Created (Book 1 of the Created)

BOOK: Created (Book 1 of the Created)
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Created

A novel by Shannon Shaw

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Copyright 2012 by Shannon
Shaw

http://www.shannonshawbooks.com

 

Cover design by Robin Ludwig
Design Inc
.

http://www.gobookcoverdesign.com/

 

           
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters,
places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been
used fictitiously. These items should not be construed or confused as real. Any
resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locals or organizations
is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part
of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written
permission from the author.

 
 
 

Prologue

         
The Farm operated in secret for
the first twenty two years of its existence. The name had been derived from the
gradual purchasing of a large percentage of adjoining farms and timber tracts
in the south Alabama region known as the Black Belt. These purchases allowed
the U.S. government to build a facility that the official title was that of
Camp Cooper.

What
little information that trickled out was passed on through scattered firsthand
accounts, rumors and innuendos. People continually whispered about the real
purpose behind the government buying an amazing one hundred thousand acres in
an area littered with venomous snakes and whitetail deer.

Government
documents listed the site as a military training ground for units specializing
in rural and forest operations. The locals never bought the flimsy explanation
for the United States needing to buy hundreds of broken down farms and forests
of loblolly pines. The isolated tract was primarily located in rural Henry
County though the size of the land purchase pushed Camp Cooper into neighboring
counties.

Little
military traffic flowed in and out of Camp Cooper, yet security was always much
heavier than the more active military facilities in the state. Often a series
of unmarked government cars and trucks would arrive, but no witness could ever
speak of seeing anyone leave.

In the
third year of existence, a massive building project was undertaken. Soon the
town was littered with an excessive number out of state contractors who were
brought in to build the newly needed facilities. The workers were housed on the
base. Locals knew of the construction solely from observation. Occasionally, a
few workers would make their way to eat at the few restaurants or shop for
groceries. The men never talked to anyone except to place an order for goods
and services. Other times it might be to pay a bill. The mundane was part of
maintaining the curtain of secrecy.

Passersby
could see the exterior changes which were few, but included a twenty foot tall
fence edged with barbed wire at the interior base and crown. Two years later
another identical
fence
was constructed thirty feet
further to the interior surrounding the entire one hundred fifty square mile
enclosure.

Most
comments heard around town were that the Camp looked less like a military base and
more like a prison.

Residents,
who approached the installation's boundaries, either purposely or accidentally,
were met with indignation and often psychical violence. If someone insisted or
persisted, the individual was never restrained to a military stockade, but
instead detained by men dressed entirely in black military fatigues until local
law enforcement arrived. When the trial occurred, the facility civilian
official, Mr. Jericho, made sure the person was prosecuted to the fullest
extent of the law without regard to circumstance, age or influence.

Luckily
not many people desired to trespass choosing to trust in the government no
matter what secret the base was hiding. If anybody did question what was going
on there through appropriate channels, that individual would find military
personnel at his or her home and made sure the concerns were silenced.

People
in the country side surrounding the base were scarce meaning Camp Cooper had
few bothersome neighbors. Those that did live near the base often spoke quietly
of hearing strange guttural, animalistic screams and growls echoing through the
trees and fields. Occasionally, more human-like sounds of men shouting or guns
firing would reverberate in the night. Events heard and not seen were conveyed as
part of training exercises. The people of the communities learned as time
passed if they did not bother the Camp, the government would leave them alone.

One
cloudy day in April 1999, the residents awoke to find Camp Cooper no longer
existed and had been replaced by the Chadron Cooperation. That day fifteen
years ago, the Farm became the playground of the rich and elite, but no one
ever knew why until now.

Though
the signs had changed, folks soon realized nothing else had. If only the locals
knew the complete truth.

Chapter 1
 

The hunt was supposed to be legendary. Instead, thus far, it
was boring and alcohol fueled. It was billed as a once in a lifetime experience
with one small catch: I could never tell anyone about it unless I knew for
certain they were part of the M Collective. The network that made up the M
collective was comprised of elites from around the globe who enjoyed paying
huge sums of cash to hunt things that only exist in nightmares and movies.

I guess I should say that these things should only exist in
nightmares and movies, but they do exist thanks to the United States government
and a company called Chadron, or at least that was what we were led to believe.
The belief for me was starting to fade as my buzz wore off.

We spent most of the night sitting in a specially created
blind that would shield us from being seen by the monsters. Hell, I didn't
believe mankind was capable of prying monsters from fantasy to let them loose
until the creature stood before me. The possibility of death stirred something
in me as I stared at the teeth and claws of science gone mad. I looked at my watch;
the time read midnight. Yet, here I was in the middle of the night on this
godforsaken "Farm", as everybody calls it, trying to survive the next
two hours until daybreak, knowing I was surrounded by the monsters of the rich
and powerful.

