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Authors: Berinn Rae

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Colliding Worlds Trilogy 03 - Explosion

BOOK: Colliding Worlds Trilogy 03 - Explosion
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Explosion
Part 3 of the Colliding Worlds Trilogy
Berinn Rae, author of
Collision
and
Implosion

Avon, Massachusetts

This edition published by Crimson Romance

an imprint of F+W Media, Inc.

10151 Carver Road, Suite 200

Blue Ash, Ohio 45242

www.crimsonromance.com

Copyright © 2013 by Berinn Rae ISBN 10: 1-4405-6113-3

ISBN 13: 978-1-4405-6113-9

eISBN 10: 1-4405-6114-1

eISBN 13: 978-1-44056114-6

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, corporations, institutions, organizations, events, or locales in this novel are either the product of the author’s imagination or, if real, used fictitiously. The resemblance of any character to actual persons (living or dead) is entirely coincidental.

Cover art © 123rf.com

For the man who showed me how to fly.

Contents

Dedication

Acknowledgments

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Epilogue

About the Author

More from This Author

Also Available

Acknowledgments

With special thanks to Jennifer Lawler and the team at Crimson Romance; to the brilliant Elle J. Rossi for the shoulder to cry on … and for the Mike’s; and to my husband for the laughs and love.

Prologue

Twelve months ago, we reached peace with our world’s newest residents. Draeken and Sephians are allowed to stay on Earth in exchange for sharing their knowledge and technology.

Eleven months ago, news footage revealed across the world that Earth is no longer alone. Panic ensued.

Ten months ago, the entire alien populace on Earth was rounded up and restricted to the Etzee, short for “Extra Terrestrial Restricted Zone,” which is completely surrounded by a U.S. military operations area. Etzee inhabitants are injected with tracers, “leashed” to human soldiers, and kept under constant surveillance. For the first time in history, all the world’s countries have been united, and the U. N. has become the supreme authority.

Today, the Draeken and Sephian no longer fight each other. They’ve found a new enemy: us.

Chapter One

U.S. Extra Terrestrial Restricted Zone, AKA the “Etzee”

1500 hours

“It’s just been confirmed. Fourteen minutes ago, we shot down a Boeing triple-seven a hundred miles shy of landing at LaGuardia,” General Jerrick announced to his officers at the emergency briefing he’d called five minutes ago. “We are at threat level Delta.”

The briefing room broke out into murmurs of questions and curses. Captain Jax Jerrick muttered under his breath as he watched his father for any sign of emotion, which, of course, there was none. The ever-stoic general wasn’t one to show any type of weakness.

Their world was turning into a cluster fuck before his eyes. Jax glanced over the twenty-odd officers in the room. None looked happy and everyone looked pissed. Each person already knew exactly what this meant. The U.S. had just made its stand, making a declaration to the rest of the world that they were on their own.

“I take it there were suspected cases of Omega on board, sir?” Colonel Sommers aka “The Six,” the general’s second-in-command asked.

Jerrick nodded. “They refused orders to change course, just kept repeating over and over that they were running low on fuel.” He paused. “It was an international flight from Hong Kong.”

Ah.
No further explanation necessary. Hong Kong had been hit hard by Omega. All of Asia had turned into a mass exodus overnight. This wasn’t the first plane to be shot down, only the first to be shot down by the U.S.

China had bombed several of its own towns to prevent the spread of the virus. Tokyo had quarantined itself, only to be decimated within days by Omega. What was first believed to be a strange recurrence of the bubonic plague turned out to be a toxin that could morph into a virus. Worse, when mixed with water, it brought on plague-like symptoms but with a much higher death rate, putting even Ebola’s mortality rate to shame.

Once infected, Omega would begin innocently enough, like a case of the flu, but as the body attempted to fight off its invaders, the lungs would fill with fluid. Lack of enough blood to the extremities would quickly bring on gangrene. The brain would swell, causing bleeding from all orifices from the neck up. Intense fever would bring on raving delusions. Within a day or two, victims would drown in their own blood. It was brutal.

So far, they knew two very important things about the Omega virus.

First, the superior science that created Omega could not be human.

Second, Omega’s starting point was on the exact opposite side of the planet from the Etzee. It was as if someone had skewered the Earth at the center of the Etzee and shot the virus out to the other side. No one doubted the clear message. It was germ warfare, plain and simple. And, the starting point was a signature of the terrorists who created Omega.

The Etzee had just become the safest place on Earth to be human and the worst place on Earth to be an alien. Modeled after the Native American reservations, the Etzee was a desolate, one-square-mile quarantine for Draeken and Sephian immigrants. Tall prison-style fences lined the perimeter, and U.N. American troops were posted every fifty yards. To top things off, the Etzee was placed in the middle of a U.S. military operations area, which meant a whole lot of heavy equipment and troops could be called in at a moment’s notice.

Jax had seen the truth the very first day. The Etzee was no quarantine. His people were afraid. The Etzee was a prison to keep control over every alien on the planet.

