Contagion - Book Two

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Chapter Three.

It was now five years since the first initial outbreak of the mutated flu virus, fortunately scientist from across the world had put a concerted effort into combating any future outbreaks. It had now also become fully apparent as to the severity of side effects, resulting in a drastic population decrease by almost 74%. Never before in the recorded history of humanity had it been known to suffer such a devastating and destructive force as to singularly wipe out more than two thirds of the world’s population.

It had also brought the world governments to their feet with a jolt, and finally they now realised that the human race was not the vastly intellectual supreme force that they had so falsely put their trust and belief in. As those who had survived were left weak and in danger of contracting other viral infections until the immune system had regained its strength.

It was the third world countries that were by far affected the most; in places like India, Pakistan, and parts of Africa, their population was all bar a few survivors wiped out within the first two years.

China had suffered a devastating reduction in its population, and as a result there were now vast areas of land unoccupied. Nepal and the surrounding regions now resembled only a distant memory for those who survived; and they faced an uphill struggle with the agonising reality hitting them hard, with each and every stillborn baby.

The greatest fear was now the realisation that another outbreak of a further mutated virus would succeed in sending the human race along the same path taken by the dinosaurs, to eventual extinction.

As such, The Portland Institute had received vast sums of financial backing from concerned governments, as it was, they who were first in coming up with the original vaccine. It was felt they stood the greatest chance in coming up with an antibody that would combat any further muted and unknown strain of the flu virus that had instigated such carnage.

Peter had succeeded in acquiring a further two thousand acres of land that had surrounded his research institute. The entire area had been triple fenced with electronic sensors every few meters, additional compounds were constructed, and a further seventy-three cloned humans had been genetically engineered from within the confines of the institute.

All were born with the full memory and knowledge of the host donors, along with whatever additional genetic enhancements that was required. Peter had again used his own genetic coding, but this time he had discovered a way to incorporate part of his sister’s genetic code along with a chosen animal and could pre-grow clone bodies to awaite the genetic information.

He had opted for Alex his loyal friend and companion, his huge stature yet gentle nature had produced an almost perfect researcher. It also gave the added advantage of having an army of researchers with the strength of ten humans to one clone, been now both male and female within one single cloned unit.

There were also a further ninety clones that were in their early years of development. As at this stage of their growth they resembled children about to approach they’re teenage years, Peter could not use them to their full potential. Yes, they were all born with the memory and knowledge of their parents; it was more a case of the various military backers, not accepting what they thought to be children working in such an environment.

It was for this reason that he had acquired the additional land, and had taken such drastic steps in ensuring his work remained above top secret. In addition, the military had shown a considerable interest in his work, and as a result had financed an additional subterranean complex, that enable his work to be carried out in the full knowledge that even a nuclear explosion was unable to reach them. It was not only the nuclear threat that presented such hurdles to overcome; it was one of bacterial warfare, or industrial sabotage.

There were government-financed individuals out there who wanted their research and were prepared to stop at nothing to obtain their goals, even if it meant wiping out an entire nation to reach their objective. In truth the complex had now become so large as to be recognised in its own right, as the world leaders in genetic research, and in been a small town, only this time been entirely subterranean, and military made.

From the initial group of genetically engineered researchers, Peter had made a decision brought about by the absconding of Robert and Juliet, who had wanted to start a family of their own. There was a small group of researchers that had set up the institute under the initial guidance of Christine, Peter’s Grandmother.

Five of these were themselves female graduates who were fully aware of all that went on within the confines of the walls in those early days.

Three had themselves fallen in love with some of the genetic researchers, yet all had voluntary given of their own genetic coding to enable Peter and Alex to create partners tailor made to their requirements.

Also, even Alex was now the proud father of five children, like all the other children they were gifted from birth with the full knowledge and memories of their parents. This in itself had the effect of enabling an almost endless supply of researchers that had the ability and intellect of making leaps and bounds in genetic research that within those few years had left the remaining world decades behind.

A fare genetic comparison could possibly be found in man discovering the power of steam, while the genetic enhanced researchers had already gone beyond the equivalent, of erecting a space station, walking on the moon and were preparing to travel to Mars.

Such was the ever-growing gap in their knowledge with that of the outside world. In addition to this, was their ability in reproducing and growing into adulthood in less than one third of the time that it would take a normal human?

Although not yet realised, Peter had in truth been playing at been God, and had succeeded in creating a completely new strain of human life form that would in time come to rule the world.

