A short story by Pochassic: The Last President
“The Russians just launched everything they have.” The general couldn’t believe the intelligence, couldn’t believe what the Russians had just done, nor could he believe the words now escaping his lips. “They’re nuking their own country.”
“What are they hitting?” The President snapped.
“The major population centers, Moscow, St Petersburg, etc.”
“Are they leaving the countryside alone? The President knew the answer would be yes before she finished the question. She also knew half the Joint Chiefs of Staff surrounding her in the bunker thought the Russians had the right strategy.
“Yes Madame President, considering the situation…”
“Stop! I am not going to be the President remembered for attacking America with nuclear weapons.”
“If you don’t act fast no one will be alive to remember America, much less you.” The admiral to her right snapped. Then immediately started a coughing fit .
“Marine.” the President barked at the soldier in the bunker, “Kill him.”
The admiral slumped backward, the hole in his forehead from the gunshot leaked the black blood of the infected. The rest of the military men in the room looked at the President, she ordered him shot without as much as a blink, this was a good sign. The President fully grasped the situation and was unafraid to do what was necessary.
“We are all infected gentlemen, and we all know that.” The President scanned the room. America’s last best hope was here in this room, and they were all going to die within three days. “We have to make the right decision while we still can.”
“We know that the disease itself is killed by radiation.” When the outbreak began in Japan, the entire country seemingly became sick, with the exception of Fukushima Prefecture where 4 nuclear power plants were still in meltdown years after being hit by a series of tsunamis.
“The Russians have made the smart tactical move,” General Hermitage could no longer hold his tongue. “The cities are lost. Destroying them with nukes means the people in the country side will have a chance. We should do the same while we still can.”
“No.” The President was firm, she knew the Russian plan was insanity. She also knew the insanity of people rising from the dead, attacking and eating the living meant nothing could truly be off the table. The world had gone insane, zombies , those loathsome residents of science fiction had become real, and were on the verge of winning this unholy war.
“What are infection rates on the coasts compared with the interior of the country?”
“At the moment Madame President the NSA computers are projecting 40% infection rate on the coasts , predicted to climb to 87.9% within 72 hours. The interior 27% infection rate will grow to 95% within a week.”
“I want the nukes launched at the ice caps.”
The Generals looked perplexed.
“Put all nuclear plants into meltdown, hopefully that will slow things up a bit.” The President spoke with the authority that befit her position. “After that in 72 hours launch everything we have at every glacier and ice cap in the world.” Her plan coalesced quickly in her mind, it wasn’t great but it had a chance. “The Tsunamis caused by the polar ice caps being hit will scrub the coasts of the infected, give the people in the interior a fighting chance.”
“Madame President if these things are like the zombies in the movies we’ve all seen, that means you’ll be washing the dead inland.”
“No it won’t” The President snapped, “The NSA computers have run the numbers and most of the zombies will be torn to shreds in the current,” The President was lying, sometimes leaders do that, they lie to you, make up stories whole cloth, with no regard for the truth. Usually it is a shrewd political calculation, this time it was simple desperation.
“Why don’t we launch now?”
“No give the living a chance, tell them what’s coming.” The President was an incredible poker player. Bluffing was her specialty, she had been bluffing that she was not as sick as she was. “”Give them a chance… no matter how small.”
General Hermitage did not like the look of the President. She had become pale, sweat was forming on her brow. The general placed his right hand on his sidearm, the turn was inevitable.
The scream let out by the Vice President rattled Hermitage’s soul. The dead in reality, unlike their fictional counterparts, would scream. The noise was akin to rusty nails scraping against a blackboard combined with a small animal dying. The Vice President had just died, and unfortunately came back within a second. He was already attacking the President when Hermitage opened fire.
Within 90 seconds the last remnants of the United States Government were literally at each others throats. Bullets ricocheting inside the bunker killed several of the Joint Chiefs, only to have their corpses rise and attack their colleagues. The blood bath was fast and brutal, in the end General Hermitage stood alone as the last remnant of the United States government.
Bleeding from a bite wound to his leg, Hermitage limped over to a computer terminal and began typing in the codes that would unleash the United States nuclear arsenal in 72 hours.
“May God have mercy on my soul.”