Free weekly Zombie Plagues upload Six from Geo Dell and the Free eBook list

Posted by Geo Dell 04-07-2017

Good morning and I hope all is good in your world. The free books today, all weekend actually, are…

EARTH’S SURVIVORS APOCALYPSE:

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…

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The Zombie Plagues Book One

by Geo Dell Rated 5

 Series: The Zombie Plagues, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 73,100. Language: English. Published: September 14, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic

 

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.

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Connected: Sanger Road

Sanger Road:
An explosive morning on a dead end road is about to change Carl Ever’s life forever.
Ami Anderson is a young woman living a dead end life, the same as Carl. They are thrown together and find themselves in a set of circumstances neither could ever have predicted. Murder, hired killers, cash and drugs are all in the mix. Soon Ami and Carl find themselves on the run for their lives…
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 The Weekly Free Zombie Plagues upload…

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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.


March 13th

Bob leaned around the hood and looked through the windshield of the old Suburban. He nodded. “Try it, Tom.”

The motor turned over a half dozen times then suddenly fired and rumbled to life. Tom gave it a little more gas, pulled out the old fashioned choke. The motor smoothed out and began to run a little better.

Bob backed away from the engine compartment, a large smile on his face. “Know what this means?” he asked, raising his voice to be heard above the noisy truck.

Tom grinned and nodded back. “As long as they’re not electronically controlled, they’ll run. We should find a few more.”

Bob nodded in agreement.

They had found the old Suburban in a lot out in back of one of the car dealerships on outer Washington Street. The lot itself was wrecked; the buildings not much better, but hundreds of new cars and trucks sat on the cracked pavement, or pointed their noses or tails at the sky where they were half buried. The Suburban had been set up with a plow, and they all agreed it was probably just used to plow the lot.

Before they had even gone looking for a vehicle, Tom and Bob had gone hunting for a small gasoline powered engine. Lawn mower, leaf blower, it didn’t matter, just something small without an electronic ignition or brain. They’d come up with a heavy duty chain saw. Several tugs and a little choke had gotten it running. That had convinced them that it would be worth finding an older, full size truck.

We could convert one of these newer trucks. It would take some work but if we can find the right parts we could do it,” Tom said.

Maybe,” Bob agreed. “Trouble is finding a block that’s still the same. Heads, intake, it’s a lot to hope for. It would be easier to just fix the old stuff up. New tires, battery, we could even do the axles if we absolutely had to.”

Tom nodded his head. “Hmm,” he grumbled. “Guess so.”

Bob turned away. It was obvious to him that Tom didn’t like being disagreed with or second guessed. Yes, parts were parts, and if they were just parts, no problem. There were even kits to convert non-electronic ignition motors over to electronic ignition, but not the other way around. There were motors built mostly for racing applications that were designed to use carburetors and simple distributors. There were things they could do, but it wasn’t simple black and white.

He had been seeing more and more of this close minded attitude from Tom since they had moved into the cave. Tom had lost his place as leader. It didn’t matter that he had been nearly the only one who had seen himself that way. He had seen the situation that way, and now the situation had changed. He didn’t see himself as leader any longer, and he didn’t like it. Oh well, Bob thought. He’d get over it, or he wouldn’t. There was nothing for it except to watch it happen, whatever way it happened.

Tom let the truck idle high for a few minutes then reset the choke dropping the idle down to normal.

We got wheels,” Lydia said happily. She, Mike, Candace and Jan had come walking back from further down the lot. Pulled by the sound of the truck starting from where they had been searching for other vehicles that would be good candidates for starting.

We found three others that seem as though they might work out,” Mike said. “One’s an old crew cab state truck the other two are old pickups. All three are four wheel drives.” He grinned at Bob.

Bob laughed. “Well, let’s go get them,” he said. He turned and started away.

Hey,” Tom said, leaning against the door of the truck, “Wouldn’t you rather drive?”

Bob laughed again. “Yeah,” he agreed. “Much rather.” Everybody piled into the Suburban. Tom pulled out of the back of the lot and headed back in the direction the others had come from.

Mike

March 13th

Man, it’s been a long day. We walked out Washington Street to the car dealerships. Everything’s torn up out there, but there are tons or cars and trucks out there. We found three trucks that we got running, and we drove them back. So we have a pickup truck, a suburban and a big four door state truck, one of those you always used to see along the highway when they were doing road repair. There were a few others we found that also ran, but they were in such bad shape that we left them.

