Authors: Heath Jannusch
Tags: #sci-fi, #Dystopia
The End of Time Chronicles
World War III
By Heath Jannusch
World War III
Copyright © 2015 by Heath Jannusch
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the publisher. For information,
Cover By Hannah Jannusch
I dedicate this story to my loving wife, Sheila, the strongest and most courageous person I know. Her devout faith, sincere devotion and unwavering trust in our Lord and Savior, inspire me to work harder for His glory. The Holy Spirit shining through her serves as a beacon of light in a world growing dark.
As the future unfolds, there are things foretold, which will come to pass. It isn’t a matter of if, but a matter of when …
World War III – Day One
Shiloh’s bullet soared across the open field striking the closest of the Parish brothers, Darius, in his upper body. Reaching for the wound in his chest, Darius pitched forward and disappeared beneath the chaos of trampling boots. The rapid sound of gun shots could be heard all around Shiloh, as bullets whizzed past his head. He now had only three rounds left; he’d have to make them count!
From over the hill in front of him, Shiloh watched as hundreds of raiders descended upon him. The horrific sight and deafening roar of so many men charging down the hillside was almost paralyzing. At the front of the pack of thieves and murders, he could see the three remaining brothers leading the charge.
Instead of retreating and falling back towards the town of Clearview, Shiloh bent down on one knee and took careful aim. His next shot caught the youngest twin, Lucius, in the stomach knocking him onto his back. Severus, the older of the twins, immediately stopped and came to his brother’s aid.
Three of the raiders were almost on top of Shiloh when suddenly they dropped dead, one-by-one, each with a bullet in his head. Shiloh quickly glanced to his right where the shots had come from and spotted Mason high up in a tree. The ex-CIA agent was a crack shot with a sniper rifle and he continued to shoot raiders one after the other, starting with those closest to Shiloh.
From behind him, Shiloh could hear the sounds of Ian and the Clearview Militia opening fire into the hoard of Enlightened Ones. The sky above was suddenly consumed with a loud, eerie whistling, as a mortar round flew above the battlefield and exploded on Main Street, followed by another and yet another.
Shiloh focused his attention on the two remaining brothers leading the charge. Augustus had quit advancing and was instead standing near his twin brothers, Lucius and Severus, shouting orders to his men. Taking careful aim at Augustus, Shiloh squeezed the trigger on his revolver. His bullet struck the eldest of the Parish brothers in the head and he fell to the ground motionless.
Realizing that all of his brothers had been shot, Severus jumped to his feet and charged straight towards Shiloh, screaming and firing the whole way. Unfazed, Shiloh took careful aim once again. He took a deep breath and then slowly let it out, before firing his last bullet. The screams coming from Severus’ mouth were cut short when the bullet slashed through his throat, killing him instantly.
Off to Shiloh’s left the tree line suddenly burst into flames. From the corner of his eye he could see dozens of raiders making their way through the forest, in an attempt to flank the town. Lex had stopped their advance with a Molotov cocktail and he now opened up on them with his rifle. He was all alone on the ridge, but Shiloh was out of bullets and unable to help.
Lex quickly threw two more Molotov cocktails at the raiders and watched with satisfaction, as they exploded in one huge ball of fire. Anything the liquid touched immediately burst into flame, including several of the raiders. Their screams were quickly cut short sending a chill down Shiloh’s spine.
The horror of watching their comrades’ burn in agony was enough to send the remainder of the men fleeing back down the mountain ridge. Lex was shocked for a moment, when he realized that he’d just single handedly held the left flank. Who would’ve thought?
When Cleo saw the raiders break their word, she quickly and quietly made her way around the army, taking up a position behind them. She then waited and watched as the raiders swarmed over the hill towards Clearview, leaving the three mortar guns nearly undefended. Each gun was operated by a two man crew, one man loading while the other fired. When the last of the raiders were out of sight Cleo sprang from her hiding place, sprinting towards the mortars and the six men operating them.
