DNA Update: YA alternative universe series set to begin


Author Alan Dale, creator of the Dead Nations’ Army” trilogy has announced his intentions to create a Young Adult trilogy that will play as a direct link to the DNA series yet set in an ‘alternative universe.’

The trilogy will be named the “Dead Educations’ Army” and will be set in a world where the zombies/scrats will be kids who have been brain washed via the school system’s teaching methods implemented by the New World Order.

“The DEA trilogy will mirror the DNA trilogy in opposites,” Dale said. “There will only be four characters that will crossover – Bridjett, Shad, Norman, and the leader of the NWO, Drako Fortellis. Everyone else will have an alternative opposite in the DNA storyline.”

Dale intends to use linear storytelling where both series deal with the same issues politically and socially but then the future is decided in many different ways.

“Where I plan to have DNA end with the first happy ending in horror zombie lore and yet leave you revolted, I plan to have DEA end in a much darker way while shedding much more light of potential world change,” Dale said. “I have a few wrinkles I need to iron out, but overall I believe it can work. My hope is a mom and son will read DNA and DEA respectively and when they finish, swap books.”

Dale said he is unaware of any other series doing something similar in the horror book universe, but wouldn’t be surprised if someone has attempted it.

“There are a ton of great and creative writers out there,” Dale said. “So that will force me to work hard to stand out.”

BELOW is an excerpt of the Dale’s rough draft prologue.



            I used to always be a zombie hater.

            Who knew I’d grow up to be a zombie killer?

            I can try to explain this, but there’s only so much one can get typed and saved into a computer before a door breaks down and you become a meal for some ghoul wanting to snack on your entire body.

            I know you can’t hear the banging, but there is a zombie…well we call them scrats now…trying to get at me as I write this. There is a bookcase in front of the door and I have some chairs pinned and lodged against an adjoining wall to brace versus impact. Still, damn cannibals are strong.

            At least they have something going for them…they didn’t before.

            So what should I tell you? What do you need to know? How do I explain to you that I was in the middle of an English class, hearing our teacher, Mrs. Knapp, explaining to Kevin Tarpley that he had every right to think Shakespeare sucked, when all Hell broke loose.

            At first I thought I had fallen asleep and was dreaming when almost everyone in the class of 22 students in room 310 of Montrose High School in Pontiac, Virginia, began to shake violently, spasm, drop to the floor, appear dead, and then simultaneously rise. They didn’t awake as much as just kind of raggedly propel themselves forward and with an almost dead, clueless look in their eyes, launch themselves at Mrs. Knapp who stood there like a deer in headlights. All of those ‘dead heads’ grabbed a hold of her, ignoring me and Sun Nee, who seemed to be the only two students not to go all spastic, and, well…

            They ate her. Yup. They were eating our teacher. Pulling chunks out of her. The screams were pretty bad and then a chorus of them were heard throughout the school. Most of them sounded like teachers – adults – and a few appeared to be other students. Probably 90 percent of the student body had become a roll call of student bodies.

            Yet, they walked like me and Sun Nee – well not anymore, Wally Kirkendoll chewed off half of her face and she no longer hangs with me in the new Zombie High – and moved like us even if their running and walking seemed less confident. But they made up for a lack of confidence with that really scary plan to eat me.

            When I finally met up with four other students that survived the initial onslaught, we barricaded ourselves in the Home Economics classroom along with Janitor Lee, the only surviving adult we could find. Then we immediately sought answers.

            So far the electricity hadn’t gone out and that gave us access to the Internet which thankfully was still up and running. It appeared this was happening all over the United States. All schools across the nation were being overrun by scrats – students that had turned into undead cannibals. The streams coming off of the Order News Network, or ONN, told us that these students, kids like us, had appeared to simultaneously fallen, die, and rise to try to eat all of the living.

            Reports from the ONN broadcasts indicated that many adults were being attacked on site, but a small handful appeared to avoid any kind of interference. In fact footage of a rampage in a high school up in North Dakota showed one adult videotaping the events and walking through the cafeteria unscathed.


            When the four other survivors – Cassidy Lancaster, Toby Brickhouse, Kenny Cisco, Janitor Lee – and I finally found a few moments to try to figure out what was happening, we could only come up with one conclusion:

            We didn’t take the pill.

