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Liberation - EBOOK

Liberation - EBOOK

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Survive, or start living?
Save the girl or turn the other cheek?
What would you do?

The Cataclysm scorched the Earth. Only a zombie infested wasteland remains. Warlords and worse rule over the remains of humanity in a cruel new world where only the strong survive.

Nero travels the wasteland in a souped-up V8 charger, barely hanging on as he moves between the scattered remnants of humanity. In return for food and supplies, he offers his services fighting zombies and raiders for those who can pay.

Arriving at the Watchtower, Nero meets the abused slave girl Nyx. A beautiful young woman, she’s skilled in the use of a sword - yet held captive by the tower's ruler.

When the Watchtower is attacked, events begin to spiral out of control, and Nero discovers the secret Nyx has been hiding from her master. Now he must choose between the life he knows alone in the wastes, or helping the fascinating but vulnerable Nyx, and changing his life forever.

Grab this rip-roaring V8 adventure now. It's Mad Max: Fury Road with Magic and monsters.

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Chapter 1

Nero looked out at the world around him, a world of violence and death, ravaged by the inferno of the Cataclysm.
The dry, hard-packed desert extended all the way to the horizon, and as far as he knew, covered the whole of the planet. Nothing but desert, dry tundra, sand dunes, and salt flats dotted with rocky cliffs, mountains, and ridges everywhere. The waters had been burnt away by the Cataclysm, leaving dry, dead ocean beds covered in crumbling, rusted out shipwrecks, oil rigs and, wind farms. The cities of old were crumbling ruins, obliterated by the earthquakes and home to those who clung to life, or sought to destroy it.
He couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen something green that wasn’t trying to kill him.
Nero preferred to wander the wastes, to keep moving wherever his whim took him: from camp to fortress to bunker, helping when he could, and taking whatever he needed in return. It wasn’t what he’d thought life would be, back before it all happened, when he was still a child. He’d had dreams of becoming a cop like his dad, or maybe doing something more practical, like working on cars or something. He’d been young, though, and the world had a way of slapping such foolish notions out of you. Life was tough, but he doubted that man could have predicted the events that had come to pass during his tenth year on this planet.
He wasn’t sure why he was feeling so introspective. It was probably the view. Looking out on the world and remembering what it had once been. Remembering the rainbows of colour that had been everywhere back when he had lived in the city that had been his home.
Of course, the old borders and boundaries had been long since swept away. These days, no one knew where one country ended and another begun. The world had been remade, and humanity had been forced to adapt.
Before him, everything below the horizon was a sandy tan colour of browns and oranges and yellows, while the sky above was currently a light cyan, a bleached out greenish blue that faded to white the closer it got to where the sun still hung in the heavens.
It paid to keep an eye on the sky these days, lest a dust storm caught you unaware.
Nero stood on a rocky outcropping that rose from what had once been the seabed and looked down the slope into the valley below and the makeshift camp that had been set up down there. It was only a small one with a few tents, a campfire, and a handful of vehicles parked around it. There were a few guys down there, sitting around the fire mostly, although a couple of them were on their dirt bikes, racing around the camp, whooping and hollering at the wasteland as they went.
Nero scanned the surrounding terrain. There were some clusters of grey and tan rocks, which could, in theory, be hiding lookout posts or worse, but he couldn’t see anything hidden in there with a sweep of his binoculars over the most likely spots. Watching the group of raiders again, he surmised they didn’t look bright enough to take such precautions.
It paid to check out these things, though, before he went charging in there. He smiled to himself, these guys had no idea what was coming for them. Nero lowered the binoculars and scanned around again, checking to make sure he hadn’t missed anything before he turned and wandered back to his car that he’d left parked a short distance behind him.
He’d been driving this thing for years now, and it really showed. It had once been a gas guzzling muscle car that you didn’t find many of here in this part of the world. But the years had not been kind to it. The bodywork was severely rusted in places, and there were a few corroded spikes on the front and rear wings for anyone who got a bit too close. The engine had been replaced a few times, but always with a noisy V8 or V6 monster that fitted the look of the car. The current engine rose out of a rough hole he’d cut in the bonnet, its air intake rising proudly from the metal beast.
