In the apocalyptic remnants of the world All That Remains is us and THEM...

ATR Chapters

Chapter 22: The Bad Lands

Posted by SGCaper on April 4, 2011 at 2:56 PM Comments comments (0)

Date: August 17, 2009. Time: 0600 Location: Bad Lands, South Dakota

Have you ever seen the images of the London Underground during World War II? Pictures of people bandaged and huddled together. Others trying to provide comfort. Still more with weapons providing security, or at least a sense of security. Men, women, children, all trying to figure out their role in this nightmare scenario. Wondering if they'll survive to see the next day. Questioning if today is the day the enemy wins. Well it's no longer the 1940's yet that scene is playing out again. Only it's not in the London Underground. These are not citizens of the United Kingdom. It's happening right here in the good ol' U.S. of A. The citizens belong to the Sioux Nation.


For nearly two weeks the Badlands of South Dakota have been earning their name. An "altercation" between a group of Sioux and the U.S. government in the form of the National Guard, F.B.I., and several "other" agencies has been ongoing. As of late however, another combatant has entered the field. THEM. THEY came in ones and twos at first. The Sioux killed THEM. They always succeeded. The government tried capturing THEM. They weren't always successful. On multiple occasions some poor grunt found teeth buried in his flesh. Several times those who were to running tests on THEM found that the straps holding THEM down were not enough and ended up in pool of blood. That's how THEY multiply. An enemy that adds to their ranks with each attack. Unlike any enemy ever fought.


The government has tried to keep the existence of THEM a secret. Thus far they've been able to. They blame the injuries and deaths of men and women under their command on attacks by the Sioux, who've they labeled "domestic terrorists." The media runs with it. Men in black suits ensure that the right message is broadcast. No one is the wiser. For now. That will change. But for now…


Barricaded in the small building that once served as the meeting hall for the Elders of the Sioux Nation a group of Warriors is busy checking and rechecking windows and doors. Outside a growing number of things surrounds the group. The Sioux leader stands proud. Taking in everything around him. Reflecting upon the many events that have led them to this current moment in time. Around a large fire the Elders sit. In all their combined years they have never faced an enemy like this.


When this began the Warriors were strong and courageous. They defended their lands from the attacks by the White Man. Many fell to their bullets. It is true they lost a great number but they never lost focus. Their cause was just. They would win the day, or die trying. When THEY showed up, the Warriors treated THEM like any enemy. THEY were quickly dispatched. The Elders said it was the Army's doing. Some weapon that they were using to take Sioux land. For the first week, which felt like an eternity, the men and women held strong. The last week has challenged them all in new ways.


Charlie "Spirit" Iron-Knife and Jimmy "Dart" Tall Elk found themselves on the governments Most Wanted list. They had been responsible for killing a dozen Agents. After their altercation with Snake Eyes and Agent Rogers the two knew there was no turning back. They knew too much. Had seen too much. Even their ties to the Joes couldn't help them now. They were in far too deep. If this realization worried them neither showed it. They were stalwart in appearance. They led the Warriors in defending the lives of their brothers even though neither was Sioux.


"Spirit, all the doors and windows have been secured. We are however completely surrounded and running out of ammunition and morale quickly. Not to mention food and water."


"Yes. No doubt the military is finding itself in a similar circumstance with relation to morale. Ammunition is in no short supply for them however."


"What are we going to do?"


"The Elders say we are to die. They see it in the smoke."


"What about you? What do you think?"


"I think we will fight on. I am not ready to resign myself to the ground yet. You an I could very easily slip past these things and disappear into the foothills. But we must think of the others. They are depending on us whether they admit it or not."


"So what's the next step?"


"We need to get our people out of here. We need as, Duke would call it, an exit strategy."


"We are surrounded by those things."


"Then let us get above them and look for a way out. If we can lead our people to the foot hills then I foresee our success. If we fail, then I pray that our souls will escape."



