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Power and Chaos

Author: Paula Boock
Pages: 125
First Published: 2000

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Martin thinks he's got enough problems just dealing with his terminally successful older brother and competing for the attention of Trudi Taylor. But more worrying is the fact that people everywhere are starting to die from a mistery virus. And as society begins to desintegrate, the teenagers realise the horrible truth: all the adults are dying. A new order is about to emerge from the chaos, and Martin finds himself with a key role to play in the future of the world.


This is the heart-rending tale of the transformation of Martin into Zoot. Martin didn’t care about this Virus the news were telling about all the time, for him it was like a war on the other end of the world, it didn’t affect him. He was far more concerned in asking Trudy for a date. Trudy had always thought that Martin was a nice guy, but she was far more interested in his perfect brother, Bray. Bray may have had some interest in Martin’s fellow but then a new student arrived: Ebony.

Ebony manipulated everything and everyone and told Bray that he couldn’t invite Trudy to the prom since his brother had a crush on her. Instead, Bray invited her. Martin invited Trudy, but she was so upset for Bray’s rejection that didn’t said a straight yes. Meanwhile the virus had gone out of control. It was an international alert and the cities were divided into sectors from which people couldn’t go in or out without permission. Martin and Bray’s mom was ill, same wise their auntie and soon their father would run the same luck. Even so, Martin went to the prom to cheer up his best friend whose dad had just died from the virus and with the tiny hope that may be Trudy had changed her mind and he’ll see her there. And so happened. Martin and Trudy danced together but that sweet moment was broken because Trudy saw Bray kissing Ebony and she went out running. This for Martin was enough. He had the thorn of his brother being perfect in everybody’s eyes stuck since always, but wasn’t he happy with that? No, he also had to steal the only girl he’d ever dreamed of. He took all his frustrations out and hit Bray. People had to take him off his older brother but this didn’t relaxed him, on the contrary. It irritated him the way Bray didn’t even try to punch him back. On his way home he found Trudy who was sorry for behaving in that way. He invited her home and she accepted and in a moment of weakness they slept together. Next morning Martin woke up alone and Bray accused him of taking advantage of Trudy’s disappointment to get the chance to sleep with her. He also informed him that their dad was in the hospital. All this together, and the announcement that the children would be sent to the countryside made the shy boy become someone else, a strong and merciless leader that would rule the city for the next months. A guy that, even the manipulating Ebony, admired till the point that she became her queen.

Mall Rats

Author: Ken Katran
Pages: 127
First Published: 2001

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Amber and Ebony outwit a pack of wild dogs; Bray returns to his old home but discovers something shocking; Jack stumbles power- crazed group; Ryan finds true love - or does he?

Tai-San Records these and other stories so that the Mall Rats have a history as well as an existence. Each of the stories is strikingly different - by turn shocking, terryfying, exciting, touching, funny, sad but often uplifting. Many of the Mall Rats's secrets never seen before.

General Summary

In one of Tai-San’s attempts to unify the group and give it strength, she decided that the MallRats couldn’t go on just surviving; they had to have a history, a past to tell to their children. They couldn’t just forget that there was a world before the virus. So, Tai-San took some batteries and a recorder, and asked that everybody told a story about themselves, it didn’t have to be something special, just something… But, may be… the stories that the rats told Tai-San, weren’t quite what she expected… The time when they explain their stories is Series one.

Bray's Story

Bray had a strange dream about his past that reminds him that one of his old neighbors could have something about purification water systems, but he didn’t want to give false hope to the group and come back empty-handed, so he just left for a couple of days. In his old suburb, Bray finds that everything was changed the town seemed empty… he couldn’t gather strength enough to get into his parents’ house, but when he got to his neighbor’s, his past came back to him. His neighbor had a daughter, one of these loser kids that went to his school. “Probably dead by now, or a slave” he thought. When the dusk comes, Bray realizes it was not empty, there was a huge tribe living there. A tribe lead by a girl whose whole body was tattooed, the tribe had a strange ritual in which they danced, and which was interrupted, unintentionally, by Bray. The tribe hunts Bray and got him prisoner and things didn’t look right for him, seemed like he’d became the Tribe’s dinner… but, in the middle of the night, someone freed him, someone he thought he remembered from another time… it was the tribe leader and… this little loser girl at school, whose father battered. She still remember Bray, and the way he wasn’t mean to her, so she freed him, and assured him the whole cannibal thing was a joke to get him scared, her tribe wasn’t aggressive, but didn’t like strangers in their territory. So, asking him to help her burning (literally) the last bit of her old her, they torched Bray’s neighbor’s house and Bray goes back to the MallRats.

Amber's Story

Why did a Loco bring a dozen full charged batteries and called Amber’s name? This is Amber’s story. Amber used to go to one of the buildings her dad (who was an architect) designed. This building was the one were her kid brother, Jason, fell from before the virus. So, now the old world was gone, she tried to torch it, but it didn’t burn well. Anyway, once she was hunted by a group of wild dogs, so she tried to escape… guess who found in her way? No one but Ebony, the queen of the Locos herself. So, both of them climbed what was left of the building to fool the dogs, but they, as well as the girls, were survivors, and wouldn’t be fooled that easily, and followed them. In the way to the roof, Amber and Ebony, though neither leaving their irony and their subtle recriminations, seemed to have put down their weapons against each other and join strength against the dogs. This is how Amber ends saving Ebony from falling. Once in the roof they couldn’t grow wings and fly so they had to face the dogs, which had followed them till then. Ebony’s got a crossbow, but only six cross-bolts, definitively not enough, when you have eight dogs trying to eat you and twelve more down there. So, Ebony tries anyway. The dogs could only get where they are of the go in line. So, she kills the first one, then the second one… and then she attempts with the third one but fails… only one bolt left, but there’s no need to use it, Ebony had left the group without leader, and dogs are like “four-legged Locos” (Amber’s words) so what would they do? Go down, hold an election and have a new leader figured out… by then the girls would be safe in their tribes. So, they go in peace, but Ebony is in debt to Amber for saving her life. Twice. The problem… Ebony knows how things work in the Locos, why should it be different with the four legged ones? There’s always one who is more interested in revenge than in electing the new leader… and Amber happens to meet this dog… just when she thinks there’s no escape a bolt kills the dog… Ebony saved her. Ebony still is in debt with Amber, and the batteries were her way to say they were quits.

