Major Chapman's face betrayed great concern as he was laying out the orders to Sergeant Faulkner. It was close to midnight and for a few hours, the whole military base was in an unexplained rush. Orders were given in a chaotic manner, soldiers were running this way and that. Something had happened, but only a few people knew exactly what. It was most probably some other top-secret thing, as this was the usual thing for the base.
Sergeant Charlie Faulkner took the envelope from the major's extended hands. He was tired, but orders were orders. The major's office was neat and clean, Charlie knew this place well. He was summoned here many times during his one year of service in this backwoods military facility.
'Sergeant, you will be joined by Specialist Irving from the science squad. It is imperative that the cargo reaches the research base on time,' said the major and looked into Charlie's eyes.
'Yes, sir!' he responded in a confident voice, 'we'll do our best.'
'I hope so! The road you will be taking,' the major continued and pointed to a map on the wall, 'will be one that is not used frequently. Traffic should be light, even non-existent if we are lucky.'
'How much time do we have, sir?' asked Charlie.
'Four hours, son. But try to be there earlier, if possible. The cargo should be protected at all costs, even from the media or civilian eyes. That's why you are taking the longer road. Don't stop for anything. If the police stop you, just hand them the documents, that should be enough. They won't mess with the US Army. Any questions?'
'Yes, sir! What is the cargo?'
'I can't tell you that. It's top-secret and also a top priority. Using the chopper is risky, so we chose transportation by a truck. You are one of our best soldiers and also one of our best drivers so you will drive. Irving will be there to assist, and also in case anything happens with the cargo. Anything else?'
'All right, go to the Special Operations Barracks. Gear up, you are leaving in ten. Dismissed!'
Charlie saluted, Major Chapman saluted back, then watched the young soldier hurry away. Charlie went out into the night, the air was cool, the skies were partially cloudy, but there was almost no chance of rain tonight.
The base was not too big, but it was surrounded by an electrified fence. There were five military barracks here, each housing twenty soldiers. Soldiers of all type, from basic grunts to specialists, military engineers and even a few marines were present. Charlie never understood why all this fuss, but he knew that the building in the centre of the base was most likely the reason for it.
It was a restricted area. Only the research personnel and some high ranking officers were allowed to enter. There was some kind of research going on inside, but Charlie hadn't the vaguest idea what it was all about. He accepted the job at this base, in the middle of the woods and far away from civilization because it was a well-paying job and the risk of dying was extremely low.
He ran to the Special Operations Barracks where Specialist Michael Irving was already gearing up. Charlie knew him, they were not best friends, but they shared a few beers on occasion together with other soldiers. Michael was a stocky guy with a British descent, a thick neck, not like Charlie, who was leaner and more of a lightweight type. In a boxing match, Michael would kick his ass, thought Charlie, good for him that kicking is not allowed in boxing.
'Hi there!' said Michael while he was taking his Kevlar vest. It was not the greeting he should have addressed to a Sergeant but given that they knew each other, it was all right. Michael was assigned to the Special Operations Unit anyway, so he was not a direct subordinate of Charlie.
'Hello, what's with all this gear, man? I thought this will be a low key transport only.'
'Just precautions,' Micheal replied, 'we have to look dangerous, you know.'
'I understand but I didn't think that we need to look like fuckin' Rambo.' said Charlie as he was inspecting an M4A1 carbine he had to take with him as the main weapon.
'Don't worry, we are not going to war. Just load up and let's go. We don't have much time.'
After gearing up, they headed to the main gate where the truck was waiting for them. It was just a standard troop carrying truck.
'What the hell?' asked Charlie in amazement after seeing the vehicle.
'What?' asked Michael.
'All that gear and only this truck. Something doesn't add up...'
'We have to be prepared, man. Even if we are going low-key. We don't wanna attract too much attention.'
'All right,' replied Charlie, 'fair enough. Let's do this then.'
'That's my man!' said Michael and laughed.
'Any chance of you knowing what the cargo is?' asked Charlie, but he knew he'll get a negative answer.
'No,' replied Michael, 'Chapman wouldn't tell me. I guess we'll have to live with that.'
Major Chapman was waiting for them at the truck together with some scientists working at the facility. They looked stressed, and Charlie noticed it. Whatever had happened, it was not a good thing. They were either trying to cover up something, or they were trying to make something right which they screwed up. Micheal didn't look surprised at all by the sight of their sad faces. This was another indication that he was lying about the cargo. Major Chapman at least admitted that he is not allowed to talk about it. He was the most composed of them all, his military training showed now when things got out of hand.
