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Chaotic Worlds (The Fleet, Book 3)

The Fleet: Chaotic Worlds

 

Book 3

 

Shakespir Edition

 

Copyright 2014 Serenity Valley Publishing

 

 

 

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

 

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 Shakespir.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Chapter 1: Separation

Chapter 2: Home Sweet Home

Chapter 3: The Hunt Is On

Chapter 4: Surviving The Game

Chapter 5: The Ways Of Deception

Chapter 6: War Arrives

Chapter 7: Until We Meet Again

About the Author

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

Separation

 

 

Never before had humanity been this divided. Mankind had been knocked back into near extinction, yet they remained separated. Legally in charge, Doctor Arness. The official army at his back and the law by his side. When he was present, there could be no mistake as to who was in charge. That said, Dalton James had his support. As a former soldier of many wars and a man of the people, he had respect among many throughout the military ranks. Some of them openly supporting him, while others did so in secret.

Dalton James had not been seen in public for several weeks, which took to Doctor Arness with a bit of alarm. Men didn’t simply fall off of the map. Especially the type of men who threatened revenge while gaining support through heroic acts of war. Soldiers followed Doctor Arness simply because the law demanded they do. With Dalton James, however, it was done so voluntarily. His deeds while wearing the sacred blue uniform were well noted.

The doctor assumed Dalton was still nestled somewhere inside of the small city of Second Glimmeria, which had been mankind’s last resort for a place to call home. Built atop an ancient city of the Husk race – a mighty people who very much resembled an Orc nation.

The undead, as survivors knew them, although the infected were quite different. Still living and breathing, just as they were before infection, the horde of humanity’s unluckiest were just stripped down to the one primal instinct within all of us. Killing.

We all feel rage at times, there’s no mystery to it. With the infected, however, they had lost all sense of reason. Every speck of self-control vanishing with their ability to speak or exist among the living. Simply put, they were animals with a thirst to kill and the overwhelming numbers to do it. Having dwindled humanity down to just a few thousand souls.

Just as the plague had arrived without warning, infection spread too quickly to control. Planet by planet showing the systems within a span of only days. Weeks later, pushing what remained of living, breathing humans to the far-reaches of the Skyla System.

Ronica had been their last stand, though only temporarily. Those in charge understood there was no chance of winning, and, even more impressive, they had admitted to an inability to win in war. A trait scarcely found among the leaders of humanity.

The last stand had been altered to a plea of holding their ground long enough to build a fleet, which they had. Many heroes had died on the bloody soil of Ronica to ensure that a few may survive.

A powerful need for water had led the fleet to the opposite corner of the Skyla System to inhabit a city which had been abandoned thousands of years before. And, with any other government system throughout history, a thirst for power had divided them once more.

Doctor Arness was the dictator, Dalton James was the democracy. What remained of humanity would forever be locked into one or the other – but not both.

While the doctor had no idea of Dalton’s whereabouts, he had something almost as good. Dalton’s best friend in military custody. Adam Michaels had been formally charged with three counts of murder, and Doctor Arness knew that he’d never face the death penalty without a fight from Dalton and his supporters. So the good doctor waited patiently – though he continued going through the standard procedures of trying to locate Dalton James and charge him with accessory to murder. A false charge, of course, but the doctor had his reasons.

A trial would legitimize his power to many of the survivors. It would also bring Dalton James back a final time, that much was guaranteed. It was not a matter of if, but when, and the doctor knew that Dalton would likely return with guns blazing.

He’d made sure that his guns were ready to blaze as well. Time trickling away as the ultimate showdown grew closer by the hour.

 

As Adam Michaels made the long walk from his cell of solitary confinement, he found pleasure in seeing overhead lighting in such quantity. His cell was lit by a single long tube of lighting and he’d been held there long enough to see the beauty in such a long stretch of hallway before him. So many lights.

“Nervous?” one of the soldiers asked.

Adam didn’t answer, nor did the soldier expect him to. He’d spoken to no one outside of his appointed attorney for weeks on end. Choosing his battles wisely.

