Stepping around his desk, Cliff rubbed his eyes clear of the late night grime that had build up the past few hours. He was anxious. “So certainly, Henry, they must be hitting something.”
His chief of operations set the handheld radio down and shook his head. “Well, boss, they claimed to have counted 10,000 bodies up to now and if you cut it in half, there must be another 5,000 that they have killed that we don’t find.”
“Sure, sure.” Looking down from the 50th floor in the high-rise, the torches could be seen as cleanup began after the previous days fierce fighting. Those on the ground had the odd appearance of ants working feverishly to rebuild their mound. Desperate to rebuild what once seemed so impervious to an invader.
“Regarding the gas attacks...”
Cliff shook his head in disagreement, already knowing the argument about to be presented. He had wrestled with it enough in the quiet hours of the night without having to go through the exact same argument again aloud. Pointing his finger out across the bay, he began “Well, I’ll tell you they are being punished and they are taking heavy casualties. The #($)@ are...”
George, the CO, sat down on the plush leather couch, away from the window. Pliable but firm, the middle-aged man wondered if the furniture in the room would one day be artifacts of better days long gone. “Boss, if they don’t make it this time, they are not going to come back for two years.” George had friends in that vault. It was well stocked, but no one relished the idea of having half of their resources sealed up, incapable of being accessed if everything hit the fan.
Cliff, however, was not an optimist. “If they don’t make it this time , we’re out of the woods, but the point is that we have to realize though that our hold card is that vault.” Humanity would survive. There was little evidence that the rest of the world was having better success with fighting off the attacks than they were. Cliff thought it safer to takethe long view in this round of bets.
His employee, though, was the eternal optimist. Maybe he had to be. His daughter was in the next room. “However, that’s why you’ve got make the deal with the Russians now. I don’t want a meeting — you see, when you meet with them it’s either got to be on the way to settlement or we make a run for the vault. You see that’s the one thing I’m concerned about, these &#@!, that they will intentionally block us.” The deal with the Russians was a long shot, remnants of an agreement made years before about a targeted biological weapon. Cliff’s corporation had been responsible for the science necessary to target the zombies. The Russian side was responsible for ensuring it didn’t affect every living thing on the planet.
“They can’t ignore you beyond the 25th of April,” George continued.
“Right.” Cliff sat back behind his desk. Three more days. They had to survive three more days for the shipment to arrive at the nearby pier. If only the Russians were as good as their word. If only they didn’t have evidence of their attempt to cause a coup within his own company. He had no intention of saving the world just to hand it to the communists.
“And on the other hand, boss, the major thing now is to beat down these zombies from the north side. I told the board that you could not have a reasonable summit meeting if there were major action going on right on the docks.” Obviously Cliff thought, as George continued to ramble on about their defenses. Zombies leaping from pier to ship would hardly be a greeting that would inspire confidence in their allies.
He waited until the defense of his subordinates plan was complete before replying with the obligatory,“Right.”
“The commander understands this, doesn’t he?” George was never very trusting of the military type.
The older man grunted back a reply, “Yes.”
“Good, but we can’t go there with radiation and gas killing both the Russians and zombies. Hell, no, we’re not going to go, and I don’t give a dime for what the commander says. Those aren’t just reasonable precautions, it means there a isn’t going to be no meeting after they’re through, that’s what he’s got to understand.”