Looking out from the top of the office block, the commander surveyed the troop placements on the street below and on the map pinned to the table in front of him. Two days ago they had got word of the disease outbreak and scattered reports of increased violence. Although no one was officially correlating the two together, Blake knew how to count. With the full effect of martial law in place, he had issued a city wide curfew, with movement strictly limited to emergencies only while the med teams began to sweep the buildings.
The radio crackled to life “Sir contact on 48th street, residents breaking curfew, they look to be pretty badly injured. Apparently they got attacked by some crack head sir, he bit and lashed out at them, orders on how to proceed?”
Blake waved at the radio op guy who issued a med-evac unit out to the area, as he finished the orders a second squad reported in “Sir, 18th street, I have civilians running down the street toward me, several wounded, others following behind them at a slower click.” The radio lapsed into silence, after a few seconds the soldier came back on the air “WE ARE UNDER ATTACK, THEY AR…” the radio clicked off abruptly. Looking out over the building he could hear the sound of small arms fire drifting up from the 18th street barricades and could see the muzzle flashes lighting up the street in the early evening dusk. Blake didn’t need to issue orders, the radio ops guy was trying to reach the combat crew, while a second dispatched a combat patrol to the area for additional intel and fire support. Blake swore softly and pulled his binoculars clear of their pouch as the med-evac chopper roared overhead. Who had they engaged? And what had caused the squad to open fire so rapidly on their fellow citizens?
Looking at the magnified scene he could see the darkened figures fighting hand to hand now. As he watched the dispatched patrol humvee came skidding up, as it did so the radio crackled to life as the driver came on the air “Jesus, targets sighted, this is bad, the barricade is smashed, got maybe ten targets in hand to hand with the squad, should we engage?” Before Blake could answer the driver came back on the air “More coming from the building! Hit ‘em with the 50 Cal” The roar of the humvee’s gun drowned out the rest of the radio and from his vantage point Blake could see the tracers ripping across the street.
Over the roar of the gun Blake could hear the driver yelling something over and over. “What’s he saying?” he asked the radio op. The op paused “I think he said it’s not working Sir”.
As the gun stopped firing, Blake could clearly hear the driver screaming “IT’S NOT WORKING! OH GOD, there’s more coming, send more troops, SEND MORE TROOPS!” Looking back at the scene Blake could clearly see more people pouring out of the barricades, surrounding buildings, the shapes all moving toward the Humvee which was now firing wildly at the advancing crowd of people.
Worried Blake barked an order to send more reinforcements, as he did so he looked out across the deserted streets and with a sickening feeling saw more people slowly moving out of the buildings and onto the street,, all heading toward the sound of gunfire. As he watched the crowds growing larger and shouted more orders for additional troops, Blake saw the Med Evac chopper head away from the city, he hoped that wherever they were going would be a better place than this one was turning out to be.