We wrote Kill Them Dead – The Start of the Zombie Apocalypse a few years ago.
And in that time this website had a few changes.
We are sticking to what we have and therefore here is chapter one of Kill Them Dead – Book 1 the Start of the Zombie Apocalypse
PS: You can of course read the whole first book for Free by clicking here #justsaying
Orion Mining Station, 2032
The silence was unnerving.
David Taylor looked at Steven and frowned. He had grown accustomed to the perpetual silence of space over the past three years that he had been drilling on the asteroids. He also encountered the occasional communications disruption during a sporadic solar flare or when a satellite lost signal as it passed behind Earth. But this was different. Something in the silence felt wrong, and the gnawing feeling in David’s gut was compounded by the fact that the relief team never arrived on the asteroid as per schedule. He looked at the pilot. “Try it again, Steve.”
Steven nodded. “Orion, this is Photon-II,” he said, “requesting permission to dock.”
The stark silence was his only reply.
“Orion,” Steven tried again. “This is Photon-II. Please respond or we will be forced to dock without authorization.”
David unclipped his safety harness and stood up. “Give them five minutes,” he told Steven, “then take us in.”
Steven confirmed, and the control panel lit up as he started flicking buttons to begin the emergency manual override procedure.
David took a few seconds to survey the compartment, to take a possibly final look at the men he spent the past three years with. Closest to him was his second in command, Jason Clark, a six-foot-six tall, athletic-built man with hair as dark as his past. David didn’t know much about Jason’s life before the space station, and he was happy to keep it that way. Next to Jason were Charlie, Santa, Duanne, Jim and Robert. The last crew member was Luke, a huge black man who made even Jason seem tiny in comparison. He was the main driller, and had it not been for him, many trips to the asteroids would have been in vain. Everyone fondly referred to the big guy as “Lucky Luke” because of his uncanny ability to turn even the direst situations around.
“Okay, guys, listen up!” David made his way to the back of the craft and ensured that he had everyone’s full and undivided attention. “We have radio silence with Orion. That means we’re going to have to set her down manually.”
“Manually?” a frail Chinese man with a video camera clutched tightly in his hands asked from the furthest bunk bed. He leaned forward so that David could see him from behind Luke’s huge frame. “Erm…what does that mean?”
David studied the man, the one guy who was not part of his team. He didn’t particularly like Noah Lee the first time he laid eyes on him. Noah arrived two weeks ago with a camera and the story that he was commissioned by a major television network to shoot a documentary about asteroid mining and life on the space station. No one wanted him to tag along, but the command came all the way from the top, so they didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. “It means that we’re in for one helluva bumpy ride, Dorothy,” David said, “so you better buckle up, okay?”
Noah nodded nervously and replaced the camera’s battery with a fully charged one. He pressed a button and focused it on David. “Do these radio interferences occur frequently?” he asked.
David took his helmet from his bunk bed and pulled it over his head. He then raised the visor and latched the base of the helmet to his suit. “You better get one of these on,” he said, “or this will be the last dock you’ll ever experience.”
Noah shut the preview panel and placed the camera beside him. He then fumbled with his helmet as David returned to the cockpit.
“Here,” David said and handed Steven his helmet. “Just in case.”
“Thanks man,” Steven said and clipped on his helmet. “Let’s get this over with.”
David sat down and buckled himself in. He flipped a switch, and darkness engulfed Photon-II. “Everyone okay back there?”
The eight passengers in the bunk section all confirmed in unison.
“Here we go,” Steven said, and as he gently pushed on the throttle lever, the mining vessel began its approach to dock with the Orion Space Station.
“She looks like a ghost ship,” David said, and it only occurred to him as he breathed the words that the reason he thought so was that there were always lights shining through the windows on the various floors–now there was only darkness. Only the outside hull lights flickered on and off, and David realized that the lack of lights had subconsciously added to his growing concern that something was wrong.
* * *
Steven accelerated and aligned the ship with the docking bay entrance. An electromagnetic force field protected the contents of the docking bay from the eternal vacuum of space, and it was this force field that Steven was most afraid of. On an approved dock, those in the control tower would lower the frequency of the field to such a degree that the ship could pass through it unhindered, but now it operated on full power. The field was still programmed to allow the mining vessel to pass through, but only if certain conditions were met. One slight miscalculation or a nervous twitch of the hand, and the crew wouldn’t even realize that they were dead by the time the ship exploded.
“Easy does it,” David said when he thought that they were coming in too fast. The timing and speed would have to be perfect to do this right. Too fast, and they’d slam into the force field as if it were made of concrete. Too slow, and the vessel would be torn apart by the vibrations of the field’s magnetic currents.
