Forums Coolval (series) THE PLAGUE

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    Episode 1
    December 20
    1925 hours
    Over the Gulf of Guinea, West Africa
    The twenty four megaton Lockheed
    Martin L-27 Super Hercules II rocked
    and bobbed silly, like a mere sleeve of
    paper in a hurricane.
    “Shit!” Captain James “Bobby” O’Riley
    swore under his breath, pulling the
    stick with all his might, trying to steady
    the cargo plane. Like the crack of a
    whip, lightning streaked through the
    sky, spreading its tendrils before them
    and illuminating the dark clouds for a
    moment. Rain, as huge bomblets of icy
    water, hammered the flying vessel, its
    rhythmic intensity rising and falling like
    the mad compositions of a slightly
    deranged music master. The nose of
    the plane jerked up and fell, point
    down, like the ECG reading of a patient
    in cardiac arrest. And O’Riley held the
    stick, static, with stretched and strained
    muscles, like a stroke victim. However,
    he knew they were now in the hands of
    the weather. And, oh, how merciless
    those hands were.
    “The electric storm is messing with our
    instruments, James,” Major Chris “Jay”
    Fredrick, his co-pilot, said. “The
    altimeter, the compass, the landing
    systems, even our clock. It’s all gone to
    James shot his co-pilot a wicked glare
    which the lanky, black man did not
    notice, or noticed and chose to ignore,
    James could not tell. It wasn’t the bad
    news he had given that angered James;
    it was the way he had delivered the
    message: with as flat a voice as the
    surface of an LCD display screen. How
    could he be so calm when they were
    about to be torn to pieces? James
    returned his gaze to the dark sky that
    sped past them and remembered the
    last few bleak words of his flight
    instructor on the first day of flight
    school. The grey bearded man,
    Jabowasky was his name, had picked
    up a plain sheet of paper and held it up
    for all to see. This is your plane, the man
    had said. Then he had crumpled it into
    a ball and said, that’s what happens
    when it gets into a storm. A man like
    Jabowasky didn’t grow to be as old and
    experienced as he was by flying
    through lightning storms. And for all
    their sophistication, the flight
    instruments were really to prevent flight
    through a thunder storm. Thunder
    storms were the dread of the sky. That
    dread, James thought, was upon them.
    Captain James O’Riley wasn’t a spiritual
    man, and as such, he didn’t know what
    to make of Christ or Krishna. But if there
    was a God, he sure needed His help.
    Like all men everywhere, James feared
    death. What happened after? he
    thought, and as his heart beat as fast as
    the plane hurtled through the clouds,
    the near presence of death became
    palpable. He could die at any moment,
    he realized with a sudden streak of
    apprehension. Lightning could strike
    the fuselage and cause cabin
    decompression, s-----g them out into
    the wild rain. Or it could strike the
    engines, plummeting them down to the
    ground. Or it could strike the fuel line,
    causing a flash of light, a sudden
    eviscerating pain, and the silence of
    death. Or it could crumple them just like
    Jabowasky had so vividly illustrated. To
    James, this was the worst way to die in
    the sky. He decided that if he were to
    die, he would prefer to die quickly and
    painlessly. But did life give you what
    you preferred? Or did it give you what
    you deserved? James had done so many
    shitty things in his secret government
    work. Maybe this was payback by the
    powers that be: Christ or Krishna.
    “Sir, do you think we should radio
    base? Advise them of our current
    situation?” his flat voiced copilot said
    beside him.
    “No,” James said immediately,
    mindlessly shaking his head. “We’ve got
    strict orders, Chris. No radio contact
    until we land. What we are doing is a
    breach of international laws. Though no
    West African country can pick our
    transmission, the Egyptians might.”
    The huge plane rattled vigorously again,
    and lightning spread before them like
    fiery, white neural pathways. The
    thunder that followed drowned the
    constant beep beep of the flight
    instruments (the kind that told you you
    were screwed) and the pelt of the rain,
    and put the fear of God in Chris for a
    moment. But it was just a moment,
    James observed, as the man shook off
    fright as if it were a speck of dust on
    his shoulder. This served to vex James
    even more. Did Chris think he was God?
    Had he some delusion that he was
    invincible and therefore couldn’t die in
    the sky?
    Another plane rattling thunder returned
    his focus to his flying.
    James glanced at the flight dashboard.
    Every spindle was askew, the light
    blinked erratically—their whole
    electrical system had been fried, he
