“They did it to me again!” A man standing on the other side of my desk was pacing my office agitated. His face mask was covering the breathing apparatus that he wears when not at a lab or working.
“What? What did they do?” I asked him keeping calm but agitated myself.
“Her damn team baited me! Again!” His hands were starting to shake slightly at his sides as he paced.
“Wesley!” I said stern and clear making him stop and look at me. “Sit.” He sat in a chair across from my desk but his hands were still shaking a little. “When did it happen?”
“The seventh. They finally responded to the faux detectives email.”
“And what happened?”
“They sent coordinates to a location. It was a set up. I reported to Ops when my car alarm went off.”
“Yes, I read that report.”
Ignoring my comment Wes continued, his fingers tapping on his leg, “The saw something in visual but not clear so I left. They tried following me.”
“Are you sure it was them following?” I asked curious but knowing.
“Yes. They followed my every turn. I lost them when they tried to cut me off.”
“Interesting.” I said thinking. “How is our project? Is the prototyping working out?”
“Yes. I have been able to rule out several elements and get the reaction we have been looking for.”
“I must get back. I needed to report in person about this event.” Wes stood his fingers tapping against his thigh again.
“I appreciate that my friend. The closer we get to the original the sooner we can work on the Antidote as well.”
“Yes. She never revealed that formula to me unfortunately. I have hidden vials in various places in case she sends her minions to look for them.”
I could see he was getting antsy being here so I stopped asking questions and came around the desk to pat him on the back then changing my mind letting my hand stay by my side instead. I had to be careful about touching him. Sometimes it set off the monster inside. “Thank you. That is good thinking. Make sure to check back tomorrow.”
“Yes sir.” He stepped out of the office and I called his name, “Wes.” he looked back at me, the sunglasses on his face hiding his eyes. “Stop calling me that.”
“I can not do that.” With that he turned and started down the hall to the stairs. We have an elevator in the building but Wesley prefers to keep moving. Being idle irritates his nerves, literally.
I go back to my desk and fill out a report on this visit before going back to what I was doing before Wes came in. I’m not always in the lab, though I would rather be. There is always paperwork to be done and forms to be filed and made. Syntec is ‘underground’ without actually being hidden. I won’t reveal our alias company name or well, I might as well give myself up.
I would never do that of course. Especially now. This timeline is a very different one compared to the many other ones that have repeated before this one. I never in the lifetimes spent, dreamed that I had a chance of being a father. The failed tests, the deaths, the murders that came in before always left a mark on my sanity. Just when I had given up and thought it would never end things changed. For some reason this particular Time Line has so many changes that I have come to only one conclusion. This is the Absolute Time Line.
My thoughts on this were interrupted when my phone rang. It was Wesley. Surprised to be hearing from him so soon I answered quickly, “Did you forget some...”
“I think someone was here.” He was clearly upset.
“Are you sure?”
“They shouldn’t have been able to find a location like this. It’s out in the middle of nowhere.”
“Do you think you have been followed?”
“No. they must have tracked me to this location.” His breathing sounded a little strained for a moment. “I knew it was them, their on me from before.”
“You mean Debs Subjects from the studio! It couldn’t have been them.” I had my doubts even as I said it I knew that it had to have been them. I figured she would have sent her other minions who were better suited for such a thing.
“You don’t understand, sir...she’s trained them well. their incredibly resourceful and, annoyingly resilient.” His voice was more raspy then usual behind the mask. He had to be pissed off at having been found. “They must have planted something on my car from beforehand.”
“Are you serious? Again with the cheap trackers!” Had we known of it, we could have redirected the signal or removed it and put it on something else.
“I’m sure of it.”
“Did they take the Prototype?”
“No. None of the prototype is missing.” It sounded like he was going through cabinets and checking things at his location.
“It doesn’t appear that anything was taken.”
“Make sure nothing was taken, including the Antidote or Counter Agent.”
“They’ve riffled through my documents.”
“It’s nothing important.”
