Escaping Home: A Novel (The Survivalist Series)

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9780142181294: Escaping Home: A Novel (The Survivalist Series)

Book 3 of The Survivalist Series

When society ceases to exist, who can you trust?

After the collapse of the nation’s power grid, America is under martial law—and safety is an illusion. As violence erupts around him, Morgan Carter faces one of his most difficult decisions yet: whether to stay and defend his home, or move to a more isolated area, away from the prying eyes of the government. He and his family are hesitant to leave their beloved Lake County, but with increasingly suspicious activities happening in a nearby refugee camp, all signs point towards defecting. Morgan and his friends aren't going to leave without a fight, though—and they'll do anything to protect their freedoms.

From the author of the hit survivalist novels Going Home and Surviving Home, Escaping Home describes the struggle to live in a world with no rules, and how, sometimes, the strength of family is the only thing that can pull you through.

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

About the Author :

A. American has been involved in prepping and survival communities since the early 1990s. An avid outdoorsman, he has a spent considerable time learning edible and medicinal plants and their uses as well as primitive survival skills. He currently resides in Florida with his wife of more than twenty years and his three daughters. He is the author of Going HomeSurviving HomeEscaping HomeForsaking Home, and Resurrecting Home. angeryamerican.net

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :

Prologue

It took weeks to walk to home, but I made it. The entire time I was focused on just getting there. I never really gave much thought to what would happen afterward. Even my most pessimistic thoughts of how life would be at home didn’t come close to the reality. Now our neighborhood is basically empty. Many have simply disappeared. We are down to our small group now: my family, my neighbors Danny and Bobbie, and Sarge and his gang. Fewer people around means more eyes on us, attention we certainly do not want.

In the Before, people used to talk about the FEMA camps and whether or not they would ever choose to go into them. In the Now, with the harsh light of reality shining on the situation, many of those who said they would never be taken to one of these camps were happy to walk in on their own. We’ve been the target of raiders and of the federal govern­ment, both apparently trying to force us into the camps. Now we must decide whether to stay and fight, or find someplace to retreat to. Escape may be our only option.

We have a place—the perfect place for long-term sur­vival, really. But my family, Mel and the girls, may not be ready for it. While the rest of the country may have fallen apart, our preparations are mitigating the effects they feel. With running water, power and abundant stored food—at least for now—they see it as an apocalyptic holiday. But there are forces at play, beyond our control, that may bring about this last desperate move.

Life in the camps isn’t what it appears to be. While there is food, water and warmth, the price is near slave labor and virtual imprisonment. In the care and custody of FEMA, backed up by the DHS, those inside the camp have no rights, no freedom and, worse yet, are exposed to the possible bru­tality of their caretakers. Every barrel has a bad apple, and over time those bad ones start to rot the good ones. Left unchecked this rot can take over the entire barrel. With so much absolute power over so many helpless souls, horrors are bound to be committed. Among those in the camp is our friend Jess, who walked with Thad and me on our long ad­venture home. We don’t know how she’s faring, but with the mixed reports about the camp, one thing is certain: surviv­ing in the camp may prove far more difficult than the strug­gle outside.

Chapter 1

Every day when her work detail was over, Jess would try and visit her brother. It was best to stay busy like that, otherwise the memories would return. It was the thoughts of her mother that were the worst. The image of her mother lying on the cold dirt as the light of the flames consumed what little they had in the world, the dark crimson stain on the ground around her. And her father . . . he’d resisted and was made an example to the others as a result. These images were burned into her mind like an overexposed negative.

Thinking back to the raid made her feel nauseous. Every­thing had happened so quickly. It was late in the evening when a couple of old trucks sped into their little hamlet of cabins. Before anyone could react, the shooting started. Her dad put up a fight even after he was gunned down. Her mother ran to his side, picked up the pistol and shot one of the raiders, but just after she hit him, she was immediately gunned down. Jess managed to make it into the woods with some of her neighbors, running as fast as her legs could carry her. Waiting as she heard the bloodcurdling screams and shots was agonizing. When she returned back to her home, she found the raiders had stripped the place, taking every­thing they could physically carry away. And to her shock, she found her brother, Mark, lying unconscious on the ground.

Jess sat on the ground with her brother’s head in her lap, shocked. She tied off the wounds on his arm with her flannel and wrapped a blanket that she retrieved from one of the smoldering homes around his stomach, but there was noth­ing else she could do. She spent the night under the old oak trees, cradling her brother in her arms. Sleep never came as she kept checking his pulse, feeling it grow weaker and weaker with each hour. When the sun rose, she was relieved to see big white trucks show up, American flags painted on the sides and the letters FEMA on the doors.

