Contagion - Book Two

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Chapter Four.

“The simple truth Peter, I’m not sure the world is ready for it.”

Peter paused deeply in thought.

“Look sis.”

He paused for a brief few seconds.

“Ready or not they are going to have to find some way of suppressing their egotistical moral superiority and face reality.”

Unknown to him he had developed a habit of slightly shaking whenever he got emotionally angered.

“The retro virus is the only known cure this world has against any further mutated flue outbreaks; it’s either that or they die.”

“In simple truth Pete, I don’t think the outbreak was such a bad thing, in one, all be it cruel but decisive strike, it has brought this mad bloody world to its knees. It has also wiped out acute poverty in a single leap, and made the human race finally realise the true value of life and of just how fragile it is.”

Peters sister paused briefly reflecting on her own words.

“Heck when you think of it, we are not the mighty invincible race that we so blindly thought ourselves to be, I also don’t honestly think we are really on top of the so-called food ladder.”

Peter laughed; he had already picked up his sister’s thoughts.

“If some lousy organism so bloody small that it takes an electron microscope to just view it; can invade and multiply, then mutate to extend its survival; and then to top it off nearly wipe out the whole human race.”

She smiled.

“That’s a thought, did we stop it in its tracks, or did it somehow stop itself. Knowing that if it was to cross a certain line, that it would eventually wipe out its food source and in turn terminate itself.”

Those last few words hit Peter with a thud.

“Good lord sis, you don’t realise what you have just said.”

As it was, she had, no sooner had the thought it dawned in Peters mind it had instantly imprinted itself into his sister’s mind. Incredibly Peter had never given thought to this virus having any form of intelligence.

“Could it really do that?”

Peter was excited.

“I’m not really sure, yet when you really think of it, we don’t even truly know what life itself really is. Yes, I understand we know it to be a vast complex of chemical reactions yet putting that aside even we have not yet actually created true life.”

He knew full well life could be played with, even altered, but he was talking and thinking of something far deeper than that.

“In all my vast knowledge, I have merely scratched the surface in giving life to mutated or cloned life forms, which were already in some way, or part, already present within this world.”

He momentarily paused.

“What I have not done and cannot do is to take every conceivable part required to make a human life form, then to place it together and breathe that vital life force into it.”

Peter was not talking of using existing cell life or electrically stimulating a cell to life using an already known DNA sample.

“If I was to build such a creature, it would simply be a soulless collection of body parts, only kept functioning by a machine.”

Christine truly understood his trail of thoughts.

“If that is the case, it is just conceivable that there is an undefined intelligence that we have not yet discovered or even conceived.”

Christine smiled.

“In truth Peter, do we even really truly know what intelligence is, I know we have defined it by human standards, and even laid down a basic criterion, yet can we really say we have but only scratched the surface in God’s so called great creations?”

The question made Peter shudder, he was very aware that he had himself stepped over God’s or natures true intentions for the human race, yet he had somehow thought it wisdom in giving man free will.

It was that free will that had itself created an unnatural life form; that in turn had brought about the birth of another mutated monster, this time unseen and more deadly than had ever been envisaged.

By genetically manipulating the human DNA to inherently pass on the memory and thoughts of its genetic donor, then in turn to cross breed that life form with that of other inhuman creatures; he had somehow opened the door into a world of now endless possibilities.

It had never in his wildest of dreams, to have ever conceived that a simple flu virus could in turn, somehow grasp hold of a form of inherited intelligence from its new life source. Building on its already inherent ability to mutate, only now, known it had acquired intelligence either of its own or possibly in some way acquiring the knowledge from its hosts, and then telepathically passing on that information voluntary or involuntary.

“God oh dear God please forgive me, what have I done.”

Tears were freely flowing from both of the twins, the realisation that they had unleashed a life force possibly a million times more powerful that anything the world had ever faced, and with the ability to mutate, according to its hosts thoughts and reactions. Herding us like cattle or fodder for its own needs, having the intelligence to sustain life for its own survival, yet to feed at will.

Alex walked into the room, Peter we have unexpected company, Christine was still in her room back in Somerset England. Peter manoeuvred his electric wheelchair over to his console. There outside the outer perimeter of his vast complex was a TV crew. Somehow, they had gained information that there were people working within the institute that were neither human nor animal.

