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.