Read Retaliation: The Mortis Desolation, Book Two Online
Authors: Logan Rutherford
Retaliation © 2015 by Logan Rutherford
All rights reserved.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, businesses, events, or locales is purely coincidental.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Cover Art by Rebecca Frank (
Copydited by Gabriela West (
Proofread by Polgarus Studio (
Fragments & Fictions
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the floor of the cell. The dim red lights casted my long shadow across the silver cell. I’d been in there with Mila and John for hours with no signs from the outside.
I was still trying to process what was happening. All the aliens hadn’t been turned into Xenomortises. Some of them were still on Earth, living in bunkers with humans. I guess the part about there still being uninfected aliens made sense. There were, after all, uninfected humans still on Earth. I figured we would have seen them flying around in their spaceships or something in the past few years. Instead, ironically, they were deep beneath the earth, not soaring across the sky.
“How long do you think it’ll be before they get the balls to tell us that they’re going to kill us?” Mila asked from where she sat in the corner.
I stopped my pacing. “What makes you think they’re going to kill us or that they need the balls to do so? They seem pretty ballsy to me.”
“They’ve been cowering in their bunker for the past three years. They’ve got no idea what’s going on out there. They’re comfortable. Trust me, they have no balls. But they’ll grow them when it comes time to kill us. They don’t want us coming in and taking their resources. Keeping this place running can’t be easy. Three extra people use a lot of supplies. Plus, we’re from the outside, so we’re probably a threat.” She leaned her head up against the wall. “Yep. We’re sittin’ on death row right now.”
I shook my head and sighed. “Don’t you see, Mila? That’s our advantage.”
John perked his head up. “What makes you say tha—”
Before he could finish, a hissing sound filled the room right next to me. I jumped back and felt my body tense up, adrenaline already pumping.
Jets of steam shot into the room as a large portion of the wall moved back and slid out of the way. Blinding light filled our dark cell. I held my hand up, trying my best to keep the light from my eyes.
The silhouette of a figure stood in the doorway and stepped inside. The door moved back into place and sealed shut. The wall was now smooth, and you couldn’t tell where the door once was.
A man who looked to be in his thirties or forties stood in front of us. He wore a black T-shirt and cargo pants. His biceps bulged from his sleeves, and his short hair and stubble were speckled with gray hairs. A gun was holstered to his side, but he didn’t seem like he was going to reach for it at any moment. In fact, his entire demeanor seemed easy and relaxed.
“My name is Trevor York,” he said in a gruff voice. “I’m a lead of the security force here at Bunker Bravo.”
There was a moment of silence before I realized that he was waiting for us to give him our names, even though he probably already knew them. “My name is Miles, one of the founders of the Jefferson Memorial settlement.” I gestured toward John. “This is one of my squad mates, John.” I turned to Mila, but before I could say anything she spoke.
“I’m Mila, sole survivor of Brinn,” she said, standing.
“I’m sorry to hear that. The people of Brinn were good people.”
“You know of them?” Mila asked, taking a step forward.
Trevor nodded. “Yes, ma’am, we do. We know about you boys over at Jefferson too.”
I looked at him with furrowed brows. “Forgive me for asking, Trevor,” I began, “but why are you telling us this? Are we your prisoners?”
“Well, I guess right now you technically are. But we can change that,” he said, flashing a pearly-white smile.
over in his bed and was greeted by Rachel’s beautiful, smiling face.
“Good morning,” he said as he closed his eyes. He could feel her warm breath on the top of his head.
“Good morning,” she said. “We probably shouldn’t waste any time. Got a busy day today.”
Daniel moaned in protest, but knew she was right. It was just that after all they’d been through—fleeing Jefferson, going to Brinn, rescuing the slaves, and walking for almost a full day to Riven—all he wanted was to sleep in a little bit. But, of course, he knew that the Roves weren’t sleeping in at Jefferson Memorial. They were busy doing God knows what. So for Daniel, a good night’s sleep was going to have to wait. He knew it was quite possible he wouldn’t have another good one until he was back in his own bed at Jefferson Memorial. That was motivation enough for him.
