Cold War II: This Time It’s Personal
Eastwood was the first to the door. He flung it open and everyone hurried inside. Melvin was the last one in and a few spheres were hot on his trail. Eastwood slammed the door behind him.
“Is everyone okay?” Eastwood asked.
“I’m afraid not,” President Bacon said.
Eastwood looked around. “Sir, I saw Darryl and Larry with you out there. Did they get separated?”
“No. They… They didn’t make it.”
Eastwood’s head dropped. Larry was best man at his wedding. Darryl crashed it. The three of them had grown very close during the Trump years. Eastwood channeled his sorrow inward, converting it to anger. He would avenge them. Years ago, he had learned how to calm himself at a monastery in Tibet, where a monk had taught him all five of the Kung Fu animal styles. He didn’t want to become the man he was back when those men kidnapped his daughter. He had tracked them down in their country and murdered them all. Sure, they had it coming, but he turned savage and it was hard to turn it off after it was all over.
His Army Ranger training made him extremely lethal and he learned even more techniques during his time working with the counter terrorism unit in California. Anything not bolted down was a weapon to him and those kidnappers found that out the hard way.
He could feel that savage side of his personality fighting to break free and he was ready to release it. He would avenge Larry and Darryl or his name wasn’t Billary Eastwood.
Agents Anna Naranja and Langhorne Atherholt approached him cautiously. They could sense his anger growing inside him, as if some mystical force surrounded them. They considered Larry and Darryl family too. Anna wanted him to know their deaths were meaningful.
“They died a warrior’s death,” she said.
“They saved us all; we wouldn’t be here now if not for them. Darryl took out a dozen or more of them with his flamethrower. He shouted, ‘You’re fired’ and Larry commented that it was cool the first time he said it, but it was starting to get old. Larry had a smaller version of one of those spheres that he had captured, and was using its tractor beam to toss them into one another, before finally taking a blast meant for the President. With his dying breath, he used the beam to shield us from a few kamikaze spheres. That’s when you started sniping them. You drew their attention long enough for us to flee. Darryl created a wall of fire to hold them back as we ran away,” Langhorne said to Eastwood.
Eastwood looked relieved. That’s the way they would’ve wanted to go, he thought. It wasn’t enough to quench his blood lust though.
“Thank you,” he said to Anna and Langhorne. “Now lock the door behind me.”
“Wait!” Anna shouted, but it was too late. Eastwood was outside faster than anyone could react. Evan had never seen a human move so fast.
“He didn’t even have any weapons,” Anna said.
“He doesn’t need them,” Langhorne assured her.
Eggs broke the moment of silence to address the President. “Sir, what do we do now?”
Evan looked around at all the faces staring back at him. By the door, Anna and Langhorne, were all that was left of his Secret Service team. To their right, his Chief of Staff, “Eggs” Benedict and Director of Homeland Security, Stanley “Lunchbox” Johnson. Beside them, his VP Honey Ryder, comfortably tucked into the arms of the Director of FEMA, Hook Jericho. Sandwiching Evan was his husband, Mick Cage-Bacon and Melvin Morgan. Then there was Geoff, Marietta and Fritz behind him; huddled together on the floor next to Yukon and Kitty Catan.
“We all have been through a lot today. I know you’re tired. If you need rest, I understand, but I’m done running. I’m taking the fight to our enemies. I could use all the help I can get. Who’s with me?”
Nobody spoke. One at a time, beginning with Langhorne, they each accepted Evan’s call with a simple nod.
“We’re with you, sir; we’re done running as well,” Anna said.
No sooner had the words left her lips, a building rumbling thud shook the room.
“Run!” Anna screamed.
“No! Wait!” Langhorne implored.
“Kanye Christ! What the fuck was that?” Marietta asked.
“Are they bombing us?” Kitty asked.
Another thud resonated in the room, and shortly thereafter, another. Each shake, chipping away paint from the ceiling and walls.
“Whatever it is, it’s getting closer,” Yukon said.
“This reminds me of my movie, White Cock Down. There was this scene where me and my co-star, Jaime Fuxxx, were pinned down in the White House and the terrorists decided to start blowing up the building, from one side to the other in hopes of flushing us out,” Mick said.
