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Muonic Press

Surviving the Fall Complete 12-Audiobook Series Set

Surviving the Fall Complete 12-Audiobook Series Set

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Surviving the Fall

From the best-selling post-apocalyptic author on Amazon.

When a devastating attack cripples and destroys every Internet-connected device in the country, Rick Waters is stranded a thousand miles from his wife, Dianne, and their children. To get back home he'll have to draw on every survival instinct he has as he's pulled into a web of lies and conspiracy that threaten not just his survival but that of the entire world.

Surviving the Fall is a thrilling post-apocalyptic episodic series that focuses on Rick and Dianne Waters and how they each deal with the apocalypse. Stranded across the country away from his family, Rick must travel from California to Virginia to reunite with his wife and children, all while struggling to comprehend and deal with the horrors along the way.

At home with her three children when she experiences the beginning of the end in a dramatic and deadly fashion, Dianne Waters has experience as a prepper and survivalist, but not even years of training and preparation have readied her for the darkness that comes with the end of the world. Now she must draw upon those skills to protect her loved ones and fight back against those who come against her and her family.

Chapter 1 Look Inside

Chapter 1
The Waters’ Homestead
Ellisville, VA

Autumn was truly in the air, and the leaves on the trees showed it in full force. A cold front had blown through from North Carolina up through New York the previous night, and by the time Dianne Waters woke up the next morning she was shivering. After making an early breakfast of warm oatmeal, toast, eggs and cereal, Dianne cleared the breakfast table and sat down for what she lovingly called “another day on the farm.”
Set on the far outskirts of Ellisville—itself on the far outskirts of Blacksburg—the Waters home was a modest-sized two story building set in the dead center of a forty acre plot of land. Thick woods ringed the property and a long, winding driveway passed through them from the house out to a gravel road that, after half a mile, connected up with a country highway.
The property was isolated, charming, beautiful and peaceful—no one ever visited except to deliver the occasional package and piece of mail and, even on a clear day, it was hard to hear any cars or neighbors nearby thanks to the density of the trees. A small spring bubbled into a creek that passed a few hundred feet from the house, meandering down into a three-acre lake at the bottom of a long sloping hill. The area in between the house and the lake had been cleared and turned into a mixture of fields for growing small amounts of crops as well as for keeping a small variety of animals.
Dianne listened to her children as they bumped along upstairs, doing more playing than cleaning, and smiled as she looked out the window. The leaves were finally changing from green to a dazzling display of orange, red and yellow. She sighed and ran her fingers through her dark hair, pulling it into a ponytail as she heard another loud bump followed by the scream of Josie, her youngest at six years old. It was once again time to play the exciting game of “which one of you made your sister cry,” starring Josie’s older brothers Mark (thirteen) and Jacob (ten).
“Boys!” She shouted up at the ceiling, smiling with some small satisfaction as she heard the whispered panic in her son’s voices. “Get your butts down here right now!”
All three of her children showed up a few minutes later, standing in a row at the end of the table. Mark and Jacob both looked solemnly at the floor while Josie, sporting a red bump on her head, fidgeted with her hands and feet as she stood, unable to stay still.
“What is it you boys are supposed to do with your sister?”
“Be nice to her?” Jacob was the first to speak as he tried to gain an advantage over his older brother.
“Correct. Now, I don’t know which one of you pushed, poked, tripped or hit your sister, nor do I really want to know. I want you both outside feeding the animals right now, then when you’re done, I’ll have a few more chores for you before you start on school for the day.”
Dianne waved off the pair of “aw, man’s” that came next and pointed out the door and at the field beyond. As the boys traipsed off, she watched them for a moment before glancing at Josie. “You’re not off the hook, missy. Come on, let’s get to your work.”
Dianne had been a vocal proponent of homeschooling ever since she was a child, and Rick had gone along with her desire while offering a few suggestions and conditions of his own. In addition to the education they received at home, each of the children spent a few hours every other day with after-school programs, learning to do everything from cooking and basic engine repair to computer maintenance and programming. While Rick wasn’t able to participate in their education as much as he wanted due to his job, ensuring that they had a well-rounded childhood and solid foundation were of paramount importance to both him and Dianne.
