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418 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear readers,

Please join me in the world of Zombiestan for a trip you'll never forget. Here's what you can look forward to in Zombiestan:

Friendly locals: They will come out in hordes to embrace you, and if they bite, please don't take offence. It's just their way of welcoming you to the gang
Healthy living: Modern day living is stressful isn't it? In Zombiestan, you'll get a full body work out from all the running and fighting, and in case one of the friendly locals does get you, then you never have to worry about dying- let alone body fat, blood pressure, or your waistline again- being undead does have it's fringe benefits.

When to visit: The locals come out to play as soon as the Sun sets
What to bring: A Molotov cocktail and a shotgun would be nice
How much does it cost?: This will be your best value vacation ever- price of entry is only 99 cents- and you don't really need to bother with booking a return ticket.

Interested? Here's my latest novel for you:

The blurb from Amazon
The War on Terror just took a terrifying new turn.

It began with stories of undead Taliban rampaging through Afghan villages, and faster than anyone could have anticipated; the darkness spreads through the world.

In a world laid waste by this new terror, four unlikely companions have been thrown together- a seventeen year old boy dealing with the loss of his family, a US Navy SEAL trying to get back home, an aging, lonely writer with nobody to live for, and a young girl trying to keep her three year old brother safe.

When they discover that the smallest amongst them holds the key to removing the scourge that threatens to destroy their world, they begin an epic journey to a rumoured safe zone high in the Himalayas. A journey that will pit them against their own worst fears and the most terrible dangers- both human and undead.

A journey through a wasteland now known as Zombiestan.

Where can you book tickets?: Just click on one of the links below depending on where you live:

Premium Member
63,458 Posts

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418 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here's the first few pages of Zombiestan to whet your appetite:

Mullah Omar sat down for what would be the last meal of his life.

Of course, at that point he had no way of knowing that this would be last time he would have his frugal meal of dates, bread and figs, but years of living on the run from the Americans had taught him that death could be lurking around any corner. Death was not something that worried him, but the one fear he did have was that he would not be able to see his plans through. The men he was meeting today were his best and perhaps his last hope that he may yet live to see the day when the Taliban once again ruled over Afghanistan and that the Americans paid dearly for the devastation they had brought upon his people. Next to him was a man who looked like a portly college professor, with thick glasses, and a flowing white beard, sharing in his meal.

Ayman Al-Zawahiri looked at Omar, sensing the man’s apprehension about coming into the open.

‘My brother, eat well. After today, we will feast as our enemies burn and rot!’

Omar just shrugged and continued eating. Al-Zawahiri may have sounded confident, but he had his own fears to contend with. After Osama Bin Laden had been killed just months earlier in a US raid on his hideout in Abbotabad, Al-Zawahiri had been whisked away by his minders in the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence from his safehouse in Peshawar to a small village on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Both Al Qaeda leaders had been given sanctuary in Pakistan by elements of the Pakistani Intelligence agency, but with the daring US raid to kill Osama in the heart of Pakistan, his minders had told him they could no longer guarantee his safety. Al-Zawahiri had tried to reach out to the Al Qaeda foot soldiers, confident that he could take on the mantle of leadership that Osama had once worn but was shocked when they paid him no heed. He didn’t have the charisma, the vision, or so he heard of them whispering when he was not around. That was why he had hatched this plan, one so audacious that even Osama would never have dreamed of it, and co-opted Mullah Omar, who had come out of hiding in the caves to join him in organizing the mission. He knew that without Mullah Omar’s help in organizing logistics and security inside Afghanistan and Pakistan, his plan would never get off the ground.

The four men with them looked much like Mullah Omar, gaunt and lean from years of living as fugitives in their own land, wearing black turbans that the Taliban favoured, and armed to the teeth. Compared to them, their two visitors looked woefully out of place. They were overweight, dressed in ill fitting suits and looked out of breath and tired from the journey that had brought them from Pakistan to the small hut nestled on a perch in the Shahikot valley in Afghanistan.