“We’ve been given a new directive in response to this terrorist threat.” General Jerrick waited to continue until after the murmurs died down. “The U.S. is officially closing its borders and shutting down the airways, effective immediately. So far, we have no cases of Omega here in the continental states, and we’d like to keep it that way.”

“What about the non-continental states, like Hawaii and Alaska, and the territories?” Sommers asked.

Jerrick shook his head. “They’re considered no longer viable. We have to focus our resources on what we can save.” He paused. “Troops are being moved to police the borders, which means that we need to evacuate all units from the Etzee at zero-eight-thirty tomorrow morning. Inform your troops to load only essentials. No communication is to be made with Eztee’s residents regarding the evacuation.”

That brought everyone’s attention front and center. They had less than a day to load up and pull out with no replacements? And, all this was to be done on the down-low? Chills darted across Jax’s skin.

“The Etzee is no longer going to be policed by the U.N.?” Sommers asked. “Has the Triad been advised? Hell, has the U.N. been advised?”

“The U.N. has their hands full, so they’ve turned over full responsibility of the Etzee to the U.S. This evacuation is purely a U.S. Army initiative and does not concern the Draeken or Sephian delegates to the U.N.’s Triad.”

Sommers shook his head. “There’s a significant risk involved if we leave the Etzee unpoliced. While the Sephian and Draeken delegates of the Triad will be pleased to have control, those two races will be at each other’s throats in a day.”

“The Etzee is no longer our responsibility,” the general replied, a bit too quickly.

“Then whose it is, sir?” Jax asked his father. “The Etzee is on American soil. Are the residents to be given autonomy?”

“The General of the Army has been invoked and has assumed authority of the Eztee, as well as all military forces.”

All dozen men in the room took a collective inhalation of breath.

Sommers came to his feet. “The General of the Army is invoked only in a time of war. The last time I checked, we’re not at war.”

“Our country is facing a terrorist threat, the like we’ve never seen before. As you are all aware, it’s U.S. policy to not bow down to terrorists,” Jerrick said sternly. “We have reason to believe the terrorists are located somewhere in the Etzee, and therefore it has been declared enemy territory as of twenty minutes ago. The Etzee residents are to be considered hostiles. We are now at war, gentlemen.”

“What’s going to happen to the Etzee’s residents? Most of these people are good folks. They came here in peace,” Ace said. Jax’s best friend had climbed the ranks quickly in his twenties, but was still a Lieutenant at the age of thirty-eight because he never knew when to keep his trap shut. Basically, they were a lot alike. Jax had been thinking exactly what Ace asked, but was smart enough to keep his thoughts to himself. Besides, he already suspected the answer and didn’t want to hear it.

General Jerrick’s lips pursed. “The loss of six hundred eighty-five illegal aliens in order to save billions has been deemed an acceptable loss.”

Ace hit the table. “They’ve shared their knowledge. We’re decades, no, centuries, ahead with what they’ve shared with us over the past twelve months.”

“And now some of them are using that same knowledge against us,” a staff sergeant said from the back of the room.

“Can you blame them?” Ace snapped back.

“Sir,” Jax said, steering the rising hostility levels of the room away from Ace. “Does the General of the Army realize that if the Etzee is destroyed, any chance for a cure will likely be destroyed?”

Jerrick narrowed his eyes on his son. “All the risks were analyzed in the making of this decision. The General figured that if they were willing to offer a cure, the terrorists would’ve made their demands by now. So they have to assume that Omega is simply an act of war. At this time, our best defense is to keep Omega outside our borders. The U.S. has drawn a hard line. This is a crisis situation. General orders have been placed. Any infected — near or on our soil — are to be eliminated immediately. Then, we wait out Omega. Aside from that, I have no further information. These decisions were made well above
all
of our pay grades.”

Jax sensed the bitterness in his father’s voice at the last bit of his statement. He was clearly ticked off about the recent chain of events as well, but, especially as a general, he couldn’t raise dissonance. His father had always been a soldier first and foremost, even on the cusp of genocide.

“What about the Leashes?” another officer asked. Every Etzee resident was assigned, or “leashed,” to a human soldier upon entry to the Etzee. The soldier served as a guide and was responsible for that resident’s behavior. More often than not, the soldier simply served as a probation officer, staying out of the way unless that resident was causing unrest. Only a few actually did their job to help their resident acclimate to Earth. Jax wasn’t one of those.

“Good question,” the general responded. “All Leash orders are hereby cancelled, effective immediately. Every resident will still have a tracer, so should any escape after we leave, they can still be tracked and neutralized.”

Thoughts poured through Jax’s mind as his father went over the details of their directive. He was being put between a rock and a hard place. Regardless of his orders, Jax was also a consultant to the U.N. Triad, the governing body of the Etzee, made up of Sephian, Draeken, and human delegates. While his allegiance was fifty-one percent to his country, forty-nine percent of it went to the Triad. He
should
be discussing this with the Triad, however, in this case, one percent made a world of difference. Country trumped world.

BOOK: Colliding Worlds Trilogy 03 - Explosion
11.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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