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Contagion - Book Two

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Jamey faced frightening odds of survival, the genetic hybrid creatures had started killing his family, in desperation and love he fights to survive. The giant hybrid beast of a bear named Minstrel was still a formidable adversary; he reached the room only seconds behind Jamie, although his injuries were extensive and he was already virtually unable to stand, and although Jamie tried desperately to enter the adjoining security room and close the door, he was himself now in considerable agony from his ruptured and infected wounds. Minstrel had lodged his huge bulk firmly within the frame of the door making it impossible for Jamie to close. With a single swipe of his right paw, he caught Jamie full on, sending him crashing into the sidewall and crushing three more of his ribs and fracturing his neck and scull. As he lay slumped against the floor and wall, in a haze of vision Jamie could see Minstrel staggering his way towards him, then with considerable rage and effort, the beast was raising once again on his hind legs, as he did, he loomed over Jamie triumphant in finally having reached his prey. As Jamie felt himself fading away, he could see Minstrels huge body coming closer, until he could smell the creature’s foul breath.

Fantasy / Adventure
Age Rating:

Chapter One.

A New Beginning.

Book Two.

Much had happened since the death of Elaine’s father on that fatal day, which had so dramatically changed her life, and I guess in part, led to me been here today.

Adam…he was the villain that brought about the death of Peter, who was Elaine’s father. The police never found Adams body, and witnesses had reported seeing him frantically chasing Elaine and the others across the sand dunes, then for whatever reason he seemed to unexplainably turn the motor cycle towards the incoming sea, only to later never be seen again.

For whatever reason Amanda also never re-appeared to Elaine, and the loss of such loved and valued friends had drastically changed her life. Now forty-two years later she was a mother in her own right; and had gained a degree in advanced genetic research and was a teaching professor. Albeit in a private research institute which had been set up through her mother’s wise use of the vast wealth, and which the family inherited through the astute judgement of Elaine’s father, before his sudden and untimely death.

Christine, Peter’s wife, had inherited full control over the family business and with the guidance of those in senior positions, she had the company divided into various sub sections, which allowed them to form separate companies, and allowing them to stand or fall without affecting any other sections within their ever-growing empire?

However, it was Christine’s own foresight, which on seeing an opening within a small genetic research company that had been brought on by the death of its founder and benefactor. Christine wisely invested some ninety million pounds, giving her instantly control of the company and becoming its senior shareholder. Within a matter of three years and after the death of another major stockholder, Christine managed to buy out all investors of the institute, and with the vast backing of her family fortune, Christine had turned the company into the second largest privately own researched Foundation in the world.

Following in the footsteps of Peter, Christine instigated research fellowships, and within the space of twenty years had privately financed some fifty-two graduates through their education; of which now thirty-seven were working directly within the founding institute. Six were used to form a new group with the financial backing of Christine, and the remainder had for personal reasons decided to follow other paths.

It was from within this environment that Elaine; Christine’s daughter had grown, and in time, and in her own right had earned through much hard work a master’s degree. It had been personal to her; and she had stated that at the time, she felt a need to prove herself. It had all started one day with a childish thought, after reading a book given to her by her father before he had died, Elaine had learned that it was possible even then in those early years, to clone a sheep.

It had been given a silly name, if she remembered rightly, it was something like Dolly or Polly, whatever it mattered not; the important thing was that it had given birth to a thought. What if she kept hair particles of her father and taken from his hairbrush, then at a given time within the future she would somehow clone him from the very genetic patterns found from within his hair?

Time had since moved on and that was over thirty-years ago, now she had reached all but that one goal; and it was in the year 2040 that she had met her husband to be. Within three years after graduation she married Tomas Robert Armstrong, a civil engineer from Cambridge. Some three years later, and after two lost pregnancies, Elaine had given birth to twins. What had not been openly know was that it was only thanks to Christine, Elaine’s mother who had financed the conception and resulting births through her institute, and it was this private genetic assistance, which in time resulted in the birth of incredibly almost perfectly identical twins, yet one was a boy the other was a girl.

The Institute delivered the children and it was they who discovered that the children had almost identical DNA and were in every way one, yet in their own right two separate individual people. Elaine named the children Peter John Nathaniel and Christine Louise.

It was only after two years that it was discovered for certain that the children were telepathically linked and unexplainably if one child fell and was injured the other child could, if so desired, manifest the same injuries.

Sadly, Peter developed an unexplainable muscular problem, although his sister’s development was unhindered, and by the age of eleven both children had earned a place in University. Peter had remarkably accepted his disability and had refused to allow it to hinder his mental development, and at times drawing strength from his sister in an invisible yet incredibly powerful, mental and telepathic link.

