Read An Excerpt from Rotate the Earth: Book Two: The Starting Line
The long-anticipated second novel in the Rotate the Earth series is now out! It is an action-packed novel and the first 100 pages are some of the most intense action I have ever written. You got to know the Drivers and what has brought them to the insanely dangerous Race - now the Starting Line is here and all hell is about to break loose. Below is an excerpt from this novel of a world slowly dying - and those trying to find a way to survive.
To get a copy of Rotate the Earth: Book Two: The Starting Line in print or for Kindle click the image to the left or HERE!
AN EXCERPT FROM ROTATE THE EARTH: BOOK TWO
Lance crossed over the threshold. The rules said he had to wait to fire upon any other vehicle behind him until they, too, had crossed over completely.
The back of the vehicle opened and a large box with a long tube at the end extended. The tube began to glow red and then white. The sound of some kind of engine grew louder and louder as the weapon charged.
"Ready?" Lance asked.
"Yep," Viktor replied.
"As soon as they cross that line," Lance said.
Clay crossed over and the moment that he did his entire vehicle erupted in missile and gun fire. All of it was aimed at Lance.
The bullets and missiles hit the vehicle hard.
"Jesus!" Lance said, the sheer force of it taking him by surprise.
Something burst through a weak point in the armor and buried itself deep in the vehicle. There was an explosion, then fire and Viktor let out a yell of surprise and pain and flew across the rear cabin area. The vehicle swerved far to the left and Lance struggled to control it.
Now Wally was across. The sound of gunfire and missiles exploding filled the air and the fire against Lance's vehicle had stopped. The car was not responding right.
"Viktor, I need a damage report!" Lance called.
Viktor was trying to get back into this seat behind the driver. However, there were still flames in the computer screens and keyboards. Viktor found a small fire extinguisher and he began spraying the foam all over the electronics. The flames were soon out.
"I'm checking!" Viktor called. "Base! What the fuck is going on back there? We need info!"
"The energy weapon is still working," said the base man over the intercom. "We just lost most of the weapons tracking system. Viktor, you're going to have to fire manually."
"Got it," Viktor said.
He climbed into another seat at the back of the vehicle. He secured straps around his waist and shoulders. An electronic device snapped over his head and the manual targeting system covered his eyes. He now saw the field behind them electronically and there was a red target, a circle with a dot in the middle, hovering over his field of vision. Viktor found the two joysticks on either arm rest and tested the gun. It moved smoothly, the field of vision changed with the alteration of the gun barrel.
"Ready!" Viktor called.
"Fire at will!" Lance said.
Viktor fired and the air erupted in bright white energy like lightning.
Mal headed across the line and opened fire. The vehicle rocked with the force of the missiles and guns. His Navigator yelled instructions at him that he could barely hear. Something exploded within Lance's vehicle and smoke billowed out and his vehicle began swerving. Lance was good, though, and it was soon under control.
Then the world erupted in white fire.
The device that had extended out of the back of Lance's vehicle looked like a small mirror attached to a box attached to a pole. It was what Mal always thought the Mars invader's heat ray looked like in H.G. Wells' novel War of the Worlds. The white energy burst from the mirror and blasted a black smear across the pavement. The pavement burst apart, the tar bubbling and melting. Viktor was obviously having to control this thing manually and it was taking a moment for him to get the hang of things. The white energy blasted across the hood of one of the smaller vehicles. That vehicle immediately burst into flames and then blew apart, the pieces bouncing across the highway, most of them in flames, and struck Mal's vehicle.
"What the holy fuck?" Mal cried.
Immediately the earpiece in his left ear burst into excited activity as his base team leaped into action. They were all talking over each other and trying to figure out what the weapon was.
The white energy beam continued to burn a black trail across the pavement. The road melted and fell apart. The beam hit another of the smaller vehicles, this time broadside, as that car was already firing its guns at Lance, and that car burst apart, charred and broken bodies bounced along the road. Mal ran right over one of them.
"Fire at that fucking thing!" Mal called out.
He swerved the vehicle hard to the right. A second later the car hit another of the Drivers trailing along beside him. Mal's entire car lifted into the air, the front wheels spinning and twisting in the air, and then came down. The vehicle that he hit went spinning into another vehicle to the right and then smashed into the concrete barrier where it flipped into the air, back end over hood, and vanished from view. Something exploded a moment later, the balls of flame and smoke roiling up into the air.
Mal turned the wheel to the left now, back into traffic.
Where was Clay? Where was Wally? Where the fuck was anyone else?
The field was a disaster now. There were parts of vehicles and bodies all over the road. The white beam of energy was not pausing, just a constant stream of destruction blowing up and destroying the road. Mal's vehicle erupted in gunfire and missiles of all sizes and shapes of missiles, from the smallest to the largest, fired from multiple portals all across his vehicle. The gunfire hit the side of Lance's vehicle and bounced off harmlessly. Several of the missiles hit the side and rear of that car, and a few hit the road in front, and Lance's car lifted in the air.
More gunfire burst from all of the remaining vehicles that Mal could see. He assumed that Wally was not among them.
