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Authors: Brett Battles

Tags: #Conspiracy, #virus, #Plague, #Suspense, #Thriller, #End of the World, #Mystery, #flu

Eden Rising

BOOK: Eden Rising
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EDEN RISING

Praise for the Project Eden Thrillers

 


Sick
didn’t just hook me. It hit me with a devastating uppercut on every primal level—as a parent, a father, and a human being.”—Blake Crouch, author of
Run

 

“A
gem of an outbreak story that unfolds like a thriller movie and never lets up, all the way to the last page. Absolutely my favorite kind of story!”—John Maberry,
New York Times
bestselling author

 

“Not only grabs you by the throat, but by the heart and gut as well, and by the time you finish you feel as if you've just taken a runaway train through dangerous territory. Buy these books now. You won't regret it.”—Robert Browne, author of
The Paradise Prophecy

 

“Like a fever,
Sick
makes you sweat and keeps you up all night, wondering what the hell is happening. It’ll make your heart race like someone shot you with an EpiPen. You think Battles was badass before? He just cranked it up to 500 joules. CLEAR!”—PopCultureNerd.com

 

“Brett Battles at his best, a thriller that also chills, with a secret at its core that’s almost too scary to be contained within the covers of a book.”—Tim Hallinan, author of the Edgar-nominated
The Queen of Patpong

 

ALSO BY BRETT BATTLES

 

T
HE
J
ONATHAN
Q
UINN
T
HRILLERS

Novels

THE CLEANER

THE DECEIVED

SHADOW OF BETRAYAL (US)
/
THE UNWANTED (UK)

THE SILENCED

BECOMING QUINN

THE DESTROYED

THE COLLECTED

THE ENRAGED

 

Short Stories

“Just Another Job”—A Jonathan Quinn Story

“Off the Clock—A Jonathan Quinn Story

“The Assignment”—An Orlando Story

 

T
HE
L
OGAN
H
ARPER
T
HRILLERS

LITTLE GIRL GONE

EVERY PRECIOUS THING

 

T
HE
P
ROJECT
E
DEN
T
HRILLERS

SICK

EXIT 9

PALE HORSE

ASHES

EDEN RISING

 

T
HE
A
LEXANDRA
P
OE
T
HRILLERS

(
With Robert Gregory Browne)

POE

 

S
TANDALONES

Novels

THE PULL OF GRAVITY

NO RETURN

Short Stories

“Perfect Gentleman”

 

For Younger Readers

 

T
HE
T
ROUBLE
F
AMILY
C
HRONICLES

HERE COMES MR. TROUBLE

 

 

EDEN RISING

 

Brett Battles

 

A PROJECT EDEN THRILLER

 

Book 5

EDEN RISING
Copyright © 2013 by Brett Battles

Cover art copyright © 2013 by Jeroen ten Berge

 

EDEN RISING is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

For more information about the author, please visit
www.brettbattles.com
.

What Came Before

 

T
HE EARTH WAS
forever changed. Project Eden unleashed the KV-27a virus—known to all as the Sage Flu—and watched as the reaping of humanity began. It was part of the master plan, a necessary step toward a restart of the human race in which the Project would control the future.

 

Billions had already died, with the promise of more to come.

 

In a well-intentioned effort meant to save as many people as possible, the US government set up emergency camps for children and other survivors. Brandon Ash, after escaping the attack on the Resistance compound known as the Ranch, was picked up by military personnel and taken to one such camp in Colorado. It was not long, though, before the virus reached the camp. Brandon, with a few other children and one of the teachers, escaped the outbreak and found a cabin in the mountains to hide in.

 

Brandon’s sister Josie and Chloe White left the Ranch to find Brandon. They traced him to the camp in Colorado, and arrived at the cabin as a Project Eden team attempted to capture the children. The kidnapping was averted, and Brandon was reunited with his family.

 

Martina Gable and Riley Weber descended out of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where they left family members who had died, and returned to their hometown of Ridgecrest, California. There, they found several other friends still alive. All had contracted the Sage Flu during the trial outbreak, which had apparently made them immune. Together now, they vow to survive.

 

Sanjay and Kusum led their group of survivors away from Mumbai, looking for someplace where they could all stay in safety, eventually finding an abandoned boarding school.