It currently rode on a set of large mismatched tyres, and the whole car had been raised up to make it move through the rough landscape a little better on its wide wheels.
He’d been young when he’d got it. It was badly damaged, but he’d known all about cars by then, and although it took him a little while to fix it up, he had finally managed it a few months later. It had been his home now for twenty years, and it bore the scars to prove it.
Nero walked up and gave the bloodstained battering ram a shove to make sure it was firmly affixed and ready for use before he jumped into the car, put his binoculars away, and started it up.
The engine came to life with a low bass rumble. He refrained from a noisy rev that might alert the raiders below.
Nero dropped it into gear and eased the car forward, cresting the ridge and making sure he was on the route down the slope he’d picked out before pressing down on the accelerator and roaring down to the camp below.
Predictably, the raiders in the camp immediately saw Nero bearing down on them and sprung to life, rushing to pick up their guns and weapons while the bikers adjusted their course to head his way.
Nero gave the car some gas and sped onwards as the bikers charged him, but he was ready for them as the car bumped over the rough terrain.
Getting his semi-automatic pistol in his hand, he aimed his car to bring the first biker, who sported an impressive Mohawk, down the side of his vehicle. As he watched, the second biker, wearing deep red armour, suddenly hit some rocks, putting him into a wobble that he was finding difficult to get out of. Nero smiled and aimed his car while Mohawk hit a rise in the terrain and jumped into the air towards him. He landed to Nero’s right, just as he’d hoped when an explosion went off close by.
He’d not see it, but he could only guess that Mohawk had thrown an IED at him. He gritted his teeth and aimed the gun before firing off three shots at the biker. The biker yelled in pain and fell to the floor, his bike kicking up a fantail of dirt as he went down.
Looking forward once more, he adjusted the aim of his car as the red armoured biker finally face planted the dirt after the wobble got the better of him. The last Nero saw of him was his head, looking up in fear a second before he was ripped apart by the battering ram on the front of the car.
The car bumped over the biker and continued on down the slope towards the raiders. They were already raising guns, and moments later, gunfire, loud and unmistakable, sounded from below. Nero ducked down as the bullets peppered his car, ricocheting off the rusted metal armour plating he had installed over the years with metallic clangs. Seconds later, he was roaring into the camp, forcing the raiders to scatter. Jerking the handbrake up, Nero put the car into a skid, throwing out the rear end much to the surprise and misfortune of one of the raiders who had been too focused on shooting at Nero to realise the danger he was in. Three orange and brown spikes of rusted metal impaled him through his torso and neck as he dropped the assault rifle he’d been shooting with.
Three down, three to go, Nero thought as he flung the car door open, grabbed his shotgun, and jumped out in a crouch, looking around for the raiders in the dust cloud his car had kicked up.
Spotting movement to his right, he saw one of them, sporting a bone necklace, running towards him, his gun up and ready, firing wildly at Nero. He raised his weapon just over the car door he was using for cover and fired once. The raider flipped backwards, the force of the shot knocking him flat. Nero jumped up onto the hood of his car and saw another sporting red war paint on his face with a shotgun of his own. Warpaint suddenly caught sight of Nero, but he wasn’t quick enough. Another shot dropped him as well, just as Warpaint fired his own gun wide.
As the dust cloud started to settle, a crazy wail sounded from behind him as a woman ran out of a tent, spinning a metal ball and chain around her head. Jumping down from his car Nero took calm aim at the crazy and fired before she ever got too close. Her head exploded as she dropped to the floor.
For a moment, everything was quiet, until Nero heard feet scuff the ground close by. Turning to look, a final raider froze in terror. He’d been retreating, and now he looked up at Nero, his face full of fear.
‘Hey, fuck face, where are you going?’
‘Oh, er, hi. I’m no trouble to you, traveller. Honestly, look,’ he said and dropped his gun. ‘Take whatever yeh like. Petrol, guns, ammo, food, we got a bunch.’
‘I know, turd licker, that’s why I’m here. You’ve been raiding the nearby camps.’
‘Oh, well, we gotta survive, yeh know, heh. It’s only right that the strong survive, hey. Survival of the fittest and all that,’ the raider explained, sporting ruined and repaired cargo trousers and boots, but no top.
‘Get over here shit for brains,’ Nero ordered him.