'Remember, boys,' said the major, 'the road will be clear, so you should have a safe journey. People are expecting you at the other base, so hurry as much as you can, but don't risk any accidents. The cargo needs to stay intact. If anything happens, call in. Don't play Rambo.'
'Yes, sir!' they both said almost together and saluted.
Charlie climbed to the wheel, Micheal to the other side. The gates were already opening so Charlie didn't hesitate much. The ignition was on already, so he put the truck into first gear and then rolled out into the darkness.
The road they had to take was to the left from the base. They drove for about three miles and then turned right onto a road which was going through the woods, roughly towards the north.
Charlie tried to speed up, he was pushing the acceleration more than he should have. The engine roared, but it felt more like a struggle than anything else.
'Hey, slow down,' said Michael, 'we have to be careful with the cargo.'
'I know,' replied Charlie with furrowed eyebrows, 'I'm just testing the truck. Tryin' to get used to it...'
'Is there something wrong with it?'
'I don't know. It's lazy for some reason, it has no power.'
'Well, I don't know either...' replied Michael and threw his hands into the air.'
'Either the cargo is heavy, or the truck is faulty. Do you at least know how heavy is whatever we are transporting?'
'I don't know anything about it. It was already sealed inside the truck when they told me that I'll be joining the ride.'
Charlie nodded, but something in his guts told him that there's something fishy here. Michael Irving had already been part of the science division when Charlie came here. It was weird that he didn't know anything. And then why send him if he doesn't know a damn thing?
It was normal for the military to keep secrets, especially at this base, but the feeling just didn't leave Charlie. He began thinking about his wife, Nora and son, Kevin. What would happen to them in case something happens to him? Thoughts like this sometimes occurred to him, but he always shunned them. There's no way anything will happen to him, the level of danger was relatively low. This was no place to die.
He rolled down the window and let the cool night breeze caress his face. It felt good, the first signs of autumn were here and Charlie welcomed them.
They drove on for some time without anything out of the ordinary happening. Not a car passed them from any direction. The road seemed to be one of the most abandoned roads in the U.S.
'Do you know the place we are heading to?' asked Charlie.
'No, I didn't even know that there is a place like that,' Michael responded.
'I thought that being a part of the science squad comes with privileges.'
'Yeah, it comes with some privileges, but I'm just a grunt. They don't tell me too much, they just give out the orders and that's all.'
'I don't like this, you know.'
'Don't like what? The mission?'
'Yes, it's strange. I have a bad feeling about it. Can't tell you exactly what, but something is not right.'
'Chill out, man,' replied Michael and patted Charlie on the shoulder, 'you're just tired. Everything is going to be fine.'
'I hope so,' said Charlie and stepped on the gas a little more, 'let's get it over with.'
Charlie's mind was grinding endlessly. He was thinking about the cargo, the base, his current mission. Even the origin of the base was a mystery. People said that the military sealed off the area after a meteor fell on it about five years ago. They then proceeded to build a whole research base.
For many people, it was self-evident that the meteorite contained something important, but nobody knew what. Considering the importance of the mission, Charlie reasoned that the thing they are transporting has to do something with the meteorite. He thought about stopping to take a look, because he was curious, but didn't want to lose time. The package is most likely in a steel container or something like that anyway.
'What the hell?' said Michael and stared in tired amazement at the red and blue lights ahead.
'What are these guys doing here at an hour like this?'
'Don't know. Maybe they are searching for somebody.'
Charlie slowed down a little. The police cruiser was on the right side of the road. A policeman came forward and signalled for them to stop. Charlie pulled over and the policeman came to the truck. He was an odd-looking fellow with a small white moustache and wrinkled face.
'Good evening fellas!' he greeted the soldiers. They noticed that he was not particularly impressed by them.
'Good evening sir!' Charlie responded. 'US Army, can we help you, sir?'
'Yeah, I noticed that,' the policeman said and threw tired looks at both of them, 'can I see some papers, please?'
'Yeah, sure,' replied Charlie and handed him the envelope, 'this should do it.'
The policeman took the envelope from the soldier's hand and opened it. He took a quick glance at the papers inside then handed them back.
'All good, boys,' he said, 'you are clear to go.'
'Everything all right, sir? Did something happen that you are out at this hour?' asked Michael.
'I suppose it is,' the policeman replied, 'we've had some reports of strange activities 'round these parts. That's why we're patrolling.'
