The Apocalypse Bug
Part 2: Pestilence Befalls All
Kelly ran until her lungs would not pull in another breath from the sheer exertion of her flight. She dodged into an alley and stopped to catch her breath. Now that she was free, what should she do? She glanced down, noticing that she still had the gun. She put it in her pocket, and thought carefully. Kelly tried to smile, but, now that she was free from her holding cell she could the feel the pain. She touched her face. She could feel her eye beginning to swell, and her lip was still bleeding. She peered into her reflection in a broken piece of glass on the alley floor.
"You know something?" She asked, looking at the stray cat eating out of one of the dumpsters. "They may have given me the perfect plan." Her smile widened as the stratagem began to take shape.
Eddie sighed as he took the exit ramp he needed. The drive was taking hours. They'd been in Michigan hiding out at a Great Lakes campground until they found a lead to follow up. His paranoid mind was already beginning to imagine the horrible things they were putting her through. Kelly had been like a sister. After he'd known her for a month or so he even stopped thinking about her in other ways.
"You okay, Eddie?" Cade asked. He'd watched his friend get more and more concerned as the time went by.
"Yeah, I'm just thinking about what they're doing to her."
"Why would they want her anyway?"
"Well," Eddie started. "She's probably one of the best, if not the best Biosafety Level 4 doctor in the world.."
"Biosafety Level what?"
"Biosafety Level Four. The CDC treats diseases. They break the diseases into Biosafety Levels. Level one is the flu and colds, Level two is HIV and TB, Level three is the Hanta virus and typhoid, and Level four are the worst diseases known to mankind. The plagues in there will dissolve your organs and make you bleed out of every hole in your body, man. You have to wear an actual space suit to even enter one of those labs!"
"And she works there voluntarily?"
"Yep, she knows more about Ebola and Marburg than anyone else alive. Quite an accomplishment for a girl who hasn't hit thirty yet."
"So, the Gua are creating an "Apocalypse Bug" that will wipe out the human race in one fell swoop." Cade spoke his thought allowed and Eddie nodded.
"I'm surprised they didn't think of it sooner. It's probably the smartest plan those alien scum have come up with yet."
Cade and Eddie both fell silent as they began to think of the disease and what it must be like. Somehow, they'd have to find Kelly. Somehow, they'd have to stop the Apocalypse Bug.
Kelly staggered into the police station. She collapsed onto the floor of the station as she got to the desk. The policeman handling the desk ran to her. "Are you okay 'mam?" He asked. She looked up and he saw her face. "My God! What happened to you?"
Kelly paused as if she wasn't sure what to say, and then, in her carefully practiced Brooklyn accent she spoke. "I was mugged. I moved to Georgia to get away from muggers, and I got mugged!"
The policeman faltered and then spoke. "Did you see the man?"
"Yes, I saw him clearly. I saw him on America's Most Wanted. I don't remember his name.....I remember the story, though."
"What was the story, maybe I can find him in our "Wanted" files?"
"Well, he strangled his wife to death in some flea-bag hotel in Chicago. Then, at his trial he claimed aliens did it and framed him for her murder!" She laughed dryly. "They sent him to an asylum, where he belongs, and he escaped."
The policeman paused for a minute and then pulled out a "wanted" poster. "Is this him?"
He handed Kelly the poster. She studied it carefully, committing the information to memory. She memorized his face and his name. Then, she looked up and nodded. At the same time pulling out the gun. "Sorry, officer, but I think I can handle this myself." Her Brooklyn accent was now replaced by her own unique accent.
His eyes widened, "'Mam, just put down the gun, we'll get your mugger, there's no need to shoot him."
She laughed. "Listen, CHIPs, I was not mugged, and I'm not even from Brooklyn. My name's Kelly Loren. You might want to remember that, you'll be hearing it on the news for the next couple of weeks. You'll probably be yelled at by your commanding officer because you didn't arrest me. Too bad." Before the young policeman could make a move she was out the door. As she dodged into an alley and began taking the long route to Nissa's house she smiled. The Gua may be smart, but something told her this "twice-blessed man" was smarter.
Eddie smiled as he pulled up the "Angel's Unaware" database. He read quickly through the material and began doing what he does best.
"Why'd she want you to go in there?" Cade asked, still a little wary about the entire idea of going to that house to get her. There had been Gua traps before, he didn't want to run into another one.
"According to this, the "Angels Unaware" program is a program to introduce Down's Syndrome adults into society. It looks like the Big Brother, Big Sister program. The volunteers drop by their houses and help them find a job. It look's like a really nice venture. Nissa must be the one Kelly is helping." He paused as he hacked into their files and the address came up. He jotted it on a piece of paper and smiled, "Now, we find Nissa's house and hope Kelly's there."
