Mike is a long-time supporter of procrastination and enjoys doing as often as he can.
The lights keep coming on than going out. From what I can tell, I’m in a control room. Most of the controls seem to be from NASA back in the 1960s. Long dead monitors and a glaze of yellow and brown over everything with the delightful smell of fifty-year-old smoke. In the back of this museum piece was the computer setup I found and using to make this message. The General said they had a backup control system just in case the main was destroyed. It’s a strange dichotomy of old dirty tech and the gleaming new. Maybe it’s just the alcohol talking. Speaking of that, I think I need to see if I can find a bathroom or I don’t know a bucket. OK, I just found a lime-green toilet in a yellow daisy room. The good news is the toilet works, and the walls were so bright I didn’t need a light to see.
I can’t say I remember much about the next few days. Watching paint dry or grass grow is as about as exciting as watching people do research. I spent those days sitting there and waiting for something to do. As bad as it was for me, Jimmy found the waiting to be murder. Against all logic, the General told Jimmy what his men found back in Columbus. Now I know he wasn’t stupid, and he knew if he stayed, he would also be dead, but knowing and understanding are two different things. The General gave Jimmy his rifle back, and he promised to show him how to shoot. Jimmy told him his sniper father was instructing him from the age of…… um, I don’t remember the age, but it was young. Seeing an opportunity to take Jimmy’s mind off the end of the world, I asked him to show me how to shoot.
Learning to Shoot
The General gave me a rifle so old it had to be from before World War One. Jimmy told me it was a Springfield M1903, and yes, it was older than the words World War or at least before those words were put together. This was about the time I learned that a magazine was the detachable box that holds ammunition while a clip holds ammunition together so they can be loaded into the rifle. Apart from the M1 Garand, most clips are just used to load and are tossed away while a magazine stays attached, feeding the ammunition into the gun or rifle. So there’s that bit of info.
We were on an outdoor range, and I know that sounds stupid, but everyone was armed. Jimmy showed me how to adjust the iron sights and aim for distance. I loaded the gun, took aim, and disengaged the safety because while I’m stupid, I’m not that stupid and fired. Jimmy told me he had no idea where the shot went. I aimed and pulled the trigger and nothing because it’s a bolt-action gun and needs the next round loaded using the bolt. My next shot hit right in the middle……... of the target next to mine. The airman whose target I hit wasn’t thrilled with my aim and said so in words to that effect. I tried again, and by the time my ammo was exhausted, I was hitting my target.
Shutting Someone Up
The guy next to us was laughing, saying how I needed a ten-year-old to show me how to shoot. Jimmy, defending his age, said he wasn’t ten; he was Fifteen. I think? This just made the man laugh harder. I said, “say…… I bet this young man can outshoot you.” He replied, saying something about what would he win. I said, “if he wins, you shut up, if you win, you shut up.” Yes, I know I only remember our parts of the conversation. Jimmy said, “if you win, I’ll give you my rifle. When we win, you have to take us to the armory and let us build him a rifle that will suit his needs.” The airman said something about how they didn’t have a magic gun, but he liked Jimmy’s rifle, and the bet was on. Now I’m going to skip past how Jimmy schooled this fool, but let me say it was epic, and he was deflated.
I ended up with an M4 carbine with a vertical handgrip, a red dot sight, and a suppressor. Jimmy told me I should leave the sniping to my strange quips and let the shooting be done by people who know-how. Nice. We also liberated a few handguns with accompanying magazines. Later, when the General saw what he called my rig, he just said a good job…... to Jimmy. The handguns were the newly issued Sig Sauer P320, also known as M18, and I only remember that because I still have both guns here with me. Jimmy was right; the smaller size and lighter weight along with the suppressor and grip made this a good rifle for me. I kept the rifle on safe and would only use it in semi-automatic or three-round bursts staying away from full auto because that is just a waste of ammo.
The Last Signs of Civilization
Three more days went by with nothing. Jimmy, the general’s daughter Jenny and another airman and I were playing cards when Sophie came in and told us Jimmy was right. Most of the deer were some clones. It was unclear why at the time, but from what I know now, the alien probes sent to turn our wildlife against us failed to educate the animals in enough time, so they turned to clone deer that were controllable enough to use as weapons. She figured the robotic deer were to be the generals leading the charge while the real deer would be cannon fodder. The airman chuckled over the idea of a general leading a charge. Sophie said how she thinks the aliens designed a protein in the clone deer’s DNA to act as a poison. She said she would have to do further tests, but she thought this protein was designed to only work with human DNA.
The airman left to go back to his patrol, and the two kids went into Jimmy’s room to do something that was none of my business. I sat down in front of the TV, staring at nothing when a news broadcast came on. The Armed Services Network came on with what looked like a news broadcast. The show seemed a little more like one of those radio-based news shows with cameras in the studio, but it was something. That something was just horrifying. The program talked about whole cities being gone, millions of people were dead in America and just maybe billions across the world. Entire countries in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa were gone. A General ordered the firebombing of cities to try and stop the deer causing more death when a few secure cities were bombed.
I turned and saw both Jimmy and Jenny staring out his open door. She was in his shirt and nothing else. She looked at me, looked down, and slipped back into the room. A minute or two later, they came out and joined me in watching how much of the world was gone. It was about this time when the newscasters mentioned the information from Wright-Patterson and Major General Jessie James Jackson was helping to save lives. A banner running along the bottom told people not to eat the deer. Some videos showed communities filled with the dead after eating the deer. They also had a video of both the boxes and the spheres. Another video confirmed what Sophie thought. It showed a sphere scanning a deer as a copy of that deer materialized next to it.
Video from the international space station showed the spheres moving into orbit. They showed how the spheres moved in on the satellites attaching themselves to them. The last image was one of the spheres approaching the station. The image started to break up. They speculated that the spheres were taking control of the satellite networks. The last thing said was, “God help us all.” I turned and saw the nearly empty room was now filled with people, most of whom were stunned into disbelief like it wasn’t real until they saw it on TV. The image was gone and would possibly never come back. I turned just in time to see Jimmy and Jenny disappear back into his room. My first thought was of Diana. She was in her lab and was most likely unaware of what just happened.
- My Private Global War, Part Seven
Bill and Goody go on a tour as Jimmy finds his way to the airbase.
- The James John Daniels Stories, Story Three: A Verit...
Jimmy makes his way to Wright-Patterson and just maybe some help.
© 2019 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron