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Attack on the Pentagon
Chapter 5: "Containment"
The Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia, United States of America
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara
November 6th, 1963
Through the opened door to the panic room the lower level of the war room became visible. The air was tinted blue and a slight haze permeated the air, yet every computer screen of the spacious room was still in operation. Between the four VIPs, there was no sound but the whirring of data tapes spinning and the adjustment of their weapons as they gripped them with fear.
The four continued to search the room with their eyes, President Kennedy becoming fixated on the large, vertically-oriented machine adjacent the open double doors of the panic room. It was red and white, and labeled Jugger-nog. The others stood silent and tense, pointing their weapons in every direction looking for any sign of movement, as Kennedy stood before the odd, yet familiar machine. Kennedy had seen the device before at Grooms Lake. It was a prototype created by the global research organization Group 935 which disbanded in 1945 after a series of financial blunders and their alignment with Nazi Germany during the second world war. How it arrived here was unknown to Kennedy, as he knew of only one of these red Perk-a-Cola machines to still exist and it was being stored at the Grooms Lake hangar. If this machine recovered from Griffin Station was here, perhaps the Speed Cola or Mule Kick machines could be found nearby. The miraculous appearance of these machines as well as that of the allusive magic box may be connected. President Kennedy looked back to the Panic Room entrance-way, where there stood hung on the wall a portrait of a legendary doctor, Edward Richtofen. Prior to joining Group 935, Doctor Richtofen made many great strides in biological and physical science, but once he joined the organization his mind began to deteriorate and in 1945 he disappeared along with many others and their work of the time; Perhaps it was wrong to re-tread Group 935's work. Perhaps it would be best if the legacy of Group 935 were buried along with its members.
From McNamara's position he could see the teleporter at the center of the war room, and the massive monitors adorning the walls of the upper levels. Held in his hands was a loaded weapon with an alien coat of paint; The entire exterior of the MP5k has been modified by the strange machine he and Jack had encountered in the panic room. According to Jack the light blue machine was called a “Pack-a-Punch” and it had improved on the design of the weapon once it entered the device. McNamara felt he was going mad; Kennedy, a trusted friend and his President, could not answer for the happenings of the day. Meanwhile, Castro was plotting something to sabotage their escape, and Nixon... he may have already lost it many years ago. McNamara looked to his rear back to President Kennedy, now holding in his left hand a red bottle from a peculiar machine they had passed upon leaving the panic room. He used the machine to pop open the cap on the head of the bottle before downing a helping of the bottle's contents and placing the bottle onto the ground adjacent to the machine.
With a hushed yell, McNamara called back to the Kennedy, “Mr. President!”
Kennedy approached McNamara and as he placed his hands onto McNamara's suit and gripped his shoulder, McNamara let out a yelp of pain from Kennedy's harsh grip.
Kennedy recoiled his hand, looking to it in shock and amazement before apologizing.
“Sorry Bob, that must be an effect of the-”
“Don't worry about it Mr. President. I'm done questioning your actions.”
Realizing the hurt in not only McNamara's shoulder but also his eyes, Kennedy chose his words carefully.
“Bob, do you remember reading about Group 935 in the dossiers from after the war?”
“They're related to all this. The undead. These machines. Most of our technology came from them. It was all kept classified from most of my administration. I realize now the error of our actions. Now, we must counter-act against these past errors to keep the peace.”
“What did you have in mind, Mr. President?”
“We have to prevent any outbreaks like this from happening again. I will brief you on the details of zombies and what makes them tick when we get back to Washington. With other outbreaks occurring around the world we need a defense against any future complications, and we need further research into the technology we are dealing with before it destroys us.”
“What about the Russians, should they become involved after what Castro has tried to do here today.”
“In truth this Cold War of ours is not over land or military might but of technology. The effects of Group 935's technology will be felt for generations, but it has been split between East and West. What the Soviets pilfered in Germany and what we found on the Moon base-”
Kennedy looked to McNamara silently as he processed the revelation. Like the others sent his way, McNamara came to accept it and let his friend know of a plan he had in mind after being sure Nixon and Castro were occupied elsewhere.
“We need a special operations military unit to deal with foreign and domestic zombie threats. A team of the best soldiers we can find to eradicate the threat wherever it is found.”
“That could prove effective, if we can find the right men for the job.”
“Sir, what about Alex Mason. He's an experienced Black Ops agent. From what we've pulled up on him he has cut all ties with his family. He has no one to share a secret as large as this one with.”
