A post-apocalyptic novel of survival in a surreal world of "Food Lords" led by a ruthless "Czar". A tale of one man's mission to capture the Czar.
Survivors of an asteroid devastated world emerge to find their survival now depends on a dangerous “Food Czar”- a ruthless killer who spent the dark days stockpiling food and medicine. Colonel Jake Westbrook has been asked to hunt down the Czar, locate his secret warehouses, and return him to Denver for trial. Although he has no experience at capturing criminals, he is the only one the President can trust. Suddenly thrust into a secret mission, he finds himself teamed with an odd group of companions including the beautiful FEMA agent Rebecca St. John and a cowboy named Bubba - sworn to kill the Czar. When Rebecca is kidnapped by the Czar, Jake realizes he has strong feelings for her and the group is thrust into a maddening manhunt across a surreal landscape encountering murder, treachery, and betrayal.
It was a warm rain coming straight down with a drenching vengeance. To one old man it was a spiritual cleansing he deemed long overdue. One that would wash the world of its transgressions, get its affairs in order and deliver the last rights. It was, after all, a task so monumental that it was beyond the capabilities of mere mortals.
People hurried along the busy sidewalk paying little attention to the old man standing on a wooden crate bellowing through a makeshift megaphone. Unaware of the coming cosmic upheaval, life went about its daily rituals. Shops opened on time, people had their coffee, time clocks were punched, deliveries were made, people died, and children were born.
It was nothing more than an old poster, but the makeshift megaphone magnified the old man’s voice over the constant din of the rain. Sneakers, as his homeless friends called him, frantically tried to get the attention of the busy sidewalk’s pedestrians.
He had been dubbed Sneakers only two weeks before when a rock star flung a pair of tennis shoes from the window of his speeding limousine hitting the old man squarely in the head. What seemed like an odd event didn’t seem odd at all to Sneakers. Only two nights ago, he had traded his black loafers for a bottle of wine. To the old man who had dulled his senses every day for the past fifteen years with cheap wine, it was a message, an omen, and a sign from a greater power. Shoes had come from out of the dark of night, so it was definitely a sign that he had been chosen. He wasn’t sure for what he had been chosen, but chosen he was—most definitely. That night, with his feet squeezed into sneakers a size too small, he prepared his bed of newspapers and found his calling in the headlines, which read: Asteroid Speeding Toward Earth: Scientists Say No Need for Alarm. Government Is in Control!
“I have talked with God, and he has provided me with shoes so that I can walk among you, and tell you the truth. You must repent your sins now! There is no time left—we will all be dead in a matter of hours. The science men can’t stop it; the government men can’t stop it; only God himself can stop it—and he won’t!” The old man was shouting through the rolled up poster. Rain had melted some of the poster’s red paint as if blood oozed from the bony fingers that gripped it.
“And why won’t he stop it, my friends?” he asked pointing his bony finger at them.
“Probably because he wants to smash the hell out of old fools like you, Sneakers,” the cop sneered as he stepped through the crowd and grabbed the old man by the arm pulling him off the crate. “I’ve warned you three times you old fool, and now you’re going downtown with me.”
The prophetic old man with the red-stained hands, and newly acquired tennis shoes, caught only a glint of the flash. Given time, he would have bellowed a triumphant, “I told you so, you fools!” But time for him was no longer. Their bodies were swept away with such force that only milliseconds later they were vaporized against the wall of the First National Bank tower three blocks down the street. Only milliseconds after that a shock wave of debris containing particles of everything found on earth, both manmade and natural, viciously ripped all the buildings from the earth. A searing wave of fire followed, melting everything in its path forming rivers of bizarre, unrecognizable chains of molten metal and flesh.
The chunk of asteroid that hit Pittsburgh was only one of several that would fall on earth that day. A couple larger and some were smaller, but they all hit with a force that literally shook the earth. Earthquakes, tsunamis, massive fires, and explosions became the catastrophe de jour. For weeks tornadic winds raced across the scorched, surrealistic landscape as if searching for anything that survived. They twisted and howled with deathly whispers of an old man saying, “The science men can’t stop it, the government men can’t stop it, and God won’t!”
At first, darkness was ubiquitous and declared war on the earth. It wielded the sword of attrition as its weapon against mankind. But man’s impenetrable shield of self-preservation battled back and the passing of each day served as a victory in the war.
Finally, weary of its battle, darkness weakened and gave way to silver threads of light, which pierced muddy skies in ostentatious displays of victory. Complete victory would come, and light would win over darkness as it has since the beginning of time. But, as always, the light would insidiously reveal the cruel and horrific cost of the battle.
Mankind would revel in its sanctimonious triumph over darkness, and oblivious to the final battle ahead. The time consuming art of survival would rob all conscious memory of a timeless enemy with the ability to wage the most hideous war of all: the one from within.