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DAY BY DAY ARMAGEDDON SHATTERED HOURGLASS PDF

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Day By Day Armageddon Shattered Hourglass Pdf

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I also saw what looked like an apology for the first two books in the author's forward. I saw a problem with the author's need to explain the first two books, that was a red flag.

The first book was so simple that the 2 days it took me to read it didn't seem like such a waste of time, why explain that? But, the second book went way off track and brought the first book down with it it didn't have far to fall. But, it was still very simply written and if anyone needed to synopsis to understand that poorly written drivel And reading the breakdown of the first two books, anyone picking up the third without reading them would chuckle at the explaination and throw it back.

I read them and I almost threw it back myself. More to come as I read. Like I said, I have read the first part of the book last night and so far it is dreadfully dull. The change in format is good for him, though. He was not able to pull off the journal style very well and got worse in the second installment.

If you want to see what a good written journal type zombie book is like, read the last book I read, "Apocalypse Z" review upcoming. So I am giving Bourne a chance on this one and I hope it is good enough to finish. My God, I finished his second in this series so I must be a glutton for pain and suffering. But, second, or third chances should always be given. And the genre always needs support, so choke down the first two books and take your punishment for the cause.

Saturday Morning: I wanted to update as I went along on this book to see for myself if it got any better. I didn't post after the second night of reading because nothing happened in the book of any importance whatsoever.

Sadly, after reading another night, nothing has still happened. The author has indeed gotten better at writing. But, there is no story here, it is just better written.

I have a feeling I will finish this book, but it will be like "I have to read one more chapter to see if anything happens". I am sure something will happen, it has to While reading last night and sifting through useless jargon, it hit me what the author should really be writing about. My brother who I got the books from loves these types of books. They bore me to tears. This is one of those books only with a few, so far zombies.

Now most zombie genre readers like action. Not just some. Constant action. There have been just a few "slow" zombie books that I have liked. Zone One, for example, was a great book that probably bored other genre readers.

But, for the most part, kill kill!!! Bourne's new book is snooze, snore, so far. I know I am really hard on these books, but Goodreads is for honest appraisal and I feel I have to be as honest as I can be. I wish I could write like this guy, albiet bad, because I can't write jack. He beats the living snot out of me there. But, so far with this book there have been a couple of things that has bugged the crap out of me, other than the bad story and useless technical jargon Seriously, and this is just one example, but do we really need to know the Yeah, it is written on the box when I bought the modem and peripherels, but I don't tell everyone I have a Useless information.

Like do we really need to know down to the part number and the person's social security number who made it where the freaking assault weapon came from? The "hero", which is now like a bit player, is a freaking Commander now.

And it has become even sillier now that I know alot of other people exist and should have been bumped up to that position before him. The guy who ditched his unit and went AWOL at the beginning of the first book is now being treated like he is a go-to guy with special knowledge over the people that have been responding to this event from the beginning. Another small thing, but it is so annoying is his new name.

Yeah, it was a sorta-kinda funny part where it came from, but come on. It doesn't make him appear any cooler in text. It just is a sad attempt to give him a badass persona that the people that has followed this all the way has seen right through. The other thing that bothered me is Jonathan Maberry. You say whaaaaa? I have read a few of his books including Patient Zero and liked them.

He left praise for these books on the inside of the cover. How can I trust Maberry again? Tuesday Morning: Okay, I read a little of a short story book I picked up Revenge. Really good so far, so I missed some time reading DbDA: I read quite a bit last night and have made it past halfway through. Yeah, I know, I am kinda shocked I made it this far.

But, once I start a book, I tend to finish it no matter the harm it does me. I have only put down one book that I didn't finish and that was a short story collection of supposedly horror stories a couple of years ago. During the reading on this book, in this period, something finally happened! Well, it was referenced at the end of the last book, so it wasn't a surprize, but it was something. Also, there was actual contact with a zombie.

Like a page of action. This book isn't even fitting into the above mentioned 50 pages of useless crap to actual event ratio. It is on a page per event bend. I have said this after reading the other times and it is true. The author is a much better writer than he was in previous books. That is obvious. But, the story is still so slow and dull that it doesn't help. He might as well be writing the instructions for constructing an entertainment center. And the book is spread so thin.

