Waking Gods Page 69

Speaking of…Dr. Franklin flew to Davison Army Airfield in Virginia earlier today. She left for New York on a UH-72 and landed at Bellevue Hospital about twenty minutes ago. She is driving the rest of the way, alone. Plan is: She’ll approach the robot on foot. We want them to see her. She’ll spray bacteria on whatever section of the robot she can reach. If she’s right, that should disable it within a few minutes. If she’s not…Let’s just hope she’s right. Is that her on number four?

[Yes, sir.]

Put her on the big screen. She’ll get off the FDR at 96th…there…she’ll enter Central Park at 97th. Put her on audio. Dr. Franklin, you’re with us?

{Yes, sir. Had to go around a few abandoned cars, but I’ll make it. Two minutes.}

Good. We have you onscreen. Let us know when you get there.

All right people! You heard the lady. Two minutes! Remember, this is her show. If she asks for something, don’t look at me, just do it. You see anything, you let her know.

{General, I’m entering Central Park.}

Roger that. We’re ready when you are.

Everyone. Stay sharp. I wanna know if that robot so much as farts in her general direction.

{I’m getting off here, General.}

Very well. Rescue team is standing by. Holler if you need anything.

{Thank you. Wish me luck.}

Luck is believing you’re lucky. Go get ’em.

She’s having a hard time getting the containers out of the car. Jamie, how much does this bacteria stuff weigh?

[About 160 pounds.]

Thank you…How the hell do you know?

[That’s how much a beer keg weighs. I figured, they’re both liquids…]

We’re lucky to have you. All right, she’s moving towards the robot. Any sign of movement?

[No, sir. Nothing on infra—]

Goddammit! What’s Themis doing there? Gimme that radio! Couture, is that you?

<Yes, sir. Me and Eva.>

You goddamn son of a bitch! Get your dumb ass out of there before you get her killed.

<Eva! Raise your arm! I can’t talk, sir. Bye…>

Don’t you hang up on me, son! Don’t you dare hang up on me! Jamie, get him back.

[General, the alien robot is firing on Themis.]

Yes, I can see that! Come on, Vincent, the shield! Dammit, put your shield up! Good boy! They’re gonna get slaughtered. Dr. Franklin. You need to get out of there!

{Yes, General! That’s what I’m trying to do!}

They’re getting pounded. Does the kid even know how to fire the weapon?

[Not as far as I know, sir. They only practiced walking.]

Goddamn, that was stupid! Why is Dr. Franklin still there? No! No! Leave the damn keg!

[She’s running now, sir.]

It’s about time.

[Themis is up.]

What the hell are they doing?

[What are they doing, sir?]

Is there an echo in this room? They’re…They’re giving it a bear hug! Dammit, Couture! They’ll never be able to hold on with a ten-year-old controlling the arms.

Jamie, tell Officer Langdon to drive north as fast as he can, I have a bad feeling about this.

[I’m on it, sir. He’ll be—]

What just happened?

[Sir, we lost video, communications—]

Goddamn! Everyone listen! We’re deaf and we’re blind. That is unacceptable. Jamie, call Dr. Franklin on her cell. FBI, can you get more drones in the air?

[Ten minutes.]

We don’t have ten minutes. This will be over in two. Jamie! How about that call?

[It goes straight to voicemail. Cell towers must be down near the park.]

Keep trying. General, is there a camera on that chopper of yours?

[There’s one with STS, but it transmits via satellite.]

Get it airborne anyway. One of your men must have a cellphone with a camera. They couldn’t have knocked out every cell tower in Manhattan. Jamie, can you get a video call on the big screen?

[In the next minute, no. I can show it on my laptop. It’s in my locker.]

Then what the hell are you still doing here! Gentlemen, I want eyes on in two minutes. Two minutes!

I’ll call the president.

 

 

FILE NO. 1632


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

Location: Somewhere in Missouri

—Vincent! What are you doing?

—What does it look like I’m doing? I’m getting us to New York so we can do…God knows what and save Rose.

—We keep reappearing on the same highway.

—Well, yeah…We don’t have GPS anymore. If I transport us somewhere far, then…well, then we’ll be far, and we won’t know where we are. We can’t exactly stop for directions, you know. So I’m following the highway.

—Won’t that take forever?

—I’m jumping about two miles every three seconds. We’re not exactly standing still.

—I don’t think we have enough time.

—Not enough…That’s twenty-four hundred miles an hour! We’ll be there in thirty minutes.

—We need to go faster.

—How do you know? Do these visions of yours come with a time stamp or something?

—Please!

—You wanna go faster? How about…this?

—AAAAH! Where are we?

—We are…in the Atlantic Ocean. I just jumped twelve hundred miles due east. If I’m correct, we’re off the coast, somewhere near Atlantic City. If not, then I don’t know. But I got the water part right. We’re definitely in the ocean.

—I can’t see anything! I’m—

—You’re a little freaked-out, aren’t you?

—Can you get us out of here?

—Sure…Pretty sure.

—Please! Please! Go!

—Hey! You’re the one who wanted to go faster! I was perfectly fine on the highway, but you thought three times the speed of sound was too…leisurely.

—GET US OUT OF HERE!

—OK! OK! I’m turning us around! There! We’re moving again!

—We’re still underwater!

—Now! There we are. Well, that’s not Atlantic City, but it’s the shore and we’re south of where we’re going. We’ll just follow the coast to New York. Here. Enjoy the view. You’ll be able to see New York in a couple jumps…Look! Over there. That’s Manhattan.

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