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Terry L Vinson

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· Terry Vinson's Sci-Fi/Thriller 'GAUNTLET' now on sale!

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DESOLATION Island
by Terry L Vinson   


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Books by Terry L Vinson     View all 23
· Gauntlet
· In Sheep's Clothing
· The Purgatory Inn


Category: 

Action/Thriller

Publisher:  Double Dragon Publishing ISBN-10:  1554043751 Type:  Fiction
Pages: 

344

Copyright:  July 26, 2006 ISBN-13:  9781554043750


Price: $4.79 (eBook)
Download to your Kindle (eBook)
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Double Dragon Publishing
Fictionwise
Graven Imagery

Atop a prison island teaming with super-villains, one evil will dwarf all others. On this island, rescue isn’t an option.

A brief preview of life on 'the island':

Framed for a murder he didn’t commit, second-tier superhero Ben Thomason, known in the trades as ‘Desolation Outlaw’, is convicted and sentenced to life in prison at Eagle Island Detention Center, a Top Secret, billion dollar penitentiary that houses only the elite of super-villains and super-hero’s gone bad. Following the initial incarceration phase, he greets both old allies and enemies alike amid an inexplicable feeling of dread that looms atop the desolate island location like a toxic black cloud.

Set against a surreal backdrop filled with deadly mutants, vile alien entities and merciless madmen, the purest of all evils is slowly awakening just below the surface of the prison’s stringently controlled environment; an ancient being whose raw power dwarfs those of all assigned inmates combined.

As centuries-old mysteries unravel and shocking truths are unmasked, the imprisoned inhabitants and embittered staff of Eagle Isle are forced to ban together and pool their respective powers in order to survive the greatest threat of all, and from the most unlikely of sources. No man is an island, indeed, most notably a penal colony turned beachhead graveyard soon to be renamed ‘Desolation Island’…

DESOLATION ISLAND is Terry Lloyd Vinson’s homage to the Marvel comic book worlds he inhabited as a teen back in the seventies (Captain America, The Avengers, Iron Man, Daredevil, The Hulk, The Defenders, The X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man), though with a decidedly harder edge. Having served as creator/writer/editor and illustrator of his own home-drawn comic mag in the mid-seventies entitled ‘The Revenge Squad’, Vinson has incorporated many of the same superheroes and villains from the nearly 100 issues (usually 5-6 drawn pages in length) created in that time. His 2001 novel ‘SKELETAL REMAINS’ did in fact include a 30 page novella entitled ‘The Revenge Squad’. In addition, his 2005 horror/suspense collection 'Half Past the Witching Hour' also included a tale entitled '(Fall Of) The Sentinels' featuring several of the same characters. In fact, the two main characters of “Desolation Island” (Force, Marvella) are actually lifted from both the above-mentioned short stories. ‘

'Desolation Island’ is available from Double Dragon Publishing in ebook format, and from Lulu.com in the paperback version.  Amazon.com offers the Kindle edition. 

It is also on sale at such noted ebook sellers as Amazon.com, Fictionwise. com, the Ebook Mall (http://www.ebookmall.com/ebook/209603-ebook.htm) and Diesel ebooks.      




Excerpt

Location: Eagle Island Detention Center (Exact location unspecified)

“Welcome aboard, Benjamin,” the man announced in a cheery, wholly insincere tone, the high back leather chair swinging around gradually as if electronically controlled.

“Such formalities are tedious, I know, but are a necessary evil. I’m Charles V. Terry, the warden here at Eagle Isle.”

Benjamin felt the rounded end of a shock-stick dig into the pit of his back as he stumbled forward a step.

“Speak when spoken to, mister,” the guard stationed at his back whispered as the stick was then jabbed firmly between his shoulder blades.

“Might wanna call off your pet gorilla there, Warden, or you’re gonna end up payin’ him a shit-heap of disability pay.”

The Warden rose from behind the wide, metallic desktop and stood with his hands curled behind his back, displaying a thin smile while shaking his head slowly from side to side.

“You’re no longer on a street corner, Benjamin," he said, leaning back onto the edge of the desk while crossing his thickly muscled arms across an equally buffed chest, "I’m afraid carrying out such threats is no longer an option. Such possibilities ended the moment your transport landed.

