Authors: Ricky Cooper
Tags: #Zombie Apocalypse
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People often laugh when I say that I am a self published
writer; or at the very least get that semi-condescending look that
often comes with the thoughts, “can't you get a real job?”
Ninety percent of the time I just nod, smile, and give
them a few words; kind ones nothing harsh or nasty, and end the
Then you get others, whom often show curiosity, and are
intrigued by the thought of actually meeting someone on the road to
becoming a professional author.
Those are the conversations I choose to remember. Those
are the conversations that leave you with a small smile especially if
you leave them with your name fresh in their minds; as you never know
it could turn into a sale or it may get them to spread the word about
you to a friend who would like your particular style of writing. You
But above all this, there is the knowledge that few in
the world know what it is actually like, to sit down and put fingers
to a keyboard, or pen to paper, and actually start a book; and its
fewer still that know what it's like to finish one, except another
When I first started writing this it was actually as a
contest entry into another authors anthology and about ten thousand
words give or take a dozen. But, after having received the saddening
email from them saying the anthology was not going ahead, I sat back
and looked at what I had done. A thought came bubbling to the top of
my chaotic mind that, I had actually sat down and done what I set out
to do, with a passable story. Granted there were errors and I had
left one group floating outside a plane for lack of additional word
count. But the point is; I had actually done it. I Ricky Cooper, had
sat down and written a short story.
Then it hit me; if I could do that in a day and half
then why not run with it, make it into the story I knew was locked in
there. The one I actually wanted it to be, not the half cocked end
pieces slapped together like the ends of a loaf that nobody else
So, I did. But it wasn't as easy as I am making it
sound, it took me the best part of fifteen months from that furtive
beginning to the end I am presenting to you now, and to be completely
honest I wouldn't have gotten this far without the support of my ever
loving and eternally patient parents. The ones who never said “no
don't be an idiot you can never do it” the ones who took my
fevered ramblings and looked me square in the face and said “go
on then do it, if you think you can and truly want to, do it.”
Mum, Dad, I love you both and always will; thank you for
Then there's my three A.M proofreader brother, who bless
him would stagger home from work to find me chattering away on my
keyboard, only to be accosted and forced to read my latest ramblings.
Lewis, thank you, seriously little brother; without your
help and patience I don't know if I would have made it this far. I
am sorry to say though it's only the beginning, I think Kenco are
looking for stock holders though.
Then there's my sister Sarah and my uncle Stephen. Thank
you; Sarah for the endless encouraging remarks and ideas, some of
which I used, and Stephen, for that bottomless cup of tea forever in
my hand, and the unceasing torrent of praise and support thrown my
Finally there are the new guys, the ones who apart from
my friends and family know what its like to be stuck at four AM
trying to figure out the best way to introduce or even eliminate a
character; or what works and what doesn't, and have always been there
when I needed advice.
One of which, is Shawn Chesser, a man, who although a
few thousand miles away has always been there to answer any and every
question I have had, even if they have come in at insane o'clock, and
even taken the time to point me in the direction of land when I was
figuratively lost at sea without a direction to turn.
Thanks bud, it's not something easily forgotten.
And the same to you Mark Tufo, for that one little spark
that set me ablaze with the urge to actually see this through, I
don't think you will ever realise just how much of an impact telling
someone they should run with it and publish it themselves has on a
I sure as hell didn't. Do now though.
Finally, last but certainly not least is my editor, the
mad man of the literary world, Mark Lewis.
Mate, without your help I don't think I could have
gotten to the stage I have, the advice, tweaks and edits you
suggested have been some that I would never have thought of; and
certainly would never have noticed with the rose tinted binoculars
glued to my face when it comes to my work.
Thank you Mark, I would say this is going to be a
fruitful and happy friendship, but I don't think you have realised
just what you're in for.
Especially, when it comes to the
other tales I have bouncing around inside my head, a
ways, thank you to all of you ,without you all, none of this would
have ever been possible.
'We're being pulled out.'
Baker stopped mid rep, the barbell
held close to his chest. Turning he lowered the one hundred kilogram
barbell back onto the rack in front of him as he turned to face his
commanding officer. His skin was tanned a deep bronze, baked by the
unrelenting heat of the Afghan desert sun.