“Secrets, Bob? You see the irony, don't you?”
“But, I see your point. Mason may prove a valuable asset if your plan goes through. However, his involvement with Operation Flashpoint should be his highest priority. Speaking of, Bob, I'm thinking our meeting with Mr. Mason will have to be delayed due to 'inclement weather'.”
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara grinned, laughing off President Kennedy's joke. The two had shared an intimate, friendly moment their relationship had been sorely lacking.
Kennedy spoke up once more, “I will also speak with Johnson about a research organization to better understand the zombies and the technology left behind by Group 935. No longer will we try to bastardize it for our own sake. As long as I'm alive, our research program will use this technology safely and responsibly to improve our understanding and to prevent anything like this from every happening again.”
“A marvy idea, Mr. President.”
“Warning. Breach detected on Level Three. Initiate security protocol 115.”
While the President and Secretary of Defense had been distracted, the doors to the panic room had shut unexpectedly and Nixon was pounding on the doors with his palms. Castro raised his revolver, putting his back to Kennedy and McNamara.
“I'd be willing to wager we are in a mierda situation, Jack. Am I wrong?”
The three men stood silent as Nixon deployed one of the bullpup shotguns slung on his back and inched alongside the others. All four were tense, ready to pull the trigger. Kennedy mumbled to himself.
“Security protocol... 115. How did they... ”
After a moment of silence, McNamara spoke out loud, not diverting his view from the sights of his gun, “I don't think we are dealing with a zombie here today, Jack.”
Just then came a loud buzz and a whoosh as a flash emanated from the teleporter at the center of the war room. All four men paced closer to the teleporter, still standing several feet away while all pointing their weapons in the direction. McNamara was soaked in sweat throughout every part of his body as the stress took hold and the harsh, warm lights beat down on his face. He heard the sound of a boot hitting metal in front of him, and then another, and another, as if there were right before him, but no one was in sight. Then, he spotted the familiar numbers from his dream within the teleporter. Red, changing numbers floated in an aura where the sound of footsteps emanated. With them also came the sound of voices repeating the numbers; The same voices McNamara had heard inside the teleporter before. The numbers and footsteps grew louder as the entity encroached on the four. Nixon, Kennedy, and McNamara held their weapons high, while Castro began to lower his, appearing gobsmacked, for he saw what the others did not.
“You... it's... Yuri?”
The footsteps increased in pace until the red numbers engulfed Castro's frame, and before he could respond, his entire body vanished with a waft of mist. His entire body, his weapons, his cigar; All of it had disappeared with him bewildering the others.
McNamara yelled out, “Into the elevator, we have to get to the ground floor to be evacuated, immediately!”
Nixon leaped ahead, ascending the double staircase and reaching the elevator door, followed by Kennedy and McNamara. Nixon rapidly pounded the buttons on the control panel with a speed seemingly impossible. Still, the elevator refused; They were stuck in the war room for the time being.
“Jack! What the hell's wrong with this damn thing?”
“Whatever this is, it's activated protocol 115. Only those with level 115 clearance can use any electronic doorways or elevators.”
“Shouldn't you have level 115 clearance?”
“Level 115 clearance doesn't exist. Something's gone horribly wrong.”
Just then, the numbers had returned, floating ethereally and audibly.
Nixon removed the shotguns from his back once more, stating, “You don't say, Jack!”
Nixon appointed both shotguns in the direction of the ghost and crouched in a crab-like stance, firing both weapons rapidly into the void shouting as he did so.
“Eat lead you commie egghe-!”
The numbers soon enveloped his entire body, vanishing him as a last empty shell from his right-held weapon ejected onto the ground with a clang.
Kennedy and McNamara stood with their backs towards the locked elevator door, weapons pointed towards the stairs, McNamara's legs quivering.
“Mr. President. What the fuck is that thing?”
“I'll be honest with your Mr. Secretary, I don't know.”
And again, the numbers floated to the sound of footsteps and repeated codes towards the pair.
Kennedy looked to the image-less entity in shock as the numbers began to take hold, he looked up as if directly into the eyes of another human, asking, “Who are you?”
