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You are watching: Survivors a novel of the coming collapse

This lightening-paced instant brand-new York time bestseller around survival in America after ~ an apocalyptic economic crash asks the question: What if the civilization as we recognize it ended tomorrow?The America we room accustomed come is no more. Nearly overnight the share market has plummeted, hyperinflation has crippled commerce, and the vulnerable chains that supply and high-technology infrastructure have actually fallen. The strength grids are down. Brutal rioting and looting grip every major city. The volatile era well-known as “the Crunch” has actually begun, and also this new period in our background will leaving no one untouched. In this unfamiliar environment, just a handful of people are equipped to survive. The people of Survivors is a terrifyingly familiar one. Rawles has actually written a novel therefore close come the truth, readers will forget it’s fiction. If every little thing you believed you knew suddenly fell apart, would you survive?
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Former US army intelligence officer and survivalist James Wesley Rawles is a renowned survival lecturer and also author. Rawles is the editor that SurvivalBlog.com—the nation’s most renowned blogs on household preparedness. He stays in an undisclosed location west that the Rockies. That is the writer of the bestselling Patriots: A Novel of survive in the comes Collapse and also a nonfiction survive guide, how to survive the end of the world As We know It.

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1 Urgency and also Exigency “Weapons link man’s strength to achieve; they amplify the capabilities of both the good man and also the bad, and also to precisely the exact same degree, having actually no will of their own. For this reason we must regard them as servants, no masters—and great servants to an excellent men. Without them, male is diminished, and also his avenues to satisfy his destiny are lessened. An unarmed man have the right to only flee indigenous evil, and evil is not get over by fleeing native it.” —Col. Jeff Cooper FOB Wolverine, Task force Duke, Zabul Province, AfghanistanOctober, the an initial Year Andy to be awoken through the sound that mortars. His countless months in Afghanistan had actually taught him the distinction in sound between outgoing and incoming mortars and various artillery. These were distant mortars, for this reason he knew that it wasn’t familiar fire. Andy currently had operation Enduring flexibility camouflage pattern (OCP) pants and also interceptor human body armor (IBA) on, and was snatching up his M4 carbine and also helmet when the take-shelter warning siren sounded. He popped the end the door the his containerized real estate unit (CHU) and also jumped down right into the entrance of the greatly sandbagged shelter, simply a few steps away. Moments later the two lieutenants indigenous the CHU following door piled in behind him. One of them take it the precaution of scanning with a flashlight the floor and walls that the shelter for scorpions. He uncovered just one and also stomped it without comment. The mortar rounds began to come in, with a sequence of spicy blasts the shook the ground. There were about twenty impacts, arriving in a expectations of ten seconds. They can see the flashes of the explosions reflect on the wall surface opposite the doorway. The closest round impacted around one hundred feet away—close sufficient that shock waves could be felt. Together the rounds come in, Andy Laine said a quiet prayer. The knew that only a direct hit would endanger him, but it to be still unnerving, since he had actually less 보다 a month left in-country. “That may be all she wrote, sir,” said among the sublievenant dryly. Laine agreed. “You’re most likely right. Just an additional shoot-’n’-scoot deal.” in ~ the much side of the forward operating base (FOB), they could hear the echoed commands from the Arty boys, and also then the deep-throated crumps that outgoing mortars. They sound like huge 4.2-inch mortars, simply three rounds. Andy marveled at how conveniently the counter-battery radar team might pinpoint the insurgents’ firing location and direct return fire. Less than a minute ~ the foe rounds impacted, the reply was sent, no doubt with substantial precision. It to be no wonder that the mortar duels with the jihadis had end up being less constant in current months. Together they waited because that the all-clear horn, Andy leaned against the sandbag wall surface and stretched his calf muscles, much more out the habit than because of any stiffness. At 6 feet 2 inches, through a runner’s physique, the weighed simply 180 pounds, and also prided himself on his flexibility. Once doing physics training (PT) through his units in garrison, that was always among the most limber. The next morning, in addition to dozens that his fellow Fobbits, Laine walk a little bit of gawking in ~ the damage done by the mortars. It actually wasn’t much. One round had actually shredded the corner of a CHU and another perforated a tent through dozens of little holes—the largest about three customs across. Every the rest of the mortar results had no effect, leaving just