This December 5
The three hundred ton Lockheed Martin L-27 Super Hercules II rocked and bobbed silly, like a mere sleeve of paper in a hurricane.
And so, as cargo MH-XZ424G fell through the sky, a tiny fault line developed on its surface. The sky’s rebellion against such monstrosity barreling through its volume was a roar that carried far. The rain pelted the steel cube, giving a machine-gun like rat-a-tat-a-tat. Heat simmered on the vault’s smooth, metal surface due to air friction; the vault trailed a thin line of vapor as it fell. Numerous electrons gathered on the slippery surface just as the cargo cleared the final ceiling of clouds and approached the dark, sleeping city of Uyo. The assembled electrons, teeming on the surface of the metal, called lightning to the vault like the hammer of Thor, god of thunder. Strike after strike, the fault line deepened and spread like the roots of a germinating seed, until the shattered parts of the vault fell away from the exposed briefcase like expended fuel tanks from an ascending space rocket. The exposed briefcase flared up immediately on exposure releasing six pressurized canisters into the air. The briefcase flared up because of the intense heat that clung to the plummeting wreckage. This intense heat affected the canisters which contained U-235 WMD agents.
The canisters exploded with a fire, releasing its content as a fine spray. The wind spread the released content into a blanket that covered the city of Uyo and its outskirt villages. Though the canisters and the vault’s ruins would hit ground long before the thin film would, the descending film of death would reach the city of men as sure as the sun. And when it did, there would be no end to the pan, suffering, and devastation it would cause.
Though she was putting up a face of anger and nonchalance, she was scared to her bones. In all her years as a nurse, she had never seen anything like this. What was causing it? If it had been an infection he had caught when he left the house, why was it manifesting so soon? Mary returned to her concoction and started stirring the milky paste. No infection—if this was in fact an infection—that had such a short incubation period ever let their host live.
“U … 2 … 3 … 5.” Her husband coughed terribly, spilling green vomit all over himself.
Mary froze for a while, unable to think. Ever since he had come into the house, he had tried to tell her something. U-235. Mary had not heard that in over thirty years. It was not something she hoped to retrieve from the lips of a dying man. Suddenly the urge came over her to scrub her body and run as far away from Akpan as possible.
In a moment of clarity, the wheezing and shivering and moaning of Akpan ceased, and he croaked, “Go Mary. It’s okay. Go.” He coughed afterwards, and this time, blood and tissue splattered all over the couch.
Fear struck Mary’s heart.
Strangely, the thought going through her mind was how did a biological weapon end up in their backyard? It didn’t make any sense. In fact it seemed so nonsensical that Mary began to sob. Then she cried. She turned to her husband of thirty years. He had grown silent and still, though he still breathed and lived. How had he come in contact with a bio weapon? She smirked and then let loose a laugh of sarcasm. She wiped her eyes with the back of her free hand and returned to dabbing his face. Even if she wasn’t already infected, she wouldn’t leave her husband. For better or for worse, she had sworn. For better or for worse, she would stay. However, she suspected she was already infected. If what Akpan had seen was a WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction), then it would be transmissible by touch. There was no way out.
Ken shook his head. “This can’t be real,” he muttered to himself. He shook his head again, and closed his eyes, willing himself to wake. But he remained seated with a pounding heart, a heaving chest, and a head that throbbed earthquakes. He opened his eyes and the horrid scenes played out before him. He had only seen this kind of devastation in science fiction movies and maybe in Iraq or Iran during a war. It was an aerial view, so there were much details Ken could not make out. However, there was no mistaking that those were human bodies strewn about on the streets like ragged dolls. There must have been thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dead bodies everywhere, twisted in impossible ways as if they had suffered a deathly seizure. Most of the bodies were on major roads and streets, in heaps and in layers of two or three. Some were in gutters, verandas, fenced yards. But all were feast for flies and crows. All were rotting and almost unrecognizable. How could human flesh deteriorate so fast? Columns of smoke stroked the clouds. Buildings, cars, and everything combustible burned furiously. The skies were filled with ash and black birds. Not a thing moved except the birds. Whatever city this was, its entire populace had been wiped out by the virus.
“Shhh,” Ken said before helping the man to his feet. A pistol Ken hadn’t seen dropped out of his lap. “Tom,” Ken called. “Gun.” He gestured at the ground where the gun lay. Tom came and picked the gun. The creature had reached the tent. It was now poking at the stretched material with its nose, sniffing furiously. Ken helped the man to the doorway and into the night. Tom followed them from behind and silently, they edged toward the main road. They moved as fast as a caterpillar not because the man was brutally injured, but because there weren’t a whole lot of places Ken could hold on the man’s body.
Ken stole a glance behind him. A chill ran down his spine. A little bit in the distance, a herd of about ten, no twelve, dogs made their way through a web of car wrecks towards the road block. They were huge—way huger than normal dogs—and black just like the night. Their fur had on it a thick, slushy liquid; their eyes glowed bright yellow and glowered with a carnal desire for flesh; their incisors were thick, long, and razor sharp. Their claws … God, their claws were long, black spikes that stretched the length of a grown man’s foot, sharp enough to rip the head off the neck of a toddler, effortlessly.
“Where did these creatures come from?” Ken muttered in disbelief, watching as they ripped flesh off dead bodies with rabid intensity. Ken got to the edge of the road and tripped over the embankment. Together, he and the man he carried stumbled to the asphalt. A short wail escaped the soldier’s lips. Sudden silence flooded the night. Ken, for a desperate moment, hoped that the creatures hadn’t heard.
When an American military cargo plane carrying top secret medical supplies hits a lightning storm off the coast of Nigeria, the chief pilot, Captain O’Riley, and his copilot decide to dump their cargo and save their lives. As cargo MH-XZ424G hurtles through the thunder ridden night towards the densely populated cities of Akwa-Ibom, the two pilots escape death at the merciless hands of the harsh weather. However, what they could never have conceived is that they had sentenced a whole nation to a fate so dreadful that painful death would have been a mercy…
Where will you be on the 21st of December?
WARNING: NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART
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