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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Eve pulled herself back from Cody and looked up into his deep brown eyes. She felt her heart skip a beat, as he brushed a piece of loose hair that had fallen across her  face away.  He  looked back down at her.  Their eyes meeting and locking briefly.  The rush of energy she felt go  through her, almost took her breath away.  From the moment when she had first laid eyes on Cody she felt a strong current pulling her to him, as  if he were a magnet. The gentle way he had carried her in his arms to the ranch house and cared for her wounds when he  had found her collapsed at the water spicket,  had made her know she would be safe with him.

  His gorgeous  eyes gazed over her face, stopping at her lips momentarily.  He gently wiped away some dirt from the left side of her bottom lip.  She fought hard to keep him from seeing it quiver.   A slight excitement rose with in her  as he  parted his lips and breathed in deeply.   'Oh God" she whispered silently  in her mind.  His touch seemed to awaken things inside her.  Things she had not felt in awhile.  Feelings she had neatly packed away some time ago.   Safely locked up deep inside.  In hopes to allow her shattered heart time to heal.  Heal from another time in her life when she had been vulnerable to love. Love that had left her hurt both physically and mentally.   A chapter in her life she did not want to think about or reopen, not now anyways.  She had promised herself she would concentrate on her career and not let anyone steer her away again.  She had spent the last two years burying herself in her work. With a little counseling and a  career move she felt confident she was finally moving forward and leaving her  painful past behind. Men had become something she hardly noticed or cared about.  Eve had grown use to dinners alone in her apartment and spending  nights by herself doing paperwork or working in the center.

Now somehow even with all this tragedy around her Cody had turned on switch in her.
She desperately wanted to know him better and wondered if he could see just how much.   Why was this attraction she had for him so strong, she wondered silently and why now.   He is a man.  Just another guy,  a cowboy who found her pretty face and petite features attractive, she argued in her head. Yes a very handsome one at that but,  most likely, no different from all the other men she had met.  Her sexual attraction for him simply made no sense at a time like this.  Fear dangled all around them.  It was insane what she was feeling right now.  There was death and danger surrounding them yet, she longed for him and envisioned herself  to be  in his strong safe arms,  alone with him, away from all of this.  She wanted to feel her flesh on  his.   She felt every part of her deeply  drawn to him.

 She took a deep breath to calm herself before she spoke.  ''Zach is getting worse.  One of us needs to  go outside and see if something happened to the backup  we called for.  The sirens have all stopped.  Its been several minutes since we've heard anything."  Cody nodded as she spoke.  "I was just thinking the same thing. Cody answered back.  "You stay in here with Josiah and Doc. I will go out there and see what's going on."  Cody walked over to Josiah with one arm still around Eve, keeping her close to  his side.  "I'll go take a look out there. It does not make any sense why the back up is not in here yet."  Doc spoke softly.  "It does if there are more of these rabid men out there."  He looked at Josiah and waited for  a response.  "We wont know waiting in here. Cody take a gun from one of the down officers. You stay here on guard for more  of those things  in here.  And help Eve look for something that might  help Zach.  Doc keep working on Zach.  Eve, you said there was some kind of insulin that the  center was researching.  Can you tell us where it is in the compound?"  Josiah asked while he checked the bullets in his gun.   "Yes its in the lab on the second floor.  But If something happens to you Josiah we are just sitting ducks in here." Eve said. "We don 't have a choice. we need to move fast." Cody said quickly. "Cody  I will contact you  when I know something.   In the meantime you cover  Eve while she looks for the insulin."   Josiah said tossing a radio to Cody.  He walked over to the other slain officer and took his gun from his  holster.  "Doc ever shoot one of these?" Doc nodded.  "Use it if you have to. Shoot the sun of a bitch in the head if you see one. Don't let them get to close Doc.  Don't wait till its too late."  Doc took the gun from Josiah and set it down on the table beside him.  "Doc promise us you will use it."  Cody  asked.  "Doc did not like the idea of taking a life.  He was in the business of saving them, But  he shook is head yes and then looked down at Zach.  Josiah shared a look with  Cody.  They both knew if Zach somehow turned rabid before they could help him, Doc  would not be able to do it.  Damn they needed to act fast.