Tom wanted to build one. I mean take one of the new trucks and put old parts on it. I got the idea from Bob that it probably wouldn’t work out the way Tom thought that it would. The right parts would be hard to find. I could see the idea, the appeal of a newer vehicle so we wouldn’t have to be concerned about break downs. But I could see Bob’s point of view too. I think it pissed Tom off though. But it seems that almost everything pisses Tom off.

I didn’t write this in here yet, but Candace and I are together. It just happened that fast. I was surprised in a way, but in another way I wasn’t all that surprised. Who knows how long this world will last, what it was that really happened? Maybe there is no time for slow anymore.

Candace said that, and once I thought about it, I agreed. Things are so different. And she’s right for me. Maybe it wouldn’t have happened this fast in the old world. Maybe it wouldn’t have happened at all. But everything’s changed. It’s all different, and this seems right. It seems like the way it should have happened with her and me, the right way for it all to work.

It also seemed to work out for the others as well. By that I mean Tom ended up with Lydia. She’s a lot younger than he is, but like I said, it’s a different world now. They seem to be happy together. I thought I felt some animosity from both of them at first. But either I imagined it, or they’ve moved past it, gotten over it, something like that.

We haven’t discussed leaving again. It’ll come up. Candace and I want to go. I think Bob and Jan want to go too. Tom and Lydia seem to be against it. Lydia keeps talking about how none of us know what it might be like anywhere else, like she wants to throw that out before we even discuss leaving at all. Here we have food, shelter, what’s so bad? I guess we have been talking about it without really talking about it at all.

Tom backs up everything she says with a nod of his head. He pointed out we’re in an area of mainly limestone, that’s what made this cave, and we may not find that anywhere else. At least not easily. Maybe they’re right. Hell, they make sense, but it’s the attitude. The rest of us bend. They refuse to.

We decided to go out to Arsenal Street tomorrow to the sporting goods store, and also look at some super markets out there, something else I didn’t check out while I was out there.

Lastly, I’m glad Candace and I have each other. It makes all of this easier to deal with.

She asked me why I’m writing this journal. I felt kind of stupid. I told her why I started it though, and that I’m continuing it for someone in the future. Maybe a child? Someone to come later on?

I expected her to laugh that off, or look at me like I was crazy, but she only nodded as if that made perfectly good sense. She told me she has a journal too. A diary, she said. Of course Lydia jumped on that as well. At first arguing against it, then saying she thought it might be okay. Tom said he wouldn’t do it. He said he’s not leaving to go anywhere and if someone shows up here, he’ll be here, not some journal. Okay.

It’s stuff like that that makes me wonder. And, anyway, I only mentioned it; it wasn’t like I wanted anyone else to do it or was trying to encourage someone else to do it. It’s that kind of jump on it attitude I don’t like, like they think I’m looking to screw them over somehow.

But it’s all good. I’m alive. I looked back at some of what I wrote in here. I had no one just a short time ago. I didn’t even know whether there was anyone else. Now I have Candace. We have some plans, things we’ve begun to talk about, agree about. A little ego trouble with Tom is really just bullshit in the scheme of things. I have to try harder to look past that. Maybe I’m too damn sensitive. And anyway things are good. This could be a lot worse.

A thing that bugs me and I can not figure out, where are all the bodies? I mean there don’t seem to be enough bodies to match all of those that were killed. It bothers me. Maybe they weren’t killed? But that makes no sense. Where would they be? I don’t have an answer. I only know it bugs me.

Lydia

March 13th

Hi! My name is Lydia. I’ve never written a journal or kept a diary before. We’re all here in this cave. A cave, yes. We’re living in a cave. I can’t believe it! There are no showers, no toilets, no kitchen. Ha! We’re eating out of cans. It’s about as hard as it could be. I don’t know how cave men did it. Or cave women.

We’re all writing these journals to leave them behind in case someone comes after we, or some of us, leave. I might not ‘cause I’m sort of with Tom right now, and he doesn’t want to go. There are six of us; Mike, Tom, Bob, Janet, me and a girl named Candace. We’re all stuck here until spring, I guess.

I guess that you know all about the world ending or whatever it did. We don’t know. I don’t know. Not really anyway, but hopefully we’ll get everything fixed up pretty soon. I mean, a lot of stuff is F’d up, you know? But, like, it could get fixed up eventually.

I had a boyfriend in the old world. His name was Paul, but I don’t know where he went. His apartment was gone. The whole street he lived on was gone. So I don’t know. It made me feel really bad. Hopefully this will be over really soon.

We have, like, some old trucks now to drive around. We used to have to walk everywhere. That sucked. The trucks are really old, like shit boxes as Paul would’ve said, but at least we’re not walking, right? Paul had an old shit box truck too. These trucks are even older. If we break down we can’t call Triple A. Ha, Ha!

