Cheeseburger Gothic

The Killer Awoke

Posted February 7, 2019 into Books by John Birmingham

Had a pleasant surprise this morning when I found a cheque—yes, an actual paper cheque, possibly delivered by carrier pigeon—in my PO Box. It was from Baen, for a story in John Ringo's Voices of the Fall anthology. I'd forgotten about that piece, and the money turned up fortuitously. The Aussie dollar is in free fall on rumours of an interest cut, and my car rego was due.

So I dips me lid to JR and Baen. (Even though I had to totally murder Tom Kratman and Larry Correia to earn my Del Rey challenge coin).

The book is due out in early March. You can pre-order here. For those who don't know Ringo's Black Tide Rising series, it's a fun zombiepocalypse saga, unusual in having an Australian family as the lead characters.

For my contribution to the anthology I decided to revisit an old favourite, Caitlin Monroe. We join her, as we did at the start of After America, recuperating in a Paris hospital, but this being Ringo's story world, the details start shifting early:

Caitlin took a sip of cool water and closed her eyes for a moment.
She knew this was bad.
Echelon never put anyone in the field without due preparation. But she’d been yanked out of her deep cover run against al Banna’s network and thrown at these wingnuts on half-a-moment’s notice, with a ten-minute briefing and a surprisingly painful shot in the ass of some unnamed anti-viral magic potion that gave her the worst dose of flu she’d ever had.
Caitlin cursed softly under her breath. She had no idea what day it was. No idea how long she’d been out, or what had gone down in that time...

...Caitlin’s hand was throbbing and her head was starting to spin. She desperately needed a moment to herself, to get her shit together. She forced herself to breath slowly. Stilling her racing thoughts. Her flu had mostly cleared. She hadn’t turned rabid. She needed to reestablish realtime contact with Echelon. Overwatch must have arranged for her to jump the line if she was in a private hospital room. She did remember that hospitals were already turning people away when she was in London.
“Eh up? What’s this then?” blurted Celia.
Everyone fixed on the TV screen, where an impeccably groomed Eurasian woman with a perfectly modulated BBC voice was struggling to maintain her composure. “…the quarantine, which was not agreed to by Washington, will be enforced by NATO using all means necessary according a spokesperson from the Prime Minister’s office. Outbound commercial flights are either returning to their points of origin or diverting to Halifax and Quebec in Canada, or to airports throughout the West Indies, where the plague is reportedly nearly as advanced as on the continental US.”
The women all began to chatter at once, much to Caitlin’s annoyance. On screen the BBC’s anchorwoman said that the US president and vice President had been evacuated ‘under fire’ from the capitol. A hammer started pounding inside Caitlin’s head as she watched the reporter stumble through the rest of her read.
“…US forces are heavily engaged at Guantanamo Bay, using heavy weapons on hundreds of naked victims.”
Interesting word, thought Caitlin. Victims.

7 Responses to ‘The Killer Awoke’

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted February 7, 2019
I'll say it, having read the post and then looking at the cover art, I really didn't get much further...than re looking at the cover art!!!!!

Prolly un PC or isI it art appreciation?

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted February 7, 2019
It’s Baen.

she_jedi puts forth...

Posted February 7, 2019
Wow, the 80s called and wants its cover art back. Although the art explains the House of Del Rey's feud with Baen, no wonder they're getting their authors to murder their Baen rivals

Respond to this thread

HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted February 7, 2019
I'm really starting to think , that Caitlin and Captain Jane Willet, my two spanky favs might just well have been replaced!

Respond to this comment

Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted February 7, 2019
I never imagined Caitlin looking as good as the ones on the cover.

Oh, and Thank God for Baen.

Respond to this comment

Vovchara reckons...

Posted February 11, 2019
Tom Kratman wouldn't be a big loss. But if you touch David Weber or Eric Flint...

Respond to this comment

HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted February 13, 2019
hmm, that title. I think, now, in retrospection that its really know, for " HAVOCK's ALARM CLOCK WNET OFF" hence, the KILLER AWOKE!

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'The Killer Awoke'

Follow along with RSS