‘I’ll call you back.’ Colonel Phillips replaced the handset on its cradle. ‘Give me an update Major, what’s the situation there?’
‘There’s hundreds dead sir. The men are bagging up remains and checking the houses for survivors.’
‘We’ve been tracking the creatures southwards. There are flocks of this new creature going out from all points of the compass. We’ve lost five units up country. Forty men dead. How the bloody hell could this happen?’
‘We underestimated them sir. No one could have foreseen this. We thought we’d seen the last of them with the clean-up.’
‘I’ve had the ministry on to me. It seems these things rise from the black sludge left behind after the diesel destroys them. You know what this means Barnes. Every damn creature we’ve killed is going to give rise to thousands of this new breed. I don’t see how were going to beat this one. We thought we were bloody lucky with the last lot...’
The phone rang. Phillips picked it up. ‘YES. Oh, right. Put him through.’
As he held the phone to his ear his hand was clenched so tightly around it Barnes thought it was going to snap in half. His face took on a grave expression. Barnes knew this had to be bad. Not much rattled the Colonel.
‘Yes sir. Right sir. I’ll get units over there immediately.’
He bashed the phone hard into its cradle and looked up at Barnes.
‘There’s been another attack.’
‘Nottingham Forest Football Ground. The creatures attacked during a game, it’s a bloodbath, a bloody massacre. It was broadcast live so there’s no covering it up any more, the whole bloody world knows what shit we’re in.’
‘Do we know how many survivors?’
‘None inside the ground,’ the colonel sighed. ‘People took refuge wherever they could outside.’
‘But that place holds more than thirty-thousand.’ Barnes sat down heavily, hardly able to take it in.
‘So far we only have aerial conformation. All the exits from the ground are blocked with bodies, what’s left of them, but it looks likely that none survived. The creatures that attacked them numbered in the millions.’
‘Where is the flock now?’
‘Heading south. It’s being tracked towards Leicester. Get over there Major. Although I don’t know what we’re expected to do. Just keep the place locked down for now.’
’Yes sir. I’ll take ‘B’ Company. The other unit will be busy for some time.’ Barnes got up to leave.
‘Just do your best Greg. It’s not going to get any easier so be on your guard. These flocks are appearing everywhere.’
‘I will sir.’
Barnes left the room feeling apprehensive at the thought of dealing with so many deaths and how his men were going to react. He’d already lost a lot of good men in the last lot, now they were dealing with millions of these new creatures.