The fact that they were human by sight, gentle by nature, quick to forgive and keen to live their lives in peace, had meant that the outside world was unaware of what was developing. Yet only a few thousand miles away in the country of Canada, was a completely different race, which was evolving under much different environmental conditions.

Due to the restrictions of finding suitable additional genetic bloodlines, Robert’s family had already experienced its first severing of relationships.

Six of his great grandsons and three of their daughters, along with two additional great, great grandchildren had parted company one night while Robert was away with Juliet.

Interbreeding had started to affect the gene pool, and violent traits were becoming apparent. Even with all of his connections within the local and now county police, Robert had failed to discover their whereabouts, and like Robert and Juliet when they themselves departed company from Peter, his children had done the very same thing to him.

What concerned Robert more than anything else, was the thought of their becoming exposed as to just who and what they were, and to society rising up against them before they were strong enough to defend what they had risked so much to create.

Now Robert knew for the remaining family to survive, meant he had to kill those that had betrayed him and their family, and as a result he had vowed to not rest until such a time that all including any off spring were destroyed.

“You do realise in taking this action,” Robert interrupted Juliet his wife.

Enough…I have given the matter my fullest of attention, and no matter how I look at it, I keep coming up with the same answer.”

As it was, Juliet knew from within her heart that her husband was right, what her children had done in Roberts’s eyes was unforgivable, and it needed to be corrected before any further insurrection was detected.

Juliet had singled out seven of her finest offspring. Each was gifted with superior strength and intellect and was from only the first batch of genetically engineered children.

They were fully aware of the important nature in keeping their true identity and origin a secret.

“In all these years that we have lived here, I have never felt as scared and apprehensive as now,” stated Juliet. Robert walked over to his wife and wrapped his broad muscular arms around her, embracing her from the back. As Juliet’s head tilted backwards, and he rubbed his forehead in her hair.

“Believe me, if there was any other way,”

There was a pause for a few seconds as he reflected on his words.

“Then I would take it. As it is, we cannot afford to have this sort of…in fighting.”

“I know I only wish…”

Juliet never finished her words.

“Shish…it will do no good in thinking like that, we have to be positive, if we are to survive, we need to be as one and not apart; they should have known that.”

That evening under the cover of darkness the small group left the security of their family and made their way North. Already police reports had come in of three people been attacked by what was thought to be wild animals, there remains left few clues as to the true identity of their killers.

Yet both Robert and Juliet knew their telepathic link was the strongest; and they had learnt when the children relaxed their minds that it enabled them to read the thoughts of their offspring quietly and without intrusion.

As the adults became more accustomed to their gifts, they were able to control their thoughts, and shielding their true intentions from prying minds, yet when in a rage of temper or reverting back to primitive carnal instincts, they left themselves exposed like an open book.

It was their very act of savagery that now opened up their thoughts to Robert, and in those brief few minutes he had ascertained where they were and as to where they were heading. It was now only a matter of time before the seven would catch up with them and take the appropriate action; at least that’s what he kept telling himself.

Before they had left Robert had grouped them together. Have you any questions?” The small group looked at each other, six were law enforcement officers from the county line, and the seventh was an attorney, and extremely good at her job. She had stepped in at the last moment, as one of the chosen had expressed reservations about whether he could actually kill a fellow member of his family.

As it was; Robert and Juliet respected his view and never held it against him. They had intentionally brought up the family to be open and honest in their dealings with each other. To them it was not a weakness in expressing such thoughts, as protecting the family was first and foremost the most important function of every family member.

It did however mean that a replacement had to be found and quickly. As it was having such an accomplished Attorney on the team was not such a bad idea, as they were to later find out for themselves.

“I do have a few questions, is it necessary to kill the children, I’m not sure they had a say in whether or not they could stay or go.”

Juliet looked across to Simon, it was he who had asked the question.

“If you were to witness a person kill your parents, do you think you could honestly say, that when the situation arose that you would not seek the opportunity of revenge?”

There was a silence within the group; as none of them relished the idea of the task before them.

“I have already had the courts instigate a warrant for their arrest, with instructions to shoot and to kill if you feel life is in danger.”

Simon looked across to the others, before Robert continued.

“As far as any of you are concerned and in the eyes of the law, these people are responsible for the death of three law enforcement officers, and over a period of three months sixteen children.”

