Authors: Matt Hart
Surviving the Day (Apocalypse Makers Book 2)
Copyright © 2015 by Matt Hart
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.
Thanks to my amazing cover illustrator Elizabeth Mackey (
). Once again she’s created an awesome cover! Thanks also to my editors, Jim Dodds (
) and Jennifer M. Digges. They have the tedious task of turning my chicken scratch into readable sentences and figuring out what’s happening when it isn’t clear.
My wife, Kelly, is my best and first reader. I’m glad she likes the same kinds of books that I like. Thanks also for the feedback from book 1—it’s very encouraging for a writer to hear that a reader is anxious for the second book to find out what happens!
Other Books by Matt Hart
Table of Contents
Characters and Events in Book 1, “The Fractured Earth”
About the Author
Apocalypse Makers: Book 3 Preview
Interlude: Boreling Empire
“We'll be right back with more Extreme Self-Surgery Mishaps, but first this word from our sponsors!”
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“Scary Mayhem Planet Reality Apocalypse Show! Show! SHOW! From the makers of Tortured Sentence and Living Aliens Biopsy! Join us for on-the-hour updates and footage from the most bizarre alien world yet! You get two disasters in one—planet-wide electronics and power failures coupled with strange alien bio-creature attacks, and all on a planet already prone to violence against each other!”
A scene from World War II in vivid color shows ships exploding, bombs raining down on civilians, and ragged prisoners marching in rows through muddy fields. The scene changes to show beheadings of hostages by terrorists and shootouts by gangs.
“Tune in to Scary Mayhem Planet Reality Apocalypse Show! Don't miss the action! Action! ACTION!”
The commercial ends with the now famous scene at the stadium where the zombies unleashed by Team Zeke tear apart the crowd, turning them and becoming an unstoppable wave that pours into the city. A gathering of Borelings are watching it on a huge, four-screen television of some kind, laughing and clinking drink chews.
“And now back to Extreme Self-Surgery Mishaps!” A laugh track plays in the background.
The Earth is the focus of this season's popular apocalypse reality show in the Boreling Empire. The Borelings have caused an EMP event, an electromagnetic pulse, that has disabled all sophisticated microelectronics, including cars, aircraft, power and communication systems. In addition to the EMP, the Borelings engineered a bio-infester designed to transform a portion of the population into zombie-like bio-creatures.
- Erin and Joe
- Mark and Jen
- The Professor
- Grodge the Merciful, Sr. Production Assistant
escapes her zombie foster NotMom and Bubba Lecter, dispatches Mr. Chuckles and Mr. Creeps and meets up with Camo
. At the end of Book 1, they become trapped in Joe's garage as an unknown number of zombies attempt to break in.
and his father assist accident victims and try to hitch a ride, but Mark's father is killed by
, while Mark kills Richard's son during the attack. Richard vows revenge as Mark escapes in a truck with Jen and other occupants, then leaves the truck to walk home as it continues to the hospital.
manages to secure a working vehicle and intercepts
at the hospital, forcing her to reveal where
was dropped off and his plans to meet again at a town gazebo. When stopping the truck for gas, the group is attacked by zombies, and Richard's whereabouts are currently unknown.
, a woman who briefly met
at the accident scene at the start of Book 1, drops off Mark before taking the injured old man, beaten by
, to the hospital. When
kidnaps her and stops at the gas station, she escapes the attacking creatures and runs into Mark nearby. They assess the situation and decide to try to retrieve the working vehicle. As Mark makes his way toward the truck, he hears rifle shots indicating Jen is under attack and rushes back to help as Book 1 ends.
, a scientist with both biology and technology backgrounds, won the lottery and is holed up in one of his bunkers, built after studying the socio-economics of societal collapse, an interest that stemmed from his narrow escape from Egypt during the Arab Spring riots. As he examines the evidence, he begins to suspect that something or someone is manipulating events.
Grodge the Merciful
, a Senior Production Assistant for Plannel 6, works on content for the Boreling Empire’s most popular program,
Scary Mayhem Planet Reality Apocalypse Show
, but he is scheming to move up in ranking. As he goes about his job of getting the best footage out to the viewers while inserting Bubbly-Chew Drinks commercials and the occasional Megammercial, he attempts a bit of subterfuge by isolating a human who has managed to keep his bunkers and laboratories hidden from the Borelings, and fabricates evidence that points to
Pactain the Virulent
, his supervisor.
I stood straight and turned my back on Camo Joe for a minute. Well, for a triple count, that is—twenty to zero, then two nineteens to zero. The counting calmed me, as it always did. I could hear the zombies pounding at the door and moaning; it reminded me of NotMom when she tried to break into my room and add me to the list of people she'd eaten.
I needed another count to help get that out of my mind. It seemed like I’d been fighting for days to reach my sailboat since I walked away from school when the power went out and airplanes crashed around us. Hard to believe it had only been a few hours. Camo Joe here was helping me with some survival gear when the zombies burst into his living room and forced us to hole up in his garage.
