This is the first chapter from Monkey’s Uncle (Drunk Monkeys 2). Enjoy! 🙂
“That damn, batshit crazy asshole fucker in charge there in Pyongyang is the one who stirred the shitpot. Then Beijing made him lick the goddamned spoon and nuked his fucking ass. Problem is, when they did that—not saying they weren’t justified, mind you—our first and best chance to reverse-engineer this clusterfuck went up in a mushroom cloud. All the rest of us could do was fucking bend over and pray for lube and a reacharound.”
—Gen. Robert K. McCammeron (Our Last History? by Willard M. Sterling. Interview date May, 2143)
“In the time since we first became aware of the virus, and the subsequent events that have followed, we’ve come to understand that we have no idea why, much less how, they [North Korea] created it. Unfortunately, when Beijing wiped Pyongyang off the map, they also wiped out any hope we had of creating an effective vaccine in a timely manner to prevent transmission to a majority of the world’s population. It’s estimated that within another five years, over ninety percent of the world’s population will either be dead or infected unless we get lucky and figure it out.”
—Dr. Arnold P. Almer, CDC (Our Last History? by Willard M. Sterling. Interview date April, 2143)
“In terms of [Kite, the drug’s] addictive nature, it makes meth look like baby aspirin.”
—Kimberly Coates, PhD, University of Florida (February, 2143)
—President Charlotte Kennedy’s reported reaction upon learning that China authorized the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea on July 29, 2142, in response to Pyongyang allowing thousands of people they supposedly infected with the Kite virus to flood across the border into China several days earlier.
“The Drunk Monkeys? Those crazy motherfuckers don’t exist. And boy, are they good at what they do. Thank god.”
—Gen. Joseph Arliss (June, 2143)
* * * *
Long story short…
It’s now April of 2143, approximately two weeks since we last left our globe-trotting group just arriving in Hawaii from Australia.
When you mix a determined network researcher who wants to become an on-air reporter—code name Pandora—with a military Special Operations and Tactical Infiltration Force unit determined to fulfill their orders to save the world—SOTIF1, nicknamed the Drunk Monkeys—you might be shocked to find out they’ve defied all odds thus far.
Then again, maybe you’re not shocked at all.
There are fifteen names on “The List” being circulated worldwide. Doctors, scientists, researchers—all linked to the creation of Kite the virus and Kite the drug, which—long story short—led to China going all crankypants and nuking North Korea out of existence.
Or TMFU, as the military dubbed it. Short for The Massive Fuckup.
They do love themselves some acronyms, those military wonks.
The Drunk Monkeys, following Pandora, located one Dr. Phe Quong in Australia. He was on The List.
He received a code name, too—Q.
Hey, the Drunk Monkeys are practical men and realize that, sometimes, simplicity is best.
Unfortunately, the Drunk Monkeys have discovered a mole in the military food chain between them and General Joseph Arliss, the man they directly report to. Now the SOTIF team—along with Pandora and Q—have escaped from Australia to Hawaii and are planning their next move, as well as their next target acquisition from The List.
Their standing orders until further notice? To locate as many people as possible from The List, keep them safe, and put them together so they can create a vaccine for the Kite virus.
Since the men and women of The List were responsible for the Kite virus in the first place, it’s a pretty reasonable assumption for anyone to make that those jokers might be able to create a vaccine for it, too.
Meanwhile, back in the States, there’s one Reverend Hannibal Silo, head of the Church of the Rising Sunset. He’s starting to stick his slimy fingers into things. He also wants to get his hands on a Kite vaccine—so he can control it. If he can do that, he knows it’ll cement his religious empire, bring his desire to become President of the United States to fruition, and secure his legacy to create a new world of his choosing.
And thus we pick up where we left off in their adventures…
* * * *
The monkey business is just getting started…
“So, where to next, boss?” Oscar stared at the table where the world map was spread out.
Next to Oscar stood his twin brother Yankee, his arms crossed over his chest. Lance and Vance Lyons, who were rarely called that since becoming part of the elite SOTIF unit, were only distinguishable from each other by the fact that Vance, AKA Yankee, had a small scar on the left side of his jaw.
Across the table, Papa and Alpha, the commander and second-in-command of their unit, both stared down at the map.
They’d reached the end of their second week in Hawaii. Dr. Quong, now codenamed Q, was still working on trying to synthesize a vaccine for the Kite virus.
The men gathered around the table didn’t bother looking up at the soft moan filtering from the bedroom closest to them.
