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A New World:

TAKEDOWN

A Novel by John O’Brien

This book is dedicated to all veterans of our military forces, past and present, law enforcement, and Fire/EMS services. Thank you all for your dedication and service.

Author’s Notice

The New World series is a fictional work. While some of the locations in the series describe actual locations, this is intended only to lend an authentic theme. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

As usual my mother, June O’Brien, takes first crack at the draft and spends many hours reading through and correcting my literary failings, of which I have a few. Thank you for correcting all of my attempts to throw “aspects” or “just” in every sentence. I highly encourage you to read the first book of her series, The Blue Child Series. You won’t be disappointed.

Thank you to the beta readers who take their valuable time to read through and correct my many errors. Alex Ranka, Ben Udkow, Dan Shaw, Frank Knoles, Jessica Woodman, Joe Mahoney, Laurel McMeredith Andreasen, Lizah Martin, Rick Higgins, Tiffany Clark, Vanessa McCutcheon, and Wayne Tripp. Thank you!

I also owe a belated thanks, not that he is belated, just that the thanks is long overdue, to Buz Osburn. He has put forth, as have many others, good ideas for the group with regards to survival strategies and places. Thank you, Buz.

Once again, I am indebted to Matthew Riggenbach for the cover art design. You have put up with me again and delivered yet another magical work. I thank you for your time and effort.

To Todd Brown for your immaculate editing. You have once again converted my chicken scratch into a legible work. For anyone needing a fantastic editor, he comes highly recommended.

To all of my readers, thank you!!! You are truly the best and I am constantly humbled by your kind words and messages. It is from these chats, messages, and reviews that I keep pounding away at the keyboard. This story is as much yours as it is mine. You make the story what it is and I appreciate all of the support you have given.

If you do happen to enjoy the story, feel free to leave a review. Reviews are important for two reasons. One is that’s how the books get up in the listing which of course means more sales. But more importantly, it lets me look at what everyone thinks of the story. Only through looking at the reviews and messages can I become a better writer.

John O’Brien

Author’s Note

Here is the seventh book of what started out as a trilogy at best. Some may applaud and others may shake their heads wondering when the story is going to end. The honest answer is that I really don’t know when the story will come to its conclusion. I have little control over it once the first words display across the screen. It literally takes on a life of its own. Now, I do have a general sense of where things are heading and major events but how the story gets there is up to the group of survivors. I merely tell their story as they want it told.

I have received several messages regarding Jack and Lynn’s relationship. Some feel that is seems more like a brother/sister relationship than an intimate one. There is much more that goes on between Jack and Lynn that isn’t written. I have chosen the path of this book to be more about the survival aspects rather than venturing down the Fifty Shades of Gray avenue. I just think that some facets aren’t necessary in telling the story. Perhaps handcuffs have been used but I just don’t feel that it’s necessary to put that in writing. There are evenings of Jack and Lynn lying together and talking intimately but I just don’t include those moments. Perhaps I should but those are their private moments shared between them.

I also portray some towns and cities in a certain light. This is in no way is a bias from me personally but are just meant as part of the story line. I ask that anyone actually living in or from these places to not take offense as none is intended.

Some have mentioned the black hole of people in Cabela’s. Things do happen and people talk. Jack does talk with him mom and occasionally the exes. The problem is that I can’t put every interaction in the books and if I did, it would turn more into a soap opera than post-apocalypse survival.

There have also been numerous comments regarding the night runners getting into Cabela’s - they can’t believe that the gate was left unguarded. I take a little blame for that and perhaps didn’t describe that the main gate is part of the outer wall surrounding the compound and hence, outside. This is only a first line of defense. The lapse in security was with allowing Alan to open the locked doors. A lot of security breaches happen from inside and this was just another one of those. Every security has holes in it, especially when you are looking for the attacks to come from outside. Couple that with being tired and under constant stress, lapses are inevitable.

You will probably note that this book takes a slightly different tact. I won’t give out spoilers at this point but there are parts that convey a small picture of what the rest of the country looks like after a few months into the fall of civilization.

So, enough. Let’s get on with the story.

John O’Brien

Prologue

Drescoll stands at the edge of the balcony firing into the unrelenting horde of night runners invading their sanctuary. The attack was sudden and unexpected. As he pours burst after burst into the multitude on the first floor below, he still has a hard time believing the fact that so many are inside. Hundreds of night runners lie on the hard floor, but they are a pittance compared to how many are on the ground in the wings under the balconies. Their shrieks permeate the interior to the point that it interferes with his thinking.

He looks across the open area where Lynn is directing Black Team as they hold the wide stairs that is only one of two ways to the second floor. They were fortunate to get into position before the onslaught began — they have the cameras, a vigilant crew in the operations room, and Sergeant Watkins to thank for that. Drescoll sees the other team’s staggered positions around the overhanging balcony directing fire into the masses below. Tracers and the smell of gunpowder fill the intervening space between the soldiers fighting for their very existence and the night runners attempting to take that away.

Drescoll wonders, and not for the first time, if they have enough ammo to hold out against the seemingly

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