Excerpt from “Chapter 9 – April 25–28; Z Days 16–19”

ZAPOCALYPSE: Pathogen (Book 1) by Carol Lynski

Excerpt from “Chapter 9 – April 25–28; Z Days 16–19”:

Sara continued to improve, and was almost done with the antibiotics, but
the town found excuse after excuse for the engineer not to leave. Peter
had an escort, morning and night, and he was never left alone long enough to
sneak out. Sara attended school daily and was allowed to wander. She explored
every inch of the compound, reporting her finds back to Peter as they ate their
evening meal. The old jail housed all the guns confiscated when people entered
the town and was under heavy guard, so Peter knew that there would be no
additional weapons to the katana if they found the chance to bolt.

Day sixteen started the same way as had any other over the previous
ten days. The crank radios were set up and working, AM stations carried
the news. Ireland’s Father Patrick had cleared Killarney and was working
his way across the island. The immune priest felt called by God to eliminate
the scourge from the green paradise as Saint Patrick had driven out
the snakes. Listening to the news gave the community something to discuss
besides the food; today’s breakfast was oatmeal with prunes. They were out
of raisins, sugar, syrup, and most anything else that was sweet. But they had
food. Some of the other shelter sites they were in contact with were running
out and needing to go farther afield to resupply. Parris Island was
overpopulated, diverting everyone to Hilton Head and Savannah, and
those there could not spare any supplies.

Excerpt from “Chapter 8 – April 21–24; Z Days 12–15”

ZAPOCALYPSE: Pathogen (Book 1) by Carol Lynski

Excerpt from “Chapter 8 – April 21–24; Z Days 12–15”:

Gus and the men of the unit arrived and went through a thorough
physical exam and detailed account of their diet for the last few days.
They were monitored for twelve hours prior to being allowed into the
main part of the compound. The briefing would be at dawn.

Gus found a place to unroll his mat, and he slept better than expected.
He woke over an hour before daybreak, listening to crying babies and humming
mothers. Others swore at the noise, and Gus smiled. Humanity. The
briefing was just that, brief. Army intelligence deduced that the compound
had been overrun but not how. The rumor from a man with a radio said
that many survivors retreated into Seattle proper and were holing up in the
Space Needle. Good for defense, terrible for evacuation. There was no survivor
count, and the information could not be confirmed. The Atlanta contingent
would meet up with a troop from Cheyenne on the ground one
click from the Space Needle. The president was not in Cheyenne, so he
must be in Seattle. His safe extraction was the number-one priority.

Excerpt from “Chapter 7 – April 18–20; Z Days 9-11”

ZAPOCALYPSE: Pathogen (Book 1) by Carol Lynski

Excerpt from “Chapter 7 – April 18–20; Z Days 9-11”:

Raul Lara arrived at the gate at noon with three jeeps, one mounted
with a bazooka and another with a machine gun. Lara’s men pointed
the weapons at the opening.

“Send your leader out!” Lara stood on the back of the jeep, trying to
look like one of the military dictators of Africa or South America, complete
with cigar.

Guillermo swung the gate open and stepped out, his AK-47 slung
across his back.

Raul Lara laughed. “I said send your leader, not a little boy!”

Excerpt from “Chapter 6 – April 17; Z Day 8”

ZAPOCALYPSE: Pathogen (Book 1) by Carol Lynski

Excerpt from “Chapter 6 – April 17; Z Day 8”:

Peter woke with a persistent poking.

“Peter, it’s morning. Let’s go!”

Peter peeked down into the kitchen and swung himself to the prep
table and then grabbed her.

“We have to stock up. Breakfast, and then we load the car. I’ll find
some tubing I can use as a gas siphon. There were a few more gas cans in
the boat shed. I’d love to get some weapons, but there’s just too many Zs in
the guard tower.”

Virginia ham and canned peaches started the day, and then they went
on to the boatshed. Sara found some flares while rummaging through supply
boxes, and Peter took tubing and three almost-empty gas cans. Sara’s
father’s Outback had a little over half a tank and thankfully took regular.
Using heavy-duty kitchen utensils, they pried the tank covers open on a
couple of cars and managed to fill the SUV and the cans. Around noon,
they were ready. Sara found some AM stations still broadcasting. Peter
stopped her when he heard a familiar voice and smiled. Emma was still OK.

Excerpt from “Chapter 5 – April 15–16; Z Days 6–7”

ZAPOCALYPSE: Pathogen (Book 1) by Carol Lynski

Excerpt from “Chapter 5 – April 15–16; Z Days 6–7”:

Sammy Jo got an early start. Mrs. Elvira Polk sat snugly in the sidecar
with blankets tucked around. She complained about being
treated like an invalid. After all, the Indian Warrior was hers, and despite
recent hip surgery, she was more than capable of driving it herself. Martin
lived in Seattle and wanted to protect his mother. He felt that she would be
safer in the city where the military closely monitored all vehicles coming in.
The panic room in his apartment could be sealed and held several days’
worth of food and water.

Without traffic, the drive would take about two hours, generally less,
State Highway 8 to I-5, but I-5 into Seattle was blocked by stalled cars and
military roadblocks. It might take days. Instead, they’d stick to the country
roads and side streets in the many towns and cities, working their way

Excerpt from “Chapter 4 – April 14; Z Day 5.”

