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Muonic Press

Surviving the Fall Complete 12-Book Series Omnibus (Paperback)

Surviving the Fall Complete 12-Book Series Omnibus (Paperback)

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"It's like Crichton and King had a love child" ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

"Mike is THE post apoc author to read!" ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  • This gorgeous 6"x9" paperback is over eight hundred pages long, containing all 12 books from the Surviving the Fall series
  • Coming in at close to 2" thick, this beast of a paperback contains a story that will keep you up at night!
  • Ships straight from the author - buy direct and save!

Chapter 1 Look Inside

Frank sipped on his coffee and sighed. Twelve straight hours on the road had taken their toll on his eyes and he had to rub them several times to keep from seeing double on the menu. The small greasy spoon at which he’d stopped at was quintessentially American. He sat at the long, wrap-around bar with a view into the kitchen and there were a few other people scattered around the bar as well. A handful of couples and a trio of road workers were spread across the booths where waitresses with beehive hairdos took orders with a drawl and the frequent use of the word “hon.” If not for the chilled weather outside and the falling leaves, he would have sworn he was somewhere in Alabama or Texas instead of Maine.
Twelve hours. Frank took another sip and shook his head. I’m not cut out for this. Having been behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer for less than a month, Frank wasn’t adjusting well.
He started his life in a much different place as an accountant for a large technology company where he had managed to stay on for his entire adult life. As the economy started to tank, though, he lost his job and there were few companies looking to hire someone in their late thirties when they could pick up a college graduate at a quarter the cost.
After moving back in with his parents for a few months, Frank managed to find the only job that was available—driving a rig cross-country. It wasn’t glamorous and the pay was terrible, but he had a clean record and had been able to get a commercial driver’s license fairly easily.
“Any dessert, hon?” Frank looked up at a face caked with far too much makeup that was smiling down at him.
“No thanks, just the check. And a coffee to go. A tall one, please.”
The waitress nodded sympathetically. “New to this, are you?”
Frank nodded. “That obvious is it?”
“Most of ‘em do speed to stay awake. Try to stay off that stuff as long as you can, okay hon?” She flipped through her order pad and tore out a page.
Frank looked at the check, glanced at his watch and sighed. He had spent less than twenty minutes at the diner, but he knew based on experience that the computer inside his truck was going haywire with alerts from his dispatcher.
Mandatory maximums for time spent behind the wheel as defined by federal and state law meant nothing to his company. They pushed their drivers for up to eighteen hours a day, six days a week since that was the optimal balance—according to their calculations—between speed and keeping the number of accidents to an “acceptable minimum.” As new as he was, Frank couldn’t risk any more long stops for a couple more days, and he was counting on the next fueling station to have some decent food to see him through.
So far the transition from an office job to unemployment to driving a truck all hours of the day and night was rough to say the least. Frank felt like he hadn’t gotten a handle on any aspects of the new job, and his body felt like it was being run through a meat grinder day in and day out.
Frank threw down a few crumpled bills and drained the last of his coffee. He met the waitress halfway to the door and took the Styrofoam cup from her and nodded in appreciation. “Thanks.”
“Stay safe out there, hon.”
As Frank pulled open the door, he glanced around the parking lot to locate his truck. As he walked towards it, a far-off sound caught his attention. It sounded—at first—like a gunshot or series of fireworks going off, though he soon discovered what it actually was.
Frank’s truck exploded in a fireball a hundred feet in front of him, the force of the explosion throwing him back against the wall of the diner. Frank’s truck wasn’t the only one to explode, though. Three other 18-wheelers in the lot exploded within seconds of his, sending pieces of metal, glass and the contents of their trailers flying through the air.
Frank sat still on the ground for several seconds, dazed and confused about what had just happened. Stunned by the blast, he fought to catch his breath and comprehend what had just happened. Just then he heard more explosions from the highway in front of the diner. A passing truck was incinerated instantly and the trailer behind it flipped up into the air before crashing back down.
Several cars and SUVs driving behind the truck and trailer smashed into it, while others further back careened off the road as they tried to avoid the crash. As much as Frank hoped that the explosions would stop, they didn’t even slow down. There were distant echoes from down the highway and on roads in the small town off to the west, though the sounds eventually faded some minutes later until they again sounded like gunshots and fireworks.
Frank struggled to his feet, bracing himself against the diner wall as he stood. His legs felt unsteady, his vision was blurry and his mind felt clouded and overwhelmed with sensory input. Inside the diner, people rushed in and out, screaming and crying and shouting. Several drivers and passengers had been in their cars when the large trucks exploded, and were instantly killed by the blasts. Others had been walking to or from the nearby gas station, the diner and their vehicles and had been injured.
Frank lurched forward instinctively, still dazed as he started towards his truck. After a few steps he felt a hand on his shoulder that turned him around. Frank blinked a few times and a concerned face came into focus. “Are you okay?” The man speaking to him had been sitting a few seats down from Frank at the bar munching on a chicken sandwich.
Frank looked down and held a hand against his head as he felt a sharp pain in response to the movement. “I… I think so.”
The man looked down at Frank’s head and shook his own. That’s a nasty wound you’ve got there. Come on, let’s get you inside and sat down.” The man put his arm around Frank’s shoulder and started guiding him back towards the diner.
Frank went along willingly, still trying to get a handle on what was going on. Just as they reached the diner steps the stranger ran off to try and help two other men pull open the door to a burning car. Smoke filled the air as Frank trudged up the steps and all he could hear was an endless array of screaming and shouting.
