Friday Night Story

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MİT files

Timpano: Art
another dot
Reichert: Letters

There's supposed to be a dot here. If there isn't, it's been stolen. Probably by Al Queada. Alert the proper authorities.
Wilson: Writer
Survival Main
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Subject Incirlik AB
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scroll I’ve started transcribing the copy of the “Zero Journal” we intercepted. It’s been through a few generations, and of course, due to its nature, passed through many, many hands. Apocryphally the Zero Journal was started by a Turkish soldier who was party to the Incirlik response. It has been passed from individual to individual since then, with each adding their own experiences before passing it on (often posthumously). The questionable translation and amount of blood and other damage are making the project slow-going.

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Zero Journal

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I am a dead man. I am writing in English, because, with as much pride as I view my country, I do not believe we want badly enough to pay the price to resecure this base. That will be down to the Americans- and I pray only that they want badly enough to recage what they have loosed to pay that cost in blood.

And you will have to forgive my handwriting. It is almost entirely dark, and I daren’t use the lights, lest I attract more of those things inside.

I will start at the beginning. The Americans at Incirlik had stopped communicating. We have a less official liaison off-base than the one on it, and he paid a visit. He got as far as the gates before he turned around. Something had happened at the base. Something very wrong.

He made several phone calls, and a detachment of 2000 Turkish soldiers was assembled to “secure peace and order” at the base. We were informed that the Americans did not own the ground they occupied, that it was leased to them by our government, giving us sovereignty over the land.

It seemed at the time like a suicide mission- throwing 2000 of our men at over 5000 of theirs to prove some manner of political point. No one was eager for the encounter. A ripple ran through the men on the plane, that members of the elite Red Berets were going to “augment” our forces. For some of the men, that was a security blanket; to my mind, it only underscored the danger we were rushing towards.

Since Incirlik was the nearest airfield, we obviously couldn’t land there. We instead landed at the nearby airfield and were put onto whatever manner of trucks the government could supply on short order- mostly borrowed or bartered from the locals. By this point the rumor had spread through our unit that this was the beginning of an effort to oust the Americans from the country- and our group, as well as our mission, was now operating under the unofficial callsign of Eviction Notice.

The gates were unmanned. This was the first sign that something was very wrong. We’d expected to be met by American armor, our rickety farmers trucks shelled from the roads by artillery guided by satellite imagery. But our homecoming to Incirlik was quiet. We drove down the streets,

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passed the administrative buildings, the hotels, the barracks, without incident, and assembled at the airfield.

It was then we saw the Americans. No soldier who has not seen the march of 5,000 cannot know what we felt, then. We expected them to branch out, to form a pincer and press us backwards to the fences. It would have been an inglorious slaughter.

But the Americans were largely unarmed, and their formation never formed. Instead, they shambled towards us, a loud, raucous mob

Murmurs shot through our contingent, that the Americans had been slaughtered in their sleep, that perhaps terrorists, or a worse thought, the surrounding villagers, had murdered them, and were now rioting in their military uniforms. But their skin was white enough, and as our commanders sited them through binoculars, it became clear that they had definitely engaged in vicious fighting. Our commander formed our men in a quarter circle, and told his lieutenant to hold fire. He entered the center of the field with a white cloth tied round his wrist.

He was fifty feet before them when their lazy march paused. A shiver of recognition went through their contingent, and suddenly their plodding became an urgent rush. They fell upon our commander like an ocean, snatching him up and tearing him to pieces in the time it took for the first man to take his God’s name in vain.

His lieutenant acted swiftly, and gave the order to fire. We lost the next ten seconds to the roar of gunfire, until not a man had a round left in his magazine. But we did not reload. The ocean of men had absorbed all our fury, and not even noticed us. Their slothful speed seemed to impede even their thoughts, as they wondered what had happened. And then their attention turned, as if controlled by one mind, towards us, as if recognizing us for the first time. Our commander told us to stand our ground, and reload, as the wave turned toward us. There was panic, and chaos, shouting, as we shoved magazines we knew would be useless into place. In contrast to the thunder of rifles a moment before, there was silence, then the wave crashed against us.


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The chaos we all presumed did not occur; we stood our ground as the monstrosities raged upon us. Bolts clacked on empty chambers, and the Lieutenant gave the command for bayonets even as he led our right flank into a V. It was tactically the right move to make, and he fought gallantly for the last 12 seconds he was alive. Four of them seized him, two per limb, and tore his arms from his torso. They didn’t pause in their triumph, but simply shifted their anger to the next soldier.

Another soldier got the bright idea to call in our air support. A cheer went through the men who hadn’t been bloodied yet as the screech of an F4 2020 Terminator hit us. But there was something wrong. The fighter didn’t slow, didn’t rake the ground with its cannons, just roared past. But there was something in the sky, something flung carelessly at the field of battle from the aging fighter. I covered my eyes as I tried to see it in the circle of the sun- the aluminum barrel tumbled down, spilling its contents across creation.

The Mk 77 is part of America’s non-napalm napalm arsenal; it’s made from a kerosene-based jet fuel instead of gasoline, so it’s technically different. Technically. The technical difference was lost on my comrades as the flammable gel caught fire. The canister smashed into the center of their line, crushing a few of their number before roasting scores more. And while it may not be napalm, some of its effects are the same. The oxygen was quickly sucked from the air, and was replaced instantly by noxious smoke. My lungs burned as I wheezed around it. I ran. Every able-bodied man ran. The sounds of the fighting were more horrifying than any battle I’d ever seen.

Men burnt alive, screaming as horrors tore at them with fingers and teeth, rocks, knives, the blunt edges of rifles. The fire only increased their frenzy, and their capacity for violence. As I ran I glanced over my shoulder, in part convinced I would be changed to salt for daring to. I could not remember the boy’s name, but he had sat across from me on the truck here, confident in a scared young soldier’s way, talking about his newborn daughter’s eyes. Three men, licked by flames, pushed burning fingers through his eyelids, puncturing his eyes, and tearing the flesh away from the sides of his skull. He wouldn’t die, simply collapsed to his knees, screaming, as they peeled his flesh from him with burning hands. I leveled my rifle and whispered a prayer for mercy as I shot him.

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The three men turned their attention to me, and I ran. I daren’t look back again, but I knew they were behind, running faster than the devil, and far faster than me. I hid behind the concrete wall of a hardened aircraft hangar. I heard the sounds of naked bone pounding on concrete, and flung myself down the steps of a weapons cache. The first of the monsters rounded the corner as a frag I’d dropped exploded. It let out a surprised cry not quite human, but enough that I shuddered as it brought to my ear the chorus of screams still carrying over the field. I felt no guilt for the smile I wore as what remained of his meat hit the floor.

His friends stepped on him as they came in, feet breaking through thin bone, probably the ribs, breathing coming ragged and deep; I held mine, to be sure it wasn’t coming from me.

I slapped a fresh magazine into the receiver; 30 rounds of 5.56 into center mass was useless. I poked my head up over the edge of the staircase, firing three-round(ish) bursts at their knees. I heard the wet-tree-limb snap of burst bones, but didn’t stop until the chamber was empty. I slapped the half-used mag back in, and walked cautiously up the steps.

The crippled monsters snarled as they tried to stand on their useless limbs. I slung the rifle in favor of my USP- I figured a hole nearly twice the size might be useful. The monstrosity surged towards me, snarling like a lizard. It pushed itself enough into the daylight I could see enough of its torn flesh to recognize that it had been human recently, a few days ago at the most. I pulled the trigger, and the bullet smashed brain and skull. The second beast seemed completely unaware of me until I aimed the pistol at him, and he flashed his teeth at me, his fists shaking in impotent rage. The third wasn’t dead, but playing opossum; only she forgot not to breath through her smoke-destroyed lungs. A beautiful green eye flicked over me like a snake’s tongue as I stepped near her and aimed the pistol. She died silently.

As more men ran past, I pulled them into the hangar. By the time the screaming stopped, there were twenty of us, huddled in the half-dark. The order came over the radio that we were to wait for medical evacuation. Even the most optimistic among us didn’t believe that.