“If you’re found guilty,” the soldier said with a grin. “Who knows? It may my own rifle that puts an end to your worthless murdering life.”

The words would have stung deeply enough to fight, not so long ago. But weeks in solitude, a longing for his son and deep misery for two lovers lost to mortality had made him a different man. Silence can calm even the wildest of beings and Adam Michaels was no different. Instead, he chose to continue a stare onto the endless beauty of the lighting above.

“Right through this door, traitor.” the second armed guard remarked. Pointing the shackled prisoner to a door which opened up into a luxurious courtroom. Built especially for this high-profile trial and any that would follow for many years to come.

Doing what he could to ignore everyone present, Adam looked to his attorney as the slow shuffle of clanging metal allowed him just enough wiggle room to walk. Bound like a traitor, though he was anything but.

Anyone who knew Adam Michaels, knew he was a damned hero. His own hands had saved the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of soldiers around him – which had been the case on the day in question. He’d killed three men who would have surely gunned Dalton James down in cold blood. In his mind, there was no question that he was justified in putting three mangy dogs among men to rest, but justice has a mind of its own sometimes. Especially when someone is making a play for total control, which Doctor Arness certainly was. The biting steel of his shackles a stiff reminder of that very fact.

“Please be seated,” an older man requested. Wrapped in the robe of a judge, though Adam wondered if the man had been a judge prior to the outbreak of living dead which had infected the planets surrounding them. “We’re here today to hear the plea of Adam Michaels and allow him time to make a statement.”

“Your honor,” Adam’s lawyer replied. “My client officially pleads not guilty to all charges and has declined his right to make a statement.”

His words took the judge by surprise. A man with the loss of his own life hanging in the balance, refusing to comment on the charges in front of him. Many within the hierarchy of their government were in attendance, including Doctor Arness.

“I must say, I’m surprised. Do you not wish to make a statement to those who’ve gathered here today, Mr. Michaels? I’m giving the opportunity to do so.”

Looking to his lawyer for a moment, Adam slowly stood to his feet. Preparing to speak, though his attorney had advised against it.

“Yes,” Adam replied. “Yes I would.”

His lawyer braced for the worst. He understood there was almost no chance of winning a case in which the deck had been stacked against him. His presence there merely a chance to serve as the contact man between Adam and his friend Dalton James. Still, he understood how little Adam cared for the charade of the coming trial and would likely end any chance he did have with the snap of his tongue.

Adam paused for a moment, listening to the frantic silence of a courtroom divided.

“In the spirit of honesty, I’ve already been found guilty,” Adam said. “We all know it. The attorney against me, witnesses, even yourself, all heavily influenced by the one man who wants me dead,” he added, turning to Doctor Arness. “You want me dead because while I’m alive, you aren’t fully in control. I’m as good as dead, which is alright by me. You can put an end to me but you can’t put an end to the truth. I killed three men in self-defense, not in murder. And you aren’t in control here, you never will be. Somewhere out there, Dalton James is mounting a storm of violence like you’ve never seen. So you get the tin soldiers organized, because it’s coming. As for this sham of a trial, to hell with it. And to hell with everyone who’s shown an interest in it. Including you, your honor,” Adam added, turning his attention back to a judge that was not happy with his statement. “You, sir, can kiss my heroic ass from now until the moment Dalton James removes every single one of you from power.”

“I’ll have order!” the judge blasted.

“You’ll have a lot more than that when Dalton James returns.”

“Get him out of my courtroom! I’m ordering this man to segregated holding until I say otherwise!”

“Now there’s a fucking surprise,” Adam said with a laugh, turning to face Doctor Arness as soldiers grabbed hold of his wrists to remove him. “You get ready, you less than handsome son of a bitch, because it’s coming.”

“We’ll see about that.” Doctor Arness boasted.

Arness had wanted a return of Dalton James. He was ready, in his mind, to face the man of so many campfire legends.

