First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

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First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

Postby Rootersfriend » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:26 am

So as much as I love the whole post apocalyptic explosion that's happening, I kind of hate it because I've been working out this story for a long time, and now people think I'm just jumping on the popular band wagon, oh well. Is what it is. Let me know if this sounds like a story you'd want to read more of...




I’m not going to pretend it was easy, hell, those first few months were awful for everyone. It’s a terrible thing not knowing what’s going on. We all had to watch friends and families torn apart by this thing, and had no idea what it was. Best guess is it started somewhere in Europe, spread from there, maybe came over with someone, or in their bag, heck, maybe even on their dog or cat. All we know for sure is that a few months after the first reports it was everywhere, I mean everywhere. Whatever this was, it was crossing oceans, invading homes, tearing through hospitals, it didn’t care. We all lost people at first.
Pretty soon the daily grind ground to a halt. Things were different, your nine to five didn’t matter anymore. People stopped going to work and eventually nobody cared, it was too dangerous. At a certain point there weren’t enough people to keep businesses open, or at least not enough that cared to go in. People changed, they sort of went...tribal or something.
For a while things went crazy, people started looting, and setting fires, everyone was scared. It was only six or seven months before we figured out roughly what it was, but that was more than enough time for it to get out of control and beyond containing.
The virus, which they called KV-517, originated in a medical research facility near Cambridge, England. Don’t ask me what it stands for, some science thing I’m sure, how is anything named? For all I know it stands for “Killer Virus” and the numbers...I don’t know, maybe it’s somebody’s birthday or something. Throw everyone in the office’s birthday in a list and if yours is closest to that day then lucky you, you get a virus named after you. Who knows?
As I understood it, it was initially being tested as a cancer treatment. It was supposed to work as sort of a “bloodhound virus;” give it a wiff of cancerous cells and let it loose. In theory it would scour every surface of the body looking for that “scent” and then it would attack until it was gone. It worked too, at least on a small scale. They ran the gammit of usual tests on rats, dogs, pigs, and eventually individual human organs. It was doing exactly what it was supposed to do, it was a wonder drug.
The issue they were having is what to do with it after it killed the cancer cells. Nobody liked the idea of a rogue killer virus just sitting in them for the rest of their life. They played around with different viruses to kill the initial one but it wound up being a veritable “there was an old woman who swallowed a fly” situation, and we all know how that turned out. They eventually figured out a way to basically turn it off, it was still there, it just wasn’t active. That was good enough for science apparently and the drug hit the market.
It was amazing. It really did everything they said it would and was way safer than any other cancer treatment out there. Typically only one treatment was necessary and it didn’t matter what stage it was in. The virus was smart, it could reproduce itself as needed, depending on how many enemy cells there were, and after all it’s hard work it would just pack up and go to sleep. Again, it was amazing.
The problem came several years later. It was what happens to every smart, sleeping predator eventually; it woke up, and it was hungry.
It seemed to start small and ramp it up over time. Most often it would start with the immune system. You’d get the sniffles and assume you have a cold when in actuality you were being eaten from the inside out. From there it would move on to more noticeable things like a spleen, a lung, or an eye. After that is when it got a little more twisted. Sometimes it would eat away at your skin, your hair would fall out along with your nails, but despite all that it kept you alive. It would wreak just enough havoc to keep itself alive while leaving enough alone, or repairing enough along the way to keep your basic vital organs running relatively smoothly. Eventually you were more KV-517 than anything else.
