N. C. REED SERIES:

Brotherhood of Fire

Brotherhood of Fire

N. C. Reed

N. C. Reed

Post-Apocalyptic Fiction by N.C. Reed Clayton Sanders left home the minute he had his high school diploma in hand. He waited that long only because the Army wouldn't accept him without one. Now, ten years later, he's home. Home with no warning, no advance notice, no anything after being gone ten years with almost no contact with his family. Home carrying a secret that is burning him up from the inside. A secret that has pushed him to the brink, forcing him to become a criminal in order to be where his family needs him to be, even though they don't realize it yet. Because Clayton knows something they don't. Something that hasn't happened, but will. Something that will burn everything it touches. And change the face of the world forever. EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER ONE Mitchell Nolan was on watch. Most everyone else had bedded down once the excitement of the fire had waned. A long day of work and worry tended to leave people tired so it hadn't taken long. Now Mitchell was roaming the farm on occasion, using night vision gear to get around and avoid light. He looked at the skeleton of the tower being constructed behind the Sanders' home, the parent's home he amended to himself, and wished it were finished. Rising above the nearest trees by a good ten feet, it would allow whoever sat there to see a good ways. Armed with a good scope it would be easy to keep a keen watch on things and to see anyone approaching the farm. With someone in the cupola at the other collection of buildings, that would pretty much cover everyth- His thoughts crashed to a halt as he realized someone was approaching the farm. The glow of headlights was easing up the road from the direction of the Interstate and Jordan. Checking his rifle, Nolan moved to a position where he could observe the road and still have some cover. A hundred questions ran through his mind even as he checked his surroundings to make sure he wasn't taken by surprise. Who was this? What kind of car was it to still be running? The whiz kids had told them that cars made before computers had become common place would still function, but how many of those were there on the road? And what were the odds that one of them would be coming down this back country road in the wee hours of the morning? “Thug,” he heard in his ear. “How copy?” Tandi Maseo's voice was calm, quiet and clear. “I got 'em,” he replied softly. “Can you make out what it is?” he asked. Sitting in the cupola at the other farm, Tandi had a better view than Nolan might. “Negative,” Maseo replied. “I do only see one vehicle.” “Only one using lights,” Nolan reminded him. “True that,” Maseo agreed. “Play?” “We wait and see if they stop,” Nolan replied. “If they do I'll approach. If they pass I'll try and get a description. Bossman might recognize the car if we do. Speaking of which you may want to rouse Big Bear and let him know the score. He may want to call Bossman over this regardless.” “Roger that.” Nolan watched as the lights grew closer, wishing it was light. The glow of the fire in Peabody, at least they thought it was Peabody, was still clearly visible even now, hours after they had first seen it. To see the first vehicle on this road in a week the same night, or at least the early morning after, couldn't be a coincidence he didn't care what anyone thought. Not that he knew yet what anyone thought. “Big Bear on the way,” Maseo's voice informed him. “Roger that.” Nolan had tensed as the vehicle in question came into view, or at least its lights did, and it slowed. Slowing was bad. There was no light anywhere in the compound to alert a passing traveler that anything was even here, let alone still working. There was little moon, merely a sliver in fact, so no natural light to expose them. Still the car had slowed. That means they know where they are, and they're probably coming here, he decided grimly. He raised his rifle to port arms and waited..... **
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