As the morning turned into the afternoon and all three children took a break for lunch, Dianne began packing their things into the family car to take them into town. One of the perks of being married to someone reasonably far up the food chain at a car manufacturer was getting a new car to test drive every few months. Dianne was particularly happy with the van that was parked in their driveway, especially since it had some of the latest self-driving and collision avoidance features baked in.
“Kids! Let’s go or we’re going to be late!” Dianne walked out to the car, listening to her children slowly follow after her as they talked to each other about a book they had been reading for the past few nights. When Dianne arrived at the van she opened the door, tossed their backpacks into the front passenger’s seat and leaned in to turn on the ignition before heading to the back seat to strap Josie in.
As Dianne buckled Josie’s booster seat straps, the soft tones of some local soft rock station abruptly cut off, followed by the sound of the van’s engine sputtering a few times before it too, died. A second later the van’s horn began to sound and the radio kicked back on at full volume as it cycled through the local radio stations at an increasing rate of speed.
“What the—Mark? Jacob? Did one of you boys mess with the van? Your dad is not going to be happy!” Dianne shouted over the sound of the car as she unbuckled Josie, trying to shield her daughter’s ears with her arms.
“It wasn’t me, mom!”
“Me either!”
Dianne pulled Josie out of the car and yelled. “You three back in the house!”
Dianne waited until the kids were back behind the car before climbing into the driver’s seat. She twisted the dial for the radio volume but nothing happened. She inserted the van’s key and turned it, but nothing happened there either. She got back out of the car and headed back toward the house, covering her ears with her hands. “What’s going on with that stupid thing?”
Once she was back inside, Dianne grabbed her cellphone off the counter and tapped in her unlock code. She scrolled through her contact list until she reached the name for the engineer who Rick had told her to call if anything ever broke down on one of the test cars. Wincing at the sound of the still-shrieking vehicle, Dianne shooed her children into the next room before closing the door and sitting down in a nearby chair.
After holding the phone to her ear for several seconds, Dianne pulled it away and glanced at the screen. The call status, instead of reading out as a count of how long the call had been ongoing, merely said “Dialing.”
“What?” Dianne hung up and dialed again. She watched the screen of the phone, but nothing changed, even after several more seconds. She sighed and hung up the phone, set it down on the kitchen table and then turned to her children.
“Stay in here. I’m going to go disconnect the battery, then we’ll take the old truck into town, okay?”
Jacob, Mark and Josie all nodded and Dianne headed back toward the front door of the house. As she swung the door open, a light breeze picked up, sending the smell of freshly cut grass dancing along. Accompanying it, however, was a foul stench that took Dianne a few seconds to recognize.
“Gasoline?” Dianne mumbled to herself as she turned to look at the car out in the driveway. As she looked at the vehicle, wondering why she was suddenly smelling gasoline, the radio shut off, the horn stopped blowing and the electrical system shorted out. Sparks flew from the bottom of the van, igniting the gasoline vapors with a faint whoosh that was quickly followed by an ear-shattering explosion. The van shuddered under the force of the explosion and burst into flames that quickly began to consume it both on the inside and out.
Dianne fell back against the front door of the house, partially from the force of the blast and partially from the shock of watching a vehicle that her children had been climbing in a few minutes earlier explode before her eyes.
“Mom?” Mark’s voice came from inside the house. The thirteen-year-old pulled open the front door and all three children gasped as they saw the wreckage of the van in the front driveway. Flames licked out from the vehicle and black smoke filled the air, rising high above the trees. A tire popped from the heat, sending pieces of rubber exploding outward, and Dianne turned and pushed Mark back through the door and into the house. She followed behind him and slammed the door shut before turning to look at the carnage out front.
“Mom, what’s going on?”
Dianne could only shake her head and whisper in response.
“I don’t know, Mark. I don’t know.”

“…and welcome to Los Angeles!”

The announcer’s voice over the loudspeaker was far too cheerful for the day that Rick Waters was having. After several delays across three separate airports he had finally arrived at his destination. Instead of having a night to rest before his big presentation, the flight delays had cost him his entire night’s sleep. It was now only a few hours before his meeting was scheduled to start and he would be lucky if he managed to get there on time.

