Authors: Todd Sprague
Tags: #Fiction, #Horror, #Zombies, #Horror Fiction, #Suspense, #Action & Adventure, #Science Fiction, #Adventure, #apocalyptic, #End of the World, #postapocalyptic, #george romero, #permuted press, #living dead, #apocalypse, #Armageddon, #night of the living dead, #the walking dead, #Dystopias, #dead rising, #left 4 dead
New Zed Order: Survive
Published by Permuted Press at Smashwords.
Copyright 2011 Todd Sprague
Special thanks to my lovely and talented wife Patti, without whom I never would have finished this book, and if I had, it certainly would not be worth reading. Special thanks also to my brother-in-law and friend, Andrew, who inspires the Jose in all of us. Last, but not least, thanks to my mother, Gloria, who put up with far too much from me over the years, but still encouraged me to pursue my interests.
To my beloved Patti.
With you, everything is possible.
June 19, Zed Year One
A small log cabin in the woods on
the outskirts of Brattleboro, Vermont.
“Are you sure this is a good idea? I mean, we don’t even have electricity way out here,” the auburn haired young woman said, looking at her husband.
“Relax, sweetheart. It’s just a cozy little weekend getaway,” the tall, heavyset man said, smiling at his beautiful wife. “I just thought it would be nice to have a little cabin up here, and my parents didn’t mind selling me the cabin and the pond. We can fish or hunt right outside our back door.”
“Yay.” she said, rolling her eyes in polite exasperation. “Just what I always wanted to do. Play with fish guts on my weekend off.”
The couple walked through the small three-room cabin, noting where minor repairs would need to be made, holding hands and throwing quick, loving glances at each other.
“Besides, the way things are lately, I wouldn’t mind moving some of our emergency supplies up here. You know, a place to get away from the city, if things get bad,” the man said, frowning in thought.
“Whatever makes you happy, honey. I know you worry about that, even if it is a little ridiculous.”
“Hey, you love me and my tinfoil hat!” he said playfully to her. She smiled and nodded.
“At least it’s shiny so I can see you when you get lost wandering the “wasteland.” She made air quotes around the word, giggling at him.
“And here’s the best part of this little cabin - a full basement! I’m thinking of maybe putting a generator out back too. We can run electric lines from my parent’s house but I want to have the generator as back up too. I’ll put a big fuel tank out back,” the man said to his wife, wrapping his arm around her as they descended to the dark but dry basement. “This place can actually hold quite a bit of supplies. I can store some of my hunting gear too.”
“Hunting, huh? Right.” She laughed. “Ugh, look at the spiders...oh my God!” She squealed. “Is that a raccoon?”
“Babe, it’s just a chipmunk. Come back!”
The chimes from his cell phone indicated a new email had just arrived. Probably more spam, he thought. His lovely wife was already on her way back to the car for the two hour ride home, but he stopped, pulled out his cell phone, and checked the new email. He frowned when he saw who had sent it.
We’ve been outvoted. We’re going to join with the Free State Coalition. They have money and resources we can only dream about, and they are backed by someone high up, I don’t know who. The selling point was some kind of secret plan they have, something they say can’t be ignored. I tried to talk the council out of it, but I don’t think that even if you’d been here, we could have changed their minds. I don’t like where this is going. Get your ducks in a row, buddy. -Jcon14
He frowned as he finished reading it. “Dammit all to hell!” he muttered to himself as he hit the REPLY button.
That’s insane. Those guys are white supremacists and don’t give a damn about the Constitution! How can the New England Constitutionalists back them? It doesn’t make any sense. I heard those guys just bought up all that land on the Mexico border and built some kind of compound, and they’re probably involved in drug smuggling too! You know how I feel about that.
I have a feeling some of our “brothers” have been bought. I did NOT sign up to smuggle drugs or blow up federal buildings to defend our rights. Stay low and watch your back. You know where to find me when the Shit Hits The Fan. -M
He hit the SEND button, stuffed his cell phone back in to his shirt pocket, and walked out of the cabin, forcing a smile onto his face.
September 20, Zed Year One
More unrest on the Mexican border this morning, as five more Border Patrol agents were killed in what investigators are calling a brutal massacre. Investigators are not sure who the attackers were, but Congressman Hillerman of California is calling for the immediate arrest of all undocumented aliens in the State until a full investigation has been completed.
