Price: $4.79 (eBook)
And don't forget to check out the novel that started it all, 2006's 'DESOLATION ISLAND', on sale at Amazon.com, Fictionwise.com and other on-line retailers.
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A remote, snowed-in rehab facility for superheroes gone bad. A fiery plane crash. A deadly, bloodthirsty entity on a single-minded mission of mass slaughter. Welcome to The Jasper Ridge Outpost, where recovery has become secondary to survival.
WELCOME TO THE JASPER RIDGE OUTPOST:
Three years since surviving the horrors of Desolation Island, second-tier superhero Ben Thomason, AKA Force, is suspended from his position as Chief Corrections officer at the rebuilt Island penitentiary after a drunken brawl with several disgruntled subordinates. Court ordered to attend anger management courses, Ben is transported to the Jasper Outpost, a government funded rehab center specializing in soothing the bruised, battered, and sometimes brittle egos of those within the hero trade.
Joined by a trio of specially endowed but equally troubled teammates, to include the military’s first hybrid human/cybernetic soldier known as Scar, a hulking, female brute cursed with multi-personality disorder named Jekyll-ene and Déjà vu, a time-bending enigma with a deadly secret, Ben soon finds the tranquil settings of the isolated Outpost anything but.
As counseling commences and a blizzard of record proportions cloaks the surrounding Oregonian mountain ranges, a fiery bolt pierces the snow-filled skies, crash-landing directly between the tiny twin cities of Jasper and Boulder Valley.
From the burning wreckage of this downed craft an unimaginable evil will crawl; a mutated monstrosity whose sole reason for existence is the systematic termination of all those unfortunate enough to cross its bloodthirsty path.
Soon, freshly fallen snow and hardened ice caps will stain a dark shade of crimson from the slaughter of innocents, the only thing standing in the way of total annihilation a handful of emotionally scarred, anti-social burnouts once heralded for their unique powers and heroic ways.
Accompanied by a young counselor self-appointed to chronicle the horrific events as they unfold, the newly formed team of disgruntled misfits soon find themselves in the familiar role of protector for a group of terrified locals transported to the Post for safety.
Forced into a desperate last stand atop the frigid grounds of the Jasper Ridge Outpost, Ben Thomason, infamous as much for his un-PC rants and drunken rages as the wrecking-ball sized fists that are his trademark, will discover that survival atop this particular island isn’t nearly as probable.
On sale at Double-Dragon Publishing in both ebook and paperback versions and at Amazon.com in Kindle format. Also available at Fictionwise.com and other on-line retailers.
Raging Bull/Probationary Conditions
“Honestly, Chief, I…think you might’ve had enough. What say you head on back to the barracks and take in a ballgame? I hear the Bears ‘n Packers are about to tee it up on that there frozen tundra…” the bartender chided good-naturedly, though being extra cautious as to keep several feet of space between himself and the bar.
“Appreciate the concern, Pete…it certainly does ya justice,” came the gruff reply, only slightly slurred, “now quit playin’ nursemaid and pour me another Jack and Coke. Hell, on second thought, hold the Cola. I hear all that carbonation turns the gut-linin’ into Swiss cheese.”
“You’re the boss,” the bartender replied sheepishly, dispensing a double-shot over freshly placed ice while eyeing three new arrivals who had sauntered up so quietly as if to purposely catch his client off-guard.
“Get something for you gentlemen?”
The first man, and easily largest in stature of the trio, waived him off with a gloved hand, the overhead strobe lights reflecting off diamond gauntlets. The other two backed away several steps and struck textbook ‘at ease’ poses. Adorned with matching crew cuts, stocky, muscular physiques and equally sour dispositions, both were dressed in identical uniform garb complete with silver insignia names tags sewn above the right pockets and spit-polished steel-toed boots.
“No thank you, good sir. Unlike some present, true professionals such as my companions and I abide by the set rules of the facility, most notably the one damning the consumption of alcoholic beverages while on duty.”
Purposely ignoring the statement while looking past the speaker, the man emptied his glass in two quick gulps before sliding it approximately half-way down the bar in the bartender’s general direction.
“There ya go, Pete. How’s about a Southern Comfort Breeze this time around…and oh yeah…omit the breeze.”
Wiping the building fop-sweat from his forehead with a bare forearm, the bartender flinched as though he’d been slapped across the backside with a drenched, tightly-wound towel.
“Uh…um…Chief, I don’t think I…can...I mean…not while…um….”
“See to your other customers, Mister Chapman,” the spokesman for the newest arrivals announced calmly, taking the seat directly to the left of the man previously being served, “we’ll take care of the Chief here. Make sure he gets back to the barracks without harming either himself or anyone else along the way. Isn’t that right, Chief Thomason?”
“Tell ya what, blockhead,” Ben Thomason snarled, intertwining his freakishly oversized fingers and applying just enough pressure in order for the explosive retort of cracking knuckles to drown out all surrounding sound, to include the pop music tune blaring overhead.
“I’ve got a better notion. How’s about you and the butt-munch twins there mind your own P’s and Q’s and leave your superior officer to his mid-day meditation? I’ll only ask once, that is…I’ll only ask once…politely.”
The other man scooted closer, leaning down and in until his cowl-covered visage was mere inches from Ben Thomason’s left ear.
“Now, Chief, there’s no reason for baseless name-calling or physical threats. We’re just…concerned for your well-being. Then again, there is the matter of the non-professional behavior on display for all…shall we say, lower-ranking patrons to see. Not exactly the example we want to set, now is it?”
Snorting aloud, Ben then tossed his head back and howled in baying coyote fashion, causing the other man to flinch as if warding off an impending slap.
“Concerned for my well-being? I’d lay ten to one you’ve had me on electronic-report since strollin’ into the bar. Ya really outta think about officially changin’ that hero moniker from Eighth Degree to Narc-Man or maybe Captain Squeal? Be a helluva lot more accurate. Now, for the last time…I’m requestin’…no, make that a di-rect order…step away and depart my personal space.”
In response, the twin brutes visibly tensed while the larger man hardly twitched, the corners of his mouth upturning ever-so-slightly in sardonic glee.
“What exactly are you proposing, Chief?”
“ I’m proposin’ you adhere to a superiors command or prep for pain, asshole. Your choice…just remember while yer suckin’ peas and carrots from a straw that I gave ya one. Same goes for Frick and Frack standin’ back there sniffin’ your shorts.”