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Friday, 16 January 2009

The Rising - Chapter 86: A Long Long Time Ago

Doctor Edward Forrest had lost count of the number of times he had checked on the syringes he had prepared for the mission. With ten of his brothers and sisters preparing to board British Airways flight 159, he had packed ten cases each containing twenty-five syringes. The Boeing 737 would seat one hundred and eighty-nine passengers so he was confident there would be enough to go round.

With all ten cases stacked neatly on his workbench, his attention turned to another set of syringes. He was eternally grateful to Jackson for collecting his supply of Virex for him. He had expected the operation at Hartley House to be successful, they all had, so he was unable to stock up on the treatment he desperately needed. It was necessary for them to maintain a low profile, at least for another day or so.

He rolled up his left sleeve, reached for the small plastic box on his workbench and picked out a packaged syringe. He tore off the plastic wrapper and cast it aside, having lost track of the many thousands of times he had done that before. Without having to tap his arm with his right hand, the vein rose as he looked at it and stayed there as he took the cap off the syringe and tapped the bubbles out of the yellow liquid inside.

What a beautiful creation. What would I have become were it not for this concoction?

Edward Forrest cast his mind back to a special day in his life. His wife, who had come down with a terrible fever, turned to her husband, a pharmaceutical expert. He used her as a guinea pig to develop a makeshift treatment that kept her alive for three months. But on the day when he was preparing the largest batch of the treatment, with a view to seeing her through the coming winter, she was overcome with emotion and became someone that the doctor didn’t recognise.

As he approached her with a dose of his creation, she sunk her teeth into his arm. He couldn’t believe his eyes as she feasted on the blood that flowed from his veins. From that day forward, he had devoted every waking hour to developing his treatment.

Such a long long time ago, he thought.

His journey to the past was cut short as Roxy entered the room. She saw that he was about to take the treatment and started to excuse herself. The doctor didn’t bat an eyelid.

Don’t worry,’ he said to her, ‘This won’t take a second. It’s been many years since this knocked me out.’

He pushed the needle into his vein and injected the yellow liquid into his bloodstream. The familiar pain spread around his body, the kind of pain that becomes more and more easy to handle with experience. He felt his mind drift away for a second then snapped back to reality.

Now then, Roxy,’ he said, ‘I take it you’ve come for the syringes?’

Roxy nodded.

They’re all here. Ten packs of twenty-five. Has there been any indication of intervention?’

None at all.’

Excellent. It should be a walk in the park.’

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