As I’m required to tell all new arrivals, this can either be hard…or it can be even harder. It’s completely up to you.”

Sighing heavily, Benjamin locked his eyes onto the other mans and allowed his rage to subside through random thoughts not remotely associated with anyone or thing within the room he presently occupied. Scattered images filled his mind’s eye as his pulse calmed, the majority involving Leah and the beach home they’d once shared off the Mississippi coast. If even a portion of saneness was to be spared during the in-processing ritual at Eagle Island Detention Center, the identity of his mental savior was never in doubt. No denying the fact that Leah Chang was back in his life, if only as a static-stream holograph created out of sheer desperation.

“I suggest you drop the bad-ass malcontent persona right here and now, Benjamin. To use the vernacular, it just doesn’t fly. Waste of effort…waste of breath…waste of time. Now, let me lay down a few select ground rules.”

Ben had, of course, heard of Charles Terry, formerly known as ‘The Chief Justice’ during his spandex days in the mid-to-late seventies.

Unbeknownst to most, The man had been awarded the prestigious position as Eagle Isle’s head honcho following a yearlong interview process during which time over two-thousand applicants had been considered. During his hey-day roaming the crime-laden streets of D.C, Terry had wielded a fifty-pound iron ‘gavel’ to doll out justice to pre and post Vietnam era law breakers. One of that rare breed of superhero with no apparent superpowers, he’d been infamous for his gritty ‘by the book’, ‘cut no slack whatsoever’ approach to fighting crime, a credo that no doubt endeared him to those on the Eagle Isle hiring board. Now a quarter-century older and sporting a balding plate and grayish beard, the man nevertheless carried an air of intimidation with his bulky frame and authoritative demeanor. It was obvious he still spent some serious time in the weight room, and possessed the fierceness of a rabid pit-bull beneath an outwardly cool exterior.

“Go for it, Warden. I’m just tinglin’ with anticipation,” Ben whispered, hanging his head slightly as he felt his entire body rev down several notches. Despite the serrated cuffs cutting into his wrists and a similar discomfort at his bound ankles, he managed to manufacture a continuing stream of flash images with Leah at the forefront.

The Warden cleared his throat, ran a hand over his hairless scalp, then turned to return to the cushioned confines of his throne.

“The medical staff will brief you further during the cleansing phase, but I always make it a point to hit on key issues upon meeting any new arrivals,” he said, sitting down with a huff. A PC unit arose with a low hum from the center of the otherwise empty desktop, complete with a flat monitor and adjoined tower, along with a combination fax/printer and scanner unit.

“Let’s see here," the Warden mumbled while lightly tapping the keyboard, "You’d think I’d have the speech memorized by now. Then again, you are the first ‘new meat’ in a month or so, and we’ve had several recent updates from home base.”

Pushing his chair back, the Warden leaned back with a resounding sigh, his eyes darting back and forth from the glowing monitor to Ben. Eventually, his gaze locked on his newest charge even as his expression soured and his tone turned noticeably grim.

“Okay…the Reader’s Digest version then. Let’s disperse with the most obvious first, what say? Benjamin, there is no escape from Eagle Island Detention Center.

I’m not saying this to sound cocky or brash, simply stating the cold hard truth. Facts are facts. I take no credit for such an unprecedented, unblemished record. I’m simply minding the store. A multi-billion dollar store that essentially takes care of itself.

Since its inception as the Maximum of all Maximum security units, no one has even come close to departing this tiny sand-dune without expressed written consent. I know, it may sound like a cheap line from an old Alcatraz flick, but like I said…facts are facts.

Not to say it hasn’t been from a lack of attempts, you understand. Over the years I’ve seen everything tried from teleportation to cell alternation to just plain brute force. Take my word for it, Benjamin, Eagle Isle contains over two-hundred separate security measures, each especially designed to effectively offset whatever power our inmates possess or could possibly attain while on these grounds.

Eagle Island was built with specially endowed types such as yourself in mind. We’ve housed and presently house some of the most noted bad-asses of the last quarter century. Each individual case is carefully, meticulously studied, analyzed, and outlined before being assigned an applicable security risk.

For example, you have been assigned as a category ‘C’ security risk. We rate from A to E, depending on the power and…special endowment rating of each inmate.”