At a certain point though, it would run out of real estate and you would die. But in most cases you were a walking, talking, flesh-eating virus for about a year before you knew what was going on, two before you died. That is, if you didn’t end it yourself first.
A full year. According to my admittedly limited research, a panel of people much smarter than myself estimate that the average healthy person sneezes an upwards of 600 times per year. Add a crappy immune system, sprinkle liberally with killer virus, and presto! You have destruction. That’s not even taking into account all the kissing, touching, and cuddling we humans like to do. It spread like wild fire.
A week or two in however and I guarantee you there wasn’t a single person who wouldn’t have gladly traded what we now had for an uncontrollable blaze. At least you could see that coming, and knew where to avoid. In our now paranoid minds everyone with a cold or a headache was a shambling, disease infested creature out of some George Romero film, just waiting to tear us to shreds. This of course was not true, not everyone with a tickle in their throat was out for brains. We still had flu season, still had allergies, the nerve endings in our nose were still just as sensitive to pepper. The difference was that you had no idea whether or not that tickle in your throat meant that a year from now you, and in all likelihood everyone you loved, would be dead and rotting in a mass grave somewhere.
Sure, they had tests to see if someone was carrying KV-517, but no one wanted to administer them on the off chance that even a handful of people tested positive. Because by all accounts that meant that the administrators would then get it, it wasn’t worth the risk. But I guess some brainiacs at Harvard figured that people deserved to know whether they were screwed or not and came up with a personal, disposable, home testing set, or PDHTS (original right?) It was like a pregnancy test from hell. Open it up, piss on a stick and read your fortune. Red, you’re dead, green, you live to die another day. Whoopdy-freakin’-do. There were a lot of tears when those things came out, I wish I could say more of them were the happy, joy and relief type.
Those things became part of our routine, like brushing our teeth. We tested when we got up and we tested before we went to bed. Looking back on things I wish I had bought stock in those stupid little piss sticks, I’d probably be a multi-millionaire or something by now. Not that it mattered anymore but hey, I could cross it off my bucket list.
In a twisted sort of way this thing actually did a lot of good for people too, you know, minus all the carnage. People washed their hands more, took their vitamins, started eating more healthily, exercised regularly, and took their tests at least twice a day. Anything you could do to generally stay as healthy as possible, the less scares the better.
Eventually people just got used to it. There was a new normal and that’s just how it was. Some people even went back to work. We had to get food and clothing from somewhere, and the big cities weren’t exactly set up for hunter-gatherer societies. Plus how could we call ourselves Americans and not try to make a buck off this thing? But again, take it with a grain of salt. We didn’t have big, corner office executives anymore. Nobody working 80 hours a week punching a clock to work in some cubicle. Grocery stores did ok, shopping malls somehow stayed somewhat afloat, and there was still always a Starbucks in sight, but the world was nothing like it was before all this happened.
It wasn’t just that less people went to work now either. People changed. Not just some, everyone changed. Our once loud, obnoxious, social society was now scared, paranoid, timid and solitary. We were like a city full of rats scurrying from one hole to the next. You rarely saw more than a few of us together at a time. It was like going out after a snowstorm when the world just shuts down. No people, no cars, and that unnatural quiet that made you wonder if the streetlights were always this loud or if your pants always swished like that. It wasn’t so much living anymore as much as plain old surviving. And all things considered, I think we did it pretty darn well.
::Live as a villain, die as a hero::

