Simmons made his way back to the garage door and stood by Robson. "You know, most of these people are so emaciated and sick, a third of them will probably be dead within a week."
"I know. At least they had a chance to regain their humanity before they die."
"Amen to that." An awkward silence passed between the two men. "Where do you plan to go from here?"
"I promised I'd only stay a day or two, and then we'd move on."
"That's not what I meant." Robson detected a tone of guilt in Simmons' voice. "I really do want to know. What's next?"
Good question. Too bad Robson had not thought it through more thoroughly before now.
Because of the trip to Site R to obtain the vaccine, he had ultimately lost most of his team, his camp back in Maine, and the Angels. He would probably never know whether or not Natalie and the girls were successful in delivering the vaccine to the government-in-exile, or if they were even still alive. In the grand scheme of things, that concern was minor. He had to provide for and protect thirty-eight invalids, and do it with a team that now numbered five people, with DeWitt and Roberta being the only ones he could truly rely on. He still questioned the vampires' loyalty, and Caslow would be only slightly more useful than the survivors.
Robson felt woefully unprepared for all this.
"So," prodded Simmons again. "What's next?"
Robson shrugged. "It's time to move on and start over."
Windows had stopped thirty minutes after leaving the construction site, and then just long enough to gather some food and water for Cindy and to arm herself with one of the AK-47s in the back. After that, she continued to drive north, staying to the back roads as much as possible, while Cindy slept in the front seat. Earlier, she had passed signs for Laconia and Lake Winnipesaukee. About three hours ago, she had to turn east because of the White Mountains looming in the distance. The last sign she remembered seeing was for Conway, and that was almost ninety minutes ago. As the sun burst over the horizon, she pulled over and consulted the maps she had found under the front seat. After staring at it for ten minutes, she still could not figure out her location. Placing the map on the dashboard, she drove on, planning to get her bearings the next time she came upon a road sign.
The sun crested the trees and poured through the windshield, falling across Cindy. The girl stirred. She yawned and stretched, and then opened her eyes. Upon seeing Windows beside her, she smiled.
"Good morning, honey. Did you sleep well?"
Cindy nodded and sat upright in her seat. "Where are we now?"
"I don't know."
"Where are we going?"
"I don't know."
"That's okay." Cindy looked over at Windows. "When we get there, will we finally be safe?"
"I hope so, honey." Windows reached out and gave Cindy's hand a gentle squeeze. "I really hope so."
I want to thank all my readers who have patiently waited for this sequel to Rotter World, and an apology for taking so long to get this into print. The delay was a combination of a series of life changes and business issues beyond my control. However, that is all in the past, and Rotter Nation has been released. I hope it is worth the wait.
A major debt of gratitude goes to Felicia A. Sullivan, my editor, who worked closely with me to tighten up the ma.n.u.script. Felicia is a consummate professional who did a superior job, and I value her expertise as well as the fact that she is also a fan. However, any errors in the final product are mine to own.
Zach McCain provided the cover art. He took my original concept and greatly improved on it. I love having this cover associated with my novel.
I am grateful to my readersAlison, Tony, and Odyn Yorkfor reviewing the first draft and providing their honest feedback. I rely on my Beta readers to point out my mistakes and plot flaws, and they did a fantastic job. I also want to give a special shout out to Steve Konkoly who provided a sanity check on my yacht-related scenes and made me sound like I wasn't a complete land lubber.
As always, a special thank you goes to my family, human and furry, who tolerated the long hours I spent with the living dead rather than with them. I cannot remember how many times I sat in front of my computer with a drooling snout resting on my leg and a pair of large brown eyes staring up at me begging for attention. To all of you, thank you for sharing me with my passion. I love you all.
About the Author.
Scott M. Baker was born and raised in Everett, Massachusetts and spent twenty-three years in northern Virginia working for the Central Intelligence Agency. Scott is now retired and lives in Gainesville, Florida as a full-time writer along with his wife and fellow author Alison Beightol and his stepdaughter. He has written Yeitso, his homage to the giant monster movies of the 1950s that he loved watching as a kid; The Vampire Hunters trilogy, about humans fighting the undead in Washington D.C.; as well as Rotter World, which details the struggle between humans and vampires during a zombie apocalypse. Scott is currently working on the final book in the Rotter World saga and a series of young adult post-apocalyptic fiction.
Scott has also auth.o.r.ed several short stories, including "Cruise of the Living Dead" (a zombie outbreak aboard a cruise ship), "Deck the Malls with Bowels of Holly" (an alcoholic mall Santa battles zombie reindeer), "Last Flight of the Bismarck" (steampunk zombies), "The Hunger" (cannibalism during a zombie apocalypse), "Lebenden Toten at the Gate" (n.a.z.is versus zombies in Stalingrad), "From s.p.a.ce It Came" (a giant spider from s.p.a.ce), and the novellas Dead Water and n.a.z.i Ghouls From s.p.a.ce.
When not writing, Scott can usually be found doting on the two boxers and one cat that kindly allow him to live with them.
Please visit the author on his blog, Facebook page, Twitter, Goodreads, or Pinterest.
Praise for Other Books.
by Scott M. Baker.