Leaning forward, the Warden again assaulted the keyboard with a lightning quick barrage of pounding keystrokes.

Meanwhile, Ben’s expression remained solemn even as he envisioned himself and Leah strolling along a sandy beach with a warm, gentle breeze slapping his face.

“Your personnel file lists you a strength rating of seven out of ten, meaning equal too or greater than twenty average men, plus the added risk those wrecking-ball sized mitts of yours create. Thus, without any type harnessing power, whether by electrical, chemical, or unknown origin, a cell constructed of titanium based alloy is all that’s required. In laymen’s terms, we match brute force with brute resistance. Attempting to punch your way out will result in nothing more than shattered exo-skeleton and an extended stay in the infirmary I wouldn’t suggest that, Benjamin. I hear the food is pretty lousy.”

“Appreciate the tip, Warden," Ben replied, looking up through hazy eyes, as if just awakened from a deep slumber, "Say, ya wouldn’t happen to have a shot or three of Jack Black handy, would ya? I’m parched.”

“Quiet, numb-nuts,” the guard growled, reaching up and over to tap Ben’s left shoulder with the shock-stick’s cool metallic edge.

Again leaning back with his hands propped atop his slick, shiny dome, Warden Terry’s robotic monologue continued unabated, as if lecturing a room full of inattentive students.

Meanwhile, Ben pulled Leah close, her sweet scent intoxicating as his hands pressed against the warm, smooth flesh of her lower back.

“The outer perimeter of the island is encased in a multi-layered laser screen created solely with disintegration in mind. The ‘flesh-mixer’, as its been dubbed by inmates and staff alike, was designed to effectively scramble human or mutant cell structure on contact, while allowing only the oxygen outside its transparent dome to successfully enter and/or exit. The few unfortunate individuals who failed to heed our warnings, and there’ve only been two such cases thus far, resembled something akin to ‘eggs over easy’ by the time the clean-up crew got to them. Not a pretty site, I must say.”

The PC unit slid back into the desk as the Warden leaned forward, propping his elbows on the cleared space where the keyboard had sat.

Meanwhile, Ben reached back and ran his fingers through the silky softness of Leah’s hair, which flowed over his hands, wrists and forearms in dark, billowy waves.

“Twenty-three hours of each day will be spent inside your assigned cell, while government regulations allow for one hour within the ‘Free Zone’, a specially designed space containing various exercise equipment, TV screens, and stereo equipment.

Since inmate movement is frowned upon for obvious security reasons, all personal grooming takes place within the cell sector as well, as specially constructed ‘self-cleansing units’ are placed in each individual cell. Their use, of course, is optional. One can freely choose to reek if he or she so desires.

In ‘prison terms’, Benjamin, all inmates housed on Eagle Isle are placed in permanent Admin Segregation from day one. There is no ‘general population’ here, due to the obvious conflicts that would assuredly arise between warring factions of inmates. Let’s face it; you’re libel to come face to face with one of your deadliest former enemies, no doubt instigating a brawl-type scenario I have neither the time nor available staff to properly quell.

Segregation also eliminates many of the daily issues dealt with on a state and federal level, such as the forming of cliques or the ever-popular rumor mill that serves as a catalyst for fictional hearsay both within the inmate population and the working staff. Communication between inmates is relatively nil, as it should be That, along with the lack of drug and sexual abuse so commonplace in 21st Century penal units, is the most substantial pro connected to such a special facility as the EIDC. There are cons, as well, but too few to mention without sounding….well, a bit petty.”

“Yeah, I guess not havin’ to worry about super-powered rump-humpers is a load off one’s mind, at that,” Ben responded through glassy eyes, now sharing a toast of sparkling red wine with Leah as a picturesque waterfall cascaded off of a jagged mountainside in the background.

“One more time, tough guy, and I’ll light you up like a neon sign,” the guard whispered harshly.

As before, the Warden seemed oblivious to all other banter save his own.

“There is no visitation allowed here, thus eliminating still another security headache. There is no dining hall; no inmate cafeteria to speak of. Three complete meals, for those inmates who require regular nourishment, are allowed per day at seven AM, twelve noon, and six PM. These FDA approved dishes are served within the inmate’s cell via computerized teleportation. Inmates have exactly ten minutes to consume each meal before re-teleportation procedures commence.