There are 5 different storylines going on, somewhat connected, and it jumps around alot. That would be awesome if something ever happened in any of the unique settings. There is no character that is worth caring about, even the main guy. No descriptions of actual people but I think I can build a Ham radio or break down an assault weapon now after reading this book. Useless info. I read alot of reviews on here to get other takes on books that I am going to read or have already read and there were alot of great reviews of this book.

It is pleasing and puzzling to see that people liked it. When I read that some people liked the action, I just scratch my head. That makes me even more confused at the reviews.

If nothing has happened so far, no action worth speaking of, then there must be 10 times more action in the next pages than ever written before by any person in any book.

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I am doubting this greatly. I have left reviews and have graded many books on Goodreads. I almost always leave at least 3 stars or more, if only for effort. I tend to be easier on new authors because they deserve the encouragement for trying to entertain me. I think I could count on one hand the 2 or less star grades I have left for any book.

That is another puzzlement for me. Why is this book and the two previous so bad for me? I ask myself this as I read and wonder if it is me, am I missing something?

Day by Day Armageddon: Shattered Hourglass

But, honesty is the best policy and all that crap. So, over halfway through I can continue to say that this book is still awful. I will probably read the other book tonight to keep things in balance, but I really, really want to be done with this book. And you know the sad thing? If the author writes more, I will probably pick it up to see if he got any better at story telling.

I am an idiot. I read almost the entire last half last night. It was chopped up so much with the jumping around that is was easy to get that much read. I faded out after chapter 54, and finished it up in the parking lot of the library so I would know that this book was not going back home with me. I unknowingly stopped last night at the chapter right before the story blew up into a million little pieces and became utterly ridiculous.

When people stated that the ending was rushed, they were not BSing. Even before that, with the aircraft carrier, things jumped at an amazing pace. It went from "Hey, I think something is on here" to "Hey, we are totally screwed and it is all over, no action to see here".

I was actually surprized when the little group escaped and tied the hatch shut, because there may have been survivors down there. Heck, the one they cried for a little later may have been one of them beating on the door yelling "let me out you mf'ing, self absorbed asshats".

As with the aircraft carrier story line, he cut out the action parts and left in the dull back and forth between the different story lines 5. And the story lines? Two of the story lines were needed well, take that with a grain of salt.

I saw no use for two of the story lines at all at all. And the third which could have been folded into the other useless story arcs had the only decent chapter in the book 35 but still didn't have to be in the book at all the climax with Remote 6 could have been at either one of the two useless storylines. And let me say something about Remote 6. Here is a super secret organization that has controlled almost every event that has ever happened and they couldn't get to a downed plane before a another group could?

They were everywhere at all time when it was needed. And naming the top R6 guy god and having him make a "I would have got away with it all if it weren't for you meddling kids" speech was a full on laugh riot. Remote 6 ended up being a bumbling set of fools ran my the villan from the Smurfs.

Throughout the book there was so much not happening that the shockingly fast ending was the biggest surprize in the book. And that is not a good thing. The romantic relationship in the book was depressingly dull and totally not important at all. Unimportant filler. Seriously, this book could have easily been a short story and would have still been dull.

Albiet there was never any tension built up for the ending so the reveal of the reason they went into China was flat and unimportant. I never figured out why the hero was in this book at all. He did absolutely nothing. And here is this guy Kil that over the trilogy became a freaking technical genius, but didn't figure out for quite a while the reference his neighbor from the beginning of first book, who somehow by odd chance became the communications guy on another ship had sent no matter how terribly simple the encrypted messages he was sending him.

The only action Kil saw was that he was on the last and most uneventful end story in history. This should have been the most exciting part in the book.

Kil's friend Kil ended up just being a bit of a prick , the Afghani terrorist turned Kil's secret love crush, was useless. Yeah, he shot a few zombies, big deal. He mostly just walked around the ship and took up some page space. And that is what I think this book was, a book full of filler. I can not imagine there was a contract for the author that he had to finish a trilogy, but it damn sure felt like he didn't put any thought into anything but the useless jargon.

There was no story worth speaking of. I could describe the book in 3 sentences, one little paragraph. I did so to my wife last night and she just laughed. The shifts in time were staggering. From the above mentioned aircraft carrier to the amazing fast trip to China, it sucked all of the air out of a breathless book that was turning blue within the first few chapters.

