Blood of Evolution

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Chapter 17

A speeding SOG vehicle zipped north along the M31, weaving in between the few cars on the dual lane freeway. Major Thomas Finch sat in back seat, his hands clenched. He again looked past the driver and saw the needle edging past 100 miles per hour. He felt the urgent need to arrive at base as well as his driver, he just hoped they did it in one piece. The high velocity vehicle flashed red and blue from the roof and blared the siren when a car ahead failed to move to the slow-lane.

Tom had already spoken to Detective Bradbury about what he had discovered at the Tech Dynamics facility, and also spoke of Larry’s concerns. Considering Tom had as much experience in microbiology as Larry did, and could talk to his superiors about the military involvement, Bradbury had put all his faith in him.

Tom had called his commanding officer soon after speaking to Bradbury, and found that Tech Dynamics had been approved of the acquisition of supplies and personnel at the Australian Defence Minister for Material’s request.

The car screeched to a halt. Tom rushed across the carpark to the building’s side entrance and up the carpeted stairs to his sterile white department amongst the laboratory rooms. He then began gathering the few human development staff still on hand at the base, but gave no explanation as to what they were about to do and instead hurried them to gather equipment Tom thought would be necessary. He then lead them outside and double timed them onto a waiting bus. Within a minute the military bus started up and headed off to the Tech Dynamics facility outside the town of Kinglake.

The bus pushed its limits as the speedometer needle crept along and up to keep within a short distance of the SOG vehicle running escort. Tom told his staff what he knew but also mentioned he did not really know what they should all expect.

“We inspect and nothing more. General Franks wants us to make sure our people are okay, foremost. Next, to evaluate any risk to the nearby population. Take note of everything. I’ll be reporting back to the general personally upon return later tonight.”

His science team nodded

“If drugs are in use, we need to be certain what it is they’re using. Locate anything marked A7-452 or similar. That code seems to be what’s driving the experiments. Also Carotranine, most of you have dealt with it or have at least read up on it from our findings in the north east. Questions?”

“Is this anything to do with, Doctor Emerson?” a woman at the back of the bus said.

Tom could only see the short woman’s hand and hear her voice, but did recognize her as Jo. All 5’1” of her.

“Yes. Tom kept his expression neutral. “And if any others have also worked with, Larry, you’ll know he’s a bit of a genius. The work he did at Sincorp should have stayed with Sincorp. Tech Dynamics, as you would have heard on the news, acquired his research using dubious methods and with malicious intent. It’s our job to make sure they don’t succeed.”

“What about the US Government, aren’t they going to take everything anyway?” Rajul, a chemical biologist, questioned from the seat near Tom.

“The US Government’s involvement is not clear. I don’t believe they have anyone at the site, so I think they’re just keeping their finger in this pie in case something they’re interested in develops.”

The siren from the SOG vehicle turned off again. Tom bent down to see through the front windshield. The bus slowed and took a wide corner. The blue lights continued to flash. The escort vehicle and bus turned the tight corner and came upon a clay dirt road. They gained speed again, although slowed at corners so the oversized bus could maneuver and not run off the edge.

It was not long before they slowed to a crawl, the bus rumbled toward the entrance and past razor wire fences. Soldiers stood with faces flickering red and blue from the police lights, adding to an already eerie and quiet scene.

The facility could easily have been mistaken for a military base. Soldiers stood like tall stone obelisks. Powerful automatics in their hands and enough hardware to hold back an advancing army. Tom wondered if they would even be allowed in.

General Franks again questioned the reason for the release of his troops to Tech Dynamics.

Again the Minister for Defence Materials said, “To ensure safety, and that further information was classified. Facilitate as requested; if they need soldiers, give them soldiers.”

The general and his supporting staff looked over the written orders following the brief phone call, and found no information to justify the release of his people. It did not even specify if security was the reason. Yet a security division and three platoons of specialists had been included in the orders.

The general called Harry Childs’ office hoping to try and discover something from him, and also see if the people he had supplied to him could report back when the veil of secrecy had been lifted.

