Title: Omen Operation
Author: Taylor Brooke
Genre: Sci-Fi Adventure
After an epidemic spreads through the country, Brooklyn Harper’s high school years come to an abrupt end.
Implanted in a rural camp, Brooklyn and her friends are cut off from their families and the outside world. Each day is filled with combat training to assure their safety against the crazed, belligerent, and deadly— those infected with a mysterious virus.
If the world couldn’t get any crazier, a letter ups the insanity…
After being assured day after day that the world outside their little camp had been compromised, Brooklyn’s cabin-mate, Dawson Winters, finds a letter that turns everything they’d known upside down. There is a world outside the trees that surrounds their camp, and the virus they all feared seems non-existent.
Determined to see it herself, Brooklyn plots with others to attempt an escape…
On the outside, Brooklyn finds the world is as normal as ever. But when they are attacked in the city, they dispose of their attackers far more efficiently than any normal human.. Is there more to Brooklyn and her friends then just being highly trained?
As their exploration continues, the group is faced with impossible feats. Betrayal, love, death, and a powerful sense of camaraderie lead Brooklyn and her friends to fight for their life, their freedom, and most of all, each other.
Brooklyn wanted to cover her ears. She wanted to close her eyes.
The creature turned quickly on its heels, a pot clattered against the floor. Brooklyn yelped a nervous hiccup and panicked. She thrashed against the sudden grip of sweat slicked hands around her ankles and black crusted fingernails scraping her skin.
Brooklyn thought she’d been mistaken, but up close, it still resembled a woman. Same bone structure. Pale skin. Flared nostrils. A wide open mouth revealing rows of blunt human teeth. But something oozed out of the corner of its eye, black like tar, and it stained the sunken space between its cheek and jaw. It dripped from its nose, painted the inside of cracked lips, and bled from its gums. The veins on its neck and shoulders were like splintered charcoal spider webs, bruised and broken shadows pressed under its skin.
Its teeth snapped together, jaw clenching and unclenching as it reached forward with one hand, arm flailing and prominent bones cracking as it twisted around, possessed, unreal… sick.
Brooklyn didn’t comprehend her reaction, but something inside her was convinced it was her only option. Fight or flight. Live or die. Kill or be killed. She didn’t know what drove her to do it, but Brooklyn gripped the handle of the knife and shoved the blade through the creature’s mandible into the roof of its mouth. A disgusting crunch was heard, followed by the slick slide of metal slicing through skin. Bile filled the back of Brooklyn’s throat.
Coagulated blood and black secretion stained the low neck of her strapless cream dress. Her phone was smashed, the glass front shattered on the tile floor. She shoved the heavy body of whatever that thing was off of her.
Brooklyn tried to stand, but her knees buckled. She crawled away; kicking back against the limp body slumped in the corner of the kitchen while her satin dress slid against the ground.
It hurt, the tight constriction of her chest trying to gather each breath in. She was confused, battling shock and fear. She wanted to lift herself up and run, to carry herself back home so she could dive under the protection of her father’s arms and her mother’s reassurance.
It repeated itself, the same memories from start to finish.
While the sound of shouting droned numbly in her ears from the doorway of the garage, Brooklyn could still hear the song that was playing in her friend’s car, her mother’s voice as she fiddled with the necklace that was now in shambles on the kitchen floor, and her father’s gentle ‘be careful’ as he slid the baby pink lily corsage onto her wrist.
Hands wrapped in blue rubber gripped her shoulders. Brooklyn felt her legs buck and kick.
Don’t touch me. Don’t touch me. Don’t touch me.
The words never left her lips, but they bounced off the walls of her mind in different octaves.
“Have you been hurt? What is your name? There has been an emergency isolation operation set in place. We are taking you somewhere safe. What is your name?”
Taylor Brooke is the author of the sci-fi adventure trilogy The Isolation Series. She started out as a freelance makeup artist, and quickly discovered her love of elves, zombies, mermaids, kaiju, and monsters of all kinds. After receiving eight professional certifications in special effects makeup, working on countless projects, and fleshing out a multitude of fantastical creatures, she turned her imagination back to her one true love- books. Taylor has had a knack for writing since she was a little girl, and received recognition for her skills throughout grade school and junior college. When she’s not nestled in a blanket typing away on her laptop, she can be found haunting the local bookstore with a cup of steaming hot tea in her hands, scanning the shelves for new reads, or hiking one of the many mountains that surround her home in Oregon.