Something hit the back of Mal's vehicle. It hit hard and the car swerved, the steering wheel nearly ripping out of his hands. Something sprayed across the armor like tiny bits of hail. The Driver's side window chipped as the bullets struck there.
"Where is that fucking break in the concrete wall?" Mal cried out.
"Not far!" his Navigator yelled. "Stay in control!"
"I'm trying, but if they aren't shooting at Lance, they're shooting at me right now," Mal replied. "Shoot back!"
"We have to take out Lance's energy weapon first," Li replied. "I'm targeting that!"
The road burst apart in flames and smoke up ahead. Mal swerved hard to the right, collided with another vehicle and sent that over the concrete barrier, too. Then he swerved back into the flow of traffic, now quite close to Lance's car.
"Get him!" Mal cried.
"What the fuck is that thing?" Kayla cried. "What the fuck is that?"
"I have no idea, but we have to get the holy fuck out of here!" Clay called back.
"It's some kind of heat ray or energy weapon," Deke said. "We're trying to figure out the nature of it, but it really doesn't matter. Looks like Mal's targeting the weapon, but you need to try and take that out, too, Clay. It's going to shred this field and fast."
"You heard him, Kay," Clay ordered, swerving hard to the right around a mound of melted asphalt and broken vehicle. "Target that fucker."
"Already on it," she replied.
The vehicle rocked hard to the right as all of the weapons on the left side of the car burst into life. All of the mini guns fired at once and two dozen missiles fired.
"Direct hit!" Kayla called.
The missiles and gunfire hit the back of Lance's vehicle and several of them hit the weapon directly. A second after that another burst of gunfire from another Driver, and missiles that Clay guessed were from Mal, hit the same spot.
The missiles and gunfire hit the weapon hard. Viktor let out a cry and the entire chair that he was strapped into rocked and fell over backwards.
"Is it still working?" Lance cried out. "Did they disable it?"
Viktor was on his back, staring at the ceiling, still strapped in.
"I'm a little busy!" Viktor cried out, attempting to unhook the straps and get out of the chair. "But I'm thinking that it's pretty useless now with the controlling chair out of commission."
Lance let loose with a stream of curses and began pounding his fingers into the control panel on the dashboard. He was barely focused on what he was doing, but the weapons system burst into life all around the vehicle. With no targeting system the weapons fired randomly all around. The road exploded and giant chunks of pavement rose into the air. Something behind the vehicle burst apart and went flying into the air, a smaller car, perhaps or a chunk of the concrete. It went by too fast for Lance to be sure.
"I'm just going to lay waste to the road," Lance said. "Fuck 'em."
Wally couldn't believe the destruction in front of him. There were pieces of vehicles, bodies and body parts all over the road. The amount of blood was insane and there was the smell of burning meat flowing through even his vehicle's air filters. The weapon that Lance had unleashed was unlike anything he had seen before and it was glorious to watch, although Clay and Mal were still driving.
Then the bastards had to go and fire on that weapon and it looked like it was out of commission.
"OK, Ned, time to get into the fight," Wally said. "Fire on Clay and Mal right now. Focus your attention on Clay."
Something hit the vehicle hard on the passenger side and Wally nearly lost control. The steering wheel jerked hard in his hand and he stomped on the brakes.
A vehicle behind Wally slammed right into the rear of his own.
"Jesus, Wally!" Ned cried out. "We've got more to worry about than Clay and Mal. What the fuck are we doing about all of these other guys?"
A missile hit the driver's side and Wally stepped on the gas to make the vehicle jerk forward and immediately slammed into one of those other cars. That car, already hit by Lance's weapon, broke apart upon impact. Wally's front end went up high into the air and for a moment he was sure that they were flying.
"Christ!" Ned screamed.
Ned's arms flailed and he hit the FIRE button. Missiles buried all over Wally's vehicle fired. As the vehicle crashed down, smashing into more of the smaller cars, breaking them apart, they went twisting and turning over each other. The first volley hit the ground behind Clay's vehicle; several of them hit the back of that vehicle. The second volley went into Mal's vehicle, hitting it on the driver's side.
Wally felt something break beneath the car. The wheels suddenly didn't want to respond the way he wanted it to.
"I think the axle may have broken!" Wally cried. "Something's wrong with the wheels!"
Charlie came over the earpiece. "You're right, Wally! The rest of the axles and the tires should hold, but you're going to be a lot slower. Get the fuck out of there. Stop worrying about shooting at Clay and Mal and get the fuck out there. You can't take too many more of those hits."
"I'm lowering the ram," Wally said and hit a button over his head.
Just above the window was a metal plate that looked a bit like a bulldozer or snow plow. The two arms on either side lowered that now to just above the pavement. The plow came to a point in front of the vehicle. Wally was now driving a giant ram and immediately smashed through a wall of burning metal.
"Ned, get me out of here, now!" Wally cried.
Ned was frantically typing on his computers and screens. "I'm trying! I'm trying! Take control of the weapons. Charlie, help him out!"
Wally concentrated on driving. All over the vehicle the guns began to fire and the missiles, too. This was turning into a disaster.