It was strange that he said 'we' because there was nobody else with him. He didn't appear too concerned, and also his all too general answer was at least weird.
'Ah, ok,' replied Charlie, 'thanks for letting us know.'
'You're welcome, have a safe trip.'
The two soldiers resumed their journey. After they left, the policeman went to the cruiser and grabbed the radio.
'Be ready,' he said, 'they are coming.'
'We are ready,' somebody on the other side said, 'let them come.'
They drove in silence for another fifteen to twenty minutes when the soldiers both saw something glowing in the distance.
'Now that's strange, man,' said Michael while keeping his eyes on the flickering light far ahead.
'Well,' Charlie began, 'I told you that something is not right.'
'Yeah, I'm beginning to have the same feeling. But what could it be?'
'Looks like a burning car in the middle of the road...' said Charlie while hoping in his mind that it's not true.
'That's bad news...'
'No shit! Yeah, it's definitely a burning car,' said Charlie as he got closer.
The car was occupying the whole road and it was blazing. There was no way to go around it. Charlie slowed down and then saw a shadow moving at the side of the road. It looked like the figure of a woman.
'Damn, what are we gonna do now?' asked Michael, and his voice was becoming a little anxious.
'First, I'll check out the woman,' replied Charlie and pulled to the side, 'you stay here. Have your gun ready, this is not an ordinary accident.'
The woman came to the driver's door. She was visibly in distress. Her hair was a mess and she was all dirty. Before she reached the door, Charlie rolled up the window and turned to Michael and whispered.
'There are no skid marks and the car is almost perpendicular to the road. Something stinks here, stay sharp, weapon ready.'
He got out of the truck. The woman was standing in front of him, she was in a panicked state and crying.
'Please, you've got to help me!'
'Ma'am, are you all right? What happened?'
'We've had an accident,' she replied in a grief-stricken voice, 'my husband...my husband is dead.' She pointed to the front seat of the burning car where Charlie saw the contours of a burning body.
It was now that he saw the other car in the ditch on the left side of the road. So there was indeed an accident. He signalled Michael that it's ok, he can relax now. Michael got out of the truck and went over to Charlie and the woman.
'I'm sorry for your loss. What about the other car's driver?'
'I don't know,' she replied, 'I didn't check...all I know that my husband is dead...' and she broke out crying.
'I understand,' said Charlie then turned to Michael, 'call it in. Tell Chapman that we can't proceed.'
'All right,' said Michael and went to the driver's side.
Charlie switched on the flashlight on his rifle and approached the car in the ditch. There was a driver with his head resting on the wheel. The airbag had exploded and now it was hanging lazily below the driver's chin. Charlie wanted to check the man's vital signs but Michael interrupted him.
'Hey, Faulkner, the radio's dead.'
'What? It can't be....try again!'
'You didn't hear me, it's broken. Not functional.'
'Shit,' said Charlie, 'Chapman said to radio in if anything happens. How in the hell they didn't check the radio?'
'I dunno, man,' replied Michael, 'I'm gonna try to see if there's anything wrong with the wiring.'
He turned and began fumbling with the radio. Charlie went to the car to see if the man at the wheel is unconscious or dead? When he reached the car door, something blunt bashed into the back of his head. He crashed face forward into the car's half-broken window cutting the flesh on his face.
The world began to whirl around him. He heard powerful male voices, hasty voices which gave orders. When he regained his consciousness, he noticed that the rifle is no longer in his hands. It was being held by the woman. She was no longer afraid nor in despair, and she also took his pistol. A satisfied grin was on her face while she was pointing the gun at Charlie.
The door of the wrecked car was opening and the man who, until now, pretended to be unconscious, exited the car. Charlie looked behind himself and saw that Michael was on his knees, held at gunpoint by two men who looked like mercenaries.
A third man was standing beside them, with a pistol in his hand. He was young but had a determined look in his eyes. The womanly features of his face were hiding a cunning mind. The other two men were large-framed. One of them had a long beard, the other one had only stubs, but on his neck, there was a large tattoo.
The one from the car was a little older. His face looked older than he was, and his hair was already beginning to whiten.
'It was about time, chief,' said the older guy, 'I thought I'm gonna pass out from boredom.'
'Don't worry,' said the younger one, 'boredom ain't gonna kill ya. There's a bullet with your name already on it.'
'What do you want?' asked Charlie dryly interrupting their chat.
'Your precious cargo,' said the chief and pointed towards the truck.
'How do you know what we are transporting?'
'Who said that I know? I only know that you are carrying something very special.'