The whispers of numbers vanished along with the President in an instant leaving McNamara unequivocally alone. His legs gave as he sank down to the ground in a fetal position, though his sub-machine gun still in one stand pointed away. He began to hyper-ventilate, gasping for air and choking on fear. Once again the light at the teleporter flashed and footsteps swelled on the staircase. McNamara feared the grim reaper's grasp on the others would see be around him as the numbers clamoring grew louder. But, along with the cloud of red digits appeared an odd figure, as it rose up the stairs it came into full view taking McNamara's breath away. It was man, donning a white lab coat, his hair white and frazzled and his eyes obscured by scientific, four-lens bifocals. His expression was blank and emotionless, as his stance just as well. Strange markings in Russian and English as well as numbers were written all over his skin and lab coat, and there was a strap along his chest connected to a satchel resting on his back. The legs wearing black rubber boots began to pick up the pace as they approached the baffled Secretary. The voice uttering numbers near the man's body began to overlap with itself many times over, eventually sounding like screeching as it reached its cold arms around McNamara and pulled him close with extreme force. For a few moments, McNamara felt cold and weightless; Perhaps he was dead. An electronic voice continued to repeat various numbers somewhere nearby in a space which McNamara could not see nor feel.
As the numbers stopped, McNamara's vision returned as he realized he was in the laboratories of the Pentagon, nearby the power switch and teleporter. Sirens were blaring and lights flashing along the ceiling from the intruder. McNamara returned to his weak legs, close to vomiting, before realizing the MP5k once in his hands was now gone and nowhere to be found nearby. He paced to the doorway looking out onto a long pathway betwixt the laboratories. To his left he spotted him, the man in white; In his right hand he gripped McNamara's weapon by the handle.
“Hey, you! Where is the President?”
The thief turned its head backwards towards McNamara silently, before turning back and creeping away.
McNamara ran down the hallway in chase of the thief, and upon noticing, the thief began a hunched stretch towards the end of the forked hallway.
With no weapon, McNamara was forced to use his words to attempt to stop the ghostly scientist.
“Stop this instant!”
The thief turned right down a hallway splattered with blood, walking straight into another red teleporter beam before whisking away. For a moment, McNamara began to panic; The thief had escaped. If it could take over the Pentagon and potentially kidnap the President, there is no telling what else it is capable of now that it is free. Then, McNamara remembered that Kennedy had set the other downstairs teleporters to teleport at random to prevent more zombies from following them through to the war room. Only the teleporter inside the power room had a specific target destination. The thief was still on the laboratories floor and would be until it found the power room teleporter.
McNamara began to sprint back the way he came, before halting nearby a chalk outline drawn upon the wall. Upon reaching for it, a rifle materialized in his hands he had not seen before. It was silver coated, and very similar in design to rifles of the Soviet AK series, but not one he was familiar with. Now armed, McNamara paced towards the power room, then, as he passed another hallway to his right, the number could be heard along with running, around the corner came the thief who sprinted directly at McNamara. Washed of all fear, McNamara stood his ground, pulling the trigger and letting loose a hail of bullets towards the the thief. The bullets penetrated and slowed it, but it continued to hobble forward, eventually shoving McNamara into the wall before running to the end of the hallway.
Without hesitation, McNamara re-loaded the AK and began firing again at the confused scientist attempting to navigate the hallways of the Pentagon. The rain of bullets eventually brought the thief down to the ground. As McNamara approached the fallen figure, the body and the numbers evaporated, leaving behind his upgraded sub-machine gun, along with a bullpup shotgun, a revolver, and a pump-action grenade launcher; The weapons of his comrades, who must still be alive somewhere in the Pentagon.
As the body dissipated, two glowing, green orbs appeared above the site, within them a sparking, gold item of some sort. Within one was a box filled to the brim with bullets, and within the other was a massive tag like those in a department store, with a string attached, and it read “SALE!!!” Perplexed by the strange orbs but conquered from his inhibitions, McNamara reached for the ammo box orb with disappeared like the Pentagon Theif as a massive, booming voice like that of a demon spoke out.
Miraculously, the clip of his AK had been completely refilled with ammunition, and the one he had spent just a minute earlier had returned fully stocked with his other ammunition. Now intrigued by the possibilities, he reached for the other orb, which reacted similarly.
Confused, McNamara felt now saw nothing out of the ordinary, then a catchy, upbeat jingle began to play over the Pentagon's PA system. It was music McNamara could almost wiggle his finger to, but he chose instead to focus on finding the President and the other VIPs. Ready to take on the world, McNamara approached the teleporter and entered it.
