STALKED BY ANCIENT EVIL! When Kurt Larson’s hovercraft crashes over old Los Angeles, he and a band of refugees search desperately for an unblighted source of power before it’s too late. But heat and lack of water aren’t their biggest threats. The old city is home to mankind’s greatest foes, an ancient evil known as The Corrupted One. Long ago, she had ruled the city and from her fiefdom spread a contagion to the entire world. Did she still exist? Kurt Larson was about to find out. Read about it in INCORRUPTIBLE by Sara Light-Waller.
A chunk of broken pavement turned under Kurt’s boot. His injured knee twisted and the joint collapsed medially. With a harsh grunt he pitched sideways, cradling the scanner against his chest protectively.
Peterson grabbed his arm to keep him from falling. “Take it easy,” he muttered. “You’re no use to them if you can’t walk.” The big man knelt and adjusted Kurt’s air splint, adding more pressure to support the damaged knee. “Feeling more secure? Good. Now for the cocktail.” He opened his med pac and pulled out a pain patch. He unpeeled the paper backing then pressed the sticky surface to the inside of Kurt’s wrist. “Miracles of modern medicine. Or it at least it was about fifty years ago.” He grinned ironically and he got back to his feet. “Stay there until the drugs kick in.”
Kurt nodded and shifted the weight from his injured leg. After a few minutes the pain began to subside. Peterson helped him to his feet and Kurt took a few hobbling steps forward. The knee still throbbed but at least he could use it now. He glanced back over his shoulder. The small group of refugees was huddled together watching him with worried eyes. “I’m fine,” he assured them. “There are still a few hours of daylight left. Let’s go.”
It had been a routine transport mission, relocating a bunch of farmers to a new compound down south. Everything was fine until the power suddenly spiked while flying over the old Los Angeles basin. The ship convulsed as every gauge and circuit surged and then exploded. Powerless, the hovercraft dropped like a rock. The crack-up killed the captain and most of the crew. The survivors rallied around the last remaining officer—ship’s navigator, Second Lieutenant Kurt Larson, and Tom Peterson, a civilian medic. Kurt instructed Peterson to take charge of the passengers while he tried to figure out if they had any working tech left. The ship’s radio was beyond repair and their hand-helds, like sophisticated walkie-talkies, were too far out of range to do them any good. The ship itself was total loss. In a storage locker Kurt found a lone hand scanner that still worked. The only reason it had survived the massive power surge was that it had been out of charge, like an unwound clock. He unfurled the small fan-like solar panels at the top of the boxy device. A few seconds later the counter began to hum. His eyes widened as he watched the needle jump to the top of the range. There was a source of incredible power somewhere out there in that desolate valley. With power like this is there’d be no more brown-outs, he thought, excitedly. If only we can find the source—!