Doom Raven - Part 002

Doom Raven is a prequel story that explores the world of Death Sense. It chronicles the action, adventure, and zombie horror from patient zero all the way to the world as we find it at the start of Death Sense. Death Sense is set in the USA at a time when the zombie apocalypse already has half the world in its grip, while this prequel tells the story of how the contagion spread from the creation of the zombie virus in K Lab, a secret military research base in the south of England.

Death Sense is a novel about the constant battle against the end of the world brought on a tide of zombies, but there is also space for human relationships. People who would never otherwise meet are forced together, and their feelings are felt intensely, sometimes hate, and sometimes love. The book is also available at Kobo and at Smashwords.

Either start reading at Part 1, go to the Doom Raven page to start anywhere in the story, or dive right in here with Part 2. 

Doom Raven - Part 002

"Should we help?" Travis asked.
"Are you stupid?" was the only reply from Taffy.
But watching people struggle in a difficult situation without offering help went against the grain with Travis, and he found himself getting to his feet and emerging from hiding, almost without thinking about it. Taffy noticed out of the corner of his eye and his massive hand grabbed Travis by the neck of his cheap, blue T-shirt. Travis saw the sinewy muscle in Taffy's bulging forearm twitch as he was unceremoniously yanked back into hiding beside his boss.
"I said stay put, dummy," Taffy growled, "and that means you stay put, got it?"
"Yes, Chef," Travis said. Kitchen discipline had always been strictly enforced in the officers mess, and Travis knew a direct order when he heard it.
"If I let go, you aren't going to go pissing yourself, screaming, or running around, are you?" Taffy said.
"No, Chef," Travis instantly replied, putting as much conviction into the words as he could.
"Okay," Taffy said, with the slightest of nods, and turned his full attention back to the grim scene they were watching.
"Shoot him," Travis heard a man shout, who he assumed to be the male soldier.
"Sedate him," he heard a woman shout, who he assumed to be the doctor, but he still couldn't really see what was going on. All he could see were four kneeling people, struggling with a fifth man, who was mostly inside a body bag, but had his head and one arm out, and was fighting with the people crowding around him.
"I told you," he saw the female soldier say, "I already shot him, didn't I."
"Well fucking shoot him again," he heard her male colleague yell. Travis was starting to work out which voice went with which struggling figure.
"Okay, okay," he heard the female soldier say, as she disengaged from the melee on the ground and drew a pistol from a holster at her hip.
"Nobody is going to shoot anybody," the doctor yelled.
"For fuck's sake shoot him, Helen," the male soldier shouted.
"I can't get a clear shot," the female soldier shouted in reply.
The paramedic scrambled away, but the doctor was still struggling with her patient, as the male soldier was doing his best to hold him still.
"Get out of the way, doc," the male soldier growled, and headbutted her, causing her to stagger away in pain, her hand going to her nose.
With them out of the way, Travis could now clearly see that the male soldier was now struggling alone with the guy in the body bag, trying to keep him at arm's length. Helen fired twice, both hitting the body bag squarely in the center, around the area where the struggling man's heart would be.
"Can't you shoot straight?" the make soldier yelled. “He’s still moving.”
"You saw me shoot him. He must be on something," Helen yelled back. "I'm going for a head shot, like we do with terrorists."
"Okay," the male soldier yelled back, extending his arms, squinting, gritting his teeth, and trying even harder to keep the struggling, bagged figure away from him.
"What are you waiting for?" the male soldier asked after long seconds had passed.
"It's not easy to shoot somebody in the fucking face," Helen hissed back.
"I would do it for you but-" the male soldier's reply was cut off by the crack of a pistol shot. Then another, and finally a third before the man in the body bag stopped moving.
"What have you done?" the doctor said, to the soldier disentangling himself from the now dead man on the ground, still half concealed by the body bag. "You assaulted me, a doctor, a superior officer, and you just ordered an extrajudicial execution. Where do you think you are? This isn't Afghanistan. You can’t get away with what we did over there anymore. Not here in the UK. There are laws, repercussions."
"He wouldn't die," the male soldier answered, "would he, Helen?"
The male soldier looked to his female colleague for support, but she was standing alone, head bowed, her arms hanging at her sides, staring at the dead body with its ruined face.
"What's that supposed to mean?" the doctor asked. Her nose was still bleeding from where she had been headbutted, and droplets of blood sprayed from her lips as she yelled at the soldier.
Taffy turned to Travis, his eyes wide in shock. "She's right," he said. "We aren’t on deployment. You can't just go killing people here. What the hell is going on?"
"Combat drugs," Travis said, confidently.
"What?" Taffy had no idea what the young kitchen porter was talking about.
"Combat drugs," Travis repeated, surprised once again that something he knew so much about wasn't common knowledge among the herd of ordinary people around him. "They shoot soldiers full of drugs when they go to war. Oh, they tell them it's to protect them against malaria, or dengue fever-"
"Dengue fever," Taffy interrupted. "What the hell is dengue fever?"
"It's not important, that's not the real reason the army are giving out drugs like candy," Travis said, a cynical and knowing expression on his face. "The Ministry of Defense doesn't give a monkey's toss if soldiers get dengue fever or not. The drugs aren't inoculation, they make the soldiers into better fighters."
"Really?" Taffy said, only half convinced.
"Yeah," Travis said, warming to his theme. "You get the right compounds into a fighter's bloodstream and they won't even feel gunshots. If you flood them with adrenaline they'll feel so much rage they'll chew your fucking face off just for jollies."
Taffy turned away from Travis and looked back at the man on the ground, still on display where he had half-crawled out of his body bag.
"It would explain... that," Taffy said, gesturing at the body with a nod of his head.
"Too right, it would," Travis said. "They were obviously testing a new cocktail of combat compounds on that poor sod. Who knows what. Steroids maybe, with adrenaline, blood thinners, and some shit from monkey glands, just to be sure the poor bastard lost his mind and had to be gunned down before he could kill someone."
"Secret drug trials, huh,?" Taffy said.
"Secret drug trials," Travis said, voice full of conviction.
"It isn't healthy to know too much about that sort of thing," Taffy said.
"I can imagine it's not the kind of project where they encourage whistle blowers," Travis ruminated.
"So, the question is,” Taffy said, “do we fuck off back to the kitchen and pretend we never saw any of this, or..."
"Or..." Travis said, continuing Taffy's line of thought, "do we watch a little longer, to find out as much as we can, so we know what we're dealing with here?"
"You watch," Taffy decided. "Nobody will even know you aren't there, you workshy little fucker, but people will notice if I'm not back in the kitchen soon. Report back to me what happens, and don’t tell anyone else a fucking word, okay?"
"Okay," Travis promised, absently.
"I mean it, Trav," Taffy said, voice suddenly an icy hiss. "If a single word gets back to the military police that we know about secret fucking drug trials... You have no idea what they would do to you. And do you know why nobody has any idea?"
"No," Travis shook his head.
"Cos they never find the effing bodies, that's why, okay?"
"Okay," Travis nodded. "I'll report to you, Chef, nobody else."
"Okay," Taffy said, before ducking and scampering away along the hidden path round the storage building they were hiding beside.
Travis watched him go for a second then turned his attention back to the drama unfolding in front of him. Things had very much calmed down now. Travis watched the doctor zip up the body bag, hiding the dead man from view, and then she started bandaging all the bite wounds the struggling man had inflicted before being shot in the head. It was dull compared to the terrifying events that had been unfolding just moments before, but it was certainly better than rumbling potatoes back in the kitchen.

Continue reading with Part 3 - coming soon.

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