beth,” Jon yelled. “Beth.”

She stopped and waited.

“Uncle Tommy said I should drive you home… He don’t want you walking.”

She sighed. She had half expected it. Jon ran the twenty feet from the door to where she was. She changed direction and walked slowly toward Jon’s car. Well, she thought, at least there would be no more bullshit from Jon.

Jessie

Twenty feet away from Junior’s Palace on Beechwood Avenue, the prostitutes were just beginning to show up in force, waiting for the early morning traffic. Jessie Chambers sat with his back against the wall of an alley: A needle ready, and a speedball cooking over a tin of shoe polish. There was a bum sleeping a little further down the alley. Jessie ignored him, watching the mixture in the blackened spoon begin to bubble, melting together.

Two days before he had been sitting in a diner off 4th avenue south waiting for his world to end. He had paid for the bottomless cup of coffee the place advertised, but ten cups had done nothing to improve his situation. He was still sick. He was still broke, and he needed something to take the edge off the real world, which had been sucking pretty hard at that time. A trucker had come in and ate his dinner just two stools away from Jessie, but every time he had worked up the courage to ask him for a couple of bucks the guy had stared him down so hard that he had changed his mind.

He had just made up his mind to leave. Even the waitress was staring hard every time he asked for more coffee. The cops couldn’t be far away, when the trucker had reached back for his wallet, pulled it free and took a ten from inside and dropped it on the counter top.

Jessie watched. It was involuntary. One of those things you did when your head was full of sickness and static. Just a place for your ever moving eyes to fall. The wallet was one of those types he had seen bikers use. A long chain connecting it to the wide leather belt he wore. Hard to steal. Hard to even get a chance at. The man stuffed the wallet back into his pocket. Sloppy, Jessie saw, probably because he knew the chain was there and so if it did fall out he would know it. He turned and put his ass nearly in Jessie’s face as he got up from the stool. The wallet was right there. Two inches from his nose, bulging from the pocket. The leather where the steel eye slipped through to hold the chain frayed, ripped, barely connected. The man straightened and the wallet slipped free. The chain caught on the pocket, slipped down inside, and the wallet came free, the leather holding the steel eye parted like butter, and the wallet fell into Jessie’s lap. He nearly called out to the man before he could shut his mouth. His hand closed over the wallet and slipped it under his tattered windbreaker. The waitress spoke in his ear a second later.

“Listen… Buy something else of get the fuck out. You hear me? Otherwise, my boss,” she turned and waved one fat hand at the serve through window, “Says to call the cops.”

Jessie stared at her in disbelief. He was sure that everyone in the diner had seen the wallet fall into his lap. He swallowed. “Yeah… Okay… I’m leaving,” he said with his croaky voice. Sometimes, getting high, he didn’t speak for weeks. It just wasn’t necessary. When he did he would find his voice rusty, his throat croaking out words like a frog. Sometimes he was right on the edge of not even being able to understand the words. Like they had suddenly become some foreign language. He cleared his throat, picked up the cup of cold coffee and drained it. “Going,” he said.

He got up from the stool, kept one hand in his pocket holding the wallet under the windbreaker and walked out the front door.

New York

12:30 am

Carl Evans watched from the mouth of a dark alley. It was one of the things he loved about this place. You could hang out in an alley, smoke cigarettes all day and night long if you wanted to, and nobody said a word to you. Where else, but New York could that be true, he asked himself.

He leaned back against the wall, one sneakered foot propped on the brick behind him to hold him, the other flat on the cobbled stones of the alley. Another thing about New York, he thought as he inhaled deeply of his cigarette, and then let the smoke roll slowly out of his mouth. Old things everywhere you looked. These cobblestones for instance. He wondered how old they truly were.

“Young man.” The deep voice startled him from his thoughts. He lifted his head to see an old, gray haired gentleman standing at the mouth of the alley a few feet away. His face was creased and seamed. His skin so dark it was nearly blue. A cane in one hand supported his weight.

