Chapter 27 by Lennora Crilov

Helicopter blades sliced the air as Charlotte and a group of decorated military officials as well as one of the greasy bejeweled men who was in the boardroom with her, raced towards LifaLabs’ to see how Ken was doing with Subject N. 

As they neared the lab Charlotte went over her plans again. After discussing the particulars of the transfer of an obscene amount of money to a Switch bank account of her choice and a lengthy discussion from the good Dr. Rosenberg on the various methods of administration of Seeker Cure as well as the weaponising of the virus itself, Nadia, the magic goose, was going to be packed off to some hot and sandy ramshackle lab in the desert country of Thessi where she’d be made to lay golden eggs until she’s a living husk of a human. 

She barely flinched at the thought of sending a young girl away to her death and instead continued to muse over thoughts of swimming in precious caviar cream and that private chalet built into the face of the granite cliffs overlooking the river she saw on holiday once. She’d definitely be getting that. What better way to show the world who she was than by literally living on the edge? Free. 

The helicopter descended towards the top of the apartment and two of the officers leaped out to assist the pilot in manoeuvring and another to help Charlotte off, followed by the other passengers. They walked down the stairwell and came out onto the floor where the labs were located and walked towards the door. 

Charlotte noticed the door was brand new. Ken answered the door and the group hurried inside. 

“We’ve had a problem...one of the patients escaped. I believe the subject to be infected but-“ An incensed Charlotte cut Ken off, “I thought I told you no more fowl ups?! It doesn’t matter. Tell me you at least have Subject N under control.”

“She’s been sedated and ready for our first demonstration Miss Yoss,” Ken said. 

Charlotte looked at him disgustingly, “The very first?!” 

 

"The escapted patient, he um, caused delays...Adi isn't responding..Dr Rosenburg insisted on one healthy subject-“

 

Charlotte stares at Ken in disbelief, “Honestly you men!”, she spat under her breath, “you’re like dolphins, not as smart as you’re given credit for, only meant to be enjoyed on holiday and not to be put in charge of anything beyond jumping through a bloody hoop!”. She backhanded Ken across the jaw, Her diamond cocktail ring leaving bloody scratches on his face. She leaned in and hissed, "This better work.”

At the sound of her name, Dr Rosenburg appeared around the corner, clipboard in hand, clipped expression in place. "A word, Ms Yoss?"


Ms Yoss probably had a couple of words for Dr. Rose thought Ken because a few moments later, quite similar to the beginning of a play, Charlotte, the bejeweled President of Thessi, a few military men in ridiculous shades were seated outside the makeshift testing room, setting the scene for the performance that lay ahead. 

Dr. Rosenburg took another step ahead again and began to explain what they were about to see while Ken hung around the entrance itching to bring in the new and improved Melissa and Samuel. As the doctor rambled on about the subjects' initial reactions to the enhanced doses, which then progressed to a more stable state, Ken played with the keys to the room that held them. 

".... as you will soon see. Ken?"

Showtime.

A few moments of shuffling later, two silhouettes appeared behind the glass. 'Ready?' ventured the doctor but nothing could have prepared them for what they were about to witness. As Ken flipped the lightswitch, Ms. Yoss audibly gasped while the President sprung forward and clapped like a little child witnessing their first magic trick. Even the military men shuffled uneasily in the background. 

Samuel and Melissa. Only they weren't. The thin green and purple veins that used to decorate their hands were now black and angry and seemed to be throbbing. Their muscles have muscles thought the President. 

Ms. Yoss leaned over and whispered something in his diamond studded ear and his grin expanded to give the illusion it could at any moment split his face in half. He was one happy customer. 

"And her?" he pointed one pudgy finger in Nadia's direction. She was already strapped into the bed against the wall, so unassuming you could have almost forgotten about her. But there she was; their most precious commodity.

Dr Rosenburg stepped ahead again, "Now that we know how to magnify the Seeker, we have to make sure we can neutralise it. Initial results show Subject N is quite possibly the cure. Given certain setbacks, we have had to delay our final test, but within the next 24 hours, we should know if we have the only cure in the world right here in Matana."

As Dr. Rosenburg and her mousy little assistant entered the room, Melissa and Samuel began to display some aggression but the metal shackles around their legs and a warning taser right by their necks kept them in check. Ken set off a few sparks every now and then for showmanship.

Dr. Rosenburg held her palm out to her assistant who placed a long syringe in her hand. "Let us begin."

About the author:
Lennora Crilov, 27, is the Manager of International Programs and Admissions at a university in Kazakhstan. Born and brought up in India, she works towards making quality higher education accessible and affordable, especially for students hailing from developing countries. When she's not busy making the world a better place to live in, she can be found binging on Netflix after whipping up something special in the kitchen.