One of them tried to say something, as if anxious to get the business he had come for over with, but Mullah Omar silenced him with a single wave of his hand. He never liked being disturbed while eating. That was a habit he had picked up from his mercurial friend. Osama’s memory stung as Mullah Omar recalled how the Americans had shot his friend dead in cold blood. He had no great love for the fat Egyptian doctor who fancied himself a revolutionary and thought he could fill Osama’s boots, but he was willing to help in a plan that would both avenge Osama’s death and bring the Taliban back to power in Afghanistan.

Al-Zawahiri turned to one of the Pakistanis.

‘Now, show me what you’ve brought.’

The man he had addressed was sweating profusely despite the cold outside, and wiped at his brow with a handkerchief.

‘We want to serve the struggle against the infidels. That’s why we are here.’

Mullah Omar’s eyes narrowed as he studied the man. A soft, city bred, corrupt government scientist. Intelligence had shown that in spite all his claims of piety, he indulged in loose women and gambling. Mullah Omar shook his head sadly at what things had come to. Just a few years ago, a sinner such as this would have been stoned to death. Now he not only had to deal with them, but had to pay them.

‘Hamid, I know all about how pious you are. The five million dollars you seek are with us. Now, just show me what you have and let’s all get out of here.’

The man called Hamid motioned to his companion, who had been sitting a few feet behind him. The man got up and asked the Taliban bodyguards to help him. Two of the black turbaned men helped him pull two heavy boxes into the middle of the room. Mullah Omar studied the boxes curiously. He had never received formal education and to him, the babblings the scientists subjected him to meant nothing. He knew that science was nothing before the will of Allah. Otherwise how would a mere village preacher like him have been blessed with the opportunity to lead the faithful in Afghanistan? That conviction had helped him keep his faith even after the infidels had invaded his land and scattered his men.

Hamid started talking, something about Caesium 137 bought from the Chechens, Uranium from Pakistani stocks, Botolinum from Libya and something called Tetrodotoxin. Mullah Omar felt his head hurting from the complicated words, and then stopped Hamid.

‘I know nothing of all of this. I just want to know if what you claim this can do for us is true. Abu Jafar, is this as these men claim?’

The man called Abu Jafar leaned towards Mullah Omar. He may have looked like the other Taliban bodyguards, but he was in fact a biotechnology doctorate from an Ivy League university. He had spent the first thirty years of his life as an unremarkable Iraqi immigrant in the US, working as a researcher at a leading pharmaceutical company. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the exhortations of the preacher at his local mosque had brought him into the fold, and with his education and qualifications, Osama and Mullah Omar had realized he was meant for greater missions than strapping on a bomb and blowing himself up.

‘I have confirmed it. If we use these wisely, we could bring the infidels to their knees.’

Al-Zawahiri, an educated man unlike Omar, was rubbing his hands in satisfaction. Before coming to the meeting, he had done his research on the material these Pakistani scientists claimed to have. He knew that used correctly, they could devastate the West. The Americans had made such a fuss about Weapons of Mass Destruction, and even destroyed Iraq hunting for fictional WMDs. Now Al-Zawahiri would show them what Mass Destruction really meant- when several Western capitals were all hit simultaneously, each with a different weapon. He smiled at Hamid.

‘Then Allah has indeed shown us the way. Give these men their just rewards and send them on their way.’

Mullah Omar and Al-Zawahiri retreated to the back of the hut while two of the Taliban bodyguards stepped behind the Pakistanis and shot them once each in the back of the head.

‘Muzzle flashes! I see muzzle flashes, Sir!’

Captain David Bremsak immediately held up his high-powered binoculars to take a closer look at the hut. He could see nothing inside, but he trusted Dan, the sniper in his small four man team. If Dan had seen muzzle flashes inside then it was clear that the hut was occupied by someone other than a shepherd taking an afternoon nap. He turned to the bearded man wearing dark wraparound sunglasses to his left.

‘Mike, I think we have ourselves something here.’

Mike Fotiou just nodded with a slight smile and picked up his portable radio.

‘Eagle Eye, confirm hostile targets at the last co-ordinates we sent.’

There was a click in response, as Mike took off his glasses and looked at David with his blue eyes.

‘You know what I could really do with? A cold beer and some juicy steak.’