            When the New World Order became the official government for the entire planet I was just a little girl, maybe seven or eight-years-old. First we heard of the OUR REALITY education courses that were being implemented throughout the populace. Adults would be required to attend weekly seminars on how to behave and believe and were given a prescription of STANDARD THINKING pills. It would keep everyone compliant and allow the ORDER to do its bidding and we would all sit there and let it happen.

            At least that’s what uncle Norman told us.

            Norman Alexi, father of Shad and Bridjett – I wonder where they are right now? – would tell me and my mom, his sister, Corrine, ‘why give us a pill? We are already a bunch of brain washed twits anyway!’ He would rage on and on and on. No one made sure we took the pills, but I guess we would have ‘that look’ if we didn’t. You know the look? The look of rebellion. The look of ‘excuse us?’ The look that told you we knew better.

            Norman told us that we had to find a way to stay clean while also faking it.

            We had to fake it or probably go to jail for not taking our medications, or worse.

            Then the schools would begin their teachings of OUR REALITY. History, Science, English, classes, all never run like how I heard they used to be. At least not the way my parents told us or for sure how Norman would rant about when things were ‘at least dignified and we had some free will.’

            Free will? What is that? Do I even know what that is?

            Janitor Lee – he’s old, like 45 or something – said that when they began teaching us about OUR REALITY and giving kids what they wanted prior to that, many would say it allowed more free will. Lee said that was the opposite:

            “You take away Free Will when you hand everything out. You don’t work for anything. You just feel, cry, complain, and it’s handed to you. How do you create a Will when you are never forced to make a choice, kids? If all we used to do was complain and it was given, no one is choosing. They ask and it’s given. Look what we did to you…”

            What they ‘did’ was, again according to Lee, become so weak, our parents’ and grandparents allowed a New World Order to come in and try to finish the job. They moved all their rich kids and families into big Utopian cities, 10 of them all over the world, with only a million of the richest people alive in each one. The rest of us? We were given scraps. We were being brainwashed so we wouldn’t fight.

            That’s what uncle Norman used to say.

            And I never took my pills.

            Neither had Lee.

            Neither had Cassidy.

            Neither had Toby.

            Neither had Kenny.

            Sun Nee probably hadn’t either, but I can’t ask her now…she doesn’t have a face anymore.

            I remember going over to Missy Gollalong’s house a few weeks ago to do some homework and she popped a pill right in front of me. That explains why she went all crazy and I happened to see her rip out the throat of the cheerleading coach as we passed the library.

            When we would try to see if this was happening anywhere else in the world it appeared links outside the United States were being blocked from access. We only could see the problems here. Oh boy, did we have problems.

            The only “good news” story on ONN was how the life sentenced inmates in the prisons across the world were doing ‘’so well.” They were in their own programs within the OWN REALITY coursework and were going to be subject to release thanks to being rehabilitated.


            So while a bunch of hardened criminals softened up via communist propaganda get to come out and play, we are trapped in Home Ec with a bunch of scrats on the other side of the door trying to eat us.


            Oh, and you may ask about the whole ‘scrats’ reference.

            We called anyone who was dumb enough to take their pills ‘scrats’ because they were like that little guy in those old ICE AGE movies where all he wanted was his acorn. It was like all of our friends were just after one nut, one at a time. Get fed and get happy.

            I guess me and my little group of survivors wanted more.

            Maybe that’s why we weren’t turned into raving, friend-eating lunatic ghouls trying to consume the lunch lady.

            Maybe that’s why we are still even alive now?

            Uncle Norman said the only way to survive this world is to learn to think for yourself, learn how to earn things, and learn how to make it count.

            Well there are five of us left here at Montrose High School. So far we are making it count…

            I wonder if Alex is too?

            Alex? Alex Chad. He’s my cousin. He lives in New Berlin out in California. He and I are best friends. Ironically we both ended up only children and are only apart in age by one year. He’s 16. I am 17. We Skype at least once a night…or at least we did…that’s probably gonna change now.

            But he loved uncle Norman a lot too. We always hung out on his porch while he would talk politics and his kids would argue about it with him. Shad was always on his side, but man Bridjett, as cool as she was, could never see our uncle’s side of things.

            Alex and I would just absorb it and buy into it. We would talk about it later when we would go back to our homes following each family reunion or event.