In truth he had the power to place on record whatsoever he chose. The families’ influence was such now that they controlled the entire town, and if handled correctly the inhabitants were easily convinced to toe the line.

The escaped family members had travelled far, taking advantage of the great stamina inbred into them, and using the night as cover, and they had only killed humans in an act of self-defence and as an extreme last measure.

Like all big cats, the lions could see incredibly well in the dark, so this had presented no problems for them. It was a Sunday morning, and the sun had just started to light up the early morning sky, and in the distance a small cluster of outhouses could just be made out in the adjoining fields surrounding a farmstead.

The area was northeast of the Rocky Mountains, and although beautiful in scenery, it was not easy to forge a living from the land.

In the fall, the temperature rarely went above minus 14, and after the fall the land took time to thaw, however, been so high up the farmstead offered a good vantage point and was easily defended from all conventional none military means.

The woodland was plentiful, as was wild life; but it was the land itself that went against the farmstead. Yet its occupants had somehow managed to forge themselves a living and to the surprise of Michael; the lands owners were aware of their presents long before they got to where they were.

“I don’t particularly want to fill your hide with shot, but if you take a single step closer to my home that’s just what I will do.”

Michael turned his head, and there not twenty paces from him stood one of the farm residents, what had taken Michael and his group by surprise, was the fact that not one of them had even sensed her been there. Then there before them another two people emerged from the bush, and then in the distance Michael could see some children tilling the land.

“We mean you no harm Mam, my family and I have nowhere to live, and we are hungry. Could you find it within your heart to offer us some temporary lodging and a bit of food; in return we would be happy to help with any chores that need doing.”

As Michael’s eyes adjusted to the people before him, he could just make out that they were all women and children.

“We don’t need your kind here, and as it is; we have little to go around…”

Just then a frantic screaming broke the silence, as from the thick bush, a large grizzly bear had snatched one of the farmsteads children and killing the child outright and throwing the body like a limp rag doll, and then advanced towards the others.

The adults were forced to turn their guns away to defend their family. Within the pace of a few seconds Michael had leapt with his group to where the children were, and who were themselves standing frozen to the ground in fear of their lives.

“Move darn you, move,” shouted Michael.

One of the children stood rooted to where she had been playing; Michael could see from the look in her eyes that she was grounded with fear. Looking down he noticed water rippling its way along her leg, he frantically lifted the child and threw her into the arms of one of his brothers.

At the same moment several shots thundered into the huge body of the bear, it lunged forward still alive in one final attempt to reach the children.

Michael leapt forward along with one of his brothers; tearing into the beast and fatally injured the animal with such speed and ferocity that the animal’s huge bulk fell backwards; For once in its entire life it tasted fear, having never faced such strength from a human before.

As Michael staggered up, blood oozed from several wounds that had been inflicted by the bear before it eventually died.

“Gad, man, good god…I have…” The woman was finding it difficult to put words to describe the scene that had just unfolded before her.

“I have never seen anything like that before.”

The farmsteads adults had reached the children and were comforting them. “Listen Mr, we owe you more than you realise; these kids are all we have left. That bloody monster along with others has killed what was left of our men folk, along with the sickness that took the others, these kids are all we have left.”

Michael closed his eyes as he fell to the ground. Unknown to him the bear had severed an artery and he was rapidly losing his own vital life-giving blood.

“Mr…Mr are you alright there…Mr.”

One of the children had run to his side and was holding his hand, Michael struggled trying to re-gain his balance, posture and focus, and it was then that everything dimmed into a darkened haze, and seconds later all was silent.

Back in Bradford in the United Kingdom events were unfolding. “Loraine…, would you be so good as to pass me my medication, and then go and make us both a nice cup of tea.”

Loraine cringed; already she had grown too loath her job and was longing to be back at the university, or at the dig site with her friends.

The university had still not made a decision with regards her violent outburst, and as for Michael; his injuries were serious, yet for some reason he could not find it within him to press charges.

“There we are Mrs Wilson, let me take that cup of water away, you have taken your tablets now, haven’t you?”

Mrs Wilson had a habit of hiding the Co Amorphous, as they made her urinate far too frequently, yet without them she knew that she would eventually die from too much water drowning her heart or lungs.

“Is your nephew coming to see you today?”

There was a moment’s silence as Mrs Wilson lost her thoughts in some distant memory. Loraine thought better of pushing the matter and decided to carry on with her chores.

