When oceans rise … the truth drowns.
From the mind of award winning author, screenwriter, and director Clive Fleury comes Kill Code, a high-action, high-octane, post-apocalyptic thriller about a dying sun-drenched world … and the one good man willing to tear everything down to save it.
A High-Stakes Post-Apocalyptic Action Thriller
Kill Code is the story of Hogan Duran, a disgraced police officer living in 2031 America after climate catastrophe brought on a sun-bleached apocalypse. When the global temperature spiked, the oceans rose to destroy most of civilization, leaving what remained of society under the total control of the wealthy and corrupt elite.
For a man like Hogan, there’s only one way up and out: join up with the National Security Council, the powerful paramilitary organization responsible for protecting the rich and mighty from the desperate poor. If he can conquer their deadly entrance exam, he’ll be rewarded with wealth and opportunity beyond his wildest dreams—certainly money enough to care for his paralyzed ex-partner, whom Hogan failed to save from a bullet in the line of duty.
But the further Hogan descends into the Council’s luxurious world, the more he begins to suspect that his would-be saviors are hiding a grisly secret. A secret they’ve kept for decades. A secret they’d kill to protect.
Clive Fleury’s Kill Code reads like Mad Max: Fury Road meets 1984, and packs enough punch to turn your blood to octane and your heartbeat to pounding war drums. Fans of Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games, and Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave will feel right at home between the pages of this exciting new dystopian thriller.
Read on for an exclusive preview of Kill Code: we hope you enjoy it!
An Exclusive Book Preview
Please enjoy this excerpt from Clive Fleury’s Kill Code:
The Station: a seething mass of humanity. Some came with hope in their hearts, ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime. For others, it was the only place they had left to go. They had reached rock bottom. Day or night, the scene was always the same: Transporters arrived and departed constantly, full of people desperate to get away from here, from there, from everywhere. Others wandered around the Station aimlessly. These were the homeless, the addicts, the criminals, the thieves and deadbeats. They spent their time begging or looking for something to steal.
And there was always tension in the air. A fight could break out at any moment as these tired and hungry people reached their wits’ ends and lashed out at the world.
Max and I had been waiting there two hours, which was at least one hour and fifty-nine minutes too long but neither of us minded. I kept reaching into my pocket to pull out the letter and stare at it.
“You’ll wear it out, buddy,” said a smiling Max after I had brought the note out a tenth time. “Just accept it. Next stop: Easy Street.”
I pushed the letter back into my pocket. I still couldn’t believe it. I’d been accepted. That was the good news. The bad news was I knew that this letter only confirmed that I had been chosen for NSC training. It was incredibly difficult to get this far, but even so, only a very few would make it to through to the next stage—to become officers. Frankly, I had grave doubts I could make it that far.
Max tapped me on my shoulder and pointed to a transporter that had just pulled in to Dock 10. It had the word Seattle printed above its windshield. It was Max’s ride. “Okay, Hogan, looks like it’s my time to go.”
I moved behind Max’s wheelchair and pushed it through the seething crowd towards the vehicle. It was, like all public transporters nowadays, driverless. So since there was no one to help, it was up to me to put Max’s ticket into the scanner and to lower him into in his allotted seat. After that, I folded his wheelchair and carried the chair to the luggage rack at the front.
As I finished storing the chair, I spotted an attractive woman in her mid-thirties walk up to Max. I watched as she checked the seat number on her ticket. “That is twenty-two N isn’t it?” I heard the woman say to Max as she pointed to the vacant seat next to him.
Max smiled. “It sure is. And you have the luck to be sitting next to Max Creeling.” He held out his hand. “Great to meet you.”
The woman smiled and sat next to him as I returned.
“Okay, Max, time to go. See if you can get someone to help you with the chair at the other end.”
“I think I can organize that,” the woman said. “I’m Lisa.” She pushed out her hand and I shook it.
“Pleased to meet you, Lisa. Thank you for your kind offer. Now, Max, don’t forget when you get to Seattle to keep out of trouble.”
I high-fived Max. “Bye. And behave yourself.”