By the time it died before the ending even started to flash before my eyes, I was already wishing someone would shoot it in the head so another one didn't pop up and eat a few days out of my life. So, I go into review mode of the rant above.

Don't read this book. It is that simple. It is terribly boring, dreadfully slow for the first 9. You won't give a crap about any of the characters. There is no good description of anyone, physically or emotionally. When someone dies, it just doesn't matter. Hell, the ones that lived I still didn't give a shite about. If you liked the first two books, first off I feel bad for you, secondly, this one is way worse than the first two. Nothing is ever a waste of time, mostly, and I did get entertainment out of this and the other two books.

I entertained myself by reviewing them as honestly as I possibly could. I am just happy that it is over with and I can move onto something just as interesting. Like reading the phone book or peeling my nails off with a pair of needlenose pliers. View all 3 comments. Oct 28, chucklesthescot rated it liked it Shelves: This book takes the form of a straight novel instead of a diary from the outset which gave me hope that we would see more of my favourite characters-John and Annabelle.

However the author then decides to add more new characters and use multiple POVs which I did not think was required. We follow Kil and Saien on their mission to China, survivors at a remote station in the frozen north, soldiers trying to reach Hotel 23, Admiral of the Fleet, Remote 6, a seal team on Hawaii etc. We do get the odd This book takes the form of a straight novel instead of a diary from the outset which gave me hope that we would see more of my favourite characters-John and Annabelle.

We do get the odd thought of John and Tara but not anywhere near enough.

What did I like? Well the mission of the seal team on Hawaii was the best thing in the book. There was a real purpose to it, it was exciting and nerve shredding, just like Kil and John's initial adventures in the first book.

Really enjoyed that. The few bits we got of John kicking ass with Annabelle and the Hotel 23 survivors was good but not enough of it. The marines going to Hotel 23 was also a decent subplot. What I didn't like? The whole Arctic outpost story was not necessary and it slowed the entire story down. With that and the alien plot, I felt as if this was a fanfic version of The Thing rather than a zombie novel.

Tara whining and sobbing all the time made me want to throw her overboard. Going to the ship outbreak after the event and telling us what happened instead of the excitement of showing us John and the others in the battle. I can't even tell you how disappointing that was.

The ease of the mission to China and the actual point of it. I just didn't find any of that interesting. I didn't find the ending greatly satisfying other than the Remote Six outcome. It all felt a bit rushed and a bit of an anti-climax really. The story is left open for a possible follow up but unless it was based fully on the Hotel 23 people, I wouldn't be that interested in following it.

A bit of a tame end to a series that started so well. And the beat goes on. What a phenomenal plot!! These zombies are in a class all their own. Fright and the unexpected get amped up to a whole new level, and succeeds quite consistently in scaring the bejeezus outta me.

Love to be scared, yet also have an intelligent plot with relatable characters. This series succeeds and then some on all these fronts. Day by Day Armageddon is a must listen, and the narration is perfect!!

Jan 13, Holden Attradies rated it really liked it Shelves: Most of the ones I read seemed to be very peeved by the change in narrative style and were convinced, based on assumptions only apparently, that the change in style was done because of pressure from his publisher. This was entirely not the case and I am basing this on things he has said on his facebook page and his website. He seems to be a man who takes and keeps strong control of his work and protects it like First off, I am REALLY surprised at how many negative reviews this got on Good reads.

He seems to be a man who takes and keeps strong control of his work and protects it like a loved one. I was going to link to his fan forum where he talked about why there is almost no chance of a movie of the book being made while he's alive, but it seems to be down.

Any ways, at the end of book two the story was at a point where it needed to switch narration styles if the story was going to be continued.

There were just to many characters and plot threads heading in too many different directions. So what did I think? I thought the book was nearly as good as the last two, almost a five star review. Just like the last two books I had a hard time putting it down and I felt very immersed in the narrative.

I know a lot of non-military readers were put off by the constant military jargon, but I found this to be one of the many things that made the story so real and engaging. He also did a good job at explaining to the reader what different military terms meant through the narrative either directly like when he would straight up explain them Saien or indirectly, surrounding the term with enough context for you to be able to figure it out yourself.