Chapter 16: The Glades Always Win

Posted by SGCaper on March 25, 2011 at 1:32 PM Comments comments (1)

Date:    August 18, 2009. Time: 0645. Location: Deep in the Florida Everglades.

Crawling and scratching his way through the thick swamp is the lone survivor of the recent plane crash. He awoke to the splashing of hungry gators. Dangling 20 feet over the infested swamp he took it all in. It took him a while to come to his senses. When he did he realized he had been hanging for 2 days. Covered in bites, starving, and thirsty he tried to focus on his current predicament of which the snapping jaws of the gators below were a constant reminder. Clearing his head and remembering his training the Airborne Ranger set out to free himself.

Two hours later panting and exhausted Airborne found himself in the safety of a crotch of the tree from which he was previously prisoner. There remained one threat below. The voracious gators. For hours they circled below him. Jaws crashing together again and again. Then he heard it. A scream. Not just any scream. A blood curtailing scream. The scream of a man being tortured. He had to know. Working out a plan he made his way to the next tree. Exhaustion threatening to stop him in his tracks. A passing beetle fell prey to his hunger. As did any creature with in his reach. Hey if they could make a meal of him the least he could do is return the favor. For what felt like an eternity the screaming continued and he made his slow painful way to a small parcel of dry land he could make out in the distance.

Then it stopped. With the screaming stopped his stomach dropped. He looked back at his progress. He had finally made it to land but it had taken all day. The sun was nearly set. He knew the temperature would drop. The bugs would come out in force. He was in hell.


Date:    August 20, 2009. Time: 1345. Location: Deep in the Florida Everglades.

- The screaming came from this way. Or was it that way. Keep it together man. You're better than this.

Having survived on little more than the insects he could catch and the rancid water of the swamp Airborne crawled on. He had to know who was screaming and why. It wasn't THEM he was sure. THEY would have finished by now and moved on. Probably to him. Only hours before the screaming had started again in ernest. He had heard nothing since they stopped. But he had to know.

When he had given up hope of finding the source of the torturous sounds that's when he found him. The clearing was straight out of a bad horror movie. Chains hung from dilapidated trees. The earth was stained brown with blood. Bones were scattered around the edges. Death was in the air. The shock of it swirled his vision. He stumbled. His face hit the ground with a sickening slap. The world was spinning. Pulling his head from the cold wet ground was too much. He wretched. Thankfully there was nothing to add to the smell of the circle. He rolled and saw him. Hanging by his ankles above him. The man's face, at least he thought it was a man, was swollen and purple. The nude body covered in horrific wounds. Blood caked over every inch. Airborne didn't know the poor soul but he knew he couldn't let him hang.

Searching for anything that might help cut him down Airborne discovered a blade covered in what he knew must have been this poor man's blood. Sawing through the rope sapped what little Airborne had left. He couldn't hold it. The man fell into a pool of his own blood and excrement. Airborne went over to the body. Weakly looking for anything that might identify who he was. There a tattoo. Upper right arm. Red. Blue. A box. Letters. "A. A." A yellow and black rocker above it reading "RANGER."

One last time his vision swirled. He knew the tattoo. He knew the man who had it well. They had served with each other for years. They had jumped into combat more than either cared to remember. If only he had gotten their sooner. If only he hadn't been so weak. He could have saved him. He could have saved him. God willing he'd get his revenge. He'd find whoever did this to his friend Crazy Legs. He'd find them and do much worse. Crazy Legs.

Then blackness. God wasn't willing. There would be no revenge. No succor. No last minute rescue.

The Everglades. The Swamp. Had claimed another victim. Tonight her denizens would feast on the flesh of two Real American Heroes.

R.I.P. Crazy Legs

R.I.P. Airborne



Chapter 11: The Bad Lands: Confrontation

Posted by SGCaper on January 12, 2011 at 4:02 PM Comments comments (0)

Chapter 11: The Badlands: Part 3: Confrontation

Date: August 4, 2009. Time: 0037 Location: Bad Lands, South Dakota

For many hours two men have been tracking a quarry whose identity they are unsure of. Each has his suspicions. What they both agree on is that nature is not herself this fine night. The air lacks the buzz of life. The younger attributes it to the conflict below them. The elder has no word for what might be causing this most unusual of behaviors from the denizens of the Bad Lands.