'Do you know that you are messing with the United States Army?' asked Charlie trying to scare them, but he had a feeling that it will be in vain.
'I know very well what I'm doing,' the leader responded, 'but given that everything about this transport and the base is shrouded in secrecy, I can do whatever the hell I want. And I wanna get rich, so Mr Soldier-boy, would you kindly show us what you have back there?'
'Move your ass!' shouted the woman while pointing Charlie's rifle at him.
Charlie began moving towards the truck's back. He hadn't the vaguest idea what they were transporting but at least he will find out. He thought about his family again and while he was walking to the truck, he imagined their life without him. How hard would that be, he thought, and imagined his son as he is asking his mother 'where is daddy?'.
These thoughts made him think about options to get out alive of this situation. He can't leave them on their own. There is no way in hell he's going to do that.
He reached the truck's back and climbed inside. The woman was still pointing the rifle at him. Their leader was searching the insides of the truck with a flashlight. There was a large metal container inside.
'Open it up!' ordered the leader.
'I wouldn't do that if I were you!' Michael warned them.
'And why is that?' asked the leader.
'Because it's contagious. The thing inside the container. If we don't reach our destination in time, there is a high chance of a global epidemic erupting.'
The mercenaries began laughing. Charlie didn't say a thing, he just hoped that Michael can carry on with the story and maybe somehow get them out of this situation.
'Nice try, but I'm not gonna fall for such bullshit. Open it up!'
Charlie didn't even know how to open it. The container was locked with a padlock. It was about three feet high, six feet long and three feet wide. It looked like a modern-day sarcophagus.
'I can't open it, it's locked,' said Charlie.
The mercenary leader sighed then spoke to one of the men holding Michael at gunpoint.
'Rico,' he said and the tattooed man came to him, 'get up there and open that shit up!'
'Yes, boss,' said the man and jumped up.
He threw a menacing look at Charlie, then blasted the padlock with his rifle. The shot echoed for a few seconds in their ears, but none of them paid attention to it. They were more curious about the precious cargo the container was supposed to be holding.
'You really shouldn't mess with that thing!' said Michael from outside the truck. The bearded soldier smacked the back of his head with the butt of his rifle, and Michael didn't continue with his warnings.
The leader and the woman jumped up beside Rico as he was lifting the container's lid. Bright light began to fill the truck. Even Charlie was amazed at the sight, he had never expected to see this. He thought about many things, special weapons, a bomb, money, but not what was before his eyes.
Inside the rusting metal container, there was some kind of isolating chamber which looked more high tech than anything Charlie had ever seen. Inside the reinforced glass chamber, there was a man who looked very sick. His eyes were open and their iris was turning black. The veins on his naked body were also blackening, in some places the skin too. Charlie knew now that Michael was aware all along about their cargo.
All of the soldiers who were in the truck just stared at the man. They couldn't say or do anything for a few seconds due to the confusion which the unusual find caused them. The mercenary leader bent closer to the glass to examine the body in detail. He jumped back when something moved beneath the skin of the sick man.
He turned to Charlie, grabbed him with both hands by his vest, and shoved him with his back into the side of the truck.
'What the hell is this?' he shouted and pointed towards the container.
'I don't know, man,' he replied, 'I didn't even know...'
'Bullshit!' the leader interrupted him.
'Boss, the other one knows,' said the woman.
'Oh, yes. Zane, get the other one here!'
'Get up, asshole,' ordered the soldier, so Michael had to move quickly.
The leader released Charlie and pointed his pistol towards Michael. The soldier knew he had to talk, he felt it in his guts that if he does anything wrong, his brains will be all around on the asphalt.
'Now you talk, or I swear I'll kill both of you like fuckin' dogs.'
'It's an adaptive alien reponomorph.'
'What the unholy fuck is that?' asked the leader in a dumbfounded tone. Charlie was just staring at the scene having no idea what to say.
'Alien? Seriously?' asked the woman, equally flabbergasted.
'Yes,' Michael continued, 'it came with a meteorite some years ago. It's a parasite, a small larva which after it infests you, it releases powerful enzymes which replace your DNA in real time. 'Repono' is from latin, it means 'to replace'.'
'What the hell does that mean?' asked the leader.
'It means that it will gradually transform the host into one of them, together with adaptive changes depending on gravity, atmosphere, climate and environment. The advantage of this process is that the specimen is capable of defending itself more or less while transforming. It will gain its full strength after the transformation is complete.'
