Choke by Kenny Soward, Mike Kraus

Choke

Choke by Kenny Soward, Mike Kraus (Spore 2)
English | 2020 | Sci – Fi | ePUB | 1.5 MB

The spores are spreading across the country, and as America reckons with its new future, a spark of hope must be nurtured before it is snuffed out altogether.

In Flagstaff, he joined thousands in a massive traffic jam caused by a roadblock ahead. Moe spoke with another truck driver named Wildcat to learn the local authorities and US military were barring people from traveling east. Along with a sizable ground force, they’d placed two military vehicles with mounted guns on both sides of the expressway.

Moe turned the children over to the authorities and waited for traffic to clear. After a day of growing unrest, armed citizens confronted the authorities and engaged in a shootout that left hundreds dead. In the chaos, vehicles pushed through the roadblock as the citizens took control of the armored vehicles and fired on nearby authorities. Moe’s truck driver friend, Wildcat, perished in the shootout, but he broke free and continued on to his home in Chinle, Arizona.

With traffic packed in at Holbrook, Moe turned his rig around and made for an old watering hole called Coyote’s near the Jack Rabbit Trading Post off of I-40. The bartender, his long-time friend, Rocko, welcomed him, and for the next two days they sipped beer, cooked out, and watched the world burn around them. Chaos caught up to them when armed bandits laid siege to Coyote’s. Moe, Rocko, and another truck driver named Lane, held off the bandits, but not without a cost. Rocko was shot and killed. Moe burned Coyote’s to the ground to honor Rocko’s last request and continued on to Chinle. Once home, he pulled into a Denny’s and sipped coffee with the town regulars as they watched news of the spore clouds ravaging western cities like Ft. Worth, Denver, and Albuquerque. Moe wondered if his desert hometown would survive the encroaching infection.

The red-haired twins, Randy and Jenny Tucker, watched their parents spray their crops with Harvest Guard when the black spore tendrils rose from every field around them and engulfed Center Township, Indiana. After their mother and father died from breathing in the spore tendrils, the twins dove into the cab of a pickup truck and closed all the vents before the spore tendrils reached them. They stayed in there for hours before creating impromptu gas masks from plastic grocery bags, duct tape, and pieces of foam. They noticed the spores seemed heavy and sunk to the ground without the wind to stir them up. Randy and his sister exited the truck carefully to avoid agitating the fungus and found two high-grade air filtration masks in their shed.

The twins built makeshift decontamination rooms in their house with plastic tarps, duct tape, HEPA air filtration units, and plenty of bleach and disinfectant. Using their home as a base of operations, Randy and Jenny drove around the town of Kentland, Indiana searching for survivors and mourning the dead. The twins took on a big job running supplies to Sheriff Stans and his police officers, who were keeping watch over the surviving prisoners at the Newton County jail. The sheriff and his officers were tired, and Randy wondered how long they could keep it up. His uneasiness was justified after he and Jenny helped feed the prisoners one day and discovered two of the cellblocks had been shut down because of the contagion. The last remaining cellblock held a hostile population led by a prisoner named Krumer.

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