Kelly stopped at the door to Nissa's house. Something was wrong. Terribly wrong. Her eyes scanned the front of the house and noticed the broken window. She placed her hand on the doorknob and pulled. It was unlocked. Something was definitely wrong.
She entered the house cautiously, when she saw the figure on the floor she stopped dead in her tracks. Her blood ran cold as she realized it was Nissa. The figure was barely recognizable. She knew they'd been there. The Gua had no decency. Nissa had never hurt anyone in her short life. Her body twitched and Kelly ran to it.
"Nissa, honey, are all right?" Kelly asked quietly.
Nissa struggled to speak and finally choked out an almost inaudible message. "I didn't tell them, Kelly. I didn't tell the bad men what they wanted me too."
Kelly forced a courageous face. "You were very brave, Nissa. I'm proud of you."
"They were aliens. But not good aliens like ET. I didn't tell them. And I didn't give them what they wanted."
"Nissa, you were a wonderfully brave girl." She paused, "What do you mean you didn't give them what they want?"
"They wanted my necklace. I wouldn't tell them where it was though."
"Yeah, a man gave it to me when we were at the zoo. He told me it was special, that people will want it, but not to give it to them. It's in my treasure box."
Kelly stared at Nissa for a moment. Now nothing made sense.
Nissa frowned, "I'm going to die, right?"
Kelly held Nissa's hand and nodded. "Yes, you are. But, you shouldn't be afraid honey. Remember, you're going to go to Heaven and be with the angels. And your mommy and daddy will be there waiting for you. And, in a little while I'll be there too."
Nissa tried to smile but winced from the pain. "You won't hurt them will you?"
"You can't hurt them, Kelly. Remember, revenge is bad. You told me that. You said, revenge isn't a good reason to fight someone. You don't do things with a bad reason. Or you'll loose."
Kelly smiled and nodded. "I won't honey. I won't do it for revenge. I promise."
Nissa leaned back and relaxed. "Don't let them get my necklace." She smiled. "I'll see you in heaven." She closed her eyes and in a moment she was gone. Kelly sat alone in the darkness of the room for a few minutes. Nissa's word's kept ringing through her mind. No, she wouldn't seek revenge. She would do it for Nissa, but not to avenge her death.
She walked through the rooms until she found Nissa's "treasure box." She opened it up and saw the necklace lying on top. Why would they want a necklace? What was it? And why had the man given it to Nissa? There were too many questions and not enough answers. Of course, she was a scientist, and used to the questions. She knew she had to solve the problems at hand, she only wished Nissa would be there to share in the solutions.
Kelly had been sitting alone for what seemed like hours when she heard the car engine pull up to the house and stop. She tensed, her mind racing. It was them. She knew it was them, back for, for what? For her. She closed her hand on the gun still in her pocket. She was ready for them.
There were voices outside, and then a strange sound in the lock on the door. Apparently, they didn't know the door was unlocked. As the door swung open and the light came on she pulled the gun up to her eye. As she saw the figures on the other side of the door, she shot.
Eddie backed up, someone had just shot at him. Then, he noticed something behind him. A figure dissolving. He stared at it for a moment and then looked up. "Kelly?"
"Hey, Eddie. Sorry if I scared you. The vermin problems in these houses are unbelievable."
"Kelly, what happened to you?"
She smiled, "Do you want to know how I was injured, or the entire story?"
"I want you to tell me what happened." Eddie answered while looking down at Nissa's body on the floor.
Kelly collapsed onto one of the chairs. "Well, I found out my fiancee was in charge of the entire "alien" experiment. He kidnapped me, tortured me, and I shot him. I killed him and watched him dissolve." She smiled bitterly. "I think they came here to find me, and ended up killing Nissa in the process. But, what happened to me isn't important. We need to find this "twice-blessed man" character. His name's Kincaid Lawrence Foster."
"How do you know that?"
"Well, you haven't changed. I got a cop to tell me, of course, it took some convincing acting on my part. I'm just glad to know I never lost the touch. Now, are you going to help me find him, or not?"
"We're not really going to have to look that hard, Kel."
"Well, because he's out in the trailer."
"Cade." The voice came from the doorway. Kelly turned to look at the figure standing there. There was no doubt, he was the man she was looking for.
She smiled, "Well, thank God for small favors." She stopped, her eyes widened. "Shit! I didn't know you were with Eddie, so I kinda let the police know you were in the city. Something tells me we better leave. Now."
"Where are we going to go?" Eddie looked at her curiously.
"One of my high school buddies has a cabin in the mountains, we'll go there. The Gua are going to release that "apocalypse bug" and we don't want to be around when they do."
Cade watched her as she rifled through the draws. Kelly looked at Cade and smiled. "Eddie, you take your trailer, meet me at the Municipal airport in Luray, Virginia. Cade, you're going to have to come with me. I have a pilot's license, so all I have to do is pinch a plane. We'll take that to Luray."