“Come on already…” Rick grumbled as he trudged through the crowd of people around him. Although the air conditioning system in the Los Angeles airport was running full blast, the direct sunlight through the large glass windows of the terminal made him feel like he was about to combust from the heat.

As Rick walked along, he had the sudden feeling of knowing exactly what it was like to be a chicken inside a roasting rack in a grocery store. After a half hour of walking and waiting, the crowd finally thinned out enough that he could start running to try and make up for lost time. His dress shoes ticked against the hard floor and he winced at the blisters he could feel building up on the backs of his feet and his toes.

Born in the rural area in southern Virginia, Rick grew up on a farm where learning how to care for chickens and tend to crops came as naturally as learning how to read and write. By the time he graduated high school, though, he had been overcome with a rebellious streak and set out for Virginia Tech to learn all he could about computers. To his young mind the prospect of working in an air-conditioned office for the rest of his life sounded far more appealing than toiling outdoors.

A few years of partying combined with above-average grades led to a job offer from the local branch of a national car manufacturer. He originally went to work for them as a general purpose IT jockey, fixing everything from network problems and virus infections to changing print cartridges. It didn’t take long for Rick’s skills to become evident to the higher-ups in the company though, and he soon found himself going through annual promotions far faster than his peers as he took part in larger and more important initiatives.

Like the rest of society, car manufacturers were trying to adapt to the rapid integration of technology in every aspect of life, both through new self-driving technologies and through selling add-ons for older vehicles. Government regulations that mandated that vehicles be able to “talk” to each other were just a few years out from becoming law. While a universal communication specification had already been decided upon, the details were still being hashed out.

Rick wasn’t too keen on the new changes or many of the ideas the company had but he worked diligently and faithfully for his employer—after all, he who pays the piper calls the tune. He worked on the team that developed the communication protocols, helped to create automated driving systems and was the lead project manager for a system that made every single new car automatically call for emergency services if the vehicle was reported as stolen or was in an accident. Many of the developments were iterations and improvements on older technology, but there were more than a few that were new as well.

Thanks to the location of his employer’s main facility, Rick never left the area he had grown up in. As time passed and he worked his way up the corporate ladder, he began to miss his childhood. Reconciliation with his parents came easily enough and he soon found himself with a plot of land on the outskirts of a small town that was on the eastern edge of the city where he worked.

Rick, along with his wife—whom he had met through the strangest of coincidences—and their three children spent every weekend working to make their plot of land self-sustaining. They grew over a third of their own food, ran half of their household appliances off of solar panels and learned the basics of survival and self-sufficiency skills. Though Rick’s job robbed him of his soul every Monday through Friday, it was restored over the weekend, and every moment of those two days made him happy. An absence of technology at home was something Rick had insisted upon. He already had to deal with it far too often at work and was disturbed by how much people were relying on computers to perform even the most basic tasks. It was for that reason that he made it a point to keep things at home as simple and basic as possible.

Rick stopped and sighed as he looked over the vast parking lot where the rental car salesman had assured him his “deluxe” vehicle would be waiting. Rick hated pavement, glass and steel more than almost anything else, but the presentation he had to give would be the deciding factor in whether or not his company would be selected as the primary partner in an upcoming government contract. His company’s future—not to mention a huge promotion—were on the line.

“It’s not natural for it to be this hot… at least not at this time of the year.” Rick huffed to himself as he jogged across the parking lot. He could feel the sweat pouring down the back of his neck and soaking through his dress shirt. He hoped that the car’s air conditioner worked well enough to dry him out by the time he got to his meeting.

After ten minutes of wandering around pushing the alarm button on his key fob, he finally heard the distant beeping of a horn and located the small SUV he had rented. Rick threw his luggage in the back and hopped into the front seat. He glanced at his phone as he turned on the car and saw a new message waiting for him.

Sorry flights were delayed! :( LMK when u get there?

Rick smiled and typed out a fast reply to his wife.

Safe n sound. Just got car. Will call after mtg. <3

As Rick pulled out of the parking lot, he tried to force himself to relax a bit as he thought over the presentation. It wasn’t complicated—in fact it was going to be one of the easiest he had ever given—but a car company attempting to move into providing general IT services was a risky move. Still, he thought, everybody’s innovating these days.

