How could a zombie outbreak possibly occur in these United States? Do we not possess the mightiest army known to man?
Here is a little clue how it might happen from my latest book: The Apocalypse Crusade Day 2
At exactly half past six, the President’s Chief of Staff, Marty Aleman, received the daily security briefing, just as he had for the previous six months and, as always, he marked the President as “in attendance” though the old man was still snoozing away. It was a little white lie that hurt no one. Hearing the endlessly dire reports straight from the mouth of the experts about the Russians and the Chinese and Iranians and the seemingly endless number of terrorists, had given the President an ulcer in his first year in office. That was another little secret no one talked about; no one could know that the great man had any weaknesses. He felt he had to appear perfect from his shining, helmet-like hair down to his perfectly manicured toenails.
Marty would normally give him a watered down version of the threats facing the country right after the President ate breakfast. A servant would bring tea and coffee, the official photographer would snap pictures of him nodding sagely, and they would be interrupted a dozen times, but in the end, the President would get the knowledge he would need to face the reporters and he would get the advice he would need to get re-elected.
The advice was always the same: do nothing.
Who really cared if the Russians were gobbling up chunks of the Ukraine? What business was it of ours if the Chinese took over the South Pacific? And who were we to tell the Mullahs in Iran that they couldn’t have a nuclear bomb? Sure, these were issues that would have to be dealt with, but that didn’t mean they had to be dealt with now. The American people had spoken in three straight elections: they weren’t going to put out any effort to nip things in the bud if it didn’t affect them right at that moment.
This morning was different.
With his mirror-shined shoes snap-snapping urgently across the glossy, wood floors, Marty hurried from the West Wing to the Executive Residence. Normally, he gave the security briefing in the Yellow Oval Room, a spacious open room that was also used as a reception area prior to state dinners. That morning he bypassed it, heading through the West Sitting Hall and right to the President’s Bedroom.
A pair of Secret Service agents gave him a quizzical look, but said nothing as Marty began tapping on the door, lightly—the President didn’t care for loud, incessant knocking, even if it was an emergency. It made him high-strung and snappish.
Emanuel Geometti, the President’s butler, answered, again with little more than an inquisitive look—the President also didn’t care for whispering, it made him paranoid and he didn’t like it when people within earshot spoke to each other in a normal tone either—it interfered with his concentration, even if he was just picking out socks.
“It’s important,” was all Marty said as way of explanation to the butler.
“What’s important?” the President asked. He was seated on the end of the bed holding two pairs of socks: red for a touch of whimsy, or black for a serious day. He had been considering going with the red, but the early knock had him thinking otherwise.
“Emanuel, can you give us a minute?” Marty asked. When the butler stepped out into the hall, Marty explained the situation, and then when the President just stood there with his mouth hanging open, he went over it again. The word “zombie” hadn’t been uttered by Governor Stimpson and yet the concept was right there front and center. Marty did his best to downplay that side of the situation occurring in New York, but the President wasn’t a complete fool.
“What you’re describing is a zombie outbreak,” he said.
Marty nodded and shook his head, simultaneously so that he just sort of bobbled from the neck up. “Yes, but there is no way we can use that word. We’re going with infected persons.”
“Do we have proof of any of this? I mean real proof? A video or something?”
“We have a bunch of eye-witness accounts, including a National Guard general who did a personal reconnaissance in Poughkeepsie, but we don’t have a video beyond a few grainy and fleeting ATM camera shots that we can’t use. I’ve seen the pictures. They look somewhat like that Bigfoot hoax from a few years back.”
The President looked down at his socks, unable to come to a decision on which to wear. He needed his butler, just like he needed Marty. “So, what do we do?” That was the usual question he would ask after Marty’s daily briefing. The usual answer was “nothing.” The President was always “looking into it” or “conferring with world leaders” or “waiting on a comprehensive study.” And the people were always reassured that the President was ready to “tackle” the issue, whatever it might be, just as soon as he could.
Doing nothing would not work, not this time. The President had punted on Social Security reform, and welfare reform, and tax reform and pretty much everything of importance, but this wasn’t something he could leave for the next administration to clean up.
“We jump on it early,” Marty suggested. “We contain the situation and we find those responsible and hold them accountable.”
A pinched look collapsed the President’s face. The situation, if true, was unnerving, however the idea of “jumping on it” was even more so. There were so many consequences to actual action that it was mindboggling, especially to someone who couldn’t make up his mind which socks to wear.
“Do you mean we should send in the Army?” the President asked. “Because I-I don’t know about that. Is it even legal?”
Marty smiled in that benign way he had when speaking to the President, or to his four-year-old granddaughter. “Well, Sir, the Posse Comitatus Act basically keeps the military from performing any duties domestically that are normally assigned to local law enforcement. As an example, our armed forced wouldn’t be able to arrest any citizen attempting to break the quarantine. However, the National Guard can, as long as it’s not under the command of the regular Army.”
“So…so what does that mean? Do we use the army or not?”
“We should, but not yet. We can’t be too eager, especially since this is still New York’s problem.” Marty paused as he saw the President’s blank look. “It’s their problem because of the Stafford Act? You know, the act that authorizes the use of the military for disaster relief operations but only at the request of the state governor, which, as of yet, we have not been given. That being said, we should prepare for that contingency. With your permission, I would like to ready FEMA crews.”
“FEMA?” the President asked with some hesitation.
“Yes, FEMA. You’ll be seen fully in support with food and supplies and what not, but you won’t be getting your hands dirty. Someone’s going to catch bloody hell when the National Guard starts lighting up American citizens and that person can’t be you. So, that’s why I suggest FEMA.”
“Mmm, FEMA,” the President said, warming to the idea.
How do we lose a war with brainless zombies? We vote for brainless politicians!
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The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.
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