My Private Global War, Part Thirteen
I think something The Walking Dead got right was how the dead themselves weren’t the real threat; it’s the other people that are dangerous. When I was younger, I would have said that outside of such people like Hitler or Stalin, there was no such thing as pure evil. Of course, that’s from the perspective of a person that never left his small town and only knew those people around him. We thought all we had to do was worry about the deer and aliens, but we were wrong. I was also wrong about mixing this lemon-lime electrolyte mix with bourbon. Is it possible to drink enough so you can see your voice? Taste colors?
Something history seems to get wrong is that truly evil people aren’t seen as evil while they are doing evil. Take Hitler, he was evil, but to the people, he was almost a savior. He led his people out of a depression and onto the world. No one after the war would admit they supported a genocidal monster, but go back and watch the footage. Hitler used poverty, anger, hatred, and bigotry to rally his people into a war they had no chance of winning, and they almost succeeded. I mention this because we had this leader that, while pretending to be our savior, was working against us. No, I don’t mean the orange man. Pure evil exists, but more on that later.
I don’t know if it's my time here in this dark room under a pile of rubble, the bourbon, or the just not knowing if anyone is still alive, but I feel so alone. Maybe I am, and this record will go unread? I think my time is running shorter than I thought. I think it’s raining up there somewhere and that water is running into the ruins, causing them to flood. There is this line of condensation that is slowly running up a door that seems to say I’ll be underwater within the next four or five hours. There is nothing but broken, twisted metal beams and fragments of concrete past that door giving me no way out. If the roof doesn’t cave in, or I don't run out of air, drinkable water, or food, then I’ll drown.
The bunker had its power supply from a series of batteries and a natural gas generator fueled by a gas well. We pulled the Jeep into the oversized door and closed it. At the time, we thought it would smell foul and covered in forty years of dust. For the most part, we were wrong. Someone had been there within the last two months. We found new MRE’s, and there wasn’t nearly as much dust as we thought. The facility had this strange mix of steel and wood with the 1960s and 1970s flare — bright colored walls with steel grate catwalks, hardwood floors, and shag rugs. A picture of President Carter was on the wall, suggesting that while people cleaned, they didn’t do anything else.
We found several VHS tapes but no player. We found a projector and several movies. I learned that Diana had never seen a movie made before 1997, and she never saw a single black and white film. She never watched movies growing up, and her family didn’t have a television. She spent all her time working to become the world-saving doctor she is. If I had to choose what was the best time of my life, I would have to say this short time we spent in that bunker was it. We sat and watched every watchable movie, some of the film canisters weren’t sealed properly and had rotted in their cans, we drank what had to be some very pricy wine and ate MREs. We also did other things that are none of your business. We were alone, away from a world ripping itself apart, safe, secure, and together.
A few hours became a few days. At the time, we had planned on just staying until night, but the quiet of this place, along with the safety of blast doors, made it hard to leave. Thinking about it, I know why we didn’t stay, but it still seems like a mistake. About a week into our playing underground house, a call came across a built-in radio system. Every bunker built by the Government was connected to allow the government to function after a war. That first day we tried to call out, but there was nothing. By the time the call came in, we had slipped into something a little less than professional. That is, we were waking love in the main room with The Sound of Music playing on the screen. Let me tell you this was one of my new favorite things…… sorry.
I remember looking around Diana as she sat in my lap and seeing the Von Trapp family replaced by The General, who was looking up and Goody, who was smiling and shaking his head. The General coughed, then he said, “OK, I guess you two didn’t know you had the intercom on…… God, I hope you didn’t know. This system connects the other bunkers both with audio and video, so yeah…… could you two get dressed.” Goody said, “it never gets boring with you two.” Behind the General were four dogs, A German Shepherd, some Rottweiler mix, a Bison, and a Great Dane. Just out of frame was a tiny Pug. For those that don’t know, this part of the story is going to get weird. Goody looked to the dogs and acted like they said something to him. For those that do know, yes, there are talking dogs, but their speech is more mental, and that mentalism didn’t work across ancient phone lines.
