Raid on the Island of the Dead
By Dwayne MacInnes
Chaplain Brodin hurried after the captain paying little heed to the pain burning and pulsating in his wounded hand. He was finally able to catch up to the American officer inside the laboratory. Jennings was down on his knees upon the broken down steel door furiously wiping away the dust covering it.
The chaplain for the first time saw the German graffiti painted on it. Jennings looked at the Chaplain and pointed down towards the word.
"I couldn't figure it out before," Jennings rapidly explained. "I've never came across this word before. I knew the root of the German word 'tot' meant dead. But this says 'untoten'. When I saw that magazine with the title 'The Undead Strike' I figured it out. This word is German for Undead!"
Captain Jennings stood up and grabbed Brodin by the shoulders. "The Germans succeeded. They found their Uber-soldat formula! They have made all the islanders undead."
Brodin stared at the captain for a while before scratching his head. "I'm sorry cobber, but you've lost me. What is undead?"
Jennings ushered Brodin back to his chair in the laboratory facing the bed sheet pinned on the wall. The captain wound the film in the projector back a little and then he flipped off the lights.
The sheet again showed the film. It was playing what it was before they were interrupted. The image of the camera zooming in on the face of the dead girl on the bed played before their eyes.
Suddenly the girl's eyes flung open and she stared up towards the camera. In a fit of rage the girl started thrashing her head biting and gnashing towards the camera. The camera operator turned towards Dr. von Jutt. The German scientist known as the Todesengel was beaming with pride. Several of the Japanese doctors began shaking hands with each other and von Jutt before the film suddenly finished.
Captain Jennings flipped the lights on again. Brodin was rubbing his eyes in mixture of disbelief and readjustment to the light.
"That girl was dead, right?" Brodin began.
Captain Jennings nodded, "And they brought her back."
"But she wasn't alive," Brodin noted, "she was..." The chaplain desperately tried to grasp for the correct word.
"She was undead," Jennings supplied the word.
"That means at this very minute we are being surrounded by..." Before Brodin could finish Jennings was outside the lab yelling for Reynolds.
The sergeant was not long in running towards the captain.
"Sergeant, call the men to arms. Start distributing any weapons in the armory. Make sure they know how to use the Stielhandgranate," Jennings rapidly started ordering.
"Cap, the what?" Reynolds asked.
"Sorry, those stick grenages, ah the 'Potato Mashers'," Jennings rapidly explained. "We need to make sure those vehicles down in the courtyard are working and we need to start gathering all the stuff in this lab."
"Yessir!" the sergeant replied and started to run down the hall. However before he went far he turned back towards the capain. "Sir, what exactly are we preparing to fight?"
"Those natives are a German experiment."
Jennings with Brodin and Reynolds present held a brief war council in the lab. There were still several hours before the submarine would return the raiders. Every minute also brought more of the undead natives to the walls of the fortress. The raiders would have to remain in the fortress until it was time to rush for the beach.
The remaining contents of the German armory was distributed among the soldiers who were now lining the wall of the fortress. All the raiders had makeshift masks over their nose and mouth to help stifle the malignant smell of human decay. They now more resembled bandits from the Old West than they did US Army personnel.
The raiders received a quick lesson in operating the Karabiner 98k bolt action rifle. Jennings felt it wiser to expend the German munitions before using up the vastly more limited supplies of the US make. Until sundown the soldiers would try to reduce the numbers of undead at their doorsteps by shooting at them. This would give the soldiers something to do and give them the practice. They were going to need it once they broke free of the fortress.
A few barrels of gasoline were hauled up to the walls to be held ready for when the breakout was imminent. The soldiers not on the wall rapidly began gathering all important material dealing with the Uber-soldat formula and packed it into the Opel Blitz truck.
Jennings grabbed a satchel and started to pack von Jutt's journal, the film, and some of the notebooks into it. This he decided he would trust only upon his person. The constant crack of rifle fire started as soon as Sergeant Reynolds finished the lessons.
Jennings climbed the stairs to the wall to survey the results the men were having. The MG42's in the towers opened up rapidly firing their 7.92mm rounds into the mass of walking dead below. The results were less than satisfactory. Though the machineguns' rounds would tear a decayed limb off a native, it did not put one out of action.
The men with the bolt-action Karabiner 98k rifles were having better results. Mainly as they were learning, only a shot to the head would effectively disable an undead person. With this lesson in hand, Jennings gave orders that the men were to take their time and aim for the head.
The captain descended the stairs again to help with the loading of the trucks. As Jennings reached the courtyard, he noticed Brodin sitting upon some crates with his head in his hands.
"Father, are you alright?" the captain asked.
The chaplain looked up with sweat pouring from his brow towards Jennings. "Yes, I am just feeling a bit ill right now."
"You look pale. When we get you to the sub we'll have them give you some stuff to help you out."
Brodin only nodded his head unconsciously rubbing his wounded hand wrapped in a blood-soaked bandage.
Without warning, an unholy wail cut through the air. The unnerving alarm even overpowered the continuous crack of the rifles on the wall. Again, as it did the previous night Jennings felt a chill run up and down his spine.