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Re: First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

Postby TerresaWiggin » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:19 pm

wow :) nice writing. I like your writing voice. You got any more for us?
"when a school counselor called her in to tell her that the school administration was growing concerned about the fact that Petra seemed to be associating with the antisocial element in the school, she knew that she was truly at home in Maralik."

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Re: First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

Postby Rootersfriend » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:26 pm

Well that was only the first little chunk of Chapter 1, I have 2 or 3 more chapters so far for this thing. Not sure the best way to share though. Not thrilled about doing the whole Google doc thing, and I don't want to just post suuuper long posts. Thoughts?

Also thanks :)
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Re: First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

Postby EAGLE » Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:46 pm

ya google doc is very annoying....I'm looking at Dropbox since it's easier and I think better. I'll post up my findings by tonight
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Re: First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

Postby Rootersfriend » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:38 am

Not sure anyone is actually reading it, but I may as well throw a little bit more on here. I have several chapters written so far, what I posted before was just the first bit of chapter one. Here's some more of it if anyone cares!

There were essentially four types of people in this new little world of ours. You had your angry, post-apocalyptic, second amendment wielding, kill anything that coughs types. It was amazing how many of these types came out of the woodwork. People you never expected were out there leading the charge.
Then you also had the inconsolable, scared to death, “what has this world become,” paralyzed with grief crowd. Sometimes they were even harder to deal with than the gunslingers, at least they could form complete sentences without bawling their eyes out and snotting all down their faces.
It was sad though, a lot of the cryers were the ones who asked to borrow a rope and never had the chance to give it back. I guess they figured it was easier than the not knowing. There’s something to be said for that too. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not supporting suicide but in a world like ours, I just get it I guess...My sister was in that crowd.
Her name was Rachel. Rachel Katherine Grey, Katherine was our grandmother’s name on our dad’s side. She always loved her middle name. I remember when she was little sometimes she would march downstairs, nose in the air and declare with no small amount of pomp that she “no longer desired to be called Rachel and that we were to address her as Katherine.” Then a few months later she would change it back. She was always finicky like that. One day her favorite color was blue, the next it was pink, and on and on.
She was younger than me by about 2 years. I always took pride in my role as a big brother. But when mom and dad caught the virus a few months in, I didn’t know what to do. They obviously left their home, not wanting to spread it more. Rachel was a wreck, and I wasn’t much better off, a little, but not much. We couldn’t even say goodbye. No contact, that was the rule to survive. I tried to stay strong for Rachel, but a few months later I guess she was tired of fighting. I went over to her house to bring her some soup I had made and found her slumped over her kitchen table. That was an awful day...
She had written a note that was folded neatly next to her crumpled body. She said all the usual stuff: why she had done it, that she was sorry for not being stronger, not to blame myself, that I was the best big brother a little sister could ask for, etc, etc...I managed to make it almost to the end of the note before I lost it completely. The last thing she wrote was, “try to keep your nose out of the dirt kiddo.” -Rachel
That was something we used to say to each other all the time. She was a clumsy kid and was always falling down. I used to say that to her everyday before she left for school. She knew it was my way, as an awkward teenage boy at the time, to tell my kid sister that I loved her, it became our little code. But god, we hadn’t said it in years. I lost it.
I must have sat there for an hour bawling my face off with my sister’s lifeless body lying there next to me. I threw up a couple times, didn’t even try to make it to the bathroom, didn’t even get up. It was one of those times when you really don’t care that you have spit, tears, snot and vomit all dripping off you, those things didn’t matter. But after a while I was able to pull myself together enough to stand up. I rinsed my face, tore off that last bit of the note and gently put it in my shirt pocket. I kissed my sister for the last time, burned the rest of the note, and left that house forever.
I feel like I fit into the third group of people. We were the ones who were just trying to survive. We looked at the world and said, “Well this sucks but it is what it is.” We did what we needed to to survive and get through to the next day.
The last group, well there was only one option left. If you just didn’t seem to fit into any of the other three groups, chances are at that point you were a breaker. That’s what we called them. It was short for Outbreak Patients I think, but it was easier to say. You know, kids and their abbreviations and all that. Yessir, that was one country club membership you didn’t see people lining up for. They had high fees, terrible benefits, and no little umbrellas in their drinks. Oh, and you died.
___________________________________________

My name is Shepherd Grey. I started writing this mainly out of boredom. I’d never really written anything before but figured how hard could it be? Heck the way things were going it didn’t look like there’d be anyone left to read anything anyways. I’m pretty sure that makes this an automatic best seller, the fact that there weren’t any people left was just semantics. I’m basically already in Oprah’s book club.
I was thirty three years old at the time this all started and had seen enough of the world to know that most people were looking out for number one, and most of the people who weren’t at this point were breakers.
After Rachel died I became the last surviving, non-infected member of my family. I didn’t have many friends before the outbreak and I had even fewer after it. It wasn’t a bad thing though, I didn’t feel deprived in anyway. I was a pretty good looking guy, at least average. I couldn’t be an underwear model or anything, but I also wasn’t some greasy recluse sitting in my basement in front of a computer all day stuffing my face with pizza rolls and Mountain Dew either. I did all the normal stuff as a kid; I had my group of friends. We would climb trees, melt action figures, get in trouble for fighting in the bathrooms, and generally just being your normal, precocious group of hooligans.
But then we grew up and most of them got real jobs. Some of them got married, almost all of them moved away. That was fine, that’s life. I got an entry level job at a consulting firm and hated it so I eventually left. I bounced around for a while after that. It became pretty clear that I was, or could be, very proficient in just about anything, but specialized in nothing. Nothing anyone would pay me for anyways, it’s a shame no one wants to fork out thousands of dollars to someone just for liking good music and being generally awesome, I feel like I would rock that job.
But through it all I managed to get by. I survived before the outbreak and I was surviving afterwards; maybe that was my skill. I had the ability to make things mechanical in my brain. I could get into a rhythm; turn off my emotions if I needed to. I could see an objective, accomplish it, and move on. It wasn’t glamorous or exciting but I was also alive, I was ok with that.
A lot of people left when things got bad. Some went to live with family or friends that hadn’t been affected yet, others just wandered off on their own. Most breakers, the ones that didn’t just kill themselves, or the ones the gunslingers didn’t get, were holed up in colonies dotted all over the country. I remember reporters on the radio talking about them before the airwaves went dark. The rest of us were fine with them going into their own camps as long as they didn’t try to come back. I found out later that there were a surprising amount who actually did try, they just couldn’t accept that they were goners, or felt like they were “feeling better;” the gunslingers made quick work of them.
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Re: First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

Postby Rootersfriend » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:50 pm

Well this keeps getting some views so I may as well keep putting snippets up. Not sure if anyone is actually reading it but that's ok.