Unknown to them they were on the point of opening their lives to a living hell. The moment the media team crossed into the security zone, they were intercepted by unmarked vehicles, and forced to hand over all their equipment at gunpoint. From there they were put through three days of intense interrogation and kept without sleep, by the time they were released there was not a shadow of doubt that should they be caught within the perimeter again that they would vanish from the civilised world, never to be found again.

Yet unknown to them they were been used by forces that’s reach, extended into the very halls and rooms of world governments, the reporters were valued at no more than useless pawns; basically, human chess pieces that was been played and manipulated in a game of world domination.

Their immediate end was simply to test the reported and yet expected reaction and response from the security forces that had been engaged in defending only the outer ring of the installation’s security.

“I don’t bloody well care, if that’s what it takes then I’m prepared to take the risk.”

Gemma was a high-spirited lass, even from her child-hood, if her parents said no, then it made her all the more determined to succeed. In some ways her early child-hood had toughened her for the inevitable knocks that often came the way of any investigative journalist.

“Please Gemma, I’m ashamed to say it, but I’m scared, I’m so bloody scared that I wake some nights, only to find I’ve even wet myself. Those blasted thugs really reached me; in truth I don’t think I could face that again.”

Gemma put down the black Levi jeans that she was about to put into her backpack and walked over to Jamie. She had known him since he was in the fourth grade; they had sort of gelled and grown up together. If ever there was one by themselves it was worth putting money on, that the other been only a short distance away.

“Jamie, oh Jamie, I am so sorry, it never occurred to me, I just get so heated up with rage and sort of only ever see what I want.”

The truth was, it had occurred to her, she also had been effected, there were times when in a blind panic, that she would awake, finding her body bathed in sweat, and only to realise she had left her bed and was sitting huddled tightly in a dark corner of a room or wardrobe.

“Shush, shush now.”

Jamie had started crying.


Jamie lowered his head downwards to rest on her shoulder.

“I have not been entirely honest with you, the truth is, that I am truly petrified. Those thugs have left a scar on my soul and I want revenge, I to have wet myself, so you’re not alone, and to top it, I keep waking finding myself huddled up in some dark corner, and at times I am too scared to even move.”

She paused in thought, and then continued talking. “I feel like some scared schoolgirl not wanting to move in case the unseen monster finds me.”

Her words took both strength and courage to face let alone say.

“It’s just this time I know the monster to be real and that he even knows where I am, even my every move thought or action; Gad do I know how you feel.”

All six foot four of his vast bulk wasn’t enough to have protected him, as in the past Jamie had used his size to his advantage, and whenever possible had himself sort of felt secure by his size. But this time it had been cleverly turned against him, in those intense three days of no sleep he had been beaten, humiliated and brainwashed.

The physical beating was something that the body could recover from, but the mind games, they were different. In the right hands, it is possible to turn the mind in on itself and to manipulate it in such a way that a person, can be left never been fully sure if what they are living is reality or, within the mind.

Gemma had somehow managed to rise above their little games; she had the same intense torment that Jamie had faced, but somehow her threshold had been stronger and had given her the ability to fight back.

Throughout Jamie’s child-hood he had grown to use his physical stature as his defence, when this was broken, his mind was unequipped to cope with the onslaught of intense neuro programming. Yet for Gemma, it was different, her frail size had never offered her times of defence, so she had developed the powers of the mind, using it to plot ways of revenge or to her advantage.

It was this simple chance of fate that had determined her survival over that of Jamie’s.

Suddenly the door to their apartment was blasted from its fittings, within seconds the room was full of a dense sickly scented smoke. As both Gemma and Jamie staggered in disbelieve, they realised the room was moving.

“You bastard’s, you bloody bastar…” Gemma had been unable to finish her sentence before she had passed out.

“Miss Jamerson, come now Miss Jamerson, I know you’re awake.”

As Gemma opened her eyes, she could feel the stinging sensation across her face from the hand that had just slapped her.

“Ah you see gentlemen; I told you she was awake.”

Within the room was a group of six well-dressed men and two older ladies. It was instantly apparent they were not here begging for money. Just one of those suits thought Gemma would take more than a year of her journalistic salary.

“If you hit me again, I’ll take that bloody hand of yours and put it where the sun never bloody shines.”

Gemma realised she was not tethered and was free to sit up, and if wanted Gemma could have walked from the room.

“I don’t understand, what the hell do you think you were doing by breaking into my apartment like that and kidnapping me, there’s a law against that sort of thing.”