Inside, Frank slumped into one of the back booths, pulled out a wad of napkins from the dispenser on the table and pressed them against his head. As the destruction continued to rage outside, he looked up at the television above the bar as he tried to get his eyes to focus.
The overly chipper daytime talk show host that had been on the television earlier was now replaced by the pale face of a well-dressed reporter. The reporter sat behind a desk in a studio, shuffling through pieces of paper that the crew were running and handing to him as he tried to compose himself.
“We’ve—uh…I’m sorry. I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen. One moment please.” The reporter leaned off-camera and held a hurried, whispered conversation. “My apologies. We’re doing our best to get all the facts here. This is an active story right now and what we tell you may radically change based on new information that comes in. However, as we understand it right now there’s been a nationwide terrorist attack the likes of which we’ve never seen. We’re reporting that there have been dozens and perhaps even hundreds of explosions at key rail and air facilities around the country. We’re also receiving reports of thousands of smaller incidents that seem to involve 18-wheelers and—“ The reporter stopped mid-sentence while someone wearing a headset came on-camera and whispered in the reporter’s ear.
“What the hell is going on?” Frank mumbled to himself. He pulled the wad of blood-soaked napkins off of his head and tossed them on the table before getting a fresh handful.
The reporter nodded a few times to the person talking to him before turning back to the camera. “Folks, we’re going to be cutting to a live announcement from the White House in just a few minutes. Before that, though, we wanted to update you on an AP update that just came out with some disturbing claims from the radical terrorist organization—”
The television flickered and powered off, along with the lights in the diner. Frank looked around, then glanced outside. Several people who had been in the lot and survived the explosions were sitting on the grass nearby, talking on their phones when they all took them from their ears and glanced at the screens. Remembering his own phone, Frank reached into his pocket, only to frown as he felt nothing. He dug in another pocket and frowned again, then started patting his jacket, shirt and pants to no avail.
“What the…” Not only could Frank not find his phone, but his wallet was gone as well. He turned around to see if they had fallen out into the booth or the floor below, but couldn’t find any sign of them. As Frank stood up, he turned to look out the window and saw the man who had helped him. The man had his arm around another person and was helping them walk back to the diner. From his vantage point, though, Frank could see what else the man was doing—reaching into the other person’s pocket.
Frank lurched forward and put one knee on the booth seat while the other banged into the table, causing him to fall forward. He barely caught himself on the window with his free hand, then regained his balance and started banging on it. “Hey! Asshole! Give me my stuff back!”
The man looked up at him, his eyes wide as he saw Frank shouting at him from inside the diner. Not waiting around to find out what Frank was saying, the man took off like a shot, disappearing a moment later beyond the gas station down the road.
Inside the diner, Frank stopped banging on the window and dropped back into his seat. He shook his head and instantly regretted the movement as a wave of pain shot through his head and neck. The waitress that had served him before came running up to him, concern written on her face. “You okay, hon?”
“I… I don’t know. I’m pretty sure that guy took my phone and wallet and I think he was stealing from that lady sitting out there.” Frank pulled the napkins off of his head and touched the wound gently.
The waitress gasped at the sight and ran back behind the counter to fetch a first aid kit. She sat down next to Frank and began bandaging his head, all while looking out the window and talking to him.
“I was in the walk-in taking stock until the power went off a minute ago. What happened out there? Did a gas truck explode?
Frank winced as she scrubbed his wound with antiseptic wipes. “I don’t know. I was walking out to my truck when it exploded. Several others did, too. Then I came back in here and the news was on, talking about some terrorist attack when the power cut out.”
The waitress’s face turned white. “Terrorists? Oh God, not nine-eleven again.”
Frank shrugged. “All I heard was that this is all over the country, apparently. I was—” Frank was cut off mid-sentence by a shout from the other side of the diner.
“Lucille! You got the first aid? Get over here, quick!”
The waitress glanced at Frank’s head and gave him a pat on the shoulder. “I was a nurse for a few years before the hospital closed down. You’ll be fine. Just try and stay off your feet as much as you can.” With that, the waitress was up and moving.
Frank turned away from the billowing smoke outside the diner as he realized how much noise was coming from inside. Several of the injured had been brought inside, and all of them were crying and moaning as a few others tried to tend to their wounds. Frank stood up, still unsteady, and walked down the length of the diner, unsure of where he was going. He headed outside and walked towards his truck, shielding his face from smoke and flames as he reached the parking lot.
The trailer on Frank’s truck was engulfed in flames, but the cab was still mostly intact, though it was masked by plumes of smoke. Frank broke into a run, hoping he could get up into the cab and grab some of his personal belongings before they were destroyed. When he reached the passenger door to the truck he hopped up, opened the door and ducked inside. Smoke had been leaking into the cab but it was otherwise untouched. He reached into the sleeper compartment and grabbed his backpack and threw it out onto the ground, then dug around on the floor for his spare pair of shoes and his computer.
He found his boots just as the flames found their way into the cab, fueled by the fresh supply of oxygen from when he had opened the door. Frank nearly fell backwards out onto the asphalt as he tried to get away, catching himself at the last second by the door and swinging outward. As the flames continued their slow, steady journey across the truck, Frank grabbed his backpack and shoes and broke into a run back towards the diner.
Just as Frank reached the steps to the diner, a fireball consumed the cab as the flames finally found their way into the fuel lines and tanks. Already damaged by the initial explosion in the trailer, the lines were easily compromised by the heat from the fire. Frank dropped his belongings on the ground and shielded his face with his hands, watching the fire through the cracks between his fingers. A single thought ran through Frank’s mind as the flames consumed his job, his home and his life.
“What now?”

“…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.

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