Daniel practically crawled out of bed. His feet hit the cold wooden floor, and he stretched big. He ran his fingers through his blond hair. From across the room he heard Rachel pouring water into a bowl. He turned and crossed the room, standing behind her as she washed her face, waiting his turn.
“This place is nice,” he said.
“I agree,” she said. “Their infirmary is almost as nice as the one at Jefferson.”
“Do they have a doctor?” he asked. Rachel moved out of the way, finished with the water. Daniel moved in front of the bowl and began splashing the refreshing water on his face.
“One of the girls told me on the way up here that they did. He was a medic in the Army.”
“Oh, that’s nice,” Daniel said. He turned to see Rachel had put her clothes on—a blue shirt that said
across the back and a pair of jeans—and was standing in front of the mirror putting her hair into a ponytail. “You’ll be able to learn a lot of trauma care from him.”
Rachel, holding a hair tie between her teeth, nodded her head.
Daniel walked over to the dresser and grabbed a white T-shirt and a pair of camo cargo pants. He slipped them on and began his search for shoes.
“There’s shoes beneath the bed,” Rachel said.
“Thanks,” Daniel said as he got on his hands and knees and looked under the bed. He pulled out a pair of combat boots. They were his size, so he grabbed a pair of socks from the dresser and slipped them on.
“What do you think?” he asked Rachel as he stood. He did a spin just to make her laugh.
“I think with those clothes, you’ll fit in just fine,” she said with a chuckle.
“That’s the plan,” he said with a smile. “You look good too.” He took a step toward her. He grabbed her sides and pulled her close. “
good,” he said with a sly smirk.
Rachel put her hand on his chest and leaned in to give him a kiss. “Thank you, dear,” she said in a playful tone. “I gotta go, though,” she said, pushing herself away. “I’m gonna go see if they can use an extra set of hands in the infirmary.”
Daniel gave a playful sigh of defeat. “All right, all right. I’ll see you later.” He gave her one last kiss before she left.
“Good luck talking with Nina’s father,” she said.
“Thanks, babe,” he said.
The door shut, leaving Daniel alone in the room. He turned and walked toward the window, opening the curtains to look outside. He was three stories up inside a small hotel that was used as barracks.
He looked out on Riven, the small but strong community. The whole settlement was a long street on the edge of a small town in the middle of nowhere. The buildings stood wall-to-wall, packed in tight to take advantage of every square foot of real estate. There was a two-way street that went right through the middle of the settlement with buildings on each side. Most of the buildings were repurposed for the needs of the community, but Daniel couldn’t help but smile when he saw that the library right across the street from his hotel was still a library. He could see a little old lady wiping down the window outside, taking pride in her work. Not even the apocalypse was going to stop her from making sure her library was clean, and Daniel admired that.
A group of soldiers ran by on their morning jog, which reminded Daniel that he needed to get to work. It was time for him to find Nina’s father and explain their situation to him. With any luck, convincing him to join their fight would go quick. If so, Daniel would have enough time to eat lunch with Rachel, and that wasn’t something he was going to take for granted. What he and Rachel had was special even in a normal world, much less an apocalyptic one.
Daniel left his room, shutting the door behind him. He walked down the dark hallway, the only light coming from the sunlight coming through a few open bedroom doors. He reached the stairwell and grabbed a flashlight from a bucket by the door. He flicked it on and entered the stairwell. He walked down to the lobby, the flashlight lighting his way. He couldn’t help but feel the back of his neck tingle. He knew nothing was hiding in the shadows, but still, he shone his flashlight into the dark corners to be sure.
He reached the ground floor and dumped the flashlight into the bucket outside the stairwell door. He walked across the small lobby and exited the building. He took in a deep breath and couldn’t help but smile. The lady from the library saw him, and Daniel nodded his head toward her. The old lady smiled and waved back.
As Daniel turned and walked down the street, he made a mental note to visit the old lady and her library later in the day.
, Mila, and I sat on top of round barstools. A plate sat in front of each one of us with a ham and cheese sandwich, a chocolate chip cookie, and a glass of water on it. Across from us, Trevor sat eating his own tray of food.
I looked around the room, and everything was concrete except for the table and the chairs we sat in. They were made from stainless steel.
“You gonna eat?” Trevor asked.
The food did look delicious, and I was pretty hungry. I decided to give up the tough guy act and picked up the sandwich. I took a bite, and it tasted delicious. My stomach thanked me for succumbing.
“So what is this place?” I asked between bites.
“It’s an underground bunker that was built by the government in case of an event that rendered the topside uninhabitable,” Trevor explained.
“It’s pretty habitable for me,” Mila said with venom in her voice.
“Well,” Trevor began. “I’d rather live in an underground bunker than outside with the zombies and Xenomortises, that’s for sure.”
“Hard to argue with you there,” John said.
I hated to say it, but I kinda agreed with John. The bunker did seem nice and safe. Plus, it also seemed to have electricity, which was a commodity that I’d missed for a very long time.
“So what’s the deal, Trevor?” I asked. “What are we doing here?”
Trevor chuckled. “Well, Miles, you’re the ones who broke into our bunker. I should be asking you that question.”
I shrugged. “Fair point. We were following Ronoss. We rescued him from a gang called the Roves. They took over our home, and we were hoping that whatever Ronoss knew about the Roves might be something that
could use in our fight against them. We were hoping that he would lead us to something interesting.” I looked around the room for emphasis. “And boy, did he.”
Trevor put the crust of his sandwich down on his tray and took a swig of his water. “Well, Ronoss isn’t a very bright one. The Genari aren’t even supposed to go outside unless they’re highly trained, and even then only at night. Needless to say, Ronoss isn’t a highly trained soldier. He wasn’t supposed to be out in the first place. That matter is being taken care of.”
I didn’t like the tone of Trevor’s voice, but then again, Ronoss did cause a massive security breach. I could understand everyone’s frustration with him, but I couldn’t say I was too beat up about it. He
lead us to the bunker.
“So, anyways,” I began. “That’s what we’re doing here. We were just trying to figure out something to use against the Roves so we can take back our home and rescue our friends.”
“Well, I can understand that you want to fight back against the Roves. From what my scout teams have told me, they’re no good,” Trevor said as he leaned back into his chair.
“Well, that’s an understatement,” I said. “They’re more than just ‘no good.’ They’re evil.” I decided to test my luck since Trevor was being very open. “So what was it that they wanted with Ronoss in the first place?”
“My guess is that they were curious. Having an alien prisoner to interrogate and torture must have been very exciting to them. I’m sure they were eager to know as much as they could about the Genari. However,” Trevor said, and my ears perked up, eager to hear what was about to follow. “I believe that they wanted to know something that only he could tell.”
Right as Trevor was about to divulge whatever it was, Mila stopped him. “Stop it,” she said. She didn’t yell but her tone was forceful. “Stop talking right now.”
I looked at her confused. “Mila—”
“No,” she said shaking her head. She stood up from her seat. “I don’t want to hear any more.”
“Mila, what seems to be the problem?” Trevor said. He actually looked concerned.
“I don’t want to know any more. You’re being too open about everything. If this was all as top secret and crucial as you’re saying, you wouldn’t just be divulging stuff like this to people who just broke into your top secret government base.”
,” Trevor said, correcting her. “And I’m telling this because I want you to trust me. I want you to try and understand.”
“Understand what?” I asked. Red flags started popping up in my mind. Mila was right. I was being foolish, infatuated by Trevor’s knowledge. I didn’t stop to think
he was telling us these things.
“I need you to understand that if you don’t agree to help us, we can’t allow you to leave. Ever.”