“I’ll trust you on that.”
“I’m sure they’ve already put together who i am.”
“How do you think they figured it out?” I had a thousand questions, but knew it was useless to ask them. The situation always came to the same thing in the end.
“It doesn’t matter.”He answered back frustrated.
I could hear more rustling, “Pack up everything.”
“You’re going to have to move to a different location.”
“Don’t leave anything behind.”
“I’ll be sure to put a stop to this.” Wes didn’t end the call but I couldn’t hear myself echoing so I supposed he had put his Bluetooth in finally. He didn’t say anything but I could hear him going through things and packing things up.
“Wesley, I know you hear me.” I said and got no response. “I’ll send a car out to you. The one your using now will be returned after someone goes over it.” Still nothing.
“Wesley!” I said irritated at being ignored.
“What!?” He yelled in his rough gravely voice.
“Don’t you yell at me Nathanial!” I said back seething, gritting my teeth. I did not like being spoken to like that.
“Did you hear what I said?”
“Yes.” there was a pause then he added, “I don’t want to say too much. They might have planted something here as well.”
“Understood but don’t take your anger out on me. It won’t solve anything.”
“Again with the sir.” I sighed but let it go. “Fuck it, I’m coming to get you myself.”
“Are you sure of that.” Wes stated not really asking.
“I am. I will be there in fifteen minutes.”
I ended the call and chucked the computer mouse I’d had in my other hand. I’m so sick of this endless loop. Not everyone remembers what happens because it is not always completely the same. But I am cursed with knowing exactly how things go and never forgetting any of it. Certain events never changed and this was one of them. Wesley remembers everything as well. It’s a burden all of us who have been ‘infected’ from the serum have to live with.
Deb’s Subjects were getting braver and soon their arrogance would split them apart. Unfortunately the split up would only last a short while. Once they discovered the trap that had been set up for Deb, and never caught her, they would unite again. They would have the backing of their ‘Audience’ to make them stronger as well. Some thing has got to give in that area.
I swipe my keyboard off my desk as I stand up and grab my keys. This chapter begins again.
I drive an alias car out to Wesley’s location to pick him up. When I get there he is standing outside and holds up something dangling from a cord. At first I can’t tell what it is. Then when I get out I see it is a phone on a charge cord. He was right about not saying to much.
“A phone? Really!” I grab it and almost chuck it but Wesley is quick to grab it back.
“This might be useful later.” He says putting it in a bag on the ground next to his feet.
I take a deep breath, “You’re right.” He’s been right before, and before that and… infinitely before that.
Before getting here I stopped and bought a cooler and ice. The serum is unstable as it is, but if it gets too hot or too much sunlight it gets worse. When Wes is taking things out of the little RV fridge and passes it to me to put in the cooler I notice something.
“Where’s that black case?”
Wes stops cold. He looks at the second shelf and his hands turn into fists. His face would be red if I could see it, but I can’t.
“We will discuss it later. Lets get this out of here.” I change the subject and we finish emptying the fridge.
The case contained vials of ‘Life’s Blood’ serum. There was also four vials of “Counter Agent”. Or that’s what they were labeled. The three of us, meaning Wesley, Deborah and I, are the only three that know the light blue liquid is actually Antidote not counter-agent. Just as before Debs subjects found the small case. If they hadn’t already discovered the antidote they would soon enough. It was a small matter. Unbeknownst to Deb I have had more antidote hidden around. I had Wes hide some on off site spots that no one but us should find.
After relocating Wes to the basement of the building Neelie and I are working in currently. I get some others to help bring down a few necessities for Wes. No thanks to having so much of that serum in his body he can’t take too much sunlight and needs to be where it is a moderate temperature most of the time. It’s just as well he moved. It was soon going to be too hot to be staying in that RV anyway.
He may not realize it or care anymore, but I care about my friend. I do worry about his well being. He has been lucky that so far he has not ‘Splintered’. Hell so am I for that matter. I wish he would just take the new serum.