Dark Winter: Book 2 – Chapter 7

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The metal door gave way with a sharp crack of splintering drywall and wood. The sounds of the dead grew louder as they pushed through, crawling over one another in their haste and hunger. The darkness didn’t impede them in the slightest, crashing through like a wave of unending destruction, fingers reaching, teeth gnashing.

Lindsay stared in horror. She’d never seen so many. They were endless, a sea of death. The smell hit her then, an overpowering stench that reminded her of rotting garbage and soured milk.

For all its horror, the Infected were known to her. The bodies that lay behind her, in the tunnel that led to safety, did not move or moan or grab. They lay still, rotting and bloated. The stink that came from them was sickly sweet. She tasted bile in the back of her throat. Continue reading

Dark Winter: Book 2 – Chapter 6

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James listened to the whine of the A-10s start up from his bunk. His quarters was in the back of the complex, a windowless room made of concrete and painted a dull gray. He had only a single light, a small LED lamp on his nightstand, but it was enough to light the small, square room.

He lay, partially dressed in athletic shorts and a t-shirt, holding a picture up to the light. He’d kept it, squirreled away in a rucksack. It was bent and creased despite his best efforts. The top was partially torn but he’d done that. He’d wanted to tear her from his life but found he couldn’t.

Elena looked furious, standing in her grease-stained fatigues while James grinned widely in his flight suit and helmet. They’d both been wasting time while she checked over his landing strut. He’d said he’d popped the hydraulics on the landing as a joke. That face she’d made kept him laughing for a long time. Continue reading

Dark Winter: Book 2 – Chapter 5

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They agreed to leave early that next morning.

Katie had spent the previous evening packing up various packets of paper that Lindsay didn’t understand. Some were lists of names, some were maps of places she didn’t recognize. When she asked, Katie just said her dad would want them.

The rest of their supplies were food, ammunition, first aid and other survival supplies. Lindsay didn’t know why they’d need all of that, since the radio station would only take a day to get to and then they’d be taken to a shelter or something. Katie insisted so Lindsay didn’t say anything. Continue reading

The Space Cantina – A thank you to DGS and creating a zombie horror world of my own?

SpaceCantina_HeaderOver the past few months I’ve had a lot of fun creating Dark Winter, a novel set in the world of H1Z1. H1Z1, as you know, is owned and run by Daybreak Game Studios (formerly Sony Online Entertainment). Daybreak has been very good to me, going so far as to write an article about my story. I was flattered and amazed that this company, a company who I’ve followed and enjoyed since my days as a struggling wizard in EverQuest 1, would pay this little project any kind of attention. It was simply phenomenal. A dream come true.

And then you guys started reading it too.

Book One saw a couple hundred viewers each time a new chapter went up, a number I was blown away by. Hundreds of people wanted to read my stories. Wow. Holy shit. I had readers!

I’ve always wanted to be an author. I’ve been working on several novels and have had several short stories published in the past. I currently have a steampunk novella out for publication and if that sees any fruit, I’ll be sharing that news here.

But all of this got me thinking about doing a zombie apocalypse novel of my own. If a couple hundred people really enjoy Dark Winter, maybe they’d like to read about another world as well?

Maybe.

It’s safe to say a good deal of my readers come because they like H1Z1 but I also like to think they enjoy my writing. I have so many stories yet to tell long after Katie and Lindsay’s journey comes to an end. And it will come to an end in Book 2.

So what happens then? Well I could go back to working on other things, lurk about on the H1Z1 reddit like I always do (that will never change), or start telling some of those stories.

I have a few ideas about other worlds I’d like to write about. The most obvious is a very H1Z1-ish world where a virus has taken hold and destroyed civilization. Those stories are very common, and also very popular. I love them and have read many, many versions. Despite their shared concept, each story is unique, each apocalypse different.

Another concept I had was putting an apocalypse into a medieval setting. What happens when the walking dead, when the whole world, begins to die where your most advanced weaponry is a bow or longsword? Communication is very poor and a plague like that could spread unchecked for years. It opens up a great deal of ideas. What if the black death was a zombie plague? The End of Days feels a lot more powerful to people of that time period when men and women still feared the darkness.

Or perhaps there are other fantasy concepts out there? There is a setting I’ve mulled about in my mind for years. It has a little magic, a little deception and a whole lot of epic adventure against a dying world. Storms ravage the skies, the dead walk in the dark places and a dreaded queen holds the whole world in her grasp. They call her the Witch Queen in whispered conversation for she lives long past when a mortal should die.

And still others. What if a plague broke out on Europa, a far reaching colony in space? What if they were abandoned by Earth to their fate, not even worth a nuke for a quick death?

I have a lot of ideas and I’d love to tell them all. If anyone has any thoughts or want to voice an interest, let me know in the comments.

Don’t worry, Dark Winter will go on until its done. I have no plans to stop it before the end.

Thanks!

Dark Winter: Book 2 – Chapter 4

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The whine of the A-10’s engines filled the air as James popped the canopy. He pulled off his helmet and let the frigid evening air wash over him. It was cold but at least it was fresh, compared to the stale, sweat-scented atmosphere of the cockpit. Nearly being shot out of the sky by a shoulder-mounted, guided missile tended to do that.

He leaned his head back against the ejection seat, closed his eyes, and laid his hands on the canopy rail. For a moment he just sat there, glad to be alive, thankful his training had saved him and his plane. Sometimes he wondered which his father would miss more.

Opening his eyes he glanced down at the instrument panel, looking for the picture he used to hide away there during his time in the Air Force. It wasn’t there of course, but the habit remained. He looked for it every time and every time it made him angry. He wasn’t sure if it was because it wasn’t there or because he still cared. Continue reading

Dark Winter: Book 2 – Chapter 3

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After reaching the bunker, it took Lindsay half an hour to calm down. Her heart felt like it was beating right out of her chest. It hurt and her limbs burned from the draining adrenaline. Images of the Infected horde coming for them played over and over in her mind and each time a shiver of fear shot through her. They’d been saved by complete chance but next time, they wouldn’t be so lucky.

She sat with her back to the wall, huddled over a warmed can of pasta, her knees drawn up tight to her chest. Staring into the mix of noodles and sauce, she found she wasn’t hungry. It was only when Katie walked into the bedroom that she looked up.

Her friend looked perfectly fine, not worried or shaken at all. How was that possible? How was she so strong? Lindsay felt like she might burst into tears at any moment. They’d almost died. Katie had almost been killed because of her hesitation and incompetence. Lindsay lowered her eyes quickly, feeling ashamed. Continue reading

Dark Winter: Book 2 – Chapter 2

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James Fitzpatrick bunted the A-10 over, stabilizing the jet as he dove. His finger was tense around the trigger and he could feel the giant 30 millimeter gun begin to spin up beneath him. Looking through his Heads Up Display (HUD)—the screen on top of his cockpit forward panel—he lined up the aiming pip on the horde of Infected.

There were maybe twenty or thirty, he wasn’t sure, but as soon as the pipper crossed over the frontmost Infected, he pulled the trigger.

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRTTT. Continue reading