From: Meredith Cohn
Re: The penalty from saving Washington DC from zombies
Thanks again for the info. Hope you’re getting plenty of rest and eating right after our latest adventure. I’ve attached a draft I’d like you to read. Any input you have is welcome, and with your approval I’ll send it out for publication. Hopefully this can clear up some public misconceptions.
P.S. Do we have some kind of secure email server?? I really feel like that ought to come with the job.
P.P.S. It’s a working title.
The Tomb Where It Happened:
The real story of the battle for DC
The world has had a lot of revelations in the past year.
For most of us, myself included, learning that the supernatural is really out there came as a shock, to say the least. It has been a struggle to adjust to a world where demons, fairies, and monsters are more than just scary stories. Plenty of people still find it hard to believe that any of it really exists, and I can’t blame them. If I hadn’t seen it for myself, I wouldn’t be convinced, either.
But there are those for whom this is not a surprise at all. The Contingent operated in the shadows for years before the events of 2017 brought it into the light. Its operatives have done the difficult and dangerous job of keeping humanity safe, often without any form of thanks. “I didn’t work for the Contingent,” says one operative of the time before the Contingent went public, “I just showed up and saved the world.” This seems to be a running theme among Contingent operatives: show up, save the world, disappear again without asking for anything in return.
And then last year happened.
The threats we faced in 2017 were bigger than anything the Contingent had faced before. Not one but three incredibly powerful demons attacked all at once: one in DC, one in New Orleans, and one in California. As the world’s foremost authorities on the supernatural, it fell to the Contingent to fight off all three of these monsters alone.
I’ve worked tirelessly to uncover the true story of that day’s events, particularly what happened in Washington, D.C. This was where a demon named Thorn did its best to turn the laws of life and death themselves against humanity. With federal safehouses and military equipment stationed all over the District, this seemed to be a strategic place for the Contingent to make a stand. But with a demon this powerful, of course things were going to go wrong.
The event that caused the most public commotion was the tank that battled its way through a sea of zombies as it made its way down the streets of D.C. I can confirm with utmost certainty: it was members of the Contingent who fought this battle from atop and inside the tank. This is where the story gets a bit muddy, as eyewitnesses struggled to understand what they were watching.
Here is the consensus: A military tank made its way down the streets of our nation’s capitol, and eventually to Arlington Cemetery. A huge crowd of humanoid creatures followed a similar path at the same time. People heard rumblings and strange noises coming from underground, and then a large earthquake and something like a roar. Finally, things quieted down.
There are conflicting accounts once you get into any detail beyond that. To some people, it seemed that the tank was stolen, and the people inside were mowing down soldiers. “I couldn’t understand it,” says one witness who wishes to remain anonymous. “They were just mowing people down. I just ran and hid.”
This is a story that many of us who weren’t in Washington that day find acceptable, but it may not be true- or at least, not complete. Another who watched the event from an office in the Capitol building, tells a slightly different story. “The building was under attack already,” they told me. “If the Contingent hadn’t showed up, we would all have been dead.” This and several other eyewitnesses believe that it wasn’t a crowd of people, but a horde of the undead, that the Contingent fought from the tank. Certainly some of the bodies at the scene were far too old to have been killed in the battle. Police reports from the days after the battle confirm that there were bodies in varying states of decay, from a day or two old to several weeks.
From here, we move to the question of how the Contingent got a tank in the first place. This, again, is contested information. The commonly accepted wisdom is that they simply took it from the military, but that may not be the case. According to one, now rather infamous, Contingent operative, “The National Guard looked at the hoard of zombies… and made the decision to let us do their job for them.” Other operatives who were on the scene confirm that their actions that day were not only necessary to stop the encroaching evil, but in fact done with the blessing of the military forces who had been assigned to the task. “They let us take the fall,” one operative said of the military. If someone was going to be blamed for what happened, perhaps the Contingent seemed like an easy target. They were, after all, a previously unknown organization of people who knew far too much about the supernatural.
Or maybe they stole the damn tank. Once again, it’s hard to say. Representatives of the National Guard declined to be interviewed, so we have only the Contingent’s word on the subject.
The battle progressed through D.C. and eventually made its way into the catacombs beneath the District. This was where Thorn itself lay in wait. Contingent operatives tell me that the demon had built some kind of robotic suit for itself, something almost outside of human comprehension. Operatives who were in the thick of the fighting have trouble explaining now what happened down there. They were ultimately able to distract the demon and take control of the suit, which was powerful enough to kill its creator. Once again, we have only Contingent operatives’ word that this is what happened. The Contingent was alone in the bowels of D.C., fighting a horror beyond comprehension.
I have been able to confirm independently that the demon Thorn was real. It’s obvious by the fact that we’re all alive today that it wasn’t successful. Those two things in mind, it seems more likely than not that the Contingent did in fact kill the demon. Full, elaborate details of what happened may never come to light; in fact, they may be impossible for any of us to understand. But it does seem likely that we have the Contingent to thank for our continued existence.
So, the story is this: Contingent operatives took control of a military tank, with or without permission from the National Guard. They used the tank to make their way through the streets, fighting off a crowd that was made either of zombies, or of people whose bodies decayed much more rapidly than they should have in the next couple of days. They made their way underground, where they probably killed the demon responsible for all the chaos.
The Contingent has been the center of a mixed public reaction since the battles of 2017. Conflicting information abounds, and for being such huge spectacles, the battles seem now to be shrouded in mystery. Hopefully this article has cleared up at least one of those mysteries.
In the meantime, the Contingent has continued to do what it always does: show up, and save
This article was not sponsored by the Contingent and the author is receiving no monetary benefit from the Contingent for writing it. However, the author has been employed by the Contingent since April, 2018.