Category: 05. Terror and Whisky at Fort Doomsday

Fire and Ash

Dear Planet Earth,

I don’t know if anyone’s reading this. I don’t know if anyone’s left to read this. This blog has been more a personal diary for me since the beginning. It’s allowed me to isolate my thoughts and actions with little regard about the world at large. The truth is now more clear to me than ever — that I’m not alone, that I never was. I’m part of a much bigger group with a shared history that calls itself “the human race.”

The first explosions started sometime yesterday morning. I watched mystified as Lieutenant Christiansen disappeared in a swift blast of fire and ash. Other soldiers screamed in agony and confusion from all sides. Half of a Hummer landed inches away from my crouched body. I could feel the heat of the flames on my face as someone grabbed me by the arm and forced me to run.

I ran with the rest of our disbanded band of brothers, who sporadically turned around and blindly fired their rifles. I ran for hours, but no matter how far it seemed like I’d gone, I could still hear the explosions just as loud, could still feel the flames just as hot.

We’re moving out in the transport trucks any minute now. General Talpa said we’ll need to leave behind all non-essential equipment to stay under the weight limit, and that includes my netbook.

I don’t know what’s coming next. I don’t know if I can survive a next battle. All I know is we finally have a name for our enemies. It’s been on the tip of our tongues ever since this started, but we’ve been too blind and proud to admit it. We’re being invaded from beings beneath the earth’s crust who’ve watched and waited for years, planning an unrelenting strike to wipe out every single member of the human race.

We’re under attack from mole men, and our world will never be the same.

The End of the Beginning of the End

Dear Planet Earth,

It’s happening. Whatever all this was — the earthquakes, the media blackout, the kidnapping — it’s all led to this moment.

The drill’s starting to open and the seismic vibrations have erupted into an audible high-pitched whine. The homeless mercenaries, presumably with Martha among them, are cheering, shaking their weapons and signs. A couple of soldiers have already deserted, and I’d have been tempted to go with them if I didn’t have a personal investment to see this through to the end. I also wasn’t invited.

I found Dr. Eimer in the base’s makeshift chapel just now. He was on his knees, hands clasped together in the direction of two pieces of plywood shaped like a cross. I walked to his side as silently as I could.

“Hey,” I said.

“Hey, Scott.”

I contemplated kneeling next to him and quickly sorted out the awkward events that might follow, but he interrupted my thoughts before I could do anything.

“They’re not supposed to have any specific religious symbols on bases embroiled with foreign enemies.”

“Oh, yeah?” I said. I didn’t really want to get into a political discussion with my friend as the world was literally crumbling around us.

“But if this isn’t a church, God can’t blame me for drinking here.”

He flashed me a sheepish smile and I took note of the empty whiskey bottle between his legs.

“When my wife died . . . I found her buried under the remains of our kitchen. When my wife died, I asked myself over and over, ‘Why, why, why?’ to no one in particular.” He touched the corner of his eye. “I stopped believing in God before I was even your age. It felt . . . right. But it doesn’t make anything any easier.”

I helped him up and we stumbled back together to the last bachelor pad we’ll ever have. He’s snoring right now, in between random sobs of “Why, why, why?”

The Wrong People

Dear Planet Earth,

I’m left with even more questions after my 20 hour debriefing than I had yesterday. I was again taken to my canvas tent cell where General Talpa again gave his one-man rendition of good cop/bad cop.

He said the tech gurus couldn’t find anything in my broken walkie talkie but dead circuit boards and batteries. He was convinced that it must be a symbol for something else, and he made me retell every memory I had about walkie talkies and my father. I told him the same thing I tell everyone about my father.

“He was just another dead beat dad. An aging hippie who couldn’t handle the pressures of a career and family. My mom said he got into drugs and made connections with the wrong people, and that’s all I ever wanted to know about him.”

“And what about The Time Machine?” Talpa asked. “You said he read it to you every night?”

“Yeah, but . . . I’ve gone over these same questions a dozen times already in my head.” I rubbed my eyes, hoping for sleep or wakefulness to finally arrive. “You guys probably know more than I do. You’re the ones with that damn list.”