Another big complaint I frequently saw was that the end was both rushed and anti-climatic. As I was approaching the end of the book I found my self wondering how in the world there was enough time to finish all of the stories, but as I read those last twenty to thirty pages I felt like I was on a roller coaster and thoroughly enjoyed them. I had a feeling from the very beginning CHANG was not going to be the golden goose everyone hoped for, that was just to much of a fairy tail ending and wouldn't have fit in with the rest of the story.

I felt the ending matched the previous two books perfectly, answering the immediate danger but leaving many questions and the future of the characters totally up in the air. A final thing that really makes me think of this as such a great book is that it was not only well written and engaging, but that it adds something to the Zombie lit genre. Bourne's perspective as an active duty serviceman brings bounds and leaps to a story told from a military perspective.

Bloated, floating bodies now blocked her once-busy shipping route. Some of the disgusting forms still moved, not yet dissolved by the Panama heat and humidity or mosquito larvainfested waters. The countless hordes on one side of the canal roared and moaned at their undead doppelgngers on the other in a Hatfield and McCoy feud spanning the great divide. Before the anomaly, the world was fixated on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, phony government U3 unemployment numbers, spot gold prices, currency indexes, and the worldwide debt crisis.

Day by Day Armageddon: Shattered Hourglass The very few that now survived prayed to go back to a Dow 1, and 80 percent unemployment; at least it would be something. The conditions on the ground had degraded exponentially since the first case of the anomaly was documented in China.

Early in the crisis, the surviving executive branch of the United States government made the decision to nuke the major continental cities in a bid to deter, deny, or degrade the undead ability to eliminate the surviving population of the United States.

The cities were leveled by high-order nuclear detonation. Many of the creatures were instantly disintegrated in the process but the tradeoff was catastrophic. The dead outside of the comparatively small blast zones were zapped with so many alpha, beta, and gamma particles that the radiation eradicated any bacteria that might enable decomposition, preserving the dead for what scientists estimated at decades.

A few scattered human survivors remained though, and some military command and control was still in place. An operation was at this very moment underway to uncover the chain of events that brought humanity to the brink, maybe beyond. Behind closed doors there was talk of possibly engineering an effective weapon of mass destruction against the creatures, as there were not enough small-arms ammunition or people to pull the triggers left on the planet.

Behind thicker closed doors, there was talk of other, more nefarious things. The helicopter pilot screamed back to the passengers, cheek full of chewing tobacco, Three-zero mikes until on top the USS Virginia! The helicopters internal communications system failed to function as advertised months ago.

It was now only good for cockpit communications between the pilot and copilot up front. The pilot was easily in his sixties, as told by his gray hair, deep crows feet, and old and battered Air America ball cap. The rider in the copilots seat was not part of the air crewjust another member of what was known on the flight docket as Task Force Hourglass.

Bourne Pilots had been in short supply over the past few months, most of them lost on reconnaissance missions. The remaining airworthy military aircraft were constructed of thousands of complex moving parts, all of which needed to be rigorously inspected and maintained, or they would soon become very expensive lawn darts. The old pilot seemed to enjoy the company of having someone in the right seat, someone to die alongside if things went too far south, which was frequent.

The rider appeared jumpy and hyperaware of his surroundings. Wearing an overly tight harness, his hand on the door latch and his eyes on the master caution panel, he nervously scanned the helicopter instruments.

The rider risked a glance at the ground; they were flying low and fast. An optical illusion from the cockpit put the helicopter nearly level with the canal banks on either side. The creatures screamed and thrashed loudly as they fell into the water, unable to compete with the deafening engine noise.

The rider easily but involuntarily filled the gaps with his imagination, hearing the songs of the dead from below. The permanent PTSD gained from the past years events pushed forward in his consciousness. He instinctively slapped his side, feeling for his carbine, preparing for another crash. The pilot took notice and squawked into his headset, Heard about what happened to you.

Chopper went down in the badlands. The rider keyed the microphone on his headset. Something like that. The pilot grumbled, You just transmitted on the radio. Key down to talk to me, and up to talk to the world.

Oh, sorry. Dont worry about it; I doubt anyone heard it anyway. Only those things around. Lots of fellow pilots walking about down there now. These runs keep getting more dangerous by the sortie. The birds are falling apart, no spare parts. What did you do before? Im a military officer. What branch? The rider paused and said, Im a navy lieuuh, a commander.