‘Okay, yes, sir,’ he said and walked over, his hands in the air.
‘Let’s have a look what you got here,’ Nero said and used the barrel of his shotgun to nudge the raider forward into the camp, past Nero’s car. They walked up to one of the larger vehicles and Nero could see a body splayed over the hood, partially naked and impaled on some spikes.
‘I didn’t do that,’ the raider said meekly.
‘Is that right?’ Nero asked and whacked his prisoner on the head with his gun. ‘I don’t give a shit what you did or didn’t do. That looks like someone from the camp I was at recently,’ he said. He actually didn’t know if it was, but the body was fresh, so it made sense that it might be from the camp that had hired him.
‘Oh, no, no, I don’t think so… I mean, I don’t know. It wasn’t me, anyway…’
‘Hey, shut your face unless I talk to you,’ Nero said.
The man nodded and with some prodding, walked towards the tents. There were two more vehicles around the camp, another big truck and a smaller car, all of them armoured up and rusted to hell.
Closer to the middle were five tents, most of them were just sheets hung over sticks, although one was a patched-up old camping tent that probably predated the cataclysm.
‘Anyone in these tents?’ Nero asked the raider.
‘Um, no.’
Nero tilted his head in disbelief when suddenly one of the tents burst open, and a naked man with hastily daubed on war paint ran at him carrying two knives, screaming at the top of his lungs.
Nero adjusted his aim and fired, taking his time to line up the shot first.
The man fell to the dusty ground with a grunt and laid still. Nero looked up at his prisoner again and raised his eyebrows in a questioning expression.
The raider shrugged with a half-smile.
Nero shook his head. He supposed the guy had to try and get one over on him.
‘The tents; open them,’ Nero ordered him.
‘Sure, sure, I got it. Doing it now for ya, just don’t fire that thing at me,’ he muttered as he walked to the nearest tent and whipped the sheet off it. There was a dirty bedroll in there, but little else. The man continued on, going from tent to tent, either removing the sheet completely or opening it up enough for Nero to see inside. On the fourth tent, the raider ripped off the sheet to reveal a young woman of maybe nineteen or twenty years curled up inside, naked and looking very scared. It was the same tent that the man with the knives had run out from.
The girl looked up at Nero and the raider, her eyes wide with fear.
Nero looked at the raider, giving him another questioning look.
‘I… did not know she was in there,’ he said.
Nero motioned to the last tent, which the raider opened up to reveal nothing once again.
‘Stand over there; don’t move,’ Nero said to the raider before walking over to the girl and picking up a sheet that was on the floor. He placed it around her shoulders.
‘Thank you,’ she said, looking at him, and then around the camp, spotting the bodies and his car before looking back at him. ‘Who are you?’
‘Camp Red Sands sent me,’ he said.
‘Red Sands? My camp. They sent you? To get me?’ she asked with an expression of hope.
‘Mm-hmm,’ Nero said.
‘What are you going to do with him?’ she asked as she stood up, motioning to the raider.
Nero looked over at the raider who still stood there. ‘Food? Supplies?’ Nero asked.
‘From the camp? Yeah, we got em, they’re over here. You want em?.’
‘In the car,’ Nero growled.
‘You got it,’ the raider stammered, still afraid. Nero watched him closely and guided the girl to the front passenger seat of his car, letting her sit inside before he went to finish supervising the raider. Three more trips back and forth and the car was nearly loaded up. The raider picked up the last box and walked back towards Nero.
Seeing the movement from the corner of his eye, Nero looked up and saw the raider smile at him. He was clearly hoping that he would let him go, but Nero hadn’t decided on this yet and had half a mind to kill him and stop him from hooking up with another raiding party and causing more trouble later.
Suddenly, there was more movement behind the raider, and several figures either ran or staggered around the back of the cars that had been filled with the loot the raiders had stolen.
Dressed in rags, their bodies were half rotted away, with bones and ribs showing through dark, ragged wounds. Some of them looked more skeleton than man as they moved with surprising speed towards the raider and Nero.
‘Shit,’ Nero exclaimed. ‘Zombies!’

About the Author

Hi, I'm Andrew Dobell. Welcome to my website.

I'm the creator of the sprawling multi-series urban fantasy Magi Saga Universe, and the action-packed New Prometheus cyberpunk series.

I'm a storyteller at heart and have always loved creating worlds, characters, and thrilling narratives through both art and words. I enjoy spending my free time with my family and have a keen interest in cinema and genre fiction.

I'm also an artist and have worked for many years as a professional illustrator and cover artist for other authors.
I love creating art based on my novels.

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