My Private Global War, Part Nine
Of all the images stuck in my warped head, I think what I found in Diana’s lab will be one of the best. I didn’t want to interrupt her with bad news. There is a hallway of windows running alongside her lab, letting her see out and others to see inside. As I passed this view, I saw her dancing around to music. The walls and glass are soundproof, and it was hard to know what she was dancing. That is until you got near the door, and the sounds of AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds bled through the door jam. She told me she found the best of cd and was blasting it as loud as Diana could trying to stay awake, but she seemed to know the words, so her story seemed off just a bit. I didn’t want to ruin this moment for her, but I didn’t want to let this opportunity slip by. We started to kiss and do a little more when I mentioned the windows. She said, “so what it’s not like they haven’t already seen this before.” Not knowing I was going to say it, I’m pretty sure I said, “God, I love you.” She looked at me, not saying a word. I think our show went on unnoticed, I guess.
A Special Network
We lay in our room watching a recorded video of the broadcast on her laptop. She grew mad when she found out the General had contact with the outside world. I wasn’t a part of the conversations she had with the General asking about contacting other scientists or just the outside world and him saying they needed to keep their project safe and secret. I knew I couldn’t stop her from going to the General, but I hoped I could convince her to do it away from his soldiers. I remember saying how going against the chain of command might force him to do something to establish him as the person in charge. It was late at night, and I think she started to see confronting him wouldn’t change anything, and just maybe it was something I said. No, I think she just saw it wouldn’t end well. Before we went to sleep that night, I’m sure I heard her whisper, “I love you too,” but I might be drunk.
The next day a soldier came and got Diana. I found out later that night she was brought to the General and given access to a special network set aside for the military so she could speak with other scientists in other military bases across the country. I came out to find the General sitting on the couch with his daughter. She was dressed in a man’s long-sleeve button-down shirt and only the shirt. I know this because she was hugging him, and her ass was hanging out the back. She got up and went back to Jimmy’s room. It was left unsaid and unasked because I’m not stupid, but the General gave his consent to his daughter to live with Jimmy. He looked to the now-closed door, and I swear he sighed. If it had been my daughter, I would be through that door dragging her out and away from the dead boy I just killed, but that’s just me.
I went to bed and lay there sleeping, or I think I was asleep for an unknown time. I only remember this part because it was the first time I remember ever seeing Diana break. She came into the room, changed her clothes, and got into bed. She didn’t say a word at first, but I could tell there was something wrong. No, I don’t have Spidey-sense, and let’s say my ability to read women is underdeveloped. She had been crying, and it showed. I could tell she didn’t want me to ask, or maybe I didn’t want to ask, and I was projecting my selfishness on to her, or perhaps it was something terrible. As it turned out, it was both. She rolled over, and I moved in, putting my arm around her. I didn’t say a word; I just held her until she started to talk.
Diana was on a video conference with a scientist she knew at Los Alamos, the place they built the atomic bombs if I remember my John Cusack movies right. She called the other scientist Hasty. I would find out later when I spoke to Goody, she was Doctor Helena Speck, but they called her Hasty as a joke because she was slow in everything from her talk to her mannerisms. Hasty liked her nickname and didn’t mind when her friends used it. Diana was running scans on the box sending data to Hasty and a few other linked scientists. Diana said they had some new findings, but she didn’t elaborate proving once again that there was a need-to-know list, and I wasn’t on it. Well, at least I’m not on a list of people to make go away. After some silence, Diana said they were all gone. As she spoke with Hasty, she could hear they were under assault, and just before the picture pixelated, she saw deer bashing their way into Hasty’s lab. Diana tried to find others in the service, but every other site was disconnected. She told me she felt like we were truly alone, and this was the end. Even if we could somehow stop all this, we could never go back to what we had before. This was the end.
A Wave of Deer
I was about to say something epic that would change her outlook and help her find a new purpose in life when we both heard a sound. A thumping sound that was all too familiar. The lights flickered as more of those thumping sounds happened. We quickly got dressed and went into the common room. I grabbed my new rifle, and we met up with Goody and Sophie, along with Jimmy and Jenny. Soldiers ran back and forth with guns. One had a fire ax. The big window in the common room told the story. The morning sky was filled with geese, and the fences were electrified with the smoking remains of deer. Wave after wave moved in, setting off mines and striking the fence. An Apache helicopter tried to take off, but it was assaulted with suicidal geese forcing it down. The geese controlled the air.
I gave Diana my handgun, and we planned our way to her lab when an explosion rocked, shaking the ground. Hers and Goody’s labs were gone, just piles of timber spread across the field. A wave of deer came around the corner face-to-face with airmen who tried to stop them, but it was like trying to stop a wave from hitting the beach with a pellet gun. The animal wave turned to us. We ran for the stairs blocking them as we went up, hoping the deer couldn’t find a way past. The top floor had bars on the windows. The General was adding the bars after the geese attack, but the lower levels were unfinished. Another explosion rocked the building. Geese were bashing into the bars but not making it past them. All we could see for miles were wave after wave of geese and deer.
What Could Go Wrong
A long thin object came from the west traveling fast. It struck the deer exploding, sending fiery death and deer chunks across the quad. The deer shifted away from the flames. Another missile struck then another. A fourth missile hit a garage filled with diesel fuel. The fire and fuel became like napalm as flaming deer, both real and robotic, ran from the camp. The wave of geese shifted away from the base and to the east. As they cleared, a flame shot out from the other side of a building, then another. Four men with flamethrowers came out shooting flames into the deer. The smell was horrendous. About fifteen minutes after the attack started, it was over. The fence was gone along with most of the soldiers. All that was left was fire, rubble, and death.
One of the torch bearers lifted his mask. It was the General. He waved us down. We had to use a fire escape because, like the deer, we couldn’t get past our barricade. He put his fire out and let his torch off his back. Jenny ran and hugged her father. To all our surprises, the General waved Jimmy over and added him to their hug. He said something to them, and they went into the building the General came from with his flamethrower. We would find out later the General was working on a project, and he was sending Jimmy and Jenny along with a protective guard to that project. Partially to be safe and partly to make sure it was finished. The General took off the flame-resistant suit and gave it to an airman who put it on and went to the southern gate to clear a way for the kids.
The General told Diana and me that we did all we could, and if we wanted, we could step away from the war and find a place to wait it out. Before I could speak, Diana told him the war wasn’t over, and we were a part of it. She said she still had her original prototype in a warehouse in Akron, Ohio, and we were going to go and get it running. My first thought was, “we?” He said there was a backup plan, but if we wanted to do this, he would help as much as he could, but we would be on our own. Just a couple of hundred miles between us and there, oh yeah and millions of animals who wanted us dead. What could go wrong?
© 2019 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron