The Trojan Plague: Countdown to Armageddon

Pierce Roberts

Book Cover

GENRE

ACTION SUSPENSE/THRILLER SCI-FI RELIGIOUS ADVENTURE

    Core Theme

    SPIRITUALITY, GOOD VS. EVIL, POWER OF SCIENCE

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    CONTAGION, OUTBREAK, WORLD WAR Z

    CHARACTER LIST

    JOSEPH BLACKFEATHER (M/20S) -- A SHARP-MINDED NATIVE AMERICAN ALLY OF A TEAM OF SCIENTISTS WHO RELIES ON THE WISDOM OF GRANDFATHER FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE.

    DR. KATE VENSKY-O'DELL (F/30S) -- AN ASTUTE, HIGHLY INTELLIGENT VETERINARY MIND; WIFE OF TOM AND MOTHER OF TWO.

    DR. TOM O'DELL (M/30S) -- KATE'S HUSBAND AND RIGHT-HAND MAN, AN ESTEEMED BIOLOGIST IN HIS OWN RIGHT.

    CAESAR H. MENDOZA (M/60S) -- THE SECRET BIOLOGICAL SON OF HITLER WHO AMBITIONS TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON HIS FATHER'S MISSION FROM HIS HIDDEN COMPOUND IN SOUTH AMERICA.

    DR. JULES LE CLERC (M/50S) -- AN ASTUTE FRENCHMAN AND SCIENTIST; A LONG-TIME ALLY OF KATE AND TOM.

    DR. BRAD UPTON (M/30S) -- A BRAWNY, CLOSE CONFIDANT OF TEAM KATE AND TOM WHO JOKES AROUND WITH JOSEPH RELENTLESSLY.

    Logline

    A team of USDA / CDC trained investigators team up with French investigators from the Pasteur Institute for the second time ( Book 2 of Series although is a stand-alone) to solve a new outbreak of resistant rabies.A surprise awaits in the vaccine to stop the outbreak.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Washington , Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Paris Argentina

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Amazon KDP

    Year Published: 2019

    Starting Description

    A team of USDA trained and Pasteur Institute scientists and a young Lakota Indian team up to investigate a new highly lethal untreatable rabies that sweeps across America. Hidden in the vaccine developed by a German Biologics company is an even worse pathogen to crush the United States .

    Ending Description

    Billionaire August Mendoza, Hitler’s unknown son, hidden in the Los Arrayanes forest of Argentina with his fathers looted treasure is brought to justice by the team of investigators in an unbelievable way.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain

    Main Character Details

    Name: Joseph Blackfeather

    Age: Early 20’s

    Gender: Other

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Heroic,Seductive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: August Mendoza

    Age: 65

    Gender: Male

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Power Hungry

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Kate Vensky - O’Dell

    Age: 37

    Gender: Female

    Role: protagonist

    Key Traits: Leader

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Jules Le Clerc

    Age: 55

    Gender: Male

    Role: mentor

    Key Traits: Charming

    Development Pitch

    This is the second book in the Destroyer series (2/3) and all three were written in a style that hopefully would lend them to be developed into a movie production. Many have commented they would make a “ Great Movie// Series. ( see Amazon reviews) With veterinarians, scientists, Nazis and a little science fiction ; Netflix, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel , HBO etc might be great venues for these engaging stories.

    Genre

    THRILLER, SUSPENSE

    Brief

    A team of doctors and scientists, joined by a spirit-minded Native American man, must investigate a terrifying variant of the rabies virus. They soon discover that the virus has been manufactured and masterminded by a team of modern Nazis, led by none other than Adolph Hitler's secret son. This leads them to a compound in South America, where they trek through the jungle toward an explosive final showdown.

    Overall Rating

    FAIR

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: FAIR

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: FAIR

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: FAIR

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    The book profile is mostly an accurate reflection, but the short summary seems a bit ill-fitting-- Too much emphasis is put on the Nazi treasure, and Mendoza's name is listed as August, even though it is said to be Caesar in the opening chapters. More could be done to clarify the characters and the extremely high stakes as well.

