Posted by Geo
It is a cold day here in New York. I have been busy all week long, and next week will take me away from home for an unknown length of time, so I thought it might be wise to post a story today, rather than wait and hope I will be home in time to do it.
I have chosen an excerpt from Watertown, an Earth’s Survivors offering, that is a prequel to the series. I realize that may stop some people from reading it. Unfortunate, it is a good book and you will miss a good story line. But if you are interested in only things that are Nation, OutRunner, Fold or Alabama Island related then you might not care about missing this book. If, on the other hand, you like reading about Billy Jingo, Bluechip and the area around the story town of Watertown, then you might want to sit down and give this a read. Well worth your time.
As for the rest of the week, well it is on the way, isn’t it? Enjoy it, Geo…
EARTH’S SURVIVORS: WATERTOWN
By Dell Sweet
Copyright © Dell Sweet 2016, all rights reserved.
Additional Copyrights © 2010 – 2014 by Wendell Sweet
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book 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. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents depicted are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual living persons places, situations or events is purely coincidental.
This novel is Copyright © 2016 Wendell Sweet and his assignees. The Names Dell Sweet and Geo Dell are publishing constructs owned by Wendell Sweet. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s permission. All rights foreign and domestic are retained by the Author and or his assignees.
Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print.
Watertown, New York
Jefferson County Transfer Station 2
Sergeant Alice Tetto
Alice backed the car around to the open container. Late afternoon was a perfect time. The county residents not in evidence: The large trucks done with their routes for the day. The dump about to close down for another day. Whenever she had something to dispose of and she needed privacy, she timed it so that she was here in the late afternoon just as she was now.
Sergeant Smith had met her on a back road on Fort Drum. That was not as risky as it seemed. Fort Drum had been a small winter camp back in the early nineteen hundreds: When it had expanded the first time from Pine Camp to Camp Drum it had incorporated the small village of Leray. The whole township: Farms, streets, the Leray Mansion, fields. At the third expansion, when it became Fort Drum most people had forgotten about the old township and its farms and roads rotting away on the reservation.
When Alice had come to work for Major Weston at Bluechip she had come from Drum. Re-assigned to bridge a gap, so she had thought. She had found out after that Weston had requested her specifically. Probably after reading her personnel file.
She had a certain propensity for violence. Her psychological evaluations showed an aptitude for following orders without question, and a certain flexibility of morals that some would find alarming, but which the government had already used her for more than once. Killing didn’t seem to affect her the way it did others.
She had served in Afghanistan and watched fellow soldiers fall apart when it came to killing. It didn’t bother her at all. Killing was part of the job. That was how she looked at it then: That was how she had explained her lack of apathy to the shrink that had talked to her when she had been reassigned after the second tour to Drum. It was nothing special, it was how she was built.
Weston had embraced that side of her, and the old farms and fields hidden in the lost recesses of the base had become the perfect place for her to dispose of problems for him.
Unfortunately, the base was used more and more lately as a training facility. Because of that it had become somewhat unpredictable for her to dispose of problems there. The last two times she had nearly been caught, and that had forced her to adapt to a different strategy. The transfer station had proven to be the perfect alternative when there were large troop placements training or on maneuvers at the base.
Alice shut down the car and walked around to the back, looking in all directions, trying not be obvious as she did it: There was no one around.
The sexual relationship with Weston had simply happened. Another moral flexibility she had acquired in service to her country. Sometimes sex was also part of the job if you were a woman. An asset was an asset. Weston was not unattractive, but it hardly mattered. What did mater was that he found her desirable.
She had been summoned to General Wesley Lee’s office twice now. Both times under the guise of monthly training that was required for her security level. Not even Weston knew who his real boss was, but she did.
The first time had been two years before, just weeks after she had started her new job. The last just a few weeks before. The General had not known what was missing, he had simply called her in to encourage her to see the job to the end. That end was coming fast, he had told her. Nothing more. Just a pep talk, she had decided, to keep her in the loop. It had been so long at that point since she had seen him that she had begun to wonder if she was still working for the General at all. The summons had solved that issue completely.
She keyed the trunk lock and the lid rose slowly.