Jack's Story

When the virus stroke, Jack found himself alone in the world, since her older sister had joined a tribe that bullied kids around and to which he couldn’t belong because it was a gang exclusively formed by twelve years students. So he had no other choice but to leave his small town and take his chances in the city. In the way there he met a tribe which seemed like an army, with loads of technology and computers, they were all uniformed (no, they were not the Technos, but they’re very alike). But, over all, they had what Jack needed: food. So he sneaked in the headquarter and stole some, but he was caught red handed. The guards, though, would forgive him his life as long as they didn’t see him again. But… wait a minute; didn’t they need help with an informatics’ program? Jack was the guy for the job. So, they asked them to help them, in return they’d give him more food. There, Jack found out why this tribe was so organised: when the virus stroke, the adults knew they wouldn’t survive to it, so they trained some young guys, all from private schools and rich families and gave them the resources to keep few adults alive. Ten of the most important people in the country were frozen with cryogenics, waiting for the virus to disappear and be awakened by this gang of teenagers. The leader was the son of one of the frozen men, in that way they ensured the kids wouldn’t let them die. Jack has to stay for the night and there, the girl-guard who was in charge offered him the chance to kill these ten people, she offered him the chance to have a brand new beginning, without the menace of living adults coming back. One of the gentlemen there had ruined her family and she had sworn her dad she would have revenge… Whether Jack did kill them or not isn’t revealed.

Ryan's Story

To stop Lex from telling his story with Angela and distort it and change everything which meant something to him on it, Ryan pulled himself together and went up to Tai-san’s room to ask her the recorder. After letting all the fury and desperation for the death of his mum and hated dad and smashing the car with a hammer, Ryan started his way alone. Everything was for grabs now that the adults were gone and he seriously thought about becoming rich. So, where was the place where you could grab more things? Of course, the city. He overcame the dangers of trespassing different tribes’ territory and, when he was about to reach it, he met her. Angela. Beautiful, greedy, calculating and manipulative, Angela joined Ryan, who fell immediately for her sweet-talk, in his way to the city. Hiving up all sorts of useless things, such as brand clothes on their way. They become an item, or at least Angela makes Ryan think they are. He is truly in love with her, but her love is not that pure. Making him think that she was pregnant, he tied him to her so that he’d follow her anywhere and he could deny nothing to her. Besides, that was the best way she found to avoid sleeping with him, ‘cause she said it could injure the baby. He even had to change their way of mobilization since they had stored way too much rubbish as to go on with his old motorbike. After a little discussion about where to go, Angela became softer and said Ryan called for the shots, just to, later, show up her true colours, leaving Ryan in the caravan and telling him that if he ever had a kid, it would never have loser genes as Ryan’s. So after that, Ryan was alone again, and found Lex. They became friend playing a poker game, where Lex won the only thing Ryan had left from Angela, a Rolex.

Paul's Story

Paul was an orphan who lived in a Home. He and his mates were in their way back from a camp when the virus was staring. The driver of the bus started to feel sick so they had to stop in a house near the road. Paul hop off the bus for a moment, and when he realized, the bus had already departed without him. Now he was on his own, and soon realized things were changing and made some weird theories about what could have happened to the adults, from aliens to mutant rats killing them all. Whatever the reason for the adult’s absence was, one thing was sure: things had changed. Used to be given everything as he was, used to be polite because he lived in a Home and nothing in there was really his, Paul got used pretty soon to his new situation of freedom and independence. That was, of course, until the food started to be scarce, not only that, but the few food he had, seemed to be disappearing somehow. Then, he found himself forced to steal food. He saw a gang of guys putting some food on a Land Rover and tried to get it, but he was caught red-handed. The guys were about to harm him, but then a warrior girl scared them and helped him. She led him into a building and there he found out his name: Salene. That night, Salene found who had been stealing Paul’s food all that time. It was a scared girl. Patsy. She had tried to call him, but he hadn’t turned back, so she had thought he was unfriendly. So, from that moment on, Patsy and Paul decided that they’d be a brother and sister…

Lex's Story

Lex was the oldest son of a young couple. His dad was about sixteen years older than Lex and that’s why he (Lex’s dad) always tried to compete against him. That how Lex learned how to play poker and he also learned that, sometimes you gotta let the other person win: Especially when he’s stronger than you are. When the virus started, Lex met Laurence: Emperor Laurence. He was the kind of guy who knew what was gonna happen form day one, and got ready for it. He was smart and was well organised. When he met Lex, he liked his style and he chose him to take part on his side. Lex, who hadn’t met Ryan yet, agreed, and became one of Laurence’s centurions. One day, Laurence organises a poker game and he’s decided to win it. In the end there’s only Lex and Laurence left and Lex knew that winning him would mean make Laurence angry, so he called Indian Poker, because, in that way, no one would blame him for winning if he did. And he did. Laurence was so mad at him that went kind of crazy, but he wasn’t: he was sick. A caravan which came with sick kids came to the camp and brought disease to it, Laurence got it and got very sick and he wouldn’t survive. That was why Lex left, and soon after he found Ryan.

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