Shattered Hourglass The pilot laughed as he said, Which is it, son? Lieutenant is a ways from commander. Long, boring story. Son, I doubt that. What did you do in the navy before? Hell, you wanna fly the rest of the way? No thanks. Im not exactly the best helicopter stick. The pilot chuckled at this. When I was running small fixed wings low over Laos before you were born, I didnt know how to fly one of these, either.

The rider looked down at the undead masses below and mumbled, I didnt think we were flying anything over Laos. The old man smiled and said, We werent. By humping their bolt guns a hundred miles through the jungle? Both men laughed over the loud thumping rhythm of the spinning rotor blades above their heads.

The rider reached into his pack for a piece of gum scavenged from a military MRE, offering the pilot half. No thanks, plays hell on my dentures and Im all out of Fixodent. Who you got back there with you anyway? The rider frowned at the old man.

They dont tell you anything, do they? The Arab-looking guy is a friend of mine. SOCOM, hmm? Yeah, a few frogs and such. Im not sure I can tell you much more than that and to be honest, I dont know much more anyway. I understand, you wanna keep the old man in the dark.

No, its not that, its. Im kidding, no worries. I had to keep a secret or two in my day. A few more rotor-thumping minutes passed before the pilot pointed his wrinkled finger forward to the horizon and said, Theres the Pacific. The coords to the Virginia are on that kneeboard card. Mind punching them into the inertials? Not a problem. Bourne After the coordinates were entered, the pilot altered course a few degrees starboard and maintained heading.

Whats your name, son? My friend back there calls me Kilroy, Kil for short. Whats yours? Im Sam. Pleasure to meet you, even though this may be the first and last time. Well, Sam, you sure know how to keep spirits high. Sam reached up, tapped the glass on the upper gauge panel, and said, You know the risks, Kilroy.

There aint no tellin where youre goin in your little black submarine. Wherever it is, you can bet it will be just as dangerous as right below us. There aint no safe zones anywhere. There were others, but those had been anchored offshore months ago, abandoned.

One carrier was even reserved as a floating nuclear power plant, providing gigawatts of electricity to withering military island outposts and some remote coastal airstrips.

A small contingent of power plant engineers was all that remained of her former fivethousand-sailor crew. Not all of these behemoths were accounted for. A handful of the steel giants had been trapped overseas when the alarms sounded and society collapsed. In the beginning, there was blame to cast and throw about like blacksmith anvilsthat is, while men still lived to cast it. There was chatter via classified cables that the USS Ronald Reagan had been brought down by simultaneous attacks from several North Korean diesel submarines in the days just after the anomaly.

No one really knew for sure. Visual observers from a nearby American destroyer reported that the undead creatures swarmed her decksshe was now a floating mausoleum and would remain so until a rogue wave or super typhoon sent her down to Poseidon.

Some of the surviving crews from the remaining carriers had been recovered and consolidated onboard the USS George Washington, still on active service in the Gulf of Mexico.

The U. Bourne The twenty-thousand-ton USS George Washington cut through the Gulf waters, maintaining a patrol box ten miles off the infested Panamanian coastline. The Continuity of Government still remained, its primary orders clear and concise. Recover Patient Zero by any means necessary.

Admiral Goettleman, Task Force Hourglass commander and acting chief of naval operations, sat in his stateroom eating breakfast, watching the ships cable TV network. A loop of The Final Countdown had been playing over and over again for the past week.

Hed need to call someone about that, or maybe hed let it go. Perhaps the crew enjoys watching an aircraft carrier travel back in time with the opportunity to change history. A loud knock on his door signaled Joe Maurer, a CIA case officer and his aide since the beginning of this mess. Good morning, Admiral, Joe said cheerfully, but somewhat insincerely.

Mornin, Joe. Our boys make it to the Virginia? Admiral Goettleman asked, chewing his final bite of powdered eggs. They will shortly, sir. The radio room reports that they are over the Pacific and zeroing in on Virginias beacon now. I wouldnt be an admiral if I didnt worry about the weather. The helo reporting any bad chop?

No, sir, smooth waters, good air. Got lucky today, I suppose. Were going to need to save some of that luck. Hourglass has a long way to float.