Monday, September 11, 2017

 Nathans screams stopped George and Blake in their tracks.  They had only made it a few feet into the building and turned to look back at the door.   "It came from outside".  Blake whispered.  "There was nothing  moving out there when we pulled up.   I am not sure which way it came from."  They stood silently for a moment listening.  "There are a few cars parked around the north side. You go around to the right I  will circle the left."  George nodded.  He tightened his grip on his gun and swallowed hard.   An uneasiness filled him.

Just beyond the south side of the compound Blake saw some  movement near a car.  He looked around the yard and then back to the  moving shadow.  He swiftly moved in closer.  It appeared to be a man bent over something-another person.  "Do you need help?  Is everything okay?" The figure kept his back turned as Blake called out.   Blake studied him as he kept walking towards the pair.  He pulled out his radio to alert George he had some activity.   The man still made no acknowledgement that he had heard Blake.  He remained in an awkward hunched crouched position over someone.  Once again he called out.  "What are you doing. What is going on?"

George had made his way completely around his side of the compound before he saw Blake walking towards a parked car. He moved in swiftly behind Blake and followed his partner. Nothing about the scene looked good and George stayed silent waiting for his partner to instruct him.   'He has not responded to me calling  to him."  Blake said in a low voice.  He  pulled his gun and shouted for the man to stand up and move away from what they could now tell was a body on the ground.  Still no response.  Blake moved in fast and grabbed the man pulling him backwards and then onto his stomach. While George rushed to the motionless figure on the ground.

Neither Blake nor George had been prepared for what they were seeing.  The man fought to get back to his feet.   Blake held him down hard to cuff him as he thrashed and growled. George bent down to look at the   large gaping  wounds on what was left of Nathans neck and face.  A pool of blood encircled the ground around his body.  The rabid man twisted and  turned while gnashing his teeth and managed to get onto his side.  Saliva spewing from his mouth with blood and chunks of flesh as he hissed and  growled.  George felt the need to purge as he tried to get closer to check for a pulse on the other man.   He had never seen anything so grotesque.   It was an almost  robotic attempt to asses what he already knew to be.   The man had to be dead with that much of his neck gone he thought to himself.  "Christ".  George said feeling for a pulse while fighting back his nausea.  "Half his face and neck is gone.  Jesus what kind of monster is this son of a bitch?  He was eating him."   Blake had the wild man  now cuffed, but struggled with holding the assailant down. "He does not answer, its like he is not   able to talk, or won't."  "Look at his eyes.  His pupils are dilated and his whites are yellow.  Its like he is on something."  Blake tried talking to him again.  Still no response just more thrashing  and gnashing of teeth. George turned to help his partner steady his hold on the man.   "Lookout-  The son of a bitch is trying to bite you." Both men pushed the beastly man back to the ground on his stomach  and  looked for something to cuff him too.  "Lets get him closer to the car and cuff him to it."

Inside Josiah looked around the room and tried  to asses the casualties in his mind.  He knew he would need to make a report of the injuries and loss of life.  He ran each incident since they arrived through his mind.  None of the madness seemed real.  He felt drained from this nightmare but knew it was not over yet.  He walked over to where Zach was resting.  " Doc how is doing?"  "Not good."  He answered back in a hush tone.  "He is burning up and floats in and out of consciousness." "we are gonna have to make a move if he is going to survive."  Josiah knew they  had to check out the rest of the compound and find out what was keeping help from reaching them.  He looked over at Cody they needed to make a plan and act fast.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tony headed straight for the car his assistant Vanessa had waiting for him.  He really wanted to stop for a drink before going to the center but the last message  he received from Nathan had sounded urgent. To urgent he thought to himself.  He tried Nathans phone again.  "Damn voice mail.  Just where in the hell could he be."  Tony said mostly to himself.  He looked around the town car, disgusted that Vanessa did not book him a supplied limo.  Jesus after all he is the CEO.   Just as he felt the agitation rise Eve's face flashed through  his mind unexpectedly, diverting his thoughts momentarily. "Eve" he said softly to himself.  He felt a warm sensation rise up his inner thigh as he said her name again.  Her curvy figure quickly flashed before him.  Damn he had a lust for her he could hardly control.   Just how bad  did  Eve mess up things he wondered, still hoping his assistant Nathan was dramatizing things out. Well he thought,  he would clear things up and hang on to hopes of getting  to know Eve  a little better before he exposed her for this mess.  Or if not, the hot little number from the plane would certainly satisfy his needs. Kayla's alluring face rose the temperature up a little  more.  He closed his smoldering eyes for a second as he envisioned having them both.  The ring of his cell phone quickly interrupted his adulterated thoughts.