My parents were in one of these, one of the bigger ones in the country from what I hear. It started in southern Maryland and quickly took over most of the state, people just kept coming in. Really, I’m just speculating on their whereabouts, I don’t know for sure. We had talked about what we would do if one of us got infected. They always said they’d go there; they were the “let it run its course” types. Then one day they were gone and we knew why.
We all lived just outside of Washington DC and that was the closest colony so it made sense that they would go there. Rachel and I had both moved out long before the outbreak but never went far. She had bought a townhouse in Vienna, Virginia and I wasn’t far away in Reston. I always wanted to live closer to the city but could never afford it.
Reston wasn’t bad though, in fact all things considered it was great. It was a planned community that was founded sometime in the 1960’s by a guy named Robert E. Simon, (I only know that because like a true nerd I did a study on it before I moved in, don’t judge me.) In fact, the name it’s self was created around his initials, again, I’m a nerd, I accept this.
It had several lakes, very few street lights, no big buildings, and no grave yards. I guess Simon was in denial about people dying or something. I’m sure used to it at this point. Come to think of it, I don’t actually know what they did when people died there; stick ‘em in the ground in some other county I guess, that seems rude. “Look I don’t really want dead people in my ground because that’s gross, so…yeah…” Seems like a jerk move but apparently it worked. If all this breaker stuff smoothes out remind me to write a thank you letter to those counties, it’s the least I can do.
Shortly after all this started local authorities crumbled, it was marshal law. After that day I found Rachel I pretty much stayed put in my little two bedroom townhouse waiting for the army, or the National Guard, or someone, they didn’t just let this stuff happen right?
Months went by. There was no radio or TV, no one “tweeting” the goings on. Nobody “updated their statuses.” Local news was as far as you could see outside your window. Neighbors didn’t talk or interact much anymore. It was “every man for himself and I don’t know if you’ve tested today.”
Looking back, maybe this is where our society would have gone anyways. People hated human contact it seemed. It was slow, inefficient, and full of drama. Maybe a killer virus was just the straw that broke the camel’s back and shut people off all together from each other.
Either way I pretty much stayed home. I rationed my food, and had a little vegetable garden in the back that I nursed back to health after neglecting for far too long. When I did go out, it was for essentials: toilet paper, tooth paste, and bacon, sweet, sweet bacon. I know my priorities.
When it looked like things were going from bad to worse I went and raided a grocery store.
I had been a line cook at a restaurant and I still had the key. I packed that walk in freezer to the gills. Between that and the big pantry there, I figured there was enough food to last me for at least a year or so if I rationed well. I had bread, pasta, beef, chicken, and rum, can’t forget the rum, and a few other essentials. I made trips to different stores as often as I could to restock and get what I could before things went bad. I slapped a heavy duty lock on it and hoped no one would notice. I wasn’t too worried though, the restaurants had been some of the first things to close when all this went down. For all intents and purposes it was abandoned.
When I did make my restocking runs, I never went alone. I had my dog Rommel and my nine millimeter handgun. I wasn’t an avid shooter, and I sure wasn’t a gunslinger but I was glad to have it just in case. People were unpredictable these days.
My gun was a Glock 17, nine millimeter pistol. It held seventeen rounds off the shelf and could put up with just about anything you could throw at it. I had gotten it a few years back for self-protection when there had been a string of robberies in the area. I threw a flashlight and laser sight on there too, just to up the overall awesomeness. Mission accomplished.
Rommel was the best friend, and all around coolest dog you could ask for. My sister had gotten him when he was a puppy and then quickly figured out that she more so liked the idea of a dog rather than actually having one. Like I said before, she was impulsive and fickle. I scooped him up in a heartbeat.
He was a mutt for sure. I knew he had a fair amount of German shepherd in him but I wasn’t sure what else. He was mostly tan, almost golden, but had a black mask and ears. When he was a puppy his paws looked to be about four sizes too big for him and he only mostly grew into them. My sister named him Rommel because of his big, pointy, fox-like ears. At least I think that’s why. To my knowledge Rachel wasn’t a closet Nazi sympathizer or anything.
Everything about him was awesome. He had one pale blue eye, and a funny habit of always having his tongue just barely peeking out of his mouth. He wasn’t a huge dog; he never got much over sixty pounds or so. I figured with all the Shepherd in him he’d get a lot bigger but one day he just stopped growing. That was ok with me.
::Live as a villain, die as a hero::

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Re: First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

Postby Rootersfriend » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:50 pm

Well this keeps getting some views so I may as well keep putting snippets up. Not sure if anyone is actually reading it but that's ok.

