Chapter 10

Submitted by Zombieman on Sun, 11/12/2017 - 18:29

“Well, if they want a truce, we aren’t going to give it to them. Get a nuke ready.”

“We can’t Colonel. The radiation would drift right back over us.”

“A positro...”

“No. It’s too dangerous, even without the radiation, remember Denver?”

The tall, lean African American man turned his back on his planning group, “We cannot win this.”

“We’re holding our own, Draper. If they want to ease off the attack, then we should use that time to rest and regroup.”

“Alan, what, pray tell, are we to regroup? They have already won the war and just don’t know it yet.”

“Careful, Colonel. That sounds like defeatism.”

“Your thoughts, as a group, are to fortify our positions, static positions that the enemy with plans will easily scout out, rest our troops and wait for them to attack again? How is that going to win us this war?”

“If we can fight them to a standstill…”

“You want to basically let them punch us and hope they get so tired of it they stop? We are dealing with the dead here. They do not tire, they do not stop. They will keep coming long after all of us are dead. We have to hit them hard while we still know where they are concentrated.”

“Draper we are not exactly drowning in nuclear bombs. Even if we had some to use, as Alan pointed out, the radiation would drift back over onto us due to the prevailing winds. Besides radiation doesn’t seem to kill the zombies, it just makes them radioactive, so among other worries we’d have would be dealing with that. Send out raiding parties to your hearts content. Keep using Jake’s irregular forces, at least that isn’t our own men and women dying.”

Through gritted teeth, Draper said, “They are effective. I will not throw away one of the only effective tools I am being permitted to use on some pointless attack.”

“That’s your call, but the higher ups have sent word down to do it this way, so do what they say or you’ll find yourself in charge of a training and recruitment camp.”

“Snider, you’re smart enough to see that sitting on our laurels and doing nothing is not helping. You have to give me something.” Draper pressed.

“You have something in mind?”

“The freaks.”

“After what Dora did, the powers that be feel that the Freaks are too unreliable to use.”

“But….?”

“I’ll talk to them. I did come with some gifts. You don’t want to use up Jake, and I know you have been gathering up some of your own suped up humans into the 21st.”

“How I arrange my troops is up to me, so far as I know.”

“I’m not going to bust your balls for that. I’d do the same thing myself, were I in your shoes. I have some light benders for you.”

“How many?”

“Forty. Will that give you another raiding force, if you give them to the 21st?”

Draper nodded slowly, “It will help. I can’t win with just that.” He nodded again, “But it will help.”

“A lot?”

“Maybe.”

“I see if I can spring some of the freaks for you too.”

“And the nukes?”

“Probably no chance in hell, when they push us back across the Missouri river you’ll probably get them.” Snider said.

“If they push us back across the Missouri then we might as well surrender.”

“Watch your comments, Colonel, we’re with you here, but you never know when there might be people around who would take that out of context. Focus on building at the razor back, especially along highway 80.”

“Now that is defeatist.”

“That’s now how they see it back in Des Moines. I think they are going to push for a diplomatic solution.”

“Fuck.” Draper said softly, “That can only mean surrender.”

“Not our decision officially. My opinion aligns closer to yours – only evil can come from taking such an action.”

The meeting wrapped up and General Snider dismissed his aides and asked, “Draper, might I have a few moments of your time?”

“Of course, sir.”

They waited until everyone had left the room, with Snider firmly shutting the door behind the last of the leaving men and women. “Draper, I am of the opinion that course of action the leadership in Des Moines is taking is going to endanger what we have left of the country.”

“I couldn’t agree more.”

“Are you willing to do anything about it?”

“I am doing all I can to try and bring a victory out of this mess. I need everything. I need the freaks back under my control for a start. Nuclear weapons must be on the table. Even the P-Bombs. I would rather face an unknown danger later and win than be defeated.”

“I understand where you are coming from. The legal angle. What I am asking is, would you support a change in leadership. One brought about by the military?”

“A coup?”

“To get a group of people in charge who would let you win this fight. Who understand what it will take.”

Draper rubbed his jaw with one thick hand, “It would have to happen soon, if I were to have any chance at winning.”

“That’s not an answer, that’s a deflection. I need to know if you would support the military overthrowing the civilian government. You understand that I can’t leave here without an answer one way or the other, for obvious reasons.”

“I would support the lawful chain of command, obeying orders from my superiors.”

“Lieutenant Colonel, I need a yes or a no.”

Draper stared at the general, more than at him, through him. Slowly his face was taken over with a broad grin.