 

The climate of Erion was nearly unbearable. Frigid winds sliced through air that was saturated with the humidity of a continuing snowfall. Commonplace for such a remote moon during the winter months, making it the perfect spot to construct the perfect ship while staying off the grid.

Dalton sipped from a glass of stout whiskey – finally doing so without the hopes of getting drunk. It warmed him. The burn which flowed down into the lower pit of his stomach helped make the harsh weather a bit more bearable.

He watched the small group of mechanical engineers work their magic, just as they had done for nearly thirty days before. Welding and grinding precious metal into the perfect machine. A ship that Dalton and his friends hoped to call home, once the time was right.

The engineers pulled in a lot of help from the goliath units that had been stolen from Second Glimmeria before departing in the dark of night. Though Dalton preferred the term ‘indefinite borrowing’.

“Looking good, gentlemen.” Dalton commented. Walking toward the medium-sized ship with a bit of zest. As if he were the supervisor on duty.

“Thank you, sir,” one of the engineers replied. “The scrap metal we salvaged from Geartown is working out nicely. Just as you said it would.”

They’d went through hell and back to get it. Plundering a town overrun with walking dead had been just about as tough as Dalton had expected, but the loot was worth it. Parts directly from ships which had been abandoned at one of the very few flight terminals left intact. Giving them more than enough to construct a decent ship. Larger than a standard shuttle, though far smaller than any ship among the soon to be fleet.

Just large enough for Dalton and his closest.

“We’re just a few days away from completion sir, right on schedule,” the engineer commented. “I guess we’re down to just a small finishing touches, including the name. If you have one?”

“The Gunship.” Dalton replied swiftly.

“Sir, if I may?” the engineer asked. “It’s a mighty fine ship, no doubt, but it’s not fitted with a single gun.”

“Don’t I know it,” Dalton replied with a wide grin. “It’s a long story, my friend.”

“So?”

“The Gunship.” Dalton confirmed.

“Yes sir. We’ll get it painted on right away.”

“Not right now,” Dalton said. “You and the boys go take a load off and warm up. Get some chow and rest. We can paint the name on this bitch later.”

“Yes sir.” the engineer replied with a nod.

His order was welcomed. Such a biting cold was tough, even for a handful of minutes. The engineers had been working solid for a couple of hours and their only refuge sat close by in the form of another, much larger ship. Its heated air blowing strong inside and its kitchen filled with rib-sticking meat. Prepared by Cambria herself.

“Yes ma’am,” Dalton mumbled to himself. Slowly boarding the ship which was nearing completion. “You’re going to make a nice home for some time to come.”

It was as if his soul was speaking to the ship. A jockey before the big race, readying his horse for the race to come with calming words. Though this race would prove to be against the worst kind of foes – politicians, and it would be to the death.

Grabbing a few of the support beams, Dalton gave a firm tug. Not that he ever expected them to give way, but a formality of his any time he trusted his chalk-white ass to the piece of machinery. A ritual among many smugglers in deep space, which he’d been for far too many years.

Smuggling was in him, crawling across the pores of his skin with a desperate need to be set free. The smuggling inside of Dalton had served him well for many years, but it now took a back seat. His first order of business was helping those who needed it. The defenseless who could no longer push back against the system and its vast array of tin soldiers.

“Are you alright?” Cambria asked. Easing slowly behind her man and wrapping arms of silk around his waist.

“I’m good,” he replied. “Just thinking about Adam. About everything and everyone left back there under the heel of that regime of cowards.”

“Adam will be fine. You should trust your instincts on that.” she replied softly.

“My instincts tell me to go in, guns blazing, and humble a lot of people,” Dalton snapped with anger. “But I’m doing what I can to push back against my instincts. Because I know the only thing that can save Adam is damn good planning.”

“You’re a wise man, Dalton James.” his lover replied.

“Yea?” he asked, turning to glance at her for a moment. “There’s a shit ton of people who’d testify otherwise.”

“Well they don’t see the man I see. The man I love. I see a man who becomes the mightiest of soldiers when circumstances warrant it. I also see a man who uses his wits, experience and compassion to accomplish even greater things.”