Oscar didn’t blame Doc, Tango, and Pandora for having wild monkey sex whenever they could, considering the circumstances.
He just wished the men would shove a gag, or one of their cocks or something, in her mouth when they did.
It was eleven o’clock at night, Hawaiian time. They all knew their hideout would only stay secure for so long before they’d have to flee the islands. The Kite virus hadn’t yet reached the state’s shores, but everyone realized it was only a matter of time before some boat managed to sneak infected refugees ashore, or an unauthorized airplane landed with people testing blue.
And then all hell would break loose.
The last place they could afford to be stuck when that happened was on the Hawaiian islands, quarantined in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, without access to more supplies or any practical way of finding the other scientists on The List.
Q’s family had already been moved to safety from Hawaii to a different location, which only Papa and Alpha knew.
Well, and Bubba, their guardian angel of intelligence back in Chicago. He knew because he’d helped arrange things. A computer whiz and now a patron saint of sorts, he was a friend and coworker of Pandora’s who’d turned out to be former special ops and military intel himself, working under General Arliss while he’d been enlisted. He was also now their only trustworthy, and highly secret, go-between with a direct line to General Arliss. With a mole in the official food chain between them and the general, they’d been ordered by the general to go OTG—off the grid—until further notice.
In addition to Bubba’s help, Alpha had a CIA spook buddy in Hilo, who’d gotten them all new IDs, including Pandora and Q.
Papa reached out and touched his finger to the map, along the western coast of Mexico. “How’s your Spanish, boys?” he asked.
“Fuck,” Yankee muttered next to Oscar. “I hate tacos.”
“Since when?” Oscar asked.
“Since that last time we went back to Philly to visit Mom, when we went out and got shitfaced and ate at Taco Terrace.”
Oscar snorted. “That was the tequila that made you sick, asshole, not the tacos.”
“I don’t care.”
Quack, Lima, Foxtrot, and Kilo were all outside taking their turn on watch. Everyone else, except for the four of them and Q, was grabbing rack time.
Another soft moan drifted from the bedroom.
Well, excluding Doc, Tango, and Pandora. Technically they were in a rack, just not sleeping at the present moment.
Yankee and Oscar, along with Roscoe and Niner, were due for watch in less than an hour. Yankee and Oscar had been camped out on the floor of the shared bedroom, with Doc, Tango, and Pandora getting the bed.
Which explained why the lovebirds were now taking advantage of their alone time, before Quack and Lima wanted to grab floor space to sleep.
Twenty-two of them shoved together in a four-bedroom house wasn’t exactly torture when the men of the Drunk Monkeys were used to surviving in adverse conditions.
Yankee knew this likely might be their best safe house for the duration of their time OTG.
He certainly wouldn’t bitch about it.
“By air or by sea?” Alpha asked.
Papa scratched at the stubble on his chin. “I haven’t decided yet. We already know we can secure passage on a boat. It’ll just take us a lot longer to get where we need to go. Air would be a lot faster, but it’s not like Victor can pilot a fixed-wing large enough, and with enough fuel capacity, to get us all there safely.”
“Not to mention,” Oscar quipped, “that the military or civvies here in Hawaii might notice and object to something that size suddenly going missing.”
Papa smiled. “Yes, there is that.”
“By boat, you mean another military ship?” Yankee asked.
“Not another one. The Gramble-Goodley.”
“You think your uncle can risk it again?” Oscar asked.
Papa shrugged. His uncle was the captain of the neobattlecruiser that had secretly whisked them to safety from Australia. Currently, it lay anchored in Pearl Harbor. “I talked to him earlier today. He said they’re sending them out to patrol the California coastline, up and down past Baja, to watch for refugees.”
“I think that answers the question quite definitively, doesn’t it?” Yankee observed.
“Just thinking things through,” Papa said. “You know the drill.”
“Did Q ever regain contact with Dr. Patel?” Oscar asked.
“No,” Papa said. “Bubba’s working on it on his end. We can’t count on a safe house there. However”—his finger lazily circled the town of Colima, Mexico, on the map—“we have reason to believe Dr. Peter McInnis might have made his way to Mexico and be in this area. The intel’s good as of twenty-four hours ago. Bubba trusts it.”
“Mexico’s a large place,” Oscar said. “Did he just throw a dart at the western coast, or does he have a reason to believe McInnis is headed to that particular slice of hell?”
Papa smiled. “Bubba has a hunch.”
And book 6, Flying Monkeys, is now available for pre-order from Siren-BookStrand! 🙂