Im deeply concerned at how all this is going to play out. Despite that Ive asked you a hundred times, what are your thoughts? Ground truth, no bullshit. Admiral, theyll need to get there first.

Assuming they survive the transit to Pearl, the Kunia operation in Hawaii, and the long transit to Chinese waters, the worst will still be in front of them. The lights are out around the world and weve received no communications from any of the Chinese Military Regions since last winter.

The country has gone dark. We dont have the HF radio operators to monitor the band. We could have missed their transmission a dozen times and not known.

Were short on Chinese linguists. If our people did receive their transmission, we have maybe five folks onboard that could interpret. Lets say its a given that the team makes it across the Pacific to the Bohai and up the 8. Shattered Hourglass river. Then what? You know how bad it is in the continental United States.

We had maybe three hundred twenty million people a year ago. Kinetic operations up to this point have attrited some creatures, but the nukes didnt exactly help the cause. Listening to Joes commentary, Admiral Goettleman went back in time for a moment, to the decision to nuke the population centers. At the time, even he had agreed with that decision. From the bridge of his ship, he had heard the cheers from the crew as the nighttime fireballs lit the sky and rocked the targeted coastal cities.

Hell, hed clapped and yelled, too. The great mushroom plumes differed vastly from old nuclear-testing stock footage. All colors of the rainbow coursed through the pillar below the massive mushroom cap. Great blue lightning beamed and zapped throughout the thrown vertical wall of city debris, dust, and human remains.

Hows our research into the New Orleans specimens progressing? Well, sir, you read what happened on the Cutter Reliance. The transmissions originated after the detonations occurred. All intelligence indicates that those bastards are just about unstoppable in moderate numbers.

Higher cognitive function, agility, speed. Its not only their bite or scratch that can kill youits the radiation from those high-yield nukes shooting from their corpses.

The Causeway and Downtown specimens are no different. I was hoping for a little good news, you know, Goettleman said, almost sadly. We still have propulsion, fresh water, and some food, sir.

The admiral forced a smile. I guess thats something.

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Joe took a drink and coughed, saying, The men on that chopper getting ready to bungee into the drink dont even know what theyre going after. They soon will.

The intelligence officer on Virginia will see to that. Sir, I know weve discussed this but my stance has not changed. Telling them everything could complicate things on some level.

Patient Zero, if they can even locate it, may not be worth retrieving to them. They may perceive it as a waste of time and resources. Bourne Joe, Patient Zero may be the only key to unraveling this mess. Im willing to sacrifice a multi-billion-dollar sub and every man on it for a chance at that. Joe walked over to the bar and poured himself another finger. Weve had tech for seventy years with no vast leaps forward except maybe solid state, some low observability, primitive maglev, and lasers.

It took decades to reverse engineer our laughable and oversized jury-rigged versions. Besides, what good is the tech against seven billion walking predators? Those are compelling points, but what else is there? Who you got back there with you anyway? The rider frowned at the old man. They dont tell you anything, do they? The Arab-looking guy is a friend of mine.

SOCOM, hmm? Yeah, a few frogs and such. Im not sure I can tell you much more than that and to be honest, I dont know much more anyway. I understand, you wanna keep the old man in the dark. No, its not that, its. Im kidding, no worries. I had to keep a secret or two in my day.

A few more rotor-thumping minutes passed before the pilot pointed his wrinkled finger forward to the horizon and said, Theres the Pacific. The coords to the Virginia are on that kneeboard card. Mind punching them into the inertials? Not a problem. Bourne After the coordinates were entered, the pilot altered course a few degrees starboard and maintained heading.

Whats your name, son? My friend back there calls me Kilroy, Kil for short. Whats yours? Im Sam. Pleasure to meet you, even though this may be the first and last time. Well, Sam, you sure know how to keep spirits high.

Sam reached up, tapped the glass on the upper gauge panel, and said, You know the risks, Kilroy. There aint no tellin where youre goin in your little black submarine. Wherever it is, you can bet it will be just as dangerous as right below us. There aint no safe zones anywhere. There were others, but those had been anchored offshore months ago, abandoned. One carrier was even reserved as a floating nuclear power plant, providing gigawatts of electricity to withering military island outposts and some remote coastal airstrips.