“Don’t go quoting the law to us young lady, we are the law, well at least we own the law, so whatever ideas of revenge that little mind of yours is plotting. I suggest you place it to one side and hear us out first.”

There was a moment’s silence as Gemma accustomed herself to those in the room.

“The people within this room represent the most powerful family this world has ever known. Contrary to what you may have heard, of whatever your belief, they actually represent what is good within this world.”

Gemma sneered, “You expect me to believe by destroying my apartment and kidnapping me was for my own good.”

“Wait, let’s stop right there, firstly we did not kidnap you, well not in the sense that you are thinking. As for the apartment that you were in, it comes as part of your salary, yes?”

Gemma looked a little taken back.

“Well I think it’s time you meet your true employers, this is Mrs Undraus De-cabroni, I’m sure it goes without question that you know of her reputation.”

In the far end of the room by a large table sat an old lady, by the looks of her she was easily within her sixties. Yet Gemma knew if it truly was Undraus De-cabroni then she was actually ninety-three years of age and reported to have died over seven years ago.

“You’re supposed to be dead.” Said Gemma.

There was a moment’s silence before Lady Undraus spoke

“Gemma, oh Gemma I’m so sorry these people put you through this, when I discovered what they were doing, I made them snatch you and bring you here.”

There was only a moment’s pause as their eyes met in acknowledgement of knowing each other.

“You see it was prudent some years ago, as you all too well known for the world to think I had died.”

Incredibly her voice was soft and not hard like her reputation.

“There were certain factions within some governments that would have taken great pleasure in seeing my destruction.”

Gemma interrupted.

“But why, why the bloody hell did you not tell me, or just invite me here?”

“That’s enough of that, even now I will not permit you to use language like that, it’s not befitting of you and I taught you differently.”

Gemma bowed her head,

“That you did, mamma that you did.”

Mamma was used purely as a sense of endearment as Mrs De-cabroni had befriended Gemma and in time set her up in employment, within one of the families many companies.

They had financed her through her education and in time she had become a very effective investigative journalist.

Mamma why, oh why did you have to lie even to me, you know I would never have let anyone know you were still alive?”

“I know my little one, I know, but the family felt, and…I agreed, that it would place you and others that we hold dear to our hearts in danger. Had anyone and I mean anyone other than the people you now see within this room, and one other whom shall remain nameless knew the real truth.”

There was a moment’s silence in the room.

“I left the area and let my son Undraus run the media side of the business, when we discovered the true story behind what was happening within New Mexico. We had to learn for ourselves the truth behind the many stories that were now coming in. Had we known you had swapped places with Pauline, we would never have let you and young Jamie go into that area.”

Gemma realised that Jamie was unaccounted for. “Jamie, oh Jamie, is he alright?”

“Shush, now and rest assure yourself, your child-hood friend is completely safe, now I guess we should have realised you could not resist such a story, but what you did was to place yourself and your friend in real danger, the sort that you have never seen before.”

Her words scared Gemma, and she knew far too well that this lady never, and I mean never joked about such matters.

“When it eventually came to my attention what had happened, I had you brought here immediately,”


“No buts, be quiet for now and just listen. There is a family based in Dorset England, which by a strange fluke in nature somehow acquired a vast fortune, far greater than you could ever imagine.”

Gemma could see and knew from her past that the words spoken were in every way true.

“The government contracts were brought at a price, but in time the money was used very wisely, and the founder set up a multitude of companies, employing only the very best graduates from within their respective fields, and rewarding his staff more than generously for their loyalty. It was not long before some of these companies held the patents on much of today’s technology.”

For a brief moment Gemma sensed an air of jealousy,

“Fortunate for us Peter the founder was to very unexpectedly die, but his widow inherited a vast fortune and in turn followed the path of her husband. But privately she diverged into a pet project and brought out a research institute.”

What hurt more was the fact that it was an institute that she Mrs Undraus had herself turned down.

“Then following the same game plan of her husband, she ploughed in vast sums of finance, employing only the very best within the fields of research, and financing through scholarships those that she saw certain potential in. To cut short this little story, this very same company now owns and controls over a third of the western world’s governments and industry.”

Gemma was stunned by the reality of that last statement.

“We believe but cannot yet prove they were responsible for the outbreak that nearly destroyed this world, only to later come up with a miracle cure.”

