Day Zero
143 pages

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143 pages

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NAVY SEAL DEACON HALE is on vacation. But when planes start falling out of the sky, he knows he and everything around him is going to change in a hurry.

MIAMI CATERER LORI DOVNER, on the run from a madman, is nearly to the safe haven of her sister’s Montana farm when the world goes dark. Through only the slimmest chance, Deacon knows where she is. But of all the people in the world, Deacon is the last person Lori wants to rescue her.

MAFIOSO RAOUL SALDATA will catch Lori Dovner and her two children, and the last thing he will do is kill them. Quite nearly to his prize, fate intervenes.

Can Deacon, trying to navigate a world gone mad, reach Lori before Saldata does? With no electricity, no phones, no cars, no computers, who will survive Day Zero?

“Day Zero: Stronghold Book 2” continues, minute by minute, the new world that Lori, Deacon and Lori’s sister Louise must now navigate. Who will survive in a post-apocalyptic landscape where any rules can be broken?



Publié par
Date de parution 09 octobre 2020
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781645635345
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0012€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Day Zero

Chris Jayne
Published by Inferis Press

All rights reserved.

No part of the book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Chris Jayne
Day Zero

EBook ISBN: 978-1-64563-548-2
Barnes & Nobles: 978-1-64563-549-9
Kobo ISBN: 978-1-64563-550-5
Apple ISBN: 978-1-64563-551-2
Print ISBN: 978-1-64563-552-9
Audio ISBN: 978-1-64563-553-6

Cover Art by Inferis Press

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Week Zero

Chris Jayne
Chapter 1

Day Zero: 10:13 AM Pacific Time
Canyon City, California
K ate Garnett drove up Bell Canyon road too fast. It was narrow, twisting and turning, and at least once a year there was a terrible wreck along here somewhere. She knew she drove it too fast, she did every day, but this route was the only way she could cut five minutes off the path from the boys’ school back to the house. That was a good thing. She had to make the round trip to the school twice a day, which meant that taking this route saved her twenty minutes a day, five days a week, which was a hundred minutes a week and… well, she wasn’t sure how much that was a year but it was a lot.
She had never driven off the road before, she reasoned, so she probably wouldn’t today.
She checked the clock on the screen in her Mercedes SUV, 10:13. Damn, there was no way she would have time to shower before her 10:30 call with her agent. It wouldn’t be a problem except he always wanted to see her, always insisted they talk on video, and after an hour at Elements Hot Yoga studio, she was, well, a hot mess.
Maybe Franklyn could push the meeting off until 11:00. That would give her time to shower, manage a quick blow dry, and put on some make-up. She had to look good, even if the meeting was just with her agent. Kate was 41, and the last three roles she’d been offered were two grandmothers and an aging prostitute. An aging prostitute that died in the first act of the film, and Franklyn’s reassurance that it was a “big scene” had been anything but reassuring.
Kate took a turn a little too fast and drifted into the oncoming lanes. As per usual, this stretch of Bell Canyon was deserted, but it would be just her luck to hit the one oncoming car of the last ten minutes. Then, she reflected cynically, she’d really be late for her meeting.
Though why she even bothered anymore, she didn’t know. No, that wasn’t right, Kate knew exactly why she still bothered. While her career withered on the vine, Liam’s had exploded. At 43, his roles just became more and more lucrative. If there was anything above the “A-List,” her ex-husband was on it, while she hadn’t had a major role in a big picture since before Jackson was born. And Kate hated the fact that she was becoming a Wikipedia footnote to Liam Garnett’s career.
The thumbpad on the steering wheel allowed her to activate her phone. “Call Franklyn Powers,” she ordered and…
The steering wheel went heavy in her hands, and in the same instant the hand-free screen faded to black. The engine in her car sputtered once, twice, then stopped. She couldn’t steer. Pulling against the impossibly hard resistance, she managed to get the wheels to turn just a bit, but it wasn’t enough. The SUV crossed over the centerline.
She braked, the car slowed a bit. Totally confused, Kate looked down at her feet, at the Gucci ballet flat pressing against the brake pedal, as if somehow the answer would be there.
It wasn’t, and when she looked up again, her windshield was filled with bushes and she was falling.
Chapter 2