They let me go a few interrogations later, even gave me the stupid walkie talkie. But I know they’re watching me; some of Talpa’s scouts have been eyeing me in the mess hall, offering to escort me back to my tent. They’re probably reading this blog.

Well, boys, I don’t know shit. As soon as I do remember some tiny clue from my past that could explain every crazy thing that’s happened so far, you’ll be the first ones to know. Whether I want it or not.

Found and Lost

Dear Planet Earth,

I found her — Martha. We were all feeling a little more at ease with the sirens and floodlights finally off, so I was understandably calm last night walking back from the mess hall when I saw something glinting near some plastic containers. I went to check it out and found my naive stupidity embodied in a Beretta M-9 pistol staring me in the face.

“Wait! Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me!” What else was I supposed to say?

I could make out her gaunt, dirty features from the moonlight. She looked like my elementary school librarian if she had been starved and tortured for a week. She studied my face for several seconds and then motioned with her gun for me to come closer.

“Who are you?” she croaked.

“Scott. My name’s Scott. I’m not a soldier.”

She nodded and lowered her gun.

“No. You’re not.” The woman rummaged through a pink fanny pack hanging loosely from her waist. “You’re just a dumb kid mixed up in something bigger than any of us. I don’t give two shits about you, but it’s not really up to me, is it?” She took out an old walkie talkie and made me clasp my fingers around it.

“What –”

“When it happens, when you get the call, do everything they tell you to do.”

She stood up and trained her gun on me again.

“Don’t think, just act. Remember what he taught you, Scott.”

She started walking backwards to the fences, to her freedom.

“‘Strength is the outcome of need,'” she said before disappearing into the darkness.

“‘Security sets a premium on feebleness,'” I completed.

It’s from my favorite book, The Time Machine. My father used to read it to me every night.


Dear Planet Earth,

With Dr. Eimer and I the only civilians on base, security is pretty lax for our prisoner. At least that’s the excuse I’ve been hearing all day from our nation’s last line of defense.

“Martha” escaped. She ripped out the throat of one of the guards with her teeth — her fucking teeth — took his pistol, and went on to kill three more soldiers. I knew one of them. Mendoza. He’s the one who first questioned me when I drove up here, bloody and suicidal. I spoke with him a couple times after that and decided he’s a pretty decent guy. He was a pretty decent guy.

The whole base is on high alert, complete with round the clock sirens and floodlights. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep last night, though I’ll never know if it was because of the noise or the incessant thoughts of my throat being torn out by a crazed homeless woman.

Lieutenant Christiansen and the rest of the Beetle Baileys won’t tell me why they’re so intent on catching her, or what she knows, or if she’s still even within the perimeter. Insomnia, here I come.

What Did You Do, Ray?

Dear Planet Earth,

It may be snowing at the North Pole, but here in the outskirts of Vegas, things are heating up. The homeless people are coming in droves now, surrounding the base from every side.

Each new group is better equipped than the last. Two days ago, they came with AK-47s. Yesterday, they started wearing helmets and body armor. Today, our boys reported seeing some of them carrying RPG rocket launchers. That’s what got us really freaked out and probably a little trigger happy.

I snapped this picture near the western gate a few hours ago. According to Christiansen, one of our guys saw one of them point a rifle towards the base — something they’ve never done before. This caused the soldier in question to start firing his weapon into the air wildly, which caused another Call of Duty addict to throw some smoke grenades at our silent enemies.

As you can see from the photo, the CDC is also here now, although no one can seem to give me a straight answer as to why. They’ve been setting up colored flags all around the base and taking readings from what I can only assume to be either Geiger counters or the ghost traps from Ghostbusters. It’s assuring and unnerving all at once — and I have to wonder, if all the phones and radios are still not working, who they gonna call?

Events Occur in Real Time

Dear Planet Earth,

I’m slowly but surely gathering more information about our latest guest on base here. Dr. Eimer let me know I was correct in assuming she’s one of the countless homeless mercenaries piling up outside the fences. He also told me that after hours of grueling “interrogation,” we know that her name is “Matha.” And that’s it.

