THE AREA 51 OPTION
AND 70 MORE
SPECULATIVE FICTION TALES
Michael A. Kechula
The Area 51 Option and 70 More by Michael A. Kechula
Copyright September 2009 by Michael A. Kechula, all rights reserved.
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This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and locations are fictitious or used
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A NATIONAL EMERGENCY
"How did you get this wound in your arm, Detective Brown?" asked the doctor.
"I was chasing hoods on the docks," I said. "A guy came at me outta nowhere with a machete. Nicked me on the arm before I plugged him in the head."
"Lie down. This is gonna sting."
My cell phone rang.
"Hey, Brownie. Smiley here. Heard you got cut. Bad?"
"Nah. Just needs some stitches."
"Your stiff's right in front of me," Smiley said. "I started the autopsy. You sitting down?"
"Laying down. What's up?"
"Something's very strange. The back of his head shoulda been blown off. But it ain't. There's no blood anywhere. Stuck my finger in the hole you blew in his forehead. Instead of brain tissue, I felt something weird. I looked inside with a light. I don't know how to say this."
"The guy doesn't have any brains. Something else is there."
"What?" I asked.
"Looks like duct tape."
I hung up. Smiley jokes a lot. But I wasn't in the mood for a Saturday night comedy routine.
My phone rang again.
"I ain't lying," Smiley said. "There's no brains in the guy's head. Just wads of duct tape. I'm about to open his chest. I'll let you know what I find."
"I ain't laughing, Smiley. So, cut the crap already." I hung up on him again.
When the doc said, "All finished," Smiley called a third time.
"I swear on my mother's eyes," Smiley said. "I've seen weird stuff in my life, but nothing like this. He doesn't have a heart. The only thing there is a plastic box. I opened it up. It was filled with wads of duct tape."
"Did you tell Homeland Security?"
"Yeah. They snickered and hung up. Would you ask your FBI buddy to come over and take a look so he can verify this?"
I figured if Smiley was willing to go so far, something was definitely wrong.
"I'll call him right now," I said. "See you at the morgue in twenty minutes."
* * * *
"What do you think, Smiley?" I asked, tapping the duct tape inside the cadaver's open skull with my pistol.
"I ain't sure. How do you explain a guy who's walking around with no blood in his body and duct tape for a brain? And more duct tape where his heart should be?"
"Maybe he's an alien," I said.
"Could be. Actually, he ain't a he. There's nothing down there except a big hole. I ran my hands inside."
"What did you find?"
"More duct tape."
"Damn! Bad enough we got terrorists, illegal aliens, gangs, overpriced gasoline, war. Now we got a Duct Tape Monster. At least I know how to kill them, if any more show up."
The doors swung open revealing Dave, my FBI contact.
"Hey, Davey," I called. "How's it going?"
Instead of answering, he opened his coat, pulled out a machete, and swung it at Smiley's neck. I pulled my pistol and shot Dave in the head.
If Smiley hadn't ducked, his head would've been on the other side of the room.
"Quick!" I yelled. "Check the wound!"
"There's no blood," Smiley said, pulling a wad of silver-colored duct tape from Dave's head.
Aghast, I dialed the police panic number.
In minutes, the morgue was a madhouse. The mayor and her staff, a Homeland Security team, and police brass ran in circles, yelling on cell phones.
"What do you think, Smiley?" asked the Police Commissioner.
"We got a helluva problem on our hands," Smiley replied. "We don't know who's infected, why, or how it happens."
"But we know how to kill them." I said.
Somebody screamed. The Police Chief's severed head whizzed past my right shoulder.
"Lookout, Brown!" somebody hollered.
I twisted just in time to see Her Honor, the Mayor, charging at me with a blood-soaked machete. I shot her right between the eyes.
"She pulled it out of her briefcase," the Commissioner yelled. "Search every briefcase in the room! Round up everybody who has a machete! Post armed guards wherever they sell them!"
"Search all incoming ships and aircraft!" said a Homeland Security agent into a phone. "Tell citizens to be on the lookout and report anybody who's carrying a machete."
"There may be thousands of them," somebody shouted. "How in the hell are we gonna identify them?"
"We'll have to X-ray the heads of everybody in the nation," Smiley said. "It's gonna be a logistical nightmare. We'll have to do it at thousands of places. Combat-ready troops will have to stand guard at every X-ray machine. The moment a monster is identified, they'll have to shoot the damn thing right on the spot."
"Problem is," a police captain said, "the guy next door might already be one. Maybe a sweet grandma is about to hack off a little kid's head. No doubt day care providers are infected. Same with our moms, religious leaders, congressmen."
"And our wives," I mumbled, checking my ammunition supply.
The room grew silent as everyone pondered the horrifying implications.
Suddenly, everyone bolted for the exit.
I raced home. With pistol drawn, I entered my apartment. Pointing the pistol at my snoring wife's head, I said, "Wake up, Helen. Whadda ya say we run over to the hospital X-Ray Department? We won't stay long. Afterward, we can have breakfast at Denny's...maybe."
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