Behavioral problems, the few that do surface now and again, are handled with the overall security of the site in mind, thus such trite issues as political correctness or legal consequences are not an issue. One warning per customer, Ben," he paused, lifting his right hand and extending the forefinger into the air, "Behave yourself. Consider the consequences of your actions before you act. Any pain inflicted will be of your own making. As I stated, this is the first and final warning on such childish matters.”

The Warden stood up, yawning as he strolled over to a nearby book shelf, where he casually filled a large brown mug with steaming black coffee.

“Bottom line, Benjamin…this is your home now. The last place you’ll ever call home. You’ll depart Eagle Island in a sealed casket on whatever date the Good Lord has chosen. Complaining won’t change that. Harming yourself or forcing my hand to harm you won’t change that. As I tell all new arrivals, whether they be of human or synthetic origin, mutant or extraterrestrial, make the best of what you have. And what you have…is time. Embrace meditation. Embrace the power of the written word. Embrace solitude, for it is all you truly have left.”

After a series of noisy slurps, the Warden stepped forward until the tips of his black dress boots sit mere inches from the site-issued flip-flops adorning Ben’s size thirteen feet.

Although the two men stood approximately the same height, Ben’s massive girth dwarfed the other man in decisive fashion.

“One final thing, Benjamin. You won’t be seeing me again, at least, not on a one-on-one, face-to-face basis. I’m an administrator, not the head bull. The Guardsman is my CO in charge. You’ll be dealing with him exclusively. Now, I’m required to ask, so please bear with me,’ he sighed heavily, ‘Benjamin Thomason, Do you understand the policies and procedures as I’ve explained them to you?”

Cocking his head slightly to the left, Ben displayed a look of comic befuddlement, his eyes blinking rapidly and his mouth hanging agape.

“Oh, sorry Warden. You say somethin’? Afraid I might’a been driftin’…”

“I’ll…take that as a yes then,” the Warden replied in a tight-lipped whisper, ‘….and a final welcome to Eagle Island, Mr. Outlaw, where I’m afraid you will learn the true meaning of Desolation.”

Feigning shock, Ben shot the other man a playful wink just as the CO reached forward and parked the edge of the shock-stick against the base of his neck.

“Nice play on words, Warden. A real ‘solitary confinement’ gem, that was. Nice to know the head cheese is such a fun-lovin’ card.”

“Take him to the infirmary for cleansing,’ the Warden concluded, turning back towards his desk, ‘his T-Walled suite is prepped on D-Block.”

“You heard the man,’ the CO growled, pulling Ben along by the thumb-cuffs that pinned his hands to the pit of his back, ‘its bath-time for bad-ass.”

“Nothin’ kinky now, pal, not ‘til we’re o-fficialy engaged,” Ben replied, turning slowly as to not tangle his feet from the limited movement the leg-irons provided.

Professional Reviews
Marvel Comics on 'Steroids'....
Place a bunch of villains in a cellblock and you may have a riot. Now place a bunch of villains with super powers, plus one mighty pissed off innocent hero in the pot and you get Terry L. Vinson’s “Desolation Island”.

The book begins with our main and lovable character Ben Thomason reminiscing with an old friend about the good ol’ days when ass whipping and chasing villains was an ‘honorable’ job to have. As the conversation progresses, you experience his views on how the system has changed…but more than that you find out Ben is hiding out, framed for a murder he didn’t commit.

Immediately within several pages, a reader is thrust into a super fight…and I mean super strength fight with an unsuspecting foe for Ben.

Defeated, enraged, and yet framed for another murder, he is now facing life at Desolation Island, the government’s top secret ‘Alcatrez’ for super villains. This enclosure meets every single possible counter measure to fight the gifts these prisoners possess…but does it?

Desolation Island was built on a secret plan to host a very mysterious entity, which only a few handpicked were privy to. Determined to unravel and discover the secret of this entity, a small squad of specialists enter this fortress. In a strange turn of events, Ben will be thrust for the fight of his life alongside some of his past friends and foes but more importantly, beside the gal he shunned not long ago.

Terry brings Desolation Island to life with his individual character profiles, and one can’t help but fall in love with Ben’s egotistical, macho and sarcastic personae. The whole book was a “Marvel’ delight to read and very easy to visualize as a movie. For those who love X-men, you’ll truly enjoy this Great Read.


