DiscoverYoung Adult

The Pulse



Billions dead worldwide. A new threat looms. Can a pair of grieving sons and their former Black-Ops father stop a terrorist group?

Alex and Danny have been training with their former Black-Ops father, Dean since the "Pulse" was set loose on the world five years ago. A terrorist group wants to destroy the remaining governments and military with a new virus. The US Army calls on their father and Alex and Danny to stop the terrorists before the remaining world order is destroyed. Can they stop the terrorists from destroying the last bit of order in the world? Little did they ever expect to discover a secret bigger than the virus itself that shakes their reality more than anything else.

"The Pulse" is the first book in the Young Adult fiction dystopia series, the "Greenlight Boys", that features compelling characters, a pair of kick-ass brothers and surprising plot twists. If you liked "The Mazerunner", "Divergent", or "The Hunger Games" series, then you'll love Daniel MacLagan's brand new dystopian adventure.

The sunlight breaks through the blinds like a hot knife cutting through a stick of butter. It hits a young boy in the face as he sleeps. He squirms and pulls the covers over his head. Just as he thinks he’s hidden from the evil sun, a loud beeping starts up. It is the alarm clock.

“Come on, Danny,” says a voice. “It’s time to get up and go on our campout.”

“Aggghh,” moans Danny. “Why are you awake and in my room, Alex?”

“Come on. You know this is our big campout with dad,” Alex says. “Now, get your lazy butt up.”

Danny pulls the covers off his head, seeing Alex kneeling on the side of his bed. Alex springs up and goes to the bedroom door. Before he leaves, Alex picks up and throws a pillow sitting beside the pile of clothes near the door at Danny, still lying in the bed. 

“Get up lazy bones,” Alex says with a snicker.

Danny finally makes his way downstairs and into the kitchen to find Alex and their dad, Dean Robertson, sitting at the table eating. A stack of waffles sits on a plate next to some bacon. A jug of orange juice also sits on the table. Danny sits down, rubs his eyes as Dean pours him a glass of orange juice. 

“Eat up,” says Dean. “We have to get to the campsite by noon so we can get set up and get a little training while we hunt for dinner.”

“I’m awake,” Danny mumbles. “What type of training are we going to focus on this week, dad?”

“Well,” Dean says. “We are going to review tracking and trap setting and then go over some new ‘tricks’ for nighttime survival.”

“Sounds good to me,” says Alex as he shoves another fork-full of waffle in his mouth. “Are we going to get any practice shooting in this time?”

“We will see,” replies Dean. “Now finish up and get packed.”

Dean Robertson, an ex-Army military intelligence officer and now a civilian contractor for the US Army, gets up and starts to clean up the table as Alex and Danny finish and then go upstairs. Alex, a natural with technology who loves to build gadgets, finishes packing up his knapsack. He slides his survival knife into a couple of outer straps and then proceeds to put a handful of what appears to be silver dollars into an outer pocket along with a small PDA. Danny finishes packing his knapsack in his room. He unzips a small pouch and checks its contents. Inside are a couple of fish hooks, a compass, a needle, flint and steel, a metal wire, some fishing line, some matches and a small mirror. He zips it close and puts it in his bag. He picks up his survival knife, unsheathes it looking at the blade, and then slides it back into the sheath. Danny straps it onto the side of his knapsack using a couple of straps on the outside of the bag.

When the boys come back downstairs, Dean is outside finishing loading some bags into the back of the SUV. He turns to make sure that the 3 motorcycles on the trailer behind the SUV are tightly strapped on. They all get in the SUV and start their drive to the north Georgia mountains, where they will spend the next week camping and training and honing their survivalist skills while exploring the north Georgia mountains.

After setting up camp, Dean tells Alex and Danny to go catch dinner. Danny heads towards the stream to try to catch some fish while Alex heads into the woods to build some snares. Danny makes a spear from a stick he finds on the way to the stream and sharpens with his knife. It doesn’t take too long before he sees some fish big enough to eat. He tries to stab them with the spear but misses a few times. Eventually, he gets one and then another. 