My parents were in one of these, one of the bigger ones in the country from what I hear. It started in southern Maryland and quickly took over most of the state, people just kept coming in. Really, I’m just speculating on their whereabouts, I don’t know for sure. We had talked about what we would do if one of us got infected. They always said they’d go there; they were the “let it run its course” types. Then one day they were gone and we knew why.
We all lived just outside of Washington DC and that was the closest colony so it made sense that they would go there. Rachel and I had both moved out long before the outbreak but never went far. She had bought a townhouse in Vienna, Virginia and I wasn’t far away in Reston. I always wanted to live closer to the city but could never afford it.
Reston wasn’t bad though, in fact all things considered it was great. It was a planned community that was founded sometime in the 1960’s by a guy named Robert E. Simon, (I only know that because like a true nerd I did a study on it before I moved in, don’t judge me.) In fact, the name it’s self was created around his initials, again, I’m a nerd, I accept this.
It had several lakes, very few street lights, no big buildings, and no grave yards. I guess Simon was in denial about people dying or something. I’m sure used to it at this point. Come to think of it, I don’t actually know what they did when people died there; stick ‘em in the ground in some other county I guess, that seems rude. “Look I don’t really want dead people in my ground because that’s gross, so…yeah…” Seems like a jerk move but apparently it worked. If all this breaker stuff smoothes out remind me to write a thank you letter to those counties, it’s the least I can do.
Shortly after all this started local authorities crumbled, it was marshal law. After that day I found Rachel I pretty much stayed put in my little two bedroom townhouse waiting for the army, or the National Guard, or someone, they didn’t just let this stuff happen right?
Months went by. There was no radio or TV, no one “tweeting” the goings on. Nobody “updated their statuses.” Local news was as far as you could see outside your window. Neighbors didn’t talk or interact much anymore. It was “every man for himself and I don’t know if you’ve tested today.”
Looking back, maybe this is where our society would have gone anyways. People hated human contact it seemed. It was slow, inefficient, and full of drama. Maybe a killer virus was just the straw that broke the camel’s back and shut people off all together from each other.
Either way I pretty much stayed home. I rationed my food, and had a little vegetable garden in the back that I nursed back to health after neglecting for far too long. When I did go out, it was for essentials: toilet paper, tooth paste, and bacon, sweet, sweet bacon. I know my priorities.
When it looked like things were going from bad to worse I went and raided a grocery store.
I had been a line cook at a restaurant and I still had the key. I packed that walk in freezer to the gills. Between that and the big pantry there, I figured there was enough food to last me for at least a year or so if I rationed well. I had bread, pasta, beef, chicken, and rum, can’t forget the rum, and a few other essentials. I made trips to different stores as often as I could to restock and get what I could before things went bad. I slapped a heavy duty lock on it and hoped no one would notice. I wasn’t too worried though, the restaurants had been some of the first things to close when all this went down. For all intents and purposes it was abandoned.
When I did make my restocking runs, I never went alone. I had my dog Rommel and my nine millimeter handgun. I wasn’t an avid shooter, and I sure wasn’t a gunslinger but I was glad to have it just in case. People were unpredictable these days.
My gun was a Glock 17, nine millimeter pistol. It held seventeen rounds off the shelf and could put up with just about anything you could throw at it. I had gotten it a few years back for self-protection when there had been a string of robberies in the area. I threw a flashlight and laser sight on there too, just to up the overall awesomeness. Mission accomplished.
Rommel was the best friend, and all around coolest dog you could ask for. My sister had gotten him when he was a puppy and then quickly figured out that she more so liked the idea of a dog rather than actually having one. Like I said before, she was impulsive and fickle. I scooped him up in a heartbeat.
He was a mutt for sure. I knew he had a fair amount of German shepherd in him but I wasn’t sure what else. He was mostly tan, almost golden, but had a black mask and ears. When he was a puppy his paws looked to be about four sizes too big for him and he only mostly grew into them. My sister named him Rommel because of his big, pointy, fox-like ears. At least I think that’s why. To my knowledge Rachel wasn’t a closet Nazi sympathizer or anything.
Everything about him was awesome. He had one pale blue eye, and a funny habit of always having his tongue just barely peeking out of his mouth. He wasn’t a huge dog; he never got much over sixty pounds or so. I figured with all the Shepherd in him he’d get a lot bigger but one day he just stopped growing. That was ok with me.
::Live as a villain, die as a hero::