    noticed for the first time. Somehow,
    they had been hit once by lightning—a
    minor hit, though. The plane jerked out
    of control for a while, shooting up like a
    car running a speed breaker. James
    fiercely fought the control stick to bring
    the plane back on course. Though what
    course they were on, he did not know.
    All he knew was they were headed for
    United States AFRICOM base in Djibouti
    when they had hit a shit storm off the
    gulf of guinea. The weather people had
    said there was no storm in these parts
    at this time; someone had screwed up.
    If there wasn’t anything James knew, at
    least he knew that in this line of work,
    when people screwed up, other people
    died. Just like he and his co-pilot were
    about to die.
    “If we stay longer in this storm, James,
    we’re not going to make it,” Chris said
    with a twinge of frustration in his voice.
    “We have to land this plane or go
    “Landing is out of it,” James replied,
    facing his co-pilot briefly. “And we can’t
    go higher. Our payload is too heavy. The
    engines won’t support any more
    “Then dump the cargo,” Chris said,
    more frustration in his voice.
    James O’Riley frowned at the man. The
    ease with which Chris was willing to
    give up their cargo was not only
    troubling, it was also scary. James
    looked away from the man and kept
    silent, thinking this was the last he
    would hear or think about dumping
    their cargo.
    But the idea had been planted, and an
    idea was like a seed. Once planted or
    conceived, it grew. And depending on
    variations in atmospheric and soil
    conditions, the speed of growth of a
    seed could be hastened or delayed. In
    James’s case, it only took two minutes
    for the idea to germinate and form part
    of his will; this was majorly because
    there was a third man in the dark
    cockpit. His name was death. He was
    really persuasive.
    “We can’t weather this storm, James,”
    Chris pressed, “sooner or later, we’re
    going to run into a storm cloud and
    come out a sphere of tangled metal.”
    James’s only hesitation was their cargo.
    He didn’t know exactly what it was. The
    manifest said “Medical Supplies,” but he
    had decided it was just a cover up. An
    approval to transfer supplies didn’t
    need to come from as high up as the
    office of the president of the United
    States. Though the package was as
    small as a briefcase, hand delivered by
    nondescript men from USAMRIID which
    was another cause for concern, it was
    sealed within a 400 ton, steel-
    reinforced concrete vault that could
    withstand a mortar shell. Why did
    medical supplies need to be so
    protected? Only WMDs were this
    protected. Still, James could not be sure.
    And he wasn’t going to risk his life on
    the off chance that he might be
    carrying a biological weapon.
    “Use the map. Try to triangulate our
    current position,” James said. “I’m
    going to drop it in a forest or a lake so
    our boys can pick it up in the morning.”
    Chris found the map and started
    working, using light from the lightning
    storm to draw lines and circles on a
    portion of the paper. They were flying
    over Nigeria now. That was good, since
    Nigeria was a developing country and
    still had miles and miles of forest areas
    —plenty of land to hide a container
    sized vault.
    James began slowly dropping the plane,
    releasing the stick little at a time. He did
    that until he began to make out the
    minute lines of a city.
    “We are currently above Akwa Ibom,”
    Chris said, peering at his map. “We
    should be coming up on a small
    uninhabited forest a little to the west.”
    James looked in that direction and
    made out the tall trees; he angled the
    plane in that direction.
    Thunder struck. This time, it hit the
    There was an explosion, then the plane
    capsized. James struck his head against
    the side of the plane. Intense pain
    lighted his senses. He growled and
    yanked the stick to the side. The plane
    spun again, right side up. It shook and
    made to fall out of the sky; somehow, it
    remained afloat. The number of beep
    beep in the cockpit quadruped.
    “We’ve lost an engine,” Chris roared.
    “We can’t dump the cargo from the
    cockpit,” James replied, his heart
    steadily striking the walls of his chest.
    “You have to use the emergency button
    in the cargo hold. Go now! We only
    have a one minute window!”
    Chris struggled with his seat belt,
    unhooked it, and scurried out of his
    James held the stick tighter, knowing
    that the life of his co-pilot now
    depended on the plane staying level.
    There was a sharp hiss and a low, long
    rumble, as the cargo bay doors began
    to open. Few seconds after that, the
    nose of the plane pitched upwards
    slowly as the cargo slid toward the
    open door. Chris ran into the cockpit
    and secured himself in his chair. The