“What’s up, Pops?” Carl asked politely.

The man placed his second hand on his cane and leaned forward. “That cigarette will kill you. “

“Pops…”

He held up one hand as Carl began to speak. “Just telling you. Don’t need an argument. It will kill you. The big tobacco’s, they knew about it back in the day when I was a boy chasing that habit. And they knew about it when it was in commercials in magazines, and T.V. and what not. That cowboy died from it you know, they knew it and they still know it. It will kill you. In case you didn’t know it I wanted you to know it.” He straightened his back, lifted the second hand, nodded once, and moved across the mouth of the alley disappearing as though from some sort of magic.

Carl chuckled, lifted the cigarette to his mouth, took a deep drag and then found himself blowing the smoke out, dropping the cigarette, and crushing it. The old man had ruined it for him. He hadn’t smoked in ten years, but it tasted as good now as it had then. And he had figured with the way things were nobody had much time. Certainly not enough time to die from cancer or some other nasty surprise from cigarettes, but just the same the old man had ruined it for him.

He looked down at the blackened mess he had made as he ground the cigarette into the cobbles. Just as well, he told himself, it was time. He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a small silver canister. He inhaled a sharp breath involuntarily. He knew what it was. Knew what he was doing, but he still couldn’t believe he was actually going to do it.

He fingered the small red button on the top of the silver canister, hesitated, and then pushed it down. Something inside clicked. There was no other sound in the stillness. He tossed it down the alley, turned, and walked out to the sidewalk.

Route 81: A rest stop outside of Watertown New York

1:00 am

The black truck pulled into the rest stop and two men climbed out; walking toward the rest rooms that sat in from the road. Concrete bunker looking buildings that had been built back in the early seventies. They had been closed for several years now. In fact the Open soon sign was bolted to the front of the building; rust streaked the sign surface. It seemed like some sort of joke to Mike Bliss who used the rest stop as a place to do light duty drug deals. Nothing big, but still that depended on your idea of big. Certainly nothing over a few thousand dollars. That was his break off point. Any higher than that, he often joked, you’ll have to talk to someone in Columbia… Or maybe Mexico, he told himself now as he sat waiting in his Lexus. He watched the two men make a bee line for the old rest rooms.

“Idiots,” he muttered to himself. He pushed the button, waited for the window to come down, leaned out the window and yelled. “What are you, stupid? They’re closed.” He motioned with one hand. “You can’t read the fuckin’ sign or what?”

Both men stopped and looked from him to the sign.

“Yeah, closed. You can read right? Closed. That’s what it says. Been closed for years. Go on into Watertown; buy a fuckin’ burger or something. Only way you’re getting a bathroom at this time of the morning.” He had lowered his voice for the last as he pulled his head back into the car, and turned the heater up a notch. The electric motor whined as the window climbed in its track. He looked down at his wrist for the time, 1:02 A.M., where the fuck was this dude. He was late, granted a few minutes, but late was late.

A sharp rap on the glass startled him. He had been about to dig out his own supply, a little pick-me-up. He looked up to see the guys from the truck standing outside his window. “Oh… Fucking lovely,” he muttered. He pushed the button and the window lowered into the door, the motor whining loudly, the cold air blew in.

“And what can I do for you two gentlemen,” He asked in his best smart ass voice.

The one in back stepped forward into the light. Military type, Mike told himself. Older, maybe a noncom. A little gray at the edges of his buzz cut. With the military base so close there were soldiers everywhere, after all Watertown was a military town. It was why he was in the business he was in. It was also why he succeeded at it.

“Did you call me stupid,” The man asked in a polite tone.

“Who, me? No. I didn’t call you stupid, I asked, what are you stupid? Different thing. The fuckin’ place is closed… Just doing my good deed for the day… Helping you, really, so you don’t waste no time,” Mike told him.

“Really?” The man asked.

Mike chuckled. “Yeah really, tough guy. Really. Now, I did my good deed, why don’t you get the fuck out of here ’cause you wore out your welcome.” He opened his coat slightly so they could see the chrome 9 mm that sat in its holster.