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Re: First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

Postby EAGLE » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:00 pm

kind of quite on the pweber wants to post original work threads it seems. too bad :cry:

But great stuff buddy. I'll be adding more input after this week when I caught up on my programming homework from last week.
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Re: First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

Postby Rootersfriend » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:20 am

Again, just putting this up in very small chunks-Still not sure anyone's reading it, which is fine haha. It has some views though so on the off chance someone wants more, here's another little chunk that goes a bit into the next chapter. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Initially when the world went to crap I was terrified I would lose him. We already knew animals could be carriers of the virus. But as time went on it became pretty clear that not only did it not affect animals in the same destructive way, but it didn’t appear that they could spread it to humans. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me but the proof was in the pudding so to speak. It didn’t matter anyways, I think deep down I had already decided that if he was going down then I was going with him. Fortunately it didn’t have to come to that.
Almost a year into it, it became pretty clear that help wasn’t coming. I think that’s when I really came to terms with things and decided to start poking my head out of my little Reston, Vienna, Leesburg bubble. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t home, and it didn’t belong to us anymore. It really had become a breaker world.


2

I used to love watching all those zombie, virus, end of the world kind of movies, but at this point the world was still a little too raw to enjoy those. Contrary to what Hollywood would make you think, the atmosphere and weather don’t change with a viral outbreak. I don’t know why I kept expecting the sky to be a bleak shade of greenish gray, and the landscape like those old sepia toned photographs I’ve seen.
Things were definitely quieter, and there were cars left on the roads where they had run out of gas. Some were burned out or trashed, presumably by looters or gunslingers, although they weren’t too prevalent where I was, I had actually never even met one, just heard stories. But other than our man made carnage and mayhem, the world kept right on going.
I remember the first time I really went out to see what the world outside of Reston had become. The sky was an amazing shade of blue, and the birds were chirping when I started loading up my Jeep that morning. As usual Rommel was already sitting expectantly in the front passenger seat. In general he loved riding in the car, but I think he also got a little stressed that he’d get left whenever I started packing up anything. Either way he’s my first choice for a road trip partner so it works out.
I didn’t plan on it being longer than a day trip but I had also watched enough survival shows to know that people rarely ever planned to get stranded. Especially with not knowing quite what to expect out there I wasn’t going to take any chances.
In addition to two changes of clothes, extra ammo, and my survival kit, I was also bringing a case of bottled water and enough food to last me and Rommel about two weeks if we rationed right. For me this meant a few canned goods, (mostly chili) and a few potatoes I had grown in my garden. For Rommel it meant a bag of generic brand, beef flavored doggie kibbles. While I’m sure he would have much preferred my roadhouse chili with beans, I was pretty strict on the “no people food” rule. I didn’t want him to start begging, nobody likes a rude dog. Plus he didn’t know what he was missing so he didn’t seem to mind.
My survival kit was really just a modified, glorified car safety kit. It had a small tool set, a few road flares, and one of those shiny space blanket things. To that I added a few protein bars, a liter of water, a respirator mask, a flare gun, an extra knife, and about fifteen feet of high strength cordage. All of this fit snuggly in an old backpack I had. The original kit had come in a hard case but I figured if I were needing to hoof this around for any reason I’d rather not carry a clunky box.
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Re: First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

Postby EAGLE » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:08 am

am reading, like I couldn't after the input you gave me and the story game we play...btw your turn
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Re: First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

Postby Rootersfriend » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:14 am

I know, I'm sorry, I'll get something written out hopfully today for the story game. Been super busy at work and getting ready to move to Nashville, so trying to get my life in order haha. I appreciate you reading though! I'll get on writing asap
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Re: First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

Postby Rootersfriend » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:16 am

In the meantime, here's another little chunk.