The newscaster monotonously droned on about continuing violence in southern California. John Mason switched off the radio as he pulled into his driveway. He slowed the Crown Victoria down as he pulled in behind his wife’s newer Volvo Cross Country. Shutting the rattling old engine down, he gathered up his briefcase and lunch box and strolled across the driveway. As he walked up the front steps, the door opened and his face lit up.
“Hi sweetheart! I’m glad you’re home,” his wife, Sara, said, smiling. She brushed the flour off her hands on to the frilly pink apron she wore. “Just in time, too.”
“Hi babe, something smells good.” John said, taking Sara into his arms. They kissed on the front steps for longer than a married couple of five years would normally find appropriate. John towered over Sara by almost a foot, wrapping her in his big arms. His frame, big from years as a police officer had recently been padded by her delicious cooking and too many hours sitting in his car at his new job as a private investigator. Sara’s auburn hair spilled down over her shoulders, framing her face.
Their embrace was interrupted by a black and brown blur as it raced from the house and jumped up in to the air, somehow managing to land all 65 pounds of herself right between John and Sara’s arms, barking excitedly.
“Princess! Down girl! Yes, I missed you too.” John said, laughing and yanking on one of the Australian shepherd’s ears. The three of them somehow managed to spill back in to the house, right in to the warm and cozy little kitchen.
“How was work? Catch any bad guys today?” Sara asked as she walked back to the stove.
“Yeah tons. And then I woke up from my nap and remembered I sit in a car and wait for people to mow their lawns so I can catch them on video.” John said ruefully.
“I know, babe. I know you miss police work, but hey, it’s a good job,” Sara said as she pulled a roasting pan from the oven.
“Yeah. I guess. God, that smells good. Hey, did you listen to the news today?” John asked, changing the subject.
“About the killings on the border? The agents? The other teachers were talking about it at lunch.”
“No, I mean the town in Mexico. I can’t remember the name of it, but they said an entire town of people had been killed. They think it’s from the drug wars, but the news crew that went to check it out hasn’t been heard from. They’re supposed to be sending in some troops to figure out what happened,” John said as he took off his jacket. The brown leather shoulder holster with it’s .45 came next, thumping down on to the table.
“Hun, can you put that somewhere else? I need to set the table for dinner. Jose and Tina are coming over.” Sara said.
“Oh yeah? That should be fun.” John said, grinning as he took four plates out of the cabinet. “I can show your brother the newest addition to my gun cabinet. And we can both pick on him about that paint job on his truck. Flames? Really?”
“Oh come on, John! How many times can we pick on him about that before he gets mad?” Sara laughed. “No, I mean really. Tell me how many times, cause I’m not ready to stop just yet.”
* * *
An hour later, a low rumbling could be heard coming from the driveway. The sounds of slamming doors could be heard moments after the loud engine shut off.
“Hey Sara, your brother’s here.” John yelled from his big overstuffed leather chair in the living room. He got up and walked to the front door, opening it just as a seventeen year old mop-headed young man reached for the door knob. The two men quickly shook hands as John stepped aside, letting Jose in to the room. He was followed closely by a young lady with long brown hair and too much makeup.
“Jesus, Jose, buy her a cheeseburger or something!” John said, slapping his brother-in-law heavily on his back. Jose staggered a little under the onslaught but tried to pretend it didn’t hurt.
“Nah, she’s way too fat. Her new nickname is cowzilla...OUCH!” Jose yelled, wincing, as Tina punched him as hard as she could in the same spot John had just assaulted.
“Alright, cut it out you guys. Get in here and help me finish setting the table.” Sara came out of the kitchen carrying a heaping bowl of mashed potatoes.
The extended family enjoyed a long and hearty dinner sitting around the Masons’ battered old dining room table, talking about Jose’s school and John’s job, Sara making sure everyone had enough to eat. The rest of the evening passed uneventfully until some time later as they sat in the living room, watching television.
We interrupt this regularly scheduled broadcast to bring you this important breaking news. Fighting on the Mexico and Texas border is being reported, with units of the Texas National Guard and the U.S. Border Patrol clashing with what is being reported as crowds of Mexican citizens on drugs. Officials speculate this to be some sort of attempt by Mexican drug cartels to overwhelm the United States border as a distraction for a large shipment of illegal narcotics. We now go to Stephanie Ramirez, live, in El Paso, Texas. Stephanie?”
Thanks, Brock. I’m here in El Paso, Texas, overlooking the Rio Grande, the river separating the United States from Mexico in this part of the state. I have here with me Captain Mark Thompson of the Texas National Guard. Captain Thompson, can you tell us what is happening out there?”