“Really,” the first guy repeated.

“Okay, who are you guys, frick and frack? A couple of fucking wannabees? Well I am the real deal, don’t make me stick this gun in your fuckin’ face,” Mike told them. He didn’t like being a dick, but sometimes you had to be.

“You know what my mother always said about guns?” The second guy asked.

“Well, since I don’t know your mama it’s hard to say,” Mike told him. He didn’t like the way these two were acting. They weren’t cops, he knew all the locals, if it had been someone he had to worry about he would have handled this completely differently. These guys were nobodies. At least nobodies to him, and that made them nobodies to Watertown. If he had to put a bullet in… His thoughts broke off abruptly as the barrel of what looked like a .45 was jammed into his nose. It came from nowhere. He sucked in a deep breath. He could taste blood in his mouth where the gun had smashed his upper lip against his teeth.

“She said don’t threaten to pull a gun, never, Just pull it.”

“Mama had a point,” Mike allowed. His voice was nasally due to the gun that was jammed hallway up to his brain. “Smart lady.”

“Very,” the man allowed. “Kind of hard ass to grow up with, but she taught me well.” He looked down at Mike. “So listen, this is what we’re gonna do. You’re gonna drive out of here right the fuck now. And that’s going to stop me from pulling this trigger. Lucky day for you, I think. Like getting a Get Out Of Jail Free card, right.”

“This is my business spot… You don’t understand,” Mike told them. “I… I’m waiting for someone.”

“Not tonight, Michael.”

“Yeah, but you don’t.” He stopped. “How do you know my name?” he asked. There was more than a nasal quality to his voice, now there was real fear. Maybe they were Feds. Maybe.

“Yeah, we know you. And we know you use this spot as a place to do your business. And I’m saying we couldn’t care less, but right now you gotta go, and I’m not going to tell you the deal again. You can leave or stay, but you ain’t gonna like staying,” The guy told him.

Listen… This is my town… If you guys are Feds you can’t do shit like this… This is my town. You guys are just…

The guy pulled the trigger and Mike jumped. He fell to the right, across the front seat. Both men stepped away from the car, eyes scanning the lonely rest stop from end to end, but there was no one anywhere. The silence returned with a ringing in their ears from the blast as it had echoed back out of the closed car interior. The shooter worked his jaw for a moment, swallowing until his ears popped. He lifted his wrist to his mouth. “Guess you saw that,” he said quietly.

“Got a cleaner crew on the way up. You’ll pass them in the elevators. We’re waiting on you guys.” The voice came through the implant in his inner ear. No one heard what was said except him.

He nodded for the cameras that were picking him up. “In case you didn’t hear it, someone is supposed to meet him here so your cleaner crew could have company.”

“Got that too… We’ll handle it.” He nodded once more, and then walked off toward the rest rooms as the other man followed.

In back of the unit they used a key in the old rusted handset. It only looked old and rusty; it was actually an interface for a state of the art digital system that would read his body chemistry, heat, and more. The key had dozens of micro pulse sensor implants that made sure the user was human, transmitted heartbeat, body chemistry, it could even tell male from female and match chemical profiles to known examples in its database. Above and to the sides of them several scanners mapped their bodies to those same known profiles. Bone composition, old fractures, density and more. All unique in every man or women. The shooter removed the key and slipped it into his pocket. A few seconds later a deep whining of machinery reached their ears, the door shuddered in its frame, and then slipped down into a pocket below the doorway.

A second later they stepped into the gutted restroom. Stainless steel doors took up most of the room; the elevator to the base below. They waited for the cleaner crew to come up, and then took the elevator back down into the depths.

~

The facility stretched for more than five miles underground. Most of that was not finished space, most of that was connector tunnels, and storage space bored from the rock. The facility itself was about three thousand feet under the city of Watertown in a section of old caves that had been enlarged, concrete lined and reinforced. The rest area was one of several entrances that led into the complex. An old farm on the other side of Watertown, an abandoned factory in the industrial park west of the city and a few other places, including direct connections from secure buildings on the nearby base.