Upon his vision returning, MacNamara realized where he now stood: the familiar war room. However, surrounding him was the sound of growling and moaning. Before him was a zombie in CIA uniform, its arms limp and mouth gaping as it approached. Before McNamara could grab his weapon and take fire, the zombie appeared to disintegrate into a fine red mist as McNamara's ear drums were pounded by rapid bullet fire onto the corpse. His ears ringing, McNamara looked to the source of the bullet fire to see President Kennedy wielding a massive minigun, raining death upon nearby zombies. The sight puzzled McNamara who remembered the President's spine deficiency; Surely the heavy weapon would have been too much weight for Kennedy to hold, and yet he stood tall, effortlessly and gracefully wielding the machine of death.
To Kennedy's back was Fidel Castro; In some sick, twisted way the two shared camaraderie in their slaughter of zombies. Castro wielded a strange, alien device red in color with green around the barrel, and upon pulling the trigger it let loose a beam of green light before a larger explosion at the impact site, disfiguring and vaporizing the targets.
McNamara's ears were still ringing, but he rose to his feet, AK in hand, and ascended the stairs, blowing apart any zombies that stood in his way. He nearly slipped from the spent bullet casings rolling down the stairs from Kennedy's minigun. When he reached the top he tried to hug the President, though the massive minigun sat between them and McNamara chose instead to use his words.
“You're alive, Jack! In the labs... I killed the thief before he could escape. It was trying to take our weapons. I think it was most interested in the secrets we held in the...”
McNamara noticed that Kennedy was merely nodding his head repeatedly to everything McNamara said, and felt visibly confused.
Kennedy enlightened him, seemingly screaming at him, “I can't hear a damn thing, all I can hear is the ringing!”
McNamara smiled gripping Kennedy's shoulder, as Castro re-loaded his alien weapon and continued to fire. “Maybe you two lovers could get back to the shooting!”
Upon closer inspection, McNamara inquired about the ray gun in Castro's hands.
“Just where the hell did you get that thing? Was that one of the experiments I don't know about, Jack?”
Kennedy was too focused on firing his minigun down the stairway to ravenous zombies and without hearing to respond. Castro spoke as he fired, “I found it in one of those magic boxes. There was some music, and poof, it appeared for a little while. I think I quite like it! Ha ha ha!”
The three stood at the elevator firing their respective weapons at zombies on the railings as well as down below, their backs to the closed elevator.
McNamara then realized, “Where's Nixon?”
“Level 2: War Room”
The elevator dinged and out came the former Vice President, his clothes bloodied and crazed with a stuffed monkey attached to dynamite in his hands.
“Fire in the hole! AROOO!”
Nixon took his left hand and twisted a wind-up key on the side of the monkey causing it to clang the two cymbals attached to its hands together rapidly, and then he tossed it in the direction of the group towards the railing.
McNamara pushed the President and himself aside, “GET DOWN!”
The cheery, smiling monkey flew through the air over the railing and onto the center of the floor. Zombies began to crowd around the loud monkey as it played its song, even turning away from the group to find the source of the sound. After a few more clangs of the cymbals, the dynamite on the back of the monkey set off, sending bits of tissue and bone across the war room, some going through the teleporter, other chunks of flesh becoming embedded into the nearby computer systems and spinning disks. The loud calamity was now silent apart from the sparks of the exploded computer equipment. Kennedy, Castro, and McNamara turned to Nixon in befuddlement. Nixon smiled, “Well, someone had to save our skins! Now get your asses on the elevator!”
Kennedy dropped his minigun to the floor as to not exceed the weight limit of the cramped elevator, brandishing and cocking his colt. All four men entered the elevator preparing themselves for rescue. Kennedy pressed the key to enter the ground floor.
The interior of the elevator was rank with sweat, decayed flesh bits, and possibly urine. The four VIPs had been through Hell and had but one final test before they could reach safety.
The elevator PA system cleared the silence, “Ground Floor.” However, the doors to the elevator did not open.
McNamara kicked his foot against the doors repeatedly attempting to coerce the malfunctioning system into letting them through.
“Open, damn it!”
“Bob, stand back.”
Kennedy holstered the pistol at his side and put his fingers to the divide of the elevator attempting to pull it open. With an intense, almost supernatural strength, Kennedy began to create a gap in the elevator door frame. Then a head of a zombie pressed through the gap, its rotting, filthy arms attempting to reach through. Kennedy recoiled as the zombie used its full strength to pull the door off of the elevator and toss it aside onto the concrete floor of the Pentagon lobby.
