White Mesa Chronicles

Photo courtesy of Tyler Sichelski/Wikimedia Commons

Fifty years after the collapse, the gangs fight in the waste of the city for survival and resources, while a rising city-state tries to define its own version of “progress.”

It’s safer in White Mesa – the place that saw it coming. There, a God-centered worldview encourages personal responsibility and the value of human life…all human life…even the zombies.


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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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…

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Read the first chapter here on the blog!

1st draft written during NaNoWriMo 2015


Gladiator

Ben 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 more about their zombie program, and its medicine, he slips into the city to recover a sample for White Mesa’s doctors.

Tommy Thaxton worries about Ben…but after all, 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: 4th draft complete; pending beta-reader critique


Renegade/Gangster

When your team doesn’t have your back…you find a new team.

White Mesa seems like a utopia in the midst of a gangland waste.

For Ricco, though, it means rules, chores, and endless endless lectures on morality from his dad…make that his adoptive dad. After being expelled from the militia and banned from all activities off the family farm, Ricco might only have one choice to make a life of his own: join the New Republic, his homeland’s polar opposite in the city.

How could he imagine the effects his actions will have on his entire world?

Status: pending formatting (and deciding what the title really is)


Doctor

When Dr. Joanna Thaxton is separated from her team, she encounters a surprisingly advanced “gang” — the New Republic. She befriends their educated leader 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: 1st draft completed during NaNoWriMo 2016; it made my dad cry and everything

Feral: Unforeseen Consequences

You can’t build a slave labor force by deliberately spreading a parasite that will cause your workers to eventually devolve into blood-hungry animals without expecting some problems. Yet the New Republic, a city-state trying to rebuild the old America, has done just that. When their laboratory is destroyed by White Mesa operatives, they’re stuck with hundreds of zombie workers and no medicine to delay their symptoms.

Sam isn’t the top pick for much of anything. There are militiamen more skilled than he is, and doctors more knowledgable than he is.

All that could change in the crunch of a zombie’s jaws, as Sam finds himself leaderless – facing down a feral outbreak and his own deepest struggles – and possibly the one person standing between the New Republic, White Mesa, and chaos.

Status: I’ve discovered real plotting and it makes the story so much better! Now to glue my pants to the chair and get it written… (Horribly messy 1st draft completed for NaNoWriMo 2017)

Crusader

They used to be best friends. Now their point of view is making them rivals.

With the New Republic teetering on the brink of collapse, the citizens who had flocked to its stability tremble for their lost safety. What will prevent the city from reverting to the anarchy of the ganglands?

To Tommy Thaxton, the solution is obvious: apply the Christian worldview White Mesa has been nurturing to the pressure point of the New Republic power structure, bringing the society around to a revolutionized code of conduct.

To Ben McConnell, his own solution is equally obvious – and the direct opposite of Tommy’s: grassroots evangelism. Speak to the common people, where they are, and create peace one heart at a time.

Who is right? Who is wrong? And Who will be glorified?

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Image from Wikimedia

Status: this will have political/philosophical machinations and be so hard to write…

Farmer

When Daisy Davis is attacked by an unknown assailant, the isolationist faction of White Mesa blames a gangster incursion.

Only problem: Ricco Dobson knows more about gangsters than they’ve ever dreamed of, and he’s positive no gangsters were involved.

Status: unscheduled/not yet plotted


Original image of Chicago skyline is courtesy of Tyler Sichelski, via Wikimedia Commons. No endorsement implied.

Title font used is Optiko (and variants), courtesy of JerakDurzan.