John Pauls and Sammy Black had Alpha clearance. Both were ex-military, but most likely military clearance was no longer a real matter of concern this late in the game, Sammy thought as they made their way down the wide hallway. The word coming down to those in the know was that in the next twenty-four hours the human race would come very close to ceasing to exist at all. No confirmation from anyone official, but regular programming was off air, the news stations were tracking an asteroid that may or may not hit the Earth. The best opinions said it didn’t matter if it hit or not, it would be a close enough pass that there would be massive damage. Maybe the human race would be facing extinction. The government was strangely silent on the subject. And that had made him worry even more. The pass was estimated to be right over the tip of South America. So maybe formalities like Alpha clearance weren’t all that important any longer, if only Michael Bliss had given that some thought before he had pissed him off.

The halls were silent, nearly empty. Gloss white panels eight feet high framed it. It had always reminded Black of a maze with its twists and turns. Here and there doors hung open. Empty now. Always closed any other time he had been down here. So it had come this far too, Black thought. He stopped at a door that looked like any other door and a split second later the door rose into the ceiling and Major Weston waved them in.

Alice, he had never learned her last name, sat at her desk, her eyes on them as they walked past her. One hand rested on the butt of a matte black .45 caliber pistol in a webbed shoulder holster that was far from Army issue, and Sammy had no doubt she would shoot them both before they could even react. Alice was etched into one of those name pins that the Army seemed to like so well, but oddly, just Alice, no last name, rank or anything else. She wore no uniform, just a black coverall. The kind with the elastic ankle and wrist cuffs. No insignia there either. He had noticed that months before. Her eyes remained flat and expressionless as they passed her desk.

“Alice,” Sammy said politely. She said nothing at all, but she never did.

“Sit down, boys,” Major Weston told them. He spoke around the cigar in his mouth. Dead, but they were always, and there was never the smell of tobacco in the office. They took the two chairs that fronted the desk.

The Major was looking over a large monitor on the opposite wall that showed the North American continent. This map showed small areas of red, including the northern section where they were. The rest of the map was covered with green. “Where we are, and where we need to be,” he said as he pushed a button on his desk. The monitor went blank. He turned to face the two.

“So here is where we are. You know, as does most of the world, that we are expecting a near miss from DX2379R later on tonight.” He held their eyes.

John shrugged. “I’ve been doing a little job, must have missed that. It’s not gonna take us out is it?”

“Saw that on the news a few days back. Guess we dodged a bad one,” Sammy said.

“Right… Right,” Weston said quietly. “But that cover was nothing but bullshit.”

“It’s going to hit us?” John asked.

“Maybe… The fact is that we don’t know. One group says this, another group says that, but it doesn’t matter because it will probably kill us off anyway. Direct hit, near miss, it is going to tip over an already bad situation with the Yellowstone Caldera.” He raised his eyes, “Familiar with that?”

“Yellowstone Park?” Sammy said.

John nodded in agreement.

Weston laughed. “Put simply, yes. Yellowstone has always been an anomaly to us. Back in 1930 the Army did an exploratory survey of that area. What we came up with was that there was a section of the Rocky Mountains missing. Looked at from the top of Mount Washburn it was easy for the team to see that the largest crater of an extinct volcano known to exist laid before them.”

“I guess that’s about what I thought,” Sammy agreed.

“Yeah. We all think that. Except it is not true at all because the Yellowstone caldera is not extinct, it is active. Active and about to pop. There have been several warnings, but we took the recording stations off line quite some time ago, so there has been no mention of it in the news. Budget cuts,” he shrugged. “So everyone is focused on this asteroid that may or may not hit us and instead this volcanic event is going to blow up and when that happens the rest won’t matter at all.” He clicked the button on his desk and the monitor came to life. “All the red areas are spots where the surface pressure has increased. There were, at one time, many active volcanoes on the north American continent.” He clicked a button and the map changed to a view of the European continent with many of the same red shaded areas.