Bradford was a vastly populated area and like many towns from the North of England, it had more than its deserved share of poverty. Yet Loraine was able to use this to her advantage. Already in the short time that she had returned to her hometown there had been two unexplained deaths. Both victims were found brutally mutilated, and like nothing that the Bradford police had ever experienced before.

Within a few days a further victim was found, it was a child aged only nine years, and to the unmanageable horror the child was crucified from the cross of St. John’s vicarage. He had been disembowelled and his neck was broken along with some two thirds of his face ripped away.

To add to the torment, it turned out he was the son of the local chief superintendent of West Yorkshire constabulary. Outrage and general unrest were mingled with parental panic, and within day’s modern detection techniques had cross-referenced with forensic results from across the country. The results were chilling.

“Are you sure this is not a glitch?”

There was a few seconds silence as the room’s occupants slowly shuffled in disbelief. Yet there wasn’t a single person within the room, that did not already know within their hearts, that the information as terrifying and unthinkable as it was, was without question, correct.

“Sam you should know by now that since we ironed out the bugs, that computer or its software has never even once been wrong.”


“No buts Sam, no buts, I agree…hell I’m finding it hard to accept myself. Yet we have had the system checked over three times and gone over the evidence more times than I can remember, yet it still spits out the same bloody results.”

At that he slammed the paperwork that he had been holding firmly onto a table.

“Listen Sam, I know it’s hard to believe, but we have to face the facts before us. Gad I know myself I can’t actually get my mind around it, but if that darn machine was to tell me my wife’s an extra-terrestrial, although I know different, my faith in this system is such that I would belief it.”

Sam walked slowly across the wooden floor. As he reached the table where his detective sergeant had placed the paperwork, he paused hesitantly not wanting to lift up the file. As his hand reached out, he could feel the hairs on his back move as if a static electric shock had sapped them.

“Dam it Bill, I know the bloody machine to be right, I just can’t get my mind around the idea that we have an inhuman murderer walking the streets of Bradford.”

Within the file that he now held was the documented evidence of every reported and documented case history of unsolved crimes that matched the case which they were currently working on.

“Why has no one noticed this before, and tell me, how come it has ended up on our patch?”

Sam did not really want an answer; he had been the Godfather to young Bryan and had known and even played with the child during his short stay on this earth.

As he looked through the various pages, it revealed a staggering nine unsolved murders, all were different yet were connected by the DNA samples found at the scenes of the crime. As the crimes were all committed within only a few months it had taken the system a little time to collate the evidence before it was realised that there was to be a connection.

It was only when Sam read the last few lines that he realised there to be another file.

“Has anyone looked through file G4712 yet?”

Heads lifted, only Sam’s D.S. had read through the file in its entirety.

“Not yet Sam, not yet, I’ve requested the hard file and I am still waiting for the records department to dig it from their archives.”

“Why haven’t you just down loaded it from the system?”

Bill looked awkward and unsettled.

“I did try…”

He left his sentence unfinished as his attention was distracted by a young WPC walking into the room.

“I have file G4712 that you requested sir.”

Bill walked forward and received the five boxes of paperwork, when the WPC had left the room he continued.

“As I was about to say, I have and as you can see my request is now here before us. There is just one problem, most of these records go back over sixty years, and were at the time a major embarrassment to the police here in the UK, and to the authorities from across Europe, and even to as far as India and Thailand.”

He was going to pause there, but he felt unless he brought it out into the open now, that he might never have the courage to do so at a later time.

“In those days as good as the forensic methods were, they were as far behind as the cavemen were to discover a wheel as we were to drop the A bomb.”

He paused only to take a drink of water.

“Fortunately, they had the good sense to keep the forensic evidence preserved; and admitting it was some years before some clever University student, i.e. me, wrote the software that was needed, and now used throughout the world.”

He proudly tapped the computer before him.

“When all the old files were eventually entered into the universities database, we found in time that they had the foundation for a massive historical record.”

He looked a bit smug, but in truth he had every right to feel such, as his software had given birth to a radical new way of forensic research. That combined with, when computers themselves broke the seven thousand MHz bio genetic barriers, that the equipment had the speed and artificial intelligence it needed to collate the unbelievable mass of information, and in turn come up with the results which they now had before them.

“Admitting if we were still using such antiquated machines, I doubt that we would have solved anything near the 100 per cent success rate that Seth gives us today.”