A small contingent of power plant engineers was all that remained of her former fivethousand-sailor crew. Not all of these behemoths were accounted for. A handful of the steel giants had been trapped overseas when the alarms sounded and society collapsed. In the beginning, there was blame to cast and throw about like blacksmith anvilsthat is, while men still lived to cast it.

There was chatter via classified cables that the USS Ronald Reagan had been brought down by simultaneous attacks from several North Korean diesel submarines in the days just after the anomaly. No one really knew for sure. Visual observers from a nearby American destroyer reported that the undead creatures swarmed her decksshe was now a floating mausoleum and would remain so until a rogue wave or super typhoon sent her down to Poseidon.

Some of the surviving crews from the remaining carriers had been recovered and consolidated onboard the USS George Washington, still on active service in the Gulf of Mexico.

The U. Bourne The twenty-thousand-ton USS George Washington cut through the Gulf waters, maintaining a patrol box ten miles off the infested Panamanian coastline. The Continuity of Government still remained, its primary orders clear and concise. Recover Patient Zero by any means necessary. Admiral Goettleman, Task Force Hourglass commander and acting chief of naval operations, sat in his stateroom eating breakfast, watching the ships cable TV network.

A loop of The Final Countdown had been playing over and over again for the past week. Hed need to call someone about that, or maybe hed let it go. Perhaps the crew enjoys watching an aircraft carrier travel back in time with the opportunity to change history. A loud knock on his door signaled Joe Maurer, a CIA case officer and his aide since the beginning of this mess. Good morning, Admiral, Joe said cheerfully, but somewhat insincerely.

Mornin, Joe. Our boys make it to the Virginia? Admiral Goettleman asked, chewing his final bite of powdered eggs. They will shortly, sir. The radio room reports that they are over the Pacific and zeroing in on Virginias beacon now. I wouldnt be an admiral if I didnt worry about the weather. The helo reporting any bad chop? No, sir, smooth waters, good air. Got lucky today, I suppose. Were going to need to save some of that luck. Hourglass has a long way to float. Im deeply concerned at how all this is going to play out.

Despite that Ive asked you a hundred times, what are your thoughts? Ground truth, no bullshit. Admiral, theyll need to get there first. Assuming they survive the transit to Pearl, the Kunia operation in Hawaii, and the long transit to Chinese waters, the worst will still be in front of them. The lights are out around the world and weve received no communications from any of the Chinese Military Regions since last winter.

The country has gone dark. We dont have the HF radio operators to monitor the band. We could have missed their transmission a dozen times and not known. Were short on Chinese linguists. If our people did receive their transmission, we have maybe five folks onboard that could interpret. Lets say its a given that the team makes it across the Pacific to the Bohai and up the 8 Day by Day Armageddon: Shattered Hourglass river.

Then what? You know how bad it is in the continental United States. We had maybe three hundred twenty million people a year ago. Kinetic operations up to this point have attrited some creatures, but the nukes didnt exactly help the cause. Listening to Joes commentary, Admiral Goettleman went back in time for a moment, to the decision to nuke the population centers. At the time, even he had agreed with that decision.

From the bridge of his ship, he had heard the cheers from the crew as the nighttime fireballs lit the sky and rocked the targeted coastal cities. Hell, hed clapped and yelled, too.

The great mushroom plumes differed vastly from old nuclear-testing stock footage. All colors of the rainbow coursed through the pillar below the massive mushroom cap. Great blue lightning beamed and zapped throughout the thrown vertical wall of city debris, dust, and human remains.

Hows our research into the New Orleans specimens progressing? Well, sir, you read what happened on the Cutter Reliance. The transmissions originated after the detonations occurred. All intelligence indicates that those bastards are just about unstoppable in moderate numbers. Higher cognitive function, agility, speed. Its not only their bite or scratch that can kill youits the radiation from those high-yield nukes shooting from their corpses. The Causeway and Downtown specimens are no different.

I was hoping for a little good news, you know, Goettleman said, almost sadly. We still have propulsion, fresh water, and some food, sir. The admiral forced a smile. I guess thats something.

