The Third Day.
It's 1 AM. My father isn't back from the base. And the feeling of dread rises as the Piano crashes. It's Prelude 15 in C Sharp Minor, Op. 28. My favorite. Classical music is a special brain food. In this since I feel akin to another Alex, that of Anthony Burgess.
I'm not exactly worried that he's still on base, he's worked late before, but coupled with recent events… I'm scared. It's hard to admit it, but his behavior recently, and…
I'm going to check out his files. Yes, it's illegal to read classified government papers, but only if you're caught. I start at his desk, finding nothing, but in his safe there are three dossiers. I open the first…
…Project:ZEUS…controls weather in small area…superheating or freezing…devastating effects…in response to LAZARUS…armed in various ICBMs or carried by Joint Strike Fighters…USED ONLY AS A REACTION TO OTHER WMDS!.
At the bottom is dear old dad's signature, authorizing Zeus. Surely the next file can't be so awful.
It isn't. Quite.
Project: ELLISON. In response to the revamping of the Chinese Armed Forces and their recent hostility, previously deactivated nuclear bases will be reactivated and rearmed. This is a purely cautionary measure, however…
He's authorized this one as well.
The third is the worst.
Codename:LAZARUS. As confirmed by the capture of three specimens near Hawaii, the Chinese Armed Forces have created a biological super soldier. By mutating and fusing Influenza A, a rare strain of Rabies, and Ebola, they have infected soldiers and given beneficial side effects, these chiefly being the modification of respiration to use proteins found in myelin rather than oxygen, removal of the Central Nervous Systems ability to perceive pain, and an enlarged Medulla Oblongata. The result is a soldier that has no morals, feels no pain, is highly contagious, and cannot be stopped save by destruction of the brain or complete immobilization. It appears that these soldiers would be deployed to an area to completely eliminate all local population. After the specified area has been taken, airstrikes would destroy the soldiers and sterilize the area. This new form of warfare is disturbing, yet theoretically unstoppable.
Dear God. A dispensable soldier that could keep going no matter what, fueled on brain matter and oblivious to pain. A… zombie. And we believe that the Chinese will actually use these? Enough to develop a counter weapon to destroy them in the case that they do so?
I don't even put the files back. I just sit and stare for a very long time. Everything makes sense now. Suddenly, I know that my dread has not been unfounded; this time, the bombs will fall. For the first time in weeks, the dread is quenched and I feel a horrible calm. For the first time since I've been having that dream.
"Turn on the TV, now." He crashes through the door. "News. Turn it on. Do it. NOW!"
"Dad, I saw the files… I-"
"FUCKING TURN IT ON ALEX!"
It crackles to life.
The reporter has clearly been crying. She, through sobs, tells of how Hawaii has fallen to nuclear blasts and Alaska had seen those Lazarus demons take Anchorage.
I had missed a lot in the last few hours.
We sit in silence and watch. The report on the end of the world promises retaliation, with missiles already leaving their silos. Then a commercial break, with our useless, petty need for plastics and beauty products overcoming Armageddon. It ends, but with the image of a mushroom cloud in the Pacific Ocean slowly expanding and engulfing all around it.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall…
We are at war.
Tell me where them bombs will fall…
Outside, the sun is beginning to rise. The beginning of the end.