Confessions Of A Mad Scientist
It took me a minute to process what he said. “What?”
He raised the gun again. “You heard me. Take them off.”
I tried to figure out why he would want that. I could think of a few reasons, but none of them were pleasant. Still, I decided it would be better to know what was coming that to not know, so I ventured a question.
“Why do you want me naked?”
The man raised an eyebrow. “Do you really want to know?”
I considered it again. “Yes.”
He looked like he was trying to stifle a laugh. “Don’t be a sicko. I just need to make sure you don’t have any bite marks. I have to know you’re not infected.”
A small bout of relief flooded my senses. By the time I got my clothes off and had my arms outstretched so that I could be examined, I was back to being a more than a little tense. I turned around once.
He nodded and lowered the weapon. “Ok.”
He headed back into the room where he had grabbed the gun.
I picked up and put on my clothes. What exactly have I gotten myself into? I went in to see if he would talk to me.
It was an office, sparsely decorated with windows along one side. A file cabinet had been overturned. The man was pacing the floor. “You can’t sleep in here. And tomorrow morning, you’ll have to leave.”
“That’s not what I came in here to ask.”
The man seemed to snap out of his train of thought. “Look, I’m sorry if you were embarrassed. If it makes you feel any better, I am a doctor, so it’s not like you’re the only naked man I’ve ever seen.”
“What else do you know about the infected?”
He sneered and seemed to notice for the first time that I was wearing a scrub top. “Do you really work at the hospital? Or did you buy that at the gift shop?”
Too much had been happening for me to be annoyed by his attitude. “I’m a nurse in the ER.”
He flipped his hand as if to dismiss the statement. “You were a nurse in the ER.”
I wondered exactly what he was hiding. “Are you going to tell me anything or not?”
He smirked. His eyes weren’t glossed over and vacant like the infected, but something about him just didn’t look right. “It’s a virus.”
“I know that. What else?”
He glanced up at me. “You’re a little pushy. Have you considered the idea that I don’t want to tell you anything? Besides, that’s valuable information.”
I wasn’t shocked at his behavior. Too much had happened to me in the past twenty four hours. I was certain that he was hiding something serious. I tried to think of something that could to coax a little more information out of him. Then I remembered something.
“I’ll tell you why I deserve to know.”
He raised an eyebrow. “You have something to trade?”
“How about you repay me for saving your life?”
He raised his voice. “Don’t try to play stupid mind games with me. I’m not an idiot.”
Not an idiot, just crazy. “Didn’t you wonder how I got in here?” My hand darted into my pocket and brought out the keys.
His eyes opened wide. He furiously patted all of his pockets. “How did you…”
I tossed them over at his feet. “You left them in the front door. Now will you talk to me?”
His eyes swished from side to side as if he were having an internal conversation. Eventually he nodded to himself and walked over to the desk and sat down.
“You need to keep what I’m about to tell you to yourself.”
“Its our own fault. We made it. And then we lost it.”
“What are you talking about?”
His eyes darted around room like he wanted to be sure we were alone. “The virus was originally engineered by the military. When they got stuck, they brought it here and we helped perfect it.”
I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. I shook my head a little.
“It’s true. At this lab, we continued to work on the virus. They built us an assembly machine for this lab. The other two labs were trying to find a cure. Our research was always kept separate. I have no idea how close they ever came.”
“Who would believe me if I even told them that? Why can’t I…”
“That’s not the important part. The important part is what I know about how they act.”
I closed my mouth and listened.
“Our research with live infections has been limited, we only know a couple of things about the behavior of the infected.”
My stomach churned. They tested this on humans?
“One. Infected humans can recognize other infected humans. Two. They are drawn to the uninfected humans. In fact, the bigger the crowd, the more they are attracted. That’s what you don’t want everybody to know. If everyone were to spread out, we’d all be in the same amount of danger. As it is, the idiot masses are just going to gather themselves into large groups. They think there’s safety in numbers, but there’s none. The infected will be drawn there, and away from me here.”
I was stunned. I furrowed my brow. “Shouldn’t people know everything you know? If you don’t try to pass the word, then you are condemning them to death.”
He narrowed his eyes. “Yes, that’s very heroic, but you know what’s going to happen here, don’t you?”
“People are going to die. No matter what. All but the strongest and smartest. The infected have use of the normally untapped strength in human muscles. They’re relentless. They only want one thing: to make more infected. The virus is perfect.”
This man is insane. “You still can’t…”
“I can and you will, too, as soon as you think about it. There’s no sense in being a lemming. That’s why you’ll be leaving in the morning. I intend to survive.”
I stared off into space for a moment. There was some sense in what the strange doctor had said, but it just seemed so wrong to let others die. He helped engineer this crisis. Of course he doesn’t care about human life.
“Why would you engineer such a…”
“You lack vision. This was a small price to pay. Our viral research was already decades ahead of anyone else. With the machine that we designed and they built, we could do more good for the world than you could imagine.”
“A virus that only attacks cancer cells, for one. Think of the lives that could be saved.”
“Think of the ones that are going to be lost.”
“Small price. You’ll never understand.”
My head was swimming. I stared at him for a moment. I have to know. “How did they get it?”
“Who, the terrorists? Don’t know. The military picked up the bulk of the viral samples over a week ago. We weren’t told where they were going.”
I had heard enough. “So where should I sleep?”
“I don’t care, as long as it’s not on this floor. Just pick someplace.”
I fumbled my way down the stairs and found an office with a couch and a large window.
The window looked down on the bleak street. The sun was finally beginning to set. Night would soon fall.
I looked out the window for signs of movement.
I decided I was going to need some rest if the crazy doctor upstairs was going to kick me out in the morning. I reclined on the couch and tried to relax.
The stars were finally beginning to appear and I was just about to doze off when a flash of light form outside invaded the room.
Before I could even gasp, The building shook along with the boom that accompanied the explosion.
That’s what it had to be. An explosion.
I ran to the window to see what had happened and where.
Next Chapter – A Burning Desire For Solitude.