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Apocalypse--Book 1--an Archon zombie novel: Apocalypse, #1

Apocalypse--Book 1--an Archon zombie novel: Apocalypse, #1

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Apocalypse--Book 1--an Archon zombie novel: Apocalypse, #1

Länge:
265 Seiten
5 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Feb 18, 2013
ISBN:
9781536584714
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

First came the comet.

Then came the sickness.

And then they came.

A comet hurtles towards the earth. There are only days before impact. Something must be done and it is.

A few days later, some people begin to stagger and stumble. And they cannot speak.

At first they are only isolated cases; then large numbers of people are affected.

What is it?

A mysterious disease.

No one knows what it is or how it's transmitted. But it's an epidemic.

Thousands die. Then tens of thousands.

And then it gets worse.

They show up.

The zombies.

This is Book 1.

From the author of I Am Legion, The Joining, The Jewel of the North, and Shadow Lords.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Feb 18, 2013
ISBN:
9781536584714
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor


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Apocalypse--Book 1--an Archon zombie novel - Scott W. Clark

Apocalypse--Book 1--an Archon zombie novel

Apocalypse, Volume 1

by Scott W. Clark

Published by Archon Books, 2013.

This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.

APOCALYPSE--BOOK 1--AN ARCHON ZOMBIE NOVEL

First edition. February 18, 2013.

Copyright © 2013 Scott W. Clark.

Written by Scott W. Clark.

Apocalypse

—-۞۞—-—-

Book 1

––––––––

Scott W. Clark

––––––––

Published by Archon Books

––––––––

Copyright © 2012 Scott W. Clark. All rights reserved.

Chapter

1

T minus 19 days

Andes Mountains

Peru

7:26 a.m.

There it is.

The man motioned to the ice field in front of them. It extended away from where the three of them stood up as far as the eye could see to where it curved around a ridge and took a different direction up the valley of the high mountain.

The man was dressed in a parka and had the goggles and gear of someone who was no starting-off amateur. The two other men with him were dressed as he was. Only the colors were different.

Tell me again, Jake, why we’re doing this? said one of the other men. He was smiling.

Well, Paul, said the man who had first spoken, Jake, there are one-hundred-sixty-five thousand glaciers in the world. We’ve climbed thirty one of them so far. With this one under our belts, that means there are only one-hundred-sixty-four-thousand-nine-hundred-sixty-nine left to go.

The other two laughed.

So many glaciers, so little time, said the third man, Ed.

You got that right, said Paul.

But the second reason is more important than the glory of having climbed all of the glaciers of the world, continued Jake. "It is the fact that it is here.

"If it here it must be climbed. If it sits there as it does it must be conquered. If it stands there like that then it must be subdued and dominated. That is the dynamic. Sitting there as it does, as vast, as formidable, and as imposing as it is, it taunts us and mocks us as puny beings unworthy of it. And so we must defeat it and prove it wrong.

It is here, a great, monolithic presence that defies us to do something about it and therefore we must do something about it. We must climb it.

The other two men nodded.

Sounds about right to me, said Paul.

You’re quite the poet today, said Ed. More so than usual.

Maybe the altitude’s finally gotten to him, said Paul laughing.

Maybe, responded Jake laughing. The poetry of thin air.

Rhetor-asphyxia, said Ed laughing.

Right.

This one looks like it’s going to be a good one, said Paul.

It does indeed, said Jake. That just means we ought to get to it. At least there’s no sheer walls to climb. But we take it slow and we tie up tight. There’s been some snowfall here and you know what that means.

Right.

You got it.

All three of them hoisted packs onto their backs. They were taking a tent along with a stove, food and some emergency supplies from their base camp. That was in case they got snowed or stormed in. But the bulk of the weight they were carrying was equipment to be used in the climb, rope, extra crampons, pickaxes, and the rest.

They clamped on their crampons and grabbed their pickaxes. They wouldn’t be scaling any vertical faces on this one but there were some pretty steep slopes up ahead so they would be using them. It was some insurance against someone coming loose and sliding down the face of the glacier. That kind of a ride and the inevitable bumping and crashing over rocks at the end of it was something that wouldn’t make for a very good day. At the very least. Most likely it would make for a very deadly one.

The crampons would help but they could stop themselves better with their pickaxes.

The worst of it, however, was going to be the crevasses. They had to worry about them. A glacier was really an ice flow but the ice didn’t flow evenly. That uneven flow created crevasses, clefts in the ice. Those were dangerous, the most dangerous thing they had to face in that climb.

If the men could see them, they wouldn’t be such a big problem. But many times they couldn’t. Many times they were underneath a thin bridge of snow or ice that had built up from a storm or from the wind or a simple snowfall and that made them impossible to see.

Step on one of them and down you’d go.

With a signal, the three of them started onto the ice.

––––––––

I thought these things were melting, said Paul who trudged along back behind Jake. They were spread out in a line.