Joe took a drink and coughed, saying, The men on that chopper getting ready to bungee into the drink dont even know what theyre going after. They soon will. The intelligence officer on Virginia will see to that. Sir, I know weve discussed this but my stance has not changed. Telling them everything could complicate things on some level. Patient Zero, if they can even locate it, may not be worth retrieving to them. They may perceive it as a waste of time and resources.

Bourne Joe, Patient Zero may be the only key to unraveling this mess. Im willing to sacrifice a multi-billion-dollar sub and every man on it for a chance at that. Joe walked over to the bar and poured himself another finger. Weve had tech for seventy years with no vast leaps forward except maybe solid state, some low observability, primitive maglev, and lasers. It took decades to reverse engineer our laughable and oversized jury-rigged versions. Besides, what good is the tech against seven billion walking predators?

Those are compelling points, but what else is there? Admiral, we could gather survivors and head for an island. Secure it and live out our days at least a little safer than we are here. Abandon the U. Leave it for those creatures? Sir, with all due respect, there is nothing left on the mainland but millions of those things. Many are radiated to the point of a zero decomposition rate. Even if none of them were exposed to the radiation, the analysts predict theyd still walk around for another ten years or more and be a threat for even longer than that.

There is truly no guess on how long they might last. Some are saying thirty years or more. The admiral looked through Joe to the wall behind him. He appeared to be in a trance repeating to himself. Thirty years. Thirty years, my God. Joe continued: Unless we launch a coordinated pincer assault on both coasts and give em what for with every man, woman, and able child, we will not take back the continental United States anytime soon, if ever.

Shattered Hourglass

So thats it. We are dealing with something that not only infects the dead, but the living as well. We all have it. The only humans left not carriers of the anomaly are the poor bastards on the ISS.

We havent received burst comms from the station in weeks. The admirals eyes moved away from Joe to a lit corner of his cabin, where a very old painting of General George Washington prominently hung on the bulkhead. What would General Washington do? Probably defend Mount Vernon by cutting, shooting, blasting, and cursing. Fisticuffs, if it came to that. Exactly, my boy.

The men stared at the light near the cargo door, tugging at their chute straps, willing the light to turn steady. They sucked on pure oxygen through the aircrafts O2 system, attempting to remove nitrogen from their blood and maybe avoid potentially deadly hypoxia. They were five minutes out. The men were not strangers to jumping out of airplanes, but there was something to be said about doing it in the cold dark of night, twenty-two thousand feet over an infested area, with no ground or close air support.

You just never convinced yourself that it was a good or worthwhile endeavor. Every mans extremities shook so hard they could barely connect to the static line. It wasnt the jump; it was what happened after their feet, knees, ass, back, and then shoulders absorbed the impact of their twenty-foot-persecond descent after hitting the ground. Many of their comrades had completed similar essential jumps to retrieve items or information deemed crucial to the survival of the remaining U.

Some jumpers extracted items like insulin formulas, manuals, and machinery; some were sent into big-box hardware stores looking for lithium batterypowered hand tools. Some went into abandoned fields.

Some landed on the roofs of buildings in high-density infested areas. Many jumped into the waiting arms of the dead or incurred a simple broken leg on impactforcing them to take homemade suicide capsules, pills that didnt always work as intended. According to airborne infrared cameras, many were still alive 11 J. Bourne when the creatures found them, although stunned and slowed by the poison.

Better not to think about that sometimes. His fellow operators called him Doc. A year ago he was eating sand and 7. That was before the worldwide troop recall. Only 35 percent of the military forces spread across the globe made it back to the mainland before things went stupid.

See a Problem?

They fought hellishly south across Pakistan to the Arabian Sea, where they caught a ride back stateside onboard the supply ship USNS Pecos waiting offshore. It was a long swim that day. Doc sat swinging on a cargo net near Billy Boy and the C shitter curtain. Wearing a puke-green David Clark headset, he listened to the pilot chatter up front.Ground truth, no bullshit.

He immediately recovered, scanned for threats, and unhooked from his chute. Halfway through Beyond Exile, our protagonist suffers a catastrophic helicopter crash hundreds of miles north of the facility.

More to come as I read. Bourne did not want to finish the book put it away and come back later, but to just rush the ending, shame on you. Long, boring story. Explain a little more about the anomaly, how the society worked more after the inclusion zone, the science behind what made the inclusion zone, on and on.

It was a long swim that day.