There are six of us and Tom thinks more will come to us, probably know we’re here and are just waiting. I guess that’s cool.

I don’t really know what else to write in here. I’ll write other stuff down too though. Oh, I’m almost nineteen…

Candace

March 13th

I did it. I don’t know how I worked it out or where I found the courage to do it, but Mike and I are together. It’s like I wasn’t breathing, like I was waiting to breath. Something like that. All I know with absolute certainty is that tomorrow looks better. Isn’t that all that’s important?

March

14th

Everyone was up early and ready to go before the sun was barely above the horizon.

Yesterday,” Tom said to no one in particular. “Thirty two hours long.” Silence greeted his remark. Candace checked her own watch.

So, like, that means things are slowing down?” Lydia asked.

You think?” Tom asked unkindly.

Well, something like that,” Lydia shot back defensively.

Why would it go backwards,” Bob asked?

Yeah. Wasn’t it supposed to stop, reverse and then start up again?” Lydia asked.

Maybe,” Mike agreed. “But that was all based on theory. No facts involved at all. I think they had some evidence that the poles had reversed at a few points in history before. And some legends that spoke about the Earth standing still for a day, something like that. But even so, that’s all theory, not fact.”

Yeah,” Tom chimed in. “It’s like an asshole. Everyone’s got one.”

Don’t you mean opinion?” Lydia asked sweetly.

Whatever. We ready to go, or what?” Tom asked. Everyone followed outside in the uncomfortable silence that fell.

~

What’s up with those two,” Candace whispered as she followed Mike outside.

Who knows,” Mike whispered back. Bob met his eyes and raised his eyebrows. Mike shrugged his shoulders and shook his head as if to say I don’t know.

We may as well take all three trucks,” Bob suggested. “That way if we find stuff we want it’ll save us driving back to get them.”

Easier if we get stuck also,” Candace suggested.

Tom shrugged his shoulders. “Fine by me,” he said. He headed for the Suburban with Lydia right behind him. Jan and Candace headed for the pickup truck. Bob broke into a laugh and grinned at Mike. “Guess that leaves me and you in the old dinosaur. Want to drive?”

After you,” Mike said laughing. Bob started the truck and pulled out last in line and followed the other two trucks as they picked their way along the edge of the ruined road.

~

It was me that asked Jan to go with Candace,” Bob said as they followed slowly along behind the other trucks.

Mike nodded. His eyes following the sides of the road as Bob drove along. “I thought it was something like that,” he said. “What’s on your mind, Bob?”

Well… A lot,” Bob said after a second or two. He hesitated a little longer. “I guess mainly to say Jan and I would like to go with you when you leave, and Candace, I assume.”

Yeah,” Mike agreed. “I know that probably seemed kind of quick.”

It’s a…”

Quick world,” Mike finished. “Candace said the same thing. I don’t know how much better off we’ll be, but we’d be glad to have you two with us if you want to come.”

We would. Jan and I talked it over. We talked all night long last night. I got nothing personal against Tom; he did alright by us, but he’s a little too…”

Demanding? Aggressive?” Mike supplied.

Bob looked thoughtful. “I don’t know… Something like that. I just don’t see him being able to see this through. I feel like if we came back here in ten years we’d find him still holed up in that cave. He’s… I don’t know… too immature to talk to about it. He has only one way of looking at things. That can’t work.”

You’re probably right. He’d still be here with Lydia, probably with a couple of babies running around. But, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Maybe that’s a good thing.” He shrugged. “The immaturity… I don’t know… It’s there though. Maybe he’ll move out of that. Maybe it’s just the situation.”

Maybe,” Bob agreed. “But that’s exactly the time he should be mature, isn’t it?”

Mike nodded. Bob continued.

So, maybe it’s a good thing, maybe it’s not. But not for me. I don’t want to stay here. Nor Jan either. I wouldn’t want to quit this unless I knew this was all there was. I mean, this couldn’t be worldwide, could it?”

I don’t know,” Mike said softly. “But I agree. I know what you mean. Candace and I talked about it last night too and came to the same opinion. It could be better elsewhere, and whatever is right for Tom or Lydia isn’t necessarily right for us. I was for going from the start. I have to know if this is really the end. If there’s anything else. If it is, I’ll deal with it, find a place to settle down. Thank God I have Candace, you and Jan. Maybe we’ll meet others on the way to… well, wherever.”

I think so,” Bob said. “There are people, other people around. We just got to find them. Or them us.”

Yeah, we got to remember rifles or pistols. I hate to say it, Bob, but we may need them.”

Yeah,” he nodded. “Yeah.”