His support staff sat and watched him while he waited on hold, and continued to do so for ten minutes before one of two Colonels, Colonel Andrews, could hold his opinion no more.

“I’ll personally have their balls cut off if they’ve been testing anything on mine,” he said—as the largest supplier of men and women from his division. “I’ve a couple of Aussie Tigers fueled and ready to leave at a moments notice, General, and can be there in twenty minutes, if you need them for support.”

The Aussie Tiger, or Australian Tiger Attack Helicopter, built from a French design, had been upgraded for Australian use with superior engines, laser-guided Hellfire missiles and M299 smart launchers. Its abilities included, locating and hitting targets at a range of six kilometers, fixing onto multiple threats and firing at each with infallible accuracy, and also with a top speed of 315kph.

The general nodded to his Colonel while continuing to wait. Finally Mr Childs personal assistant answered.

“I’m sorry sir, I’m not sure why you weren’t told earlier, but Mr Childs will be out for the rest of the day and most possibly the entire week. I can take a message for you, or you can call back in the next few days to see if he is about?”

The general left no message, said his thanks and hung up. If Mr Childs had also gone to the testing facility he could divert the major’s inspection team away from the areas the general wanted to know more about. Which was, what they were doing with the experimental drugs, and if they were using them on his people.

Major Thomas Finch approached the gate and greeted the sergeant who faced him from the other side, at attention.

“Afternoon, Sergeant,” he said returning the stiff salute he received from the large soldier towering over him by at least a foot.

“Sir!” the soldier said.

“I’m here for an inspection of the site, I trust this will not be a problem?”

The sergeant seemed to relax at Tom’s mention of his intentions. “Yes, sir, of course, sir. Open!” he yelled as he waved his hand in the air.

The gates rolled back over greased wheels across the high rail. And clunked when it came fully open. Tom nodded to the sergeant and jumped back up into the bus, letting his relief show once he sat safely back at the drivers side. Outside, no soldiers spoke or moved from their statue like stance.

The car went through first with its lights still flashing, followed immediately by the large diesel bus, grunting and snorting like a anxious Draft Horse. The sergeant led the vehicles at a run from in front. He waved when he wanted them to turn left or right, and always went ahead first to check before returning and allowing them to continue on.

Aside from the relief the soldier had shown when Tom had said they arrived to inspect the site, he had also seen a certain strangeness in him. Although, not just his huge size or his dark eyes, but something else. Steroids did not do this to a man, not even if they overdosed.

The only reason remaining for their appearance and unusual behavior was the viruses. But these were not what Larry had researched and sanctioned. Something else had happened.

Smoke wafted into the bus and pulled Tom from his thoughts. Immediately he looked for signs of a bushfire? Thick grey clouds rose from the first building ahead. Tom stared out the front window standing next to the driver.

Fires burned out of control throughout the complex. Soldiers ran from one building to the next trying to extinguish flames that threatened to level the entire site. Some buildings had stayed in tact with only minor damage, while others still burned with no one subduing the flames.

The sergeant yelled orders to soldiers as he ran, still keeping a brisk pace at the lead of the two vehicles while navigating them through the network of roads and driveways away from the more ruined areas.

The sergeant called a sudden halt. He looked back to make sure both vehicles had stopped and then ran ahead into smoke billowing from an office building and into their path. A few minutes passed as they waited, until finally the sergeant appeared, and again lead them further along. He signalled for a change of route and directed the car and bus off the road and onto low cut yellow grass where muddy pools had formed from abandoned hoses.

The SOG vehicle easily made ground over the slippery earth disappearing into the smoky haze ahead. The bus skidded and slid, trying to gain grip but failed miserably. After numerous corrections the driver found he could gain ground by keeping at least one side of the bus’s wheels firmly on the asphalt and the other side spinning up muddy earth.

The bus tilted at a severe angle. Tom hung on so he would not fall against the side window. The smoke could not have been that bad that they needed to divert. As their bus rumbled past he saw a burning jeep lying on its back in the middle of the road. At the drivers seat a soldier who had been crushed under the weight of the heavy metal vehicle. The wheels and axles had been removed somehow, begging the question as to where exactly they were located. Although, it was not long before that question was answered.

The smoke cleared some and gave them partial view of the road ahead. The missing axle and wheels were now embedded into a metal wall of a torn scorched building. Below that a soldier hung out of a destroyed window.

The sergeant directed them back to the middle of the hard asphalt surface. They all stared at the horrific sight, the bus driver included, who then noticed, after a number of moments the persistent waving from the sergeant; they needed to turn up the next road.

The next building had a large gaping hole where an immovable concrete wall should have been. It yawned at the onlookers, blackened and crumbling. Within the building a truck lay on its side surrounded by charred remains of boxes and melted machinery. The damage had the added appearance of being accompanied by expended rounds of small arms fire. The building’s roof had earlier caved in, whether from an explosion ripping through or the fire which would have ensued afterwards.

To Tom’s further amazement the scene ahead became worse. Soldier’s bodies, as well as civilian, lay on the grass and the surrounding paths, most dead but some still moving or crawling, trying to reach an unknown destination. The horrific scene reflected on the faces of the people on the bus.

“We should help!” Rajul said. Tom nodded, and signaled the bus driver to toot his horn and pull over so he could speak to the sergeant.

Soldiers immediately stopped what they were doing everywhere and ran to the bus to stand at the opening doors. The sergeant sprinted from the front of the convoy and arrived seconds later his hands up as if in warning.

“Sorry, Major,” the sergeant said, not even panting after his run. “You have to stay on the bus until we reach a green zone.” The sergeant pushed Tom back up the bus steps.

No, hang on, Sergeant, we can help...”

“Major, if any one of you get off this bus you will become a target, and I can’t have that. Everything will be explained soon. Now please stay on the bus!”

Without further argument, Tom let the driver close the door and continue on up the road. A few of the motionless bodies wore white; the facility’s doctors or scientists or whatever they were called here. Others lay in the dirt and mud either nude or wrapped partially in blood stained white sheets. Whoever they were could be the answer to what had happened here.

A trio of soldiers ran to a semi nude woman who had made it onto the road. As soon as they reached her, she arched up as if to strike. Her arms so thick they could not have been real. As thick as tree trunks, and her palms had to be as big as frying pans. Her fingers grasped for the soldiers. She lunged at them like a thing of nightmares, looking absolutely horrifying.

The soldiers opened fire and did not stop firing until blood sprayed in fountains from all parts of her body. After dozens of rounds the corpse stayed still, seconds later two soldiers brought over a black body bag which they unzipped and loaded the corpse inside. Then hauled it up the road in the same direction Tom and his team were headed.

Another body, a woman, lay face down in the stunted soggy grass. She did not move. Her skin looked as white as a snowstorm. From the waist down, on one side, her skin had darkened, which Tom swore looked like reptile scales. Her head had been badly burned and her face did not exist at all.

Tom saw more soldiers standing over another corpse bag as they zipped it up. The person inside seemed too unreal to be true. Long pointed teeth stuck out at all angles from inside an impossibly large mouth, open so wide it tore its cheeks to its ears.

“What have they done?” Tom said, his voice so soft that possibly only the driver heard.

More destroyed vehicles lay up ahead, including a mini van, burned out and empty, resting atop a large tilt-slab warehouse. Tom didn’t know how it had reached the two-storey high roof, and it was not something he wanted to think about. The surrounding soldiers ignored it as they went about their unusual duties. Other vehicles, including civilian cars, jeeps and trucks, appeared also in different states of ruin.

Tom’s team stared outside as well, their expressions either drawn or with animated expressions of horror at the carnage and destruction of the complex. The bus swayed when it dodged debris on the road, taking them further through the burning landscape where hell surely awaited them. After another five minutes of observing the destruction, the gasps and cries had died down to nothing. Everyone had already become accustomed. Or maybe saying something would make the nightmare real.

Only a couple of buildings stood in tact and unscathed, they drove towards one of these now, the sergeant still running in front directing them. The bus and SOG vehicle parked near the entrance of the building. Soldiers entered and exited taking body bags in, then returning with them folded under an arm to go and fill it with another.

“What in fricking crazy hell is going on here!” Tom said, his voice shaking. Everyone jumped after the long silence. Tom jumped at their sudden movement. His legs had been shaking so much he had half collapsed back into his seat.

“ It’s a massacre,” one of his senior lab personnel said, “We won’t be safe if we go out there.”

Tom walked down the stairs and off the bus the moment it came to a stop. The team stood and followed, although stopped before exiting.

“Sergeant,” Tom called, seeing him talking to soldiers near the entrance to the building.

The sergeant turned and said, “We’ve had an incident, sir. Everything has been contained in this area, it’s quite safe. These men will be with you the whole time to ensure your protection and security.”

“What happened? The deaths...”

“If you would like to accompany me inside, you and your team can inspect the progress. I’ll also take you to Doctor Harvey in the medical lab, he has regained consciousness so will be able to explain the situation.”

Tom waved his team from the bus and they finally alighted, following Tom’s orders. They followed the sergeant and three of his men into the warehouse along with the SOG officers who took the rear. Once inside they gathered into a small room barely large enough to fit them all. Three doors led off in different directions. A window in the middle faced them, within that room, people answered phones and sat at computers, but no one looked up.

The sergeant tapped on the intercom.

“This is, Major Thomas Finch, and his team to inspect research and check progress,” the sergeant said looking back at Tom and nodding.

While it took only a few seconds for one of the people within the office to answer and then unlock the doors for them, two soldiers had enough time to walk in behind them carrying an enclosed black morgue bag. They passed Tom’s group and stopped at one of the doors. The lead soldier took out his security card whilst balancing his burden on one knee, then swiped to open the door. The dead body wavered then slipped off and thumped to the ground.

A few of Tom’s team gasped and jumped back at the sound. The door opened for the two soldiers and they carted the body away to whatever strange rooms lay on the other side.

A buzzer sounded and a different door opened allowing the group to enter a corridor that lead them further inside. Before they had all made it through, another two soldiers entered the building with yet another black morgue bag. Their motions identical to the first as they approached the area where they swiped their card. These two did not attempt the balancing act, instead dropping the body and opening the door, then picking up their burden once again.

Tom’s people walked the length of the grey walled corridor passing by locked rooms on either side. No door handles, only swipe card slots, and no signs nor windows to show the intended use of each room. Tom guessed isolation wards, however they could easily have been prison cells. They approached the other end of the corridor where the doors stood already open. On the other side, empty medical beds had been positioned into neat rows running the entire length and breadth of the massive warehouse.

Constructed from tilt slab concrete, steel girders lined the walls and roof. Halogen lights dangled from the metal ceiling at approximately fifteen foot intervals all the way along, each supported by heavy chain links and brackets.

The lights lit the enormous room up like a summer’s day. The yellow concrete floor reflected the brilliant glare so much that Tom found it hard to look down for more than a few seconds without feeling ill. The sterile hospital smell increased the further they walked. Blue curtains on each of the gurneys had been tied back to show beds with wrinkle free white sheets over a thin mattress and flat blue pillows.

They shuffled between the rows following the sergeant. Without warning his voice boomed out.

“Most initial tests the docs did were without problems, as the doc will explain. It was the later volunteers who ran around like mad people—like you saw outside. Absolute insanity, Major. Some of them had the strength of a few of us, so when they went crazy we had to put them down quickly and we used whatever force we had to.” The sergeant looked behind and whispered so only Tom could hear, “If you don’t mind me saying so, Major, I’ll be glad when I’ve been reassigned elsewhere and doing a regular gig again. This is not a place for sane people.”

Tom stared into the sergeants coal black eyes until he turned back, then shook his head wondering if the guy had looked in the mirror recently. He doubted the army would know what to do with any of these soldiers once they discovered what had been done to them. And then if the public found out...

Occasionally a soldier ran between the hospital beds from one section to another, otherwise Tom could see no reason for the sergeant to bring his team in to see rows and rows of empty beds. Especially considering what they had witnessed outside on the site’s grounds.

After a few further minutes following along, a wall of blue curtain blocked their view of the rest of the warehouse. The remaining beds had their curtains drawn to stop anyone from seeing in. Or was it to stop the person on the bed from seeing out?

Drops of blood marked the ground more frequently as they closed on the curtained area. The sergeant still had not explained why they had come to this building. Tom clicked the button off his side arm. The SOG officers saw this and did the same and kept a close eye on their soldier escort.

Tom clenched his teeth when the sergeant stopped them at the first bed where blood had sprayed over one of the blue curtains like a sneeze from a bloody nose. The sergeant pulled the fabric back with a single pull.

A man lay on the bed with his eyes closed. Red and purple bruises marked his neck and upper chest. Restraints kept his arms, legs and middle in place.

“Is this man dead, Sergeant?” Tom asked.

The sergeant shrugged. “Don’t know, don’t care. If they don’t attack my people or run around like chickens without a head, then we just put them here and leave it up to the docs to decide on what to do. Some we have to strap down, some we shoot.”

The sergeant pulled back another curtain to reveal a soldier cut open from groin to neck. Bones had been crushed, muscles torn and most of the skin lacerated. Blood dripped down the side of the bed and pooled on the yellow concrete. The corpse had black eyes like the sergeants and they looked just as frightening. Although this soldier had the life taken from him, so his eyes shone dead like polished stones.

For the next five minutes the sergeant pulled back curtain after curtain and showed them more bodies of soldiers, doctors in white, civilians, some dead, some which may have been alive but did not move.

Tom stopped to look over a man who must have been in his fifties. His chest had been opened up and his ribs spread to show his insides and mangled breast plate.

“He did that himself,” the sergeant pointed out. “Strangest thing I’ve ever seen. He just walked out of here past everyone as calm as a monk, then started ripping into his own body. We didn’t know if we should shoot him or stop him. Eventually he just collapsed. Most of the other patients around here died like a light went out in their heads. Like maybe they got tired of living. That’s what I think, not what the docs said. What do you think, Major?”

Tom didn’t answer. Even if he did have gloves to check the corpse over, he would be hesitant. Tom shook his head.

“Glad they were using people from the prisons for this sort of stuff and not us,” the sergeant said. “Strange shit, Major.”

A bed shuddered behind the group. The curtain pulled across. Tom leapt away and the rest of his team looked ready to run to the bus. The SOG police pointed their guns toward the bed. The bed shuddered again. Then shook and bumped about into the other beds. Through the curtain Tom could see the outline of a figure with long hair and slender body. The person screamed then growled.

Sweat built up on Tom’s pallid face. The sergeant was right, it’s no place for sane people.

The escorting soldiers turned just their heads toward the noise.

“As you can see, the bodies still move around a little,” the sergeant said.

“Private!” the sergeant called out, and pointed at the shaking bed.

One of the three soldiers disappeared inside the curtain enclosure and fired a round into the woman splattering more blood onto the blue curtains. The gruesome sight and unbelievable situation just seemed to be getting worse.

“The body and brain are dead—like that one—but the virus lives on trying to repair the corpse. Harmless really, but annoying when they scare the shit out of you like that.”

The sergeant barked a laugh. They continued on. One patient had an extra undeveloped arm and leg protruding from its side. A bald woman had multiple eyes across her face and on her bald head as if someone had stuck them on with crazy glue; all of them wide open and staring in different directions. As Tom watched he saw two of them blink.

His stomach squeezed. The back of his throat burned with bitter bile. Someone beat him to being sick and vomited where she stood. Tom swallowed and concentrated on walking steadily.

The sergeant led everyone to another set of beds while pointing out each test subject and what they had been administered with.

“These ones here were given a virus to map their DNA. Docs said it would allow them to grow new limbs. It works, just not so good. Seems they can’t process the extra information once the brain recognizes the third or more limb, or eye, or whatever. Doctor Childs had an idea to fix this, but it failed as well,” the sergeant said and moved onto another area.

“Doctor Harry Childs?” Tom queried.

“Correct, sir,” the sergeant said.

Tom gulped as he asked his next question. “And Sergeant, what did he try and do to correct the problem?”

“An extra brain,” the sergeant said, and pulled back another curtain.

Tom’s team stared down at the man on his side with a bulge at the back of his neck like he had swallowed a tennis ball. His team members looked at each other and then to Tom, all with the same horrified expressions.

“They didn’t have to worry about organ rejection, docs said they could grow the brain inside the patient. The second brain didn’t even need to be very large, just sort of like a rudimentary brain which took care of smaller things. It worked at first from what I saw, but the docs then said civilians don’t have the ability to handle this sort of thing.

Then they went on about maybe using military personnel.” The sergeant leaned in close to Larry again. “I don’t think that’s right though, none of my guys were eager to volunteer for this; I’d already told all the boys what went on in here.” The sergeant leaned away from Larry and continued his macabre tour, pointing out the grim sights to his visitors.

“Anyway, the doc’s kept using the civilian volunteers. Doubt the poor bastards knew what they were in for. We were told the first lot of volunteers were lifers from prison. Didn’t look like it to me, looked like they were from a hospital and had drips in their arms. But hey, we followed orders and did what we were told. You know, Major?”

Tom did not reply to the sergeant. He had no idea if his voice would work. He also was not sure what could be said.

“With each test they did, me and a few of my men watched and waited to see if the patients got violent. Which was pretty much every time they came conscious. More than once we had to put some rounds into the devils who crawled off those beds. Not sure what they put in us, Major, but we don’t want any new injections if we’re gonna turn out like them. The one time I wasn’t here was when a few of ’em broke away and went on a killing spree. They then got out onto the grounds and started tearing everything and everyone apart. That was just a couple of hours ago.”

Tom supposed that if terminal patients had been offered a miracle cure they probably would have been lining up. Cancer patients especially, regardless of the side effects. But whatever had taken place, there was no way it had been legal.

“Doctor Harvey’s just over here, he can tell you more. I gotta get back outside and get things in order—also I don’t like it in here, bit creepy. Anyways, I’m glad you’re here, Major, at least now it’s all in your hands.”

“Wait, what?” Tom said.

The sergeant turned back around after moving to leave. He took his helmet off and scratched his head. “They didn’t really fill you in much at all, did they? Everyone in charge is dead. All the docs, including Doctor Childs, all gone. Doctor Harvey’s all we have, he just didn’t look like he would make it at first. We weren’t sure if anyone would come to take over. We wondered if they would just flash the place. Damn brass would probably clean it up that way I reckon. Probably leave us here to be cleaned up with it. Now you’re here we can rest easy knowing we’re not going to be part of any sort of quick cleanup. Thanks, Major.”

The sergeant left the group and jogged to the warehouse exit. Tom looked over to the SOG officers. One of them had already dialed his phone. They all waited anxiously while the officer talked. Tom knew no military plane would drop a payload on a civilian building, especially not with him and his team inside. But this did not stop a civilian plane from doing so. But where would they get a plane with that ability, more importantly, how could they obtain a bomb, especially one big enough to take out a place of this size?

After a few minutes the officer on his phone shook his head and mouthed the words, no bombs, no planes.

The private up the back who had shot the moving corpse earlier, and stood as tall and large as the sergeant, put his hand up.

Tom nodded to him. “Private?”

“Sirs,” he said loud enough for everyone to hear. “It’s not a bomb drop. It’s, well it’s supposed to be less obvious than that. Ground detonation, is what I heard them say. A few of the trucks have been taken to Kinglake where they’re set to go off later. Is it like what the sergeant said, are we okay now you’re here, sir?”

The soldier’s face twitched at the end of his question. His legs shook like he held a jackhammer and his knuckles whitened around his rifle.

“Crap, I’m an idiot,” Tom said.

He ran to the injured Doctor Harvey. Other patients lay on beds alongside him, although they appeared healthy and uninjured.

“Everyone,” Tom yelled to his group. “Check these people to see if they can move or be moved, then grab everything else here you can carry that looks important. We’re getting out of here!”

The private tensed and raised his rifle. The other two soldiers did the same. The private twitched again and stepped towards Tom. The two other soldiers swayed from side to side like elephants chained to a spike.

“Private,” Tom said standing his ground. “Tell your Sergeant to get all men off the base, now!”

Amazingly he saluted and the three of them ran the way they had come in.

Tom shook Doctor Harvey. The doctor opened his eyes but did not seem to be able to focus. Bandages covered his chest and head. Across his torso two large red lines ran left to right where blood seeped through.

Claw marks, Tom thought.

The doctor’s eyes finally focussed on Tom.

“What?” the doctor said.

“I didn’t say anything, although if I had, it would be to ask, what happened?”

“Oh yes, yes. I’m glad you’ve arrived, I was worried if maybe our live test would be aborted. The heavy casualties of our staff, including Doctor Childs and a lot of patients, could have required a flash clean. However, as you can see, everything is now under control so no drastic measures need be taken. More test subjects will be added to what we already have awaiting their procedures.”

Tom looked over his shoulder and saw his team checking the other patients, inspecting clip boards and checking the screens above the med beds. Information scrolled down the monitors in a steady stream, which he hoped would be enough for them decide on what to do.

“Major,” Doreen, one of his staff said. “These people are getting viral treatment right now, all of them are alive, sir.”

Doreen was normally quite outspoken and had a very business-like way about her. Today during the entire visit to the complex her mouth had stayed closed and her eyes red rimmed. Now at least she had something positive to do and she seemed to be her self again.

“We can move them, sir,” Doreen then said.

“Yes. It’s just the virus which helps the body heal,” Doctor Harvey said, smiling. “Its certainly one of the most significant viruses.”

Tom looked over the doctors chart to see what viruses he had been administered. Doctor Harvey sat up in his bed and watched Tom closely.

“You understand, of course, that I have not taken the virus to speed up the healing process due to it having Carotranine already added.”

“I know, Doctor,” Tom said remembering thebrief he had received earlier from Detective Bradbury, “Now if you’ll excuse me.”

Tom soon returned to the doctor’s bed after checking on three of the people who had not woken.

“Doctor Harvey, why did you stop testing on the military personnel and only use the civilians?”

“We only acquired those ones from the hospital this morning and began testing them a few hours ago. The sergeant agreed to the first series of tests on him and his men and was much more willing to take orders with Carotranine in his system. We decided they could be used more effectively to contain some of the unwanted, although expected, side effects on civilians. Strange thing though, the Carotranine didn’t help us control the ones who went insane. Our theory is that the subjects were too confused and couldn’t understand the orders we were giving them. We need to put a hold on some of the more extreme viruses until we have stronger rooms where we can contain any violent rage they exhibit. Then we can determine a way of getting them to understand the orders we give once they tire themselves out.”

“The live test, Doctor, what’s happening with that?” Tom asked hoping to gain more information before giving himself away.

“They would be very close to the first target. I would like to watch as well, but can do so later when the sergeant sends me the recording. The satellite should be directly overhead now.”

“Where...” Tom did not get time to finish his sentence, sirens blared and red flashing lights spun atop work stations.

“No, no!” Doctor Harvey yelled, sitting up further and glaring at Tom, “I told you everything is under control! Why have you ordered the clean up? What have you done!”

He then looked over Tom’s team as they disconnected the patients and readied them to wheel out of the building.

“You! You’re not Tech Dynamics! How did you get in?”

Tom did not answer, instead set to work helping his team get the patients ready to move.

Doctor Harvey threw up his hands. “You’ve ruined everything, you know that? Now all of us are going to die.”

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