            We bought into it and that’s probably at least why I am alive. I just hope Alex is too. I know he didn’t take his pills either. It was a regular practice for us to rehearse our “braindead” act for school the next day. We would laugh at the other, drink soda, and make fun of our friends.

            I have to find out if he’s still alive…he’s my best friend. He gets me. I will need him if it’s as bad as we think it is. Every time we look outside we don’t see any police getting ready to mount a rescue.

            So, yeah, it’s bad.


            Well, the banging is getting louder and Cassidy wants to talk.

            Alex where are you?

Que sera, sera…it’s time to go and kill my best friend.

            She’s a scrat…and she wants to eat me…

            Damn…this sucks…  

– From the Diary of Lexie Bridge…date, unknown…


Hey Lexie, you there? What the Heck is going on? You having the same problem?

– Alex Chad post on Lexie Bridge’s MYFACE Wall…date, unknown…



            It seems MYFACE is the only thing working right now. How long that will be, who knows?

            Anywho, it appears Uncle Norm was right…well he didn’t say our classmates would start ripping each other limb from limb, but hey, he was close right?

            He used to always say the only way people get anywhere anymore is making those around them look bad and then try to ‘appeal to the world that you aren’t as bad as all the rest.’

            Didn’t he tell us that all we do now is rip each other apart?

            It never occurred to me that my PE teacher would get pulled into pizza slices by fourth period gym class.

            Right now I still have three bars on my cell and so I wanted to let you know I am still alive. I locked myself into a janitor’s closet and am so far going unnoticed.

            I know there are some survivors out there – I hear the screams – and I hope they also can find a place to hide. But how is hiding going to fix this problem? I got my ONN newsfeed update and see that this is happening all over the place, so the first thing I thought about was if you were okay.

            Then I thought about getting out of this alive.

            Are you alive? Please tell me. Tell me soon.

            If you are who I know you to be, you are for sure putting on some Lara Croft meets Buffy shoes and kicking some serious butt.

            Here at St. Louis High School it’s more about falling to the ground and getting devoured.

            It’s so gross. All the blood and guts lying around is really disturbing.

            I had to kill my, now, former study partner. We were sitting in study hall just an hour or so ago. Tom, the study buddy, told me he had taken his STANDARD THINKING pill that morning and he wasn’t feeling well. All of a sudden he fell down and started doing this funky dance on the floor, all shaking. The other kids did too, about six of them. It was weird. Then they stopped and well…Tom attacked me and I barely got away. He tried to bite me and finally I hit him over the head with this big, rock, the library used as a bookend. Tom just dropped and stopped moving.

            I killed him, Lexie…

            The other kids (I guess we call them scrats huh?) then jumped our librarian and her aide and just went…well went all buffet line. I didn’t even think skin could stretch like that…


            I see that Drako is telling us to just “deal with it” and that this “was inevitable.”

            How would he know this was inevitable? How could he know it unless he knew it would happen? Of course that means he wanted it to happen…

            They want us to die, Lexie.

            Uncle Norman said it…telling our parents about the insurance rates, medical costs, grocery prices, and rising gasoline numbers…

            My parents…

            Dad texted me…he said he heard the news, but can’t leave the hardware store. Mom? I can’t find her. Neither can dad.

            I hope your parents are okay, Lexie…

            I’m going to try to find the other kids still alive in the school. A few teachers are still around too. I can hear them shouting out to us to stay calm. How stupid. All they do is bring the scrats to them…

            Scrats…more like zombies…but hey, what do I know, I am stuck in a janitor’s closet.

            Not for long though, Lex…

            We need to fight back. I think we need to go out kill us some zombies…scrats…classmates…whatever.

            When we get done with that…let’s go kick some Drako Fortellis ass.

            I just watched my teacher get eaten by some of the biggest jerks in my school.

            That really pisses me off.

            I hope not to die before I can write you again.

            I hope you don’t die before you can write me back.

            I love you cousin…

            Got to go, I have a war to win…

– Letter from Alex Chad to his cousin Lexie Bridge via MYFACE…date, unknown…


The Press thanks you for taking the time to read this column/article. The Press is an Alan Dale creation and is inspired by his DEAD NATIONS’ ARMY (DNA) book trilogy which launches in July with his first novel, “Code Flesh.” The Press hopes you consider subscribing to the site and look forward to more interviews, news features, columns, and many more in the future. Once again, thank you for joining us here at the Press!


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