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I was the second highest rank in the group behind a sergeant. He was cheerleading the importance of finishing his mission, unfolding a piece of white paper explaining his objectives. I argued to the point of insubordination; in the end, we compromised. He would complete his mission, and we would secure vehicles for exfil. We each took volunteers. Eleven men went with him, seven with me. I shook the hands of all eleven of his men and saluted them, knowing it was the last time I’d see any of them again.

The sounds of fire and combat and slaughter had receded. Most of the younger men were heartened by that; I explained to them that it meant we no longer knew where the enemy was, and the smiles fell off their faces.

There were plenty of vehicles on base, but the fighting had been intense, and prolonged. Most vehicles had bullets through the engine block, the tires, the gas tank. And half the ones that didn’t had less than a quarter tank.

As we spread out from our hangar, we could hear the sounds of continued violence coming from the entrance- and a red carpet of bodies beckoning. We pooled the vehicles, trucks, mostly, in case we had to avoid the main roads, at the hangar. We only needed twenty seats; to be safe, in case we ran into vehicle trouble, we figured we should have thirty. We siphoned fuel from the tanks of the rest, and had enough to fill two 5 gallon cans.

I tried to call the sergeant over the radio. “Thrusher to Sandpiper 34, that is Sand-Piper 3-4. Sandpiper, exfil is secure at rendezvous point. We will standby to secure transport for fifteen, 1-5. Unless we hear from you by then, we’re bugging out, leaving enough transport for the rest of you.”

Fifteen minutes came and went. Twenty. Thirty. We started to argue about the best way to leave the base. We could hear moaning and screaming still from the entrance; it was safe to assume it would be blocked. Some of the men wanted to drive through the fence at the NE corner, onto Sezai Karakoç Blv., to get to Adana Çevre Yolu and away with haste. I argued for the more circuitous route of 7 Sk to the south. The route would have taken us through the residential areas of the base, which we all realized would be more dangerous, but I reasoned we could avoid the more unknown dangers of Adana itself, and the likely complications of

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trying to pass unknown terrain. In the end we voted, all or nothing this time, as we’d seen the cost of the sergeant dividing our strength before.

5-3. The vote was against me. We took one of the hummers, and a medium-sized pick-up, and a wide Cadillac. The hummer had four men, including one in a turret manning a 7.62 machine gun. I was in the pick-up with two others, and a final man, who’d insisted we couldn’t leave the Caddy for the corpses, was in the last vehicle. We took the smaller dirt roads between the hangars, to keep clear of possible fighting. My stomach squirmed, as my instincts told me we would fail.

We stopped the vehicles to converse when we reached the corner. The fence was simple chain link, and the area between it and the road short, somewhat maintained grasses and bushes. Only the Cadillac might have had issues, but the driver said he could do it.

The hummer backed up to get speed, and slammed through the fence. The posts bent near the bottom, slapping the ground before bouncing back to a 30 degree angle. The pickup kicked gravel and dirt back in a cloud before lurching forward. The fence smacked against our bumper, but didn’t push as far down. It caught on the tires and wrapped in along them. We pulled several posts out before the tires spun, impotent to move. The Cadillac revved its engine impatiently behind us, eager to prove itself. I stepped outside; both of the pickup’s front tires were punctured, and still wrapped in chain-link.

The hummer bounced up the hill and onto the street, and we all heard its tires squeal as it came to an abrupt stop. The engine gunned before stopping, gunned, tires squealed. There was a moment of panic as I got back in the truck. The hummer reappeared, gunning down the hill back towards us.

It was covered in what looked like a swarm of red ants. One of the corpses tore into the gunner’s throat with its teeth as it fell away, pulling the man off with him. They crawled across the top of the vehicle as it raced, shattering their way into the windows. One of them began to choke the driver, whose grip on the wheel slackened. The vehicle was moving at speed towards us. I held my breath.


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The hummer smashed into us. Corpses flew forward like sea spray. The driver, whose buckle had come undone in the fighting, flew through his windshield and into ours; his helmet failed at some point between, and his skull shattered like a melon, painting the windshield red.