    Draw of Story

    There is a palpable mystery in this text. The opening chapters do an incredible job of getting the reader to ask questions and also to be afraid of what's to come. A wonderful cold open. (No pun intended.)

    Possible Drawbacks

    "There is a sense that this work is a bit overstuffed. It feels like the author is spreading himself thin with the vast expanse of characters. It almost feels like we don't get to spend enough time with Kate and Tom and co. in that we so often cut to military figures and Nazi henchman, etc. The sense of humor in this work is problematic. Not only will the jabs between Brad and Joseph put off a contemporary audience for its bad taste, but it's odd to try to make the audience laugh with such frequency with such hideous violence happening and with the world at stake. A better balance should be struck here."

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The hook is that this movie seems to be a reaction to the world of Covid. We relate to the stakes of this work. We identify with the gravity of the problems its characters have to solve. In essence, it hits close to home, and it affords the audience a safe place to digest and wrestle with the harsh truths and lessons that have come from the past year.

    Fanbase Potential

    This could potentially have a large fanbase. The author casts a wide net with his characters, and the globe-trotting, exponentially high stakes of this work position squarely in blockbuster territory.

    Awards Potential

    No, this is not an awards-type movie. It is more of a fun, entertaining kind of story. Popcorn blockbusters of this ilk do not fare well in awards season.

    Envisioned Budget

    LARGE BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    CONTAGION, OUTBREAK, WORLD WAR Z, WITH HINTS OF THE INDIANA JONES SERIES.

    What’s New About the Story

    What is original about this story is the way it is able to marry Naziism with contemporary pandemic fears. It stands alone in how big it feels in scale-- A true globe-trotting epic through a scientific lens. If anything, making the Nazis more complex and human would bode well for this work. Right now, they feel like the single-dimensional, megalomaniacal Nazis of projects past.

    Lead Characters

    Although he doesn't quite emerge as a lead character until the end, Joseph stands out for his special perspective and abilities. He is a marriage of the spiritual with the scientific, and he embodies a culture that is in many ways foregone. This makes him interesting, complex, and sympathetic. Kate stands out for serving as the key audience surrogate for the first half of this text. Skilled and extremely intelligent. She is easy to root for as a force for good.

    Uniqueness of Story

    The author is on to something conceptually here. However, this work seems to have room to improve before it can be considered a rare gem. There is some bloat in this work that can be excised, and the humor in this work strikes as particularly off-balance throughout. Moreover, the villains seem quite over-the-top, and their plans become increasingly far-fetched. More can be done to better ground and differentiate them.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Streaming, Film - Studio

    Analyst Recommendation

    WORK IN PROGRESS

    Justification

    As noted, much of the humor in this work strikes as low-hanging fruit and in some cases in plain bad taste. It raises a red flag in that it will likely alienate a large part of the contemporary audience. Moreover, there is much tonal imbalance due to the humor. Also, there is much room to simplify and condense this work. The breadth of characters and points of view becomes hard to keep up with. The author is not able to ground and characterize all characters well-enough in this expansive narrative. It would be wise to reconsider who warrants more investment and who can be excised to folded in with another character.

    Tips for Improvement

    A more decisive commitment to fewer characters, an effort to better proportion the relentless humor to the stakes and drama, and an effort to simplify the at-times busy, complicated plot of this work would only help its case.

    Brief

    Aided by a spiritual Native American ally, a team of scientists investigate a horrifying mutant strain of the rabies virus, one perpetrated by the secret, megalomaniacal son of Hitler who is hell-bent on following through on his father's ill-fated mission.

    What We Liked

    What stands out about this work is its massive scale and its globe-trotting qualities. There is much about this work that would lend itself well to an epic, popcorn blockbuster.

    Also, this work plays on our shared experience with Covid in the past year, presenting a fascinating opportunity to reflect on the tragedy and the gravity of uncontrolled spread. This work exploits our fears and offers a safe place to confront them as many of the great thrillers do.

    Film: This would be a fair adaptation for film given the epic scale of this work and the cinematic qualities it affords. The story presents an opportunity to truly take the audience on a journey and to confront pressing, resonant fears in a safe place. The explosive and surprising finale will be sure to satisfy.