"You have got to get here quick.  The place is a bloody battle field.  Nathan yelled into the phone.  "Don't tell me to settle down.  I am getting out of here."  Tony kept his voice  low as he tried to instruct Nathan. "Calm down we can still cover our tracks, but we need those files on every recruit from  the study now.  If I go down I am taking you with me understand."  Nathan shook his head and wiped some sweat from his brow before he spoke. "I am not going back in there.  What part don't you understand of what  I told you.   I just watched  some animal like human attack a cop and then watched him get his  freak en head blown off by another cop as he bit into the first cops throat.  Its crazy man.  There is blood and  body parts  all over.  You can get your own damn precious files yourself.  There are more  police outside the compound trying to control the man eating creatures." Tony felt his temper rise.  Man eating creatures unlikely -he thought to himself.  But fine he would entertain the thought for Nathans sake. He could not lose him now.  He needed the little pricks help even if he was turning into a raving lunatic.  He decided  he could dispose of him later. "Okay  okay breath.  I am listening to you.  Are you in a safe place Nathan?"  He asked trying to sound concerned. "Can you tell me where Eve is or  any of the other staff members?"  "I got a glimpse of Eve earlier.  After the first shot I heard her scream and saw her outside with three men. but I am unsure of the others.  Its  hard to tell who is laying outside headless.  Its insane,  grotesque.  I -I ". He stammered "I am scared really scared man."  " Nathan I  am about 20 minutes away. You keep yourself safe but you have to locate those files and destroy them if you have too.  I have someone else already working on the files online. Nathan you have got to stay calm, our careers our lively hood is in your hands.  This will all be over soon.  Get back in Eve's office and keep searching."   Nathan felt better knowing Tony was on his way.  This did not seem real. It could not be real. "Okay man just get here I'll do what I can."

He saw the hideous creature move towards him. Saliva streaming from his snarling  grey lips.  He just stared at him with  glazed over amber shade eyes. He paused drooling and staring. Nathan  watched as the man clenched his teeth together and almost growled.  He took a step backwards as fear like he had never known invaded him.   His foot hit something that moved and caught him off guard. Nathans  phone flew out of his hand  and he felt himself tumble backwards into a chair.  The rabid man moved in fast.  Nathan screamed as his attacker lunged at him. He raised his fist to fight off the assault. The man hardly seemed  stunned by the impact.  Before he could move again he  felt  flesh from his arm being torn off and then another bite.  Excruciating pain traveled up his arm.  He looked to his side for some sort of weapon to help aid in  his defense.  Before he could even turn his head back he felt a piece of his neck savagely  being ripped from him.  His last thought was how much he would miss his children.  his world went dark.  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The squad car pulled sharply up into the Research Centers yard.  The two men eyed the area quickly before opening their doors.  They studied the 2 empty squad cars and ambulance parked near the  front of the entrance, momentarily.  Immediately Blake picked up his radio and called back to the station to give a report.  As he looked about the compounds yard, the site he saw was almost  too gruesome for words.  But somehow, he managed to report  the abandoned vehicles and the casualties he could see  laying  outside the compound.