We leapt out of the pickup, firing at everything moving. The grass which had not seemed so high was now perilously tall enough to mask them. The soldier in the rear of the hummer screamed as two monsters bit the fingers from his hands. I fired four shots at the windshield that didn’t penetrate; I ran around the truck to his door, pausing just a moment to stomp through the skull of a corpse reaching for my ankle. I had my hand on the handle when his eyes caught mine, and he shook his head. I’ll never know if it was one of them or him that pulled the pin, but a grenade went off, shredding the three of them together.

I swore loudly, kicking the hummer door in frustration. We swept the area quickly. The corpses that had arrived on the car were damaged and largely crippled by the wreck- a small enough mercy. I stopped to check the pulse of the man in the front passenger seat. When I touched his neck, he jerked forward, hacking up a palm-sized ball of mucus and blood onto the dash. “Fucking airbags,” he muttered as I helped him down. The seat armor had absorbed most of the shrapnel from the grenade, but he’d caught a chunk in the shoulder. I pushed him into the rear of the Cadillac, and used some wrapping from my pack to stop the bleeding.

The driver of the Cadillac had the good sense to grab the gas can from the hummer and throw it in the trunk before he asked how bad the shrapnel was. I told him we didn’t need to stop at the hospital- we should just move on through. The corpses from over the hill were already half the distance to us; it was all the instruction he needed. He gunned the engine, and we were dust.

The driver kicked on the stereo, found some rock music. Normally I don’t go for anything so heavy, but it fit the car, and the mood, and for a moment, we all escaped the horror we’d been running from for the better part of the day. The car’s lighter clicked out, and the driver lit a cigarette. The others in the car passed it around, taking drags and introducing themselves.

I was the senior-most officer left at sergeant. The driver was named Kemal Toptan (really). He was a supply officer with his home unit, but a

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disagreement with his superior officer had nearly led to his discharge. “I wish I’d punched that tyrannical little sergeant in his horrible little goat-sucking beard.”

Mehmet Türkmen had been driving the pick-up; I liked him immediately, because he was young, and smiled a lot, and because he had not panicked and killed me behind the wheel. He talked boisterously about his home town of Aydin, and about how we were protecting his friends and loved-ones. The louder his voice became, the more visibly his hands shook. He might never have stopped talking, but the cigarette slipped from his fingers, blunting itself on the floor. I picked up the extinguished stick, and threw it out the open window, then patted his shoulder, and told him it was done anyway.

The next man lit another. He said his name was Ahmed Evren, and took a deep drag. He said that he didn’t feel like talking about himself just then; he was more concerned with our plans. There was a long moment of silence. I ignored the fact that Mehmet was staring directly at me to answer, and after a long silence Kemal said he was driving for 7 Sk to the south; Evren muttered something, and Kemal told him he could drop him near the entrance if he wanted to try his luck, and he shut up.

The survivor from the hummer had passed out. His name was Erbakan. Mehmet recognized him, though he did not know him well; he believed he had a wife and a daughter in Ankara. I took my turn with the cigarette. When I’d finished, I gave it back to Ahmed, and told him it would be several minutes across the base.

He had joined after his brother was killed by Kurdish rebels. He attempted to follow his brother into the Red Berets, but his marks were not high enough. He stopped himself when he mentioned the woman he planned to marry; we didn’t pry further.

The conversation halted as Kemal slammed the breaks. We stopped a dozen feet from a wall of people, shuffling slowly towards us. There were a thousand monsters between us and 7 Sk. The tires squealed as the Caddy leapt backwards, Kemal cranking the non-powered steering wheel to turn the car. He smiled, whispering words of bravado- but his expression changed as the rear end collided with something, and the car stoppped.


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I had to move. Two more of them got into the room. Their night vision isn’t any better than a normal person’s, and their brains are even less acute. They stumbled around for a moment, then attacked each other, convinced they’d found me. They made plenty of noise for me to aim by. I emptied my last magazine into them.

I’d hoped I could hide there until I finished writing, but I know they won’t be the last. I’m now in the basement of the command center. There’s no light here at all.

We had run quite literally into a sea of the monsters, or perhaps they were more like a river, emptying into the lake where our car was. Quickly they moved to close the gap we’d driven through. “Hold on,” Kemal said. He kicked the accelerator, and the car jumped forward. He swerved around the influx from the street, but a wave of them crashed against the side of the car. He gunned the engine, but the car crawled, its many horses struggling to push against so massive a load.