David laughed. They had been trekking in the mountains of the Paktia province of Afghanistan for the last fifteen days, living off their rations and the land. They were members of the secretive Task Force 121, created to hunt down HVTs, so called High Value Targets, in the seemingly never-ending `war on terror’. Osama was dead and fish food by now, but his acolytes were hard at work, and David’s job was to hunt them down.

David reached into his pack and took out some chewing gum.

‘This is the best I can offer by way of hospitality.’

Mike popped it into his mouth and smiled. The two other men also took the gum that David passed around. Dan already had his eyes glued to the scope of his M82A1 Barrett sniper rifle, while the fourth man, Rob, was to his right, his own M4 carbine at his shoulder. The four of them had been inserted into the area when a local informant had passed on news that Mullah Omar, the one-eyed Taliban leader and Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Osama’s deputy, were both reputed to be on the move. In the world of HVTs, that was about as high as it got, and their mission was to report in on movements, and call in air strikes if they found anything.

David saw that Mike had his own M4 at the ready by his side. In his two years with TF121, David had worked with a lot of other spooks, but what made Mike better than most CIA desk jockeys who joined them on missions was the fact that he had been an Army Ranger before joining the CIA’s Special Activities Division. He might be a spook now, but he was at heart a warrior like them.

‘Holy shit!’

David turned to Dan.

‘What the hell did you see? A ghost?’

‘Even better, Sir. Frigging Mullah Omar just stepped out to take a leak.’

David stared through his binoculars with incredulity. There was no mistaking the face he had studied a dozen times or more in pre-mission briefings. Yes, there he was, Mullah Mohammed Omar, the leader of the Taliban, standing a kilometer away with his pants literally around his knees. It would have been funny if they did not have some deadly serious business to attend to. David’s orders were clear on what they were expected to do if they did encounter any HVTs. He turned to Dan even as Mike asked Eagle Eye to launch.

‘Dan, take the shot.’

Specialist Daniel Barnett took a deep breath and then fired a single shot. The fifty-caliber bullet fired from the Barrett sniper rifle was designed to punch through light armour. What it did to Mullah Omar’s head was not a pretty sight. The Taliban bodyguards inside saw their leader fall a split second before they heard the unmistakable report of a heavy weapon being fired. They were about to rush out when two Hellfire missiles slammed into the hut, fired by a Predator drone loitering thousands of feet and a couple of miles away. The explosions incinerated everyone and everything inside.

David had seen more than his share of fighting and killing in his ten years as a Navy SEAL and then with Task Force 121 but this was by far the most exhilarating mission he had ever been a part of. His mind was reeling at the implications of what they had achieved. With Mullah Omar gone, it was more than likely that the Taliban would cease to be the more or less unified force they had been, and perhaps more amenable to a peace deal with the Americans. And if Al-Zawahiri had indeed been with him, then killing him just months after Osama, would cripple Al Qaeda. With this one mission in the mountains of Afghanistan, they may just have changed the course of history.

‘Pack up, boys. We don’t want to be around when the Taliban get here.’

As silently as they had come, the four men picked up their gear and began their hour long trek through the jagged peaks and narrow passes to reach their exfiltration point, where a chopper was en route to pick them up. They were deep in enemy territory and as much as they would have liked to go in closer to verify their kills, the Predator overhead had already warned them of approaching Taliban forces.

Half an hour after they had left, three pick up trucks climbed the pass leading to the hut. More than twenty heavily armed, black-turbaned Taliban warriors leapt out, weapons at the ready. But when they saw that they were too late to save their leader, several of them sat down, stunned and in shock. From the last truck emerged four men who looked totally out of place. They were all dressed in western clothes, two of them were white and two were black. They were Al Qaeda’s most prized foreign operators. Men who had been born and bred in Western society, but had converted to the cause along the way. Men who had western identities and passports and could carry their jihad deep into the infidel’s lands. They were to have been the carriers of the deadly cocktail of poisons Al-Zawahiri had come to take delivery of.