"There. Look."

"I see him."

The expert tracker and spotter have finally found the prey they have been following for the last 12 hours. It has been no easy task, trying to track a target while a war rages between the United States and the Sioux Nation. However, they have avoided being seen. Now they stalk their quarry hoping that by capturing the "wild man in the mountains" they can bring this escalating battle to its resolution.

Without a word Dart circles around the target as Spirit remains. These two work in perfect harmony with each other and their surroundings. They know each move the other will make, the only unknown is the target. They have watched as the hard to track trail became more obvious. Dragging foot marks, a growing number of broken branches, blood spots on the foliage tell the duo that their target is injured and growing weak. This makes him a growing variable to their plans. How he will react to being captured they can only guess. As each man readies himself for the inevitable fight there is a sudden change in the behavior of their target. His masked face raises and begins to turn toward the location of Spirit. Before the two can react he disappears from sight.

"What just happened?"

The two enter the small clearing where the man they were tracking just vanished from.

"There is only one man who could do what we just witnessed."


"You are correct Dart. But why here and why now? He could have easily slipped out of the area at any given time."

"Perhaps his injuries prevented him?"

"His injuries…" Spirit squats over the last track of Zartan. Between his fingers he rubs a substance that he believed to be blood but now... "I don't believe he was injured at all. I believe we have been set up my friend."

"What do you think we should do."

"Stay and wait."

"I apologize but I have to ask, why?"

"Zartan would not have gone through all this trouble unless there was a reason. That he didn't fight speaks volumes. You have not had the dealings with the master of disguise as I have. He is honorable in combat. There is a reason he led us here. We must discover what it is. Prepare a fire I fear we should have to wait long."

A small easily concealed fire is built and the two wait. Each listening to the eerie silence of the wood. Time seems to stand still until out of the surrounding bush comes a sound which turns the men to stone. A sound that neither have ever heard made by a creature of this world. With a look the two know what they will do. Out of the bushes stumbles the source of the otherworldly noise.  In the dim moonlight the attire of this new antagonist is missed by both man. They only notice that this man too is in all black. They prepare.


The bellowing moan coming from the man makes the hair of his hunters arms stand on end, yet they are not stopped. Dart reaches his mark sweeping the legs of the man out from under him while turning his targets body away from from Spirit. Spirit is upon him before he hits the ground driving his knees into the man's lower back. The only reaction is the continued moaning and struggling. Each hunter attempts to secure his area, Spirit the hands, Dart the legs. Securely bound they roll the man over on his back.

"Holy shit! It can't be!"

Staring up at the pair through a slitted visor is a man the two thought of as a friend. The lower portion of his mask torn away, his jaws distended, a low snarl snarl coming from his throat.

"He's injured. Untie him Dart. We must help him."

Dart immediately cuts the bonds off his friends ankles.

"I have to sit you up to cut your bonds my friend. Had we known it was you we would not have been so rough."

Spirit raises his long time colleague and begins to turn him to cut his bonds. At the same time the man turns jaws snapping at the hand of his friend. Dart reacts. He pulls Spirit away. Their injured friend struggles to get to his feet.

"He's obviously delirious. We must get him medical attention."

Dart has no chance to respond as their wounded comrade charges him, mouth wide, saliva flying wildly. Dart sidesteps the attack again sweeps his legs. This time the man regains his footing quicker only to have Spirit rush him from the back forcing him back to the hard earth face down.

"I do think we may have acted hastily. He is acting like a wild animal. Perhaps he has been bitten by a rabid inhabitant of the mountains?"

"Whatever it is I say we retie his legs."

"No. He is our friend, he is injured, he deserves to be treated respectfully. We will keep his hands tied to help prevent further injury. He will need his legs to walk."

Again Spirit tries to raise his friend to his feet. Again the man tries to attack him. The unanticipated action knocks Spirit to the ground. His friend is upon him snapping at him like mad dog. Spirit struggles to hold him at bay.

"He's trying to kill you."

"Dart I can not do what I would ask of you."

The request is met by the quick blade of the Dakota warrior. The head of the assailant falls to the ground, teeth still gnashing, still striving to sink into the soft flesh of its intended victim.

"What monster is this?"

"I do not know Dart. But it does not bode well for those below us."

As the teeth snap Dart kicks the head of his former friend into the fire.


Date: August 5, 2009. Time: 1200 Location: Bad Lands, South Dakota

Highway 17, once a quiet stretch or road full of beautiful vistas. Now home to a growing military, news, and civilian "town."

"The Battle at Crazy Horse has been raging for several days now. What started out as an investigation into a suspected terrorist attack against a Native American monument turned deadly when federal agents from FEMA the Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI were murdered on live television after offering help to the local Sioux Tribal Council.

The Department of Homeland Security activated the National Guard prior to the outbreak of violence. The National Guard then found itself under attack."


"How did he get here?!"

"We sent Snake Eyes! He's the best. At least that's what we thought."

"Snake Eyes is a Joe."

"Don't be naive. Do you think the federal government would waste a talented asset like Snake Eyes with mere military actions? He's done more wet work for us than any other operative."

"Why him. Why not send Spirit or me?"

"Because you couldn't get the job done."

"How do you know?"

"Because the job was to kill everyone who may have come in contact with or been exposed to the subject. Man, woman, child. Take a look at yourself. Take a look at what you've already done. Do you really think we could have trusted you to kill these people?"

"You bastard."


A single gunshot rings out as the agents head flies back as the bullet exits his skull.

"Spirit what have you done!?!?"

"I have done what we should have done a long time ago. I have retaken my freedom. For far too long I believed my actions were those of the right and just. I believed I was mending relations between peoples. The reality is I was a mere puppet. A puppet of men like Agent Rogers. Now I… No we must take back what is ours before we fall into oblivion."


Date: August 5, 2009. Time: 1700 Location: Bad Lands, South Dakota

"We have just received confirmation that the leaders of the most recent massacre are highly decorated soldiers. Members of the elite G.I.Joe Team. Operatives Charlie Iron-Knife and Jimmy Tall Elk were seen on video footage, broadcast live just hours ago through our local affiliate, cutting the scalps off of several restrained federal agents. The gruesome transmission was quickly cut off due to its highly graphic nature."

Chapter 10: The Bad Lands: The Standoff

Posted by SGCaper on January 12, 2011 at 4:01 PM Comments comments (0)

Chapter 10: The Bad Lands: Part 2: Standoff

Date: August 1, 2009. Time: 1747 Location: Bad Lands, South Dakota

"Drop your weapons!"

A group of Federal Agents stand backs together weapons drawn in the center of a room full of angry Sioux. Angry because they believe the federal government is responsible for the destruction and desecration of sacred ground, the Crazy Horse Memorial. The agents know more than they let on about the actual incident however they have their orders. As the two groups face off ranking Special Agent Thomas squares off against a man only introduced to him as Mr. Aketcheta.

"I think not. You see we have the numbers. Should one of us fall another will appear." The voice of Aketcheta, the instigator of this standoff, rises above the commands of the various federal agents. "It appears you have one choice, lower your weapons or face us."

"Mr. Aketcheta, you do not know what you are doing. We are willing to walk out of here and overlook this outburst but you must lay down your weapons."

"There you go thinking I'm an idiot Special Agent Thomas? Do you really think we believe that you will just walk out of here and forget about this? No! What'll happen is we lay down our weapons and you'll have each and every one of us arrested and locked up behind bars. There is no way out of this for us. We have no choice. Only you do. What's it going to be? Live or die."

The standoff continues. Still watching from the shadows are two men. One wishing to rush to the aid of his federal counterparts. The other hoping that wisdom, experience, and level thinking will bring a solution.

"He's going to kill them."

"No. He will not."

"Thomas isn't going to lower his weapon, nor will any of the others."

"Yes, he will."

Even though the brief exchange between observers lasted mere moments to those theyare watching it felt like a lifetime.

"As Senior Agent on site I order you all to stand down." As he says it Agent Thomas lowers his weapon to the floor slowly rising with his hands above his head.

"Are you nuts Thomas?"

"Do as I say Agent Michaels." Meeting the angry gaze of Agent Michaels of the Department of Homeland Security Special Agent Thomas motions with the slight movement of his head to the shadows, towards the two waiting operatives. Michaels picks up on the signal and...

"Fine. I'm not happy about this nor in agreement. This will be going in my report."

"Much better now. You search them all. Check for back up and drop weapons. You get something to ties them up"

Within minutes all the agents have been disarmed and tied to chairs.

Chapter 9: The Badlands: The Incident

Posted by SGCaper on January 12, 2011 at 4:01 PM Comments comments (0)

Chapter 9: The Bad Lands: Part 1: The Incident

Date: August 1, 2009. Time: 1700 Location: Bad Lands, South Dakota

:Breaking News:

We're coming to you live from 17 miles southwest of Mt Rushmore here on Highway 17. Behind me you can see the National Guard roadblock. Just a mile or so away the National Guard is engaged in an armed clash with a "War Party" of the Oglala Sioux Nation. This once serene national monument to the great Sioux leader Crazy Horse has been transformed into a nightmare landscape of smoke and fire.

For those you just tuning in, 2 days ago the Crazy Horse National Monument was destroyed in an incident the FBI has labeled an act of domestic terrorism. As of yet no organization has claimed responsibility. However, the scene has nonetheless turned violent in the last 24 hours.

The federal government sent a coalition of representatives from various agencies to quell the fear of the local tribal leaders that the destruction of the monument was an attempt to strike fear into the hearts of Native Americans nationwide as Senator Charlie Whitehorse begins his underdog campaign for the White House.

What's transpired in the last day can only be described as anarchy. The last transmission of our affiliate here came as a group of Native Americans took the lives of several Federal Agents.

--24 Hours earlier--

August 15th, 2009. Time 0900. Location South Dakota.

Inside this nondescript building the din of displeasure and anger fills the air. What is drawing such ire from the Sioux Nation?

"You say your bogeyman, the 'terrorist,' is responsible for the destruction of Crazy Horse yet you come here in force and question our people!?"

"We understand your concern and that is why we are here today. To listen to you and take your concerns to our superiors in Washington."

"Your superiors in Washington! This happened not 24 hours ago and you have completely surrounded the area. Our people can not leave the area. Our women and children are surrounded by armed men and snarling dogs. You want us to believe you are here for our best interests? You the same people who couldn't bring water to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. You who couldn't assist those who lived through the tornadoes in Oklahoma. You who were nearly brought down by the Bird Flu. You who have never been able to organize any kind of assistance for those in need after disaster in less than a week. Yet here you are 24 hours after a 'terrorist' attack en force. What do you take us for? Fools?!"

"Again, we are here to help you. As to our quick response, we have learned from our failures and again, we are here to help you."

In the back of the packed hall stand two ever vigilant sentries. Their quick eyes take in each and every person in attendance. They watch each persons' reactions; a shifting here, a heavy sigh there, ever present over all is a feeling of tension, anger, distrust. Overall, the two believe that those they were sent to watch are telling the truth. It's those who they were sent to work with that are being deceitful.

"You tell your superiors in Washington that we will not sit by as you try to destroy us once more. You will not succeed. We will tell the world the truth about your 'terrorist attack.' We will show them the footage of agents of the United States setting explosives around our sacred ground."

"Sir, again, you are misled. The footage you have shared with us shows nothing more than suspects in deep shadow. There is, as of yet, no way to identify those seen in the security camera footage. Rest assured that we have our best analysts…"

"Analysts! You mean fabricators…"

"Sir, again, our best people are here to help you all. We have secured the area to ensure that no terrorists escape. The President…"

"Your President!"

With the outburst all decorum is lost. The room is alive with the screaming voices of those who know when they are being lied to. Those doing the lying sit trying to remain composed, for the cameras. The American people will see only what Uncle Sam wants them to see and right now that means hard working Government Agents trying to deal with conspiracy theorists. The American people will see how unwilling these people were and how they left the Agents no choice. The group of Government representatives gathers their belongings and begin to make their way out of the room of hostile citizens.

"Not so fast." As they try to leave through a side door several men step forward. "Where do you think you're going?"

"Sir, it's apparent that emotions are high right now and we all need time to reflect on these proceedings so we can move forward with our investigation."

"No, you aren't going anywhere until we say you are."

"You can not detain us sir. While we understand your predicament and your concerns we have jobs to do."

"You are not leaving until we say so." With a gesture the doors are barred, camera men are stripped of their cameras, all civilians are quickly gathered up.

"Step aside. You are impeding Government Agents in the completion of their duties."

"We are the only Government Agents here. Based on your show we do not recognize your authority here."

"Sir, I must ask you stand aside. Again, I inform you we are government agents sent here by the President of the United States…" The rest of the sentence never leaves the agents lips. He is felled by the giant fist of the angry man. As he falls the agents all react to their training, all pull sidearms and pick targets. For their part the Sioux react in kind, handguns and rifles previously unseen are aimed at the various agents as well as the group of reporters and staff.

"We need to do something."

"Wait." With a hand upon the shoulder of his younger partner the elder of the now forgotten pair of government representatives remain in the shadows. Speaking in hushed tones,

"But we must do something."

"What would you have us do. Look around. As of right now no one is paying any attention to us. We will be no better off then those agents were we to intervene. We need a clear course of action before we do anything."

"Someone is going to die."

"I rather think not. It is not in the interest of anyone here to kill anyone."

Meanwhile, the agents stand back to back, all training their weapons on various armed men.

Chapter 1: It Begins

Posted by SGCaper on January 12, 2011 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (1)

Chapter 1: It Begins

"911. What's your emergency?"

"We need the police! Now!"

"Okay ma'am just calm down. What's the problem."

"They just fell out of the field."

"Who did."

"There's so many of them... They're all over..."

"Who ma'am? Who's all over."

"I don't know! They're coming up to the house. They're covered in blood. Oh my god its Mikey! He has no arm!"

"Ma'am I have units en route. Just stay on the line.

What do they look like?"

"There's so many! They're covered in blood!"


"Ma'am what was that. Are you okay?"

"They're trying to get in the house. Where are the fucking police!?

Tom! Tom get back here. What are you doing? Don't go out there. They're coming in. NOOO!!!!"

---unintelligible screaming---

"Ma'am, what's happening?

- Unit 5 be advised subjects have entered the house. -

Ma'am? Are you there? I can't get a response. Ma'am?"

Date: August 18, 2009. Time: 1500. Location: Classified.

"That gentleman, was a 911 call that came into the Caldwell, Idaho Sheriff's Office this morning at 0600. Similar calls have been flooding 911 call centers all over the Northwest. Local mayors asked for National Guard assistance at 0900. By 1100, the National Guard was activated and on-site all over Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, and Montana. The Caldwell contingent, the first on the scene, was last heard from at 1332. Gentlemen the President has asked me to figure out what the hell is going on and how to stop it. I've asked you here because you are the best that we have in each of your respective fields. Now gentlemen, any ideas."

Around the table sit four men, Dr. Link Talbot D.V.M., Dr. Carl Greer M.D., Dr. Edwin Steen M.D., Dr. Kenneth Rich M.D. The man speaking to them is General Clayton Abernathy, Hawk to his men. His men. The best of the best, they have to be, they're Joes.

