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Wednesday, 3 December 2008

The Rising - Chapter 67: Smokescreen

Jane got out of her chair and paced backward and forward on the wooden floor, her footsteps amplified by the bare walls. ‘I can’t believe what you’re saying, but I know who you are. I used to work in the Black Ops support team before I joined the emergency response unit. I was the one who took over from Will on the night you went dark.’

Becky raised her eyebrows. ‘Really? What happened to him? I tried to track him down but found nothing. Was he killed?’

No. I believe he was moved downstairs.’

Figures. I bet those bastards never let him leave.’

Why did you leave the World Health Organisation?’ Doctor Owen asked.

I discovered proof of the plan to balance the populations. My life was in danger so I went dark. Since then, I’ve travelled all over the world looking for evidence to back up my theory.’

What did you discover?’

Becky got up and opened a kitchen drawer. She took something out of the drawer and placed it on the table in front of Doctor Owen. It was a pre-packaged ‘Virex’ syringe.

What’s this?’ he asked, picking it up and examining the yellow contents of the syringe.

I thought it might be familiar to you,’ Becky said.

Doctor Owen couldn’t believe what he was holding in his hand. ‘There’s no way this can be the same treatment I’ve been working on. We only just made the breakthrough a few days ago.’

Your research was a smokescreen. As long as you were developing the primary and secondary treatments, everyone at your level would assume you were the only person who could find the cure. It was designed to divert attention from the facts.’

That the treatment had already been developed?’


But my treatment is imperfect. It works for less than twenty-four hours.’

No, that’s exactly why it’s perfect. In the minds of everyone concerned, it was never supposed to be a permanent cure. No one ever wanted to wipe out the virus. They wanted ongoing treatment. There’s no money in a one-shot cure.’

You mean this is all about money?’ Jane asked, raising her voice in anger and frustration.

Not really, but it’s a logical side effect of producing a pharmaceutical treatment on this scale. It is the motivation of some people at the top of the World Health Organisation but the sole driver behind the Rising is the treaty. It is written that the destiny of the two species is to co-exist.’

What’s going to happen?’ Jane asked.

The plans for the Rising are based on the vampires quickly and deliberately increasing their numbers. They will reveal themselves to the general public as allies of the powers-that-be, who want us all to exist in harmony. This will be backed up by The Brotherhood, who will provide military support under the pretence of protecting the lives of the general public.’

What? So The Brotherhood are complicit as well?’

Only the general and a few other key people. They had no choice, though. The treaty was signed at a time when vampires stood on the verge of overthrowing the human race. In an attempt at self-preservation, the humans agreed to population balancing and co-existence once a treatment had been developed.’

But that was fifty years ago,’ Jane said, ‘Things change in such a long period of time. Surely they can’t hold us to a treaty that was signed so long ago?’

That may be true if we were dealing with humans. Politicians tend to forget their policies, re-prioritise, retire or die. However, the same vampires that signed the treaty are still around today and their priorities haven’t changed. They’ve been waiting for this day. In the lifetime of some vampires, fifty years is nothing.’

Doctor Owen thought to himself for a moment and rubbed his face with his hands in frustration.

So all that crap we took from the base is useless, isn’t it? There’s no point working on a cure if there’s already one out there and the Rising is expected to begin any day now.’

There’s always the chance that a permanent cure will be found,’ Becky said in an upbeat tone.

But don’t hold your breath?’ Doctor Owen said, finishing her sentence for her.

But what about Doctor Forrest?’ Jane said.

You’re right,’ the doctor said, ‘He’s our only chance. If we meet with him, we can use the samples and documents we’ve got to finish the work on the primary treatment. Maybe the poison is the only answer. I never thought I’d hear myself say that.’

What do you mean?’ Becky asked.

Before Doctor Owen could answer, his phone rang.

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