When the GV4 came out of his lair to feed on the goats tied
to some trees nearby, we were told to make our kill. We were all surprised when
we first saw the hunted emerge from a broken down barn about two hundred yards
away. We had never been shown images of our prey and now, looking at the
creature, I realized why. My heart started pounding in my chest as I recognized
the form of the monster; it was human.

           
I
leaned against the wall as I glanced around the room to gauge the reactions. A
thought struck me hard. When the “Hunt” director had sat the entire group down
and explained the uniqueness of our prey, I should have listened.

The follies of youth I heard a teacher once say, but never
really understood the meaning until this very moment. It was a hunting trip for
Christ’s sake, and I spent much of my youth on tons of those trips hunting for
deer and elk with my father, so no matter what we were hunting, I thought I was
ready. I was wrong. Everybody I had talked to just referred to the prey as
"the hunted", but in my stupidity, I ignored the unusual use of
terminology. I was too busy being enamored with how cool it was to be selected
to be with this influential group of men in this unique situation.

Smith had been the director's name. He had stayed back at
the command center and would monitor things from there.
Lucky prick,
I
mouthed as I continued to watch the GV4. Smith had seemed a nice enough guy
when he was covering vulnerabilities and safety precautions. Why hadn't he been
forceful? He could have made us listen.

Why was I blaming him, I lamented. He had done his job and
had been sane enough not to accompany us. I wished I had cared enough to heed
his stern warnings as he had painstakingly went through every procedure if
something were to go wrong. I sighed heavily which brought the ire of dirty
looks from several of the group members. I didn't realize it was that loud.

I should have picked up on that there was a chance I would
be in over my head when I noticed Smith had looked worried.
 
Even more concern had flashed across his face
as everybody had passed around silver flasks filled with liquid courage.
Whenever he had been offered a swig, he had respectfully declined, which had astonished
me because I drank readily at each invite. I had chalked it up to his having
been on many hunts. Only one matter had even bothered to trouble me. I couldn't
shake why he had requested of Senator Hatcher that I was not to be allowed to
go in the area known as the Old Town. The Senator had patted me on the back and
agreed to the request with a promise and a laugh as he downed another swig.
Thinking back, I was glad for the promise. From what I was watching, I was
becoming sure that whatever the Farm held at that location must be much worse.

As fear crept through me, I knew I was responsible for
myself. There was no one else to shoulder the burden. I should have turned back
when we loaded up and left the Camp, but instead, I had jumped in the solid black
armored personnel carrier with the rest of HG2, as we were called. Fear of
ridicule had shoved me forcibly into the rear of the vehicle and had sat me
smack down between Senator Hatcher and Mark Fowler, a close friend of his.

I took a deep breath, putting that memory out of my mind,
and looked around to inspect the faces of my group. The rest of the hunting
group consisted of two state legislators, Jim Knowlton and Michael Elias, along
with a business man from Atlanta who was introduced only as Mr. Jacoby. We were
escorted by four other men who worked as guides during the hunts, none of which
ever were actually introduced by name to any of HG2. Each of the four men
looked, dressed and acted like career military.

I was thankful for these four men who were escorting us
because the members of my group looked like what they were: middle aged, over
indulged politicians and business men. Those men did not want for anything,
especially at the moment. A very opposite life from the battle hardened
commandos who were watching our reactions as we got our first contact.

The Hunt was simple: HG2 versus a solitary Generation V4 or
GV4, as I now know they are called. Shit, simple left the building when the
razor sharp claws of the creature reflected dully in the moonlight.

I tried to speak, but the largest of our guides surprised me
as he clamped his hand over my mouth and gestured for me to watch.
 

The GV4 did not move like a human; it swayed back and forth,
almost on all fours. The thing stood erect as its nose sniffed the air. The
beast’s eyes glowed blood red as it scanned the darkened surrounding forest.
Cautiously, the GV4 moved toward the captured food standing mere yards away.
One of the goats, sensing danger, emitted a cry of distress sending the alerted
GV4 bounding towards the animals.

Staring through a gap in the camouflaged netting, I studied
it. Closer now, I could tell it was a male with distinct broad shoulders,
muscular arms clothed in torn ragged clothing stained with dark clumps of dried
blood and organic matter.

   
       
Sitting
back down, I watched through a monitor within our structure as creature opened
his mouth and emitted a mild roar, similar in tone to a big African cat, before
he displayed four three inch long fangs protruding from his mouth.

           
Seizing the side of the goat, he
effortlessly lifted the struggling animal before ripping away at the throat
with his teeth. Ten seconds crawled by as we all watched the monster drink from
the goat until it was a dried husk.

           
“Senator, when he discards the second
goat, before he retreats to his den, you should take the shot. You will need to
hit him in the chest then we will all go down to finish him.” The guide in
charge whispered.

           
The Alabama summer night was cool,
yet I noticed the Senator sweating nervously, as were the rest of his
acquaintances, as he aligned his rifle for the shot. I felt my own forehead
realizing I too was dripping.

BOOK: Created (Book 1 of the Created)
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