If you haven’t read it I have a book called The Last World War, Volume 1 (Trial by fission). Many people have enjoyed it, and we always intended for there to be a second. This is a preview of part of that second book which is now in the final stages of preparation.
If you haven’t read it just click books at the top of the page, and you will see it there, or just click right here -> LAST WORLD WAR VOLUME 1
CHAPTER SEVEN DRAFT
Alex sat down at his computer to do another financial model that would show the “on paper” value of a small company to potential investors. This was the third one this week, and while it sounded like boring work to most people, to him there was a real beauty in those numbers. These number represented people’s professional lives, their hopes and dreams. If he did the numbers in certain ways, these people will prosper, or if he did them wrong, the people would die in a pile debt from which they would never recover. They had to be done just right, with no margin for error.
The people around him sat tapping on their keyboards doing similar tasks, and he assumed it would be a day like any other. As he was just getting on a roll with the numbers, out of the corner of his eye, he saw someone drop a soda can in the trash and hurry out the door. He wondered why someone was drinking soda from a can instead of bottles, but he shook his head and just assumed it was just someone who preferred the cold metal instead of the plastic. What Alex did not notice was the louder than usual popping sound the can made when it hit the bottom of the waste bin.
The news had said something about an “invasion,” and some kind of series of attacks in New England, but that was a half a country away, and he had work to do. The news was something that he never put too much stock in anyway, since they had shown time and time again that they could not be trusted to actually report the news accurately. The “news” companies were constantly reporting poorly researched information and then they always seemed to be retracting some part of a story, if not the whole thing, so he would just wait it out and see what was true and what wasn’t.
Everyone said to be on the lookout for anything unusual, but how weird was an aluminum soda can? It wasn’t that strange, was it?
He knew the attack in Los Angeles was real, but he still had to work. Getting paid by the hour did that kind of thing to a newlywed. If he didn’t work, he didn’t get paid, and last time there had been an attack in the United States it was over that same day. That had to be the case again, didn’t it?
Someone started coughing on the other side of the office hard enough that it caught his attention. Normally it wasn’t the kind of thing he would notice, but this was different. The coughing became harder than a person at work should. He hoped they wouldn’t get everyone sick, he didn’t have time for that. “Go home asshole,” he thought to himself, if they had something that might be contagious they should have just stayed home and not come in and risk infecting everyone. Then surprisingly, a second person, then a third started coughing a sickly wet cough. One person, then another, and another turned the corner and started coughing so hard that they vomited, then vomited again. Someone screamed and joined in with the rest and added to the vomiting.
The amount of spewed forth bodily fluid had to be enormous. He was fifty feet away and the smell was enough to make him want to join them and bring his breakfast back to the surface.
Alex took off his headphones, stood up and looked over the cubicle walls, trying to figure out what the hell was going on. A small sound escaped his throat at the sight of people on the other side of the office who were bent over coughing and spewing forth vomit of a variety of colors based on the contents of their most recent meal. He couldn’t begin to imagine what made all of them start at once, but he realized there was no way there was anything normal about any of it. Something was wrong, and it had happened fast.
Looking around and realizing just how widespread it was he began to panic, fear was setting in, his eyes went wide and breathing was coming faster and faster with every passing second. The sounds coming from people were like nothing he had ever heard from a human, and the smell filling the room was like something out of a cesspool.
Then his eyes found Angela. She was a great friend, and had been through so much lately. While she would never be a Victoria’s Secret model, she had an aura of self-confidence and sensuality about her. Now, she was bent over coughing and suffering from what looked like a nose bleed, or was the blood coming from her eyes, it was hard to tell. Alex tried to rush over to her side of the room but, as he got closer, he got a tickle in his throat and started coughing. He couldn’t figure out why, he was healthy. Then he coughed harder and harder. His eyes were flooded with tears as if someone had turned on a faucet. Stopping his advance towards Angela he bent over, all of his muscles tensed at once. He fought back, but had somehow lost control over any part of his body.