    TV: This would be a good adaptation for TV in that its breadth of characters and its globe-trotting plot would be an adequate platform for a season of TV. The foundation given to us by the author gives us much room to expand and delve deeper into the world and characters, and the epic, globe-trotting nature of the story.

    Key points: The scale-- Epic enough for the big screen.
    The villains-- Larger-than-life and harkening back to Indiana Jones.
    Joseph-- An interesting intersection of science and spirituality.
    The locations-- Present an opportunity for memorable visuals and escapism.
    The finale-- Surprising, explosive, violent, and memorable.

    Synopsis

    A mail carrier treks through icy Alaska to a remote village. There, he finds ravaged bodies of villagers and animals. Alarmed, he sends a distress call. We cut to the headquarters of Tristar Veterinary in Germany, where CEO HANS VOGEL heads a secret meeting. In it, we learn of the company's Nazi influence, emanating from the secret heir to Hitler, CAESAR H. MENDOZA. They discuss a diabolical scheme to create a deadly rabies plague in America-- First infecting the populace with the rabies, then exacerbating the spread and severity with trojan horse vaccines for pets. This variant of rabies would be airborne and would cause humans to go insane with fits of rage and violence, with consequences akin to what happened in Alaska. Soon, at the Mall of America, a rabid wolf bites a dozen-or-so people, while a bus driver gets infected after hitting a rabid coyote in Denver. Dr. TOM O'DELL and wife Dr. KATE VENSKY soon leave their children for Atlanta, where the country's foremost veterinary experts are gathering at the CDC to troubleshoot the brewing crisis. They are joined by brawny colleague BRAD UPTON and Frenchman JULES LE CLERC, who brainstorm with them. We learn of their past, where years back they toppled a maniacal Nazi doctor bent on destroying the world with a deadly plague. Hans Vogel speaks at the CDC gathering, too, revealing that Tristar is a few steps ahead in mutant rabies research. All the while, Native American JOSEPH BLACKFEATHER, who joined Drs. Vensky and O'Dell in defeating a Nazi doctor, has a premonition of another threat. He decides to give them a call…

    Soon, Joseph arrives at the O'Dell/Vensky home, and the group speculates over some strange idiosyncrasies about the rabid wolves' locations. Suddenly, an explosive terrorist attack occurs in Paris, where Jules has returned. He narrowly survives the blast, and Kate heads to Paris to visit with him. Soon, a colleague reveals to Kate that the virus was artificially and intentionally imbued in the Mall of America wolf, breaking open the fear of a massive conspiracy.

    Vogel and Mendoza mobilize a henchman, neo-nazi KARL RIMER, to obstruct a leading CDC scientist who is on their trail. Rimer kills the doctor and flees. However, he sustains a shot from an FBI agent, and he dies alone in seclusion. With the threat clarified, Kate directs her team of colleagues-- Jules and JEAN, a loyal French doctor, are tasked with continuing to investigate the Paris attack, while Brad and Joseph team up to investigate the wolves that were likely intentionally infected. Kate and Tom will head to Atlanta to work with the FBI on the murder of their late colleague.

    Brad and Joseph find cigarette butts and a lighter near the origin site of the rabid wolf. They deduce the wolf was infected via dart shot from a drone, and they report back to their team. Rimer's body is found, and his DNA is matched to the cigarettes. Naturally, the FBI begins diving into Rimer's history. Soon, Nazi Christian Schmitt arrives in the United States to monitor the various investigations into whether the virus has been weaponized. Using a fake identity, Schmitt has a chance encounter at the CDC that draws Kate's suspicions. Naturally, orders come down to abduct Kate-- Nazi goons drug her and do just that. They infect her with what is being called ""Rabies X"" and release her--with no memory--to a hospital. Soon, the doctors tell Tom that she likely has just 48 hours to live. Tom and co. head to a doctor's beach house to regroup, where Brad is supportive. Joseph gets a vision from an ancestor beyond the grave, warning of the imminent threat. Meanwhile, Kate undergoes an experimental treatment and makes a remarkable recovery, much to Tom's relief. All the while, the Nazis continue to refine their trojan horse vaccine and distribution plan. Schmitt and Vogel create a backup plan to bail on Mendoza, if needed, but Mendoza hears all via spyware. Soon, Schmitt's true identity is discovered-- He's connected to Tristar, and Jules and Jean confront Vogel about the company's connection with a known Nazi scientist. However, explosives soon hit the Tristar building, sending all into disarray. With his dying breath, Vogel urges the men to warn the CDC of the catastrophe to come, name dropping Mendoza as the scion of evil.

    With trojan horse vaccines readying to go out to the pets of concerned owners in Baltimore, Schmitt and Mendoza--now alienated from one another--monitor the news, waiting for chaos to reign in the streets. Sure enough, unmotivated riots and violence erupt in the streets, much to Mendoza's satisfaction. Schmitt heads to Baltimore to personally assess the insanity, sending pictures to and updating Mendoza in order to realign with him. However, he's viciously bitten by a rabid man and is soon rushed to a paramedic station. Jules, Jean, Kate, Tom, and Brad trek to Baltimore to investigate. Aided by a military escort, Kate leads an interview with the manager of a vet office that used Tristar products en masse. A military official briefs the team on their last resort method to contain the spread, which entails blasting the city with a highly expansive foam material to wipe out all life while keeping the infrastructure in place. They have 48 hours to find a solution before this method is employed. They also learn that Schmitt was treated nearby after an attack, and they ponder why he would have come to the scene of the chaos. Joseph calls Kate from his Montana reservation-- He tells her of another warning from his late grandfather, fearing someone in their military accompaniment is working for the Nazis.

    All the while, Mendoza releases the reserves of the virus upon the world in the packaging of cleaning products. Jules and Jean travel with one airbound envoy, while Kate, Brad, Joseph, and Tom regroup in Atlanta. In the air, Jules and Jean realize that they are being transported to an unknown destination to be turned over to the Nazis. They defeat the lead Nazi transporter and get a tough-as-nails intelligence official, SULLIVAN, to pose as the fallen Nazi. They soon arrive at Mendoza's South American compound, as does Schmitt. Mendoza gloats to them over his plan in motion. Soon, though, authorities locate the for-hire pilot and the location of Jules and Jean, which is presumably the domain of the mastermind behind the raging crisis. A plan is soon struck to infiltrate the compound and to terminate the big bad. Joseph's late ancestor warns him of the perilous, evil forest surrounding the compound. The group treks through the jungle toward the compound, joined by termite expert ALICE, while Schmitt puts Jean and Jules to work on the promise to spare Paris from being a future epicenter. Joseph sneaks into the barracks, where he connects with Sullivan, the man on the inside. Sullivan warns of Mendoza's troops and weaponry, and urges Kate and co. to lay low, despite the ticking clock to armageddon. Alice and Joseph quickly take to each other-- seemingly a perfect match.

    Schmitt makes progress in the compound's lab, producing six new lethal viruses, much to Jules and Jean's dismay. Joseph has a fever dream and offers a plan when he recovers-- To draw the compound's troops away and to circle back to get inside. The heroes soon begin the infiltration, but Mendoza locks himself in a safe room. Soon, though, they realize that Mendoza has escaped via boat. With that, they focus on stopping the viruses from leaving the compound. They blow the doors of the lab, and Schmitt exits along with the French men. With Schmitt subdued, the heroes hatch a plan to crash the entrance to the lab, trapping the virus underground along with a wealth of plundered Nazi gold. However, Mendoza's Cuban mercenaries take control, rescuing Schmitt and taking the heroes--save for Joseph--hostage. All unite with Mendoza, who order the execution of the bound and gagged troupe of heroes. Joseph, however, emerges on horseback, accompanied by a spectral cavalry of his ancestors. The ghost riders kill the mercenaries, while pumas spring out of the jungle to violently kill Schmitt and Mendoza. Alice leaps into Joseph's arms, and they kiss, victorious at last. The world is saved.

    About The Author

    A practicing companion animal veterinarian, Pierce Roberts weaves real science with fictional science in large-scale thrillers that span continents and generations. When he is not writing or working, Roberts enjoys family time with his grandkids as well as the outdoors.