“All over the Earth… Higher pressures. Up until a few days ago the brainiacs were still arguing over whether this could even happen.” He laughed. “It is happening and they are arguing over whether it can happen. Well, we had our little debates and then we realized that history shows clearly that this has happened before. Several times. Call it the Earth’s way of cleansing itself.”

“But it’s not an absolute, right?”Sammy asked.

“Don’t start sounding like the scientists.” He reached below his desk and came up with six small silver canisters. Each had a small red button mounted on the top with a protective cap over the button itself. He clicked a button on his desk, and a picture of destruction appeared on the screens. It was obviously an aerial shot, looking down at a chain of islands. Smoke hung over the chain, reaching as high as the plane itself. As the plane dropped lower, rivers of red appeared. “That picture is an hour old. That is… Was, the Hawaiian chain.”

Sammy twisted further to the side, staring at the monitor. “How can that be…? I mean everyone would know about it.” He turned back to Weston.

Weston nodded. “And that would be true except the satellites are out because of the asteroid. Shut down to avoid damage. That is the official word.” He clicked the button on his desk and the monitor went dead once more. “I started this out saying that none of it matters and that is true. The Yellowstone caldera is going to erupt sometime in the next few days. Not a maybe, not an educated guess, if the satellites were up you would know that the park is closed, it has already started. We have had a few quakes, but the big stuff is on the way. He rolled the canisters across the desktop; Sammy and John caught them.

“Super volcanoes… Earthquakes that modern civilization has never seen… The last super eruption was responsible for killing off the human population some seventy-four thousand years ago. Reduced it to a few thousand. And that is not the biggest one we have evidence of.” He lifted his palms and spread them open, sighing as he did. “So it is a double whammy. If we survive the asteroid the volcanoes get us, or the earthquakes because of them, or we’ll die from injuries. And I think those of us who die outright will be lucky. The rest of us will have a hard time of it… Staying alive with nothing… We will probably all starve to death.” He paused in the silence.

“Those canisters are a compound developed for the armed forces. Project Super Soldier. SS for short. That kept people from looking too deep; they assumed it was something to do with the Nazi youth movement here and abroad. We let that misconception hold.” He waited a second for his words to sink in. “SS is designed to prolong life past the normal point of termination. It allows a soldier to survive longer without food and more importantly without water. Does something to the cells of the host, I don’t pretend to know what. What I do know is that the people above me made the decision to release this…” He picked up a mug of coffee from the desk and sipped deeply. His eyes were red road maps, Sammy noticed now. Like he hadn’t slept in a few days.

“So this is it for us. I guess you realize that you probably won’t get paid for this. No money is going to show up in your account. I will run it through before I pull the plug, but I truly believe the machinery will be dead by the time payday rolls around. So this is something I’m asking you to do.” He pointed to the canisters that both men were looking over. Sammy held his as though it might bite him.

“Those babies are really all we have to hope with. Most people will die outright. They will never make it past the quakes, eruptions, and the resulting ash clouds and gases. Up here we should be okay as far as gases go, eruptions, but there are fault lines that crisscross this area. This whole facility is bored from limestone caverns. Probably won’t make it through the quakes, although it is a good eighty miles from the closest line,” he shrugged. “Maybe, maybe not. My point is there should be a good chance for survivors here.”

“So we do what with these? Can they harm us?” John asked.

“Harm you, kill you? No, but you will be infected the minute you push that button. It will protect you the same as anyone else. There is enough in a single canister to infect about five hundred million people,” Weston said quietly.

“Whoa,” Sammy whistled. “Why infect… Why not inoculate? And why six canisters… Three Billion people?”

“Minimum three billion. That is before those infected pass it along themselves, after a while it won’t matter. As to the question of infected, this is a designer virus. You catch it just like the flu. We infected whole platoons by releasing it in the air over them. One hundred percent infection rate. Be glad they decided on this. They have some others that will kill everybody in the world in a matter of days.” Weston nodded at the raised eyebrows that greeted his remarks. “I don’t doubt that the merits of which way to go were debated hotly,” he finished gravely.