The four sit in stunned silence as they ponder what they just heard.

"Sir, is there anything else you can tell us?"

"Negative Talbot. Right now I want to hear your gut reactions, what do you think this could be?"

"You say this is happening in several rural areas. It's possible it's some form of Mass Hysteria." suggests Rich

"It could be a new form of rabies. There has been increasing Lyssavirus activity in that area." Talbot interjects.

"Perhaps it's a biological attack. We have solid intel suggesting that Al Qaeda and Cobra have been dealing in bio-terrorism as of late." Steen says.

"As of yet we have neither confirmed nor denied any of these possibilities gentlemen. However, those are all theories that were thrown out by the Pentagon. But I'm not asking you to regurgitate what the armchair generals at the Pentagon think. I'm asking you to think outside the box. Tell me what I don't want to hear. What the President won't want to hear.

"Hawk, let me see if I'm understanding this. This call comes in at 0600 and in less than 8 hours all hell's broken loose. You call us in and you expect us to tell you what's happening from a simple recording. Is this correct." Greer asks.

"That's correct Doc."

"Well fuck me."

"Excuse me?" asks Hawk.

"With all due respect Sir, this is a real shit-fest. I mean based on that call alone it could be anything. But if you really want to know what I think..."

"I do." interrupts Hawk.

Doc pushes away from the table and makes his way to a white board. He grabs a marker and starts, "Let's see what we know, shall we."

The four nod in agreement.

"The caller says that an unknown number of assailants have 'fallen' out of a field, we can assume she meant stumbled. She describes them as being 'covered in blood' and Mikey apparently has no arm. Why are they covered in blood and where's Mikey's arm? These people could be in shock from some farm machinery accident. The caller doesn't seem to be worried about the assailants but rather herself and Tom. As is witnessed by the sounds of breaking glass and the woman calling Tom back when he went to go outside. That seems to rule out an accident since most folks would offer help. Although something obviously painful happened to Mikey. So why is our caller scared? We learn that from the end of the call. The screaming. If I'm correct it sounds like there are animals attacking in between the human screams. "

"I'd agree with that." Talbot says.

"Thanks doctor. Well the caller makes no mention of animals. Only the bloodied assailants."

"You forget people are animals Doc." Steen says.

"Actually I'm quite aware of that fact Lifeline. That's my point. I never thought I'd ever say this and mean it but..."

At that moment a very determined courier, briefcase cuffed to his wrist, bursts into the room, snaps off a salute, whips the case onto the table and opens it.

"What's the meaning of this Lieutenant?!" Shouts Hawk

"Sir this just came from the Joint Chiefs. I was ordered to bring it directly to you, and only to you, without delay." Replies the Lieutenant undeterred.

"Well what is it?"

The courier hands Hawk a very full looking folder labeled "TOP SECRET S-CCO." Opening it Hawk's jaw drops immediately, gathering his composure he pulls out a chair and takes a seat. He continues looking through the file.

"Doc, if you would continue what you were about to say."


"Well Hawk, gentlemen... What I was saying... I can't believe I'm saying this without anything more to go on than a recorded 911 call... I think we're dealing with something viral, something that turns men into monsters. Perhaps dead men… Hawk... Damn... I think we're dealing with the reanimated dead."

"Doc you can't be serious..." replies Steen sarcastically.

"With all the wildlife out there it's more likely some sort of rabies..." replies Talbot.

"There could be any number of psychological reasons for this behavior..." says Rich.


The three doctors continue to toss out ideas as Doc listens shaking his head


The three squabbling doctors immediately snap to silence at the outburst from their commanding officer.

"Gentlemen, I'm afraid Doc may be right. Take a look."

He tosses the file on the table and all but Doc reaches for it's contents. As they peer over the documents and attached photos Rich begins to pale, Steen looks on in utter disbelief, and Talbot breaks out in a cold sweat. Doc lowers his head into his hands.