The Zone: A Post-Apocalyptic Thriller (Infection Chronicles Book 1)

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Book: The Zone: A Post-Apocalyptic Thriller (Infection Chronicles Book 1) by Tripp Ellis Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tripp Ellis
Tags: thriller, Military, Sci-Fi, Zombie, Virus, post apocalyptic, Dystopian, cyborg
    “They sure knew the mines were there,” Steele said.
    Delroy made several quick turns, hoping to lose them. The truck was completely out of sight. With any luck, they’d hit the LZ and board the CAV before the thugs caught up with them.
    Delroy kept weaving through side streets until they reached the extraction point. The CAV was nowhere in sight. But they were early—fifteen minutes to spare. Hopefully Mitchell would show. There was always the chance that Mitchell got diverted, or decided to back out. Steele knew the one thing that you could count on in the military was that plans change. And no plan ever survives the battlefield. 
    Steele and Delroy leapt out of the vehicle. Parker followed with Chloe. She made sure to grab Mr. Carlisle. 
    Steele scanned the area—everything looked calm. They were in the warehouse district, standing in front of a four story, brown brick building. Steele started grabbing bags of titrillium from the trunk and hefting them up to the loading dock. Delroy kept his weapon ready, looking for any sign of trouble. After Steele clanked the last bag onto the dock, he told Delroy to ditch the car.
    Delroy slipped into the driver’s seat and took off in the Vexpa. He turned down the next block.
    Steele grabbed Chloe and lifted her onto the loading dock. He and Parker climbed up as well. Several rows of vertical rolling doors lined the dock. They were covered in graffiti that had been spray painted long before the outbreak. There was a faded sign that read: Receiving . Below that was a wooden door. Steele jogged to the door and kicked it open.
    The narrow beam of his tactical flashlight scanned the entranceway. Steele crept inside, weapon ready to fire. He cleared the room, then dashed back to the loading dock.  
    Delroy was running back from wherever he had ditched the car. Steele started loading in duffel bags into the building. After a few minutes, the titrillium was stowed in the entrance way.  
    Still no sign of the thugs in the truck.
    “Parker, stay here with Chloe,” Steele said. “Delroy, come with me.”
    Steele navigated his way to the stairwell. He pushed through the metal fire door. His flashlight beam scanned the staircase that spiraled upwards. Steele crept up, floor after floor, until he reached the roof access point. It was a hatch in the ceiling, locked with a padlock. A metal ladder hung down, providing access. 
    “Shit,” Steele said, gazing upwards. “That’s a pain in the ass.” He was going to have to get 1200 pounds of titrillium up the narrow ladder and through the hatch. He grabbed a rung of the ladder and pulled himself up. 
    Delroy watched.
    When Steele reached the top, he smashed the padlock with his titanium fist. He pushed the hatch open, daylight poured in. The sky was dull and angry, and it looked like it might storm. He poked his head through and glanced around the rooftop. HVAC units and ductwork lined the roof. But it looked like there was enough clearance for the CAV to set down. Well, not set down completely. More like hover inches above the rooftop. There was no way the roof could support the full weight of a combat aerial vehicle.
    Steele slid back down the ladder. His feet slammed onto the metal landing of the staircase. The clatter echoed down the rectangular stairwell. “Get up there. Keep watch for the CAV.”
    Delroy flung himself up the ladder and disappeared through the hatch. Steele plunged down the staircase and snaked his way back to Parker and Chloe.
    “Any sign of Mitchell?” Parker asked.
    “Not yet.” Steele grabbed two duffel bags and plodded back to the stairwell. 400 pounds up four flights of stairs. Steele took the first step up the stairs. It was like a one leg, 400 pound squat. Another step, another squat. Steele’s face turned red, and the veins in his neck bulged. By the time he reached the top of the first landing, his quads were burning even more than usual. Step after step, he trudged up the stairs.

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