“The virus is designed to live within the host, but it can live outside of the host. It can stay alive in a dead body for days, even if the body is frozen. In fact that just freezes the virus too. Once the body is thawed it will infect any living person that comes along. So those,” he pointed to the silver canisters, “are overkill. Same stuff is being released across the globe. Great Briton… Germany… Australia… West coast just a few hours ago. Manhattan has already been done, all the East coast in fact. I want the two of you to head out from here.  One vial here, then one of you heads west, the other south. Go for the bigger cities… Water supplies… Reservoirs… Release it in the air or water, it doesn’t matter. There are men heading out from the south, the west coast…” He rose from the desk. “I’ll see you out.” He turned to Alice. “Alice… Pack us up.” Alice nodded as Sammy and John got to their feet, but her hand remained on the butt of the pistol. Rubber grips, Sammy noticed as he passed her.

“Alice,” he said.

“Um hmm,” Alice murmured.

Sammy nearly stopped in his tracks, but managed to hide his surprise as he passed by into the hallway. The Major fished two sets of keys from his pocket. “Parked in the back lot. A couple of plain Jane Dodge four-bys. Drive ’em like you stole ’em. Leave ’em where you finish up. Hell, keep ’em if you want ’em. Nobody is going to care.”

The three stood in the hallway for a few seconds longer. Sammy’s eyes locked with the Major’s own, and he nodded. The major walked back into his office, and the door rose from its pocket behind him. Quiet, except the slight buzzing from the fluorescent lights.

John shrugged as his eyes met Sammy’s, waiting.

Sammy sighed. “You heard the man… West or south?”

“Flip for it?” John asked. His mouth seemed over dry and he licked his lips nervously.

Sammy pulled a quarter from his pocket and flipped it into the air. “Call it, Johnny.”

“Tails,” John said just before the quarter hit the carpet.

Sammy bent forward. “Tails it is. You got it, Johnny.”

John looked down at the carpet. “West, I guess.” John said.

Sammy nodded, looked down once more at the quarter and then both men turned and walked away toward the elevator that would take them back to the surface.

Watertown Center

Shop and Save Convenience store: Candace Loi

1:30 AM

“Last one,” Neil said.

Neil was a detective for the Sheriff’s department. It was closing in on 2:00 AM and he and his partner Don had just come back from six hours of sleep to get a jump on the day. Yesterday one of the checkout girls had disappeared between the Shop And Save and home. Earlier this morning she had turned up dead in a ditch just a quarter mile from the front door. The techs were still processing the scene, but it was looking personal. Stabbed to death, multiple wounds, no defense wounds, at least none that he or Don had been able to see, and fully clothed. Her purse had been found nearby, wallet and cash inside. They would know more in a few days once the coroner did her magic. It all pointed to someone she knew, and they had no known boyfriend. The trailer park where she lived had turned up nothing, they had questioned some people at the convenience store, but some had been off shift, so here they were back at the store questioning the other employees.

They had commandeered the night manager’s office which was barely larger than a broom closet, but at least it was a place to sit with enough space left over to call in the workers and ask their questions. Free coffee via the same night manager, who had still not gone home, was taking a little of the six hours of sleep sting off, but to Neil free coffee in a convenience store was like a whore offering a free shot of penicillin to the first twenty five customers.

“Who’s next?” Don asked.

The last half hour they had been interviewing the people who worked the same shifts as Amber Kneeland.

“Candace loi,” Neil said.

Don looked up and stopped writing in his little notebook.  “How do you,” spell her name, he had meant to ask Neil, but she was right in front of him.

“EL. OH. EYE,” she said with a smile.

“Vietnamese?” Don asked. She was obviously mixed race, African American and Asian, he questioned himself.

“Japanese,” she told him.

“Nice name,” Neil said, “Candace.”

