No Lights after Sundown

After an EMP attack, four teens are captured by terrorists and learn of a seaborne biological attack to follow. Following a day of horror, they escape; with shades of Red Dawn and The African Queen they turn a family yacht into a torpedo and defy a gale to stop them.

Written by Louis Stannard

Corey Case, farm teen and outdoorsman and his stuttering brainy friend, Marvin Clutch, are as different as eighteen-year-olds can be. With only days before college begins, they agree to one last fishing trip to the mountains. No sooner is the first fish in the pan at their campsite than a flash of light and a pulse of energy instantly brings America’s high-tech civilization to a halt as an EMP attack zaps every unshielded microchip in the country. Then, sundown.

Seeing only one fire further up the mountain, the boys decide to check it out before returning home. While hiking the short trail which normally opens to twinkling lights from the valley below, they cannot help but note “there are no lights after sundown.”

Approaching the campfire, they see a man on his knees with a knife to his throat. Shocked, they fall flat on the ground. Holding their breath, they watch Chechen émigrés Dimitri, Grigol and Vache murder their lawyer, Miller; he knows too much of their involvement in the EMP attack and a planned biological attack to follow.

Discovered, the boys flee setting traps to slow the terrorists’ pursuit. Taking a short cut, they rappel a sheer rock face and arrive at the national forest’s parking lot first. With the killers in close pursuit, they disable the Chechens’ hardened Hummer and flee in Corey’s old Jeep—an anachronism of pre-microchip America.

Leaving the mountains for the interstate, they thread through microchip dependent automobiles sitting dormant as far as the eye can see. Soon, they are stopped by predators who are fighting a retired motorhome couple protecting stranded teens Elizabeth Foster and Stella Mortimer from rape. The seniors prevail, but are killed themselves when Corey and Marvin offer the girls a ride home.

As the teens make their way through a night without lights, communications, water, food or gasoline, the remnants of civilization slip away as if never there. Worse, conflict builds between the four: The spoiled Elizabeth demands they drive her to “her sick Daddy,” as Marvin and the fatherless Stella bicker over solutions.

The terrorists are desperate to silence the boys. They kill everyone at an RV park just to steal a pre-chip truck and catch up with the teens at Corey’s family farm.

After a night of terror, intimidation and murder at Corey’s farm, the teens overcome personal demons and prevail. In a scene right out of the Great Escape, Marvin and Stella escape on an antique motorcycle while Corey and Elizabeth hide in a water tower and drown the pursuing Vache. Now outgunned, Dimitri and Grigol flee the farm for a rendezvous with a trawler at sea. They will use a developing Nor’easter to carry balloons laden with pestilence ashore for the coup de grace to a dying America.

Reminiscent of the African Queen, the four teens turn Elizabeth’s family yacht into a torpedo and launch into the storm. Defying the maelstrom and their sinking yacht, they attack the terrorist’s vessel.

Just feet from their objective, they are swamped by the storm and captured by the killers before their makeshift torpedoes explode. Forced to watch the attack on their homeland, the now stutter-free Marvin remotely detonates the torpedoes delivering a death blow to both vessels. Then, in a primal fight to the death, the now merciless teens kill all the terrorists as both vessels sink beneath the waves.

Rescued using hundred-year-old Morse from Marvin’s shielded radio, they return to the Case Farm where identical birthmarks reveal Marvin and Stella are brother and sister; all begin an agrarian lifestyle in what’s left of a civilization without technology.

  • Louis Stannard
    China Diaries: SP & TV
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Writer Biography - Louis Stannard

A love for movies, history and working at a local flying field was a big part of growing up in the mid-south. In college, I tried Aeronautical Engineering, discovered I would rather fly airplanes than build them and was accepted by the Air Force as a pilot.
I was a distinguished graduate from pilot training, received a regular commission, and flew the world ending my military career in the Presidential Support Squadron at Joint Base Andrews.
Leaving the Air Force, I landed a job with Pan Am but didn’t lose my love for history and movies. Reading books on both and more, I took courses and began to write -- a lot.
While with Pan Am, I developed and was awarded a U.S. patent for EasyBid, a software solution for crew bidding. Previously, that monthly nightmare was an expensive manual process that took management and crew thousands of hours to accomplish.
After Lockerbie, and some 23,000 hours of flying came Pan Am’s demise. So, after living in Germany, France, California, New England and visiting every continent except Antarctica, my wife and I decided to sail the world in our 47-foot ketch, Sea Jay.
After about four years of cruising, reading, and writing, the cry of grand babies became louder than the next ports of call, so we settled in North Carolina to be closer to family.
Since I was a boy, I have always had a love for history, especially aviation history, prior to and during World War II.
Although not formally trained, I have gained a formidable knowledge of the actual history of the subjects I write about and have become friends with CNAC pilots still alive portrayed in China Diaries. Looking at my sources to write just China Diaries, I count at least thirty-three books, just in my library, with no regard to the extensive on-line research of the subject matter.
Before her untimely death, I had the pleasure of meeting Iris Chang and discussing her book, the Rape of Nanking and the large part the Nanjing massacre played in the China Diaries plot.
I also had the pleasure of meeting and working with, Dr. Peter Stanek, President of the Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WWII in Asia. Peter and his associates were veritable walking history books on the subject.
I flew corporate jets a few years while writing China Diaries, the book, presently on Amazon. I later wrote China Diaries, the screenplay, and a 6x60 mini-series bible by the same name.
I have also written The Three-Sided Fort, No Lights after Sundown, and I am presently working on Familie Mann, also a screenplay and perhaps a book.
I retired from flying and sailing, built a stand-up desk and now write full time.

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