The passenger side mirror tore off as one corpse fell beneath the car, flayed by the tires. But for every corpse that dropped by the way, two more managed to hold on. The passenger windows shattered, then the rear, then the front. Evren was pulled half out the car, stopped only by his safety belt; when he wouldn’t come further, they simply started biting and tearing away his flesh. A cascade of blood flowed down his body, pooling in the seat. I unbuckled, leaned forward and shot him in the head. “Get us clear, you bastard.” I told Kemal. “You get us clear,” he snapped back, firing a .45 out the passenger window.

I realized what he meant, and braced myself against his seat. “Aim high, away from metal.” I fired my AR, spraying what remained of the magazine. Mehmet fired off several rounds; even Erbakan had woken up. For a moment the car lurched forward as the bodies cleared back. We jolted ten feet into the corner of a building, but we had room enough to kick our way out the driver’s side.

There were a thousand corpses for each of us, but they were behind; we ran. We ran and ran and ran. It contrasted sharply in my mind with what had been only moments ago, when we’d driven that same distance, wrapped in a musical calm. My lungs were fire, and I thought I might vomit, but I wouldn’t have stopped. I might have ran until I hit the arctic, but Kemal stopped. “Conserve yourselves,” he said. “They’re following, but at a distance. But if we run into more of them up the way, we might need our strength then.” He was right, of course.

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When we reached the end of the residential, Erbakan wanted to head back to the vehicles. He argued that we might be able to get through the front, now, since they were obviously spreading themselves across the base. I remembered something from the base maps. We were nearly to the EOD range. I argued we could use it to blow straight through the perimeter fence and just walk out to the road. If not, we could at least take the explosives with us, and if there was a problem getting a vehicle, or if we needed to blow a hole in the fence later- we voted, and the vote went with me this time.

It turned out that in another lifetime, Erbakan had been EOD. He was pale as a sheet, but his eyes were bright as he told to us about the kinds of things he could rig with just a few charges and some detcord. The conversation bordered on revelry; how quickly, I thought, we’d forgotten our most recent loss, but I tried not to let on.

The stable explosives were stored under tight security, inside a concrete bunker surrounded by dirt mounds, behind a fairly weak door only meant to keep out local kids; if we’d come prepared it wouldn’t have been trouble to open at all. But the ordinance waiting demolition was covered with a tarp under a shoddy little tent. Erbakan instructed us carefully on what to carry and how carefully, and we stacked a good-sized mound of warheads in front of the door to the explosives bunker.

I asked him if it would work; he frowned, and told me it was hard to say. Too little, and the door wouldn’t breach- too much, and the explosion would breach the door and set off the ordinance; it would have been complicated with good ordinance and proper prep- like this, well, it was a guess.

Erbakan told us that he didn’t trust any of the usual fuses, so we’d have to use grenades to set them off- from as great a distance as we could throw them. We had three good frags left; none of us liked the idea of handling the demo grenades. “Who’s good with a grenade?” I asked. I told them pride was not a factor, here. Nobody volunteered. “Right. Who’s adequate?” Nothing. Mehmet rose his hand. He’d played a little baseball as a kid, and he figured that might make him an okay shot at it. We prayed together.


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Mehmet pulled the pin and held the grenade in his hand, looking timidly at the stack of explosives piled in front of the heavy door. None of us breathed; even the wind paused in its blowing.

His arm came back in a softball pitch, then spun half-around, and the grenade flew free. The throw went long, and he winced, and said he was just finding the range. He gave a pained smile, licked his finger and felt the renewed wind.

He took his time with the second. He pressed it to his lips, and whispered a name I didn’t quite hear, but thought I recognized; I think it was his daughter’s name, or the name he’d have given her, something to that effect. He looked to the sky, then back to the explosives, and let fly.

I swore out loud. The second throw was short- but then it caught a lucky bounce, and landed at the base of the pile. Kemal and I celebrated a moment before Erbakan grabbed us and shoved us beneath the blast wall. Mehmet leapt over the wall as the explosives detonated, landing on my hand, and putting his boot in Erbakan’s cheek.

