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#1: Rebirth - About - Go to Chapter 1

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Wednesday, 4 March 2009

The Rising - Chapter 106: This Is How It Begins

Doctor Owen had tossed and turned all night.

Okay, so Becky Clarkson had been trying to lie low for the past two years and soft furnishings hadn’t been top of her priority list, but God damn it, this sofa’s lumpy.

He’d managed a few hours of sleep but never more than thirty minutes at a time. As he struggled to find a comfortable sleeping position for what felt like the millionth time, he decided that his chances of getting any more sleep had passed. Not only was the sofa restricting his slumber but more importantly he couldn’t get thoughts of Emily out of his mind.

Where is my wife?

What are they doing to her?

Will I ever see her again?

He knew these thoughts were unhelpful but he couldn’t shake them. Trying to turn his mind to something else, he sat up on the sofa and rubbed his eyes. He saw Jane sitting close to the TV, watching the news with the volume turned down.

‘Hey,’ he said, ‘What’s going on?’

‘I couldn’t sleep,’ Jane said, ‘so I turned on the TV to see if there was anything more on the news about us.’

‘Was there anything?’

‘No, nothing about us any more. There’s been a plane crash and that’s all that’s been on the news since I woke up.’

‘Really? Where?’

‘Here. Just off the coast a couple of hours ago.’

Jane turned up the volume and they listened to the reporter’s voice from the helicopter circling the wreckage of the plane that was floating in a choppy sea.

‘The wreckage is being searched by the coastguard who arrived on site first. From up here I can’t see any signs of survivors but it’s very difficult to see anything with the weather as bad as this. The pilot has just told me we have to land the helicopter now before the storm gets any worse.’

The reporter continued her conversation with the news anchor in the studio but it just became background noise as Becky entered the room.

‘I just heard on the radio. There’s been a plane crash, hasn’t there?’ she asked.

‘Yes,’ said Jane, ‘You don’t sound too surprised.’

‘I knew something like this was coming. I just hoped it wouldn’t happen so soon.’

Doctor Owen frowned in disbelief. ‘You mean this is related to us?’

‘That’s right. It’s one of the stages.’

‘Stages of what?’

‘The Rising. The wheels are already in motion. We need to get ready.’

‘Ready for what?’ Jane asked.


Doctor Owen spluttered a nervous laugh. ‘War? Come on, that’ll never happen. What about the treaty, the Costas report?’

‘Haven’t you learned anything today? That’s just a smokescreen. It’s all bullshit to make you think we were going to be okay. Only a few key people know what is really going to happen.’

‘And you’re one of them?’

‘No, but I do know that it will all begin with a strike on the general public. A huge event made to look like an accident or a natural disaster.’

They all focused on the TV screen again. The picture from the helicopter was becoming shakier as the weather outside got worse. With no new information, the reporter continued to do her best to string out what little she did know.

Doctor Owen’s phone rang. ‘Hello?’ he said as he answered the call from a withheld number.

‘Doctor Owen. This is Roxy. Pay attention. You will meet us at the main south entrance to the Morningside Mall at five o’clock. Bring all the samples and documents and you will get your wife back.’

‘Is she okay?’

‘She is fine. She will be with us.’

‘Let me speak to her again. Please.’

‘No. I don’t have time for all that again.’

‘Look, if you don’t let me speak to her then…’

‘Then what?’ she barked, ‘Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to? We’re not negotiating. It’s simple: do as I say or she dies. End of story. Goodbye.’

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