PATHOGENS (sample 1)

[This is the result of a decision that started Here. Click to go back]

Get to the Choppa!

The helicopter’s blades spin in a blur, and you get the feeling they were about to take off when the pilot saw you jogging towards the helipad. As soon as you climb aboard, an Airman in the back points out your seat and the chopper takes off.

The Airman, whose nametag reads Belliveau, hands you a headset and says, “Welcome, Sergeant. ETA to the St. Mary’s LZ is ten Mike.”

“What’s the mission?” you call out after switching your gasmask for a headset.

The man cocks his head, as if confused, but answers, “Extraction. This is a one-way ticket; weren’t you told?”

A knot forms in your throat. You slowly shake your head.

“The hospital is lost. We’re bringing back the unit commanders, but it’s a hot-swap. We go in, they come back. Then we find our own way out,” Airman Belliveau says.

Damn. What kind of suicide mission did you sign up for? Looking around at the specialty badges around the helicopter, all you see are combat rescue and para rescue; half a dozen badasses. You fold your arms across your “Communications Electrician Maintenance” badge, but no one seems to care. Are they really that undermanned already?

Looking out the side, you see dozens of black, fiery plumes on the horizon. The sun wanes behind them and the streets below are clogged with wrecks. People, living, dead, and undead, litter the city. Your eyes are drawn to the high-rises, as whole buildings and streets go dark one after another, a rolling blackout, like electrical dominoes.

St. Mary’s Hospital comes into view as a bona fide war zone. In a massive epidemic where everyone thought their loved ones were just sick, the biggest hospital in the city became ground zero. When the dead rise again, beware the morgue.

“We can’t touch down,” the pilot calls from up front. “The LZ is too hot!”

Looking down, you can’t help but agree. It’s chaos in the hospital parking lot. Still, there’s gotta be a way. When you pull your gasmask back on, the six-man crew in the back dons their own. What’s the plan?


All these cables and pulleys on the sides—isn’t fast-roping the default for combat rescue?

This is the biggest hospital in the city—shouldn’t there be a helipad up top?

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