White Mesa Chronicles

Photo courtesy of Tyler Sichelski/Wikimedia Commons


Image from Wikimedia

So what if global internet communications are gone, the federal system has collapsed, and petroleum refining has tanked —? Man survived.

In the charred ruins of the city, small rival bands roam, scavenging for food and tools to survive.

Plants still grow. Deer are still good to eat. People still invent new tools, and put up new houses, and squabble about whose yard is whose…

And we’re still here. White Mesa. We saw it coming (or, more specifically, our grandparents did). That’s why we have hot water. That’s why we still have trucks to scavenge for resources in the city.

The Strange Box: The ruined city is all Pip knows – scraping a living from what grows in the old buildings and protecting his stuff from the other gangs.

But sometimes, the scrap he finds gives him a glimpse of a different world…the world of the “truckers.”

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Soldier: Fledgling militia officer Tommy Thaxton is used to scavenge missions in the ruined city. He’s not used to being in charge of his team of young men…but he can handle it. They all can handle it. It’s just a simple scavenge mission.

Until things go horribly wrong, and Tommy’s team finds themselves facing a full-scale gang attack – something their superiors never anticipated.

Now, getting home on schedule is the least of Tommy’s worries. Getting the entire team home alive is much more important.
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Image from Wikimedia

Zombie: White Mesa operative Tommy Thaxton is used to dealing with the city gangs. But the New Republic is not a gang.

With a protected fence-line, plenty of food, and a welcoming atmosphere, the New Republic almost seems like a sister community to White Mesa…with a few crucial differences.

The zombies, for instance. They seem to be all over in the New Republic. And by the time Tommy finally finds out why, it might be too late…
Status— out to beta readers (1st draft written during NaNoWriMo); tentative publication in September or October, 2017

GladiatorBen McConnell has heard all about the New Republic – the rising city-state that plays fast and loose with the deadly z-germ parasite.

Desperate to know whether this is the parasite they’re familiar with, or an unpredictable mutant strain, he slips into the city to recover a sample for White Mesa’s doctors.

Tommy Thaxton worries about Ben…but then, he worries about everything. Then Ben is captured, and he finds his concern well-founded.
When the White Mesa security council deems a rescue attempt too risky, it’s up to Tommy and a couple friends to face the dangers of the city and get Ben out.

Can Ben survive the fight ring without stooping to the gangs’ standards?

Will Tommy find a way to get Ben home – before he’s killed by the New Republic’s primitive criminal justice?
Status— 3rd draft complete; prospective publication November or December 2017

Gangster: When a member of his team apparently defects to the city, a charismatic young officer must find a way to protect their homeland’s secrecy, while believing his friend might repent.
Status: 1st draft

Image from Wikimedia

Image from Wikimedia

Doctor: When Dr. Joanna Thaxton is separated from her team, she encounters a surprisingly advanced “gang”, and agrees to help them seek a cure for the deadly feral parasite. Will she ever find her way back to her husband and young son?
Status: essentially Part 2 of Gangster‘s plot; 1st draft completed during NaNoWriMo 2016

Feral: Unforeseen Consequences: Faced with an honest-to-goodness “zombie apocalypse” (partly caused by their own people), White Mesa is forced to choose some form of compassionate intervention, or to leave the city-dwellers to their fate.
Status: story-boarding the plot

Farmer: While the militia teams are dashing back and forth to the city, the rest of White Mesa is actually growing food, sewing clothes, fixing their air-rifles…and rescuing still-alive ferals from the barbed wire.
Status: unscheduled (spin-off)

Crusader: They used to be best friends. Now they stand on two ends of a philosophical divide: is the best way to save the city a grassroots conversion effort, or top-down enforcement of the moral code?
Status: …um…

Original image of Chicago skyline is by Tyler Sichelski, via Wikimedia Commons.