Eight months have passed since vampires released the Revenant Virus on mankind, nearly wiping out both species. For Mike Robson, the situation could be far worse. He has joined up with a small band of humans and the last coven of vampires who are riding out the zombie apocalypse in an old fort along the coast of southern Maine. The uneasy alliance between humans and vampires is strained with the arrival of the creator of the Revenant Virus. Compton claims to have a vaccine that will make them immune from the virus and allow mankind to take civilization back from the living dead. However, the vaccine is located in a secure underground facility five hundred miles away. To retrieve it, Robson leads a raiding party of humans and vampires down the East Coast, which has been devastated by the outbreak and overrun by zombies and rape gangs. Yet none of the horrors he deals with on the road can prepare him for what he will find in Pennsylvania. Once inside the underground facility, the Robson encounters the greatest threat his group has faced to date, not only from zombies but from betrayal within their own ranks.
"With Rotter World, Scott M. Baker pulls out all the stops in a zombie thriller that is brutal, violent and terrifying. Definitely not for the faint-hearted."
-New York Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry, author of Patient Zero.
"Think there are no new or original zombie authors? Think again. Scott M. Baker provides an exciting voice and fresh outlook on the undead. Fun, compulsive reading."
-Brian Keene, author of The Rising and City of the Dead.
"Scott M. Baker writes in the tradition of J.L. Bourne and Joe McKinney. Fans of thriller writers like Brad Thor will also find powerful, welcome similarities in Rotter World."
-Scott Kenemore, author of Zen of Zombie.
"Scott M. Baker has managed to bring together the best of what I love about end of the world, vampire and zombie tales in one glorious story. If you think zombie and vampire stories are overdone and there is not anything new you can do with them, Rotter World proves that theory wrong."
-Peter Schwotzer of Famous Monsters of Filmland.
Veteran detective Russell Andrews has seen the dangers of big-city life: rape, murder, gangs. It's not a place he wants to raise a teenage daughter on his own. After his divorce, he moves with her to serve as the sheriff of a sleepy New Mexican town. But the desert has dangers of its own-deadly secrets that eat men alive. Secrets growing in power. Andrews comes face-to-face with a thing out of myth, a force without a name in the modern world. The Navajo, though, call it Yeitso.
"Scott M. Baker builds tension and explores characters like a seasoned pro, all before offering them up as dinner for some of the creepiest crawlies you'll experience on this page. Yeitso is the perfect blend of small town quirk and pulpy monster madness that will leave you cringing and wanting more! "
-Ryan C. Thomas, author of Hissers and Salticidae.
"Yeitso brought me back to those glorious Sat.u.r.day afternoons of my youth watching Creature Double Feature. "
-Peter Schwotzer, Literary Mayhem.
"It's giant killer beetles! How can you not love it?"
-Jeff Strand, author of Mandibles.
The Vampire Hunters.
As former Boston cops, Drake Matthews and Alison Monroe thought they had experienced it all... until they found themselves tracking down a serial killer who turned out to be one of the undead. Stopping him cost them their careers and almost their lives. Thanks to an influential and anonymous benefactor, Drake and Alison find a new job ridding the streets of Washington D.C. of the vampiric threat terrorizing the nation's capital. Only this time, Drake and Alison are not facing a single vampire but an entire nest led by Ion Zielenska, one of history's most evil and twisted masters. As the vampires indiscriminately prey on humans, seeing them as nothing more than food to satiate their hunger, they create a wave of violence that threatens to engulf the city. Orchestrating the carnage is Antoinette Varela, the mistress of the nest, who realizes that for the nest to survive the hunters must be eliminated. However, when her vendetta turns personal, the hunters find themselves in struggle they are not prepared for.
"Those that know me and follow my on-line work know that I am a vampire fanatic. By that I mean real vampires, the undead creatures that prey on humans for survival, not the glorified sissy boy vampires that keep getting shoved down our throats. If you've read Justin's Cronin's The Passage and Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan's The Strain, you will absolutely love The Vampire Hunters. "
- Pete Schwotzer of Famous Monster of Filmland.
"Scott M. Baker's The Vampire Hunters is a gut-wrenching, fast-paced horror thriller that takes you from the back streets of Washington to the rat infested sewer systems below. You cheer for both the hunter and the hunted as the author rains battle scenes with stomach turning death and destruction around every corner."
The Vampire Hunters: Vampyrnomicon.
Within the vaults of the Smithsonian Institute lies the key to finding the Vampyrnomicon, the Book of the Undead, which contains the history and secrets of the vampires. According to legend, whoever possesses the book can establish a vampire nation on earth or destroy the undead once and for all. With an opportunity to end the war against the undead so close, Drake Matthews is determined to find the book. But the vampires also want The Vampyrnomicon. When Master Chiang shih and her coven of the most powerful and dangerous vampires arrive in Washington to claim the book as their own, the hunters find themselves facing their most dangerous enemy yet. With the stakes so high, so is the ferocity of the struggle.
"Vampyrnomicon continues where Book I leaves off and I have to say that Book II is even better than Book I. Mr. Baker has expanded the story line substantially with a group of new vampire masters that are lusciously evil and decadent, as all vampires should be. He also delves into the back history of the vampires with a series of flashbacks that greatly adds to the details of the story. The Vampire Hunters trilogy is a must read for all vampire lovers. Book II is full of great characters, action, blood, carnage and some of the most evil vampires this side of Brian Lumley's Necroscope series and I highly recommend it."
-Peter Schwotzer of Famous Monsters of Filmland.
"Vampyrnomicon is as well written as the first book. It continues the story and begins to fill in the origins of the masters and their race of killers. The pace of the story is strong and there plenty of gore and blood splatter to go around."
-Colleen w.a.n.glund of The Monster Librarian.