Plague War (the Plague Year trilogy Book 2)

Jeff Carlson

Language: English

Pages: 339


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


"Compelling. His novels take readers to the precipice of disaster."
-San Francisco Chronicle

Cam Najarro and Ruth Goldman have developed a vaccine to protect Earth's survivors from the Archos plague, but the shattered U.S. government will do anything to keep the vaccine for themselves. Intent on sharing their cure, Cam and Ruth must cross the apocalyptic wastelands of North America... never realizing a greater threat is about to strike...













Her own pack was the lightest and she clawed at it now, too clumsy with her arm in its cast. Somehow her filthy mask had pulled down and she gulped clean-tasting air without regret. Dust and hot sun. Ruth carried the data index from the archos lab, a few computerdiscs and a sample case of nano-structures. She also had a grenade. She believed it was better to destroy the index than to let it be captured. A brutal choice. The design work might be used to truly defeat the machine plague, but it could also lead to advanced new weaponized nanotech and Leadville had already used a crude nano “snowflake” to liquefy sixteen hundred men and women on the White River Plateau, rebels who dared to try to race them to the archos lab.

It was also important to avoid the attention of Russian-Chinese planes and satellites. A large convoy would have been more visible, and the sky was a greater threat than any starving survivors. Much like the expedition into Sacramento, this squad was all chiefs and no Indians. Foshtomi and Ballard were the only corporals. The others were sergeants of various sub-ranks, and John Park and Deborah were both captains, although it had been made clear that Park was in command. Deborah was an outsider like Ruth and Cam.

There were other people passing by, two doctors, two mechanics, a teenager in civilian clothes. “What can I do? ” Deborah asked softly. “Are you okay? ” “I’m cold,” Ruth said, still gazing at the horizon. Deborah glanced past her at Cam with a worried look and he felt for the first time that they might be friends, too, although it was strange. If he remembered right, the two women had been adversaries before today. Deborah Reece, M. D. , Ph. D. , had been the physician and a support systems specialist aboard the International Space Station.

Cluster bombs. Fifty vials to a case. The snowflake would also be effective in stopping the massive fires across the West, she’d realized. If they dispersed the nanotech along the front lines of a blaze, it would smother the inferno by reducing its fuel to dust. Maybe there were other peaceful uses. If nothing else, she needed the snowflake for testing. Eventually she hoped to design some way to protect people against it, like a weapon-specific ANN, but the damned thing was just too basic. There was no proof that Ruth could imagine.

They knew there was a large conglomeration of American infantry and armored units in the area, coordinating with Grand Lake command. West of Leadville, the mountains surrounding the once-famous ski town of Aspen were poised to become a stronghold against the Chinese. Ruth hoped to find her answers there. If not, the expedition was wasted. Everything boiled down to whether or not she’d guessed right—but if, for example, Leadville had only tested its nanotech on its troops along its northern border, they’d come all this way for nothing.

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