I’m going to pretend to ignore the hours of Guantanamo Bay-like screaming I heard last night and say that this situation falls under the ticking clock scenario that can only be solved by God or Jack Bauer. I’m not going to contemplate the morality or politics of it. I’m not sure if there’s still even a government left to complain to if I wanted.

Outside, things are only getting more tense. More and more homeless people are coming everyday. They look hungry and ready for war, even if they all do look like they’re smiling.

Never Can’t Come Soon Enough

Dear Planet Earth,

I saw General Talpa walk into “Interrogation Tent 1” (I’m sure I’m not the only one who calls it that) where they’re keeping our ominous prisoner. I sneaked around the tent and put my ear against the canvas. Talpa spoke in his usual gruff, laid-back tone.


I heard a muffled sound that might or might not have come from the captive.

“Have you looked at all at these pages we gave you? Seen your name on any of them?” I heard Talpa sigh into a chair. He continued his questioning without seeming to care about getting a response. “Doesn’t really matter. We’ll have the results of your fingerprints soon enough.”

There was a sharp cackle, and a groggy, female voice entered the conversation.

“You’re lying. You’re lying, and not well. We know your system is down. We know every system is down.” The woman took a deep and strained breath. “And soon enough, we know that you and the rest of your kind will burn with the fires of a thousand hells.”

Talpa spoke slowly; his eyelids were drooping in the scene in my mind. “And what is the ‘rest of my kind’? What do you think you are?”

“Soon enough!” The woman began to laugh hysterically. “Soon enough, upworlder!”

Her laugh was grating and venomous — an unrelenting whooping that would give the Wicked Witch of the West goosebumps. I heard the flap of the tent open and that was my cue to go.


Dear Planet Earth,

It was an uneventful couple of days if you don’t count the homeless army slowly amassing outside the base’s perimeter.

I’ve been spending a lot of time catching up on cartoons on YouTube. I’d been surprised that people weren’t uploading their own news reports about what going on, until someone here pointed out to me the now obvious fact that since the media blackout started, no one’s been able to upload any new content to the site. Regardless, YouTube remains an unfathomably large library of our culture to the point of October 23, 2011.

A couple hours ago I heard some screaming going on, and when I poked my head outside, I could see a group of soldiers forcing someone into my former interrogation cell. I caught Lieutenant Christiansen walking past and asked him what was up.

“We caught one,” he said. He let it sit like that, and gave me a smile and a wink before following the others into the tent.

“One.” It echoed in my head and formed a dozen different images I would have considered fiction before October 23, 2011.

It still echoes. I don’t whether to think they grabbed one of the homeless mercenaries or if there’s an actual living, breathing extraterrestrial 20 yards away from me right now.

Judging by how easy it was to get Christiansen to spill some beans, I’m sure I can get the full story from Eimer when I see him next. Until then, I still have plenty of cartoons to keep me busy.

Battle Lines

Dear Planet Earth,

Be careful what you wish for. I tried to find General Talpa and see if he could help me put Diana to rest, only to find myself in a long line among much more important people looking for him.

I did find the next best thing. Lieutenant Christiansen is next in command (though he doesn’t look two years older than myself) and is apparently stockpiling all the friendliness on base. He listened carefully to my edited story about escaping the militia of vagabonds. He gave his condolences, but said that even if he wanted to help me, he couldn’t. His scouts — and how crazy is it that 21st century warfare still employs “scouts”? — reported seeing a group of my aforementioned homeless army heading towards the drill here.

I found a herd of them making their ways past the first set of fences while I was wandering the outskirts of the camp, doubting my world’s new reality.

My crummy camera phone can’t show it that clearly, but many of them are holding those signs that read, “The end is here! All upworlders will die!” It’s a pretty chilling sight, enough to make the hairs on my neck resume their standing position.

The flickers of reflected light from their AK-47s are blinding, in more ways than one.