The Aykler Report #16 – Free Book Excerpt!
Greetings from the shores of the Adriatic!
I skipped last month’s newsletter. It was September. I was hot, tired, and moving around a lot. There were also sand fleas involved. Lots of sand fleas. They drained me of a substantial amount of blood. I lost count of the bites. 50+ is a conservative estimate.
Maybe it was a combination of the heat and the antihistamines or maybe I have a lazy streak a mile wide, but whatever the reason, I made no headway on my most recent Singleton novella. Tentatively titled Hot Buttered Zombies, this thing has been in the works for about six months. Somewhere between the setup and zombie slaughter crescendo, I lost steam.
Maybe you can help. Or maybe it will just help to get this beginning out there. Or maybe I should move on to another of the many stories I have in the works. Anyway, here’s a snippet.
Like Spewing Hot Zombies, this begins with a Silvercrest mission brief. And then Singleton narrates:
Before I can read any more of today’s mission brief, the man in the blood-stained yellow jumpsuit sitting next to me wads it into a ball, white knuckling the eight and half by eleven pages into a baseball size paper nugget.
No one at the Silvercrest Corporation bothers to send me the mission briefs anymore. The helicopter pilot tells me the name and number of the mission and where I am headed while in transit to the zombie hell-scapes that are my workaday world. Missions all mean the same thing to me: Zombies killing people. Me killing zombies.
Yellow jumpsuit tosses the balled up brief to the floor of the bus we’re riding with an annoyed sounding sigh.
“Not a fan, huh?” I ask.
He answers without looking at me but speaking so everyone on the bus, the entire tactical team, can hear. “Nothing and no one will ever explain what the hell happened where we’re headed. Or prepare you for what pops up when we get there.” He cackles out a broken angry sound that might once have passed for a laugh. None of his fellow passengers laughs or cackles with him.
There are nine of us on the team. We wear color coded jumpsuits. Yellow, red, blue, and green. Our suits correspond to our roles. Guide (yellow), film crew (blue), security (red), and me (atomic green). The colors will help us identify one another in our gas masks once we arrive on site.
None of the four color groups have met before today. If I had to guess, I would say the other seven read the mission brief before they got here. Now that I have read as far as I have, I know who yellow jumpsuit is.
He’s our way in. Our man on point. The guy who knows the layout of RL047. He is probably the only person above ground that does. The survivor. The whistleblower. The engineer. Yellow suit is Chad Murray.
At the proper distance, that is almost any distance, Murray could be mistaken for some kind of plug. Fire plug. Sink plug. A plug in a high school football team’s defensive line. A life of human pluggery has left him with dark sunken eyes and hunched shoulders. He’s hard to move and easy to overlook.
At the moment, Murray’s a corporate plug stopping up an experiment gone wrong. The rest of us need him, but he’s too much of a plug to ever allow us to like him. And that might explain everything that happens next. If we could have liked him, maybe we could have saved him.
What do you think? Interested? Know where it’s going? Want to read the mission brief? Should I send more in the next newsletter?
Yours in undead infection affection,
Yours in undead infection affection,
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