  George was the first to step out of the squad car.   Even though the sun was still shining high on the lazy hot afternoon, he felt the hair stand up on the back of his neck and a slight chill run down his spine.  Carefully he placed  his hand on the butt of his pistol he kept in his  holster and looked around the  yard.  Nothing was moving and  the place was silent.  Too silent.   He turned to his left to get a better view of the two bodies that laid near the side of the building.   Cautiously he stepped closer to  the motionless heap of  flesh.  His eyes moved swiftly surveying the yard as he walked.  He felt his stomach turn as a light  breeze sent a whiff of a horrible stench into the air.  George had spent time in his younger years hunting with his grandfather.  The smell triggered a memory of a time years ago while hunting, when he and his grandfather had come across a partially decayed deer.  No doubt an untracked  animal that had fled and finally laid to rest after being wounded.     Yes, he thought to him self,  that is the smell of rotting flesh.  George quickly covered his nostrils with his free hand as he tried to  fight back the sudden need to purge.  As he he moved closer he could see that the bodies were soaked with blood.  Both  appeared to be men.  One laid   half  on top of the other with its face down.  As he looked closer he could see that a large portion of the top of his skull had been blown away. It looked like as if  by some sort of gun or pistol.  Bone and brain remains protruded from what was left of the skull.   He also noticed a 3 inch wide open gaping wound on the neck of the second body and half of its face and skull too had also been blown away, by possibly the same gunshot.   George choked as he felt the slight rise of bile creeping  up his throat. In the 6 years he had been on the force he had never came across anything like this.  He turned and  looked over to his right.  Across the yard maybe 200 ft away he could see another motionless body lying on the ground.  A pool of wet dark dirt encircling it.  Just beyond that body was yet another heap of fabric in  what looked to be a  human figure.    "What the hell happened-what is going on  here" he softly said to himself.  He turned to look back at his squad car,  just as Blake began to make his way towards  him.

 "What in the name of Jesus is going on?"  Blake asked trying to accept what he was actually seeing.  "I don't know".   George answered.  "Jesus, I don't know- Something or someone looks as if they have gone mad".   Blake covered his mouth as the same disgusting smell that had caused George to gag drifted through the air again.  "Oh God what is that putrid smell.?" Blake asked almost choking as he spoke. George looked at him squishing up his face.  " I think its coming from these bodies." "How long do you think  it takes a body to smell  like that"?  he asked  his partner not really expecting the younger man to no anymore than he did.    Both men shook their heads as they looked around.  Without any words the two officers moved swiftly to inspect the other figures across the grounds from them.   George could not hold back any longer and  hurled his lunch as he noticed the head had been blown off this corps too.  The sight the smell and seeing his partner chuck was almost to much for Blake to hold back his own nausea any longer.   He struggled desperately  to keep his stomach contents intact.  Pieces of shredded flesh and fragments of bone and tissue lay scattered around the headless  figure lying  at their feet now. Blake felt something squish from under his shoe and stepped back for a moment to ensure he was not standing on any piece of human tissue.   "What the hell is going on.  This is a fricken crazy nightmare"   George said with fear beginning to grow with in him.    Blake only shook his head form side to side in response back.  The thick smell of death seemed as though it was suffocating him.  Both men looked at each other and then around the yard.  "We have to see whats going on inside there." He finally answered back.    Blake and George began to walk towards the compounds entrance, their pistols cocked and ready.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The compound had calmed down some, at least for now it seemed.  An occasional cry or moan  could be heard from Zach where he rested in  labored breathing.  Perspiration dripped from his brow as his body twitched and jerked with waves of  pain.   Josiah dabbed at his forehead slightly with the end of his shirt sleeve and then exchanged glances with Cody.  No words were needed between the two men for the moment.  What they shared in thought was almost transparent on their tired faces.  They both knew they needed to get help now, somehow, if  Zach  was to have a chance at surviving.  Josiah rubbed his brown eyes with  the back of his hand, the only clean spot left that had not been splattered with blood,  or shreds of  bodily organs.     His eyes  were  blood shot red and burned slightly.  His  throat felt dry and hoarse as he spoke softly to Cody.  "How are you holding up man?".  He said, hoping he felt better than he looked.  "Tired, and I gotta tell ya, scared.  How is he doing?" Cody motioned to Zach, then paused  for a second before adding. "How do his eyes look?"  "Not sure-he's still breathing but he is in and out of consciousness.  We need to get him out of here now.   Do you think you have the strength to carry him while I fight off what ever else it out there?" Josiah said .   "Sure, How many more of those things are we gonna have to fight?  How many more lives are we going to loose?" Cody asked not really directing it at Josiah, almost as though he was thinking out loud.  Cody looked at Eve who rested next to him, after he spoke.  He knew she did not know much more than himself but deep down inside he wished she could to tell him there would be  no more mad men inside lurking around.  He wanted to get her and himself and the others away from there.  He wanted the back up help to be there- now. More importantly he wanted this nightmare to be over.  

