Last year we wrote about Liberty Island, a publishing house created by longtime industry executive Adam Bellow to help independent authors see their conservative and libertarian-themed fiction titles come to life. The broader mission of the company as we noted is to help foster the right-oriented counterculture, in an effort to compete against the left in the war of ideas.
The fruits of the efforts of Liberty Island are beginning to come to fruition, with one of its new titles Roy Griffis' "The Big Bang," a post-apocalyptic thriller in which America is under attack by an unholy alliance of jihadists and the Communist Chinese, and a man known as "Lonesome George" rises from the ashes to lead the resistance.
Below is a Blaze Books exclusive excerpt from the book for your reading pleasure:
[sharequote align="center"]“I rode with President Bush, and a bunch of you bastards got an express ticket to Allah..."[/sharequote]
A hooded man carrying a sword approached the kid. Whistler couldn’t figure it out. Back when there was a local government, his county had a hell of a time getting people to show up for jury duty. Yet, somehow, the Mullahs never had any problem recruiting Soldiers of Allah, brave lads all, who were happy to chop the head off a defenseless human being.
The kid…ah, the MinuteMen had said his name, but there had been so many names, Whistler lost track of them. He remembered the boy, though. The Apache Scout was how his memory was stored in Whistler’s mind. The Apache Scout looked up at the approaching executioner, then spat on the ground at the Mullah’s feet. He shouted something, and even though two other Soldiers of Allah were on either side of him, he shrugged them off like a bull shaking a rat from its haunches and climbed to his feet. The Scout said something very clearly, directly to the Mullahs.
Of course, the Mullahs had killed the audio, but the MinuteMen had gotten lip readers on the video. Even now, Whistler could hear the slight Texas accent of the female American who relayed the Scout’s words. “I rode with President Bush, and a bunch of you bastards got an express ticket to Allah. Let me show you how an American dies, you pigs.”
The Scout turned and faced his executioner. He spat again and contemptuously turned his back to the man with the sword.
Whistler reckoned Lonesome George had seen too many of his men die that way. It didn’t stop him, but it cost him. George’s hair was dead white now, at least in the last picture Whistler had seen.
Vibrations under his feet pulled Whistler back to the present, rumbling through the road, through the buildings. Once they would have been lost in the flurry of pounding commuter traffic. Now the vibrations were solitary, distinctive; there was no competition from other automobiles.
Then he could smell them. Not the soldiers, although on a warm day you could always smell the Yemeni recruits. They hadn’t gotten used to the abundance of running water in the larger cities, and still relied on traditional desert methods of hygiene (or the lack thereof). No, what Whistler smelled was the diesel. Straight-up, glow-plug burnin’, dead dinosaur juice. That was almost always the tip-off. Resistance machines used bio-diesel; usually they smelled like deep fryers. It was a hell of a thing to be in the middle of a fire fight, a s**t-storm of blood and bullets, and find yourself briefly above it all, musing, “God damn, I miss McDonalds’ fries.”
Now he was fully in the moment. His heart was speeding up. It would get that way just before the first salvo, beating so hard he would get light-headed. Whistler forced himself to breathe.
The ones who lived…they didn’t think about what they were going to do after the fight. They didn’t think about families or women or food. They cut the cord that tied them to a future. They’d learned those thoughts killed. Those thoughts made you second-guess your training, question yourself. Thinking about that woman, or remembering how your buddy looked after he’d taken a round in the face (dead people don’t look real, it was the weirdest thing); thinking about anything except what you had to do turned your movements into a jerky stutter of hesitation. Then, you’d be the one people would remember later, remember how the grenade had shredded you into carnitas.
Ahead of Whistler, down the road, the truck slowed as it came through the canyon of two- and three-story buildings. While the Mullahs and the Caliban lived in the Prophet’s Paradise, moving troops and eradicating cities with a swipe of a mouse cursor, their boys on the ground quickly lost their belief in their own invincibility.
The Yemenis learned the hard way, but they learned quick. The truck, a seven-ton freightliner hauling booty from the ruins of Las Vegas, had 50-cal rifles mounted on top, one each at the front and rear of the trailer. Whistler guessed the least senior of the Yemenis was up there with the raw recruits at the gun mounts. The Americans had quickly made it a practice to snipe the older soldiers. “No sense in letting them school the new guys,” was the way it had been put to Whistler.
So the senior staffers, the sergeants, were probably in the cab of the semi, encased in armor plating. Same with the troop carrier that followed it…gun-fodder recruits, counting their seventy-two virgins on still un-calloused fingers, riding in the back of the Humvee, while the more experienced, salty dogs sat up front, armored in good old American-made Kevlar, anxious to get through this detail alive.
Whistler bit down a curse. The Humvee should have been in front of the semi. The plan was to take out the Humvee. It would have blocked the freightliner and left the goods inside intact. More than one of Whistler’s men had loose teeth, a side effect of scurvy. They had hoped to find some fresh vegetables, maybe fruit in the trailer. Well, there was nothing for it now. The other boys would take out the Humvee. Or not.
Rolling carefully down the street, 50-cals tracking high at the tops of the building, the most likely site to launch an attack, the semi took its time. The road was clear well past the intersection. Anne, Whistler’s commander, had made sure of it. No mysterious bundles of garbage, no abandoned cars, no discarded toys or dolls. Nothing that would worry a nervous conscript far from home. Another city pacified for the Prophet.
The remains of a stoplight dangled over the intersection. The semi slowed even more, executed a kind of slither to get the 50-cals past the now useless hunks of metal.
The charger was wound. The Caliban still had enough going technically that they could scan frequencies and send out pulses across the spectrum. It wasn’t expensive, and they could get lucky…a pulse at the correct wavelength could set off a radio-controlled device, leading to disaster for a small resistance group like theirs. So here they were strictly old school. Slithering on their bellies like snakes, slipping through oily pipes filled with black turgid vileness, they’d run wires through drains right to the center of the intersection.
Whistler imagined the bastards in the Humvee must’ve been heaving a small sigh of relief; they’d gotten through the gauntlet of buildings without any of the pesky infidels shooting at them. They’d made the intersection. Nobody ambushes you at a clear four-way intersection. Too many routes of escape.
The Lord hates a coward, Whistler said to himself. He heard it in a kind of Irish accent. It was something from a movie he’d seen. He’d never known any heroes when he was growing up…if they were around, they’d kept it quiet. By the time Whistler found himself needing a hero, a model, he and everyone else he knew was running like their ass was on fire. So, he took whatever he could find that made sense. It made sense that the Lord hated a coward.
No time now for other thoughts.
Whistler snapped the contacts shut, sending a small spurt of electricity surging from the generator down the wires, through the cement pipes, and under the street to the basin where the shaped charges, bags of fertilizer, and other useful chemicals lay. If he’d had time, Whistler would have thought, Right back at ya.
It was a beautiful thing. The pitted asphalt lifted in four places, a bubble of yellow and green flame pushing it upward. Had Whistler been looking, he would have enjoyed the way the initial blast pushed the semi truck up, ripped it loose and sent it spinning completely over the top of the trailer, wheels hurling flaming melted rubber, to crash in front of the Humvee.