Attack on the Pentagon
Chapter 2: "Cold War"
The Pentagon - Arlington County, Virginia, United States of America
“Level 2: Laboratories.”
As the cargo elevator doors opened, an overbearing stench of rotten corpses and formaldehyde wafted into the open elevator, overtaking the senses of the four VIPs, weapons ready. They looked down the artificially-lit hallway to nothingness. The hallway appeared endless, as vision was obscured by a slight fog emanating from metal grating in the center of the floor. As the group searched the hallway, passing several locked-down laboratories, they noted the scattered papers, and much more grim, the blood stains marking the floor as well as bloody hand-prints on sections of the wall. All was quiet outside of the low hum of the power generator.
Secretary McNamara positioned himself ahead of the others, detouring into the messy, cramped generator room. With three open doorways leading in, the power room sat in the center of this floor, amid the maze of hallways inter-splicing top secret laboratories beneath the surface. The large power switch near the doorway on the right was flipped in the deactivated position. Secretary McNamara lifted the rusty lever back into position, re-activating all power throughout the Pentagon.
“Power restored. We are now at DEFCON 1. Security lock-down active.”
The President rejoiced, “Excellent, the Pentagon is now under full lock-down. The enemy has been contained.”
Richard Nixon grumbled to himself, “And so have we!”
“Our next move is making contact with the White House so we can let them know exactly what we are dealing with. And if we succeed in that mission, then we can all worry about escape. We are making history today, gentlemen.”
President Kennedy strode to a red phone sitting on a desk in the corner, reaching out to it.
Prime Minister Castro inquired, “Making a phone call?”
“This phone is a direct line to Baikonur Cosmodrome, to be used in the case of an international emergency the Soviets need to know about. I'd say this qualifies.”
The President put the corded phone to his ear, listening for the voice on the other side.
“What's the situation there, doctor? This is President John Kennedy. The Pentagon has been brea-”
“Wha? Doctor? I am no doctor but, hey, I know a guy.”
The voice on the other end of the line fumbled over his words, the volume incredibly loud as if the receiver were right up to his mouth. The inflection was certainly Russian, however.
“Yes, well, I need to speak with a doctor of the Ascension Group immedi-”
A loud thud could be heard on the other end of the line, as if the phone were dropped on the floor or slammed against a concrete wall. Kennedy physically recoiled at the sudden noise, then return to calmness awaiting the return of the voice. After a few moments, the Russian returned to the phone, laughing heartily.
“Heh, okay the doctor is pissed right now, try calling again later, Да?”
“No no no no, this is urgent! There is an undead outbreak in the Pentagon, and...what are you doing?”
The sound of liquid sloshing and loud gulping filled Kennedy's ears as he listened to the phone. McNamara approached, out-stretching his hand to Kennedy, taking his place at the phone. All that could be heard was the mumbling of the Russian man, now more distant from the phone.
“Are you alright? What is going on there? If there is a crisis, we need to know about it!”
The mumbling and heavy breathing continued, before being outmatched by the loud bang of a shotgun, following by yelling, and the sound of beasts much like those present in the Pentagon. The sound of rustling could be heard from the Russian man, then static as if the phone line were cut. McNamara hung up the phone, looking to the President.
“It appears the Soviets are compromised as well. This outbreak of...things has gotten there too.”
“Then time is of the essence. We must get to the secret panic room on the second floor. There we have a connection with the White House, assuming they are not compromised as well. But first, we must enact Protocol 87.”
Gobsmacked, McNamara took Kennedy aside the others, speaking quietly to his ears only.
“Mr. President, the destruction of experimental weaponry and test subjects in Pentagon level three is not our responsibility. The longer we stay on this level, the more danger you are put in.”
“I don't see any of our scientists around, do you? We must make sure this technology never enters the wrong hands.”
Near the doorway of the power room stood Prime Minister Castro, lighting a new cigar, with Nixon nowhere in sight.
McNamara scolded the cheery Prime Minister, “Where is Nixon?!”
“He's not on my leash, cabron.”
McNamara exited into the hallway, followed by Kennedy and Castro. The sound of mumbling and slight laughter could be heard in a nearby lab, the experimental weaponry lab to be precise. Inside, Nixon stood slouched in the corner, further mumbling to himself as the others approached. Only once he realized he had been found did he snap out of his trance. He placed both arms in the air, the experimental Winter's Howl project being gripped in his right hand.
“Uhhh, I was just looking, and-”
“You were snooping around top-secret government laboratories. I'll have you know you are liable to be tried for treason, you crook!”
“Hey, I am not-”
McNamara reached for the unfinished piece of equipment, before Nixon recoiled back, holding it away.
“Easy there, I just want to know what it does, Bob...”
“It is not your place to know such information.”
“But couldn't it prove useful in...aiding our escape from these foul creatures?”
Prime Minster Castro, outstretched his smoking hand, pointing the cigar at Nixon as if it were his finger.
“Hey, he has a point! It takes more than a little firepower to spark a revolution, comrades.”
President Kennedy pulled McNamara aside, “It's true, we will need all the firepower we can get if we want to survive and escape with our lives.”
Nixon rejoiced, holding the weapon close and fiddling with the exposed circuit board of the experiment.
Kennedy pointed at the weapon, “However, Dick, you will relinquish care of that device to either one of us once we are at a point of safety, and it will be destroyed. You will be asked to swear under oath that you never tell anyone of its existence. Prime Minister, I trust that you will do the same?”
“If we get out of here, that is, Jack.”
“Then we are in agreement. Dick? Please, be careful with that device.”
