Waking Gods Page 68

—If I could make it walk…You’re right. I have no idea how to do this. But it has to happen today, so I’ll just have to improvise if I can’t come up with anything before Vincent and Eva come back with the bacteria. I’ll bring a shovel.

—Seven billion lives on the line, and you’ll improvise—

—I wish I had something better, I—

—Dr. Franklin.

—Yes?

—Good luck.

 

 

FILE NO. 1629


MISSION REPORT—VINCENT COUTURE, CONSULTANT, EDC AND EVA REYES

Location: Shadow Government Bunker, Lenexa, KS

—This is Vincent Couture. I’m with Eva Reyes, back at the base. We had a lovely trip to China. They said they needed an extra couple hours to get the bacteria ready for transport. They had put it in a refrigerated container that wasn’t gonna fit through our hatch, so…I asked Eva what was on her bucket list, and she said she’d like to see the pyramids. We crossed that one off. We were only there for five minutes, but she was happy. You were, Eva! You looked happy, anyway. She’s smiling. Eva was a champ. We didn’t even fall once, and she didn’t freak out—OK, maybe a little—when we were at the bottom of the sea. We made it to Dalian just in time. We loaded the cargo and headed home. Total duration of our Chinese escapade: two hours, forty-seven minutes.

Dr. Franklin left for New York with the bacterial culture about an hour ago. At least I hope that was bacterial culture. It might have been beer. The friendly folks at the Dalian University of Technology gave us three kegs. For real, regular college-kid drink-from-the-tap-until-you-pass-out kegs. So, if Rose can’t save humanity with what’s in there, there’s at least hope for a decent end-of-the-world party. Not for you, Eva, but we’ll find you some Army-issued apple juice somewhere.

—Hey!

—OK. Maybe a sip. I could use a beer right about now. Dr. Franklin is probably there already. General Govender and the rest of the staff are in the control room. They have a bunch of drones up there—really cool quadcopters, they won’t let me play with them—so they can see from different angles. It’s like a football game. Eva…I think Eva was scared a little. She didn’t wanna go, but she’s racking up the nerves as we speak. I guess we’ll—

—It won’t work.

—I’m sorry, what’d you say?

—IT WON’T WORK!

—What are you talking about, Eva?

—Rose! Her plan. It won’t work!

—How do you know?

—I…I just know.

—You saw something, didn’t you?

—Yes.

—What did you see?

—She’ll get stepped on. She’ll die.

—Why do they step on her?

—I don’t know! Maybe it’s an accident. Maybe they just don’t see her. All I know is she’ll die. She gets crushed into the ground. Her body—

—OK, that’s enough! Rose said that your visions are…possible futures, that what you see might not happen at all.

—She’ll die! Don’t try to make me feel better. I’m telling you, she’ll die.

—…

—Vincent, please!

—We’ll die if we go, Eva. You’ll die!

—We’ll all die if we don’t. Please trust me.

—…

—Say something!

—Crap.

—What does that mean?

—That means…That means crap! Grab your gear! We can’t just let her die, now can we? Hell, I’ve lived a good life. You got to see the pyramids, and Kansas, eat MREs three times a day. What else is there, really?

—Thank you.

—Ha! This might be the greatest mistake anyone has ever made in the history of the human race. You’re just lucky there aren’t any adults left around to make responsible decisions.

—Should we tell the General?

—Not if you don’t want to be locked up in this room with half a dozen guards at the door.

—You think so?

—They’ve been planning this all day with just about everyone from the Army to the Coast Guard. I don’t think they’ll be really impressed when we tell them we wanna crash the party because the ten-year-old with a chip on her shoulder had a vision, while watching the Walking Dead, I might add.

—I was just asking. There’s no need to be mean.

—I’m sorry.

—It’s OK.

—I mean, I’m sorry that this is your life. You should be playing with dolls or something.

—I hate dolls.

 

 

FILE NO. 1631


MISSION LOG—BRIGADIER GENERAL EUGENE GOVENDER, COMMANDER, EARTH DEFENSE CORPS

Location: Shadow Government Bunker, Lenexa, KS

—We’re missing someone. Where’s Jamie?

[He went to the bathroom, General. Here he is.]

Nice of you to join us. Anything else you need to do, or can we get started?

[Sorry, sir. Won’t happen again.]

Damn right it won’t. All right, folks. Let’s get this show on the road. We have a full room today. As you know, we have no satellite capabilities. These boys in the white shirts over here are on loan from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, UAS division. They are our eyes and ears. Fellows, welcome to the EDC. How many drones do we have?

[Four, sir. One tracking your vehicle. Three standing by at Riverside Park.]

Get them in the air now. I want drones at the northern corners of the park, the other one on the 102nd Street crossing. I want the robot on every screen in this room before Dr. Franklin gets within two miles of that thing. How are we doing on the ground?

[Special Forces are in position at Bellevue Hospital. We also have an STS team standing by in case we need air evac.]

That was Lieutenant General Alan A. Simms, visiting us from Fort Bragg. He is in command of our extraction team. Thank you for joining us.

[Happy to serve, General.]

We couldn’t find anyone from special ops with the genetic makeup to survive a gas attack so these men will keep their distance. We did find one NYPD officer with the right DNA. I forget his name. Jamie?

[Officer…something.]

Thank you…Jamie. Thank you so much…Officer…something…is standing…

[Langdon!]

Dammit, Jamie! Officer Langdon is standing by at…Park and 110th. He can get Dr. Franklin out of there if this turns into a smoke fest.

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