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It all goes back to writing that letter, “Dear Army Guys, Come quick. There are monsters. Eugene.”
I wrote a letter. In crayon. Full of spelling and grammar mistakes. And they showed up. The General rolled into town in a damn tank.
I loved writing from that moment on. I learned in that moment, at that impressionable age that with the right words you can get people, powerful people, to do what you wanted. But it wasn’t just writing. It was communicating. I made my first crystal radio that year. I learned all I could about computers until I was old enough to take my first HAM radio test. I aced it on the first try. My life was consumed with monster movies, school, writing, radios, and computers. For a short while girls took over everything but that’s a different story.
“You’re going to join the Army?”
“Just the National Guard. I’ll go train one weekend a month, a couple weeks in the summer, and maybe go overseas at some point.”
“What’re you gonna do in there?”
“I want to be a 25 Charlie. That’s a radio operator and maintainer. I’ll get to use all my HAM radio experience and learn all kinds of new stuff.”
That was 1997. Senior Year. A month before graduation. I hadn’t really told the guys what my plan was. My parents weren’t too happy about it. They wanted me to go to college. I told them I was going to go and I did. The National Guard helped pay for school, I was studying communications. The first four years went off without a hitch. I did my weekends, trained in the summer, even got to go to a couple different countries. Then September 11th happened. We were activated. I stayed on base monitoring various communications trying to make sense of what was happening in the world. When the invasion of Afghanistan happened, Operation Enduring Freedom, I was sent to the ‘Stan. We were a non-combat unit but damn were we in the shit a lot. I was tacked onto an infantry unit and ordered to keep their comms up at all costs.
I stayed in till the end of my contract then was happy to wait for my DD214.
When the zombies attacked I went right to the Monster Squad office. I found Sean, Patrick, and Phoebe already there. Rudy got there just after me. Horace was somewhere outside the U.S. it’d be several months before he somehow made it stateside and back home.
“Is this really fucking happening?”
“Yes Eugene, it is.” Sean’s voice was steady even though the worry was plain on his face.
“Okay, we’ve fought Dracula, Gill-Man, I don’t know ho many werewolves and cursed mummies but zombies. Sean I don’t think we can do zombies man. They need a head shot EVERY TIME!” Sean put his hand on Patrick’s shoulder, “Listen man, it’s like you said we’ve killed werewolves. Werewolves are way worse then zombies. Besides Horace and Eugene trained us to shoot, we’re all damn good too.”
“Headshot. Every. Time. Sean.” the doubt in Patrick’s voice was clear.
“I don’t know Sean.” Phoebe chimed in, “I think Pat’s right, we might be in over our head here.”
Sean’s head sank. Just for a moment. “Okay. Maybe we are. Maybe this is the real end of the world. But it’s not the first ‘End Of The World.’ We stopped that one. Hell, it was you that stopped it Phoebe. If you hadn’t read that passage then Dracula would have won and we’d all be dead.” He looked at each of us. “It’s zombies. Zombies. The biggest cliche in the horror world. We’re the damn Monster Squad. We got this.”
I spent the next several weeks making sure we had constant communications. I monitored the radio waves and the internet. I complied every piece of data I could get my hands on. I also made sure those damn things left my antennas alone. More then once I had to go out and make repairs. I had done my job under fire overseas but there is something about trying to fix radio antennas and satellite dishes while the moaning undead are trying to eat you that shakes you to your very core. I was glad to have Rudy as my cover. Other then Horace he was the best shot on the team. Best part was he preferred a bow so there was no gunshot to draw more to our location.
It’s been several long years since it started. We’re still here. The radio went silent for a long time, but communication came back. We started hearing chatter about things other then zombies. People disappearing in the night, shadows, howling, bats the size of poodles. We have a job to do.
"O, woe be the day the enemy descends, mourn we will, for the sake of all that's holy in this universe....
... 'cause the Alley Viper Corps is gonna fuck it ALL up!" - NFC
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