In the movies, this would be known as an exposition dump where a character talks about essential parts of the plot that might not be coming across or to recap the story. Many stories rely on this idea to express a concept that might not be clear or have a character that seems to know way too much like all those kids in the Gammera movies. Or is it Gamera? We did our best to cover ourselves up while The General waited. I swear the Great Dane was laughing. He told us about the week we were out of communication and the dogs. Looking back, I think he was just way too calm about talking dogs, and bears.
A few hours after we left, the General evacuated the base and was on the road when a series of bombers came overhead and leveled Wright-Patterson to the ground. The planes were ours. He left a few men behind to watch for anything unusual, and boy did they find that. The General moved west to another of the secret bunkers. Along the way, he watched as the planes bombed cities and small towns. Two days in, his men caught up with them. They had the five dogs and a story that seemed strange. He didn’t talk much about that story, but it had something to do with a bear, deer, and a series of strange events. He said the dogs were going back east to find his missing daughter and the key.
We had thought he sent Jenny and Jimmy east to someplace safe, but he sent them on what had to be the most crucial mission in the world. They were missing. The General sent someone out after they didn’t check-in, and they found the ruins of the armored car and bodies of the men but not the kids. She had a key to a weapon system I just used a few hours ago, but more on that later. The key was essential but not the only way to use the weapon. The General had faith in his daughter and her ability to see things through, no matter what came along. They say faith can move mountains; it could also blind people and make them trust way too much. He also thought that Jimmy wouldn’t hesitate to lay his life down for Jenny.
Goody and Sophie told us about the deer. As he suspected or Jimmy told him, the clone deer weren’t eating. Was this a design flaw or a safety measure making sure their invading army died before they arrived to claim the earth. Sophie thought that the deer and other animals around the world didn’t work as efficiently as the aliens wanted, so they made clones, but the flaw meant that they had to replace them as the old ones died. She was able to determine it was a protein in the deer that, when eaten by people, reacted with our DNA turning other proteins into acids and other nasty stuff, killing the one who ate the deer. This was why only humanity was unable to eat the clone deer, and the animals like the dogs were ok.
She talked about the other animals, including insects around the world, killing people. There is a large type of ant in Africa that was devouring people in swarms. Billions of ants covering villages, towns, and cities. The most important part of this was the squirrels how the dogs told them that without the boxes and or alien ball probes, the smaller animals couldn’t retain any of the knowledge the aliens provided. They were just not big-brained enough to remember. Think about the goldfish and that three-second memory thing. Goody said, “if you can stop the boxes, then you can stop the smaller animals and just maybe the war.” I’m trying to think back. I know they said something else, but it’s just not there in my head anymore.
The screen went dark, and we were alone again. We didn’t know it at the time, but this would be the best time our lives together we would ever have. In a sealed bunker away from all the world’s problems, with alcohol, movies, and a less than necessary need for clothing, we made a honeymoon of sorts. We went back to the room we were sharing to get dressed. Inside, Diana turned around and kissed me. I ran my hand up her arm and down her side. Soon we were back to doing what we were doing before the General called. About the time I……I…. I entered her, the General’s voice came across the intercom saying, “if you two are going to do that, then you should turn the system off. Not everyone wants to watch you two have sex.” I looked to Diana, who looked back, and yes, we are kind of nasty people because we didn’t turn the system off. After all, we had an audience for much of our time together, and…… OK, I can’t justify any of that. We’re just nasty people.
- My Private Global War, Part Ten
Bill and Diana find a group and a little hope on their way to Akron.
- My Private Global War, Part Eleven
Diana and Bill arive in Akron to find something they did't expect and a problem that might be overelming.
- My Private Global War, Part Twelve
Diana and Bill arrive in Akron and find her warehouse then travel into two cities leveled by the end of the world
© 2019 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron