Send In The UCAVs

Everyone in New York City was dead. Same for Buffalo, Newark, Philly, Groton, Newport, Boston, Baltimore, and all the others in the northeast US. From Main, to the Eastern Shore, as far west as Pittsburg, the virus was everywhere. It spread through human saliva. No one knew how it started. Everyone knew how it spread. Nearly ⅓ of the country was dead.

“You sure we can pull this off?”

“Yes, sir!” I could have asked if he needed personal coaching and critiquing by Miranda Kate. But I don’t speak that way to my CO. We were safe, sitting 20 miles east of Breezy Point, on the US Zumwalt. “At least we don’t need pilots.” That was the good thing. We weren’t putting lives at risk.

He nodded, his nervous smile, and solid voice projected the air of confidence. We weren’t going to kill people to complete our mission. Unless the virus had a cure.

“The ‘scouts ready?”

“Yes, sir.”

Every Fire Scout on board was prepped for flight at 50 feet altitude, into Manhattan. We had orders from Cheyenne. They called it the Dead Sea Games. I still wasn’t used to the capital being in Wyoming, but it was the safest place in the US. Certainly safer than DC. DC was in the kill zone.

“All eight courses are mapped. The scouts will do their jobs.” Yeah. Destroy eight power stations in the New York City area, without risking human life, and along the way, kill any of the infected they encountered. Send in the UCAVs to kill the infected.

The infected. Better than calling them the walking dead or zombies. Certainly better than citizens, humans, friends, neighbors, men, women, and children. The infected. A name. A label. So we wouldn’t feel anything about blowing them to bits, or filling them full of holes.

The captain spoke into his radio, “‘Hawks staged yet?”

That was the other part of our orders. Blow up everything that floated in Hudson Bay. Sink it all. So nothing could take to the water.

“The Dead Sea Games are a go, Captain.”

“Time to kickstart the zombie apocalypse by publishing the Dead Sea Games,” the captain spoke calmly into his mic. “Launch ‘em. Launch ‘em all.”

We did. in a giant ball of smoke and fire, as the flat packs on the fore and aft decks emptied their contents. 130 missiles, launched in seconds. I’d never seen that. It was an overwhelming display of power. Raw power.

“Send in the UCAVs, Lieutenant. Time to go hunting.”

I spoke into my mic, “Scouts, go.”

Autonomous helicopters, and GPS guided missiles. We’d just killed thousands of the Infected, and hadn’t risked a human life. Everyone had always thought the Zombie Apocalypse was going to end the human race. It wasn’t. Our robot children would protect us.

As the Scouts disappeared over the horizon, I couldn’t help but say, “Good bye, New York. Wish I could have visited you at least once.”

492 Words

I wrote this for Zombie Mechanics 2014 Zombie Apocalypse Flash Fiction Contest. It’s just one of a host of Zombie Tales. Please, go read the others, and please, leave comments for the writers, letting them know how you feel about their carefully crafted words.

You can find the other stories here:

Zombie Mechanics Zombie Apocalypse Flash Fiction Contest 2014

#55WordChallenge : Apocalypse

“That doesn’t look good.”

The sun was still low in the east, illuminating the eastern faces of the houses and trees. To the west, pitch black clouds. The contrast was striking. The image on my weather radar showed the approaching F6 tornado.

I wondered how many of us would survive.

Our apocalypse was here.

This is my entry into the 38th 55 Word Challenge, hosted each week by Lisa McCourt Hollar. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Please, go visit the 55 Word Challenge site, and read all the other entries. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them as much as I did.

Dreams : Apocalypse

The third dream I had
Was a dream to the song
My Apocalypse
By Arch Enemy.
A song that is not sung.
A song that is screamed.

This dream was of me.
And the things
That I went through
Over a year ago.
When my life
Began to change.

In this dream I stood
In front of a mirror.
And I looked into my eyes.
Looking back at me.
And I remembered.

I remembered the day,
Sometime in May
Of 2010.
When my apocalypse
The day she said to me,
“I have breast cancer.”

I had never had a friend,
Someone that mattered
To me
That had been diagnosed
With such an awful thing.
Someone I worked with
5 days every week.
Someone that I had
Absolutely no defense

It was in the days of May
And June, 2010
That the last pieces
Of my apocalypse
Were put in place.

I had buried,
Decades ago,
Everything I felt
About myself.
Until there was
No me.

If you had asked me
What I wanted,
I could not answer you.
For I did not know.
I did not know.

I wanted nothing for me.
Everything I did,
Everything I wanted,
Every goal I had
Which involved me doing something
Anything at all,
Had me doing everything
For someone else.
Someone that wasn’t

I was at work
In the place I worked back then
Because I knew
I was helping the people
That I worked with.
I could not find a way
To move on.
I was there
For the program.
And for them.
Not for me.
Never for me.

I was at work
For the paycheck.
Because I made good money
Where I worked.
And my family
Had become used to me
Making what I did.
I didn’t care at all
About the money that I made.
But I knew
My family did.
I was there for them.
Not me.

On the day my friend
First spoke to me
Of her illness
All the things I’d buried.
Everything I’d ignored.
Everything that was me
Starting surfacing.

I found I cared what happened
To her.
I knew she was hurt.
I knew she was scared.
And of course,
I would do what I could
For her.
Not for me,
But for her.
Because I didn’t matter,
After all.
Like I never had.

But something was different.
Something was not the same
As it had always been.
I was selfish
For the first time
In a long time
In those days.
I found I wanted very much
For her to be OK.
As much for me
As I did for her.
For the thought of her
Going away
Scared me.
Scared me something awful.
And I’d never felt that way
In my whole life.

And I had no clue
What that meant.
Where that would lead.

When it was time
For her to go on leave
For her first surgery,
I promised her
That I would write her
Every day.
And that’s just what I did.

Only I did not write letters
That I shared with her.
Oh no.
I had to write in my own way.
Like I do here
Upon the pages of this blog.
And I found myself
Writing words for her.
Capturing dreams.
And wishes.
And bringing them to life
On paper.
Words I wrote for her.

But there was something different
In the words I wrote.
For they were words
That had a heart
And a soul.
Words written
With feelings.
That I never knew
I had.

And in my dream,
As I looked into the eyes
Of myself
Looking back at me,
I remembered
It was then.
When I started writing
Down the words
I shared with her.
That the parts of me
I had buried
Decades before.
And came back to life.

And I heard Angela Gassow
As she screamed these words
Of pain.

“Sudden implosion of silenced emotions
Buried beneath a scarred heart for too long
Delusions of hope fading away
Dying like leaves on frozen soil

My apocalypse is near
I can feel the end… Coming here”

It was in those days
That she was away
That everything I thought I knew
About the world
That I lived in
Was destroyed.
Faded away.
Dying like leaves
On frozen soil.

And I was so disturbed.
And so very hurt.
By what was happening
To her.
And the eruption of emotions
That had come to life
In me.
That I didn’t even know
My apocalypse
Had begun.

It was in the coming days.
Spread over 12 weeks,
That I came apart.
I became so angry
With everyone I knew
For the way that they behaved
Around her.
This was something
I had never done
In all my days.
I had never lost control
In quite that way.

I can see my behavior.
In that 12 week period.
Where I came apart.
And everything I knew
Was destroyed.

I remember all the ink pens
That I destroyed.
Broke them clean in half.
Parts of plastic
Sometimes leaving gashes,
And drawing blood
From the fingers
Of my hand.

I can remember
Walking on the sand
Along the water’s edge.
Watching the waves.
And I walked there
As if I were trying
To escape
The life I was living in.

I can remember
All the words I wrote.
Words I shared with her.
I have all of them
In the pages
Of my notebooks.
And they all show me
The same thing.
That my heart was coming
Back to life.
And it ached
Within my chest.
And my soul was crying
Awful tears of pain
That had been denied
For decades.

And I heard Angela Gassow scream
These words
In the dream I had
That night.

“Neglecting existence, repulse and repent
An endless journey into the morbid
Whispering voices distorting all senses
Buried beneath a scattered heart for all too long

My apocalypse is near
I can feel the end… Coming here”

The people I worked with
Were not able to help me
Through the problems
I was dealing with.
There was nothing they could do,
Except to sit and watch
As I came apart
Before their very eyes.

But in the end
They knew I needed help
They could not provide.
So they did
What they had to do.
They sent me home
From work.
So that I would have the time
To deal with my own
And my apocalypse
Would not be displayed
Before them
Every day
At work.

And Angela Gassow screamed
One more time.

“The bitter taste of a dying dream
Shine the light on our shadows and illusions”

I knew
On the day
I was sent home
That everything was gone.
Everything had been

Right before my eyes.

My apocalypse was real.
And it cost me
Everything I’d worked for
My entire life.

And as I stood there
In my dream,
Looking into the eyes
Of the reflection
In the mirror
Looking back at me.

I knew
It was time for me
To start life from the beginning.
Using everything I’d learned
From my very own

I knew
I had to change.

And I heard the words
Of the song once more.

“Sudden implosion of silenced emotions
Buried beneath a scarred heart for too long
Delusions of hope fading away
Dying like leaves on frozen soil

My apocalypse is near
I can feel the end… Coming here”

On that night
When I woke up
After that dream was done.
I said another prayer
To God up above.

I thanked him
For the second chance
He has granted me.
And I told him
I was so sorry
That it took my very own
To wake me up.
And bring me back
To the life
He meant for me to lead.