Eve looked back into Cody's eyes silently. She had no answers for him.  She had lost count of the bodies that had been infected.   As hard as she tried she just could not recall the roster of the on duty night staff for the previous night.  She vaguely remembered the study enrol lees,  Tears ran silently down her pretty  face, as the images of her staff flashed through her mind. Suddenly the number 12 stood out.  Yes there had been 12 volunteers in the study. "Oh my God" she cried into Cody's shoulder.  "There are eight more participants unaccounted for." she tried to stifle her sob.  But the sorrow she felt was overwhelming.  She could not help but feel immense responsibility for what was happening. Her body ached and she was exhausted but somehow she had to figure out away to help them.  Help whoever was left inside the center.  Somehow help put an end to this nightmare.

The horror of the events brought a deafening silence to the room now.  There was little movement from any of them as they waited for help. They took turns casually looking at each other. The putrid smell of death hung in the air.  The fear that surrounded them was almost suffocating.

Dave was the first to  jump up when the sirens could be heard just outside the doors.  He rushed past Josiah to meet the squad car.  Just as he rounded the corner he was knocked to the floor.  "Jesus, what the fuck."  he yelled in anger and fear as he looked up into  a distorted drooling face with, gnashing teeth.  With in seconds the rabid human had pounced on him and chunks of flesh were  ripped from his flailing arms and then his  throat.  He fought desperately to pull his gun from his holster. But what was left of his right left arm dangled almost lifeless. Pain ripped through him as he felt his clothes soak with blood.  He screamed in agony as the animal like human continued its attack on him.  The sound of teeth gnawing on his forearm was the last sound he heard as darkness surrounded him and life faded away.

Josiah reached the hallway in enough time to see Dave lay beneath the flesh eating monster.  He fired  at the head, blood and human tissue exploded, much of it covering Dave's face.  He paused for a moment waiting  for signs of movement before running to help Dave. He dragged the headless creature off him.  Dave laid there motionless. Josiah stared down at the man cursing under his breath.  He was gone.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Tony's plane landing was rough. He was pale and felt  nauseous as the plane finally touched ground and headed toward the jet way.  What was worse, he knew the situation ahead of him pose disaster to his dreams if he could not find a cover up somehow.  He finished the drink that sat on tray in front of him.  He needed a fall guy or gal. Someone to take the blame for the casualties. Someone indispensable.  Someone who was naive someone who would never see it coming.   Eve's face came to his mind.  Eve and her beautiful curves.  What a shame he thought to himself.  What a shame to waste such  beauty. He felt a lump in his throat as the thought of him and her ever connecting begin to  fade.  His lust for her he knew had to to end here, or it could cost him everything.  She was nice prey and an even easier safety net. He reasoned with himself- It was her responsibility to ensure the Center was running smoothly. It was Eve who was left in charge to manage things.  It was Eve who failed he decided.  And it would be her to take the fall..

Tony stood up to gather his belongings when he felt the plane come to a stop. The young flight attendant that had worked the flight smiled at him as he walked down the aisle toward the exit.  He nodded at her as she asked if he had everything.  "See you on the return flight" she said eagerly with a delicious smile, waiting for his reply.  "It will be my pleasure" he answered back with a grin of desire that he hoped she would pick up on.  Her smile broadened as she tossed back some blond tresses that had cascaded around her pretty face.  Then almost purred back to him,  "I look forward to it".   And for just a moment he forgot the business ahead of him as he felt the heat begin to stir in him.  Damn why did things have to fall apart now.  Just when he was beginning to see the potential to make millions.  He new he had his work ahead of him and this new "interest "would definitely have to wait.  He looked into her alluring eyes.  Holding her captive for mere seconds.   Yes he thought to him self she would be a lovely distraction after he took care of things at the Research Center.  "Absolutely Kayla", he said in a low bedroom like whisper to her as he passed by brushing up against her slightly.

 Kayla felt  his breath tingle on her neck with surprise, as he said her name.  Hmm.... she thought to herself. She liked his attention to details.  She watched him exit and felt a slight tingle stir with in her. She stood there for a moment daydreaming, and then felt  Bill her pilot for the flight  move next to her. "He is married and a player honey, nothing but trouble."  Bill was a kind man who had been Copeland's  private pilot for 10 years. He raised three daughters and knew the look Kayla had was no good.  Nearing retirement he kept his nose out of corporate bullshit.  But he liked Kayla.  She reminded him of his youngest daughter Megan,  and that scared him just a little.     Kayla turned to him and smiled slightly, while gently brushing imaginary  dust from his shoulder.  "Bill I am a big girl and not your daughter.  And that is exactly why I moved clear across the country to get away from my parents telling me what to do." Kayla turned to go clear the plane but before she stepped away she whispered to Bill   " Besides I like trouble."

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Zach could feel the fever in him slowly rising.  His eyes stung, as sweat mixed with his tears. Josiah dabbed at  Zach's burning face with the remaining  part of his shirt that had not been used to make bandages. Gently he wiped to help clear his eyes. Zach  was beginning to  feel unconsciousness grasping at him again.   His body ached and twitched as the venomous virus traveled throughout his insides.  His eyes rolled back exposing only the whites  briefly, as he fought another spasm.  "Oh God" he cried in a low whisper.  Josiah shifted his weight slightly where he held him in his arms, as he tried to adjust him to help him feel any small amount of comfort possible. "Hang on man". "Help is coming". But even as he spoke those words Josiah was not even sure  there would be anything anyone could do.  It was clear the fever was spreading fast.  It seemed as if they were helpless at this point.

What ever these rabid people were spreading had  moved fast, that was very clear.  The bite Zach had was small in size. but deep.   Josiah noticed the bleeding had stopped where he had placed a  compression.  But whatever had been in his attackers saliva seemed to have already worked its  way into Zach's bloodstream and was spreading like a wild fire through out his body.  "Doc" he called. As the old man slowly  knelt down beside him he softly asked " tell me about rabies".   Cody and Eve turned toward the two men as they heard the  word rabies..  "Its passed on  through saliva and attacks the nervous system.  Without treatment -a vaccine, usually several days after exposure," he paused and took a deep breath, "death occurs.  Once the symptoms and signs of the disease begin survival rate is rare."  Doc moved closer to Josiah and looked down at Zach.   "I know where you are going with this.  In rabies we usually have days not hours or minutes. We are already seeing symptoms here." Doc Keller said matter of fact. " I know-but, but what if, I know this is- or sounds crazy.  But, what if some how -  the virus was a - a mutation." Josiah stared into Docs face as he spoke.   "Could it be possible to create a super rabies virus?"  "Could a virus simulating rabies be created in a... say a lab of some sort."  With out hesitating for an answer. Josiah called Eve over.   "Eve, you have to tell us, tell Doc, everything you know, about what was going on at the center in the lab- your lab."  Eve could not help but respond defensively and a bit surprised from what she had heard. "You think some muted rabies was created in this lab with out my knowledge?  Is that what you think is happening here?" " Do you have a better explanation Eve.  There is more going on at this Center  than you know, or pretending not to know.  Are you letting  us know everything you know?" Josiah said sharply.  Cody moved in closer.  He knew the finger was being pointed at Eve.  He felt he had to defend her a little even though he was not sure himself, just how much she really knew.

Pain ripped through Zach as though his veins were a river of fire. His breathing quickened as he  felt his trembling sweat soaked body relax once again after the spasm subsided.  He looked up at Josiah.  "I am turning into one them". "Tell me the truth." His voice was hoarse and fear clung to his words as he spoke.  Josiah looked over at Doc Keller, wishing he had  words of comfort to offer.  Words that held hope.  He looked back down to Zach. He was now an ashen pale color.  His eyes had hints of amber shadowing the corner of his whites.   "It looks like the fever is in you and traveling fast  man".  "You just have to hang on." "Promise me something Zach said, trying to raise his head a little.  "Promise me", he paused to cough up some phlegm mixed with blood. "You wont, -you cant  let me turn into- into one of them, promise." he said pleading through a choking sob. "Do what you have to do, Jesus, oh God its bad aah ....the pain-its, its coming again".  His body shook violently for a few seconds.  And then Josiah could feel him relax slightly. With his eyes shut he asked again, " promise me,  don't let me turn into one of them, stop me before...I do".  Josiah looked up at Doc.  His heart fell to his stomach,  he felt himself tremble.  He knew what this man was asking.  How could he do it he thought to himself, or worse how could he not?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

It did not take long for Nathans call to be answered by his boss Tony.  The fear in voice as he laid out the scene for his superior lacked in nothing. "Its a blood bath down here man I can't stop it. Something crazy has happened to some of the the participants. You have to get here now.  I am out of here".

 Tony listened quietly as the voice on the other end spoke.  He felt the color drain from his face and his throat go dry as he hung on the edge of every word.  The words sliced and pierced  his flesh as though a hundred bees had stung  him.  Emergency, gun shots, casualties-several casualties, blood bath.  Words that echoed over and over in his head.  Then, he heard  the deafening silence as  he held the dead phone in his trembling hand.

The research center in Hill City was his baby.  He had watched her go from just an idea in Copeland's California Headquarters board room, to a full  operating research center in rural Minnesota, with a promising future.  "The plan" his plan, had been brilliantly executed.  From the pharmaceutical labs to the study enrol lees it had a secure well thought out  protocol. From the very beginning he saw this as a way to make a huge profit on the side.  He had been  very persuasive at convincing Copeland's executive  board and investors to see things his way.   His staff had been instructed on how to react in emergency situations.  His front men were in place at all times reporting back to him and covering up any slips.  What he had just been informed was impossible.  This simply  could not be happening.   He looked down at the report in front of him and shook his head. Everything on paper looked perfect. The profits were looking  good.  The lab results were in  good shape.  The Center had been open for 18  months and   operating at full capacity for a full 6 months now.  With all their bases covered why and how could this have blown up to such a catastrophe.

Tony pulled open his bottom desk drawer.  He reached his long fingers into the  back, where he felt for the bottle of bourbon he kept there.  He took a long swallow before he rang for his assistant, Vanessa.  A curvy 30 something brunette with attitude and nerve.  She was a  tough gal who spoke her mind  and that was  most likely the reason why he had  never had a rendezvous with her, as well the fact they worked to close together. She did her job well and he liked her looks it just  made good business sense to him to keep things at that, even though at times he could feel parts of him stiffen when she was around.

"Vanessa, I need the corporate jet to fly me to Minnesota, stat." He told her dryly.
She paused for a moment. "Are you forgetting you have meetings with the finance department this afternoon?" she asked him, rather surprised he wanted the plane.   "Why right now, and for how long?"  She asked in a tone only she dared to use with him. Impatience grew in him. " I need to check out the Center, I don't know how long -a few days-I ah-just get the God-damn  plane ready.  NOW. I don't have time for more questions, not now." He hung up the phone and took another hit of his bourbon. He felt the warm liquor slowly slide down his throat as he stared out the window. He rubbed the sides of his temples with his thumbs then drew a deep breath. Eve- he thought to himself. Oh why couldn't she had just kept her nose to running the centers administrating parts.

Tony picked up the Centers file and stuffed them into his briefcase. He  then went into his private washroom to throw water onto his face and grab the overnight bag he kept packed for last minute and spur of the moment  trips.  He heard  Vanessa enter his office as he finished drying his face. When he came back into the office she held out a  fresh cup of coffee for him, which he readily took from her.  "Thanks, Let my wife know I had to fly to the Center in MN and  I  will call her later." he told her. Vanessa stepped closer and adjusted the collar on his suit. "Sure thing and  I'll  cancel all meetings for today and  tomorrow ". She said a bit worried.    "The plane is being fueled and prepped for your flight. Should be ready in 30 minutes I have a car downstairs waiting for you."  With that he handed her back the coffee and left. Vanessa stood  there briefly watching him walk.