“Can we help him?, ” whispered Jill.
We stared, horror-stricken, at the policeman. With all of that staring, we couldn’t avoid seeing the giant bird that was obviously eating him.
“I don’t see how we can be of any help, ” Mike whispered. “There is already a cop on the scene.”
“Ha ha, very fucking funny,” hissed Moira. “We are all selfish shits. We have our Spam and our safe place. We didn’t save anybody but ourselves.”
“If you think we are safe and saved, you are wrong, Moira. We just have a place to be, for the moment. We are trapped,” I whispered.
Any lingering thoughts anyone might have had of rescuing the police officer were extinguished when the bird pulled him in half. We jerked backwards as a group, and the bird seemed to look our way.
“Let’s just stand still here for a little while,” breathed Mike.
The bird finally looked back down at its dinner, and we backed out of the office.
Back downstairs, I broke the silence. “That bird isn’t the bird we saw uptown. The uptown bird was big enough to wreck a helicopter. The tennis court bird is only big enough to eat a cop.”
“So you are telling us that there is more than one bird,” Mike said.
“Duh,” said Moira. Mike glared at her. Un-cowed, Moira glared back at him. They glared until they both realized it was pointless.
“OK, no more Spam naps. No more screwing around. We have stuff to do. We have to take stock of what we have. We have to decide what we can use and what we can’t use. We have to see what we can use as weapons,” Mike said.
“What’s the point of weapons? We can’t kill those birds with anything less than bazookas,” Jonathan sighed.
“People.” Mike said. “People are dangerous. We don’t have a lot, but we have more than some other people have. We’ll need to sit watch and we need to find the best place to be if anybody does break in. We need to stay alert.”
“Is this your zombie movie audience training talking again?,” Moira smarted off.
“Yeah, it is. You got anything better? You care to share some survival tips that you picked up when you were sewing velcro into quick change pants?”
“No, I guess not,” Moira backed down.
We’d arrived back at the green room. Once a haven, it was starting to feel hateful. The good news was that the TV was showing something besides a test pattern. The bad news was that a newscaster we’d never before seen was talking. Things went downhill from there.
“We have received word that New York City is locked down. No one is allowed in or out of the city until further notice. A hallucinogenic agent was released in the subway system earlier today by unknown terrorists. Unfortunately, millions of residents and visitors are extremely dangerous to themselves and others. The White House released a statement saying that they are desperately seeking an antidote for the poison, but have no solutions at this time. “
The test pattern came back.
“What the hell is this all about? This is beyond ass covering on the part of Disney,” Mike said.
“Maybe it’s a real estate deal,” Jonathan said.
“Real estate? Real estate with giant bird shit all over it isn’t hot,” Moira said.
“No, but it’s cheap,” said Jonathan.
“Whoa, whoa, Jonathan. What you are saying is that somebody is trying to kill us all off so they can have New York,” Jill looked horrified. I was horrified, myself, but I wasn’t really shocked. I had never trusted people with billions of dollars. You don’t get billions of dollars by being a great humanitarian.
“Maybe not actively kill us off. Maybe the birds showed up and somebody realized that it’s really convenient if we all die. Limited food on the island. Limited food for the big birds, too. When we’ve all been eaten or starved to death, us AND the birds, the new owners can move right in,” Mike was buying into all of this, too.
“Change of plan,” I said.
“What plan?,” asked Moira. “The only plan I have been aware of this entire day is that we buy and consume Spam. That’s it. Spam Plan.”
“I mean the part of the plan where we’d planned to hide out here. We won’t be waiting out anything except our lives, if we just hide here. We need to get out and win friends. Influence people.”