Gemma tried to interrupt,

“I don’t understand what…”

“Shush… all in good time, all in good time. We have received intelligence that the military has financed a vast sub-terrain complex in New Mexico, and it is, from within this complex that experiments in human genetics have advanced, such as to now be staffed entirely by bio-genetically manipulated clones.”

There was a moment’s pause as the two ladies looked at each other.

“That’s what I had heard…well in part but…”

“Shush child your turn will come, it is reported they in turn have the physical strength of at least ten humans and are themselves cross breeds from a variety of animals, having human appearance and heightened intelligence along with animal strength and speed.”

There was a moment’s pause.

“So, as you can see, if these reports are true, then we are facing the possible destruction of the human race, and at the very least, then been in time controlled by a vastly superior life form.”

Gemma was finding these words to unbelievable; yet by her stunned silence she could no longer find her own words to express her thoughts.

“I can see just like me you are finding this difficult to accept, that is why I have brought you here to this building.”

At that instant Mrs De-cabroni pushed a button on a remote control which she had been holding. At the far end of the room a wall lit up like a monitor and showed a variety of screens that surveyed an apartment below them.

“This is one of the security suites within this building. As you can see it looks like any expensive penthouse apartment but has the added advantage of been completely sound insulated and fully under our control.”

Within the room was a group of people, they had taken three of the apartments and had been using them as a base for their work. Unknown to them, the building was owned by the de-cabroni family and like the many thousands of such apartments and buildings; it was under constant surveillance by the families’ private security team.

The family had learned very early in its growth, that information was worth its weight in gold, and the best way of gathering it was by discreet surveillance.

In a separate complex the information was collated and sent to the various factions of the family that it would interest.

“It was only by chance that we stumbled across this little group, in time we managed to monitor their calls, and eventually got to access one of the laptops. Incredibly we learned just in time that they are telepathic and are themselves, on some sort of mission to find a group of family members, which have separated and are trying to form a colony of their own.”

Gemma looked up in disbelief. I know my love, we found it just as difficult to accept at first, but we have gained DNA samples from their discarded hair and bedding, even, I may add from their toilet needs, yes even that has been intercepted and analysed. Remarkable as it may seem they are not human, at least not in the sense that we are, incredibly we have found trace DNA patterns found only in lion’s and their genetic markings are unlike anything we have ever seen before.”

She paused for a brief moment almost as if she was admiring them,

“Two weeks ago, we impregnated one of their gene DNA samples into a test tube embryo, already it is only days from been fully ready to enter the world. In a mere two weeks this embryo has divided and gestated and is now at the growth stage of a five-month baby.”

Gemma looked confused, “How…how can that be?” asked Gemma,

“We don’t in truth know, but it goes without saying that we are dealing with a highly advanced life form and one that could quiet easily destroy this planet. Or at the very least colonise it, using our life forms as a sub-human life force for cheap labour and even food.”

Gemma looked at the screen, “The lady you see there sitting on that bed is an Attorney, and from what enquiries we could make comes from a family on the boarders of Canada. It would appear from a simple few years this family has come from nowhere and now somehow controls the entire town and has outreaches even into the FBI. So, as you can see there is no telling who we can trust or as to how far they reach.”

Gemma was only now beginning to realise, why she had been treated so violently by the New Mexico security forces. “But what connection do they have with New Mexico?”

“Were coming to that, you never were one for patients, were you? It would appear from what little information we have patched together, that this family somehow managed to leave the Portland research institute, it was at the time of the outbreak. I don’t know how many there were, only that a certain faction somehow got away and managed to start a family of their own, apparently undetected and unhindered.”

It was now dawning on Gemma that she was in truth lucky to have even been allowed to go free from her past captors.

“In a very short time this family has grown and now they control the town and surrounding area in its entirety.”

Gemma was looking at satellite surveillance photos of Robert and Juliet, and some members of the family.

“The ranch is now under 24 hour sat surveillance, as is the town and all communications, they may have considerable power within their own environment, but here we still own and control enough companies or people as to have free access to such technology.”

Gemma realised Mrs De-cabroni was powerful but had not realised just how much support that she could bring together to accomplish this.

“There is not a single phone call or even a radio message that can leave that area now, without it first had been channelled through our system?”

“But you said they were telepathic?”

“Yes, sadly that’s something we cannot control; however, we have discovered that under certain conditions their telepathic ability can be temporary blocked, forcing them to use other means of communication that are at the very least under our control.”

Gemma blinked as the screen was switched off and took some seconds to re-focus her eyes.

“We had learnt that you and Jamie were about to be intercepted and re-interrogated, so we had to come to your aid before others got to you. Sadly, we were too late, by the time my boys arrived you were being loaded into unmarked vans. Fortunately for you we were in time to intercept and rescue you, as for their security team or whatever it was, they are now history.”

“Won’t they know you rescued me?” asked Gemma.

“How, they have no idea who hit them or at that just who they were dealing with, anyway you are no longer in New Mexico, your now in Innisfail Alberta Canada, you were smuggled in and have been here for over five days.”

Gemma blinked.

“Five days, that’s…that’s impossible.”

“No my child, no…the gas they used could very easily have killed you. It was a neuro-based substance designed to have a hypnotic effect on the mind, and to render its victims in an involuntary state of muscle loss. As it was, had we not intercepted you, it is quite possible those clumsy louts would have overdosed you both and have killed you by heart failure.”

Gemma looked away towards the door as it opened.

“Pardon me but the visitor you were expecting has arrived.”

Mrs De-cabroni put down a wineglass and stood up; gently she placed a hand onto Gemma shoulder and pulled her backwards.

“Come my dear it’s better for you that you keep yourself by my side.”

As Gemma moved a transparent screen moved upwards from the floor, it allowed one way viewing into the room. Within seconds footsteps were heard, and then a person walked into the room flanked by four armed men in uniform. Gemma realised he looked like one of the men that she had seen in the secure rooms, from below.

“Can they hear us? Whispered Gemma.

“It’s ok my child, you could shout or fire a gun in here and they would not hear you. That is Thomas, our security boys intercepted him three days ago, and it would seem he was on a separate mission from the town, sent by Robert, his founder and father. They will know by now he is missing but have been unable to communicate with him. That device on his neck that looks like a dog collar is a jamming device and has prevented him from telepathically communicating with the others.”

Gemma felt almost sorry for him,

“We have had to keep him heavily sedated and under constant guard. On the first day he somehow managed to escape from the secured room that he was been held in and started scaling a vertical block wall even under sedation. In truth we have never seen anything like it, we fortunately had a team intercept him on the roof and have had to increase his sedation.”

There was a moments silence as Thomas surveyed the room. “Do take a seat Thomas; I want to talk, and please believe me we truly do not want to harm you. Contrary to what anyone else may have told you, we really do not have any intentions of destroying you and your family.”

For a brief moment Thomas showed his anger and an emotional reaction.

“Yes Thomas, we know about the family and we know what you are, we have known for some time.”

She paused for a brief moment, and then spoke again.

“I want you to watch a little video package.”

At that point the screen on the wall again switched on and Thomas was looking at a Sat photo of his ranch, the screen switched back to Robert then to Juliet and gave a brief but fairly accurate breakdown of who they were, and of how they started out.

“Thomas…I know you cannot see me, but I am sure you somehow know I am nearby, these men truly do not want to harm you, nor do they want to expose or harm your family. I have had you brought here as we need to talk.”

She paused for a brief moment and took a drink of water.

“I know this is going to be difficult to understand, but we also know of the group that your family is hunting and of the connection with the Portland Institute.”

Thomas had no way of knowing that their actual knowledge was limited, but by revealing only selected snippets of information they had hoped to create the impression of having full knowledge.

“If you know so much, then what do you want of me?”

“What we want Thomas is to work together, we need you to convince Robert that we wish you no harm and want to work with you. You see we humans also have an even greater enemy; the Portland Foundation is conducting further experiments and is poised to hold the world to ransom.”

There was a moment’s silence to allow Thomas to think on her words.

“By ourselves we are powerless to reach those in control, sections of the military are themselves out of control and we know that their governments are not fully aware of their true agenda. Unless we act soon it is entirely possible that it may become too late.”

Thomas looked uncomfortable; the screen switched to showing the group of family members within the rooms below. “Look Thomas I’m sure you recognise, these people,”

“Father…” cried out Thomas.

“Yes, but rest assure yourself they are unharmed and do not even know that they are been observed. So, you see I am not lying to you, had we just walked up to you or your father, or even at that your greater father Robert? Can you imagine how easy it would have been for you to wipe us out?”

Her words made sense “And to have prevented us from taking this conversation or our intended actions any further.”

Again, she paused just long enough to allow Thomas time to think over her words.

“What I want from you is to return to Robert and take with you a message, that we truly mean no harm and want to work together. In return we guarantee you unhindered survival, and a chance to be recognised as a race in your own rights.”

Gemma looked at Mrs De-cabroni.

“Do you really think he will help us?”

“Yes child, but at the moment he has every reason to be scared and to not trust us. This is where I am calling in a favour.”

Gemma knew what she was going to ask and interrupted her.

“Shush. It’s my turn to give you something back for all that you have done for me, anyway I would rather volunteer than have you asked me or put me under pressure by calling in a favour.”

Mrs De-cabroni smiled.

“I knew the day I first set eyes on you, that you were distained to be of great value to my family.”

Gemma smiled.

“I don’t know about that mamma, but I do know he’s bloody, opps sorry, darn good looking, as are the rest of them. I can see how much fun this is going to be.”

“Fun… that’s not what I would really call it, but then I’m now an old lady and I guess if I was your age it would probably have seemed like fun to me as well.”

She paused and took a drink of water. “What I want or need from you is to befriend this Thomas character and to help him to escape, then to get our message back to Robert and the others.”

Gemma had guessed as much, she knew that if her desires were to come to life, that she needed a motivation other than just her words.

“It will be your job to convince them that we truly mean them no harm and that we need to work together, if we are to prevent world colonisation.” Gemma smiled, and held Mrs De-cabronis hand.

“I’m going to have you brought into the room under guard and interrogated in front of Thomas, I want it to look like we are trying to discover what you know and what was your connection to the Portland Institute.”

Momentarily she looked into Gemma’s eyes, and then smiled as she could not see, or even sense a single ounce of fear.

“Do not worry, Thomas has had access to a TV while he has been in our custody, your image has been on the news reports. Stating you are wanted for questioning into the deaths of certain security personnel, and that some of your past work has now been brought into question.”

Gemma was slightly hurt by that last statement, as she was proud of her work and what she thought was honest investigative journalism.

“He will instantly know who you are and that you are reported as missing, what he will not know is that you are working for us, and that we are using you to try and reach Robert and Juliet.”

Minutes later Gemma was marched into the room from a separate entrance and sat by the long oak table.

“Thomas this young lady is Miss Winslow; she was abducted by us after been intercepted by a security team from the Portland Institute; we want you to hear for yourself what she knows.”

Two men stepped forward and took a firm hold of Gemma’s arms; another stepped forward to administer a dosage of sodium Panthenol. In an uncontrollable instant of rage Gemma lifted a leg violently into the approaching man’s groin. Mrs De-cabroni giggled and held a handkerchief to her lips.

“Gad she spirited,” she said to herself.

After a short struggle the Sodium Panthenol was administered but in a greatly reduced and diluted form. They had wanted it to give the appearance of authenticity without Gemma revealing too much information.

“Thomas, in a few seconds Gemma will be unable to tell anything but the truth, I’m sure even you have heard of Sodium Panthenol. It does not matter how much this young lady resists, she will in seconds succumb and be unable to lie.”

As it was Thomas had found her interesting, he had not himself yet found a mate, and had like the many brothers and sisters within his family had been seeking a partner. What he saw within Gemma excited him; she was intelligent, well connected, and obviously very highly spirited.

What both he and Gemma had not known, was that Mrs De-cabroni had injected into Gemma’s body, while she had been unconscious, a substance to allow her body to excrete a chemical like essence, which was only activated when she came in close proximity to Thomas. It had been genetically and tailored made, to attract the male basic primitive instincts of Thomas.

What they had not foreseen was that Gemma had not needed any assistance; she found him incredibly attractive and had almost instantly wanted his children. The added intervention only heightened their desires to be together and made him feel possessive and protective towards her. After thirty-three minutes of questioning Gemma collapsed, it was the sedative that was starting to work that had been previously administered to her.

Keeping up the charade, the technician spoke. “We are not going to get any more from this one, what shall I do with her?”

There was a moment’s silence.

“I think we have learnt all we are going to ever learn from her, no one has ever managed to lie. At least not while under Sodium Panthenol, have her taken back to her apartment and left there, I’m sure the Portland Institute still want her, it will be only a matter of hours before they find her.”

Thomas looked up in rage.

“No…no please, don’t do that, if you want me to help you then I will, but you must allow me to take this lady back with me to my home. If the Institute find her, she will be in great danger.”

Mrs De-cabroni smiled.

“How do I know you are not simply playing for time?” Thomas answered immediately, “I’m not… honestly I’m not, I know I have no way of convincing you, but I am telling you the truth. There is one thing we fear even more than detection by your world. That is discovery from the Portland Institute.”

That was a thought that had not occurred to Mrs De-cabroni.

“Robert needs to be made aware of what is happening, and that he also needs to be aware of your involvement; and the knowledge of your existence. I would be failing the family if I were to keep that from him, I would also be lying and failing if I were to say I don’t know why, but I can’t let you or anyone else at that harm this lady. I can’t explain it, but she is almost a part of me and without her, life is not worth living.”

It was those last few words that made Mrs De-cabroni realise he was telling the truth.

“Your request is unexpected, I’m not sure I can agree.”

“If you don’t, I promise you now you will have to find another way of reaching my family.”

There was again a moment’s silence.

“I will talk it over; it is an unexpected and unplanned variable.”

“Listen lady, I don’t care, either you let her come with me or you simply find yourself another stool pigeon. That video you showed me will do, now let me go and take her with me.”

He could feel that his strength was returning, the medication that had been administered was weakening, taking hold of the collar from around his neck he gave a sudden pull, ripping it away and throwing it to the floor. Within the speed of a lion he had leapt on it and crushed it under foot. In that instant he had made mental contact back with Robert, and by the time he was fully subdued, Robert and Juliet were aware of the events that had taken place.

Later and after Thomas was recaptured, sedated and taken to his secured room, and Gemma sat talking to her adopted mother.

“Do you think he suspected anything?” asked Gemma.

“No child, if everything went as I have planned you will soon see his brothers checking out and making their way home.”

As she spoke the screen lit up on the far side of the wall, it showed the group suddenly becoming aware of something and of looking upwards and around the room.

“It’s done, look they have been informed of our surveillance and will be checking out.”

She was correct in her assumptions, yet she did not yet know if Robert had received all the information, or at that how far Thomas was able to mentally communicate. However, with the eventual planned escape of Thomas, as yet to be engineered, she knew he would soon deliver the information in person. What she had not known was that in those brief few seconds Alex and Peter plus the entire extended family, had picked up those frantic and unguarded thoughts from Thomas.

Peter looked over to Alex; he had no need to talk, Alex already was aware of his thoughts and taking action. Within minutes the requested file was on Peters desk, and been updated, as always it was for Peters eyes only.

There was not even a single word of this file kept anywhere on disk, and the only other person knowing of its existence was his sister. Between the three of them they controlled whatever it was that was entered into those files.

Peter knew by keeping its contents out of the computer system that no clever government hacker, could find some miraculous way of infiltrating their way into his system. As for someone finding their way into his private safe that was as likely as a polar bear walking on the moon.

Later that day Peter took time to relax and looked through his research notes, he had come close to discovering why this virus, had developed an apparent intelligence.

After that conversation with his sister, it had set into place a serious of thoughts, resulting in Peter having screened all his immediate employees for any sign of the virus, then filtering out those that had been affected. Now only those that had been un-infected by the virus were allowed direct access to the inner most sanctum of the research institute.

He knew that he himself had been affected; yet for some reason he felt that he was able to control that thought, and put it to one side of his mind, where it could not hinder his greater plans.

It had occurred to him, that if the virus did have some kind of inherent intelligence that he would do his utter most in preventing it any prior knowledge in knowing his thoughts.

If only, he thought, if the virus was so intelligent, then he knew he had to find a way of defeating it.

He had indirectly introduced this baby to the world, and now he knew it was up to him in finding a way to defeat the virus that he carried without it gaining any prior knowledge. He knew it would also have to be done in such a way, as to not even allow the world to know what was happening.

Peter had decided to introduce an eventual antibody slowly by infiltrating it into the food chain, allowing it time to develop into the immune system and hit the virus before it had an opportunity of realising what was happening.

At least, that was his intention, bringing it into fruition was a different matter, he also knew no matter what else was happening, that he still had not reached the stage of finding a cure yet.

There was also the matter with Robert and Juliet; he had not put them out of his mind since the day they walked to their freedom. In truth he also cared for them, what they had done took courage and considerable strength of mind, no matter what happened he could not help but admire them.

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