Below is an extract from John Ringo's just released zombie/military thriller. I'm a huge fan of Ringo's Posleen invasion series and have been waiting on this bad boy for over a year now. With this an Steve Stirling's The Given Sacrifice out as well, it's looking like a good readin' month. For those coming here straight from Twitter, there is a introduction to the series by the Lord of Ringo himself in the post above.
Snippet from Story One of Graveyard Sky (Light a Candle):
"Well," Kaplan said, catching the tossed rope. "I can see the family resemblance…"
Sophia had packed one 'good' outfit: a cream business suit and matching shoes. Which was what she was wearing. She was carrying a briefcase and had a backpack over her shoulder. And, because she wasn't stupid, she was wearing a nose/mouth respirator.
Faith on the other hand…
She had on body armor. And a full face mask respirator. And a tactical helmet. And a full coverage uniform. And tactical boots. And tactical gloves. And a radio. And a machete. And a kukri. And two or three more knives. And three, count 'em, three tasers, cause Uncle Tom hadn't mentioned (she couldn't carry) tasers…
"Do we have to go right back to the boat?" Sophia asked.
"It's getting dark," Steve said. "And there's a curfew."
"Which is hardly enforced," Tom said. "Even with the National Guard they're too busy rounding up infected."
"And it's getting dark," Steve noted.
"Up to the parents," Tom said, shrugging. "There are some clubs still open and I hear there's a more or less continuous concert going on in Washington Park. More of a rave, really."
"Concert?" Sophia said, her eyes lighting.
"In the dark," Steve said. "In zombie infested New York city."
"I've never been to a concert," Faith said, sadly. "I mean, that's one of those things you do when you're a teenager. The way things are going, I'll never get a chance. Or go to prom…" She sniffed.
"We are not going to a concert at night in a park in zombie infested New York!" Steve said. "And that's final!"
"This band sucks," Faith shouted…
(Yes, they went to the concert and, no, their father is never going to let it go.)
Longer snippet from the concert portion:
Sophia was reloading, visually tracking another inbound target, when her arm was grabbed from behind.
"What are you doing?" Christine asked. "You can't shoot those people!"
" 'Can't', 'may not' and 'shouldn’t' are three different things," Sophia said, seating the magazine and letting the slide go forward. "And what I'm doing is protecting you. Why the hell are you still here?" She looked over her shoulder and was amazed that the concert was still going on. Thinking about it, Voltaire hadn't even missed a beat.
"They come every night," Todd said. "It's their concert."
"What?" Sophia asked, her eyes wide. "Don't they…? Don't you get attacked?"
"They bite some people," Christine said. "Sometimes they eat. I've been waiting to get bitten. But they haven't taken me, yet."
"WHAT?" Sophia screamed. The infected was inside fifteen meters so she put two rounds in her chest and turned back, keeping her weapon pointed downrange and looking over her shoulder. "WHAT? Are you flipping nuts? You WANT to be a zombie?"
"There's nothing to be afraid of if you're a zombie," Christine said, starting to cry. "You just are. You just exist. It's like…"
"It's like zen, you know?" Todd said, swaying back and forth. "You just exist in the moment, man. There's no stress. No school, no work, just eat or be eaten. It's like Rousseau's noble savage, the beast inside every man."
"You are absolutely batshit freaking nuts," Sophia said, looking back to the target zone. Another inbound. "I am not going to be turned into a zombie. My sister got infected but she pulled through and we are not going to be zombies. We are not."
"You just don't get it," Todd said. "Myrmidon."
"Idiot," Sophia said, double tapping the next inbound. She looked around and had time so she quickly reloaded her magazines.
"And now you've brought the soldiers here," Christine said, disgustedly. "They're going to just blow us all away! Babykillers!"
"You want to be a zombie?" Sophia asked. She grabbed Todd by the arm and walked him over to the nearest fresh corpse. Then she pulled out a clasp knife. "Cut your arm. Wipe some of the blood on it. Instant zombie."
"I…" Todd said. "Let go of me…"
"You're not going to because you're afraid," Sophia said, holding the knife up to his eye-level. "You're afraid because you're not willing to fight back. You're the poet. What's the thing about the raging and darkness?"
"You mean Dylon Thomas?" Todd said, disdainfully. " 'Rage, rage against the dying of the light'?"
"Do not go gentle into this good night," Sophia snarled, waving at the darkness all around. "Old age should burn and rave at close of day;/Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
"That is what you should be doing!" she finished. "Raging against the dying of the light. You're not even in old age!"
"You knew the poem," Todd said, wonderingly.
"I got an A plus in a really tough AP English class," Sophia said. "And AP Physics. And Calculus. And I know how to kill zombies. What the hell have you been doing with your life?"
"You want to tell us what's been going on here, miss?" the sergeant of the three man team asked. They weren't up and pointed but you could tell they were here for a fire-fight.
"We're having a poetry and philosophy discussion, Sergeant," Sophia said, holstering her pistol. "I'm glad you could join us…"
Snippet from the beginning of story two (I Will Not Bow):
"If not us, who?" Steve asked. "Tom, if he's out there still, is locked into a fortress and can't get out. Ditto any remaining government groups. There probably are government secure points that held out. But they're trapped by the zombies. We have mobility. And there are other boats, ships, survivors out there. We'll rescue them and organize."
"You think they'll go for it?" Stacey asked. "Tina's a lovely child but she's not going to be much help. They're all going to be traumatized, terrified…"
"Some will," Steve said. "Those that don't…" He shrugged. "Cross that bridge when we come to it. We'll cross every bridge when we come to it. We're going to win and I'm not going to let the bloody damned zombies stop us. I will not bow."
Longer snippet from the Second story:
"Have you ever wondered why my daughter is called Faith?" Steve said.
"I had assumed you were a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Galloway said. "Or at least that was suggested by one of my advisors."
"Never saw it until after she was born," Steve said. "My masters was on logistics in a low support condition, specifically keeping the Gloster Gladiators flying on Malta during the Siege."
"I have a lot of history, but… Standby… Ah, my senior Air Force advisor just filled me in. Faith, Hope and Charity. I see."
"Three obsolete biplanes faced down the Luftwaffe for nearly two years and kept flying, sir," Steve said. "Their crews had to make parts from scrap metal. Parts would come in for Hurricanes. Hurricanes. They didn't see their first Hurricane until 1943. So they would rework Hurricane parts to work in Glosters. They would beg, borrow or steal. Rework, refit, literally use chewing gum. When they had chewing gum."
"That makes sense," Galloway said. "I guess you are well prepared for your current situation."
"Does your Air Force advisor know which aircraft had the most kills, sir? That never missed so much as one battle?"
"She admits that as a bomber pilot she'd sort of consider them the bad guys, so, no."
"Put it this way, sir," Steve said. "Whenever they went to battle, they always had Faith."