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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?