“What did you do?” Kitty asked. “I didn’t see that one.”
“We escaped through the underground tunnels into the Shoe Carnival a block over and then we banged.”
“That tunnel actually exists; I’m amazed how accurate that movie was,” Evan said.
“I know right? I remember when we got the briefing after your election and we found that out. Then we recreated that scene the night we moved in. What a great night.”
Evan cleared his throat as his cheeks flush. A moment of quiet filled the room, no one wanted to follow that story. The silence ended with another loud boom.
“Okay, that one was really close,” Hook said.
“We gotta move; Mick’s plan is the best one we’ve got. Let’s go to Shoe Carnival. There, we’ll formulate our battle plan,” Evan said.
Fritz blurted out, “Sir! I need a lab. I’m no good to anyone if I don’t get to one.”
“I can take him to a lab, sir. There’s one in the Homeland Security building,” Lunchbox said.
“Fine. We’ll get to Shoe Carnival and then split up. Get Fritz to that lab, but take Agent Naranja and Agent Atherholt with you.”
“Sir! We need to be with you.” Langhorne said.
“You need to protect Fritz. That’s an order.”
“We need every advantage we can get and if Nazi weirdo can find a way to give us an edge…”
“I understand, sir. I won’t let you down.”
“I know you won’t. Now let’s get the fuck out of here before we’re buried alive.”
* * *
Lunchbox, Agent Naranja and Agent Atherholt surrounded Dr. Fritz Rommel, shielding him with their bodies. Besides the President, this Nazi doctor was the most important person in the universe right now. They were on their way to the Homeland Security building where there was a lab, so that the doctor could produce a concoction that would finally defeat the enemy once and for all.
“I hope the President and the others are okay back at that Shoe Carnival. I mean, can you imagine the shame of dying in a Shoe Carnival; I’d rather be found dead by my grandmother with my pants down, a belt tied around my neck with a giant erection,” Agent Langhorne Atherholt said. Everyone nodded in agreement, except for Dr. Rommel, who looked down at his pair of knock off K-Swiss shoes, that he bought there when they were having a BOGO sale. He only bought them, because he thought they were actually made by the Swiss, but he was wrong they were made in Taiwan.
The group didn’t get very far, before one of those light spheres whizzed past their heads. Lunchbox wasted no time; he dropped to one knee, took aim with his pistol and fired. The sphere shattered like a clay pigeon.
“Where did you learn to shoot like that?” Agent Anna Naranja asked.
The portly Director of Homeland Security wiped the sweat off his brow. “I was number one in my neighborhood in Duck Hunt on the NES.”
“Let’s keep moving; they know we’re here. That won’t be the last sphere we will encounter,” Langhorne said.
“It’s too bad there isn’t a sex dungeon nearby, so they wouldn’t be able to pick us up on their scopes,” Fritz said.
The group looked at him in surprise. “How do you know that?” Lunchbox asked.
Fritz turned red. “I did my doctorate on the limitations of electromagnetic waves, and how they can’t penetrate certain sound proof structures, which are typically sex dungeons.”
“Uh huh,” Langhorne said, not buying that explanation at all.
“Look!” Fritz said pointing to a park bench.
Everyone looked over to where Fritz was pointing. On the bench, lying face down was an old man, with a long white beard. He was wearing jeans, a dirty Van Halen t-shirt, a trench coat and no shoes. On the ground by the bench, were several empty wine bottles.
“Oh, that’s just Bob Barnes; he’s been around forever. Everyone on Capitol Hill knows him. That’s the bench he sleeps on; it’s his bench and he won’t let anyone else come near it,” Lunchbox said.
“Isn’t he worried about alien attacks?” Fritz asked.
“I wouldn’t worry about Bob Barnes; he can handle himself. He received a purple heart in Vietnam, because he was wounded taking out an entire Vietcong regiment single handedly. He was one of our best spies during the Cold War, but something happened to him after Rocky IV came out, and he just lacked the motivation to carry on. He gave it all up and decided to become a wino,” Lunchbox said.
The group walked past the bench and Fritz ever the curious doctor, went in to get a closer look at the squalid homeless man.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Langhorne yelled, but it was too late. In the blink of an eye, Bob Barnes grabbed the doctor around his skinny neck and began to choke him.