'Holy shit,' said the woman, 'and what happened to this man? How did he get infected and where are you transporting him?'
'I don't know how he got infected, the scientists were running animal trials, I think there was an accident...'
'Animal trials for what?'
'Medical revolution, cancer treatment, limb and organ regeneration, this parasite holds the key to the pinnacle of genetic engineering.'
'And also some weaponization, am I right?' asked the leader.
The mercenary leader couldn't even finish the question because a the body in the chamber moved in a sudden fashion. The gurgling sound which escaped the man's throat froze the blood even in the veins of the battle-hardened soldiers.
'Oh, my God, he's alive!' exclaimed the woman.
'Yes, of course he is. He is under the effect of an experimental serum which slows the metamorphosis down, but cannot stop it. We have to get him to a medical facility. If we can't do that, he will wake up.'
'Shit, how much time do we have?'
'I don't know, times are still uncertain. From minuted to hours. He's the first infected human...'
The body in the chamber moved again, this time it was more violent. They looked inside and saw his eyes rolling in their sockets. His left hand began turning black, his fingers fusing into some kind of slimy tentacle. His torso was also blackening, a hard growth began forming on his abdomen. It looked like some kind of protective exoskeleton.
'Fuck!' shouted the leader. 'What happens if he wakes up?'
'We don't really know, but one thing is sure. It will wreak havoc. So far, fire proved to be the most effective measure against it. Blowing it up only helps it multiply.
'All right, fuck your alien! Do we have time to reach the facility?'
'I don't think so,' replied Michael, 'you assholes fucked it all up!'
The leader smacked him in the head with the butt of his pistol. Michael fell on the ground, the pain was sharp and the world was whirling around him.
The high-tech sarcophagus began to rock, unearthly sounds emerged from behind the thick glass.
'Let's throw it into the fire,' said the leader thinking that the flames from the burning car should be enough to stop it.
'All right,' said Charlie, who was silent until now, 'let's do it!'
'Zane, Rico, go to the other end! You two assholes grab the other side. Me and Natasha are going to grab the middle.'
They moved into position, the creature inside began to look less human and more alien. Its lower jaw split in two, sharp teeth were appearing in its mouth. The eyes were completely black with a little white dot in the middle.
The soldiers tried to move the sarcophagus, but it was way too heavy. Even after the fifth mercenary came from outside to help, the contraption was not moving much. Maybe an inch but no more.
'Burn the truck!' shouted Michael after seeing that their efforts are in vain.
'We need gasoline, do you have gasoline?' asked the leader.
'Only in the tank,' replied Charlie.
'Get a tube and suck it out of the tank!' the leader ordered with the gun in hand.
Charlie got down and ran to the cabin to see if he can find a plastic tube or something he could use to get gas out of the tank.
The cargo rocked violently again and they heard the sound of glass breaking. A blackened tentacle reached out of the hole in the glass and began flailing around in a chaotic manner. It was like the creature was trying to feel its environment.
All the soldiers jumped down from the truck and pointed their weapons towards the truck. Charlie heard the commotion and stood motionless trying to think about his options.
More glass broke as the creature was trying to break out of the glass and metal coffin. A deformed head appeared, its eyes were menacing, and its slimy body was shining in the flashlight beam. It still resembled a human, but it was contorted, deformed and discoloured.
The black tentacles grabbed onto anything they came in contact with, and the creature began climbing out.
'Charlie, get outta there!' shouted Michael because he knew that the mercs are going to open fire.
Rifles began firing along with the leader's pistol. The creature was filled with lead. It screamed and shrieked in pain but didn't die. It was a far more advanced organism than they've ever seen.
Charlie ran to the others but had to jump back as the creature's bullet-ridden body appeared in the truck's back. A black and foul-smelling liquid was dripping from each of the bullet holes. Half of its face was missing, there was a huge gaping hole in its torso, but that didn't stop it.
The soldiers were reloading, one of them even began firing, but the creature jumped. Zane and Rico were penetrated by the tentacles through their necks, the merc leader was knocked down. Michael ran towards Charlie, leaving Natasha face-to-face with the human-alien hybrid.
She wanted to run but the creature grabbed her with its tentacles, lifted her up in the air and with a powerful move, ripped her in half. She fell onto the asphalt in two gory pieces. Her upper body, still fuelled by adrenaline, was crawling away from the monster, leaving a bloody trail of guts behind her. She died a few seconds later.
Charlie and Michael jumped into the truck and started the engine just as the creature was decapitating the leader. Charlie revved the engine and collided straight with the burning wreck. He wanted to push it out of the way, which was working but not as fast as he wanted.
