Title: The End Time Saga Boxed Set, Books 1-3: End Time, The Breaking, The Rising, and The Gun
Author: Daniel Greene
In the dark primal jungles of the Congo River Basin, a deadly microbe is mutating at breakneck speed. Before the world can react, a deadly viral outbreak is ravaging the local populations. A team of counterterrorism agents is sent to retrieve a doctor in the collapsing nation…but this is just the knock on the door for the end of the world. Over the course of a few months, along with the rest of the world, America collapses piece by piece turning the nation into a grim wasteland where the chances for survival are slim. Watch your six with counterterrorism agents as they try to keep a doctor and each other alive. Join a team of CDC doctors as they race to find a cure and the virus picks them off one by one. Scramble with a retired Air Force colonel thrust into the command of a Special Forces team trying to prop up a dying government. Flee before a delusional pastor and his followers as they burn their way across the land. Rebel with a rural town about to become the epicenter of a resistance movement and the return of a farmer’s daughter, propelled into a position to lead them. Who will rise? Who will fall? The only certainty is the dead will rule over all. Enter: The End Time Saga. Books included in this box set. Book 1: End Time Book 2: The Breaking Book 3: The Rising Bonus Material: The Gun: The End Time Saga Origin Short Story
The scene I picked is a man as he dies. I don’t think it is too graphic, but some may feel otherwise. Let me know if you find unsuitable for your needs and I will adjust. I like the scene because it is a powerful reflection.
Excerpt from The Gun: The End Time Saga Origin Short Story.
He laughed and coughed at the same time. “Not for his old-timer. Listen. I’m going to turn. And if I’m like these poor sons of bitches, I’m gonna try to kill you. Those are the facts.”
His gun felt heavy in his hand. Redness soaked his pant legs, running in a steady flow out of his arm and into his cheap work suit. They exchanged a look.
“This gun is single action.”
Her voice was softer. “What does that mean?”
He clenched his jaw. “You have to pull the hammer back for the first shot.
You can leave the hammer cocked so you don’t have to remember. There’s a safety so you can move with it cocked and locked.”
She blinked. “Hammer cocked?”
He ran a thumb over the hammer, pulling it backward. “In this position.” She nodded furiously. He studied the weapon. “Holds seven rounds, .45 caliber.” He reached into his shoulder harness and removed one of his extra mags and pushed it into her hand.
He bent down, feeling up his pant leg and slipped his hand underneath. He removed another magazine from its strap holster. “All I got.” He gulped down the pain, little heartbeat-style electric shocks, that emanated from his wound and pulsated through the entire left half of his frame.
He eyed her. “Mag comes out like this.” He pushed a circular button on the side of the handle. “When you go to reload, you’ll need to rack her again like this.” He pulled the slide back. “But harder, like you don’t like it. You understand?”
“Better or you won’t last long. Headshots, girl. Headshots. Body shots didn’t do anything earlier.”
“I can do that.”
He wasn’t so sure, but he didn’t have time to teach her. He coughed, wet fluid building in his lungs. “Harder than you think. Keep your sights level. Smooth on the trigger. Rush your trigger and you’ll miss.”
He hacked again, feeling like he was going to die. He didn’t have time to make peace with the entirety of what his life had been. Two failed marriages. A lackluster career. Few friends. Or was it the other things? The murderer he’d caught six years back gave somebody justice. It never brought the victim back, but maybe it gave their family some sort of closure. He doubted it. The missing void in their lives would never be filled, the only solace safety from the murderer if only to die in a car accident later. He’d put his fair share of criminals in prison. A few for life but most were probably out by now.
In the end, the most important piece of his life boiled down to the men and women he’d risked his neck for every day. His brothers and sisters wearing the blue uniform. Overworked, unappreciated, and stressed. They made it worth something. They were his real family and bound to him not through blood but through common cause and purpose. Most of them had good hearts and wanted to make a difference despite what the old-timers already knew: making a real difference was a long shot and worth the fight.
He’d find out soon if he’d done enough to earn him anything in the afterlife. Better not to dwell too long on it because he was about to run full speed into death, or in his case, seated in the front seat of an unmarked police car. Instead, he focused on the task at hand. “Headshots.”
Pain knifed his body in a hundred places at once. When it died down, exhaustion cloaked him. “I’m tired.” He closed his eyes again, his voice dropping to a whisper. “You’re going to be okay.”
“Never been okay.”
“You are. Just don’t know it.” They sat in silence for a moment. “Are you going to do this?” He opened his palm little by little, offering her his gun that felt like it weighed fifty pounds. His eyes watched her for a moment. Her dark eyes shied away from his, scanning the outside.
“Suppose it would be easier if you did it. Never understood doing yourself in.” His voice trailed off. In life you had a chance. Death. Well, death was just that. The end. No chances in the end. Only the end.
The snake of fire bursting through his blood vessels was forcing its way into his neck. He squeezed the handle of the gun, his hands whitening his knuckles. He groaned. “Goddamn.”
Veins bulged in his neck, straining. He turned his pistol around backward and forced the barrel into his open mouth. He didn’t think. He didn’t have to. He needed to die. He supposed there were many worse ways to go. Being whipped to death. Poisoned. Drowned. Or the slow death brought on by tuberculosis. At least it wasn’t some gang of dumb punks, making a name for themselves trying to squeeze him for an ounce of street cred. My hand. My life.
If she couldn’t do it, then he had to give her a chance. Life was the only chance anyone had, and it was only a chance.
He slid his thumb through the trigger guard and it settled on the trigger with unfamiliar purpose. It didn’t feel right. Neither did the burn of a hot metal barrel on his tongue or the taste of sour sulfuric gun smoke in his mouth. Neither did dying, but he did it all the same.
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Daniel is the award-winning author of The End Time Saga and the historical fiction Northern Wolf Series. Whether it’s a saber charge in the American Civil War or a gun battle between two rival bands surviving a hellish landscape, he is known for his ability to embed every page with fast-paced action, thrilling suspense, and gritty realism. He is an avid traveler and physical fitness enthusiast with a deep passion for history. The works of George R.R. Martin, Steven Pressfield, Bernard Cornwell, Robert Jordan, and George Romero have inspired his work. Although he is a Midwesterner for life, he's lived in Virginia long enough to consider it home. He is a proud member of the Horror Writers Association, the Historical Novel Society, and the Military Writers Society of America.
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