Chapter 12 by Dinete Thomas
The news of the body found in Byde Park was still sinking in. Anyone could notice the effect it had on someone who had a close brush with danger, coupled with the fact that he had just been told off by jolly old Samuel for wandering off when he should be resting, Rob felt like he had been too lucky for his own good. His lame excuse of trying to look for the cute blonde woman he saw while waiting to meet Dr. Rosenberg had left Samuel in peels of laughter as he sauntered off to bed. As Rob lay back down, he could feel his body twitching with nerves; he had finally found Nadia. Not more than 30 feet away, she lay looking far closer to dead than alive. As the drugs started to take effect, dark thoughts started to twirl around in his head, What if this was a suicide mission? Could he save the love of his life? Could he pull off the impossible and ride off into the sunset with Nadia? Would Adi catch onto them? Would Nadia survive the night?. His head aching from the thoughts of a million different ways this plan would fail, Rob gave way to the pain and eventually passed out.
In a different room, Ken woke up, startled by the noise from the ECG Monitor and half not realizing he was on watch duty for Nadia. After checking in to see if everything was okay, he slouched back into the couch, staring at her. Good looks seemed to run in the family he thought. For as much of a hunk he was, Adi did have the edge over him to woo over anyone. There she lay, her beauty depleting just as her health, injected with the same strain of the virus that was menacing the world. Cruel but needed, it was all for the greater good as Adi has paraphrased it for the benefactor. The mysterious individual pulling the string with Adi as his puppet. This was what they were working for; being the only ones with a cure. How was it possible that an unknown startup could compete and beat the race to a vaccine against the big pharma giants? This was nothing short of a Bond movie. Mysteriously highly respected scientists and medical professionals were starting to disappear all over the world. Unlucky accidents, alleged suicides and some had even succumbed to the virus. Bit by bit their competition was slowly becoming as relevant as the zits on his chin. Every few days... pop.
Adi paced around in frenzied circles in his apartment. His sneakers squeaked at each abrupt turn sounding like he was playing back on his old high school basketball court. He stopped with his back to the news playing on mute on his 55-inch tv. I cannot believe this is happening, he thought, fists balled up tightly against his sides. Shit. He slowly turned around. His sculpted face bathed in the blue light flashing from the screen, the light bounced carelessly over his features now tightened with anger and worry.
While Matana gaped at the lifeless body, gossiped about who the man was, and invented theories about his death, Adi already had the answers. Aaron Keen was ex LifaLabs (the pharma company they used as an invisibility cloak over their real operations) and he was damn good. He was notorious for being a little eccentric but his knowledge and passion taught Adi everything he knew. When he had contracted the infection by the second month he had fought their decision to rest and spend time with his loved ones. Aaron had to have a security escort out of the lab. The memory made Adi’s blood boil. What he had laughed at and even admired about what he had believed to be Aaron’s unwavering commitment to their cause was actually a big fat finger to Adi and the team and no one knew it. Until now. There it was on his wrist an unmistakable outline of a key designed with the makings of a motherboard tattooed into his pale skin. It had to be new. The reddened and swollen skin told him as new as a week or so. To the regular civilian, this tattoo appeared to be a drunken mistake that made for a funny story or a youthful interpretation of an existential crisis. This particular tattoo however symbolised a pledge of allegiance and there all over Adi's screen was a vision of that unwavering commitment. To someone else. “Bloody rat!”
The ring of a Finsta notification made him jump. You really need to get your shit together Adi thought as he tapped to view the notification. It revealed to him information he had been waiting for. Tara was posting. An electric shiver made its way down his spine. Tara had finally made a mistake. It would make it so much easier to track her down now. Adi threw on his sports jacket, bent to tie up his left shoelace, grabbed his keys, and quickly typed out a text: Be back soon. Time to tie up on loose end.