black marks on the ground and some scattered shrapnel. A pair of the newbies come the FOB posed for pictures in front of the damaged CHU. “So what? huge deal,” Andy muttered to himself as he walked to the firm headquarters. At thirty-one year old, Andrew Laine to be the common lean and also fit U.S. Army captain. He to be on his 2nd deployment to Afghanistan. His very first had been to Iraq. On this new deployment, his assignment to be “branch immaterial.” back he was branched Ordnance Corps, he was assigned as a employee officer in a Stryker battalion, one infantry unit equipped v sixteen-ton wheeled armored personnel carriers (APCs). Through the heavy manpower requirements of continuous deployments come Afghanistan, it to be not unusual for police officers to acquire assignments external of their usual career path. “The needs of the Army” to be the reason often cited when making this assignments. Andy and also his older brothers Lars had grown up in the zero of their late father, Robie Laine, a Finnish-born army officer who retired as a complete colonel. Their father earned his U.S. Citizenship by authorized the U.S. Army, and eventually retired to a little horse ranch near Bloomfield, brand-new Mexico. Robie had actually been raised on a farm and was persuaded that he should retire on a farm. Their late mom was one American of mainly Swedish ancestry. She had passed away of chest cancer when the boys were in high school. Adhering to the mortar barrage, Andy invested a frustrating ten-hour work of pushing record for the battalion, which was greatly facility by the process of the unit’s upcoming redeployment come Germany. The afternoon, Andy chatted v Larry Echanis, the battalion S-1, the employee officer in charge of personnel. Echanis had actually been Laine’s martial arts sparring companion for the past several months. He had actually taught Andy part Hwa Rang execute katas, and Andy reciprocated, to teach Larry his combined martial art moves. Your battalion (or “squadron,” in Stryker parlance) was a forward deployed part of the 2nd Stryker cavalry Regiment, headquartered in Vilseck, Germany. The incoming squadron was a sister unit in the very same regiment, and also part of Task force Duke. However Andy’s squadron to be headed back to Germany, in a frequently scheduled unit rotation. Laine and also Echanis had been stating events back home. Lately, the war initiative had been taking a backseat to tumultuous financial events create from new York City and also the world’s other financial centers. Larry Echanis appeared worried however was make the efforts to be upbeat. That asked, “You think that this’ll blow over, right?” Laine placed on a glum face. “At this point, there’s no way. The totality system is breaking down. The global credit industry is frozen, the can be fried debt troubles have puffy up previous the GDP levels for most countries, and the derivatives have entirely imploded. We’re in a civilization of hurt. Ns think there’ll it is in some significant riots and also looting soon.” Echanis little his lip. “Well, that won’t be a big deal for my family. Most of lock live in east Oregon. Have you ever before been through Ontario, Oregon? It’s out in the center of nowhere. The disruption will be in the large cities. Our town is three hundred miles from Portland, and more than three hundred and fifty from Seattle as the crow flies.” Laine shook his head. “I great it was the simple. Sure, the riots will certainly be in the huge cities. The metro locations will be fatality traps. The suburbs will be just marginally safer. But you acquired to realize the these days also the tiny towns room dependent on long chains of supply. As soon as the eighteen-wheelers prevent rolling, everyone is gonna it is in hurting. The will absolutely be safer out in the boonies. But you must tell your household to stock up on every scrap that food they can find. They need to acquire out of dollars and into canned products right away.” “You yes, really think it’ll obtain that bad?” Laine reply soberly, “I’m fear it will. Go your household live in town or out on a ranch?” “Used to be ranchers. Every in town now, however we’re Basques, so we still know exactly how to live the old-fashioned way. My mommy used to cook a most our meals in a dutch oven. I didn’t even know how rapid food tasted until I went turn off to college. There’s no comparison to mine mom’s cooking.” “Well, v those skills, and living where they do, they’ll probably ride the storm the end pretty safely.” The conversation left Andy feeling uneasy around his plans for leaving energetic duty. Strapping on his MOLLE vest to leaving his desk at the battalion headquarters, Andy turned come Echanis come say, “Well, when the going it s okay tough, the difficult go shopping. I’m going to protect against by mine CHU and also grab a duffel bag and then I’m turn off to the Haji-mart.” It was 90 degrees but felt also hotter, since Andy was wearing IBA and had the load of an M4 carbine slung across his back, a PRC-148 radio, and also numerous MOLLE newspaper pouches. The just concession to being in a fairly safe area was that he to be wearing a boonie hat instead of a MICH helmet. Together Captain Laine walked previous the security manning the HESCO obstacles at the FOB’s main gate, he