Read Human Extinction Level Loss (Book 3): Liberation Online

Authors: Philip A. McClimon

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Human Extinction Level Loss (Book 3): Liberation

BOOK: Human Extinction Level Loss (Book 3): Liberation
2.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub























About The Author

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Copyright 2014 ©


Philip A. McClimon



All Rights Reserved





I would like to thank the usual suspects, who get first crack at the steaming pile that is the first draft of my work.

Chris Sapp, my friend and writing partner in crime and other genres. His readings are always thorough and his questions about the story always insightful. His understanding of story always helps me understand my own.

The other Chris, Chris Stoesen. His help is essential for all things martial and firearm related. Where I choose a .22 pistol he suggests a Ruger Mark I with suppressor, provides a back story for not only the gun, but its previous owners and how Jacob came to have it. His suggestions for this story were so helpful, there is bound to be a short story in the future based on those very things. Thanks Chris.

Mallory Haun. She is the “heart” test. If I haven’t reached her on some level then I know the story is not ready. When she read the draft, there was not the thought that Jacob was not only liberating the town, but his own beloved wife. When I told her that was going to be a change in later drafts. Her comments were along the lines, “
that will make me like him even more…”
At that point, I knew I was getting close.

And I cannot fail to thank Sherry, my own beloved wife, for her notes. She really does catch things that slip by me and others and I am always loath to hit “publish” before she has had a chance to go over it.

Writing can be a solitary act, but publishing never is, so I thank you all.


Philip A. McClimon



To all those who never forget


Think of me, sweet darling,

When everything’s going bad…


-Lindsey Buckingham




Before manifest destiny, before the railroad, Buffalo roamed across the American landscape. They moved in herds as big as whole states and if they crossed a traveler’s path, a wait of several days was not unheard of.

Manifest Destiny and the railroad both took care of that, and the massive herds were thinned to almost nothing. In their place, the land was filled with a sea of humanity, a humanity that saw the herds as a hindrance to their expansionist ideas, but also a resource.

When humanity itself was thinned to almost nothing, thus perhaps fulfilling an even darker destiny, others roamed the land, in hordes miles long. And while they were most certainly a hindrance to humanity, humanity was most assuredly a resource to them.


The horde moved and Jacob Miller followed.




On a scenic overlook, perched above a yawning valley, a 1990 Jeep Cherokee’s balding tires softly crunched the soil as it eased to a stop.

In the valley below, the horde approached; meandering, relentless. The Jeep idled, its throaty warble waiting, content in its mechanical indifference to either stay or go.


Jacob Miller adjusted his side mirror out and down, catching sight of the horde. The door, bearing the image of a gold sheriff’s badge creaked open. Above the badge was written
Duval County Sheriff,
below the badge,
To Aid and Serve.
He shut off the engine and got out. Combat boots replaced shoes, knee pads over black cargo pants tucked tightly into the boots replaced brown uniform trousers. Black long sleeve heavy cotton shirt with elbow pads and bullet proof vest replaced Khaki shirt and brown jacket. In the front seat of the jeep, a helmet with face shield sat where once a brown Stetson rested. The old uniform wouldn’t do, not for the aid and service that was now Sheriff Miller’s calling.

The riot gear was not the only new equipment Sheriff Miller’s department got after 9-11. Sniper training was an elective and he had taken full advantage. Not that he thought the little town of Hendricksville would have much call for a police sniper, or the rural outlying areas either, but it did give him a chance to shoot guns and pick up some new skills. It was something he did for pleasure. Once, but not anymore.

Sheriff Miller walked to the back of the jeep and lowered the tailgate. Reaching in, he retrieved his Remington 700 PSS. It was chambered in .308 with a Leupold Tactical Scope. Next to the rifle was a leather bound book. Its cover was monogrammed with the words
Duval County Tax Roll
. He grabbed the book and an empty two liter plastic bottle. Leaving the tailgate down, he made his way to the crest overlooking the valley below.

Lying prostrate on his stomach, the rifle on its stand, he lay the ledger and the bottle next to him. He took hold of the rifle, and through the scope, scanned the horde below him. With the noise of the engine and his own movements, the sound of them had not been noticeable. Now, in the gathering silence of his vigil, their baleful chorus floated up to him on the wind. The moans reached his ears only seconds before the smell reached his nose. It was something he had gotten used to, the menthol now sitting unused in the back of the Jeep.

Perhaps he would get lucky today and get two, or even three, he thought to himself. He pushed that kind of optimism out of his head. It only served to distract. Any distraction only served to dull his aim. Aim was everything to Jacob Miller. Content that he was set, he flipped the ledger open. On the inside cover, written with care in his best handwriting, was a single name.


Betsy Miller


He gave the page a single caress then readied himself behind the rifle. “Maybe today, Betsy,” he said to himself.

With his thumb he gave the gold band on his index finger a turn, then set his eye to the scope and scanned the valley below.