There was a moment of quiet calm, where the excitement was replaced by a silence that was beautiful for its peacefulness. Then our harrowing reality landed back on us as surely as Mehmet still lay on top of us. Kemal jabbed his head up over the blast wall; before I could even sit up he was running full tilt at the black smoke shrouded bunker.

Erbakan yelled for him to stay back- it was possible some of the ordinance might not have exploded yet. He was halfway through saying he needed visual confirmation to know that everything was safe when Kemal disappeared in the cloud.

He emerged a moment later, with a wide grin on his face. Erbakan didn’t bother to continue his lecture, and set about separating the explosives. He was taking time to tell us what we were handling, plastique, blasting caps, how to hold them, and use them. He separated his choices into two stacks, one to blow a hole in the fence behind EOD, another to take with us.

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The monsters were getting closer. There was no formal vote, but when we looked at each other, we knew the direction we should take. Erbakan worked quickly, and set the charges at the base of the fence on a two-minute delay, just enough to get back to safety. We huddled behind the blast wall.

They were close enough to smell, the smell of new dead things in the sun. The wind shifted, and Mehmet smiled, and said that finally fortune was favoring us. But the smell became stronger. I slowly looked over the wall. There were more, hundreds, maybe thousands, from the city. They’d been drawn by the explosion a moment ago, and were gathering in number on the opposite side of the fence.

Erbakan stood up, stumbled over the blast wall. He started to run towards the bomb. Kemal smashed into him, scraping both men across the dirt. “Let me go. They can’t get in.” Kemal told him he would be killed; Erbakan would have thrown him off, but Kemal punched him, and he sagged.

Mehmet and I carried him back behind the blast wall; Kemal, still panting, stared at the fence, as if perhaps by watching it he could keep it from falling. His shoulders sank, and he turned back towards us. Erbakan pushed himself up, bracing against the wall. The abominations from the base were still two hundred yards away. He chuckled. Then laughed. It became so big and barreled that even without the gaping hole in his side I’d have worried for the health of his guts. He laughed so hard he fell over, and as I caught him I asked what was so damned funny. He smiled, too weak to laugh anymore. “Ba-bastards aren’t going to get me,” he said. His head fell back, and his body became heavy in my hands.

The charge at the base of the fence blew.


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We were out of time to mourn our fallen brother; I dropped his head in the dirt and rose. Mehmet threw Erbakan’s pack on his shoulder.“Move now!” I screamed horse as the wind kicked again.

But we were tired, all of us. There was an inevitability this time to them, and we were so much weaker than the last time we fled. We could hear the moans and gnashing teeth as the monsters closed in on us, but our feet lacked their earlier fire.

I thought this would be our last march. I could think of no better men to die beside. Mehmet stopped, and turned towards the smoking remains of the bunker. I grabbed his shoulder, but he walked on, breaking my grasp. I ran to him again as he entered, and pleaded with him to move. He put his rifle in my face. “You will go,” he said, “or I will shoot you.”

Kemal grabbed my arm, and pulled me the first few feet away as I stared, unable to move myself. My limbs woke back up as Mehmet threw a table in the doorway, and we ran.

We had finished crossing the EOD field when we heard Mehmet’s rifle and stopped. It fired for a very long time before silencing. I told Kemal we had to go back for him, and was about to run in that direction when the EOD shed exploded.

“You must have expected that,” Kemal told me; I had, but the reality was something entirely different. Still, he was thinking, and I knew I was not, and I followed him.

We slowed our run when we reached the buildings; these were cover, but not just for us, for others as well. “Plan’s the same,” Kemal said, “we find a vehicle. Front gate’s our only option now.” In the back of my head, I wanted to dress him down, but despite my rank I’d frozen; he was doing what he should. “Still,” he smiled, “it’s a shame we lost the Caddy; that was a car I could die happy in.”

“No,” I said, finally coming back to myself; “we might have to drive through resistance.”

We’d started arguing over whether we would find a suitable vehicle on the main stretch, or if we should brave the houses again, when he slapped my shoulder. “We’re taking that.”

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He ran through an open fence toward a group of warehouses. Parked a few feet from the entrance was a large, flat truck with a small cabin one-man on the side. “An NGSL, capable of lifting 25 thousand pounds like, really high. And,” he said, opening the cabin door, “it’s open, and the keys are inside.”