    moment James felt the cargo drop, he
    pulled hard on the stick. The plane
    sprung up responsively, shooting
    higher and higher into the clouds even
    by the power of one engine. In five
    minutes, they were beyond the clouds
    and flying steadily towards Djibouti.
    They had seen a dim flare of light, and
    they had felt a weak shock wave, and
    they had assumed it was lightning.
    They had been wrong.
    If they had known what the dim flare
    and weak shock wave meant, they
    would have chosen to die rather than
    land their plane on the wet tarmac of
    Camp Lemonnier, AFRICOM base in
    Djibouti, two hours later. Less than
    thirty six hours later, the two pilots
    would swear under oath before a
    military tribunal that they had never
    known they were flying over land,
    when they had dumped their cargo.
    Cargo MH-XZ424G crashed through the
    sky, ridding the endless waves of the
    rain. It was twelve feet in all directions
    and had, when not in use, a hollow,
    briefcase sized core. Every other part
    was impenetrable, 400 ton, steel-
    reinforced concrete built by Vault
    Technologies™ (VT) to withstand any
    kind of assault. And as you can imagine,
    it fell through the sky at a frightening
    This particular unit was designed by Mr.
    Jon Von Neuman and built at a special
    processing facility in Frankfurt. It was
    built on the 25th of March, 2013. Its
    batch class was 2D74, and its
    processing number was 744/29Z/7XZ.
    The truth is VT’s vaults were built to
    withstand almost anything. But there
    were two reasons for the failure of
    vault MH-XZ424G. First, the cohesion
    enhancing chemical, Bindichem®, was
    added in a quantity that was less than
    the threshold quantity. This led to the
    failure of the chemical and made the
    vault prone to fracture. The global
    economic meltdown had hit Germany.
    The production plant had had to cut the
    cost of production. This was the only
    way Mr. Jon Neuman knew how to cut
    cost. A way that would eventually lead
    to countless deaths.
    Second was the condition that Captain
    James “Bobby” O’Riley had subjected
    the vault to, when he had dumped it
    into a lightning storm. The company’s
    test team had subjected their vaults to
    water, fire, wind, explosions,
    avalanches, and a host of other extreme
    situations. They had proven the
    toughness of their product. However,
    had they conceived that their vaults
    would be subject to a lightning storm
    under a whipping rain in the night?
    And so, as cargo MH-XZ424G fell
    through the sky, a tiny fault line
    developed on its surface. The sky’s
    rebellion against such monstrosity
    barreling through its volume was a roar
    that carried far. The rain pelted the steel
    cube, giving a machine-gun like rat-a-
    tat-a-tat. Heat simmered on the vault’s
    smooth, metal surface due to air
    friction; the vault trailed a thin line of
    vapor as it fell. Numerous electrons
    gathered on the slippery surface just as
    the cargo cleared the final ceiling of
    clouds and approached the dark,
    sleeping city of Uyo. The assembled
    electrons, teeming on the surface of the
    metal, called lightning to the vault like
    the hammer of Thor, god of thunder.
    Strike after strike, the fault line
    deepened and spread like the roots of a
    germinating seed, until the shattered
    parts of the vault fell away from the
    exposed briefcase like expended fuel
    tanks from an ascending space rocket.
    The exposed briefcase flared up
    immediately on exposure releasing six
    pressurized canisters into the air. The
    briefcase flared up because of the
    intense heat that clung to the
    plummeting wreckage. This intense
    heat affected the canisters which
    contained U-235 WMD agents.
    The canisters exploded with a fire,
    releasing its content as a fine spray. The
    wind spread the released content into a
    blanket that covered the city of Uyo and
    its outskirt villages. Though the
    canisters and the vault’s ruins would hit
    ground long before the thin film would,
    the descending film of death would
    reach the city of men as sure as the sun.
    And when it did, there would be no end
    to the pain, suffering, and devastation it
    would cause.

    #1265983 Reply
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    #1266036 Reply
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    My oh my! These will sure be a distaster.

    #1266265 Reply
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    @coolval222-2 please update

    #1266784 Reply
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    Hmmmm wat a disaster

    #1266859 Reply
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    #1266933 Reply
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    #1266936 Reply
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    new epi on the way

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