Approaching the nearest mortar position, Cleo swiftly withdrew her sidearm and fired into the chest of one of the raiders operating the gun. The man was turning to retrieve another shell when he looked up and saw Cleo’s small, exotic form running towards him. “Not a bad image,” he thought, realizing she was the last woman he’d ever see.
The second man was on his knees, loading another shell into the mortar. He fired the round and then turned towards his comrade for yet another. Cleo’s second shot entered his skull and tore through the temple, killing the invader instantly. Her pace barely slowed, as she dropped a grenade down the barrel of the mortar and then ran towards the next position.
The two men were so focused on their targets that they hadn’t even noticed the position to their left had stopped firing. Running towards them, Cleo fired three rapid shots. Her first bullet caught the man firing the mortar in the shoulder, spinning him around as he fell to the ground. Her next two bullets tore through the other raider’s chest and exited out his back. She destroyed the second mortar with a grenade down the barrel and quickly set her sights on the third.
She was halfway to the last mortar position when the two men operating the gun turned and opened fire. Running straight towards them, Cleo began to weave in and out of pine trees. Several bullets whizzed past her while she gracefully advanced, holding her fire until she was almost on top of them. When only twenty yards away, she took cover behind a tree as several bullets burrowed deep into its trunk.
At the first break in gunfire, Cleo barely leaned out from behind the thick trunk, searching for a target. Her first shot ripped through the thigh of the closest man, causing him to fall to the ground in agony. Her next bullet hit the only threat left dead center and he fell forward onto his face. His body twitched several times before finally coming to rest in a pool of his own blood. Approaching the last mortar Cleo watched as her last obstacle struggled to rise. Clutching his leg, the man cursed while instinctively reaching for the gun in his waistband.
Cleo snapped off two more rounds at almost point blank and the man slumped back onto his side. Excited at the prospect of firing a mortar for the first time, she quickly loaded the big gun and then targeted the marauders crossing the field. The first shot sent shivers of exhilaration through her entire body as she watched it explode on the battlefield. “I could get used to this,” she thought, while reloading another round.
After seeing Lex hold his position on the left flank, Shiloh turned back to face the invaders running towards him. Suddenly a mortar round hit the area in front of him and exploded, sending his body whirling into the air. He hit the ground with a heavy thud and for a moment couldn’t hear anything except for the sound of his own heartbeat. Slowly lifting his head he felt dizzy, as he glanced around.
The battlefield around him was littered with the mangled remains of the dead and dying. Men were crying out in pain, but Shiloh couldn’t hear anything and he didn’t want to. Only a short time ago the field had been covered in a white blanket of snow but was now turning a dark crimson, as blood from the deceased soaked into the soil. Overcome by the horror around him, Shiloh pitched forward and became ill.
From the tree where he was positioned Mason could see everything. As the mortar round exploded near Shiloh he quickly grabbed his radio and shouted, “Check your fire! Check your fire! You almost took out Shiloh!”
“Bloody hell, sorry about that mate,” answered Cleo, from over the ridge. “It won’t happen again.”
The mortars continued to fall, but this time nowhere near Shiloh’s position. He staggered to his feet and was surprised to see that the raiders had stopped their advance. Those that were still alive now hastily fled the field, carrying the bodies of their leader’s with them.
“Charge!” shouted Ian, as he jumped out of his bunker and ran after them.
Shiloh watched in bewilderment as Ian led the militia in a counter assault, but he couldn’t move to follow. When the last man was over the hill and out of sight, Shiloh’s legs suddenly gave out and he slumped to his knees. He felt like he was in a dream, as he knelt there looking at the massacre all around him. Time seemed to stand still and his entire body felt numb.
Suddenly the sky above him was illuminated with an ominous flash causing him to shield his eyes. The bright burst came and went quickly, immediately followed by a loud boom. Shiloh looked up and could see clouds rippling away in different directions, something was terribly wrong!
To the southeast he could see several large mushroom clouds rising high into the atmosphere. He rubbed his eyes, unsure if he could believe what he was seeing. Dazed and confused Shiloh slowly and carefully stood up and looked around.
“What in the hell is that? That’s not…” began Lex, as he walked up behind Shiloh, whose hearing was slowly returning.