I turned quickly and headed for the transporter’s exit door. Almost as soon as I had stepped down from the vehicle, the door slid shut, the last passenger just managing to squeeze on. As the transporter drove off, Max peered out of the window and winked at me before turning to speak animatedly with Lisa. It looked like he had struck it lucky.
I missed him already.
My transporter would be in next. Dock 20. I started to walk towards the number 20 sign, scanning the crowd for those who were waiting for the NSC Transit transporter like me.
A tall, handsome man in his early twenties stepped in front of me, momentarily blocking my way. I glanced across at him. I knew the type. Dangerous and arrogant but the sort of asshole that women love. In fact, two young beautiful girls were with him: long legs, flowing blonde hair, angelic faces. They were obviously twins.
A commotion came from behind, and a middle-aged, scruffy, worn-down man pushed through the crowd, a rusty shotgun in hand. “Hey, you!” he screamed at the guy with the girls. “Those are my daughters, you son of a bitch.”
The handsome man turned, taking in the man and his gun.
“Really,” he replied. “Then I guess I owe you for raising such lovely pleasure units.”
“They aren’t pleasure units, they’re my girls, and they’re only seventeen.”
“Oh, God…I didn’t know,” the handsome man said, looking shocked. “They swore they were fifteen.” He grabbed one of the teenagers and starting to kiss her passionately.
“You bastard,” the older man said, and raised the shotgun, ready to fire. The handsome man pushed away the girl he was kissing, spun around, and yanked the weapon from the father’s hands in one motion. In an instant, the father was looking down the barrel of his own gun.
“The only reason I don’t shoot you right now is ’cause I’m afraid this rusty piece of shit might blow up in my face.” The younger man cracked the gun open and dumped the shells onto the floor. Then he pulled a gleaming handgun from his trousers and leveled it directly at the father’s head. “This, on the other hand, is in perfect working order. Care to test it?”
The father lunged forward, but I grabbed him, pulling him back. “That’s enough.”
The handsome man stared at me. “Well, thank you,” he said, stuffing his pistol back into his pants. “You should thank him too, Dad,” he said to the girls’ father, “you could have got yourself hurt.” He turned away to look at the girls. “Ladies—it’s been a pleasure. I’m sure you won’t forget your time with Jake Teerman.”
“Bye, Jake,” one of them shouted as she consoled her teary-eyed sister.
The man, Jake, quickly headed towards the transporter that had just pulled up at Dock 20.
“I guess some girls like that kind of thing,” a voice behind me said.
I turned. The woman who’d just spoken was strikingly attractive, with long dark hair, piercing blue eyes, and a button nose. She was dressed in form-fitting jeans and a blue blouse that hugged her shapely body. She carried an antique leather holdall.
She held out her hand. “Ruby Mason.”
“Hogan Duran. Pleased to meet you” I said, shaking her hand and pointing at the NSC Transporter. “You getting on board?”
Ruby smiled proudly. “Yep. And you?”
I nodded and glanced at Jake Teerman, who was climbing up the transporter’s stairs.
“He’s going as well. I thought the NSC was more selective.”
“I guess not,” Ruby said.
About a hundred of us were cramped on board. Most were in their late teens and early twenties, mainly young men but with a sprinkling of women. I knew I was an old man by their standards. It was a pretty big handicap, and since Max’s shooting, my confidence had never really returned. Was I up to this? The transporter had been pretty quiet from the start, with only a few talking to one another. That was the sensible thing to do. We didn’t know exactly what our training would involve, and to give too much away about yourself at this stage was not a smart strategy.
Ruby and I hadn’t spoken much, either. I’d told her about me being an ex-cop. She’d told me that she was a waitress who had just been fired from her job. The news of NSC acceptance had been the lifeline she’d needed. To keep the conversation going but avoiding any more personal talk, I pointed at the transporter driver. “Haven’t seen one of those for years.”
“Me neither,” Ruby said.
It was a surprise to both of us. Nowadays, cars and trucks were almost all driverless. When they were first introduced, people had willingly given up their vehicles and relied on driverless taxis to get around. Before long, all trucks had been made driverless, too, and as demand for ‘driven’ cars fell, the industry collapsed: factories closed and workers were made redundant, joining the thousands of professional drivers in the ranks of the unemployed.