Alex follows along a path and notices some animal tracks. He follows them and finds a couple good spots to set up a snare trap. He pulls out some twine from his pocket and ties one end to a small sapling. He lays the twine on the ground and ties a loop in it. Alex covers up the twine on the ground with leaves. Alex goes and sets another snare trap about a hundred yards away and then finds a spot to hide. After an hour, he caught one rabbit. Feeling disappointed, Alex heads back to camp, where he runs into Danny with four fish.

Alex and Danny get back to camp and show Dean how they fared on their task to catch dinner. Danny is extremely proud because he beat his brother. Danny was always better at the survivalist skills and combat then Alex. Alex was stronger at building things and technology.

“Good job boys,” Dean says. “We will have a good dinner tonight. We will put the fish on the fire after we do some hand-to-hand practice.”

Dean, Alex, and Danny go to a small field near their campsite. Dean stands across from Alex and Danny. He takes the knife out from the sheath on his hip and motions for Alex to come at him. Dean thrusts the knife and Alex who blocks it, twists Dean’s wrist and knocks the knife out of his hand. Then Alex bends Dean’s arm back towards his head and takes him down. Alex gets up and helps Dean up and then it is Danny’s turn. Dean picks up his knife and motions for Danny to come at him. Dean attacks Danny from overhead with the knife and Danny blocks it and twists Dean’s wrist to loosen his grip on the knife. Danny then pulls the knife from his hand and spins around to strike Dean in the head with an elbow as he goes behind Dean and puts the knife to his throat. 

“Great job both of you,” Dean says. “Let’s do some more for about an hour and then back to cook dinner.”

Dean continues attacking Danny and Alex with the knife and by grabbing them so that Danny and Alex can practice defending from knife attacks as well as breaking free from being detained or held. Alex focuses more on knocking the weapon free from Dean and takedowns. Danny likes focusing on taking the weapon and using it on Dean as well as submission holds. Danny is not as tall as his brother Alex, who is close to Dean’s height, so Danny must use his smaller size and quickness to his advantage. 

After a busy day of building traps and snares trying to catch their dinner and some combat practice, the three sit down to eat dinner. It is late and after eating the three men head to bed in their tent. A campfire glows softly as the remaining tinder snap in the darkness. Suddenly, the silence of the night is broken with the rumble of an engine coming up the dirt road leading to the campsite. It belongs to a military-style Jeep. A second one pulls up behind it, just at the edge of the campsite, headlights illuminating the tent.

“What is that dad?” Danny whispers while he rubs his eyes.

“I don’t know, but stay put and be quiet you two.”

Dean unzips the tent and crawls out of the tent. He looks to the headlights, shielding his eyes slightly. The headlights turn off and a figure is seen stepping out one of the Jeeps in the light of the moon.

“Identify yourself,” Dean says looking at the Jeeps, where he notices two more figures exiting the second Jeep.

“Mr. Robertson?” one voice says. “Are you Mr. Dean Robertson?”

“Who wants to know?”

“Mr. Robertson, we have come to take you back to the base. The commander is requesting your presence to discuss a situation that has come up.”

“Who is requesting my presence? And about what situation?” Dean asks.

“I don’t know the details sir, but I have been instructed to retrieve you,” the man states. He motions for the two men who got out of the second Jeep to move towards Dean.

“I’m not going anywhere until I know what it is your Commander wants of me. Get him on the horn now or you get back in your vehicles and drive your rude selves back down this mountain,” Dean orders.

“Mr. Robertson, we have been instructed to bring you to the Commander, either peacefully or by force.”

Just then one of the men who had worked his way up beside Dean grabs his arm and Dean punches him with his free hand. The man throws his hands in his face as Dean smirks at him.

“I told you I was not going anywhere until I spoke to the Commander. Get him on the horn or leave me alone. I demand to know who wants to see me and what this situation is that they want to talk about.”