I then went through my personal checklist to make sure I had everything I needed or wanted should I get separated from the Jeep. I had my gun in a holster on my hip with an extra magazine. Thirty four shots total, and I was hoping to have all of them when I got home. I had my seven inch combat knife that I had gotten in an army surplus store years ago. It was all black, blade included, and half serrated. The end of the handle unscrewed for storage. I put some fishing line, two cotton balls, and several strike anywhere matches in there. The cotton balls were as much for potential tinder as to keep everything else from rattling around. I also had a small LED flashlight, my Ray-Ban sunglasses, and a multi-tool.
I wasn’t quite sure what it was going to be like out there. I assumed everyone would have been smart and courteous enough to head to a breaker colony if they were infected, but who knows? It could look like a killing field out there with decomposing, virus ridden bodies scattered everywhere. I knew Reston didn’t look like that but it also wasn’t as heavily populated. I took the respirator mask out of my bag and threw it on the seat next to Rommel, he looked annoyed by this. I knew the KV-517 virus could be in the air if there were enough bodies around. I didn’t want to risk not having my mask close by.
All the pre-trip prep taken care of, it was time to head out. I locked the front door and climbed into the car. I had an uneasy feeling about this whole trip. It wasn’t nerves, or at least not all of it. I had been out of the house before numerous times to restock and just to get Rommel some exercise. Maybe it was the juxtaposition of having a very alive earth but a very dead world. Like I said before, the birds were chirping, the sky was blue, little furry woodland creatures scuttled to and fro…Ok that last one wasn’t true but you get the idea. It was weird to think that you could have all that beauty, and then somewhere not too far off people were being eaten alive by their own bodies.
The idea was for this to be a sort of scouting trip. Resources in my area would start to deplete and I needed to start thinking long term. I still wasn’t sure whether this meant just finding another location to settle down in, or, more realistically, spend my days as a roaming vagabond. I guess it depended on the what I found out there, and I wouldn’t know until I got my head out of the clouds and started up my Jeep, so that’s what I did. I was careful not to get my hopes up too far, or get fixated on certain idea of what things would be like; survival needed to be about adaptability.
My pensive state was broken by a sharp bark. I had a quick knee jerk reaction of fear and my hand went to my hip. A second later I relaxed when I realized Rommel was just saying hi to our neighbor two houses down, his name was Jon. He looked at me with expressionless eyes; the rest of his face was hidden behind a respirator mask similar to my own. He shrugged a small duffle onto his shoulder and walked inside without so much as a nod. There was a time when we would have stopped and done the whole neighbor bit. He would ask me if I were going on a trip, or I may have asked what was in the bag. Not anymore. A second later I was over it and buckling my seatbelt, Jon was just closing the door behind him. I guess I’d rather have Rommel more alert than not, it would probably save my life someday. That was worth a few jumpy moments.
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Re: First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

Postby Rootersfriend » Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:17 am

I keep forgetting to post more on here. Still not sure anyone's reading it but I figure I'll just keep throwing it on here. Here's another small chunk for ya!