Violently, with no way to catch himself, he hit the ground hard, face first. Through the ocean of tears freely flowing down his face he saw Angela on the ground about twenty feet away. She had drool coming down the side of her face and blood quickly running out of her nose, ears and eyes. Then it dawned on him, that he had the same problem.
When did this happen?
How did this happen?
He could not focus on anything except Angela and her body spasming on the ground in front of him. His eyes clamped shut uncontrollably, and trying as hard as he could, there was no way he could open them. His muscles started flexing, doing some crazy things, sending his body thrashing in all directions.
Then, without warning every single muscle tensed at once and he could no longer move. No longer in control of any of his muscles, his lungs started to spasm, alternating between trying to draw breath into his now destroyed lungs and projectile vomiting massive amounts of blood. Then, his colon was next to release its contents and the flood of bloody shit flowed out of his anus emanating a smell that was like rotting flesh as it mixed with the reddish colored urine that his bladder had formed a pool on the floor. His mind recognized that as the smell coming from the room letting him know that he wasn’t the only one in this condition, and finally understanding where that smell was coming from.
What the hell was going on?
How can everyone here go from healthy to this in such a short period of time?
It didn’t make any sense.
He lost consciousness not understanding what had happened.
The President stood at the head of the conference table, frustrated that he was still stuck on board Air Force One. He held his cell phone at chest level staring into space for a moment. Only some of the electronics gear was back up and running, with technicians and software people working furiously on the rest. Thankfully the cell phone networks were working again, or they would have almost no updated information about what was going on outside the airplane, which was still on the ground.
“Everyone quiet,” the President shouted.
The room fell eerily quiet, more so than the President had intended. He slowly put down his phone.
“Everyone, Given that the Prime Minister of Israel was going to surrender, and has now either done so or been killed, we have to think this through. The only way that man would have agreed to lay down arms is if his citizenry were about to be exterminated,” the President said.
“Mr. President, we have no other source, are we sure it as bad as he made it out to be? Is it possible tha the fighting was localized to just the capital” some unknown intelligence staff member asked.
“That was the Prime Minister himself, not some aid. Given that we had no cell access anywhere at the time, yet his call and that damn General got through, I feel safe saying that I’m sure,” the President said. His tone of voice showing his growing frustration.
“If that is true, and satellites gave us no warning, the electronic systems have been down longer than we realized. Mr. President, I believe we may have the modern-day version of the D-Day invasion taking place, only we are on the defensive side. I think they are coming at us with everything they have available, as fast as they can put it into the field. If we don’t have our networks, smart weapons, and sensor platforms this will be a war we are really not ready to fight without unconventional weapons. The numbers are just not on our side,” surmised the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
“General, we just launched two unconventional nuclear warheads and they took control of one of those. How do we know that the next time we launch one it won’t be retargeted to hit one of our cities? Maybe it will be reprogrammed to hit one of military bases around the world, and how the hell would that be helpful?” the President’s anger was coming through loud and clear.
“That is a possibility while those devices are on ICBMs. However, if we launch our attacks from bombers we can guarantee a hit thanks to the human pilots. However, we will have to turn off as much in the way of electronics as we can, just in case those aircraft are penetrated by this network attack as well. But, this may be the best pathway forward. We could also use one of those really fast point to point transport devices that research scientist just showed us, if it would work for the task. He said faster than light, and I don’t know how fast that is, but if we can deliver things without the need for missiles, that just might save our ass,” the General was a professional in every way, and clearly was not ready to talk terms with the enemy.
“Ok. Israel is gone, and that is a huge problem, but let’s figure out our status at this point. Do we have word from any other allies around the world? Is anyone else under attack?” the President asked looking at his Secretary of State, the nation’s chief diplomat.
“Without access to our computer networks, or even television news, it is really hard to tell. I’m going to have people light up the phone line and do this the old-fashioned way, but it will take some time,” the Secretary of State said.
“Get to work,” the President ordered.
“General, where is our heavy combat gear? How much do we have in transport, and how hard will it be to make sure we bring everything we can home as quickly as we can? I have a feeling we may have to become an isolationist nation for a while,” the President said.
