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Deep within the bowels of an underground government black site, a crazy-haired, wild-eyed mad scientist by the name of Professor Abner Goldthwaite limped down a sterile white hallway. His lab coat was soaked red with blood from the bullet wound in his gut, which he desperately clutched with one hand.
An alarm blared. Red lights flashed.
When he spotted the gruff, grizzled, cigar chomping face of General Merrick, the scientist breathed a sigh of relief.
“Damn it, Goldthwaite!” the general barked. “What have you done this time?”
“Argh.” The scientist grunted as he put his back to the wall and slowly slumped to the clean floor. “It wasn’t me! It was…them!”
“I don’t know!” Goldthwaite said. “A team of three. They…”
The scientist winced as his wound grew more painful. “Bah! They…snuffed all the security…took everything…and then they were just…gone…as quickly as they came.”
The general’s perpetually angry face grew ten times angrier. “Everything?”
“Everything!” Goldthwaite shouted. “The files, the samples, the virus, the antidote…”
“Impossible,” the general said as he led his men down the hall. “This facility is impenetrable.”
Goldthwaite allowed blood to ooze from his gut as he stretched a hand out after the general.
“Be careful!” the scientist cried. “They released the test subjects!”
Minutes later, Merrick and his men reached the entrance to Goldthwaite’s laboratory. The old warrior, clad in his best dress uniform with an array of medals pinned to his chest, drew his pistol and placed his palm on a scanner.
A female artificial voice politely poured out of a speaker in the door. “Hand print scan confirmed. Voice confirmation, please.”
“General Noah Merrick,” the old man said. “Passcode alpha one one sierra tango x-ray niner.”
“Voice confirmation confirmed,” the artificial voice said. “Retinal scan, please.”
“Jesus Christ,” the general said. “You want to scan my dick too, lady?”
A brief pause.
“I don’t have a scanner that small, general,” the artificial voice replied.
“Har dee har har,” Merrick said as he closed his left eye and stared into the optical scanner with his right. “I knew we shouldn’t have given this AI a sense of humor.”
“Retinal scan confirmed,” the voice said.
The heavy steal door clicked and slowly rolled to the right.
“Warning, general,” the voice said. “Tracking twelve hostile test subjects inside.”
Merrick and his men entered the lab. The lights had been shot out, leaving the room dark except for the red flashing alarm lights that provided brief glimpses of activity.
The floor was littered with the bodies of dead security guards.
The groan filled Merrick with dread. He looked to the left. Nothing. To the right. Nothing. He and his men stepped forward for awhile until they saw it – a pack of four hideous zombies clawing at an expired guard’s carcass.
The zombies’ eyes were blank white. Their thought and emotional processes were clearly gone. All they wanted to do was feed.
Three men and one woman, dressed in hospital gowns, their hair disheveled, their teeth gnashing away at the various bodily organs they’d ripped from their victim.
The female emitted a quizzical groan. “Unghh?” She looked up, tore one last bite out of the half-eaten kidney that was in her hand, then pointed at Merrick and stood up.
Soon, her compatriots noticed they had company. They too rose to their feet and groaned.
More groans came, but this time from the left and the right sides of the room.
Merrick and his men were surrounded.
The general aimed at the female’s head, pulled the trigger and bam! An instant kill.
The men found targets for their automatic rifles and lit up their attackers.
Merrick continued to fire as he pulled a walkie talkie off of a clip from his belt.
Blam! Another zombie down.
The general put his thumb down on the call button.
“Get me the phalanx!”