I didn’t know exactly where I was heading but I guess that didn’t matter too much. I knew at some point I’d like to see what DC was looking like these days, so I figured I’d start off in that direction. I pushed the button to roll down Rommel’s window as I pulled out from in front of my house. He was everything you think of when you picture a dog with his head out of the window. It was hard to be anxious or sad when you’re looking at a dog trying to keep his eyes open against the wind, cheeks flapping, tongue hanging out to the side and a string of drool flying off of it. It was a picture of pure bliss.
In all my previous trips I had stayed close, within a few miles; I wanted to be able to get home on foot if things went south and come back for my Jeep later. Today though I kept on going, the interstate was just ahead about 6 or so miles. I enjoyed the drive on a gorgeous day. Soon I popped on my signal and turned down the entrance ramp. The blinker was more force of habit than anything else; I obviously didn’t need it these days. I took it slow, it was one of those ramps that corkscrews you down onto the highway and I wouldn’t be able to see what was there until I was almost on top of it.
As I rounded the curve I breathed a little easier. The highway was mostly clear here; unmaintained and scattered with debris from various storms we’d had over the past year, but clear. There were a handful of cars here or there but they were easy enough to avoid. I made a mental note to try and come back to siphon what little if any fuel remained in them. The chances that people hadn’t already picked them over were slim, but it was worth a shot.
It felt exactly how you would imagine it, eerie. To be driving down a major highway at ten in the morning and have it be completely desolate just didn’t seem right. Rommel on the other hand just didn’t seem to care. Sometimes I wish I could be like him. It wasn’t that he was just blissfully ignorant; he knew things were different even if he didn’t know or understand the specifics. No, it was that he chose to be happy, to be playful, to sniff out the good things. I think it was that part of him that kept me going most mornings.
I had my MP3 player hooked up and was currently playing Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey and singing along like an idiot. That was another reason I loved Rommel, he never gave me lip about my lack of ability to carry a tune.
A few minutes in and I was coming up on an overpass. Spray painted in big red letters across it was “BREAKERS EXIT HERE.” There was an exit just past the bridge. I couldn’t read the sign that said where it went, it had been covered with all sorts of obscenities and biohazard symbols. I slowed down a bit, I was starting to feel a little more tense, and even Rommel stiffened up a bit. I put my mask on just to be safe and rolled up the windows. I was coming up on another exit. The entrance to this one was completely blocked off. I slowed down more to get a better look. Several cars were haphazardly jamming up the exit. They looked intentionally placed. I couldn’t tell for sure but a few of them looked like they had bullet holes across them. Right then I wasn’t sure if I was more scared of running into a breaker, or gunslingers.
I had heard stories of gunslinger colonies, and groups of traveling marauders. From what I’d heard they tended to be the shoot first, ask questions later types. They typically weren’t into hearing you out or taking new people in. I wondered how much of those stories were true, I had kind of pieced them together from several overheard conversations. Things tended to get distorted or exaggerated the further down the line they got.
My once wide open highway was starting to bottle neck in front of me. The road became increasingly congested with debris and cars, some of them flipped over or burned out. I was going quite slowly now and as I weaved in and out of it all it almost felt like there was a rhythm to it. It felt like they had been placed where they were for a reason. It was like some crazy junk yard maze, I started to worry about what might be at the middle of it. Up ahead I could see a thin ribbon of smoke coming up that I didn’t remember seeing a few minutes ago.
I decided that from here on I would go by foot to avoid detection as much as possible, assuming I hadn’t been spotted miles ago. I turned the jeep around and parked it haphazardly but facing a clear opening. I wanted it to blend in but if something did happen I wanted to be able to book it out of there as fast as I could.
My heart was racing as I slung on my backpack and double checked that I had a round chambered in my gun. I put a long lead on Rommel and let him out, he promptly peed. He pretty much stayed by my side but I wanted to be able to pull him back if need be.
I stayed low and slowly made my way in the direction of the smoke. I guessed that it was about a half mile away and directly ahead of me. I made sure to stay out of the main path to avoid being seen, but this also made the going slower. For not having opposable thumbs Rommel put me to shame when it came to agility. Now that I was right in the thick of the cars and debris, ducking behind, or weaving through them, I could clearly see the bullet holes that riddled them. My palms were sweating and I shortened the lead on Rommel a bit. It was quiet; the only sound was the slight shuffle of my feet on the pavement, the rapid sniffing noise from Rommel’s nose that was working overtime, and the steady thud of my heart in my chest. Rommel was now almost glued to my side, I appreciated that. Then I heard the voices.
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Re: First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

Postby Boothby » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:55 am

I'm liking!

Is Jon in the car, or not, though? When "Jon was just closing the door behind him" was "him" Jon? Rommel? It's unclear.

Also, what's the state of the infrastructure? Power, water, land-lines, internet, wireless? If people are forced to avoid physical contact, I would expect Twitter and related "chat" providers to see a massive upswing...unless something's "broken."

When Shepherd breaks into the store and the refrigerator, is the power on? Is the cooler running? Are there people working there?

Is there meaning to his staying "dormant" for a year? Maybe it's that I'm reading snippets, but it seems that a year passes rather easily. What do we know about Shepherd's ability to fend for himself, other than what he tells us? Is he a reliable or unreliable (or misleading) narrator?
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Re: First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

Postby Rootersfriend » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:06 am

I actually address some of those things pretty specifically early on, so go read the whole thing, not just snippets! haha Glad you're liking though. I definitely need to go back and button up some things, and as I reread I always see things I want to take out, elaborate on, or just change, so you all are kind of getting the first draft. But keep the comments and questions coming, I like being forced to relook at things.

I will say, some of your questions will be answered a little later in the story, but yeah, as for restaurant stuff, and the Jon situation, and social media stuff, I feel like it has been decently explained, though if you go back and are still confused then let me know and I'll relook at some of that (if I keep it at all haha). Thanks for reading. I'm only about 5 chapters in so far, and haven't had a chance to really sit down and do some good writing for a little while, but I'm just releasing what I have on here in snippets. Mostly because I know if I saw a post that was like 40+ pages long then I wouldn't read it haha.
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Re: First bit of a book I've been working on for a while

Postby EAGLE » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:16 pm

easy enough is to read out loud...I catch so many of my mistakes that way...especially the really bad ones I never noticed while reading it. But hey you got Boothby to comment on your work. Good job buddy, I'm overdo on reading what you recently put up but always good stuff
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