McNamara did not hesitate to put twelve holes into its torso and head using his AK before the light drained form the corpse's eyes.
“We have to wait in the lobby for extraction!”
All four of the VIPs paced forward at a brisk pace. In their view they could see the exits to the pentagon electronically locked by layers of metal. Every window and doorway into the outside world was blocked from the inside to prevent a breach in quarantine.
Nixon began to panic, pressing his hands to the side of his head looking for any sign of light.
Before any response could be uttered, zombies began to spring up through windows into offices nearby. A zombie burrowed and punched a hole through the cinderblock wall nearby. With the ammo currently in their reserves, they may stand a chance for some time, but rescue must be swift if they are to survive.
The four stood back to back, shoulder to shoulder with their weapons waiting for the perfect shot.
Castro leaned to Nixon, “You got any more monkey amigos?”
Sarcastically, Nixon replied, “Ooh yeah, let me check,” before patting down his pockets with his free hand, a shotgun in the other. A zombie busted through a glass window nearby and leaped towards Nixon who pumped a shell into its torso separating its limbs from its foul body.
McNamara leaned to Kennedy, “Perhaps this really is the end, Mr. President... It's been an honor to serve you.”
Kennedy spoke out in general to the group, offering his wisdom in what might perhaps be their final moments.
“Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man, or zombie, put asunder.”
Before the action could be initiated an explosion set off outside the Pentagon's front entrance had caught the attention of many of the undead surrounding them, and some began to wander towards the entrance searching for the source of the noise. The four VIPs leapt over the counter of the front desk one by one, crouching behind the makeshift cover as a second explosion caved in the entire wall. The zombies were now fixated on the entrance and began to pour into the point of the explosion shrouded in smoke. The VIPs sat in awe as the zombies piled in again and again as the sounds of rifles bursting and screams of agony echoed into the lobby. As the violence continued a group of five black ops agents poured in through the open wound in the side of the Pentagon, all brandishing American M16s wielded with precision accuracy. The head of the group spotted the four VIPs hidden behind the desk, the President now stood at full attention.
The head of unit sounded out in a gruff voice to his allies making circular hand motions as he did so.
“I've spotted them!”
From the smoke of the hole blown into the building came another man surrounded by Black Ops agents, this man wearing tinted sunglasses and a suit; Most definitely CIA.
“The VIPs are up ahead. Fan out and don't let any of the enemy escape the Pentagon.”
The gruff, black-haired agent who had headed the assault initially ran to the desk with other agents in tow and outstretched his hand to the President.
“We've got to get you to the evac chopper! Move, Mr. President!”
The squadron of black ops agents escorted the VIPs towards the front entrance, defending them from attackers as they went.
One of the agents was wrestled to the ground by one of the beasts and his innards exposed to open air as he screamed in agony. The same zombie leaped through the air towards the President before being shot in the air by the black-haired agent. The zombie tumbled onto the ground nearby still kicking, before the agent put another shot into its skull.
After many hours inside the Pentagon the VIPs finally reached open air of the Virginia sky only to discover the day had turned to night. Ahead was the helicopter awaiting their arrival; Following them onto the helicopter was the group of soldiers that had escorted them previously as well as the sunglasses-wearing CIA agent, who took them off once the chopper took flight.
President Kennedy took notice of the agent, stating, “I didn't recognize you with the sunglasses. I like the new look.”
“It's great to see you alive, Mr. President. Our agents are now re-sealing the exit of the Pentagon. A full team will be sent to investigate and eradicate the threat in the morning, sir.”
“Thank you, Mr. Hudson.”
“And Jackie is on the line, sir. She wants to talk to you.”
Adjacent to Secretary McNamara sat the soldier at the forefront of the rescue, the black-haired man who saved the President from an enemy he had never seen before. He was visibly shaken by the brutal death of his comrade that he had just witnessed, but tried to keep a level head in front of the President. McNamara leaned in to the soldier, outstretching his bloody and battle-worn hand for a handshake, to which the soldier obliged.
“What's your name, son?”
“Woods. Frank Woods, sir.”
“You did good out there. Against those beasts.”
“I did what I had to, sir.”
Woods looked out the chopper door towards the Pentagon where the other agents had been left behind to seal the breach in containment, looking eager to head back into the fray.
“Mr. Woods, do you think you'd be able to keep what happened here today a secret for our national security?”
“Yes, sir. I don't know who I'd tell.”
“Excellent, Mr. Woods. You're a good soldier.”