Lea Schizas
THE MUSE BOOK REVIEWS


Professional Review II:

Entertaining Actioner!!!

Review by Blue Tyson/SuperReader.com

The main character in this book is a low rent hero existing in the corners of the Marvel Universe, it appears. As references are made to various major Marvel heroes and villains, but absolutely none of them appair.

Ben Thomason is a superstrong regenerator, with hands that put Rennie from Doc Savage to shame. He kills another 'hero', of the rapper variety, and being a cracker himself, apparently is hung out to dry, even though it is accidental.

He goes on the lam, and a former partner tracks him down and turns him in. He ends up in a secret supervillain facility no-one knows about.

Here be monsters, is the rest of it, in the Cthulhu sense.

A government research team, babysat by two forcefield wielding, flying super types, naturally enough an ex-girlfriend of the main character, and an enemy who helped shaft him and sell him down the river, is bringing an alien artefact for storage at the prison site!

Things deteriorate rapidly from there, in an action/adventure thriller sense.

Entertaining book, and the prisoners are all segregated completely, so no Daredevil/Punisher type prison antics happen.

*** (3 Stars) out of ***** (5 Stars)


Entertaining Actioner!
The main character in this book is a low rent hero existing in the corners of the Marvel Universe, it appears. As references are made to various major Marvel heroes and villains, but absolutely none of them appair.

Ben Thomason is a superstrong regenerator, with hands that put Rennie from Doc Savage to shame. He kills another 'hero', of the rapper variety, and being a cracker himself, apparently is hung out to dry, even though it is accidental.

He goes on the lam, and a former partner tracks him down and turns him in. He ends up in a secret supervillain facility no-one knows about.

Here be monsters, is the rest of it, in the Cthulhu sense.

A government research team, babysat by two forcefield wielding, flying super types, naturally enough an ex-girlfriend of the main character, and an enemy who helped shaft him and sell him down the river, is bringing an alien artefact for storage at the prison site!

Things deteriorate rapidly from there, in an action/adventure thriller sense.

Entertaining book, and the prisoners are all segregated completely, so no Daredevil/Punisher type prison antics happen.

*** (3 Stars) out of ***** (5 Stars)


Review By Blue Tyson/Super Reader.com



Reader Reviews for "DESOLATION Island"


Reviewed by Doug Boren 5/6/2009
Action packed excursion into a world of super powered beings!

As a long time fan of Mr. Vinson’s work, I was already familiar with some of the characters that populate this thriller. Two of his previous works, Skeletal Remains and Half Past the Witching Hour included novellas featuring super powered heroes like Force, Marvella, Mystic, Dark Claw, Johnny Reb, and others. In a way, it was like reacquainting oneself with old friends.

This full length novel gives these larger than life figures room to really grow, and show their stuff. In a world where extraterrestrials are given no more than a nonchalant thought than a super powered man or woman, almost anything can, and does, happen.

This is a story of a special place, extraordinarily equipped to handle extraordinary super beings. No matter what super power they may possess, the detention center of Eagle Island is impervious to whatever forces are thrown at it. It is here, that the inmates, whether friend or foe, must unite for the mere possibility of survival when an ancient power comes to life that threatens all living things. Can former enemies learn to trust each other long enough? Who will betray them, and surprise all at the end?

This is very well written with hard hitting dialog, grisly description, and edge of your seat page turning action that we have come to expect from Terry Vinson. For anyone who was weaned on Marvel Comic super heroes, this is a must read!
Reviewed by Ingeborg von Finsterwalde 7/2/2008
What a great imaginanation, this books sounds like a must read!

Ingeborg
Reviewed by jeff crutchfield (Reader) 12/11/2006
Great Read!! It's like going back to my comic book days except on a grand scale. Ben Thomason is a great character, flaws and all. I hope we get more from Terry on him!! Keep them coming, Terry!
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 7/29/2006
Also being a huge fan of those Marvel Super Heroes, this sounds like a fascinating book, Terry.
Reviewed by Chrissy McVay 7/28/2006
Congratulations on your new book, Terry!

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Books by
Terry L Vinson



Gauntlet

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In Sheep's Clothing

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