The Stones of Angkor (Purge of Babylon, Book 3)

By: Sam Sisavath
The war for survival continues.



The fight for Song Island is over. Despite suffering losses, Will and his group have claimed the island as their own and achieved the safe haven they’ve longed for since The Purge.

Months later, Will makes contact with another group of survivors, and travels to their base in hopes of striking an alliance and gathering much-needed medical supplies. Instead, he finds himself in the middle of another bloody battle.

With Will gone, Lara must take up a leadership position on the island, and is immediately confronted with a difficult choice. It’s a lot of pressure for a third-year medical student, especially when her decisions may cost lives.

Meanwhile, the ghouls have launched yet another startling new phase of their master plan, forcing Will to venture deep behind enemy lines to collect valuable intelligence. What he discovers will change everything.

Where The Purge begins, and the Gates hold, the Stones will crumble…





BOOK ONE






ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES





CHAPTER 1




WILL




It was dark and dank in the tunnel, and his face was sticky with dirt and sweat, so of course Danny was making with the jokes.

“It’s been ages since Old Man Tom’s gotten laid. His wife isn’t interested in sex anymore, so one day Old Man Tom goes to the barn and starts looking around. He spots a very nice-looking gelding with white spots and a great coat of brown fur—”

“What’s a gelding?” Will asked.

“What?”

“What’s a gelding? Do I need to know what that is in order to get this joke?”

“It’s a horse.”

“Then why didn’t you just say ‘horse’?”

“’Cause it’s a gelding. Now, you want me to finish this joke or not?”

“Wait, are you saying I have that option? Why didn’t you tell me this before?”

Danny said something, but Will couldn’t hear it over the shotgun blast, the ear-splitting noise magnified in the tight confines of the tunnel. For the briefest of seconds, bright red and yellow fire lit up the darkness, revealing the skeletal forms of three ghouls, black-prune skin rippling as they lunged at him—just before the silver buckshot vaporized flesh from bone.

Will racked the shotgun and fired again as three more poured out of the blackness, only to disappear in a shower of buckshot. He racked and waited…but nothing else moved, except for the clumps of flesh splattered against the curved walls.

Smart. They’re attacking three at a time now.

“Sorry about that,” Will said. “You were saying?”

“What happened?” Danny asked.

“A little housecleaning.”

“Still? What the hell are they doing down there?”

“I’ll be sure to ask the next one I run across.”

Will stepped over the bodies sprawled on the wet concrete floor. His boots crunched bone, and thick, oozing liquid clung to the soles. He breathed through his mouth to avoid taking in the acrid stench.

The tunnel was huge, running underneath Beaufont Lake and emerging out of the Power Station on Song Island. At its lowest point, the construction reached thirty meters to the bottom of the lake. The partially round structure was twenty meters in diameter, with a flat bottom big enough for two simultaneous lanes of traffic. Condensation dripped from the high ceiling, and drops of water dangled from broken lights evenly spaced out for maximum coverage. The drip-drip-drip had been a constant ever since they’d stepped inside. Steel pipes and conduits snaked along the sides.

The tunnel extended just over one full kilometer underneath the lake, and it wasn’t until they were three-fourths of the way through that it split up into two paths—one continuing forward and the other diverging left. Except the one that went left ended at a solid concrete wall after about ten meters. They were close enough to the island that Will guessed the unfinished portion—probably designed for the customers—led to the resort hotel, while the workers continued on to the end of the line and the Power Station directly above it.

Blaine moved loudly behind him—which was to say, Blaine moved the way only he knew how. The big man was armed with the same Remington 870 tactical shotgun, the shells loaded with silver buckshot. Silver was the only thing that could kill the ghouls. The only other thing, anyway. The sun was more lethal, but it was hard to walk around with the sun in your holster. The rifles over their backs were backups, because Will never liked to venture far without the M4A1. Lara insisted it was superstition. He called it habit.

“How many does that make?” Blaine asked, his voice echoing slightly in Will’s right ear.

Will wore an earbud that was connected to a comm gear, with a throat mic and a radio Velcroed to his stripped-down assault vest. “Twenty?”

“I thought it was more. Where are we now? Feels like we’ve been down here for a couple of days.”

“We should be underneath the island by now.”

“Like rats scurrying through the darkness,” Danny said in Will’s ear. “Foul-smelling, hairy, no-shower taking rats. I can smell you guys from up here.”

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