Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The Last Word on the Subject

I have been hacking away--let's call it wetwork--on the third and final chapter of my zombie series THE COALITION. I thought it would come easy, but it has been anything but. For reasons I won't belabor just now. (That's a story for another day.)

But it's almost ready to be born. Soon it will be alive, I hope.


Excerpt by James R. Smith.

He hadn’t foreseen the sheer volume that had appeared from the wilderness like a great, dark wave. They came swarming out of the overgrown woodlands that surrounded the city in numbers that he had not imagined.

Radio transmissions were raging with warnings coming from the airport. The voices were strained but so far composed and without the panic that would have been present from civilians.

“They’re in the tens of thousands, Dale!” The voice was that of General Martinez, one of the few people who Dale actually respected and feared. “I thought we’d have better intelligence on this than what you provided us, Colonel!”

Dale peered at the screen on the desk. It was a live transmission from a geostationary satellite that they’d painstakingly maneuvered over Charlotte in fits and starts, almost depleting its supply of propellant. The eye-in-the-sky wouldn’t likely be useful for much longer, but for now it was invaluable.

Leaning in close to the flat screen he watched the real-time images of the area around the airport. Through the leafless trees he could see that masses of dead marching inexorably toward the buildings and the runways. As the general had said, they were definitely in the tens of thousands. Already the vanguards of the enormous migration of deaders had infiltrated the city proper. If he took the time to go to the windows he would now see them in their hundreds stalking the city streets. He could only hope that the inhabitants of the city would weather this particular storm.

“You have the same view of the situation as I do, General,” the Colonel said. His voice was even, cool. It would do no good at all to grow excited at this point. “Hold your ground. The fences to your east should hold, so keep your forces front and center. Burn anything that comes at you from the west. The concourse to the north will keep them at bay, so you really only have one front deal with,” he added.

There was a moment of silence from the General. Dale knew that the officer was calculating their odds and even considering the probability for a breakout. Finally, he spoke.

“How much longer before air cover arrives?”

Dale turned his head, slightly, and glared at Leiber. He didn’t have to ask.

“Five minutes,” the hacker whispered. “Six, tops.”

“Five and a half minutes,”  Martinez told his counterpart. “Hold fast.”




Lawrence Roy Aiken said...

Post links to the first two books in the series!

James Robert Smith said...

Aaaaaaand done.