They said these glaciers won’t be around much longer with global warming the way it is. This one doesn’t look like it’s shrinking any.

Some of them are, said Jake over his shoulder. "But others are growing. The real problem is that they don’t have all that much data on them. They only have figures on less than a hundred of these around the world. That’s about point zero five percent of the total number. It’s tough to show a trend with so little data.

But, of course, the people arguing for the phenomenon will say differently. I don’t say anything one way or the other.

They trudged up the glacier working their poles back and forth as they walked. That helped to steady them and it took some of the weight off their legs as they walked. Not a whole lot but even a little bit of that helped.

They said nothing more for now. These climbs settled into a rhythm and the mind just found its own place among the steady beats, the rhythmic cadence of the hike up the ice. It was right foot, right arm; left foot, left arm. And breathing settled into its own rhythm somewhere in between.

It became almost catatonic after awhile. The brain was there to alert them to problems but other than that it was right foot, right arm, left foot, left arm, filled in in between with inhaling and exhaling.

Slowly, slowly, they inched their way up the glacier.

An hour passed and then two hours and they kept on. They stopped at one point for a few minutes to rest but they each kept their distance much as they had when hiking. That was a precaution. If one of them went through the ice the odds were the rope would catch them—if, that is, someone on top stayed anchored to the ice. All bets were off if the three of them dropped through together.

So they separated. And kept their distance.

They moved on after the rest. They moved across the ice, across the varying shades of blue and white, colors that here and there turned purple and gray with shadows from the topographic features of the mountain and glacier.

Another hour passed.

Suddenly, Jake raised a hand and stopped. The other two could see him looking down at the ice. He said nothing but kept looking down.

After a few moments, he turned back to the others.

I don’t know what to say about this, he said pointing down. I, uh, don’t know. It’s, uh, strange. Very strange.

The two others caught up with him. It wasn’t the safe thing to do but there was something in his voice, something in the way he spoke, that brought them up. They tried to stay away from each other a little to keep some sort of spacing but they still came up even with Jake.

He motioned down to the ice below him.

They looked down. What they saw down there astonished them. Below and stretching out in front of them was a large patch of ice. It was completely smooth. What they had crossed on the way up was the rough, rippled, bent and broken ice of an active, moving glacier. But what stretched out in front of them was different. What they saw below them and to the front was ice as smooth as it had been in a rink that had just been groomed by a Zamboni machine.

It was as smooth as glass.

But that wasn’t all. This ice was clear, clearer than it should be even though still not as clear as glass. But it was so clear that they could see through it to a great depth. And what they saw down below was hard to explain.

They saw a large, dark object underneath the ice. They couldn’t see the details clearly—the ice distorted the light quite a bit— but they could see that it was curved or at least curved where they saw it. And it went bending around to their right and to their left into the distance somewhere in both directions.

They didn’t know how far down it was below them so they really couldn’t get a good idea of the size of the thing but they thought it had to be huge.

It was obvious that it was something manmade. Or at least made.

But the strangest thing about it wasn’t its size or its shape. Nor was it the fact that it was up there that high beneath a glacier. What was strangest of all was that some kind of light rippled along its surface. The light came in waves across it, in pulses of colors, each color of the spectrum appearing in its turn in a pulsation across the surface.

For some reason, this made it look alive.

What is it? said Paul.

I have no idea, said Jake.

It looks like a spaceship to me, said Ed.

The other two looked at him.

I mean, what else could it be? he added. Something large and obviously manmade—that is, manufactured by someone or something intelligent—is under a glacier at high altitude. You tell me anything else that could do that?

I don’t know of anything that would say this is a spaceship, Ed, said Jake, because I have never seen a spaceship like this and never heard that one of them I am familiar with could burrow down into a glacier and stay there with the lights on. Maybe it could, but I don’t think so. The way it looks, it has to have been here for some time, long enough for the ice to build up over it.

You’re talking thousands of years, said Ed. "You mean this is something that landed here and then from snowfall and freezing year in and year out the ice built up on top of it? That could be thousands of years.

A spaceship in the age of what? Rome? Greece?

I’m not saying it’s a spaceship, said Jake.

But that is what you’d have to say about it if it were, said Ed.

You both see it down there don’t you?

The other two nodded their heads rather slowly as if they really didn’t want to see it down there and were still thinking about it but the facts before their eyes were not to be dismissed or argued away.

My idea seems a bit less preposterous than what you’re thinking, said Ed. "It wouldn’t have had to have been that long ago if it burrowed down. It could have happened yesterday.

Look at the ice. It looks as if it’s been melted and then frozen again.

It did look that way. It was smooth and clear not like the other ice around.

But why would a ship land on this glacier here in the Andes away from anything or anyone and burrow down in? said Jake.

Maybe it didn’t come here intentionally, said Ed looking as if he suddenly had a better idea. Maybe it didn’t burrow down at all. Maybe it came here unintentionally.

You mean it crashed? said Jake.