There was an end to her time with Major Weston. It was coming soon. The General hadn’t been more specific, but he hadn’t needed to be, she had already known. Maybe more than the General himself did, and Alice was not the sort of soldier to question orders from the chain of command. She had briefly wondered if it meant she would need to terminate Major Weston herself: If it was required, she would. She saw no real problem with it. The question in her mind was what might be next.
She looked down into the trunk. Smith had been easy. Bluechip was a small facility. Even with Drum nearby it was under its own command, not a sub command of the nearby base. There were a few hundred soldiers assigned there, and they all tended to socialize with each other, shunning the soldiers from the nearby base. If asked she would not have been able to put the reasons for that into words. Pride? A sense of place in the scheme of things? The elevation that the sense of working on something apart: Something special, afforded you? It was all of those things and more. And she knew, even when most of those who worked at the facility didn’t know, what was so special about Bluechip. Every problem she took care of knew something. And every one of those problems had given up their information before she had allowed them to die.
Two weeks before it had been a reporter from Syracuse. He had gotten a little too close: Spooked Weston. Weston had put her on him. She had taken him out after meeting him in a bar. Men could be so easy like that. He had followed her back to what he thought was her hotel room for a fun time. It was her hotel room, but rented only to do a job. A few hours later he had gone out to her car in her luggage. The next afternoon he had come here.
She knew about the meteor DX2379R. She knew it would probably hit instead of miss: And if it did miss it would not be by enough to matter at all. She knew all about project Bluechip’s real underlying mission, development of the SS-V2765 virus. She knew what it had been developed to do, and she knew all the problems that the General did not know about: She knew what it did do. She knew how Gabe Kohlson had been able to smuggle it out of the facility. She knew that the new Challenger he had been driving should have been a big tip off to Weston, but somehow he had overlooked it. She knew how he had sold the idea of stealing it to a local bookie he had been in deep with.
A drug developed to allow soldiers to live longer in combat, it had an unforeseen benefit. It would not allow you to die: You could live forever. She was sure he had downplayed just exactly how that second life would be lived.
The bookie, she assumed, had passed the message on quietly: Was it worth the relief of a five thousand dollar debt? Ten thousand? Whatever it had been that Gabe Kohlson’s gambling habit had racked up, it had been wiped out and there had been at least enough left over for the Challenger: Whoever held the real reigns on those debts had forgiven it. Kohlson had delivered and then, somehow the whole thing had gone bad.
Jimmy West worked for that person, whoever it was: If forced to guess, she would say Tommy Murphy. He was the biggest and the baddest: The most likely to be able to capitalize on information and a product like that.
She didn’t like to guess though, and that part of it had nothing to do with her at all. The truth was that even though Weston could not see it, it didn’t even matter. The end was coming. If the General pulled the plug first or the Meteor hit, or the scientists were right and even a close pass by that meteor would set off a sequence of destruction that would end society as they knew it: It didn’t matter. It was over already, one way or the other; just nobody was laying down yet. Nobody was calling it quits yet. Her included, so, she supposed she was no better than Weston, or the General for that matter.
She looked down into the trunk at the bundled and bagged remains of Sergeant Smith, lately of the Quartermasters office at Bluechip.
He had met her on one of those back roads. It was a good place to meet even when there were maneuvers going on, and there had been.
Maneuvers meant gunfire, even live rounds. The whole area was off limits during maneuvers and training sessions, but she could have cared less about that. He had met her in a small clearing just off a one lane blacktop that had been chewed to bits over the years by tank treads, on the promise that she needed to show him something very important. She had taken him around to the trunk. He had been eager. The lid had risen to a plastic lined interior and she had shot him twice in the temple as the puzzled look had still been riding on his face. There had been no need to question him: There was nothing he knew that she needed to know.
A camouflaged rain suit had slipped right over her own uniform, and she had gone to work with an ax and a sharp knife that had been laying on the floor of the trunk waiting. By early afternoon the bagged remains had been resting in her trunk and she had been on her way to the transfer station.
She reached down, hefted the first bag out of the trunk and launched it into the huge steel container. Five minutes later she was finished and had paid her dumping fee as she left, smiling up at the woman in the office as she passed over the scales and drove out the gate.
I hope you enjoyed the preview. Take a look at the book on Amazon.
Earth’s Survivors: Collection Three. Get all of the Outrunner books in one place. Free 20% preview!
Have a great week, Geo 🙂