Somehow, he talked me into standing on the bed of the truck as he raised it ten feet into the air. I wrapped my arm around the rail as he started driving. At first I was worried about our speed, and the noise the lift was making as we traveled down the main road. But the corpses that saw us stared quizzically at the machine, without making any move towards it.

But the main gate was another matter. There was a solid wall of soldiers spread across the lanes of traffic, all dead, and intrigued by us. Kemal stopped the lift and opened his window. “Don’t worry for the ones in the road- just keep them from climbing up the lift,” he said, before shutting the window again, and revving the engine.

At first they moved out of the way, grumbling as the lift slowly pushed them forward. Then one, a formerly lovely young woman with dusty hair, looked up at me. She snarled, and her arm caught on the crossed metal supports of the lift. She pulled, but her dead limbs no longer held the strength to hoist her up- however, it implanted the idea in those around her, and soon corpses were streaming up the sides.

Worse, the scramble up the sides meant the corpses in front of the lift were no longer moving to the side, but moving directly towards us. Most of the oncoming corpses still fell to the side, and those who rolled beneath the lift were crushed, but our progress was slowed to a virtual standstill.

And the corpses were nearing the top. I finished two-thirds of my last magazine before knocking on Kemal’s cabin window. “This isn’t working.” He nodded, and took the lift as high as it would go- nearly twenty feet into the air, and swung out of the window. “You can’t be serious,” I told him. He smiled at me, kicking one of the corpses from the rail as I looked over the edge. The corpse perimeter was only ten feet behind the lift. We ran at the edge of the lift, and leapt.


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Kemal’s leap was longer than mine, and there was a moment as we fell that I was certain he would land clear and I would not. I was wrong. Neither of us landed clear.

I landed knees-first in the shoulder of a large man, and rolled. There were wild, confused grunts as my momentum carried me over several others. My face impacted hard on the concrete, causing my teeth to slash a deep hole in my cheek. Dazedly I stood, smiling, for even if I died that moment, I’d lived a little longer.

I’d expected to see Kemal, equally beaten by the fall, but smiling back. But he hadn’t rolled free; the hellish hands held him in place, and they violently tore at him, as if jockeying for control of his body. But he was not dead yet, and he found me with his eyes; in his hands he held a single grenade.

His face was calm, almost serene; it was not as I expected from a man dying.“I’ll see you in Jannah,” he said, and pulled the pin from the grenade, “now go!”

I ran. I did not look back, not even as the grenade exploded; I prayed the chunks of flesh that pelted me as I went did not belong to my friend. I slipped quietly through the remains of the base. The monsters were everywhere now, roving in packs, like starved wolves. I killed them sparingly, to preserve my stealth and my dwindling ammunition. The hangars didn’t seem safe anymore; some of them had begun taking refuge indoors from the sun, and the open mouths of the hangars provided easy access where heavy security doors into buildings did not.

I reached the command center as night began to fall. I began to write. There was something I needed to put down, a secret, something I’d have told Kemal if we’d made it to the command center. Some of the corpses we’d seen, I recognized them. They were soldiers who had come with us on Eviction. They were our brothers in arms. We had become part of our own nightmare.

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IAEA memo
Shirazi, Aida, SPC. Evaluation
da Silva, Jose, SGT. Evaluation Beleo, Alejandro, MSG. Eval…
Meden, Erik SGM. Eval.
Hull, Roy, Mission Audit
Kale, Peter, CPL. Evaluation
Phillips, Alan SPC. Evaluation
Maple, Lance SGT. Evaluation
Hull, Roy, Session (part one)
Hull, Roy, Session (part two)
Hawthorne, Charles, 1SG. Eval…
Ruben, Lamar, SSG. Evaluation
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"Smokey", Confidential
Phillips X 01
Phillips X 02
Phillips X 03- 05
Phillips X 06- 09
Phillips X 10-11
Perez, Shiela, SSG. Evaluation
Diekes editorial cartoon
Bordo Bereliler letter
New Corpse Smell sketches
Bordo Bereliler letter
New Corpse Smell comic
Zero Journal one
Zero Journal two

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