Nixon nodded in approval, wielding the weapon in one hand like a handgun, his finger ready to pull the trigger should any undead come his way.
There was little in the ways of life in the recesses of the Pentagon's lower levels. Despite the abundance of zombie activity on the first two floors, and the sure death of every scientist on this level, there was not a sign of anything else within the laboratory level as of yet, but the VIPs kept their wits about them as they traversed the crossing hallways. They entered a room not far from the power generator. At the center was an operating table with a blinding light pointed at a dissected human corpse. Flies buzzed around the cadaver's face, which was horribly disfigured, covered in growths and lumps, and maggots festered in the exposed section of his abdomen. Around the room was more blood coating areas of the wall, as well as several pods filled with more cadavers, the heads exposed to the open air and the stench of formaldehyde stronger than ever. Kennedy approached the pods, deactivating them one by one. Without power to preserve them, the cadavers would rot away like the one on the operating table.
Disgusted, Castro inquired to the room's purpose, “What kind of experiments are your people doing here? This man's face, here, leads me to question your ethics, Jack.”
“I'm afraid I can't answer that, Prime Minister. There are things we've done here that should never be repeated by anyone.”
Sickened, Castro exited the room into the hallway. The other soon joined, leaving the macabre room and entering a new one. At the center of the room were two more operating tables, with the corpse of a pig resting on one table. Aside one of the tables, however, was a live pig suspended in the air on a hammock. The pig kicked its legs to try and break free to no avail, and it squealed as the VIPs entered the room.
Nixon approached the pig, laughing to himself.
“You mean there were no survivors but this little pig that can't even defend itself?”
Castro chuckled along with him; McNamara, however, was not amused.
“You think this is some joke, do you? These men died for their country. Show some damn respect.”
As the tension ended, the group fanned out, searching the room. At the left was a strange wooden box emitting a blue light. Two white question marks adorned the covering of the box, beckoning Fidel to open it. The covering of the box came wide open as Castro reached for it. Out of the glow from within the box came a series of weapons, appearing and disappearing in a random fashion, before finally settling on a light machine gun, tan in color. Castro reached for the weapon, still pristine as if right from the assembly line.
The attention of the others was caught by the sudden event. The President approached the box, crouching down near it in amazement.
“My God. They finally got it working.”
From the other end of the room, Secretary McNamara called out to Kennedy.
“Mr. President! You better have a look at this.”
In the corner of the room were five spacious metal cages. Within two were pigs, meant to be there. The corpses had been mauled, blood soaking the floor below them from open flesh wounds. The three other cages, however, were missing their test subjects.
Kennedy reached for the door of one of the cages, which upon a light push came wide open before resting back into place.
From the center of the room, the pig squealed louder than ever before, violently shaking and coming loose of its restraints, sprinting away into the hallway out of fear.
Kennedy cocked his China Lake. “Bob, we have a problem.”
From inside the hall, glass could be heard shattering, as well as the howling and moaning of the undead. Around the corner from the hallway came a four-legged horror. Its skin was a sickly, pale color, and it lacked any facial features aside from maw filled with razor-like teeth. The creature twitched and roared, swinging its head as if trying to sense their location. More identical beasts soon followed, attached to the ceiling and crawling ever closer, and behind them was a horde of undead scientists frothing at the mouth and out for blood.
Fidel fired first, gunning down several zombies as well as one of the crawling beasts. The creature twitched and curled itself into a position much like a dying spider, before violently exploding, releasing a cloud of visible green gas. Zombies caught inside the cloud began to spurt blood from their mouths and break out with lumps on their skin before dying as well.
“Do not breathe in that gas!” Kennedy fired a grenade through the window, dispersing the crowd of zombies.
Richard Nixon raised the Winter's Howl, pointing it towards the doorway into the room and pulling the trigger. With heavy recoil, the weapon shot a whirlwind of ice in the direction of the horde, freezing them into place. As more zombies arrived, they pushed the frozen undead aside, shattering them to bits on the floor.
“Stay cool, hippies! Ha ha ha!”
Nixon continued firing the weapon as more zombies gathered, leading the charge out of the cramped room. Kennedy brandished his Colt, firing at any zombies not caught in the ice storm.
“Into the power room! I have a way out!”
Fidel, Nixon, and McNamara each watched a doorway into the confined power room, shooting anything to walk in their sights. President Kennedy shoved a chalkboard in the back corner of the room aside, giving him full view of a set of computer screens. Upon entering his pass-code, the back wall of the room shifted open, revealing a bright red beam of light emanating from a pad on the floor. The beam was encircled by red digits floating through the air around the center light.
“Everyone into the teleporter!”
Nixon turned back, his mind boggled by the device, “Tele-who-what-now?”
“No time to argue! I will cover you!”
Kennedy stood with his back aside McNamara's, blasting apart the skull of a flesh-eater swinging its arms at him.
“Mr. President, what is that thing? It's concerning I don't know about these things.”
“There are a great many things concerning about this situation, Secretary, and that is the one that stood out to you?”
“Do you even know if that thing can handle all four of us going through? Or whether or not it even works?”
“As I say, Bob, those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.”
As the zombies began to overwhelm them, pushing them closer to the teleporter, President Kennedy leaped in not long after touching McNamara's shoulder. McNamara followed suit once he had dispensed the last shell from his shotgun.
For mere moments, McNamara felt nothing, saw nothing, and heard nothing. All at once, long lines of numbers began to flash in his mind as he felt his body being reformed once again. This strange device seemingly of another world had worked perfectly. The question of its origins were no longer in McNamara's mind, but whether it could send them away to sure safety.