Within just Four years they were the youngest children ever to have earned a master’s degree. For Peter he had followed after his mother Elaine and had chosen Advanced Genetic Research as his main line of work; and hoping some cure could be found in reversing his slowly weakening muscles; Christine in turn had majored in Palaeontology.

What amazed the university and the institute was that each child knew in full detail the other sibling’s subjects, yet secret to them, the twins had advanced genetic research, to such a point that they were now able to fully clone a human subject, extracting the very foundation of a genetic blue print from a single T- Cell.

This research had been under taken from within a sister institute that was established in New Mexico, and under Elaine’s guidance, and by the six loyal and fellow-minded students of Christine’s Portland Institute, and in all appearance, funded privately to avoid public detection.

It was Peter who now headed the research unit in Mexico, although now physically vulnerable, his mental agility more than compensated any lack of physical prowess.

Been confined to an electric wheelchair and unable even to do simple actions, like wipe his own nose; never defeated him. Even at this young age he commanded vast respect from his fellow graduates; and he seemed to have an ability of intuitively knowing their feelings, almost their very emotions and thoughts.

This had given him the advantage of manoeuvring or guiding their thoughts to that of almost blind loyalty, and in the early days of their research they had managed to clone quiet easily fellow humans.

What had been the great breakthrough was the discovery that they had it from within their power to enhance selected attributes, and within a further five years they had taken a further step in cross fertilisation, and had after some thirty or more abortions, finally created the first cross-bred human.

In the first successful experiment, Peter had used a male silver back gorilla, and an American grizzly bear. Taking from them the genetic blue prints for strength and temperament and filtering this into a human cell that’s genetic code had been altered further to include intelligence, and cosmetic attributes, like blonde hair and blue eyes, as for the intelligence and height, Peter had used part of his very own DNA.

At first the aborted babies were hideous, yet like all pioneering research, time enabled their eventual success. Now the child looked like any ordinary individual, only to the amazement of all; its development was greatly enhanced and had reached full adulthood within seven years.

Having been born with the full knowledge of its human father, and then educated privately within the confines of the Institute, had meant that the various world-governing authorities were unaware of what had taken place. Within a further three years, eight further babies were delivered, each having been grafted from some of God’s animal creations, yet which in the plan of creation should never have been designed to be crossed with human life.

After the first, the next two were taken from a male and female Lion, then one from a Bengal Tiger, one from a Leopard, two from a Polar Bear and the remaining two from a Dolphin and a Sperm Whale.

Each child looked in every way normal to the human eye, yet under the exterior of the skin laid a genetically enhanced creature, alien to this world yet with the intelligence of a human, all telepathically connected and having in their own rights, gifts from their primal parental genes.

Peter had fallen in love, and in time he would have married, having met Jacquie during his years in university, however a certain Professor had taken an instant disliking to him, and at the time and unknown to Peter, Professor Lambert had terminated Jacquie’s scholarship, and out of despair she had committed suicide.

When Peter had been informed of her death, it had almost destroyed him, and it had only been because Jacquie had truly wanted him to succeed, that he drew strength from that, and continued with his studies. Now he quietly thought to himself that Jacquie would be so proud of him, and truly be happy for his outstanding success.

It was in the Forty-fifth year of Christine Senior’s role as head of research that a small incident was to lead in time to the eventual and partial attempted downfall of her vast empire. A human research technician had accidentally injured herself, leaving an open abrasion that needed treatment. It was by pure chance that the injury had become infected from a small particle of one of the genetically enhanced humans.

And at first there was no sign of any infection, and the technician led a normal life, and been a fit and healthy young lady, she also actively participated in life’s pleasures; that included intercourse with her husband, and within nine months gave birth to a healthy child. Some three weeks later she mysteriously developed a form of flu, and as of then, it was unknown to the scientific world, and within four days she had died. As for the baby it was unaffected and showed no signs of any abnormalities.

Peter closed his eyes; he could feel the unease from within his employees, it was almost as if his creations could sense something happening, and they were becoming excited, almost like a pack of wild animals sensing a weakness, and that in time, it would lead to an imminent kill.

Can you sense it as well.” asked Alex;

Alex was the first success; a cross between the Silver backed gorilla and the grizzly bear.

“Yes, it’s almost as if there is a heightened excitement in the air.”

Peter had no need to open his eyes or to talk verbally, as Alex was talking telepathically to him.

You are infected like the rest of you humans, you know…don’t you?”

Peter had not known but had suspected, sensing a change from within himself.