“Oh really?” he asked.

“Plus, the way you make love to me,” Cambria said. “It makes me feel as if nobody is a hundred miles within our reach. Kind of like right now.”

“Right now?” Dalton asked. “With a ship full of engineers about fifty paces away?”

“Why Dalton James, are you losing your touch? Have I finally tamed the wild stallion inside of you?” Cambria asked.

“I ain’t losing shit,” he replied with a wide smile. “Besides, the wild stallion isn’t inside of me, it’s inside of my britches.”

“Do tell.” she playfully giggled.

“I’d rather show and tell.” Dalton replied firmly. Beginning to remove his clothes with a lot of cold air whipping through the solidly-built hallways of steel.

Fucking cold.

 

Adam was convinced that prison wasn’t constructed by concrete and bars, which wrapped around each inmate with vengeance. To him, prison had become that small piece within his own mind that now had to be dealt with.

Filled with scarring memories of his past, things he’d been able to shelve and avoid as life progressed – now longing for his time. And time, unfortunately, was all that he had. Sitting in a small cell of damning silence and reliving events he’d hoped were gone. Things like the death of his wife and moment he chose his son over a lover; sending her to the grave in the process.

Throughout his experience, love was the most turbulent emotion a man could know. Adam had seen it come swiftly and leave just as suddenly. Building inside of him like a fortress of impenetrable steel, only to collapse like a flimsy house of cards.

Nothing made Adam feel more alive than casting a stare onto a woman for the very first time and falling completely in love. As if the world before her failed to continue and his lungs now depended on her very presence for oxygen. And nothing hurt Adam more than the loss of love. Watching fate strip a lover away without regard for feelings or damage done, leaving nothing behind but the shell of a man tasked with a slow and painful job of rebuilding ahead.

Things like this seemed trivial to most other men. Adam Michaels, on the other hand, had nothing to do but think. Sitting on a single rack-styled bed of obvious military influence, the usually strong man wept heavily. A hurting want for his son and lovers in days gone by. A sight not too uncommon among men that have lived the life of a prisoner. The silence within a setting of bars and solitude eventually breaking down even the toughest of men, and Adam Michaels was no exception.

Hearing the heavy fall of boots striking ground near his cell, Adam calmed the tears. Pulling himself together for whatever was to come.

“What is it now?” Adam questioned.

“I just wanted to take a moment to let you know what an inspiration your military career has been to several of us, myself included.” a prison guard replied.

“Yea, well, let the sight of me sitting here emotionally torn in half serve as further inspiration. You don’t want to walk my path, because it leads right here.”

“With all due respect,” the guard replied. “I can’t think of a better path to walk. Staying true to your convictions even under such circumstances. That is the very definition of strength if you ask me.”

“Well, thanks. I’ll likely be executed for it, but at least a few people will think nicely of me after I’m lowered into the ground, IF that’s not asking too much from Doctor Arness. You work for a very bad man, let me tell you.” Adam said.

“No sir,” the guard replied. “I work for an outstanding soldier who sent me to get you out of this mess. He does have a bad drinking habit though, I’m afraid.”

“Dalton James.” Adam replied with a smile.

“Yes sir, but it’ll have to wait. The shift changes in just about an hour, at which time a few more people loyal to the right side of things will be here to lend a hand. Just be sure you’re ready to bolt.”

“Believe me son, I’ve never been more ready to get out of this concrete box.”

“And sir,” the guard replied. “I should give you a disclaimer. Not everyone will be willing to see you leave. We’ll still be up against a lot of folks loyal to the doctor, so I can’t guarantee we’ll make it out alive. But the few we have are willing to die for you, if need be, because you’re willing to die for what’s right.”

“Nobody needs to die today, son,” Adam replied. “I’ll be ready.”

The soldier nodded and then continued on with his routine. Giving nothing to the fact that humanity’s highest-profile prisoner was just about an hour away from testing the limits of the building of rock and steel around him.