They continued on in silence as the small caravan made its way past a collapsed building partially blocking what was left of the road.

I think… It’s not my business,” Bob said, “But I think you made an enemy of Lydia. She was thinking you would be with her.”

Yeah, I could see that, Bob. I don’t think Tom was any too pleased either.”

Bob nodded. “Nope, none too. Him I wouldn’t worry about though. Her, she’s pretty spiteful. I’ve only known her for a week, but it’s enough. That child did pretty much what she wanted to, I’ll bet. Used to having her own way, getting what she wants when she wants it.”

Yeah, I can see that. But last night we talked about the journals; I’m keeping one. Candace is too. Lydia said she would. Something to leave when we leave.”

It’s not a bad idea,” Bob agreed. “I’m not much for writing myself, but Jan might like it.”

Mike nodded. “Well, Lydia liked the idea. She didn’t say she’d go, but she might. So, hate me or not, she might be with us.”

Oh,” Bob said. “I see that. Maybe she’ll be okay. She’s a kid; maybe she’ll change.”

Guess we’ll have to see,” Mike agreed. “Guess we’ll have to see.”

Bob worked the truck up and over a huge slab of up-tilted asphalt and followed along behind the other two trucks as they made their way down Arsenal Street.

What did you think of the idea that Tom had of fixing up one of the new trucks?” Mike ventured after a few minutes.

Won’t work. Or at least it won’t work without a lot of trouble. The new engines are computer dependent. We could probably find ourselves another motor, maybe even a new crate motor at a parts store somewhere around here,” Bob said.

What’s a crate motor?” Mike asked.

It just means a new motor, all crated up when it was sent from the factory. They sell them. Race cars, old rebuilds, like that. But, even if we couldn’t find a crate motor, we could find enough parts to rebuild anything we would need to rebuild on nearly any vehicle. So really, when we’re done, we’d have what amounted to a new vehicle. Tom wants to oversimplify that. He thinks we can just find the parts and swap them out on the motor that’s in the truck. Maybe we can. I’m not that good though, and I don’t think he is. I think we should stick to what we can do for sure, utilize what we have – the new parts.”

That what you think we should do? Build a vehicle?”

Yeah. Maybe two. Four wheel drive, of course. Go right through them top to bottom, everything new. It would take a few weeks, but we’ve got that and more. Meantime, you could work on your Ham radio idea, “Bob finished.

Can you get electric? Those big Ham radio outfits need regular power.”

Yeah, that’s not a problem. We’ll just find a generator. That will give us all the power we need. We could even hook up a power inverter to give us one twenty in the vehicle,” Bob added.

Mike nodded. “So we’re going to jump right into this thing? Get ready to go?”

Bob nodded. “I’m with you. I’m not spending next winter in a cave unless I have to. There’s a place in Tennessee, maybe Kentucky.” He closed his eyes for a split second as if seeing something only he could see. He shook his head, frowned and then continued. “If not, I’m thinking the coast. Southern or western, either will do, whichever one looks to be the better bet. And who knows how hard it’ll be to get there, so the sooner we’re ready to go, the better.”

I agree,” Mike said. “I’ll talk to Candace.”

And I’ll talk to Jan. But we already talked.”

So did we,” Mike agreed. They both laughed.

Bob angled the big truck around a final piece of asphalt and into a cracked and buckled parking lot. The two other vehicles sat silent, waiting for them.

As they left the truck, Mike noticed that the store hadn’t seemed to incur any more damage since the last time that he had been there. The roof was bowed inward; it had been before, but there were plenty of upright pillars that supported the roof and they all appeared intact. At least the ones he could easily see. The supports were spaced about every sixteen or so feet.

Safe?” Tom asked.

Looks the same as it did the last time,” Mike allowed. Candace and Bob looked at him, and he shrugged. “I’d say so. It looks the same as it did the last time I was here. It doesn’t even look as though anyone has been here.”

The scattered, powdered snow seemed undisturbed around the shattered doorway that lead into the building. Mike snapped his flashlight on and led the way inside.

The inside of the store told a different story. Someone had been there during the time Mike had last been there. Several of the glass display cases that held the weapons had been damaged. They were locked, who ever had made the attempt had made it halfheartedly. The glass was safety glass of some sort. It had cracked and spider webbed, but it had not broken and caved in.

Guess someone tried to get in,” Bob offered.

Tom held up a discarded crow bar. Even in the weak light they could see the streaks of scarlet on one end. Tom let it fall to the floor. The clatter was loud enough to make Lydia draw in a quick breath in the broken silence that followed.

Jesus, Tom,” She sputtered. Tom only grinned.