“The trouble is I’m unsure if we can contain the infection”

It was at this point that Peter looked up and viewed the seven-foot nine-inch giant before him.

Incredibly in some ways it was like looking into a fare ground mirror. The genetic blue print for Alex had been taken from Peter himself, as by then Peter had discovered the reason for his genetic disability, and had managed to modify certain genes in Alex, which had corrected the defect.

Alex was born already containing within him, the full knowledge and intellect of Peter at that given point in time. Been telepathically connected, they had learnt to sub-consciously update knowledge to each other. It was for this reason that Peter held a particular fondness to Alex, and like his sister Christine, Alex was a part of Peter; and he in turn looked upon him as a father figure, and knowing that never at any one point in time had Peter ever secretly expressed a thought of regret.

“I believe it was the baby,”

Peter looked deeply into Alex’s eyes; he knew that he was not joking.

Alex continued. “I believe the child is a carrier, the problem we face is that Justine the child’s father has taken the baby to his parent’s home in Northern Canada, and to make it worst, I believe they even flew there.”

Peter could feel his body shudder at the thought of the possible contamination; and knowing it would be impossible now to contain the countless thousands of commuters who had themselves passed on any infection to all that they innocently had encountered.

“I feel we need to research into a vaccine, an antibody that will counteract or even kill off the infection.”

“What if it has already mutated?” asked Peter. Alex looked at his lifelong father and friend,

“We will have to cross that bridge whenever it happens, but for now, even though you have been infected, for some reason you seem healthy and immune to the flues affects; and I believe we can use your immune system to try and develop a vaccine.”

Christine put down her book; and from across the world, she was sitting in her bedroom and had picked up the emotional change from within Peter, and after some minutes she was fully aware of the events that had led to that moment in time.

“Oh lord you’re a stupid idiot, what have you done?

Peter knew his sister never really meant to insult him; it was just an emotional reaction.

“Listen sis”, that was a term he used in love, “please carefully explain fully to mum what has happened, we need to carry out a full DNA and genetic test of you to see if you had been infected.”

He paused briefly wondering how her mother would take to the revelation that they had progressed so far in their research, and now of the possible destruction of the human race through an unforeseen and careless mistake.

However, Peter continued,

“Then send the tests to me personally, where we can compare your results against mine.”

Christine wiped away a tear,

“Listen sis, crying won’t help, we need to keep calm and act as quickly as possible.”

It was almost as if they were in the very same room, and not thousands of miles apart. Alex interrupted Peter,

“I’m concerned about the others, and I’m not sure how they will react.”

Both Alex and Peter had learnt how to mask their thoughts from their fellow researchers. They had both realised at an early stage the danger in allowing them access to their personal thoughts. For Alex he was as much one with Peters as he was also to his sister, and the three acted incredibly and at times like one individual.

“I feel they are sensing the basic animal instincts within them, and if they are unable to contain those thoughts, then there is no telling how they will react.”

Peter knew what Alex was saying; yet he felt sure the human side of their personality would win through. Non-the less he agreed it would be wise to take extra precautions.

They did not have to wait long, within five weeks over two thirds of the world had developed a mutated form of the flu virus. Within a further four weeks there was no major populated area within the world that had not been infected.

Humans by nature are a very resilient race, yet incredibly this virulent form of flue had now killed some thirty-three million humans’, and the race to find a cure was now taking precedence, and with the major Western world investing vast sums into finding a miracle antidote.

It was the third world countries that suffered the most. Vast populations were simply wiped out almost overnight. Eventually and in time, it was Peter that had developed a vaccine which combated the virus and prevented it from killing its host. However, the side effect was almost as unpleasant, leaving the individual in a weakened state and susceptible to infection from another source before the body was able to regain its strength and rebuild its immune system.

Robert along with Juliet, two of Peter’s enhanced human researchers apparently took it into themselves to leave the institute, and simply one day failed to turn up for work. Incredibly they had also learnt how to mask their thoughts, and in doing so prevented detection, giving them the vital time that they had needed to escape.

What Peter had not foreseen was the full extent of their plan; they were by nature natural hunters, by having been developed or crossbred from Lions.

Over the period of two years they had secretly switched their own sperm and eggs with those from humans and had ensured at a chosen time that the contaminated items were to be sent to various institutes across the United States for eventual use in human fertility treatment.

They had not instigated the viral outbreak, only taken advantage of it. The human gene within them combined with a strong animal instinct for survival had led them to seek to develop and increase their race. For that is what they had become, a race of beings in their own right, wanting and needing to survive like any other of nature’s creatures on this planet.

By now, there was no means in knowing the eventual results of their desire and need to procreate and create an identical race.

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