Book Blitz - Excerpt & Giveaway - The Omega Archives: Escalation by Erik Melendez

The Omega Archives: Escalation
Erik Melendez
Publication date: January 31st 2024
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Alex Connors returns for a new mission in The Omega Archives: Escalation. But this time, he must take on the most dangerous man in the world: Axel. A super soldier with years of combat experience, Axel is seemingly one step ahead of Alex in every way. What Alex thought would be a breeze turns out to be anything but. He’s still fighting the brainwashing from his training in the Omega Project, which prevents him from feeling fully human. Alex must figure out a way to outsmart and stop Axel . . . without losing what’s left of his humanity.

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We sprinted after the last guy who was running through the desert area. My heart pounded as I sprinted after the guy. All I could think about was tackling this guy to the ground and beating the shit out of him. The field seemed like an endless desert of sand and dried-out plants. The last guy made a hard turn into what looked like a cave entrance. The entrance hand a big concrete shaft leading inside with black water pouring out of it. We stopped and shined our flashlights into the cave, but saw nothing. Barns and I went inside. It was dark and smelled like a port-a-potty that hadn’t been cleaned in years; we heard rats squeaking and the echoes of water dripping in the distance. Being in there made my stomach feel like it was going to blow up and I felt like I would never eat again. We walked on until we arrived at a very large room. I went in, and the gate slammed shut behind me. The slamming echoed throughout the room and it froze my heart.

I turned and ran towards the gate. “Hey let me out!” I said. I tried pulling on the bars and kicking the gate down, but it was too strong. “Come on, let me out!”

I tried contacting Max on my radio. “Max, do you copy?” I asked.

“Alex… can you hear…” Max said. My radio went static.

“Long live the Union,” Barnes said as he backed off and sunk into the darkness of the cave. My heart dropped into my stomach as he backed off.

“Long live the Union, indeed!” Another man said in a British accent.

Some lights flashed behind me. I slowly turned around.

it was Axel.

“Alex Connors, we meet at last,” he said in a soft voice as he took a few steps towards me. “I have been looking forward to this for so long.”

A wave of anxiety hit me like a truck. He was a lot bigger in person, but not too big just big enough to pose a threat. I couldn’t take my attention off of how much bigger he was in person.

All around was rock and water. I could hear water flowing nearby only to pour out into a drain. I immediately pulled out my rifle and aimed it at him, ready to shoot as that feeling in my stomach came back.

“Please put down the weapons. You can’t kill all of us,” Axel said.

I looked up, and saw the next level up; a large group of Axels’ men were armed with machine guns and assault rifles. My entire body was covered with laser sight dots like a Christmas tree. My heart froze up as I pictured myself getting blown away.

“They all have armor-piercing bullets, and clear shots,” Axel said.

I put down my rifle, pistol, and knife. The clank of my rifle and pistol hitting the ground echoed in the room. I stood there feeling naked as I took some breaths, trying to calm myself down.

“So you’re Axel? What do you want?”

“Ah, straight to business huh?” he said, smiling.

“You know I have orders to bring you in, right?” I said.

Axel walked closer to me, seeming to grow bigger with each step. “Oh, I am aware of your mission, indeed,” he said “You think I don’t know you, Alex? I’ve been watching you for some time now,” he said while still speaking in his soft voice.

I started to sweat. I wiped my head while I tried to process my thoughts. I continued to try and get my mind off my feelings as I focused on Axel.

“Yeah. Well, to me, you are just another terrorist on some kind of mission. An anarchist,” I said as Axel laughed.

“Ah, so young and still so much to learn. I have been doing this far longer then you have,” he said.

“Age does have its advantages,” I said.

“As well as its disadvantages,” Axel replied.

“Why did you attack the Pentagon?” I asked as I walked closer to him.

Axel started to walk to me. “Easy. I needed to draw attention.”

“By killing innocent people?”

“Ha! Just another stereotypical word: Innocent. Please, Alex, those people were just expendable assets, just like everyone else.”

“We will see about that,” I said as I walked towards him.

At that moment, all I thought about was beating Axel to a pulp. I ran up to him and struck at him with all the strength I had. His steel-like body just absorbed the strikes, taking little to no damage whatsoever. I threw another right hook. He blocked it and threw an uppercut elbow to my face, knocking me back, then a spin kick to my chest, kicking me into a pile of bricks. I felt like someone had hit my solar plexus with a sledgehammer as I tried to breathe. All I could think about was the pain as I lay there like I was a plant being eaten by rodents. I rubbed my jaw, trying to ease the pain, and my body was covered in sweat and dust. The Mercenaries just stood by and watched.

“Your confidence has gotten the best of you. You have been fighting so much of these mere humans that you believe yourself to be unstoppable. You proclaim that you are a super-soldier. But really you are just a boy,” he said.

As I laid there, feeling like my body was crushed by a wrecking ball, I kept thinking about my training. I could still hear the trainer shouting at me to control my emotions. I closed my eyes and breathed, trying to get my mind off of my feelings.

“I’ve beaten people like you before,” I said as I got up slowly, trying to fight through the pain.

I did a spin kick to his face with Axel leaning back, slightly dodging it. I then did a spin side kick to him, with him blocking it, followed by a spin jump kick to his chest, which seemingly did nothing to him. I threw more hooks to his face with every bit of strength I had. When I went to throw the third, he grabbed my fist and started squeezing it like an empty Coke can; several snapping sounds emerged from my hand. I could feel the bones in my fist being slowly crushed like wood, and it was all I could focus on. I screamed in pain as I slowly dropped to my knees. I tried to break his grip, but it was as strong as steel. My right hand was practically destroyed.

“All this strength and no coordination. You are truly an amateur,” he said as he pushed me to the ground. He then did a powerful bottom fist strike to my back, which felt like being hit by a pipe wrench.

I took another breath, trying not to explode with anger so I don’t throw up, then got up and went to do another spinning jump kick. While I was in mid-air, Axel punched me directly in the solar plexus, knocking me down. All the air was knocked out of me again, and I could barely breathe. He then picked me up and threw me into a wall. A bang followed as I hit the floor. My body felt like all the bones were broken into bits, and I could not get up. My mind was glued to the pain as it settled. As I lay there, Axel walked up and crouched next to me.

“I understand what you are going through. You’ve spent half of your life training, and now you are split. Every day you contend with adapting to human life. These humans have corrupted your mind, but I can help you. I can save you from them. Please let me help you,” he said. His voice was pretty calm and soothing for a terrorist.

I slowly picked myself up, feeling like my body was going to break into pieces at any second. My arms felt like they were weighed down by trucks, and my chest weighed a ton. I gripped my broken wrist as I tried to find my balance.

“I don’t need your help!” I said, standing ready.

“Very well then,” he said as he did a spinning heel kick to my face, knocking me out. From there it was just blackness and nothing.

Author Bio:

Erik Melendez is a young adult novelist, graduated from t Henry Ford College, and martial arts enthusiast. He holds a black belt in Kung Fu and is skilled in firearms and other weaponry. In high school, he worked his way up to a cadet lieutenant junior grade for the NJROTC program, where he participated on the drill team, physical fitness team, and academic team. An avid fan of Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who, Erik gleans plenty of inspiration for writing action-packed sci-fi stories. He is the author of The Omega Archives and lives in Livonia, Michigan.

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