Cade nodded without a word. He knew this was not the time to ask questions.
As Kelly left the house, she touched the amulet, now safe in her pocket. It was now seven in the morning. It hadn't even been a day yet, and already her life had changed.
Kelly relaxed as soon as the plane took off. Things were looking up. Cade shifted uneasily in the seat. She turned to look at him and smiled. "I take it you haven't flown in many small aircraft, huh?"
"Well, it's not that that's bothering me. Who's plane is this?"
Kelly laughed. "We're not going to get caught. It's Ted's, the alien fiancee from hell.
I decided he owes me this much. And you're a fine one to talk, what was it? Oh yeah, "the best break and entry man in Cook County." Besides, this is the fastest way to leave town. And we had to leave fast."
"Because the police knew I was there."
"That, and I can already tell you what the Gua are going to do when they find out I got away. They'll tell the media I was a disgruntled employ. Say I stole a vial of a biochemical agent created by one of the Arab nations. I was working on the antivenin and took it. Then, they'll release it somewhere and blame it on me. You're a wanted murder. Soon, I'll be a wanted terrorist."
Cade paused as he watched her. Through the entire speech she hadn't changed from her almost cheery mood. "You sure don't seem upset."
"You get used to things like this. I've never been kidnapped by aliens before, but I've had my fair share of hard times."
She laughed. "My father beat me regularly, until I graduated from high school at 15. Went straight to college and outfoxed everyone there. Studying was the only way to get away from my troubles. So, I studied constantly. Because of that, I never had a friend. Except Eddie. And, I think the only reason he befriended me is to get lucky."
Cade laughed despite himself. Apparently Eddie hadn't changed over the years.
Then, his face lost it's smile. "You think they'll release that thing?"
"Of course. They have to see if it works. So, we've got to find a way to stop it." There was a noise from the back of the plane. She froze, pressed a few buttons on the console, and leaned back to look at the storage area of the plane. "Shit! I should have known they'd do that!" Her voice was angry and a little annoyed.
"Put a bomb in the plane. Boy, this day just keeps getting better!"
"Listen, Cade, you ever fly a plane before?"
"Then I elect you to get rid of the bomb."
Cade turned around to get a good look at the explosives. From just a glance he could tell it was C-4. The only problem was that he had no idea how to diffuse a bomb. Kelly smiled as if she was reading his mind. "You better get rid of it soon, the timer says ten minutes."
"Listen, when I tell you to, can you make this plane climb?"
Cade grabbed the bomb with one hand opening the door with the other. He tossed the bomb as far out the door as he could and than shouted at Kelly to climb. She jerked the plane upward into an almost vertical ascent. The concussion from the bomb made the plane buck slightly. She straightened the plane out and looked down. "Cade, did you just blow up that seven eleven?"
The man squinted in the near darkness of the room. It had only been twenty minutes. He groaned and tried to relax. The headache had only gotten worse. He'd heard of migraines before, but he didn't think men got them. When he'd gotten home from work his eyes were bloodshot. His wife claimed he looked as if every blood vessel in his eyes were ready to pop. He could barely move his head now. It had to be the headache.
He tried to relax in the bed, but the more time that went by, the worse he felt. He finally turned on his bedside lamp. The light hurt his eyes only for a moment. His worry only grew as he saw the state of his skin. There were large boils forming on it. Bruises were showing up in places he knew he hadn't injured. Now he knew he was sick. That was just what he needed! He'd already missed his share of sick and vacation days at work. Now they were going to dock his pay everyday he was sick.
Time continued to pass slowly for the man, while his condition only worsened. His throat and tongue began to burn with a fierce intensity. Then, the nausea hit. He struggled to make it to the bathroom but didn't. The gorge rose in his throat. He starred at what should have been the ham and cheese sandwich he had for lunch, instead he saw things he couldn't identify. It was several minutes before he realized that they were pieces of his stomach and esophagus.
Inside his body war was breaking out. The tiny killers were liquefying his organs. Holes began to form in his heart, blood started to leak out filling his chest cavity. The tiny air sacs in his lungs began to pop like overfilled balloons. His liver hardened into a rock, his kidneys turned green and died, while his skin began to crack like dry paint. The pain was almost more than he could bare. He felt a tear trickle down his face, but when it landed on his hand it was a droplet of blood. He staggered to his feet, catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror. There were tiny trickles of blood pouring out of his eyes, nose, ears, gums, and fingernails. He was sweating and with the normal salt and urea came sprinkles of blood.
His legs gave out on him as the final throws of this horrible death took him in their icy grip. The gorge rose in his throat again, but now it was black, filled with the tiny serial killers. His body began to shake with a grand mal seizure. Finally, after hours of the most unbelievable suffering, he was at peace. The invasion had begun.