PENTAGON — Another so-called "knockout attack" has shaken the halls of the Pentagon after a three-star admiral was beaten senseless and left unconscious in the "E" Ring.
Vice Admiral Martin "Marty" Plenio had just finished delivering his brief on "Net-Centric Environmentalism in Littoral Warfare" to the Defense Science Board when he was randomly approached by a still-unidentified Army captain.
After initially asking for an extra handout of his powerpoint presentation, the captain then viciously punched Plenio in the chest and escaped down a nearby corridor, screaming "Knockout, ladies and gentlemen!"
This came several hours after two lieutenant colonels violently assaulted an analyst from the Rand Corporation giving a presentation on "Electromagnetism in Counterinsurgency."
While the Pentagon Force Protection Agency has refused to release any additional details, insiders say this marks the fifth attack in the last week and has left senior military and civilian leaders afraid to leave their offices, sending random expendable colonels on what used to be routine trips to the coffee shop.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey has suspended all briefs until further notice and advised senior Pentagon staff to travel in groups no smaller than six and avoid gangs of surly company-grade officers.
At first the attacks were dismissed as one of the many daily muggings that take place in the halls of the military complex, but officials began to suspect they might be rank-based hate crimes after a security guard observed a chief warrant officer being chased down an escalator by four majors carrying bats spiked with nails.
No one quite knows what has led to the attacks. Some analysts have blamed post-traumatic stress or budget cuts, while others have noted the time-honored military tradition of violent acts towards strangers.
Whispers in the cafeteria say they even have their own particular slang, and are commonly called 'star-gazing' (where the victim is a general officer) or 'full bird-watching'.
There are also apparently some unwritten rules: no kicking, biting, scratching, or crushing testicles, unofficially agreed on after a failed attack on Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett left all his assailants in the hospital.
PFPA has denied that these attacks are part of a new "game," saying there are plenty of valid reasons why a group of company or field-grade officers might corner a larger officer and viciously attack him.
"You see this kind of behavior in the wild all the time among pack animals, like when several hyenas band together to take down a large gazelle," says PFPA director and amateur zoologist Steven Calvery. "You can even see similar activity in this video of last week's attack, where the alpha captain makes the other captains sniff at his crotch to prove his dominance and then urinates all over them."
According to Pentagon chief historian Dr. Erin Mahan, speaking from behind a locked door, knockout attacks can be traced back to the late nineties, when Marine generals Charles Krulak and Anthony Zinni used to greet each other by punching each other as hard as they could in the face.
However the first person to turn 'knockout' into a game was former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who would routinely invite senior commanders into his office before pummeling them senseless with a golf club.
Dr. Mahan believes this is the most violent game to hit the Pentagon since a 2008 game of "Trust," when Gen. Stanley McChrystal ultimately shot 15 people.