They stood looking at the burnt remains of the hut and the men who had assembled there. None of them had known about the exact contents of what special weapons their leaders had themselves come down to take delivery of, and many of the uneducated Taliban warriors poked at the wreckage at random till one of the Western Jihadis told them to be more careful. One of the Americans wondered aloud if the American Predators were still overhead and if they should just get away as fast as possible. The Taliban were going to have none of that. They had lost their leaders, and were now collecting body parts, intent on giving Mullah Omar a fitting burial. One or two of the Westerners tried to reason with them that getting away immediately was the only sensible thing to do, but the illiterate Taliban soldiers pointed their guns at them and told them to wait. The grisly task took fifteen minutes, their hands cut and chafed in many places as they sorted through the charred remains. Unknown to them, they both inhaled and ingested into their bloodstreams a cocktail of some of the most deadly toxins known to man.

The Taliban were silent, many of them in tears. Their Jihad had suffered a massive setback.

Little did they realize that their Jihad was going to take on a horrifying new dimension, and that they were to be the ones to strike the first blow in it.

418 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Another brief excerpt from Zombiestan- showing the start of the outbreak through the eyes of one of the main protagonists.

Hina Rahman got up to get a cup of coffee, her creaking joints reminding her that she had come a long way from the days when she had been the heartthrob of every boy in college. Now she was just the crotchety old Professor who nagged them to do their assignments. Nobody would have told her that to her face, but while her joints may have weakened with age, her hearing was still sharp, and as she briefly looked in the mirror, her features were still sharp and the greying hair looked good on her. She savoured the hot liquid as she turned on the TV. Every news channel seemed to have only one item to report, the so-called Afghan Flu. She left CNN on as she set the dinner table. Over the clinking of glasses and plates, she heard the somber voice of the newscaster.

‘In less than three days since it’s first appearance, what doctors are calling the Afghan Flu is spreading like wildfire. Medical authorities are saying that there is still no cause for panic, but have warned against any travel to Afghanistan or Pakistan.’

Hina sniggered to herself with the thought that there wasn’t exactly a long queue of tourists waiting to brave roadside bombs and drone attacks in India’s two dysfunctional Islamic neighbours. Her father, a devout Muslim born in Lahore, would have probably hit her for such thoughts, but her home was Delhi, not Pakistan, which she had left at the age of one during the Partition in 1947. And while she considered herself a devout Muslim, she found nothing in common with the hateful radicals who seemed to hold sway nowadays in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She put the last plate in its place and then turned to the TV, planning to finish her coffee before she heated dinner. She flipped the channel to BBC, where they were interviewing the American President, who was in London for a summit. She had welcomed his election, not because of any other reason but because she found him strikingly handsome. She took comfort in the fact that sixty-five summers had still not entirely robbed her of the feelings and emotions that had once made her a vivacious young woman.

Those eyes that she had admired now looked filled with trepidation as the American President spoke.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, we have been through a number of outbreaks before. Swine Flu, Bird Flu, SARS and many others. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this latest outbreak and their families, but I do want to reassure all of you that medical science is now at such a level that we can contain and eventually turn back such outbreaks.’

One of the reporters asked a question.

‘Mr. President, could you update us on the latest number of confirmed cases in the US and Great Britain?’

The President turned to ask one of his advisors and then, for a brief moment, shook his head as if in disbelief, as he responded.

‘We now have four thousand people in quarantine in the United States and two thousand here. Total confirmed cases worldwide stand at just under fifteen thousand.’

There was a collective gasp from the gathered reporters. Hina found herself mumbling a prayer. Fifteen thousand in just over two days? What disease was this that turned people so crazed that they bit anyone who came near them, and one bite was enough to infect a victim? And what about those rumours about them dying and coming back to life? How did medical science explain that?

Before the reporters could ask any more questions, the American President had left. Hina changed the channel to NDTV India, which was reporting the first confirmed cases in India. One of the `experts’ was responding to a question on how the disease could have spread so fast.

‘As far as it’s known today, the infection was first spotted in a few young men flying out of Afghanistan through Pakistan. Hence the name. Then there are the American soldiers who developed the symptoms while being flown to Germany and infected dozens of others. Consider this simple fact. There are an estimated four million people traveling by air every single day across the world. Add people meeting them at airports, their families, staff on the planes and at airports, the taxi drivers who ferry them and so on. Literally each traveller could be in close contact with hundreds of people each day. So it’s not surprising that the number of infections outside of Afghanistan and Pakistan has exploded so fast.’
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