“It looks like your lucky day.” a woman’s voice announced.

A voice that was all too familiar, and one that Adam had begun to suspect was just a figment of his imagination. Sarah Blaine, the queen of Vampires, and, at one time, the single point of interest when it came to his own heart.

“Looks like.” he replied.

Adam literally had no idea if the woman he saw, actually existed. A ghost, perhaps, or years of grief catching up to him in the worst manner possible. Still, he entertained the idea, as he’d done for several weeks.

“A little easy, don’t you think?” Sarah asked. “Are they here to help you as they claim? Or are they simply working with Doctor Arness to lure you away from documentation so they may dispatch you violently and deny involvement?”

“Does it matter?” Adam asked. “If I don’t go, I’m as good as dead. I already know that. If I do go, at least I have some kind of a chance.”

“Adam, dear, you have no chance,” Sarah laughed. “We spend our lives eluding death but eventually it catches up to us. And when it does, I’ll be here waiting. I intend to make you pay for your deception.”

“Well, I hate to ruin the homecoming, but you’ll be waiting a mighty long time. I don’t plan on dying today.”

“Things do not always go as planned.” she said with bitterness.

“They did with you.” he replied.

Sarah began to fade away, though he knew it wouldn’t last forever. Still, a bit of quiet was a welcomed change. He’d grown tired of thinking of his past and chatting with spirits. Adam now focused in on whatever he had to do in order to escape in one piece, and see his son once more. If all went as planned, his next meeting with spirits would be through the sip of a glass.

 

“Do you think he can pull it off?” Anna asked.

“I want to believe so,” Craig replied. “I really do.”

The two had been longtime friends, brought together in romance by an experience that should have seen them both killed. Dalton James had been solely responsible for their life continuing, earning him the respect of both. Even against the threat of being found guilty of treason, both Craig and Anna had sworn loyalty to Dalton James.

As they sat close to one another, sharing a quiet dinner by candlelight, Craig found himself questioning just as his wife did. Not fully understanding Dalton’s plan to overtake their current government, but choosing to rely on his faith in a man that many soldiers had personal ties to. Each of them swearing by his ability in battle – complete with heroism.

“I just don’t want to lose you.” Anna confessed.

“I understand,” Craig replied, placing his hand into hers. “But we have to believe in something. Our government is committing horrible crimes against the people and I couldn’t sleep at night knowing I wasn’t trying to put an end to that.”

“Neither could I.” Anna replied.

“I want us to be together, but I want it to be in a free world. A place where we can live without worry or fear. To me, that’s worth dying for.” Craig said.

“You’re such a hopelessly-romantic sap.”

“A sap?”

“Yes,” Anna replied with a grin. “But in a good way.”

“Is there a good way?” Craig questioned.

“Obviously. I’m looking at it right now.”

Their moment lasted for seconds on end, finally bursting into a kiss of passion. A mixture of love and fear making it seem like their final kiss.

 

“Sir,” a soldier commented. Standing before Doctor Arness in a chamber of immaculate designs through stained wood and brass inlay. “The door to door search has turned up nothing. Dalton James is simply not here any longer. Perhaps he’s drifted far enough away from our city to-”

“No,” Doctor Arness replied. “I’ve looked through the data myself. Anything beyond the far reaches of our own site will not support human life. We’ve swept for stray transponders and found nothing. Dalton James is in this city or off-world.”

“Sir, I assure you. He’s not here. My men have searched every cellar, closet and even storage bins large enough. He is absolutely not in this city.”

“You are so sure?” Doctor Arness questioned.

“I would stake my rank on it, sir. He’s not here.”

The doctor understood his statement to be true. Captain Williams had been a member of the military since the first Glimmerian War. A soldier of his decoration did not risk the loss of rank unless he was damn sure his statement held true.

“Very well then, I believe you,” Doctor Arness replied with a nod. “And I ask where we go from here?”

