by Nicholas Carter
"General, this is the global effect of the virus 12 hours from now. In 36 hours. And in 72 hours."
General Alfred Smilek and an underground bunker full of soldiers watched the map bloom red.
"I see that the thing spreads fast, Patterson. What I don't see is why it's so awful. I mean, the virus
just makes the babies smart, right? Geniuses, you said?"
"Not just geniuses, General. Evil Geniuses," Patterson said.
"Evil Genius Babies?"
"Sir, the first case was reported just shy of eight hours ago, and our intel is already reporting plans
of a death ray, and a diamond-tipped MegaDrill capable of tapping the Earth's core. The babies are
using their superior intellect to influence menial laborers to carry out the physical tasks that their
tiny baby bodies can't perform."
"But it's just babies that can be infected right? There's a lot more big people, I mean, adults than babies, yes?"
"Sir, 245 babies are born every minute. 200,000 every day. Every one of them will be infected.
Every one of them will be smarter than Einstein. And every one of them will be hell bent on
destroying the world."
Among the bank of monitors, General Smilek saw a CNN feed. A tiny baby was piloting a
giant robot suit, laying waste to Hokido. On MSNBC, a toddler had hijacked a high-speed
train and was demanding a $1,000,000,000 ransom.
General Smilek thought of his son. Edward. His tiny hands reaching for the barnyard mobile
above his crib. The General thought of the pride he felt when, in his arms, his son's cries finally
gave way to sleep. He remembered just that morning, when he caught his son scattering classified
documents all over the floor of his office. What was that look in Edward's green eyes?
Was it...was it fury?
"We need an order, General."
He glanced at the monitors again. Now, each news station had been pirated by a different Baby
Evil Genius, or collective of Baby Evil Geniuses. They were demanding money, weapons, respect.
He noted that they all had green eyes. The security cameras outside the bunker showed an approaching
convoy of mini-vans kicking up a storm of desert dust.
"Initiate the Omega Contingency," said General Alfred Smilek, husband, father.
Well-trained soldiers offer no outward glimpse of hesitation, regardless of the gravity of the order. The
activation of the Omega Contingency required the simultaneous turning of four keys, held by the highest
ranking officer in each of the armed services, as well as the recitation a series of codes. This was done.
"People, if you have loved ones to call, you have T-minus 12 minutes to do so." One of the soldiers
dropped his phone. "I need to call my wife."
All around them, the machinations had begun: satellites aligned, underground reactors came alive.
"Honey? It's Alfred. What are you up to? No, no. I don't need anything. I just wanted to tell you I love you."
In the final minute, the countdown lights threw the bunker into an intense red strobe. The soldiers ended
their calls, hung up, and were quiet.
"No, I don't want to talk to Edward."