ZAPOCALYPSE: Pathogen (Book 1) by Carol Lynski

Excerpt from “Chapter 4 – April 14; Z Day 5.”:

Emma woke before dawn to pounding. Not really pounding, more of
a steady beating. She checked her pulse—seventy-eight; almost down
to her normal. She felt the need to use the restroom, desperately. The
waste bin held two empty bags of saline with the one still connected halfempty.
No wonder Emma thought as she tested her feet, found that they
would hold, and pushed the IV pole into the hall. Detective Williams sat
with his back to one door, gun in his lap, and Andy at the other, holding a
flimsy aluminum rod from an IV pole. Emma thought of all the zombie
movies and shows that started with the hero waking in a hospital bed with
the world around him forever changed. This had to be a dream or a fevered
nightmare, but she was awake, watching her new friend without military
training try to keep guard.

Emma peeked into the next patient room and saw the blood on the
floor and the body on the bed. She stepped back into the hallway, caught
Andy’s eye, and then mouthed “bathroom.” He jerked his head toward the
nurse’s station. Emma found the nurse with the cold voice under a desk,
arms around her knees with her face tucked in. Emma could see the mascara
tracks trailing down the side of her cheeks and onto the knees of the
maroon scrubs. Emma wanted to stop but the call of nature was too urgent.
Emma nodded and kept walking to the room with a woman’s silhouette.

Excerpt from “Chapter 3 – April 13; Z Day 4”

ZAPOCALYPSE: Pathogen (Book 1) by Carol Lynski

Excerpt from “Chapter 3 – April 13; Z Day 4”:

“I suspect the CDC docs underestimated how quickly this could
spread,” President Paulson said, staring at his TV. He had been getting
calls since midnight and looked like a man with no sleep. An aide
brought him a fresh shirt and jacket while he gave himself a quick shave in
front of an Oval Office mirror.

“At this time, we’ve counted well over a thousand cases, most currently
centered in New York, San Antonio, Dallas, Atlanta, and Chicago. A
lot of health care workers. A nurse in San Antonio attacked her neighbors
yesterday. It turns out she’d been bitten by a patient the day before. Dr.
Goodman from the CDC is on his way.” Gehler rolled his neck.

“Oh, God, the whistler? Why can’t we get the other one?” Paulson
wiped his face.

Excerpt from “Chapter 2 – April 12; Z Day 3”

ZAPOCALYPSE: Pathogen (Book 1) by Carol Lynski

Excerpt from “Chapter 2 – April 12; Z Day 3”:

Dr. Emma O’Conner led the morning rounds. No one needed to ask
her heritage—the auburn hair, green eyes, and name said it all. In the
few remaining months of her family medicine residency, she was expected
to be a team leader and act as the attending’s right hand. Emma excelled,
earning the respect of the other doctors at San Antonio General. Her third
patient on rounds had the same odd symptoms as the first. Both Mr. Velez
and Mr. Ortiz had arrived on a plane from Mexico two nights ago, after
which each developed fevers of over 110 degrees. Mr. Ortiz had the
expected outcome and lay in a coma on a ventilator, waiting for family
members to arrive and say their good-byes before life support was stopped.
The team put on masks and gloves as they approached Mr. Velez.

Excerpt from “Chapter 1 – April 10; Z Day 1”

ZAPOCALYPSE: Pathogen (Book 1) by Carol Lynski

Excerpt from “Chapter 1 – April 10; Z Day 1”:

Busayo eyed the fare he’d picked up at La Guardia. The man was covered
in sweat on a cool night, barely above fifty degrees. Initially, Busayo
thought he’d been given a gift to drive the well-dressed man to a high-end
Manhattan hotel near Central Park. What little he could get from the businessman
was the name of his hotel and that one should never eat a steak at an
airport. A few blocks from his Central Park hotel, the man began to seize.

“Hey!” Busayo pulled the cab into the edge of the park. The driver
jumped out and yanked the back door open. Spittle and foam leached from
the businessman’s mouth, and with a last moan, his breath stopped. “Shit!”
Busayo checked the man’s pulse at the neck and wiped the slime and spittle
onto his pants. The cab’s medallion was contracted to his cousin. Busayo
could not legally work, so his cousin loaned him the cab overnight for 70
percent of the fares and a full tank of gas. Even at 2:00 a.m., the traffic
along Fifty-Ninth Street would begin to notice a parked cabbie swearing.
Busayo shut the door and looked for a more secluded spot. A hospital
would ask too many questions. He found a good place near the dumpster
behind a restaurant. Busayo crossed himself and pulled the man from the
car. It was unchristian to leave the body, but Busayo had done worse things
in his former home for worse reasons. Someone would find the passenger
in the morning. The cabbie made sure that all of the man’s belongings were
out of the car, wiping down what he could see. He couldn’t have the body
dump coming back to ruin things for his family.

Excerpt from “Prologue”

ZAPOCALYPSE: Pathogen (Book 1) by Carol Lynski

Excerpt from “Prologue”:

Maria rushed through the alley made by cages, wiping up all matter
of debris where she sprayed, while the ill-appearing cats watched
her with empty eyes. She hated double duty. Unlike Justo, Maria took her
position seriously. There were bigger and better things coming than being
a research assistant. Justo did what needed to be done and no more, leaving
her this mess on his day off after her weekend. The cats with feline herpes,
Justo’s charges, would get the attention first today, and then she could
concentrate on her babies, the genetically modified rats that would put her,
Maria Castaneda, on the top of PhD program lists, maybe even get her into
the United States and out of Mexico City. Maria already made the mistake
of looking in on her charges; the rat dorm resembled a pigsty and would
take some time to put right. Her jaw clenched thinking of the select words
she’d have with Justo: If you gave any of my rats your cat cooties, I will report