Yes, said Ed. If it crashed then that would solve the time problem, too, wouldn’t it? It wouldn’t need to have been here a long time. And a crash into the glacier? That’d be a reason why it’s down there.

Hold on, said Paul. "Aren’t we jumping the gun here? You say it’s a spaceship but we know nothing of the kind.

Isn’t it more likely to be something else? Maybe some kind of observatory?

So someone built an observatory up here well above ten thousand feet away from anybody? said Ed. "They dug out a hole in the ice on an active glacier and built it down there hauling up equipment and materials to do it?

And for what? To take readings on skiing conditions up in the remote mountains of Peru? Or take weather readings from a place below the surface?

Well, said Paul with a shrug, my idea is less fantastic than yours.

The problem is, said Jake, I don’t know of anything that would describe that thing down there. It’s not like anything I have ever seen. I don’t know of anyone who could build something like that. So let’s just say this is anomalous and leave it at that.

But you got to admit, said Ed still pressing his point, that it does look like a spaceship.

Jake looked down at it and said nothing.

So what’re we going to do? said Paul.

You got the camera, Ed? said Jake.

Yep.

"Then we take pictures of it. After that, I’d like to see if we could figure out the size of it. And then we keep climbing.

When we get back down to the base camp, we send out emails and post the pictures. I know some people at a couple of universities. We can email the pictures to them. Maybe they can tell us what it is.

Ed took out the camera and began snapping photos. He tried it from as many angles as possible to make sure they got something they could recognize later.

I got what I can, he said finally.

Good, said Jake. Now let’s see how big this thing is.

He started to his right trudging off along the edge of it. In a few yards he came to the end of the tether. Unhooking that, he walked on curving around as he went.

The men behind him stayed where they were.

A couple of minutes later, Jake was about two hundred yards away and still walking a curved line.

This thing was proving to be bigger than they thought.

Ed looked down again. There it was still there under the ice. Waves of light continued to ripple across its surface. But...

You see what I see? said Ed.

What do you see?

I think those waves of light are cycling faster.

Jake stopped at that moment and brought his hand up. He was about two hundred and fifty yards away now.

Suddenly, as they watched, he disappeared. They saw the ice crumple and fold around him and he fell through.

Then they saw the ice collapse all along the path Jake had taken, crumpling, buckling, cracking, and dropping away back to...

Where they stood.

Ed dove to his right and Paul to his left but it was too late. The ice buckled, fell out from under them and they dropped through the surface.

Chapter

2

T minus 19 days

Andes Mountains

Peru

10:21 a.m.

It seemed to Ed that he fell a long way before he finally hit bottom. He thought it took too much time for him to hit. He had heard that time slowed in accidents but, if it did, it slowed way down for this one.

He was conscious. He had landed on his pack and that must have cushioned his fall. It must have been that. Ed thought he should have hit harder than he did. It was enough to knock the wind out of him but he thought it should have at least broken his ribs and maybe knocked him unconscious. Or worse. But he couldn’t feel any sharp pains. His breathing was regular and pain free, so the ribs weren’t broken and he didn’t have a pierced lung. But he thought they should have been broken, at least.

As a precaution, Ed lay where he was and felt around the rest of him. There was no pain anywhere and he couldn’t feel anything out of place.

He sat up.

Nothing really hurt. Nothing seemed to be broken.

He must be all right.

He looked up. The hole was a long way above them. He understood that he had fallen quite a ways.

Why didn’t he have any injuries?

He looked around.

Where were the others?

He could see only ice. But that ice had waves of light shimmering across its surface. They were the colors of the rainbow.

It was a reflection.

He turned around and saw immediately that he was in a large cavern carved somehow from the glacier. In the middle of it was what they had seen through the ice.

And it was massive. He was only fifty yards or so away from it where he sat and it was huge.

Hadn’t he been almost above the thing up on top?

He thought he had but he was now fifty yards away from it.

How did that happen?

He looked at it. Whatever it was it was at least twenty stories high, the part, that is, he could see above the ice. It was curved from top to bottom but that curve was truncated at the floor of the cavern suggesting that there might be more of it underneath the ice.

The curved edge of it was ribbed and those ribs were distributed at the same interval along that edge. In between there were other objects, asymmetrical objects, distributed with no particular order at random points in the ribbing.

It looked to Ed like it was made of metal. At least it had the sheen of metal.

There were other objects sticking out from the top of it. Strange looking objects that Ed didn’t recognize. A couple lf them looked like they might be antennae but they were not like any he had ever seen.

So maybe they weren’t. But what they were, Ed couldn’t begin to guess.

He got up and looked around. He was up on some kind of a ledge or shelf that that was somewhere above the floor of the cavern.

He went over to the edge. The cavern floor was about a hundred feet or so below him.

Ed looked up and eyeballed the distance from the hole. From there to where he stood it was probably the same distance. About a hundred feet.

He had dropped a hundred feet and landed on

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