The FEMA people immediately set about treating Mark, making him comfortable, bandaging his wounds and loading him into one of the trucks. He needed more treatment, and they told her that she could go with him to one of their facilities. She gladly climbed aboard. Once she was in the truck, a man in a uniform clipped a form to her shirt, the la­bel DD 2745 emblazoned across the top of it. As they were pulling away, she could see others loading her mother and father into body bags. She began to cry. At least they would be buried.

Along the way, they stopped at small communities or refugee camps where others joined them on the trucks. Sev­eral more wounded were also loaded in beside Mark. All of the stories were horrible, though very similar to Jess’s experi­ence. The raiders would come in and take what they wanted: food, guns, tools, tents. The worst stories included people disappearing, women and children mostly.

After a few hours, the truck rumbled through a gate and stopped. When the doors opened Jess shielded her eyes against the midday sun and gazed upon the camp for the first time. Jess climbed down to see rows upon rows of tents fill­ing an area the size of two city blocks. All around her were people in uniforms with guns. While the wounded were carted off to one area of the camp, she and the other healthy refugees were ushered to a large tent. Before entering it, they were subjected to a thorough and invasive search, in which suspect items were tossed on the ground by the guards. Jess’s feeling of salvation was fading, being replaced with one of fear.

After everyone was processed, they were given food and a beverage that tasted like Gatorade. It was amazing to be eating meat loaf with mashed potatoes, and Jess savored it. As they ate, names were called out and each person went to a series of tables in the front, where they filled out forms. All sorts of information was collected—the obvious question about name, age, sex and religion, but also more interesting questions, about NRA membership, club memberships, po­litical party affiliation and whether or not they were on any form of government assistance. Jess filled out the questions without a second thought, and it seemed that the others did too. No one was willing to question the process.

The last two stations were the medical station, where they received a very basic physical examination, and a station for a psychological evaluation. Jess answered the questions for the psych evaluation dully, unable to emote the anguish that she felt for her mother and father. Once through the last sta­tion, she was free to chat with others in the tent and continue eating her meal, though it was made clear that they were all forbidden to leave. Jess spent her time looking around, ob­serving the disheveled masses that surrounded her. A short time later, a series of names were called and each person was photographed and issued an ID badge. Jess was given a yel­low badge. The little plastic card included her picture, name, Social Security number and, once again, the DD 2745 ID number that she was given in the truck.

Once the badges were issued, an announcement was made for everyone to gather under the flags that matched the color of their badges. This was where the first signs of trou­ble appeared. Families were separated into different color codes, and people began to protest. The agents in the tent assured everyone it was only a temporary situation and would be resolved shortly; the different-colored badges sim­ply meant various kinds of additional steps were needed to secure their status. This satisfied most people and they qui­etly went off to sit in their assigned housing areas.

Jess sat sipping on her drink, absentmindedly observing the other people that were being processed. A few feet away from her, a middle-aged man sat giving his name and social security number just as everyone else in the room had. His info was entered into a laptop by a woman in a DHS uni­form. She asked him to give her the tag on his shirt, which he did. She tapped away, then asked him some questions, which he answered. She looked back to her screen for a mo­ment then looked up to one of the armed guards and waved him over.

Two of them approached, she showed them something on the screen and they exchanged words that Jess couldn’t make out. The man was getting nervous. “What’s the matter?” he asked.

They ignored his comment, and then one of the guards told him to stand up and put his hands behind his back.

“What for? I didn’t do anything. I came here for help.”

One of the guards drew a Taser. “I said put your hands behind your back! Do it now!”

The man leapt from the chair. “I didn’t do anything! I didn’t do anything!” he shouted as he tried to run for the door. There was a pop and the man crashed to the ground in front of Jess, writhing and screaming. She jumped from her seat and gasped, shocked at what she’d just witnessed.

The two guards were instantly on him, pulling his hands back. “Don’t resist or you’ll get it again!” The man tried to wriggle from the burly officer’s grip. “Hit him again!” the guard shouted. Jess could hear the clack-clack-clack as the volt­age pulsed through the man.

The sudden violence scared a number of people in the tent and they started to get up, trying to get out. Guards wearing gas masks blocked the doors, holding large cans that looked like fire extinguishers under their arm. “Return to your seats or you will be pepper sprayed!”

Jess knelt down in front of her chair. The man being cuffed was a mere four feet from her. She could see his eyes, wide with fear, tears rolling down his cheeks. He was quietly whimpering, “I didn’t do anything. I didn’t do anything.”

Once he was trussed up, the DHS woman who started it all came up and spoke with one of the guards.

“Here’s his paperwork.”

“Which list is he on?” the man asked, looking the forms over.

“He came up on a couple. He’s subversive by nature.”

They grabbed the man by his arms and dragged him out of the tent. Jess slowly got back in her chair, thinking, What have I gotten myself into?