“Bob, he’s with us. He didn’t know that this was your bench,” Lunchbox said.
Bob Barnes looked at Lunchbox and smiled. He released Dr. Rommel, who started coughing and gasping for air.
“Been a long time Lunchbox. You still bare knuckle boxing in those underground Yakuza fights?”
It was hard to imagine the short, fat, mild-mannered Director of Homeland Security even swearing, let alone boxing the Japanese mafia. The more they were finding out about Lunchbox during the apocalypse, the more he surprised them.
“No, I finally gave that up. I’m just a plain old Director of Homeland Security now.”
“You were never just a plain old anything,” the wino said and smiled revealing two missing front teeth.
“You take care of yourself Bob; there are aliens attacking from all angles.”
Bob smiled again. “Oh, those things. I’m not worried about them; I’ve seen worse. Hell, one time, when I worked as Head of Security in the O Magazine building, I walked in on Oprah, tongue fucking a warm bagel in the bathtub she keeps in the center of her office. Nothing surprises me anymore. Anywho, where are you headed?”
“We are headed to the lab in the Homeland Security building. This doctor may be able to come up with a weapon to end this war.”
“Is that so,” he said and eyed the skinny doctor. “Well, don’t let me hold you up.”
“Take care of yourself Bob.”
“See you around Box.”
The group left the hobo on his bench to drink himself into a stupor. Langhorne went ahead to scout out the next street. He peered around the corner, and saw at least twenty aliens standing in front of a Starbucks. They looked different from any of the other aliens he had seen. They all had on these silver breastplates, with a hammer and sickle painted on them.
What the fuck? Why do these aliens have the Russian flag painted on their armor?
He wondered what they were doing, when a couple of aliens came out carrying coffees. They took them out of the coffee tray and passed them around. Langhorne saw that one cup had, DY%@((dy’6!$# written on it. Langhorne saw his opportunity and began to fire, while they hand their hands occupied. Anna and Lunchbox joined in the fight. Fritz as always, found something he could hide and cower behind. They each took cover behind an abandoned vehicle.
The aliens, who were momentarily surprised, gingerly set down their expensive coffees and took out their weapons. Except for one, who kept sipping his coffee with one hand and blindly firing with the other. The trio was firing round after round, but not many of the bullets were landing. They fired a shit-ton of ammo before Langhorne realized something.
“That armor is bullet proof. Aim for their heads,” Langhorne shouted.
The trio started aiming for their heads and got a few, but Lunchbox was out of bullets and so was Langhorne.
“Shit!” Lunchbox belted out. “Quick, fly around the planet, until we’re back to a time when we had more bullets.”
Anna had one clip left and was able to take out two more of the aliens before she ran out. There were still twelve of them left, and after a few moments of not seeing any firing or hearing them reload, the aliens realized they were out of ammo and begun to charge.
Langhorne ran over to Anna. He grabbed her hand and gave it a squeeze. That would be all he would have time for, because they were all about to die and there wasn’t enough time for him to say anything, except think that he wished he had asked her to marry him. Anna closed her eyes; Langhorne looked over at Lunchbox, who was staring back and nodded his head. They had about another thirty seconds to live, when they heard a huge explosion. Langhorne peeked around the car, and there was literally nothing but scorched Earth where the aliens were standing just a second ago. He looked up and saw Bob Barnes on the roof of Starbucks, lying on his stomach with an RPG. Langhorne looked up at him and waved. Barnes gave a little two-finger salute and then he took off running. He leaped over to the next rooftop, and then again on another one and kept doing that, until he was out of sight. He looked like a dirty Jason Bourne.
“What the hell kind of aliens were they?” Langhorne asked.
“They were Russian,” Lunchbox said.
“Russia has aliens?” Langhorne asked astonished.
“Before my phone battery died again, I saw on the internet, where some of the aliens were defecting and joining Putin’s Foreign Intelligence Service,” Lunchbox said grabbing the doctor who was hiding behind a dumpster. He had peed his pants again.
“Jesus! Where do you think Barnes went?” Anna asked.
“Where else. He’s going to fight the Russians,” Lunchbox said.
“More importantly, where was he hiding the RPG?” Fritz wondered aloud.