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The Nine Orders: The Collection

By Quinton McCurine All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Scifi

Blurb

In 2026, an ancient and powerful cabal, known only as the Order, colludes with the world’s superpowers to usher in a new era of human civilization. Strengthened by the technology of another sentient species, the Order has begun to significantly reduce the Earth's population for reasons unknown to anyone outside its shadowy ranks. As frightened people fight for survival in a world designed to eliminate them, a few brave souls struggle against all odds to balance the scales of good and evil. Follow Nick, a diehard middle-aged American veteran, and Leila, a sensitive, young South African girl as they journey through underground cities, battle otherworldly beings, and uncover the greatest secrets of all time.

Prologue

On June 21st, 2025, the skies over the earth filled with a red haze. Soon, afterward, surface temperatures on the majority of the planet rose to triple digits. The top scientific minds in the world determined that solar flares, stronger than any that had been recorded in human history, were lashing the Earth. These flares, over the course of a few weeks, would intensify until they reached cataclysmic proportions. The good news was that the storms would subside after a few months. The bad news was that they would incite earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, not to mention the fallout from increased exposure to solar radiation. All of these factors would spell an end to many of the mammalian species on the planet unless measures were taken to protect them. Panicked citizens of every nation demanded to know what, if anything, their governments were going to do to save them.

The leaders of the free world convened in Geneva in an effort to find a solution for the oncoming crisis. While no one country possessed the technology to mitigate the effect of the solar flares, they did have the means to evacuate a good portion of their populations from the surface of the earth. Most developed countries had secretly built fallout shelters called DUMBs (Deep Underground Military Bases) during the onset of the cold war. These DUMBs had originally been constructed to house the heads of state in the event of a nuclear attack. The new plan called for these same structures to be used as temporary shelters accessible to all lawful citizens within their nation’s borders. Unfortunately, after everything was said and done, the combined capacities of the DUMBs would only be able to house a third of the global population. And while the United States, China, and Germany’s DUMBs were large enough to accommodate their own populations and more, other countries’ facilities could not. This meant that every method of safely housing people from the storms had to be utilized. After tapping every abandoned subway system and missile silo on the planet, engineers were confident that they could greatly increase the total number of people they could save. There was nothing that could be done for the rest of the world: undocumented immigrants, felons, and many of society’s malcontents. Those left out of the shelters would have to fend for themselves while the surface of the planet was being ravaged.

As the underground shelters were being stockpiled with food, water, and medicine UN leaders quickly took stock of the logistical challenges they faced. Global martial law was declared to help governments control their panicked citizens. NATO forces, swelling with the soldiers from every corner of the world, were put in charge of enforcing the universal mandate. Citizens were given 45 days to report to their nearest civic venue (airport, train station, stadium, etc.) in order to register for the shelters in a process that came to be known as the ‘collection’. Frustration rapidly grew over the collection centers’ waiting periods, their institutionalized prioritization, and their refusal to accept pets of any kind. Passionate protesting and violent rioting broke out all over the world. In response, NATO shock troops meted out punishment with vicious efficacy. Without hesitation, zealous soldiers killed dissidents of any nationality who didn’t respect curfews, collection center employees, or other emergency ordinances.

The pressure put on families to protect themselves rapidly increased with the passing of every day. The freeways became clogged with people trying to make it to cities whose populations were smaller as they searched for quicker, safer lines at the collection centers. And with the government’s 45-day deadline looming, a final surge of people made desperate journeys in hopes that they would find shelter from the oncoming storm.

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