It had been nerve wracking for John Paul to wear that back pack each day of his journey across the North Carolina, Virginia state line, through the emptiness of Suffolk, and the never ending walk across the so called cities of Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach, all of which were the size of counties in North Carolina. It had been difficult to find places to sleep where he wouldn’t be found. Difficult to stay off the main roads. Difficult to be invisible among the millions of people in Hampton Roads. And difficult to not be picked up by the police.
It took days.
Each night, before he slept, he used his smartphone to read several chapters in his Bible, before he went to sleep. Each night, he prayed to God the Father, from whom he always asked guidance. And each night, the last thought he had was of his wife, and their child. Blown to bits, and those bits burned to ash, by the missiles of Satan’s minions.
“I’ll be with you soon, my loves. I promise you. I just have one last thing to do. One last blow to make against Lucifer.”
It was October 31st. Halloween. John Paul walked the sidewalks of Norfolk State University, in Norfolk. The university of the black people. It was the appropriate place, he thought, to complete his part of the war against the demons. In one of their strongholds. A school for demons. “This place should have never been built.” He walked between the buildings and watched as black people, and a few white people, and other non-black people walked between the buildings, moving from one night time class to another.
He made his way to a Halloween party outside one of the buildings on the campus. No one paid any attention to him. He was just someone taking a shortcut across campus to get somewhere.
Sometimes, as he walked, he wondered how the genetically modified bacteria in his backpack worked. He knew they were airborne. The backpack would explode, and his lungs would be filled with them. They told him it would be hell at first. But once the bacteria destroyed his lungs, he wouldn’t care anymore. He’d asked more questions, and they’d explained the bacteria entered their target as their target breathed. It only took a few, five, six, or seven, for the bacteria to be unstoppable.
In small quantities, they didn’t do much damage to the lungs. Almost none in fact. What they did was pass from the lungs into the bloodstream, the same way oxygen did. Once in the blood, they bred. Five became ten, then twenty, forty, eighty. In an hour, there were thousands of them. And their number doubled continuously.
In order to breed, they ate. They attacked the walls of blood vessels, capillaries, veins. Anything that carried blood through the body. But for some odd reason, they left the heart alone. It was like they knew, if the heart kept going, they could keep feeding, and breeding.
As the blood vessels in the body were destroyed, blood flow stopped, and the parts of the body that depended on that flow began to starve. At the cellular level, the starvation accelerated. Within 24 hours of exposure, the body died as all blood flow to the brain stopped, and the brain asphyxiated.
It was, he was told, a brutal way to die.
It was, he was told, and he agreed, a perfect way for demons to die.
John Paul found a bench near the main entry of a large building filled with lights, and students. He sat on the bench, and waited. He knew, soon enough, it would be time for the classes to change once again. He knew some unknown number of students would come out of that building. He would count them. When he’d counted enough, he’d pull the ripcord on his backpack. It would explode, violently, and leave him crippled, bleeding, on the sidewalk. He’d gasp for breath from the pain, and would suck in tens of thousands of bacteria.
The bacteria would form a cloud that covered the entire area outside that building. The cloud would spread to eventually cover the entire gap between the building, and the other buildings near it. It would be sucked in through the environmental systems of the buildings, and spread through all their classrooms.
People would walk through it, breathe in bacteria, and start a chain reaction. The cloud would settle, as a fine, invisible dust, over the entire area, inside all the buildings. People would sit in it. Get it on their clothes, their books, their tablets, their hands.
They’d breathe in the bacteria.
All it took was five, six, or seven.
Soon. Very soon. People would begin to die.
Others would come. Medical people. Emergency medicine people. Fire fighters. Police. City officials. Inspectors. They’d be exposed to the bacteria.
Of course, they’d go back where they came from. With bacteria all over them. They’d spread that bacteria. They’d touch things. They’d breathe. They’d cough. They’d exhale bacteria in little, invisible clouds.
The bacteria would run wild.
He prayed, as he sat on the bench, for everyone within 100 miles to die. He asked God to spread the bacterial weapon far and wide, so it touched every demon, and burned their souls.
He didn’t have to wait much longer. There were no bells, no chimes, no noise. Just the digital display of time. Classes ended ten minutes to Eight. Right on time. John Paul counted people as they exited the building. Twenty. Thirty. Forty. It was time.
“Father. Tell my family I will be with them soon.”
He stood up.
He pulled the ripcord.
John Paul died.
But he took one hell of a lot of demons with him.