The sun, high in the sky when he arrived, began its slow descent to the horizon. Jacob Miller rubbed his eyes and fought the fatigue of monotonous concentration. Beside him, the once empty bottle was now almost half full. He had mastered the art of relieving himself in it without having to take his eye from the scope. He couldn’t look away, not even for a second. The risk was too great that he would miss one of them. Sheriff Miller did not take his eyes from the scope, but he knew that a full bladder and fatigue were no longer his greatest enemies. He did not have to look to the horizon to know that the sun was going down. Already the low light was playing havoc with his vision, creating patches of shadows and darkness. He had a night vision scope, but it was in the Jeep. He had thought that by now he would have found at least one. He cursed his optimism, an optimism that had dulled him and made him think he would not need the scope. He did need it though, and to get it, he would have to get up, to look away from the horde.

Against his better judgment, he waited. As the last of the flaming orb dropped below the horizon, the day lost its battle to the night. The day had passed and Jacob Miller had not taken his shot. In a panic, he tore himself from the rifle and raced to the Jeep. Turning on a small LED flashlight, he found the scope and darted back to his position. With a dexterity gained from repetition, he swapped out the scopes and searched the valley. He turned the rifle and saw that the rearguard of the horde was now in sight. The horde was massive and slow. It took a day for them to pass by completely. Locating his aim back to the middle, he watched.


The moon was high and his bottle more full as Jacob Miller fought sleep. He scanned left and right of center. He was about to move back to center position when his eye caught something. Recognition. He moved too quickly and it was gone, lost in the mob.

“No, no, no,” he said to himself as he searched, fully awake now.

His movements stopped and his face lost all its tension as through the scope he saw her.

Jacob Miller didn’t NOT believe in God, he just never saw the point in religion. The one person that had kept him from dismissing it all together was Mallory Haun. She boggled Sheriff Miller’s mind with her charity. He remembered sitting out on route 80 trying to catch kids driving drunk before they wrapped themselves around a tree at two in the morning. To try and stay awake, he radioed in to Abigail Dorman, the night dispatcher. They had fallen into conversation and he asked if Abigail had heard about the young girl. She had volunteered to be a bone marrow donor.

For people she doesn’t even know. Doesn’t that hurt or something?
he remembered asking the frumpy woman. The dispatcher had dismissed any significance to the event with a huff. It wasn’t so easy for Sheriff Miller to dismiss. He never had much use for God or religion, but Mallory seemed to shine with an inner light that he could not discount. He was sure that when the town fell to the horde that now passed below him, she could have probably saved herself but didn’t. Jacob saw the proof of that through his scope.

It was always the same and some part of him knew it wasn’t happening. In his mind’s eye the young girl stopped and turned to face him. From a hundred yards she locked her eyes with his and spoke to him.

Help me, Sheriff Miller

Tears threatened to blur his vision, but he blinked them away, even as he put his finger on the trigger.

“Not real…” he said.

He let out half a breath and fired.

The thing that was Mallory Haun twitched as its head exploded from the impact. Around it, the horde reacted to the rifle’s report. Their moans increased and their filmy eyes scanned the darkness, but Jacob was far away and hidden by the night. Gradually, with no further stimuli to arouse them, they proceeded on their ghoulish migration.

Above them, Jacob did not move, not until the last of the horde had passed and he was sure another shot was not possible. He flicked on his small flashlight and retrieved a pen from a pocket on his shoulder. Turning to the ledger, he flipped the pages until he found what he was looking for. A list of names all beginning with ‘H’, some crossed out, most not, stared back at him. He scanned down the page coming to ‘
Haun, Mallory’.
He traced a single line through it, then flipped back to the cover. As he began his day, so he ended it. He gave his wife’s name a single caress, then closed the book.

“Maybe, tomorrow, Betsy,” he said.

Sheriff Jacob Miller gathered up his gear and went back to the Jeep. Securing the rifle he climbed in and went to sleep. The horde was moving West but it would do him no good to be tired. Fatigue hampered his aim and Jacob needed his aim to be true.






Beverly Sanders weaved the big repair truck through the maze of abandoned cars. When they set out, she had considered taking her own car, but the truck was heavy, which made it good for pushing things out of the way, or running them over. The truck had gotten her out of the power plant and home to her husband Mark and their son Tommy, and she just hadn’t felt safe in anything else since.

She looked over at Mark in the passenger seat. Tommy lay between them, his head resting on a pillow in Mark’s lap. They were both sound asleep. Beverly glanced down at the fuel gauge. The needle hovered just above the quarter mark. They had agreed that it wasn’t safe to let it dip below that, which meant it was time to start looking for gas.

She cleared an old Nova and a late model BMW then saw that the way ahead was blocked by a three car pile-up, a Honda, an Outback, and a Silverado pickup truck, were jammed together across the lanes. She looked right and left and saw that the road dipped off sharply on either side.

“I guess it’s through, then,” she said to herself as she eased down on the gas.

The front of the big truck touched the rear of the Honda and she pushed down harder on the gas. The engine revved and precious seconds passed before the Honda started to move. It crunched against the Outback, which in turn pushed against the rear of the Silverado. Metal protested, then bent as the pickup rotated out of the way. The front wheels of the Outback turned and Beverly shoved it down the embankment. She turned her wheel and nudged the Honda off to the side, clearing the way.

BOOK: Human Extinction Level Loss (Book 3): Liberation
2.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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