Dead America The Northwest Invasion | Book 3 | Dead America-Seattle [Part 1]
DEAD AMERICA: THE NORTHWEST INVASION
SEATTLE - PART 1
BY DEREK SLATON
Day Zero +23
Captain Kersey sat in a small back office at the tiny regional airport at midnight. He studied several maps of the Seattle area, multi-colored marks flowing in various directions across them. The desk before him with the radio on it was buried in papers.
He took a deep breath. The responsibility on his shoulders was heavy. Even though he was just a Captain, and a newly promoted one at that, General Stephens, Adams, and the entirety of the presidential inner circle valued his on-the-ground experience so much that they’d given him command of barricade and diversion forces.
To the outside observer, that wouldn’t sound all that impressive, however, to those in the know, it showed great confidence in the Captain. These three missions—the northern barricade, Mercer Island, and the downtown run—were all vital to the success of the mission.
Kersey pored over the maps as the noises outside grew louder. More men moved in, machinery came in and out. The moment was upon them, the biggest single operation since the invasion of Normandy. Not only was this larger, it was arguably more important. That had been a battle for freedom, but this was for the survival of the nation, and possibly the human race.
As he contemplated, brow furrowed, the radio sprung to life.
“Captain Kersey, do you copy?” Stephens’ voice came through.
Kersey picked up the receiver and stood up from the maps, refocusing his attention. “Yes, General.”
“What’s your status?” Stephens asked.
“The northern blockade team is gearing up,” he replied. “They’ll be airborne in fifteen. As soon as the planes return, they’ll refuel and the Mercer Island squad will take off.”
“Good,” the General came back. “And the interstate team for downtown?”
Kersey leaned on his hand. “Last I heard, Corporal Bretz and his team were securing the trucks and awaiting dawn,” he said. “With where they’re going, they’ll need the daylight.”
“Understood,” Stephens replied. “I appreciate the work you’re doing for us.”
The Captain nodded. “It’s my job, General,” he said. “And to be frank, you put your faith in me and I want to make sure you never think it was misplaced.”
“I appreciate that as well,” Stephens replied. “I’ll never complain about being made to look good.” They chuckled together and then he continued, “I do have one additional task for you, Captain.”
“Of course, sir,” Kersey said.
“As you know, ammunition is at a premium,” the General began, “so in addition to the clear teams that will be trailing behind the main force, I need you to set aside some scroungers. They will need to look in every business that would carry guns and ammo, and even homes if they have time.”
The Captain nodded. “Yes sir, I will make it happen.”
“I know you will,” Stephens replied confidently.
Kersey took a deep breath. “Sir, if there’s nothing else,” he said slowly. “I need to brief Sergeant Copeland and his team before they head off.”
“Of course, Captain,” the General replied. “I look forward to your updates.”
The line went dead and Kersey took a beat before setting the receiver down and glancing at his watch. It was just past midnight.
“Okay,” he said to himself, straightening his shoulders. “Game time.”
He picked up a few of the maps of the northern area, the town of Burlington. It was a sleepy little villa just across the river from Mount Vernon, and if things went well, it would be a perfect choke point for the hundreds of thousands of zombies looming in the north.
He walked out of the room, maps tucked under his arm, and onto the airfield. There were six small planes lined up on the runway, pilots standing outside of them and biding their time. He made his way to the hangar at the far end of the field, currently bathed in light, both artificial and from barrel fires to keep the men warm. As he stepped in, Sergeant Copeland approached him immediately.
“Captain Kersey,” he said politely, dark skin glimmering in the firelight.
“Sergeant,” Kersey replied with a nod. “You boys about ready to go?” he asked, glancing past the burly bald Sergeant at the thirty-four other men prepping their gear for the assault. He pursed his lips, a look of concern crossing his face. “Looks like you’re a little light on men there,” he said.
Copeland sighed. “Yeah, tell me about it,” he agreed. “Two of the planes conked out, so unless someone wanted to hang on to the wings, we weren’t getting them there.”
“No volunteers, I take it?” Kersey asked with a lopsided smile.
Copeland chuckled. “No, sir,” he replied. “Although I’m pretty sure I could get Kowalski to do it on a dare.”
Private Kowalski looked up from his pack. “I heard my name,” he barked. “Whatever it is, I swear I didn’t do it!”
“Must not be talking about any hot women, then,” Private Wade quipped from beside him, grinning ear-to-ear.
Kowalski put a hand to his chest in mock offense. “What the hell, man?” he demanded playfully. “I thought us snipers stuck together?”
“If that were true, you wouldn’t have cranked up the yacht rock the other day,” Wade shot back, pointing a finger at his friend.
Kowalski smirked. “Eh, valid point.”
Private Johnson began muttering obscenities behind them as he tried to strap on his parachute. Kersey and Copeland chuckled and shook their heads before the latter snapped his fingers at one of the other men.
“Corporal Dawson,” he called.
“Yes, sir?” Dawson’s short and stocky frame snapped to attention.
Copeland motioned to the struggling Private. “Can you please help Johnson there before he pulls something?” he asked.
Dawson laughed and turned to help the wild redneck, who was still grunting and huffing in frustration even as he lowered his arms to accept the help.
Kersey handed the maps out to Copeland, and the Sergeant flipped through them quickly. They were printed maps this time instead of hand drawn, with multiple locations circled throughout.
“Not bad quality,” Copeland said.
Kersey wrinkled his nose. “Printer ran out of cyan before they all came