“It looks like a nuclear strike!” answered Shiloh, without turning around.
“What? Why? Who?”
“I don’t know,” replied Shiloh, still a little confused. “I…I don’t know,” he repeated.
“We need to get to shelter!” shouted Cleo, running towards the two men her rifle gripped firmly in her hands.
Shiloh turned around to face Lex and Cleo. “We have to radio Ian and tell him to get back here quick. We’ll be in trouble if that fallout reaches us before we make it to shelter.”
“The radio isn’t working,” observed Cleo. “Is anyone hurt?”
“Oh my God!” said Lex, staring at Shiloh. “You’ve been shot!”
Shiloh glanced down and was shocked to see that his shirt was riddled with bullet holes, yet there was no blood. He poked his finger through one of the holes, yet there was no wound. He knew that he wasn’t hurt when he lifted up his shirt and there was nothing wrong with him, not one scratch or even a bruise. Looking up with the knowledge that he was a living miracle, Shiloh noticed Lex’s shoulder for the first time.
“I haven’t been shot, but you have,” said Shiloh, pointing to the blood stains on Lex’s chest.
“Let me have a look at that,” said Cleo, slowly helping Lex remove his shirt. She reached up and gingerly examined his wound. “It went out the other side and you’re not bleeding too badly, you’re gonna be just fine love.”
“Come on,” urged Shiloh, “we need to get to shelter and warn everyone!”
“Don’t worry about me,” replied Lex, “I can make it back to the doc just fine.”
Less than a mile away Mason was climbing down from the tree rifle in hand, when a bright flash blinded him and he fell to the ground. He didn’t need to see the rising mushroom clouds in the distance to know what was happening. Climbing to his feet, he quickly snatched up his rifle and began running towards town.
Mason skidded to a stop when he saw Cleo, Lex and Shiloh hurrying down Main Street. “What happened?” he asked, noticing Shiloh’s bullet riddled shirt and the blood soaked shirt that Lex was pressing against his shoulder.
“I don’t know,” answered Lex. “I don’t even remember being shot! We’re on our way to the doc so he can take a look at my shoulder.”
Mason glanced back at the holes in Shiloh’s shirt, “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” replied Shiloh, lifting his shirt so that Mason could see he wasn’t hurt. “It must have been another one of God’s miracles.”
“Hum,” grunted Mason, still unwilling to believe in God, let alone miracles.
“We need to warn the rest of the town about the fallout!” exclaimed Cleo.
Mason glanced up at the mushroom clouds rising higher and higher into the sky. “I’ll go,” he said. “Get everyone to shelter and do it fast!”
“I’ll take care of it,” agreed Shiloh. “You warn those people!”
“What about Ian and the militia?” asked Lex. “We tried to warn them on the radio but it isn’t working!”
“Ian’s a smart guy,” replied Mason. “He’s been trained and knows what to do.” He glanced at Lex and then back at Cleo, flashing a smile before turning to leave.
“Alfonso left a horse tied in front of the Sheriff’s Office,” offered Shiloh.
“Thanks!” Mason called over his shoulder, as he headed down Main Street.
Ian and the town’s militia chased the raiders high up into the Sierra Nevada Mountains and had just ascended to the top of a tall peak, when flashes suddenly illuminated the sky. The men covered their eyes in horror, as a loud boom shook them from above.
“Would ya look at that!” said Ian, pointing at several dark mushroom clouds to the southeast. “I think that’s Las Vegas!”
“Um, Ian,” called Cole. “Look at this!”
Ian slowly turned around, wondering what Cole could be seeing that was more important than a nuclear strike on Vegas. Looking towards the west, his mouth slowly dropped open. Far off in the distance he could see dozens of mushroom clouds rising high into the sky. There were so many it was difficult to count them all.
“What do you think happened?” asked Cole, still in shock. “Do you think it was an accident?”
“Dozens of nuclear explosions, in different locations, all at the same exact time?” replied Ian. “No, I don’t think it was an accident. I think we’re under attack!”
“No way dude! Who’d attack us?”