Slipping his t-shirt from around his neck, he dragged it
across his forehead and neck, wiping away the sweat before it could
scorch his flesh. Pottergate watched with detached indifference as
Baker dragged the worn garment over his battle hardened frame,
gauging the man's reaction to the singular sentence he had just
'What do you mean
that we're being
The boy's aren't going to like this, we're this close...'
Baker held his fingers scant millimetres apart,
brandishing the parted digits in front of Pottergate's face like a
meat covered weapon as he pushed on with his anger soaked tirade.
'To catching that grey bearded,
turban wearing fuck, and
they're pulling us out.'
Pottergate smiled tightly, shaking
his head. He sighed, a detached almost mournful sigh as he stood,
looking at Baker. Pushing down the burden weighing on his soul he
continued to speak. 'Sergeant, we, by which I mean you and I, are
being pulled out along with S.A.U Broadhead. The rest of the task
force is staying here, to be headed up by a team of American Navy
Seals. You, the rest of Broadhead and myself, are being reassigned.
A crisis has arisen back home and
in Russia, we're being sent in to deal with them. This is primarily
due to Broadhead's dealings with Division Thirty-Six and The Red
Unfortunately the French, well they are sitting this one
out, stating that and I quote.
As the threat bypassed our
shores, the problem is not one for our forces
Although to be honest it's more of a blessing than a
Baker snorted derisively as he took in the statement. He
knew several members of the Bureau de Confinement Biologique, and in
his experience they were all good operators.
Although the same could not be said
for the heads of the unit or their government for that matter; a wry
smile tugged at his lips as he thought of a comment made by Etienne
Dubois when he was ordered by a young cabinet official to lay down
his weapon when being addressed by a minister of state.
Mo' lon la' Ve
he had said, the Latin phrase tripping of his tongue as easily as his
native language. Baker's smile widened as he pictured the image of
the young official, asking rather curtly for it's translation and the
look on his rapidly reddening face as Etienne did as he was asked.
'Come and take them.'
Baker's chuckle drew a curious glance from his grey
haired commander, as they carried on walking across the sun-baked
earthen square outside the barracks. Putting curiosity aside
Pottergate carried on.
'The Germans did offer aid in dealing with the situation
but had to withdraw; an outbreak occurred in Munich three days after
the offer was made. It was a little odd, with its occurrence at that
exact point. But our sources in Munich confirmed it as genuine and
thus far, they have it contained to six city blocks.'
Baker stared at his commanding officer, delving deep
within the words he had spoken for any hint of deception, all the
while keeping their gazes locked. Baker knew the Erste Biologische
Kampfbrigade, were better than most when it came to dealing with the
'Can't fault them, they're stand up guys, well trained
and well armed, so I have no doubt the information is legit. On that
note chief, how are we getting home?'
Despite his tone and the fact he had found the words to
ring true, something still wasn't sitting right. Soon something was
going to happen.
Casting his gaze around the encampment, he wondered
which of the three hundred men stationed here would be going home
again in a box. Pottergate motioned for Baker to follow as he turned
and walked away, listening intently as Baker fell instep beside him.
'Fadei Bogatir, from the Red Directorate is helping with
that particular situation as we're being shuttled from here to
Russia; before being sent home. Apparently the Russians sent in
several Directorate members to aid in the containment, in return for
Pottergate paused measuring the weight of his words as
he spoke after a moment's pause he finished, sarcasm lacing his words
as he spoke. 'Services.'
Baker groaned, the memories of nights spent in a vodka
induced coma thanks to the six foot eight Russian and his Directorate
team mates flooded his mind. On days when he let his guard down and
let the memories flood in, he swore he could still smell the fumes
rising from the depths of his gullet. Shaking the unbidden memories
loose, he turned and smiled sardonically as his slightly venomous
retort rolled forth.
'How compassionate of them, sending in their own men to
contain a mistake they dropped in our laps while we mop up the mess
in their kitchen, bunch of turnip munching alcoholics.'
Pottergate suppressed a smile as he ploughed on;
although he couldn't hide the soft twitching of his moustached lip.
'Fair exchange is no robbery Derek, although one does
get the feeling that they are getting the better end of the deal
here. Having said that, with the ship being Russian they will have
access to files we would never see, but beggars can't be choosers.
After all, we are getting a free ride home.'