“Perhaps we can leave it be,” the captain replied. “If Dalton is off-world, he poses no serious threat to-”

“Absolutely not!” the doctor scoffed. “I want a military plan that involves his capture and execution. Most could not survive living amongst the walking dead, but Dalton James is an exception to that rule. He certainly can survive and will no doubt plan an assault in our back yard. He must be eliminated if we are to continue without the threat of retaliation.”

“Alright sir, let me suggest we begin sending out sweeper teams. I’ll check the logs and if there’s a single ship missing, it will give us a transponder to go with. I can have sweeper teams begin scouring the Skyla System for it and, though it will take time, locate the missing ship as well as Dalton James.”

“Now that is a solid plan,” Doctor Arness replied. “How many men will you require?”

“That depends on how quickly you’d like him found?”

“The Viscion will arrive shortly, so the quicker the better. Take whatever you require to hunt this criminal down.”

“Yes sir.”

“And captain,” Doctor Arness said. “Should the log turn up no missing ships, we can presume that Dalton James is here. In which case you will be replaced.”

“Understood, sir.” Captain Williams replied. Heading off with urgency to locate any missing ships and forming several teams of his very best.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2

Home Sweet Home

 

 

“Wait.”

Adam had seen enough throughout his career in smuggling to know that it felt wrong. Just a little too quiet for a jailbreak, or so it seemed, perhaps due to his ongoing feud with a woman who refused to leave his thoughts.

Holding a combat revolver recently gifted to him, Adam pulled the pistol to the ready. Aiming at the two guards helping him escape.

“I need to know that you’re on the right side here. I need a few answers, and the sooner the better.”

“Wait just a second now.” one of the guards replied with surprise. Pushing his arms into the air slightly.

“I’ve been in enough jams to know one thing. I have to be able to trust the people watching my back. I need to know what the plan is. Where are we headed? What’s Dalton’s word on things, exactly?”

“Um,” the guard replied, just as scared as guard who stood close. Both of them reaching skyward. “I don’t know, exactly.”

“You don’t know?” Adam asked with surprise of his own. “You pulled me out of my cell to help me escape and you don’t even have a plan?”

“Well, we don’t but Dalton does. He said you’d know.”

“I don’t know a damn thing, so you best keep talking.” Adam replied.

“He,” the guard said shakily. “He said to skin out and get to a spot you both know well. A favorite watering hole on a shit hole moon. He wouldn’t say where, but said your last family reunion was held there. We’re to go there and do whatever we have to do to survive until he arrives with the fucking cavalry. His words, not mine.”

Paulie’s. Adam thought.

It made perfect sense, given the circumstances. It wasn’t exactly low-key, but it was a shitty enough moon to make a man think twice. Both Dalton and Adam knew the layout well, and Paulie’s had in fact been the last time their crew had sat down for a round of drinks together. Just the thought of that night brought comfort to Adam, even if the rock was likely crawling with infected dead by now.

“Well hell, son. Why didn’t you say so?” Adam nodded with a grin. Slapping the guard on the shoulder a bit and placing the pistol back down to his pants line.

A moment of awkward silence fell across the three men. Part of it in relief, while part of it was a moment that built trust between the men.

“There’s a shuttle about twenty feet through this door,” one of the guards said. “If you can make it there without bringing alarm, three men are aboard. They can get you past the defensive platform in orbit, but the window of opportunity will be short. Once the doctor figures out you’re missing, he’ll order every ship to be immediately grounded.”

“You two aren’t going?” Adam questioned.

“We can’t, it will arouse suspicion. If we all three come up missing, he’ll order ships grounded before you make it. If we stay back here, the two of us can make it look a little more like a single-handed escape.”

“Single-handed?”

“You know, rough up the cell door and make it appear as though you escaped on your own.” the guard said.

“If we’re found aiding you in escape, the doctor will execute our families. Dalton knows we’re staying behind, that’s why he didn’t give us the location himself.” the second guard admitted.

Adam thought on that. Two men, complete strangers at that, risking their own necks and the necks of their families to free him.

“Why would you risk so much to help me?”