The older mercenary dropped his weapon and ran for the forest, but one of the tentacles slapped him hard on the knees, breaking both. He fell with his face into the grass then the tentacle came crashing down on his head splattering his brain all over the place.
An ululating scream echoed from behind the truck. The creature jumped and landed straight on top of the truck. Charlie and Michael saw that they have no other chance, opened the doors in order to run. Charlie headed straight for the trees, but Michael couldn't. A powerful tentacle wrapped around him like a vice. Charlie heard him scream until his lungs and organs were crushed to a pulp.
Charlie ran as fast as he could. He had no idea where he was going, he just ran. One thing was sure, he wanted to see his family again. The night was cold, but he felt hot, his lungs were burning.
Something was closing in, Charlie could hear the sounds growing louder by the second. When he felt that he can't outrun the thing chasing him, Charlie stopped. He wanted to grab his sidearm, but Natasha took it away.
All he had, was his sturdy combat knife. Charlie knew that it was useless, but he was determined to go down fighting. He tried to steady his heaving lungs in order to be able to fight back. He had no flashlight, it remained in the truck. Almost complete darkness surrounded him, and the monster was closing in. He could smell its metallic odour combined with the putrid smell of decomposition.
Out of the darkness, the monster jumped. Charlie was knocked back wildly with his back into a tree. Lucky for him that the kevlar vest absorbed some of the shocks. He had some strength left to stab the creature in the side of its body. The foul liquids dripping from the creatures open wounds flowed onto his face and his clothes.
Charlie stabbed with all his might, but the monster was relentless. He even pushed his finger into one of its eyes, but all it did, it made the monster angrier. A tentacle found its way beneath the kevlar and drilled into Charlie's guts. He screamed as it was drilling into him.
Gunfire echoed a few yards away and the creature released him. Charlie saw soldiers wearing hazmat suits and wielding heavy weapons. Some of them wore canisters on their backs. Flamethrowers, thought Charlie, these guys will kill the monster, thank God.
The monster was blasted once more but this time with M249 machine guns. After they riddled it full of holes and saw that it just won't die, three soldiers blasted it with their flamethrowers. It was one hell of a sight. The creature screamed and writhed wildly, but then the machine guns resumed their concerto.
It fell and burned like a torch. Its wild movements faded into lame squirmings and then stopped completely. The soldiers with the flamethrowers blasted it some more, the forest began to catch fire, but they were prepared for that also. Three other soldiers were equipped with high capacity extinguishers. They used them effectively to put out the fires which started around them.
One of the soldiers walked towards Charlie. Relief fell upon him although his abdomen was bleeding and he felt an awful lot of pain. The adrenaline was keeping him alert even though the bloodloss was beginning to become severe.
'Thank God, you're here. It...it almost killed me,' he said but the other soldier did not respond. 'Help me, help me please,' he continued and extended his right hand.
The soldier stopped in front of him. For a few seconds, he stared at the wounded man then pulled out his pistol.
'Hey,' Charlie began, 'what are you doing?'
The soldier pointed the pistol to Charlie's face.
'Wait, man! Please...'
Charlie couldn't say more. His brains got splattered on the tree behind him, the grass around him, and the hazmat suit of the soldier who shot him. The soldier signalled to one of the guys with the flamethrowers. He came and burned Charlie's dead body to a crisp.
'Mission completed,' said the soldier into his radio as a piece of Charlie's brain was sliding downward on his protective suit.
'Good work boys,' responded Major Chapman from the other side, 'clear up and report back to base!'
'Yes, sir!' acknowledged the soldier.
The major was sitting in his office smoking a cigar. The phone rang and he picked up. A raspy voice spoke to him.
'Good work, major! I will make sure that you will be promoted for this.'
'Thank you, General Hartmann,' he responded, 'the experiment was a success. If weaponized, this thing will be almost unstoppable. Conventional weapons are useless against it.'
'Yes, I saw the live stream. Too bad that we had to kill two of our soldiers, but they were the necessary sacrifice for the greater good.'
'Yes, sir. There was no other way to put the creature to the test and also our soldiers. Unfortunately, they performed miserably. We will proceed with the weaponization. This thing will change the future of warfare.'
'Good, make sure that everybody will think that it was an accident.'
'Don't worry, sir. Everything is under control.'
Major Chapman put down the phone, then lifted it up again in order to talk to the head of the science department. He gave the green light for the most daring experiment in the history of the world.
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