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The world has been overrun by a lethal infection, ravaged by a pathogen that leaves its victims locked half-way between life and death. New York, bombed to prevent the spread of the disease, has been reduced to radioactive rubble. A rescue squad enters the subway tunnels beneath Manhattan, searching for the one man who can create an antidote. The squad battle floodwaters, lethal radiation and infected, irradiated survivors as they race against the disease that threatens to extinguish the human race.
OUTPOST They took the job to escape the world. They didn’t expect the world to end. Kasker Rampart: a derelict refinery platform moored in the Arctic Ocean. A skeleton crew of fifteen fight boredom and despair as they wait for a relief ship to take them home. But the world beyond their frozen wasteland has gone to hell. Cities lie ravaged by a global pandemic. One by one TV channels die, replaced by silent wavebands. The Rampart crew are marooned. They must survive the long Arctic winter,
Lupe stared him out. He wound a noose and threw the rope over a branch. He stood on a rusted chair and tied off. He tugged the rope, made sure it was secure. He turned to David. ‘Anything you want to say?’ David stared at his feet. He stifled sobs, tried to regain composure. ‘Want a blindfold?’ No reply. ‘All right. Get on the chair.’ David climbed up. Galloway looped the noose over David’s head and tightened the coiled knot round his throat. ‘Sure you’ve got nothing to say?’ He didn’t
do I trip them off?’ Tombes picked up the backpack and unzipped a side-pocket. He took out a plastic box and unclipped the lid. Silver cylinders laid out like cigars. ‘Time pencils. Old school, but they work. Each tube holds a little glass capsule full of acid. When the time comes to start the clock, pinch the top of the tube with pliers. The glass will break. Acid will start to corrode a lead wire. When the wire burns through, it releases a spring-loaded percussion cap. Kaboom.’ ‘All right.’
He gripped the edge of the box. ‘No,’ he murmured. ‘Not again.’ He bit the heel of his palm, ground teeth into flesh, hoped pain would pierce onrushing dementia and anchor him in the present. ‘Please, not again.’ He climbed to his feet. He screwed his eyes tight shut. ‘I am Michael Means. I am Michael Means.’ He opened his eyes. Pristine tiles. Dead ceiling lights restored and blazing bright. Fenwick Street at rush hour. ‘Silent Night’ over the tannoy. Bustle and distant street noise.
Lupe gave him the implant. He hurled it into the flood water. She dressed the weeping hole in his skull. She washed her hands with bottled water. She gave him Tylenol. ‘How do you feel?’ ‘Better.’ ‘Really?’ ‘I’m not a robot. I don’t want to be controlled.’ Lupe checked her watch again. ‘Forty minutes since I spoke to Donnie. She ought to be here.’ ‘She’s pretty ill. She might need to stop for a rest. Got any more Tylenol?’ Lupe threw him the pot. He knocked back more pills. He picked up