Seth was the name given to the new genetic breed of, Artificial Intelligent bio-computers, which the military had originally funded and developed; and by the time the vast co-operative companies had acquired the technology, personnel were impregnated with a bio chip that enabled them to communicate directly with the machines simply by thought.

The system had the ability to read the minds of those that were bio genetically connected, and could process over two million gigabytes of information, quicker than a human could blink an eye.

“Like you Sam, I found its findings unacceptable and concluded that there must have been a mistake. Some 60 plus years ago there was a series of unsolved murders, and at the time it was unknown that they were nearly all committed by one individual, amazingly he just somehow mysteriously vanished.”

The two men looked at each other, and still not really wanting to accept the results. “If he were to be alive today, he would be over 100 years old and hardly able to commit the crimes as described in our file. Yet according to Seth, that is exactly what it is saying, only Seth is claiming it to be this Adam character, yet is also saying he was not human, and that his DNA sample is nothing like anything we know to be alive today, and both female and male.”

There was a moment’s pause. “Could there have been some form of simple contamination sir?”

“You bet there’s some sort of bloody contamination, the trouble is it is the same results today as they were getting some 60 years ago, with one mind boggling exception.”

At that he went quiet; it remained that way for some seven minutes, until Sam swallowed before he broke the silence.

“In what way sir?”

His D.S took a long breath of air before he answered.

“Well, I’m telling you now, and you’re all going to have the very same reaction, as I had when I first read the results. It would seem this serial killer of ours has both male and female DNA, but it does not stop there. He shook his head as even now he found it to incredible to accept.

“It would appear this person isn’t really a person at all…as within him were trace DNA of a variety of marine life. That included Crabs, Eels, even bloody worms and Sea Gulls, and something that is not even human, or at that known in any other data base or as a recognised life form.”

He had said it now, even though he felt everyone would feel that he needed rest in some kind of mental hospital.

“I know, and I know even now that I can’t believe what I’ve said to you, but we all know that there’s as much chance of Seth been wrong, as the Sun won’t rise in the morning.”

There was total stunned silence from within the room.

“It does not end there; Seth has actually come up with a suspect. A few weeks ago, there was an apparent routine drowning in Bream Down in Somerset. The autopsy DNA results took a little time to come to light, as the local constabulary there were not looking for a murderer, they had genuinely thought it to be an accidental drowning.”

He could see the total undivided attention of every person in the room.

“It would appear there were small DNA samples found under one of the victim’s fingernails that have matched up with our serial killer. The only witness to his death was his girlfriend, as she openly admitted she had been present, prior to his drowning, the DNA samples under the nails was put down to some kind of contamination while in a moment of mad passion.”

There was not even a single laugh.

“Now of course we know different, when I checked with North Somerset Constabulary, I was surprised to discover that Loraine the victims’ girlfriend had moved back to would you believe, Yes, Bradford.”

Sam looked his boss squarely into his eyes.

“Well I guess Seth has solved it for us, although I don’t understand if she is the serial killer, then according to Seth she is some kind of monster. It just doesn’t fit.”

“I told you that you were to be as confused as I was, and still am.”

“Need I ask if you have issued a warrant for her arrest yet?”

Bill grinned.

“Yes, a warrant was issued some hours ago, I requested to be informed immediately she was picked up and brought into custody.”

The words had hardly left his lips, when a few miles away a group of pregnant women were preparing themselves for an anti-natal class. The next day’s morning’s newspaper graphically described in some detail, how a woman had staggered out of one of the hospital room and had collapsed by the reception desk. She kept babbling about some mad woman, who had killed her friends.

Later the hospitals CCTV system showed in horrific detail Loraine, as she systematically snapped the necks of two women, and by the time she reached the third person there was general mass panic within the room.

Four of the women put up an incredible fight, trying to overpower her, it was the fifth woman who on seeing her friends starting to loose with the cost of their lives, that she managed to escape from the room, while the last two women frantically fought, but alas in vain.

By the time the hospital security had entered, the first two security men to enter were stunned by the scene of carnage before them. But before they could react, Loraine had lifted with an outstretched arm one of the men who weighed in excess of 18 stone, and then tossed him the full length of the room.

The remaining security guard had withdrawn his body stick and managed to bring it down across her head with all of the strength and weight that he could muster. Loraine had momentarily staggered downwards then regained her posture; by then the guard had the good frame of mind to leave the room as quickly as his legs could take him. The CCTV caught sight of Loraine leaving the hospital grounds and disappearing into the crowded streets.

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