Chapter 2: Ansem's Death
24 Hours after Initial Outbreak
The East Coast of America is overrun with the cannibalistic undead.
In between the Hudson, Potomac, and Delaware rivers quarantine is broken.
Zombies are gorging on the city masses, only biting, never finishing their meals, forming an unstoppable horde set to consume the entire eastern seaboard.
Every plane is grounded, train derailed, and boat burned in a desperate attempt to contain the epidemic before it goes worldwide. The President sits safely underground in NORAD with one hand over a red phone, waiting until he has to say the four words he always feared… Initiate Project Clean Sweep
2.1.0 A Thousand Leagues from the Storm
Dr. Samuel Gordon Chase currently resides in the Cheyenne Mountain Complex.
Unbeknownst to him, he had landed himself in the very same stronghold as the President of the United States. He was stuck in the safest place in the country, trying to get to the front-line of the outbreak.
Samuel entered the helicopter docking bay. All of the air force troops were flocking in droves to the outbreak. Samuel ran up on one of the pilots attempting to take off. “I need a helicopter back to New York!”
“Sorry doctor, all transports are currently being used to evacuate.”
“Which helicopter is going furthest east?”
“Captain Decker,” the pilot pointed him out, “is taking a team into the red zone…”
“Where is that?”
Samuel thought to himself, ‘close enough.’ He ran across the helipad and made his way over to the runways, where the pilot had pointed. He climbed aboard Decker’s ship. As he crawled through the bowels, he was grabbed around a corner.
“You’re not supposed to be here.” The man who apprehended him said.
“Let go of me, I’m a doctor, I’m part of the rescue team.”
“This isn’t a rescue mission, Doctor. This is a demolitions op.”
“The Commander and Chief is about to order the bombing of all the major cities on the east coast.”
“Is New York one of them?”
“It’s second on the list.”
Samuel was taken off the plane and escorted back to his room at the base. He tried walking outside into the hallway but the guard they had stationed by his door did not allow it. Samuel was trapped in his room without any television, radio, or the freedom of leaving. He was officially a prisoner. The thought of Vanessa, his wife, suffering the gruesome death being described on all the reports, eaten alive, and his kids becoming the living dead, walking hell on earth, terrorized his mind inside this small bunk room. And soon they might even be nuked by the friggin' president. Samuel had to get out.
The door swung open and Samuel tried to leave again. When the guard stopped him he motioned that he was going to the med-center, but they didn’t buy it. As he was being escorted back, right before he tried hitting the guard to escape, Atticus Ross approached them, telling the guard that General Saarsgard needs to see the doctor immediately. Samuel followed Atticus out and asked him, “What does the General need me for?”
“The general is in Hartford, Connecticut on the Northern Front.”
Samuel thought to himself, this kid wanted to help him. “Can you get me out of here, Lieutenant Ross?”
“Actually it’s Captain Ross now.”
“Do you have your own-"
“…Plane? Don't worry, Doc. That's where we're headed.” Atticus led Samuel out of the barracks and into a side dock away from the main bay.
Their prototype was sitting on the dock. “Is this …it…?”
“Yes, but we do not have your devices on board. Right now it is your basic air and space craft, equipped with a full arsenal and hovering tech.”
“How fast can you get me to New York, Captain?”
“On the contrary Doc, I can only help you as much as obeying my orders can allow me to.”
“What are your orders?”
“They have received Intel of what might be the cause of all this. I have been ordered to find a woman who is involved with a shipping company.”
“That’s all they give you?”
“Right now, everyone is on a need to know basis, Doctor. I have a full description of this woman….Rebecca….Pratt…the operation objectives and the maps, but besides that…yeah…”
“How dangerous did they tell you it was?”
“It’s a solo mission.”
“That sounds deceiving.”
“They don’t expect me to come back.”
Samuel was speechless.
“This vessel is expendable to them.”
Atticus rubbed his hand along the side of his slick plane. “War Bird” That was her name. He had spent over three thousand hours in the cockpit of the War Bird. Samuel knew the Captain’s orders were interfering with his loyalties to the mission: Saarsgard’s vision and the War Bird.
“I will help you find her.” Samuel promised Atticus.
“And whatever happens, if we come out of it alive, I will help you get to your family Doctor Chase.”
“What about your orders?”
“Doctor, we are at Def-con two.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re all nuked by day’s end.”
“That’s risky and grim, Captain.”
“It’s time to go, Doc.”
They started up the War Bird’s main lines. Atticus fueled up auxiliary fuel tanks and Samuel helped him move them into the cargo bay. “Do we have guns?”
“Do you know how to use a gun, Doctor Chase?”
“I was an eagle scout. I can fire a rifle.”
“Good. I have packed us a full armory and pantry. We may have to live in this bird for a while.”
“What of my devices?”
“They are being held by the General’s men the last time I heard. If you want to save your family we must go now and leave them behind.”
Atticus was right. They boarded and sealed the ship. Once air-locked, Samuel followed Atticus to the bridge. Atticus sat down in the pilot's seat on the left. Besides that was only one other seat to the right.
Samuel wondered, “Is that…”
“Your seat?” Atticus inferred, “Yes. This vessel was made for you, Doctor Chase.”
Samuel sat down next to Atticus and buckled into his seat. Two computer screens lowered from above him and keyboards unfolding from his seat’s armrests.
“How are we supposed to transport survivors?”
“How are we supposed to transport survivors?”
“Don’t worry, Doc. There is plenty of room in the War Bird.”
Atticus launched out of the R&D dock of the Colorado Air Force complex harboring a stowaway. By the time the guard had figured out that General Saarsgard was no longer at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Samuel was already well on his way back to the East Coast.