Steven eased off the throttle and double-checked the numbers on his heads-up display. “This is it,” he said as the cockpit began shaking lightly. It was a gentle tremor compared to what he knew would come next.
David thought about his wife, Beverly, and their 15-year-old daughter, Amy, on board the Orion, and for a split second wondered if they were safe. He had bigger concerns right now and forced himself to suppress the worry about his family until after they had successfully docked.
Warning: Unauthorized Bay Entry!
“Shut up!” Steven said and flipped a switch.
The Photon-II vibrated and shook more intensely as it approached the docking bay. From the outside, it seemed as if the nose of the ship pierced the force field quite smoothly, but on the inside, everyone shook and bounced around in their seats, their safety harnesses the only reason they did not all mash against one another.
“We’re coming in too slow,” David shouted above the noise. “You have to give it more thrust!”
“I know what I’m doing!” Steven snapped back, but none-the-less gave the ship more thrust and pulled back on the control stick to try to lift the nose slightly higher.
The ship rattled and shook even more. Somewhere at the back, Jim recited the Hail Mary over and over.
The force field swallowed half of the ship.
The shaking intensified to the point where it felt like the ship was being shredded to pieces, like wet toilet paper.
“Pull up, you sunnuvabitch!” Steven shouted and pulled back harder.
Everyone inside clenched his eyes shut. Some prayed. Others tried to focus their thoughts on memories of happier times.
One of the wings strained and started to tear slightly along one side.
Emergency lights flashed.
Warning sirens blared.
The force field swallowed the last bit of the mining craft.
Steven lowered the landing gear and sparks shot in all directions as metal scraped on metal. The pilot then pushed forward on the control stick and decreased the thrust completely.
The slit in the wing tore wider.
Finally, the craft came to a complete standstill and hissed.
All ten passengers on board breathed out in unison.
No one said a word for what felt like an eternity. Eventually, David fumbled with his buckle and—with unresponsive fingers—managed to unclip it. He stood up and allowed a few seconds for the strength to return to his legs. “Well done,” he said and slapped Steven on the shoulder. “Now let’s get the hell off this thing.”
* * *
“Sir, I think you had better come see this.”
“What is it, Jim?” David asked, but he realized what the answer was before Jim said it out loud.
“It’s the Photon-I, sir.”
Steven walked up to the ship. “It’s still docked,” he said. “But why? Where is everybody?”
David looked up at the control tower. It was empty. No one stood at the huge glass window, watching or waving at them. No one rushed to their aid. “Jim, you and Duanne go check out the tower,” he said. “Lucky, I need you to help me and Jason with these doors.”
The huge man-mountain stepped forward from the group. He was easily the embodiment of four men. “Okay,” Luke’s bass voice vibrated through the headgear speakers. “I’m on it.” He walked up to the doors, took a deep breath and then slipped his fingers between the sealing rubber stripping of the door. He heaved and slowly pulled the doors apart.
David and Jason rushed to Luke’s side and pulled with all their might. The doors finally opened to the point where they locked into place. The two men entered the mining vessel and activated their shoulder-mounted flashlights.
“Empty,” Jason stated the obvious.
“Yeah, but why?”
“Beats me. Guess we missed a memo or something?”
The two left the ship, and a few minutes later Jim and Duanne returned from their scouting mission to the control tower. “There wasn’t anyone there,” Jim said. But we checked and the airlock’s secure. He and Duanne both unclipped and removed their helmets to accentuate the statement, and the others followed suit.
“Okay,” David said. “So the Photon-I never took off and the control tower’s empty. I think it’s safe to assume that there’s more to this than a mere communications disruption.”
The men agreed.
“Now what?” Steven asked.
“I suggest that we all head on over to the food court. That’s where everyone would assemble when something important is going down.”
“I disagree,” Jason said and took a few steps toward David. He pointed at a door. “I think we should check out the armory first,” he said. “If anyone knows what’s going on around here, it would be the guys up there.”
David didn’t care about finding out what was going on. He was more concerned about getting to his wife and daughter. Once he knew that they were safe and with him, the men could go about figuring out the rest. Beverly probably knew what went down anyway and would bring him and his team up to speed when they found her. “Okay,” he said. Those with family and loved ones are welcome to join me,” he said. “The rest should go with Jason.”
Steven, Jim, Duanne, Robert and Luke gathered around David, while Charlie and Santa sided with Jason.
“And you?” David asked the documentary maker.
“I…I’ll go to the armory,” Noah said and joined the other three.
David nodded. “We’ll rendezvous with you at the food court in about an hour, okay?” he said.
“Affirmative,” Jason said and headed towards the armory with his three companions.
“All right, guys,” David said to those still with him. “Let’s go find our people.”