He clearly did not like these decisions, but knowing he was painted into a corner. Becoming isolationist could result in the rest of the world falling into an even greater level of chaos. That might be very challenging to fix once things got under control domestically, but he couldn’t very well protect the world and in the process, lose the homeland. America had to be able to protect its own before it could worry about any other nation’s citizens.
“Mr. President, we have probably forty percent of our hardware being repositioned. If you recall, we took a bet, we sent almost every asset we had into the Middle East to try to bring an end to hostilities quickly, most of it is still there, or in transit. If we can find their staging area there perhaps we can launch an attack before they make a move elsewhere in the world. We can issue an order for everything in motion to come home at best possible speed, fuel conservation be damned, and develop a reasonable plan to pull out of everywhere we are that isn’t currently a war zone, but that will take time, I don’t know how long, but at least weeks to months. The other problem is that there are many places around the world that if we pull out with the threat of global armed conflict spreading everywhere is going to go way up,” the Chairman said, clearly not happy with the timeframe any more than the President.
“Fine. Someone figure out where the Vice President is, and get him here to meet that bizarre scientist. Perhaps that crazy man can save us, if we can figure out how to properly use that stuff. He showed us that thing that apparently enables faster than light travel. Perhaps that can deliver our weapons, and people where they need to be without the need for air support. I can’t believe I just said those words, and let’s hope to Christ that the thing works.
“Also, we need a better understanding of what manpower the enemy has already managed to land on our shores. Even if I would launch a nuclear strike here, which I won’t, and we still have active cyber-attacks that may make matters worse, AND our smart weapons are fucked, then maybe, just MAYBE our scientists can pull our asses out of the fire,” the President was shouting louder and louder as he finished his statement. He was also starting to ramble, which was uncharacteristic, the stress was obviously taking its toll.
“Yes, Mr. President,” said the Chairman.
More computers and video screens had been coming online during the exchange.
“Mr. President,” the Vice President’s voice said.
“Frank, I didn’t realize your link was back up. Where the hell are you, and how soon can you get to wherever I am?” asked President Press.
“Somewhere in Texas, I think. However, I’d like to make a point that both of us being in the same place at the same time is a very bad idea, Mr. President,” said Frank.
“Of course, and honestly I’m not 100% certain where we are, just that there is some technology here that you have to see, and help us figure out how to use it to clean up this mess,” said the President.
“I’m told the electronics in this plane is fine. Mr. President you need to get someplace safe and organize a response to the invasion making its way through New England, as well as a nerve agent attack that is at this very moment putting Americans into a horrifyingly painful death spiral, on top of all that we also had a massive nuclear strike. I suggest you go to Fort Bragg and I go wherever you are,” Frank said.
“Mr. Vice President, if I may?” the Surgeon General interrupted.
“I have been on the phone with some of the Emergency Rooms in the impacted areas of this nerve agent. The people infected are experiencing the following symptoms: muscle convulsions, runny nose, crying, drooling, release of bowels and bladder, even some temporary paralysis. Those that will die are doing so in about ten minutes post exposure. Everyone else will recover, and all we must do for the moment is to keep them comfortable. The hospitals in the area surrounding the nuclear strike are over run in the same way we experienced last time, and that must be our priority,” said the Medical Professional.
“Mr. President, that may have been a test of some new capability. If they use those weapons on our troops while we are in contact, they will be slaughtered as they won’t be able to offer any kind of resistance thanks to the associated symptoms. Everyone must wear protective gas masks, whenever they are about to make contact with the enemy, or set foot outside of a base until we fully understand the situation,” the Vice President said.
“General, issue that order, and Doctor, you better figure out if whatever it is that is happening is contagious or not, we don’t need a fucking pandemic on top of everything else,” said the President.
“Frank, get here and get to work, we will be at your old stomping grounds,” the President said, then walked out of the room to see the pilots.
<AP NEWS FLASH> Hospitals in some of the southern states are being overrun with citizens suffering from the effects of a nerve agent. Many people around the nation are nervous they are showing signs. There will be an upcoming press release showing what symptoms to be watchful of, however if symptoms being experienced are not chronic, the malady is likely not a nerve agent. Hospitals are asking that people think before jamming local emergency rooms.