Once Jess was in her housing unit, a big military-style tent, she listened to the orientation speech given by a red-haired woman in a black uniform who identified herself only as “Singer”—no first name. The speech covered the security pro­tocols in great detail. It was stressed that the security rules were for their safety and there was no acceptable excuse for violations. The lecture went on to inform them they would soon be taken to shower (A hot shower! Jess thought to herself. I can’t even remember the last time I had one!) and given a uni­form. The guard stressed that it was mandatory to always be in uniform with your ID badge plainly visible on the outside of your clothes. And perhaps most important of all: no one was able to leave the camp without express permis­sion of DHS officials. Even portions of the camp itself were not able to be accessed by civilians—the off -limits areas were identified on a large map of the camp. Some areas of the camp were simply marked as crosshatched areas. Nothing inside these areas was identified. She went on to say that they could use the common area just outside the tent but could not wander freely around the camp—again, for their safety.

Singer told them to each pick a bunk and get settled. As they were bustling around the room, she informed them that the next day they would get their work assignments, which caused a heated exchange as to why they had to work. Some women were up in arms about it, but Jess didn’t really care— it was something to do other than sit around and worry about her brother. Singer explained that the shifts for differ­ent duties would rotate, and while some were still grum­bling, for the most part, the ladies settled down.

Jess approached Singer as she was headed out the door and asked whether she would be able to go to the infirmary and visit her brother. Singer replied that as long as she did her work, she could go. Jess was relieved to hear that; she was sick with worry over Mark. In the truck the medical staff had said they assumed he was bleeding inside his skull, but they had neither the facilities nor the personnel to address such injuries. Time was the only medicine they could offer. She decided that she would head over to visit him as soon as she picked her bunk, eager to leave behind the chattering and noise of her many tent-mates. It would be nice to get a little privacy after today’s activities, even if it only meant walking to see her brother.

Jess quickly settled into her new routine at the camp. Each day she and the others were woken up, put in formation and given breakfast before being told their work assignments. Sometimes these jobs lasted a day, sometimes several. All the jobs were mindless and boring. Jess often found herself rem­iniscing about being in her college classes at FSU—even her most dull ones were more exciting than the tasks she had been assigned so far at the camp. One morning during breakfast, she began to laugh, something she hadn’t done in a long time. A young black girl in front of her in line turned around with a puzzled look on her face.

“I’m sorry, but it feels like we’re in that movie Groundhog Day. We’re doing the same thing over and over,” said Jess.

The girl laughed and said, “You’re so right! Only we don’t have Bill Murray here to crack us up. We only have Singer,” she said, mimicking the DHS leader’s strut. Jess gig­gled and the girl offered her hand. “I’m Mary. I think we’re in the same tent.”

“Yeah, I thought I recognized you. We came in the same day. And I’m glad that I’m not the only one getting annoyed by our lovely leader,” Jess said.

That day Mary switched to the bunk next to Jess. They became quick friends, relying on each other to listen and for support. They both needed someone to open up to, to share the weight they carried. Unlike many of the women in the tent, Mary also felt as though the safety and security they hoped the camp would provide was beginning to feel more like a sentence than salvation. It was good to have a friend around, Jess thought. It broke up the monotony of their days.

When the shooting started, Jess was on a detail filling sand­bags. The sudden long burst of machine gun fire caused everyone to stop and look up. Then several more weapons began to fire in a terrifying fusillade of gunfire. The security detail with the work group screamed for everyone to get on the ground. Three men ran through the group pushing any slow-moving bodies down before falling into the deep sand with their weapons pointed in the direction of what was now obviously a battle of some sort.

Jess covered her head as the gunfire crackled around her, a now all-too-familiar sound that caused her to shake uncon­trollably. Mary crawled over to her, hugging the ground.

“What’s going on?” Mary asked, fear in her eyes.

All Jess could do was lay there with the side of her head pressed into the sand. She was too scared to even speak.

The security elements’ radios were full of shouts and calls. Then the camp siren began its long wail, adding to the din. Just when Jess thought it would never stop, the gunfire ceased. Humvees and ATVs were racing all over the camp as the sound...

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Description du livre Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2014. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Book 3 of The Survivalist Series When society ceases to exist, who can you trust? After the collapse of the nation s power grid, America is under martial law--and safety is an illusion. As violence erupts around him, Morgan Carter faces one of his most difficult decisions yet: whether to stay and defend his home, or move to a more isolated area, away from the prying eyes of the government. He and his family are hesitant to leave their beloved Lake County, but with increasingly suspicious activities happening in a nearby refugee camp, all signs point towards defecting. Morgan and his friends aren t going to leave without a fight, though--and they ll do anything to protect their freedoms. From the author of the hit survivalist novels Going Home and Surviving Home, Escaping Home describes the struggle to live in a world with no rules, and how, sometimes, the strength of family is the only thing that can pull you through. N° de réf. du libraire AAS9780142181294

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