“I don’t want my family to grow up in a place where freedom is a luxury and militarized soldiers are the normal.” one of the guards replied.

“I’ll promise you this,” Adam said. “If I make it off of this rock, things will change. You have my word. There’s a place for both you and your families in the fleet once it’s completely formed.”

“Thank you. Dalton gave us that same assurance and we have our own plan to escape when the timing is right.” one of the guards said.

“Good luck, my brother.” the other guard added.

“In the words of my old friend Roman,” Adam said with a grin. “I make my own luck.”

Using his key card, one of the guards opened the door which opened into a huge lot of stone and grass. Pointing the small shuttle out to Adam, just where he promised it would be. With a nod, Adam was on his way and the door was closed once more.

“Just watch the teeth.” the guard said with hesitation.

“We’ll laugh this off one day.” the other replied.

Moments later, the guard sucker-punched his friend, taking time as he pulled on the man’s uniform a bit to appear as though a scuffle had broken out. Throwing the key card several feet away. Quickly jogging away to work the cell door over a bit and frame Adam for the escape, in hopes of saving his own family.

 

Adam didn’t run, knowing it would arouse suspicion. Instead, he did his best to continue a dedicated walk toward the shuttle. Watching a man stand in its doorway as thrusters prepared to depart from the rock below him.

Only twenty yards or a bit more – seeming like eternity. Any given moment possibly the one that he was recognized and shot at, completely defenseless with his back to the prison compound area.

“Glad you made it, sir.” the soldier said, moving aside as the prisoner boarded. Glad to see something other than a jail cell.

Three men total, just as he’d been told.

“We need to get out of here. The quicker the better.” Adam replied. Nodding to the men with true gratitude.

“On it, sir. Already have a cover story in place. Just sit back and let us handle the rest. Once we’re in the black, you’ll need to give us the coordinates. Dalton said you’d know exactly where.” the pilot replied.

“Indeed I do.”

As the shuttle lifted slowly from the planet’s surface, it became camouflaged with the other small ships that were coming and going. Part of the daily routine on Second Glimmeria. This ship, however, had a purpose. One that would most likely save humanity. Its tender orange flames pushing from thrusters as the shuttle burst into orbit.

 

Everything about the Gunship was perfect. As Dalton pushed on the walls which connected the crew dining area to the pilot’s roost, it seemed like an act of coronation. As though a king were doing a last minute inspection of his kingdom to come.

For most onlookers, it would be a heap of scrap materials welded into the equivalent of a low-rent houseboat in the sky. To Dalton James, it was home. He had the experience of ten soldiers, and, most importantly, he had a plan. One that involved a lot of time aboard the ship that his boots had fallen in love with. A mounted com system, pair of catwalks and even a gallery area.

The engineers had thought him crazy when it came into the conversation, but Dalton James understood the need for a gallery. A single, large pane of glass which overlooked the starboard side of their ship. A place that his lifetime friend, Adam Michaels, found his greatest moments of tranquility. So much had happened in such a short span of time. A plague virtually wiping out all of mankind. A hostile takeover within the government and a woman who’d become both lover and best friend. Dalton James found himself wanting to sit in the gallery when the time was right. Overlooking the brilliance of stars – whiskey bottle in hand.

***

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Chaotic Worlds (The Fleet, Book 3)

Following a Zombie outbreak, what remains of humanity is at war. Those who back Doctor Arness, swear loyalty to the flag. The murder of innocent civilians becoming nothing more than collateral damage. Those who back Dalton James, swear loyalty to no one. Freedom worth fighting, even dying for. The series wraps up with this third installment, and fans are in for a treat. From the emergence of the cannibalistic Viscion race, to the resurgence of a race that once claimed dominance over the Skyla System - it's all or nothing for those who've made it this far. Get ready for a finale that will either satisfy or devastate you - perhaps even both. No one lives forever.

  • Author: John M. Davis
  • Published: 2017-08-31 19:20:21
  • Words: 29684
Chaotic Worlds (The Fleet, Book 3) Chaotic Worlds (The Fleet, Book 3)