Why does someone go through all of that when they could’ve taken a simple screw driver and just popped the locks?” Candace asked.

Well,” Tom started.

Candace had walked behind the counter, taken a screw driver from her pocket and began to jimmy the lock mechanism. It was a cheap sliding set and easily bent to one side far enough to slide the glass door open. Candace smiled.

Learn that up in the big city, Miss?” Mike asked with a smile.

Candace smiled back, reached inside the case, careful of the glass that had sprayed in small slivers from the spider webs in the top, and withdrew pistol after pistol, setting them on a wooden topped case next to the cash register.

Forty five caliber, Nine millimeter, a cheap one though. Three eighty, kind of nice, though small. Here’s a much nicer Nine Millimeter.” She set several more guns on the wooden top, looked up with a crooked grin and asked, “Well, gentlemen, lady, what’ll it be?”

You really know about this kind of shit,” Lydia asked in an awed voice.

Obviously well enough to know what’s what,” Tom said.

That’s right. Obviously well enough,” Candace agreed. She gave no further explanation.

What do you think, Candace?” Jan asked.

Yeah, what would be the best?” Mike asked.

Candace shrugged. “It depends on what you like. I like a three eighty myself. It’s small, not as heavy as a Nine millimeter.” She pulled her own Nine Millimeter. “This was my Dad’s. A good gun, but I liked the Three Eighty I had. A Three Eighty won’t really knock somebody down, not like you see in the movies. But a nine millimeter won’t always do that either. It’ll just make a bigger hole. If you want to knock somebody down, you need this.” She held up the bigger forty five caliber pistol. She held the mostly black pistol easily in one hand. “This will knock somebody down and kill them. And, on the off chance that your aim was bad and you didn’t immediately kill them, believe me, they are not going to feel like getting back up.” She grinned. “It’s still not like the movies. You know, where you see them flying backwards through the air. But, it will knock them down and keep them there.”

Jesus, Candy, I’m like in awe,” Lydia said.

Candace,” Candace said, “and thank you.”

So how do you know all that? Like for real, how do you know all that shit?”

My dad was a cop, not in Syracuse, before we moved there. He had a thing for guns. I just caught it. When he knew I was going to be like him when it came to guns, he sent me for training, safety stuff mostly, but I liked it so much I started buying my own weapons. I took the test. Eventually I would’ve had my foot in the door in Syracuse. That’s a good department. I would’ve been in already if not for the economy.”

The thing is, I love to shoot. I’m good too,” she sighed.

So… what’ll it be?” She let the smile return to her face, reached over and began to jimmy another of the locks on the sliding glass doors.

They spent the good part of two hours in the store. Camping gear, rifles, pistols and ammunition, Mike began to feel like they were equipping their own private army before they were done. Even so, by the time they left, everyone was carrying at least one pistol, and several rifles and boxes of ammunition had found their way into the back of the pickup truck. Candace, Mike noticed, had added a matte black forty five caliber pistol to the Nine Millimeter. She wore them in webbed holsters on a wide leather belt.

I thought you preferred a Three Eighty,” Mike said half jokingly as he replaced the Nine Millimeter he had decided on into the side holster he had chosen.

I do,” she said, “For shooting. But like I said, a Three Eighty can’t knock somebody down.” Her eyes met his.

Yeah… There is that,” Mike agreed quietly.

They spent a short amount of time looking through a small convenience store in the same parking lot. There was very little left. Most likely cleaned out, Bob voiced, by the same folks who had tried to take the guns. This was evidenced by smears of maroon on the counter tops. Even so, they managed to find boxes of stuff in the storage area. They finished filling the backs of the trucks with basic First Aid stuff and several boxes full of candy bars and junk food too.

The sun had been standing overhead for what seemed like hours. Bob spoke.

Hotter,” He said. “You can feel the heat. And,” He motioned with his hands, “the snow is melting faster as well.”

Got a theory on that?” Mike asked.

Bob shook his head.

Maybe the whole process takes time,” Candace said.

Maybe,” Tom agreed. “Maybe it’s not so easy to start something spinning in the other direction. And we don’t know if it really stopped or not. The sun’s coming up in the north, or it was, but that seems to be changing too. I don’t think it stopped all the way. I think it’s just got a different spin now, and maybe a different path.”

Bob nodded, as did Mike. “I guess we’ll leave it for the scientists… long as we don’t fall off the Earth.” He chuckled a little.

Call it a day?” Mike asked.

Yeah,” Tom agreed. “We still have to unload all of this.”

There were a few halfhearted complaints, but everyone piled into the trucks, and they made their way slowly back towards the heart of the city and the cave that lay behind the Public Square.


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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!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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…