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#1: Rebirth - About - Go to Chapter 1

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Wednesday, 3 September 2008

The Rising - Chapter 28: Withheld Number

With Dave, Tom and Skinner all despatched on their own missions, Jane sat in silence as Doctor Owen listened attentively to the radio, resisting the urge to change stations every few seconds.

Of course, Jane sympathised with him but she hoped his current nervous state wouldn’t jeopardise the tasks they had to carry out. The attack on the police station was a distraction from the job they had to focus on. Dave knew what he was doing. He was the best person to investigate the attack on the police station, which was supposed to leave them free to recover the samples Doctor Forrest had told them to find.

The first stop on their route was Mantek Pharmaceuticals. Doctor Owen looked out of the window and recognised the surroundings. They were getting close to the research laboratory.

Are you sure you’re going to be able to get past the security at Mantek?’ Doctor Owen asked.

I was there forty-eight hours ago. I’ve still got my security pass on me and a lot of the work at the site was done when I was there. Hopefully the security presence will be minimal and they’ll just wave us through.’

That’s a lot to hope for,’ the doctor said.

Well, be sure to let me know if you come up with an alternative plan in the next few minutes because we’re nearly there,’ she snapped.

Doctor Owen looked at her but didn’t say a word. Jane returned his stare but her expression thawed.

I’m sorry,’ she said, ‘It’s all getting on top of me. I need a good night’s sleep.’

What about Tom?’

What about him?’

Back there, he seemed to be the one on the wrong end of your tiredness.’

Jane thought that was the most polite way she’d ever been called a bitch.

I just can’t believe the change in him,’ she said, ‘He was a great cop, one of the best I’ve worked with. But seeing him do those things last night, seeing him kill those men in cold blood, it was horrible.’

It’s not his fault, you know. He doesn’t want to kill anyone. It’s the virus inside him making him do those things.’

I know,’ she said and struggled to find any more words.

Mind you, if he hadn’t killed those men, we’d probably all be dead.’

Doctor Owen was right and Jane knew it. Tom was a good detective and she had enjoyed working with him for that short time. They had only worked together for a few hours but they had quickly become a good team. Many obstacles had been in their way, including her hidden alliance to The Brotherhood, but that couldn’t stop him finding out the terrible secret that humanity had hidden for centuries.

It’s just so difficult,’ she said, ‘Seeing him like that is terrible. He’s not the same person he was.’

He can’t help it, Jane. Try and go easy on him. We have all the samples from the base in the boot and once we’ve collected all our work and meet with Doctor Forrest, I’ll do everything I can to find a treatment that will cure him once and for all.’

The vibration of Doctor Owen’s mobile phone in his pocket made him jump. He took it out of his pocket and looked at the screen to see who was calling.

Withheld number.

He answered the call. ‘Hello?’

Hello Andrew,’ Doctor Forrest said in a hushed voice, ‘Pay attention to what I have to say, I don’t have much time.’

Are you okay? Where are you?’

I’m at the vampires’ lair. I’m calling you on a phone I’ve managed to get working in the room they’ve locked me in. They’ve captured me but I have a plan to escape. I will call you later to tell you where to meet me. There’s something you should know.’

What’s that?’

They have your wife.’

Emily is with you?’

Yes. Well, not exactly. They’re holding her here as well but in a different room.’

Can you help get her out?’

I’m not sure. I’ll do what I can. Have you recovered the samples?’

We’re on our way to pick up the first sample now.’

You have to get them all. We don’t have much time. The Brotherhood are almost ready to mass-produce the primary treatment. We have to finish our work and stop them. I have to go.’

With that, Doctor Forrest was gone.

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