Beautiful girl, Don thought. “Did you know Amber Kneeland?  Sometimes works this shift?” he asked.

“Not really,” she answered. “I mean, I met her, but only in passing… I just started here myself.”

She really is beautiful, Don thought. “You wouldn’t know if she had a boyfriend… Other friends?” he asked.

Candace shook her head. “Sorry,” she said… “What has she done?”

“Nothing,” Neil supplied.

“She went missing last night,” Don said. “Turned up dead this morning.”

Candace shook her head. “Oh my God. That’s horrible. She was such a nice girl… Quiet.”

Neil nodded his head. “So maybe you did know her a little better than you thought?”

“I just started here a few weeks back, and like I said, I don’t really know her… But it might be a girlfriend not a boyfriend.”

Don looked at her. “You wouldn’t know who?”

“No. It’s just a rumor. Someone said it to me… I don’t even remember who… But I’ve never seen her with a guy, and I have seen her with other girls… Maybe also the way she looked at me a few times…”

“Go out with her?” Don asked.

“No… Never… I…”

“Don’t swing that way?” Don added.

Candace frowned slightly before she answered. “I work. I don’t swing any way. But if I did she wasn’t my type. She never asked me out, I never asked her out.”

“Didn’t mean to offend you,” Don said. He shrugged. “She’s dead.”

“She would probably do the same for you,” Neil said.

Candace nodded. “That really is all I know. I hope you find who did it though. She seemed like a nice girl,” Candace said.

“You don’t seem the type for this… Bagging groceries at 2:00 am,” Don said, changing the subject. “You aren’t local or I’d know you… This city really is small despite the base.”

Candace smiled. “Came here a year back with a boyfriend, Army. He left, forgot all about me, I guess. I had this idea of modeling… Tough to get a foot in a door though.”

“Wow, if he left you behind he must be a fucking idiot… Any good?” Neil asked.

Candace laughed.

“Excuse mister smooth there,” Don told her. Neil feigned a hurt look and Candace laughed. “He meant have you done anything? I know somebody… Might be interested.”

Candace arched her eyebrows. “I can model. I did a You Jeans ad back in Georgia a few years ago. I just need to prove it to the right person.”

“Escorting? It’s strictly escorting, no funny stuff. Dance clubs… Clothing modeling,” Neil said.

“Probably start out escorting… Dance a little… Then if he likes you he’ll put you into the modeling end of things. He owns a lot of shit… Several car dealerships across the state… Some of the biggest dance clubs, clothing outlets, those bargain places, but still, modeling is modeling, right? Not the big name stuff, but it’s a foot in the door,” Don added.

“I can do that,” she said slowly.

Neil passed her a white business card with his own name scrawled across the back. “Tell him I sent you… That’s my name on the back.”

“Jimmy Vincioni,” Candace asked.

“Just V… Jimmy V, good guy,” Neil said.

Candace nodded and tucked the card into her front jean pocket. “I’ll call him… Thanks. Look…” Her voice dropped to a near whisper. “I’m pretty sure she had a girlfriend here… I just don’t know who,” Candace added quietly.

Don finished writing in his notebook, nodded once he met her eyes and then shook the hand she offered. She walked away.

“Beautiful,” Neil said.

“Absolutely,” Don agreed. “You ain’t getting none of that though.”

“Yeah? But if Jimmy V hires her? It’ll be the next best thing.”

Don shook his head, but smiled. His eyes rose and watched as Candace walked away. “Guess I’ll have to have a few drinks at the club if that happens.”

Neil chuckled low. “You and me both,” he agreed.

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

I hope you enjoyed the preview and I hope you”ll go get the book free! Pass on the links too as I only post them every few months.

Coming up on my writing time so it is time to post this and get to work. The free book list:

Amazon:

Earth’s Survivors #1 Apocalypse Free: Amazon U.S. | Amazon U.K. | Smashwords | Kobo | Nook | Apple I-books



Smashwords:
Six free eBooks: https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/25786

Have a great week, Geo…