I turned back to Joe. He was just watching me in the gloom, holding a small flashlight. I looked around the garage, but I sure didn't see anything that might help get me out of this mess.
Get us out.
“Any bright ideas, Army?” I asked, my voice slightly raised over the sound of the pounding.
He reached into the Jeep and tried the headlights. They turned on, showing a small garage with a workbench.
“Nothing good,” he said. “We have a side door here that leads outside, the garage doors, and that zombie-infested hallway. The side door might be our best bet, but there's no telling how many might be outside the house.”
I thought of the house... utterly surrounded. Zombies would be pressing in as soon as we opened the door. Camo Joe and I would try to wade through them?
We'd never make it out.
I held out my hand for the flashlight, but Joe started to take my hand as if to hold it. I jerked my hand back and shook my head. “Flashlight, genius,” I said. He looked a little hurt, but handed me the light.
He had grabbed me when we were back inside the house, trying to escape the zombies, so I will look over his momentary forgetfulness. After all, we need to have each other’s back.
But heat of the moment versus holding hands—very different for me.
I don't like being touched.
I took the flashlight and shined it around in some of the dark spots, trying to think of a plan. There was the car, but the EMP... “Car doesn't run?” I asked.
“Nope,” he answered. Which I assumed meant “yes” in answer to my question. “I guess the headlights aren’t connected to any computer chips, but the rest of this thing is junk unless we find a working replacement.” He paused. “And someone who knows how to install it.”
I shined the light inside the car but didn't see anything useful. A particularly loud CLANG hit the door and I shined the flashlight on it. Probably wouldn't hold forever.
Just my luck—I get all decked out with weapons and gear, and most of it is in the house with the zombies.
“We have to go back through the house,” I told Joe.
“What? Through that madhouse? I think we should chance the side door—nothing's banging on it.”
“And then what? If there's a horde out there, we're dead. Better to fight our way back to where we have weapons and gear. It’s a closed space and we’d at least have partial control.”
Joe thought about it, then finally nodded his head. “I hate to say it, but you're right, Ninja Girl.”
I smiled an evil grin. “Can we barricade that side door, prevent anything from breaking through when we start shooting?”
“Yeah let's push the car over.” I just stared at the huge black Army guy.
“Us?” I asked.
He laughed. “I suppose I could probably manage it.” He started moving things around while I searched for more ideas. I looked back at the door, had an inkling and turned back to ask Joe a question. He appeared to be busy, so I just went ahead with my idea.
First, I grabbed more wood from under the bench and put it near the door. Then I hunted around for a hammer and nails. I found nails, but no hammer, so I grabbed a big wrench. I carried up the nails and wrench and started trying to reinforce the door.
“What are you doing?!?” yelled Joe.
“You do your thing Camo, I'll do mine!” I yelled back.
He opened his mouth to yell again, then stopped and shook his head. He carried over a set of tires and laid them down next to the wedge holding the door closed. Then he pushed the Jeep to against the door too. Finally, he laid three tires on their sides, and a fourth tire on top of the one closest to the door. He wedged the whole pile again so that it was all pressing the door closed.
When he finished, he walked over to me, puffing a little bit. “What's the plan?” he asked me as I banged away.
“You finding a hammer,” I said. “Using a wrench to drive nails is for chumps!” I threw the wrench down on the floor. He smiled in the gloom and walked over to a pegboard and pulled down a hammer from the wall.
“Here ya go!” he said cheerily.
“Chump,” I said. I put several boards on the bottom, two on the top, then two in the middle, with about four inches between them. “We break out this part here in the middle. Should be about head height.” I pulled out the KA-BAR that he gave me and held it up. “I'm sure you have something in here we can use to poke their eyes out.”
“Alright, I get it. Yeah, I'll find something,” said Joe. He grabbed a power screwdriver and tested it to see if it still worked. “No computer chips”, he muttered as he snapped off the drill part and put on some kind of saw and set it back on the bench. He opened up the back of the Jeep and rifled around, coming out with a jack handle. “Good enough,” he said. It was long and had a thin end.
Joe picked up the saw thing and looked at me. “You ready for this?” he asked.
I looked at him and removed my shotgun from my shoulder and made sure it was loaded. He did the same with his gun. “I'm ready,” I said.
“Actually...” He put down his gun and pulled out a bunch of magazines and set them out. “I haven't reloaded yet.”
“Yeesh,” I said with an exaggerated voice. “Get a move on, Camo Joe. I'm a busy girl.”
He laughed and dumped a bunch of ammo on the workbench and looked at me expectantly. I smiled and got the hint and helped him reload. Each magazine held thirty rounds. I put in twenty-five, then gave the magazine to Joe. “Here, you do the last five. They're hard to get in there.”
“Yeah,” agreed Joe. “Wouldn't want you to break a nail or nothin',” he joked.
I punched him in the arm as hard as I could. He just looked at me and smiled.
I loaded one more and then we were done.
“Okay,” said Joe, “NOW I'm ready.”
I was ready too. But I was also scared to death. This could be my last moment on Earth.
I missed my ocean.