Rick ran through the names of the executives and government officials he was going to meet as he pulled onto the spaghetti nest of roads leading out into the city. He repeated them softly, hoping that he had memorized their faces properly the night before. As he mumbled under his breath a loud noise from behind him caught his attention. He glanced at the rearview mirror only to find it filling with the reflection of billowing orange flames and black smoke. Startled, he turned around just as the sound wave from the massive secondary explosion caught up to his car.


The safety glass in Rick’s SUV shattered and cracked into thousands of tiny pieces from the force of the explosion. All of the cars around him experienced the same thing, their horns blaring loudly in unison as their emergency systems kicked in. Rick turned and removed the key in his SUV but the horn continued to blast, so he instead tried to start the engine up again. It sputtered and flared to life, but a few seconds later it died. He tried starting it again, but the engine didn’t respond. The radio, however, turned on by itself and began cycling through the local stations at a high rate of speed.

“What on earth?” Rick looked at the indicators on the console of the car, watching the needles and numbers spin and flail around as they randomly changed positions and values. As Rick tried to make sense of what was going on, he noticed that there was a peculiar smell starting to drift through the broken windows.

“Is that…” Rick sniffed, wondering aloud. “Is that gasoline?” He jumped out of the car and knelt down. Underneath his car—and all of the cars next to him that he could see—were trickles of fuel flowing from somewhere beneath their undercarriages. Having worked on a few control systems for the vehicles his company manufactured, Rick suspected that the computer in the vehicle had gone haywire and opened a valve that should have never been opened except in maintenance situations.

As he stood back up and looked at the newly-formed parking lot of vehicles around him, Rick suddenly felt the grip of fear seize hold of his gut. All of the vehicles around him were shut off, yet their horns were still blaring and they all had their radios turned to the maximum volume setting and were cycling through the stations in unison. Something, he realized, was terribly wrong, and he had the strong urge to get as far away from the vehicles as he could.


Continue reading Surviving the Fall if you like:

  • Realistic characters
  • Harrowing storylines
  • An all-too-realistic depiction of survival after the fall of civilization


Rick threw open the door to the back of the SUV and pulled out his luggage before running back to the front and snatching his phone through the window. He began heading back towards the terminal, in the general direction of the thick plume of black smoke that was still rising in the distance, when a far-off whine drew his attention. He looked up into the sky behind the terminal, shielding his eyes from the sun, and saw a white speck growing larger with each passing second.

The whine grew louder as the speck grew larger, and Rick soon made out the shape of a large aircraft hurtling toward the ground. He stared, slack-jawed, as the aircraft impacted with the back side of the terminal building, sending another fireball into the sky. Flaming pieces of wreckage from the impact hurtled through the air and, as Rick watched them begin to descend toward the rows of noisy cars, he realized what was about to happen.

“Run! Get out of here!” Rick screamed at the people around him, but no one paid him any mind as they stared at their non-functional phones and tried to talk to each other over the din. Rick shouted at a few of the people closest to him yet again but they merely looked at him like he was insane.

Not willing to wait any longer, Rick took off running, cutting laterally between the vehicles as he made for a small patch of grass that separated two roads from each other. As a piece of wreckage from the terminal landed a few dozen feet behind him, he could feel the ground shudder from the impact. The vibration and noise were accompanied by a faint whoosh as the fire from the wreckage ignited the gasoline fumes that were gathering around and beneath the cars. The whoosh was followed a second later by the sound of multiple explosions and the feel of even more intense heat on his hands, the back of his neck and head.

Rick didn’t look back as he ran forward, pushing his feet to go even faster, until he finally made it to the grass. He continued running away through the grassy area until he saw a small open garden with a few benches and pieces of art carved into large boulders. He dove into a corner and curled up next to the closest boulder, putting his luggage in front of his face and chest to shield himself from the seemingly infinite explosions that were erupting around him. They continued, growing louder as the fire and flames spread from vehicle to vehicle, drowning out the screams of those burning alive, each of them the first victims of a battle that would engulf the world.
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