Day Zero: 11:15 AM Mountain Time
Greystone Rest Area, I-90, Montana
L ori Dovner stared at the black screen on her phone and let out a deep, desperate sound, more a whimper than a sigh. For a moment she thought about Simone’s discouraged whisper when she’d gotten out of the car not twenty minutes earlier: “ J’espere .” I hope. When Simone had said the words, Lori had felt a moment of frustration that the young woman was not sharing in her optimism. What a Negative Nancy! They were “home free,” and truly nothing else could go wrong.
That happy emotion had folded like a cheap lawn chair. As the teenagers said Oh. Em. Gee. The man was who was trying to kill her was here in Montana and now, at the moment in her life she needed a cell phone more than she ever had, it was dead as a doornail in her hand. A lot could change in twenty minutes.
She desperately needed to call Roger back. She looked at her phone numbly. How could it be dead? That made no sense. It was fully charged; it had been plugged into the car’s lighter port all morning as they drove. Still, what did she expect from a pay-as-you-go model, even one that had smart phone features?
Could she turn on her real phone briefly? Saldata was here, not sitting at a computer somewhere monitoring her phone. She rejected the thought as quickly as she had it; if her phone was being tracked, he would have someone else doing it. No way could she risk turning her phone on, but, she hesitated, maybe they could boot up Simone’s briefly. First things first, though: she had to let Simone know what was going on and then she’d figure out the safest way to get back in touch with Roger.
Lori hurried towards the fenced area, which had been set aside for a dog run. Crossing the parking lot, she noticed absently that the engines of both the diesel trucks that had been parked in this back lot had turned off. Lori welcomed the silence. With the constant sound gone, she realized how pervasive – and annoying – the steady low-pitched rumble of the trucks had been.
She paused to wait for a car, but then saw it was stopped, right in the middle of the parking lot. The Asian couple inside was arguing, the woman gesturing animatedly, the man with his head wearily forward on the steering wheel. When the driver saw Lori waiting, with a disgusted look he impatiently motioned for her to cross in front of him.
Brandon and Grace were playing with their German Shepherd Sasha and a small dachshund that was climbing on top of Sasha as if she were a mountain. Simone sat on a bench in one corner of the dog pen, paperback in hand. She had never actually seen Simone read a book before, she realized. The hardest thing for Simone, Lori reflected, had been staying off her phone, because like most millennials, she did everything on the device, including staying in regular contact with her friends and family in France, as well as having books and games available. Somehow, Lori thought, she even managed to write her school papers… on her phone. Lori couldn’t even imagine that.
Now, however, she clearly had been sufficiently intimidated by Lori’s experience that as far as Lori knew, she had never turned her phone back on since turning it off at Sylvia’s house a week ago. Talk about cold turkey…
At the Country Suites in Norman Oklahoma, a box of donated paperbacks had been in the lobby, with a sign that said, “Take One. Leave One.” Simone hadn’t had one to leave, but she’d taken a book anyway, and was sitting reading the romance now. In spite of her stress over seeing Saldata, Lori stopped for a moment to savor the commonplace scene. How ironic that the children and Simone were finally relaxed enough to enjoy every-day activities, the “new normal.” Now she was going to have to shatter that.
Lori slipped next to Simone, relieved they’d be able to chat without the kids overhearing. Brandon still appeared largely oblivious to what was going on, but Grace was listening to everything that she and Simone discussed, which made it very difficult to talk openly in the car.
“I need to tell you something,” she said quietly. “Something bad.”
“What?” Simone closed the paperback and her hands fell still on the book.
“I saw the man who is after me. Raoul Saldata. He was here.”
“What!” Simone surged to standing, the sound of her indrawn gasp harsh, and she looked around frantically, eyes wild.
Lori grabbed her arm, struggling to keep her voice low. “No. Simone, no. Stop. Calm down. He’s gone. He didn’t see me.”
Slowly, Simone sank back down onto the bench, not taking her frantic eyes from Lori’s face.
“He’s gone,” she repeated. Quickly, she recounted the horrifying near-miss in the restroom building. “I saw him but he didn’t see me,” Lori emphasized. “So really, it’s a good thing.” Lori wasn’t so sure about that, but the reassurance seemed to calm Simone even mo

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