review the indications on the Haji industry windows just across the road. Lock proclaimed: “Very finest PriceS,” “DVD,” and also “Custtom TailoreR.” together he walked in the door, the odor of the sector hit Andy prefer a hammer. It to be an strange mix the Turkish tobacco smoke, incense, kerosene, sweat, and also overcooked lamb. It definitely didn’t smell like the exchange store back at the FOB. Aside from the hints of JP8 jet fuel, which was a presence all over in the FOB, the exchange smelled just like any kind of retail keep in America: hardly any type of smell at all—almost antiseptic. In contrast, Ali’s store reeked. An aging Italian-made waiting conditioner to be roaring over the door yet not maintaining up. That was possibly 10 levels cooler inside 보다 outside. Nabil Jassim Ali offered his usual “Salaam, salaam, Mr. Colonel” greeting. The portly and also balding Pashtuni flashed his yellowed, crooked teeth. He referred to as all the American soldiers “Colonel,” also the privates. The still do Andy laugh every time he heard it. Eyeing the empty duffel bag slung end Laine’s shoulder, Ali chortled. “Perhaps you space wanting to buy numerous numbers the thingings, Mr. Colonel?” Laine nodded. Ali waved him in and also added, “The save I to be closing in a couple of minutes, yet for you, Colonel, i am willing to be late.” “You constantly have the ideal deals, Mr. Ali,” Andy said with a smile. “Do you have actually afghanis? The American dollar not so good, today. The is slipping off an additional five percent.” “Down five percent in one week?” Andy asked. “In one day, Colonel,” Ali responded seriously. “Soon, ns think, ns take no an ext American money.” “Don’t worry, sir. I have plenty of afghanis.” His front pocket without doubt bulged with a large wad the cash: a mix of afghanis, dollars, and also a few euros. In the bottom that his pocket he also felt the load of eighteen American Eagle one-ounce silver coins in plastic sleeves. Ali’s store had the usual “Haji-mart” merchandise. There were cigarettes, pirated CDs and also DVDs, imitation designer sunglasses, magazines (mostly in Arabic), cheap Chinese knives and also ersatz Leatherman tools, candy, sunflower seeds, sodas and sports drinks, jerky, chewing gum, and also assorted trinkets. Over there were three young Stryker troops currently in the store when Captain Laine arrived. As soon as he passed lock in the dimly lit small aisles, castle each identified him through a hushed “High speed, sir!” the was the newly arrived battalion’s unofficial motto. However Andy to be accustomed to hearing it at a much higher volume within the FOB. Laine sorted v packets of jerky, settling greatly on the teriyaki flavor, piling increase a huge stack in the crook that his left arm. The 3 enlisted soldiers completed your purchases, purchase the normal Fobbit food: energy bars, packets of braided chips, and Coca-Colas that came in cans v both English and also Arabic markings. After ~ the 3 soldiers left the store, Laine stacked the packets that jerky ~ above the counter. Climate he walked ago to the shelf to obtain a second armload. This, too, he stack on the counter. Ali smiled. “Perhaps you room wanting come buy all of my jer-kee?” he asked. Laine chuckled, and also replied, “Well, not every one of it; just most of it.” following he went to stock up on batteries. He ignored the Egyptian bargain brand—of dubious quality—and selected a dozen four-packs the Energizer AA batteries, being careful to pick the ones v the latest expiration dates. While Laine was sorting battery packages, Ali locked the prior door and also turned the “OPEN” sign around. Laine stack the batteries in a pair of piles alongside the jerky on the counter, climate his gaze change to Ali’s long-term smile. After a pause, Laine asked, “I’ve heard the you sell some other, ah, unexplained merchandise that you save in back.” he pointed to the doorway come the back room, which amongst other things served as a kitchen and bedroom. “Sir, I have none alcohol. The is forbidden.” “No, no. That is not what i meant. I’ve heard that you have some an ext expensive merchandise, choose watches, some an excellent optics, and guns.” Ali’s smile obtained bigger than usual and he nodded. “One moment, Mr. Colonel,” he said, then disappeared right into the ago room. Ali reverted lugging a large suitcase, and also Laine knew that he’d struck pay dirt. This was where the rumor mill at the FOB claimed the shopkeeper reputedly kept “the great stuff.” Ali gently slid the hefty suitcase top top the save counter, unfastened the latches, and spun that around. He opened up it to screen a big assortment of brand-new and supplied wristwatches, digital cameras, movie cameras, binoculars, assorted boxes of ammunition, and a couple of pistol holsters. Laine and Ali spent the next 5 minutes haggling over the price that a pair the rubber-armored Nikon 7x30 compact binoculars. Lock finally resolved on a number that appeared high to Andy, yet he assented, establish the prices would surely be dual that in much less than a month, perhaps in simply a few days. Laine paid because that the jerky, batteries, and also binoculars, nearly depleting his wad that afghanis. Eyeing the crate of ammo, he said: “I view you have some nine-millimeter ammunition here. Perform you have any kind of pistols in that caliber?” Ali frowned. “Yes, Colonel, ns do, but you room cannot it is in afford them. Prices are—what is the they say—‘escalating.’ for a pistol, a good one, we are conversing the $5,000, American.” “What if ns paid girlfriend in silver, uhh, lujain coins? Lujain?” “Ahhh! Lujain! This works for me. In Kabul, silver closed this day at eighty-three American dollars for one ounce. In London it was eighty-one dollars.” Andy nodded. The man absolutely knew his markets. Mr. Ali turned and again walked to the ago room. Laine heard the sound of boxes gift shifted and also restacked. Shortly the keep owner reverted with one more suitcase the looked even older 보다 the first. He placed it on the counter, flipped the latches, and swung that open. Captain Laine let out a slight gasp as soon as he experienced the contents. The suitcase was crammed full of pistols, revolvers, holsters, and magazines. Andy sorted through the guns. He saw older Afghan Army–issue Tokarevs, a few ancient revolvers the looked one of two people Belgian or German, and also a couple of Egyptian Helwan pistols. One revolver immediately seemed suspect. It was a Pakistani copy that a Webley .38 revolver. Looking carefully at the gun, he saw that it was peppered with fake proof mark stampings and was erroneously stamped “WELBEY.” that made Andy laugh. Seeing Andy’s expression, the storekeeper noted: “The firearms from Peshawar, they room not therefore good.” Andy replied, “Now, that’s an understatement!” he didn’t trust their metallurgy and also mechanical tolerances any an ext than the did your spelling. Putting the revolver down, Andy noticed the there were several plastic Glock model 19 magazines yet no Glock pistols. “Do you have any type of Glocks?” “Sorry, Mr. Colonel, yet none that those ns have. Those guns of Glock sell very quick, when I am acquiring one.” then Andy spotted a pistol in a well-made holster that looked different from the others. Withdrawing the from the holster, Andy to be pleased to check out a SIG P228 9mm pistol in nearly new condition. The looked as with the U.S. Army–issue P228s that the CID agents carried, except that the wasn’t stamped “U.S. PROPERTY.” “This is my most nice of mine pistols. You space liking it?” The moment that he experienced the SIG, Andy knew that he was going come buy it. The minute felt portentous somehow. That nodded and also said, “Yes, I perform like it.” he knew the it was against regulations come bring any type of weapon house from the OEF theater of operations. Andy rummaged through the suitcase and also found six spare SIG P226 series magazines, consisting of two thirteen-rounders, 3 fifteen-rounders, and just one scarce magazine of twenty-round capacity. He take it a couple of minutes to closely examine both the gun and also the magazines. The pistol had no rust pitting and also just a little bit of complete wear in ~ the muzzle. Locking back the slide, he check the bore, stop a on slide of paper behind the barrel come act together a reflector. Cupping his hand end the rear sight and holding the back end that the pistol nearly to his face, he can see the pass out glow the tritium dots. He muttered come himself, “Eleven-point-two-year half-life.” The magazines were actual SIG Sauer made—with the distinctive zigzag seam ~ above the back—and they, too, looked nearly new. Setting the holstered pistol and the 4 magazines alongside his ahead purchases, he said, “This will do.” “I will market you this ZIG with just of only one magazine because that thirty ounces of silver, and also one ounce more for each magazine more.” Laine shook his head and also answered: “No, no, no. The is also much. My sell is eight ounces, and I want you to encompass these magazines.” “This is an humiliation to mine family. Shall my kids starve and beg in the street? i am not a fool. But for you, as good and honorable officer, I will certainly make a price of twenty ounces, v those extra magazines including.” “No, make it twelve.” Ali shook his head. “Eighteen ounces.” Andy countered, “Nope. Fifteen.” “Sixteen,” Ali snapped back. Andy replied firmly, “Done!” they shook hands. Andy counting out 16 of the American eagles, all still packaged in two-coin “flip” plastic sleeves. Ali took the time to scrutinize the pairs of coins closely, removing numerous of them from their sleeves. That looked satisfied. “You space needing the amma-unitions?” “No, thanks, I’ve obtained plenty. Nine-mil is standard for the Army.” Andy spent a few more minutes rummaging with the suitcases, picking a pair of newspaper pouches that had obviously to be made for various double-column pistol magazines yet fit the standard SIG magazines—a tight fit, but they would do. Each pouch hosted a pair that magazines. The two pouches expense $220 in the increasingly worthless greenbacks. Starting with the holstered pistol at the bottom, Andy fill the duffel bag with his purchases and also again shook hands v Ali. It to be nearing sunset, and the temperature outside was down to 80 degrees. Ali unbarred the door, and they exchanged “Salaamu alaikum” (Go in peace) good-byes. Andy wondered just how peaceful points would be in the near future. “Not very,” that muttered come himself, as he shouldered the duffel bag. © 2011 James Rawles