Suddenly two men appear behind Dean and one hits him in the base of the back of his head. Dean drops to one knee as the two men grab his arms and bind his wrists with zip ties. They lift Dean to his feet and drag him to one of the Jeeps. The first man looks on as the three men put Dean in the back of one of the Jeeps and two of the men sit on either side of him.

From inside the tent, Danny makes a sudden move towards the tent door. Alex grabs him and whispers “Be quiet. Don’t make a sound. We don’t know how many there are of them yet.”  Danny sits back down and listens intensely.

“I don’t care,” Danny responds softly. “They got dad and I’m going to help him.”

“Wait,” Alex whispers. “Let’s see what they do.”

The lead man looks back towards the tent and looks around the area. He walks towards the campfire, hoping that the extra light will help him see something. Seeing nothing he turns and walks back to the second Jeep, gets in and starts it up.

“Let’s get Mr. Robertson to the Commander. I think we deserve a drink after the fight he put up,” says the leader.

“I deserve more than just one drink,” says the man who Dean punched in the face. “I think he broke my friggin’ nose.”

The Jeeps start to back out of the campsite. As they do, Alex leans out the open tent door, reaches into his pocket and grabs what appears to be a silver dollar. He quickly grabs a slingshot that was sitting by the tent entrance and loads the silver dollar and takes aim at the back wheel well of one of the Jeeps. He lets it go and fires the disc, which hits and sticks to the inner wheel well of the back tire of one of the Jeeps as they back down the dirt road a little bit so they can turn around. The soldiers turn their headlights back on and drive down the road slowly.

As the Jeeps pull down the road Alex and Danny immerge from the tent to see the Jeeps drive off. Alex looks around the campsite to see if Dean is around, and sees him sitting in the back of the first Jeep.

“Quick, grab what you need and let’s get to the bikes,” Danny says in a commanding manner to his older brother.

Alex and Danny quickly dive back into the tent and Alex start to gather some items and stuffs them in his backpack that is in the tent. He grabs some food, a tablet, a black pouch. Alex also grabs his knife, an Army survival knife that his father gave to both he and Danny a few years ago, and slides it in the sheath on his belt. 

Danny grabs him some food, an olive-green pouch, some rope, first aid kit and slides his knife in the sheath on his belt. They each throw a jacket on and exit out of the tent, turn right and run up the hill about fifty yards. They get to two trees angled towards each other with what looks like a lean-to set up between them. Alex pulls it to the ground revealing three motorcycles. One is larger than the other two, obviously, that one is Dean’s. The boys each hop on one of the smaller bikes as Alex pulls out a smaller tablet from one of the pockets on the leg of his cargo pants. He taps it a couple times and it starts to beep softly.

“There they are. About four clicks down the mountain to the east of here,” Alex says. “It doesn’t look like they’ve reached the highway yet.”

“We can take the old logger’s trail and cut them off before they get to the main road,” Danny says.

They both kickstart their motorcycles as Alex puts the small tablet back into his pocket. They turn their bikes towards a small dirt trail to the left and head down the trail.

“Turn your silencer on so they can’t hear us coming. We don’t want to give them any warning,” Alex yells at Danny over the roar of the bikes. They each press a button in the center of the gas tank near the handlebars and the engines go silent, but they are still speeding down the trail, headlights shining a dim blue light as they maneuver down the trail.

“I want those bastards,” yells Danny. “I want to persuade them to tell me why they are nabbing our dad and messing up our camping trip.”

“That’s if dad hasn’t already gotten free and is persuading them by the time we catch up with them.”

About the author

Daniel MacLagan currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He has had a passion for writing ever since he was eight years old. He has written television screenplays, movie scripts, short stories, or novels. He loves creating characters and stories to pull in the reader and that people could relate to. view profile

Published on December 23, 2017

Published by

60000 words

Genre: Young Adult

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