The NSC was one of the few employers who kept their drivers on, not trusting the security of driverless vehicles. Onboard computers could be hacked, they reasoned. It was difficult to accomplish, of course, but it was a risk the organization wasn’t prepared to take.
The view from the vehicle was a revelation to me, too, even though as a cop, I had traveled all over the city. In the four years since resigning from the force, the landscape had changed dramatically. I could see the wealthy zones with their well-lit stores, malls, and schools. These were surrounded by rows of affluent suburban homes, some of which had glistening swimming pools in their back yards. Cars shunted along the wide, clean boulevards, and children played happily in the lush green parks. The zones were protected by high steel-mesh fences hung with huge searchlights. Gun-toting guards, walking with vicious-looking dogs on leashes, manned checkpoints along the border.
In contrast, most of the city’s other zones looked like they’d been bombed out. There were no green spaces: the schools were huge, gray, factory-like buildings; the few stores were tiny, temporary structures; and hardly any cars traveled the crumbling roads that often looked impassable anyway. Homes were, for the most part, a mixture of temporary-looking Nissan huts or constructions built out of old wood and corrugated metal sheets.
As the transporter sped on and darkness fell, the signs of decay and dereliction increased. Tents replaced houses and roads became fewer and fewer. When the vehicle finally left what remained of the town and descended from the freeway down onto the open road, the lights inside were dimmed. People slumped back in their chairs, trying to get as comfortable as possible to sleep.
“Night,” said Ruby, shutting her eyes.
“Night,” I said, and did the same.
I awoke hours later, my legs aching, my back in pain. I really was getting old.
I stared out and saw that the sun had just started to peek over the horizon. Soon it would be high in the sky, streaming through the transporter’s tinted windows. If I was to die and somehow found myself in purgatory, it would probably look like this: dirty brown wasteland stretching out as far as the eye could see. On the horizon was a mountain range. But these boasted no romantic, snow-covered summits glistening in the sun: just steep, hostile, rocky escarpments layered with brown dust.
Ruby opened her eyes. “Hi,” she said, stretching and pulling herself up.
Ruby turned to look out the window. She shivered. “Is this Hell?” she asked.
“Sure looks like it.”
“Three more hours,” Ruby said, yawning.
“Yeah, maybe,” I said, peering at the small clock positioned high over the driver’s head. I reached into my pocket for my old flip phone, and then remembered we’d had to leave all electronic gear with the driver. The NSC expressly forbade anyone to carry anything that could be used to reveal where we were going. I doubted if the clock really showed the correct time. It would be too easy to work out where you were from the time traveled.
Ruby gave a start. “Oh my God.” She was staring out the window. I followed her gaze. In the distance, a band of bikers were riding through the wasteland, heading towards the transporter. I recognized them. “Krails,” I said. “I’ve never seen them up close.”
Others on the transporter had seen the Krails, too. They watched fascinated as the gang approached. As they came closer, I could make out the lined, tough faces of the riders. Although all were dressed in the same tight black leathers, some wore black bandanas or had long scarves covering their necks and faces. Many had grown their hair out, letting it fall down to their waist, while others had it shaved off completely. It was hard to tell the women from the men. All looked equally tough, with lined faces browned in the sun.
More than anything else, Krails were proud of their bikes. Despite the dust, each machine had been meticulously cleaned so their chrome and steel handle bars shone. Some riders had bows slung over their shoulders, quivers of arrows hanging from their belts. Others carried long hunting knives stuck into ornate belts, and handguns stuffed into leather holsters. The man on the lead bike looked huge and terrifying. He was bald, and his face was crisscrossed with long scars.
Ruby made a face. “Disgusting. How can anyone live like that?”
“Maybe they ask the same thing about us,” I said as the transporter accelerated away.
Staring back, I saw the big bald man, the Krail leader, raise his hand and indicate the rocky outcrops on the horizon. Pulling his bike around, he started to ride in the direction he’d indicated. The others followed in V-formation.
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Jacob Mohr relishes the opportunity to work closely as an editor with the authors of tomorrow, creating new stories and exciting possibilities—and making the world a little more awesome, one book at a time.
When he’s not editing someone else’s writing, Jacob can usually be found reading Stephen King, riding rollercoasters, or crafting his own stories.