Authors: Anderson Atlas
Tags: #apocalypse, #zombie, #sci fi, #apocalyptic, #alien invasion, #apocaliptic book, #apocalypse action, #apocalyptic survival zombies, #apocalypse aftermath, #graphic illustrated
This is a work of fiction. Names,
characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the
products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious
manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or
actual events is purely coincidental.
Copyright © 2015 Anderson Atlas and Synesthesia
All rights reserved.
ISBN-13: 978-0692516379 (Synesthesia Books)
Discover other titles by Anderson Atlas:
This ebook is licensed for your personal
enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to
other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If
you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not
purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite
ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting
the hard work of this author.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
--William Butler Yeats
I slip into a navy coverall while avoiding the
filthy, graffiti-engraved bathroom stall walls. The coverall fights
back because it’s one size too small and I refuse to remove my
shoes. After wriggling around it seems to fit.
A stitched logo embellishes the left chest and a
clipped-on ID badge declares my name: Alex, of Air Conditioning
Specialists of New York. I toss my t-shirt and jeans into the
garbage and walk out of the bar’s bathroom. My vision is acute, and
my heart pounds rhythmically as adrenaline snakes its way through
my body at record speeds.
The bar is a local dive, and packed, even though it’s
early afternoon. There’s a game on the TVs that commands the
I sit at the bar and look at my watch. I’m on time
but my handler, code name Zilla, is not. The phone in my breast
pocket is supposed to vibrate at a quarter to one and it’s five
A cute bartender nods at me. Her bright red hair is
braided and held together by a metal clip with sharp talon-looking
protrusions. Her eyeliner is thick, and her lipstick dark red. I
can’t stop looking at her. She becomes a bonfire on a beach at
night, with flames so bright they transform the surrounding crowd
into meaningless shadows.
“Need something, or you just here to browse?” Her
voice is forceful but oddly soothing.
“IPA, thanks. Anything local.”
She pours a pint from the tap and sets it on a
napkin. “This is our brew, J-Walk IPA. Let me know if you like
I gulp without tasting and smile at her. “It’s good.”
Someone scores and the crowd bursts into cheers. After the chorus
calms, she leans to me and says, “It’s got orange, grapefruit and a
hint of lime. It’s my favorite.”
I adjust my coveralls again then look at my
“You starting a new job today, Alex?” She notices how
uncomfortable I am, a bad sign. I look guilty as hell. Mistake
I force a nervous chuckle and lightly touch my ID
badge. “Ah, no. Just a new coverall. “Doesn’t quite fit though.
Temp job. My day job is event organizer for Red Stars.” I snap my
mouth shut and look away. Damn it, I’m Alex not Ian. I’m supposed
to be in spy mode, and I’m blabbing to some girl at a bar! Mistake
number two. Maybe I should just walk away and go home.
“Oh my god! I subscribe to them. Read their RSS every
day!” Her eyes grow big and bright, and her cheeks flush.
A familiar voice speaks in my head. It’s my mother’s.
“Girls are a distraction. Family is a distraction. You’re a
political architect. Your noble action is selflessness. Your
sacrifice will be remembered for all of history.”
My mother had said that to me on my seventeenth
birthday; the day she died. I know it’s cliché, but my mother
created me in her own image. My motivations, my ability to act, and
the reason I joined Zilla started with her. She was an interesting
woman; the only real reason I won three prestigious writing awards.
I just wrote the truth about her.
When I was ten years old I was standing in the
shallow waves of the Florida Gulf, letting the water push me
around. My mother was behind me on the white sand, stretching in
some odd-looking yoga position. My dad was nowhere to be found, but
I knew he was somewhere, working on making another million
A volleyball struck my mother’s head, snapping her
out of her meditation. I’d told her she was too close to the game,
but she’d insisted on sitting there. She leapt to her feet, grabbed
the volleyball, and booted it as far into the ocean as she could.
It got ugly. A young woman pushed my mother, threw sand in her
face, and punched her with a closed fist. I ran to my mother and
put myself between the two to keep them from fighting, but I was
My mother landed a few punches of her own. She
grabbed the girl’s hair and screamed like a raptor with rabies. A
crowd surrounded us.
There was a lot of yelling and cussing. Some guy kept
pulling me out of the way as he was obviously enjoying himself.
Another woman pushed my mother who was outnumbered and bleeding. I
bit the guy on his arm, freeing myself. My mother finally noticed
me. We stepped away from the cacophony. The faces that glared at us
were twisted and reddened.
As we scuttled away, she ranted about how there were
too many people on Earth. She told me, through tears, that this
beach used to be completely empty and the most perfect place on
Earth. As a girl she’d swim over vibrant coral, fish, and life in
the sea. Now the coral was gone and the rocks were barren, dead,
Later that afternoon, my mother sat on the hotel
couch after her shower. “You see, Ian, I can’t feel Mother Earth
anymore. She’s dying. She used to be there for me. All I see around
me is corruption, greed and starvation.” I could never get a word
in when she was ranting, so I just listened. “Mother Earth is
fighting for her life. She’s warming like she has a fever. Her
forests are stripped. Her water is polluted. Trash and shit are
everywhere. And nobody cares! Nobody gives a
! Oh, they
say they do, but only those of us who speak to Mother Earth are
really feeling her pain. People care more about their freedom than
they do their survival. How twisted is that?”