Brad announced to Red and Blue Teams, “Alright people, scrounge up whatever weapons and ammo you can; at least they stocked this joint. Five minutes, then we haul ass to the offices one floor up. Comanch, cover the main hall with the pig. McNeal, see who the hell you can get on the horn.”

Brad checked for 7.62 NATO and gave up, grabbing an AR-15 with mags.

McNeal scanned all available channels. “Come in, this is an EXOCorp team at City Hall. We are cut off and surrounded. We need extraction ASAP. Come in.” Sweating, McNeal called to Brad, “Mann, we aren’t going to get Delta or the Screaming Eagles. We don’t have access to their frequencies. And our fed hosts seem to be out of range.”

“Okay, fuck it. Everyone, let’s move upstairs now. I’ll call the home office once we’re secure.”

Brad looks at his phone. No bars.


The city offices upstairs were an ugly warren of cubicles and cheap office furniture. But they had the benefit of few windows and three easily barricaded entrances. Watches were assigned; two men slept for an hour while the other 14 kept alert.

Brad manned the M60 with McNeal while Comanch grabbed some shuteye.

“Never heard a city so quiet,” McNeal whispered in the dim red chem-light glow.

“Yeah, almost makes you think you’re hearing things,” Brad whispered back.

“I don’t know. I’ve been hearing movement below for the last hour.”

“Probab—definitely them. But they haven’t sniffed us out yet.”

Masterson was the first to notice a sound coming from the wall grate. He stalked up to Brad and tapped him on the shoulder. Masterson pointed at his ear, then to the grate.

McNeal switched places and Brad made his way over to the heating grate, crouching down. As he brought his ear closer, he could hear it. Coming from an indeterminable distance, a rasping voice repeated, “Yum! Yum! Yum!”

Something dragged and slithered in the corridor outside the offices. It stopped outside a door and pounded the bottom, groaning.

Brad held up a clenched fist. “Hold!”

Masterson tapped the two sleeping men, putting his finger over his lips.

Every door was covered, safeties eased off.

The groaning outside the door continued.

Comanch sidled up to the door, covering it with an AR-15.

The groaning cut off abruptly.

There was a hoarse cackle in the air above Comanch.

“I got no visual. Comanch, pull back! Everyone to the far wall. They know we’re here!” Brad shouted.

Comanch crouched and a made a beeline back to the men.

A leering, hollow-eyed face peered at them from the dark doorway.

Brad printed the M60’s front sight on the chest and squeezed.

An arc of tracers drew a fiery red line to the target, turning the door into Swiss cheese.

A gurgling shriek sounded as the mercs pulled back.

McNeal saw a face in a window and drilled it with a 5.56 round.

“Hold fire. Keep the windows intact,” Brad ordered.

“What the fuck, man! I sees ‘em, I blasts them,” McNeal said.

The men huddled into a far corner away from any doors and windows, forming into firing ranks.

Chem-lights were snapped and shaken to life.

The red glow in the cubicle hell grew.

Comanch took out a hip flask and winked at Brad. “Here’s to hoping the fuckers don’t see the Claymores.”

Wood and glass rent and shattered.

Undead grotesques vaulted over broken window frames and cubicle partitions. They snaked their way through rows of desks.

Vacant eyes fixed on their prey, blood-slathered jaws twisted into mocking smiles.

“Yum! Yum! Yum! Merc meat is always a treat,” something that had once been an attractive brunette said.

She ducked Brad’s fire, she ducked Comanch’s, but Jones blew the side of her head off with a lucky shot.

They poured in as Red and Blue Team poured it on, puncturing already dead bodies. Still, they came on, driven ever-forward by hunger and hate.

Hollow eyes glowed in the chemical red light.

McNeal hit the Claymores, turning the cubicles into a blender of flying steel ball bearings and splintered office furniture.

The upper half of a body slammed into the wall behind them. It seized Comanch’s calf and drew blood.

Comanch stomped on its face and popped a hot one in its dome.

Shattered corpses rose and stumbled forward.

McNeal screamed as an armless freak in a tracksuit chewed into his neck. His blood sprayed as he socked it in the jaw.

Half of a Starbuck’s barista clambered up Jones’ legs and bit into his balls; his finger spasmed on the trigger. Comanch ate the discharge and fell in a bloody heap on the grotesque thing he had just wasted.

Brad watched as Masterson traded rounds with an undead armed with a shotgun. Masterson would fire a burst into its chest, and it would jack another shell into the chamber and fire.

In the blink of an eye, it flew at Masterson and buttstroked him hard enough to cave in his skull.

It smiled at the remaining mercs.

All Brad could do was focus once more down the sights of the M60 and waste an old lady riddled with holes from the ball bearings closing in on him.

You’re going with me. You’re all fucking going with me.

His fellows died around him.

The remnants of furniture caught fire.

Brad made the M60 roar.


Agent Russo watched the sun go down and sipped his coffee. He admired the column of smoke rising from City Hall, still burning from the night before.

He fancied himself some sort of general standing over a battlefield.

Just like Call of Duty, he thought.

A storm built up to the west; strong gusts of wind blew through the encampment. Russo turned back inside his tent and dropped his coffee cup.

“Look at what running got you, bureau-rat,” Brad said.

Shafts of light from the setting sun penetrated the interior, shining through the forms of Mann, Masterson, and McNeal.

They seized Russo; he could feel pressure pulverizing his limbs.

The sun glinted off a blade.


And finally, he shrieked.

When the tactical team burst in, they found Russo’s skinned body spread all over his tent.

His skin laid out over his cot with both middle fingers extended.


For all installments of “PMC,” click here.

Previous installments:

  1. Part 1