Author: Terry Tyler
Category: Post Apocalyptic, Short Stories, Book Review
The year is 2024.
A mysterious virus rages around the UK.
Within days, ‘bat fever’ is out of control.
Patient Zero is a collection of nine short stories featuring minor characters from the post apocalyptic Project Renova series. All stories are completely ‘stand alone’.
This collection of short stories is a perfect accompaniment to the Project Renova series, or if you haven’t yet read Tipping Point or Lindisfarne, just as stand alone book. They showcase different scenarios from some characters on the periphery of the main story line.
The so called ‘Bat Fever,’ a fatal virus, is ravaging the country despite a vaccination program being put into operation. A small number of people seem to have a natural immunity but many, many more are dying before, and sometimes after, vaccination.
Jared’s Uncle Owen works for the pharmaceutical company who have produced the vaccine. He’s given Jared two doses, one for himself, another for someone of his own choosing. But will he give it to his girlfriend, who Jared suspects of infidelity?
Across the UK, queues line up outside three thousand mobile vaccination units, around the clock. Appointments are delivered by letter or email. The Department of Health claims random selection, but Jared is sure he is not the only person to examine YouTube videos of the queues at the units and notice that the lucky first to be summoned are smart, young professionals, and healthy, respectable looking families.
There are nine stories in all and each character is fleshed out and given a back story, whether the story is on the longer or shorter side. Some people find themselves adrift, just moving from place to place to find food and shelter. Others trust the government propaganda and stay put, at home or wherever they find a place, waiting for everything to get back to normal. But there is no normal anymore. It’s everyone for themselves.
Jeff, the prepper, is the exception. He commissioned and had built a post apocalyptic survival bunker on a piece of land in the middle of nowhere, kitted it out and filled it with everything he might need for a protracted stay. But after all his planning, having the shelter doesn’t turn out quite the way he had expected.
On the 28th July, 2024, bat fever crouched on the starting blocks. The shit was hovering in the vicinity of the fan, so Jeff baled. No need to wait for the riots, the vandal armies, the food shortages. The day the virus was reported in the UK, Jeff knew the tipping point was only a millimetre away.
Time to hit the bunker, at last.