 

On Isabella Island, east of Costa Rica, the workers and guests of the island’s resort were spared exposure to the flu during the virus’s initial release. They knew, however, if they were going to continue surviving, they would need to keep anyone else from reaching their shores. Several times they had to turn away boats. They missed one, though—a small boat that drifted ashore with a victim of the virus lying dead inside. Dominic Ray, the resort’s manager, unintentionally exposed himself to the body, and realized the only way to save everyone else was to swim out as far as he could away from the island. With the reluctant help of his friend Robert Adams, he sacrificed his life.

 

The Resistance, having failed to stop the pandemic and barely surviving the attack on its main headquarters, was forced to switch its efforts to do what it could to save those who were still breathing—a mission it knew would be more than difficult.

 

Then, on December 27
th
, Principal Director Perez of Project Eden gave the go-ahead, and all over the world, the televisions and radios that had days earlier fallen silent began broadcasting a false message over and over…

 

“M
Y NAME IS
Gustavo Di Sarsina. I am the newly appointed secretary general of the United Nations. You are all aware that our planet has been undergoing a catastrophe beyond anything we have ever experienced. The deaths from the Sage Flu are…incalculable. Billions have already died, and many more continue to do so. Friends, family, loved ones. In the span of ten days, the human race has gone from our normal, everyday existence to a desperate race for survival. If you are hearing this, it means you are one of the lucky ones.
“The good news is, help is now available. A vaccine has been developed, and we are in the process of producing it in large enough quantities so that all those who have survived can receive it. To that end, we need to determine exactly how many of us are left and where everyone is located.
“The problem we now face is one of communication. Many of the world’s telecom systems have begun to shut down, and we fear the same is starting to happen with power grids worldwide. In an effort to work around this problem, we have set up various means by which you can reach us—Internet, shortwave radio, and even a phone number those of you still with service can try. And if none of those are available to you, we are setting up dozens of what we are calling survival stations throughout the world. These might require a difficult trip, but they are an option. Those of you watching television will see the information scrolling across the bottom of the screen. If you’re listening on a radio, I will give you the numbers and addresses at the end of this message.
“This is the most important part. Whatever you have been doing to survive, continue to do so. The virus is still out there and contractable. Until you have been vaccinated, you must avoid contact with it at all costs. If you need to travel to one of the survival stations, wear protective clothing and stop for no one.
“While we at the UN have also been hit, we are still here. Our only goal now is to save everyone we can. As soon as the vaccine is ready, we will get it to you. After that, we will rise above the ashes of this horrible tragedy and ensure that this is not the end of the human race.”

While the battle to keep the virus from being released had been lost, the war over who would survive had only just begun.

1

A
LIGHT CRUNCH
of gravel.

Footsteps, slow and steady, as if uncertain they should be there.

No surprise in their arrival, though. Matt Hamilton had been expecting to hear them since the moment he’d sneaked out of the Bunker and hiked to the ridge overlooking the Lodge. Time alone was not something he experienced much anymore.

He folded the piece of paper he was holding and slipped it into his jacket pocket.

“Matt?” Chloe’s voice.

Again, not a surprise.

He waited until she was only a few feet behind him, and said, “It was always too big.”

In the open meadow below was a pile of burnt rubble that had once been the Lodge. The massive building had not only been the Resistance’s headquarters but also home to most of its members.

His
home.

“I don’t know,” Chloe said, stopping next to him. “Seemed the right size to me. I liked that I could always find someplace to hide.”

“It was good for that, wasn’t it?”

Together they stared silently at the wreckage for a few seconds before Chloe turned to him. “I thought you’d like to know the others will be leaving soon.”

“Is it time already?”

She nodded.

When Project Eden had attacked the Ranch on Implementation Day, less than a week earlier, the members of the Resistance had retreated into the Bunker deep below the Lodge, where they had ridden out the fight, and where they’d continued to live in the days since. But Matt knew the threat of another strike grew exponentially each additional day they remained there, and the next time they might not be as lucky. When he saw the weather projections showing a series of storms heading their way in the coming week, storms that would likely fill their valley with snow and trap them there for months, he knew he had no other choice but to order the evacuation to Ward Mountain, their base in Nevada. It wasn’t as sophisticated as the Bunker, but it would be safer.

He hoped, at least.

Leaving the Ranch, though, was a complicated process. They may have lost the battle of keeping the Sage Flu outbreak from ever happening, but they were still in the fight to keep alive those who had survived. To that end, there could be no break in communications with those involved in the worldwide rescue operation the Resistance had initiated. If there were, it very likely would mean the additional deaths of survivors and the Resistance’s field team members trying to help them.

BOOK: Eden Rising
13.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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