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Ultimatum Of Life
Walter jumped at the racket over the intercom as the familiar voice of Cynthia came over the line. Cynthia was Walter’s most sacred crush and the only person he could trust as a secretary, but he felt dreary now as Cynthia’s voice cooed over the intercom, “Hi Mike, a guy want to speak with you on the phone.” Walter sighed and said, “Ask him if he could call back in a couple of hours.”
There was a pause and then, “He said it’s an urgent matter and um…to get your sorry ass on the phone, ah…end of quote” the voice said timidly.
Who the hell is that guy? Walter wondered.
“Bring him on.” He said, a bit uneasy. That was a mistake.
Walter quickly held the phone away from his ear as a husky voice bawl into his ear.
“YOU!!! MR. MACKENZIE! SO YOU RUNNING FROM ME, Rrrriiiight…?”
It was Fitzroy, the head of the GENOTECH research facility in Nevada and a notorious pain in the ass. Walter Mackenzie had used his scientific inspiration to propel his innovations into national interest and the US military had hired him on a secret research into genetic weaponry. He regretted it now, but a bit too late. The military demanded results…at all cost.
“I thought your work was supposed to be impeccable,” the voice continued. “The government spend billions of dollars on something useful, not that PIECE-SA-SHIT!”
“Calm down, nothing is flawless you know.” Said Walter, trying in vain to sound as submissive as possible.
“Calm down my backside! You damn well know as I do that this is totally unacceptable!” Fitzroy spat. “Now, you listen to me! I am not playing this game with you, if you want to play with yourself, then get into the bathroom, I want this shit fixed right NOW!”
“Sure” Was Walter’s only reply.
“You get your backside down here this very minute and I don’t care how busy you are or else…”
Silence on the other end
“Do you hear me?” He shouted into the receiver. “I SAID DO…huh?”
Fitzroy tilted his head and frowned, there was a dial tone on the line. A rage surged through him and he slammed down the handle so hard, it made the plastic crack.
“AAARRGG…my hand! Shit!” He yelled. “That son-of-a-bitch!”
There was a knock on the door. Fitzroy, who was still rubbing his fingers and grimacing with pain looked up as a burly, grim faced man rushed in with bad news written all over his attire.
“Mr. Manning, I am afraid we need you down in the control centre immediately.”
* * *
Walter sensed something was wrong, not just now, but right from the start. He drawn deeply from his Cohiba cigar and exhale in a heavy puff as he stared at the monitor trickling with data from GENOTECH lab. The highly complex reactor at the lab made use of a 100 Tesla magnet and antimatter acceleration reactor core to mass-produce complex nano-particles which assembles into a new kind of virus with unimaginable lethal power known as the B2X virus. Any mistakes…he just couldn’t believe it. The word mistake is not in his vocabulary…not until now.
Walter stepped back from the flashing screen and rubbed his forehead, he realized the helplessness of the situation. Within a very short while, the apocalypse would unravel and the seemingly impregnable world would crumble under the inevitable. He, like many scientists simply could not repulse the more powerful hand above him, the government and motivated by the excitement of potential breakthroughs. How could a human that was himself controlled by nature tries to take control of nature, to Walter, the idea was just ridiculous now but he has done it. What used to be an ideology of genetic engineering is now beyond the grasp of human sanity, it had became a nightmare of reality…
* * *
Dr. Marshall strode quickly along 42nd Avenue and turned unto 26th street embedded in the typical chaos of everyday life in San Francisco. Over the ear splitting sound of heavy traffic, the city odour and countless other noises, a distinct tone rose and fell close by. The doctor looked around to pinpoint its source. Finally, he saw a coloured skin man largely ignored by the crowd of pedestrians, yelling something obscure by the pandemonium of heavy traffic. The man was wearing a worn out jacket, torn T-shirt and a pair of pant caked with dirt, which shined at the bottom and as he approaches, the words become discernable.
“…for ‘eaven shall rain brin ’tone an fyaaah! Repent now an ye shall be save, da wicked shall bern in ‘ell in evalastin’ fyah! De world is hending, de kindom ‘as comet, tun to Jezas now my breadin’! Yu all ‘ear me! Go to de lard Jezzzaaa…!”
Then the voice was once again swallowed by the unrelenting clamour of the city streets. Dr. Marshall smiled to himself pityingly, the town is pretty much alive, so how could there be death? He wondered how the government could tolerate such crazy old bum, it’s a disgrace to the American race. Those Negroes are so lazy and stupid. Unlike him, a man of science, his job is to preserve the peace and harmony on earth. With a man like him present, the world has no end or so he thought…
* * *
Walter stood looking out his office windows staring at the streets of Reno, a quiet but lively town that he savoured every moment of his presence. He had chosen this town as his headquarter for his private company as a Bio-Physics enterprise and was his only refugee from the city lifestyle. But now it comes to nothing, there’s nowhere to hide, everywhere you go, it will be the same fate, death. No one knew their looming destiny of doom yet, but it won’t be long. The streets were still quite busy with traffic during the lunch hour and people walking up and down the streets in their usual carefree manner. If he could only warn them without the government’s interference, that is if they believe him in the first place. The government had hid everything while the general population has to suffer the shocks of knowledge.
A loud siren issuing from the computer consoles made him wheel around to face his worst fears. The monitor flashed a warning message showing that most of the reactors had developed major leakages as Walter stared in horror, this certainly couldn’t be his creations. Then what else could it be? The virus? Human errors? Certainly the latter for he almost forgot he was also a human.
In one swift movement, he stride to the door and wrenched it open almost sending Cynthia off her feet who was just about to knock on the door. Walter quickly apologised and pulled her into the room.
“Cynthia, I have some bad news for you,” Walter said. “Remember the top-secret contract we signed with the government two years ago?”
“Well…yeah, what happened? You looked totally freaked out.” Cynthia replied.
Walter felt his face grew hot and was sure it turned transparent showing the full redness of his blood.
“Errr…you see, it kinda went bad an…and, u kno…” Walter stammered, blushing terribly.
“Well…it’s like this, there was a mistake somehow and…and the experiment went…um…bad.”
“How bad is it?”
A voice from the computer warned “Damage critical, shutdown failed.”
“Well, it’s really bad.” said Walter.
“You mean…” She started.
“Yes! I mean we are going to die, the whole world is going to die…eventually and there is nowhere to run!” Walter blurted.
Cynthia looked horror struck, “But how’s that possible?” She sounded perplexed.
“Look, let’s get out of here.” suggested Walter.
“But you said there is no where to go!” Cynthia still looked stunned.
“But we should at least try.” Walter insisted.
“There’s no way we can get away from this one Walter! We are DOOMED!”
“Let’s go! There is no time to explain!”
The mechanic voice sounded, “Damage irreversible, calling all personnel to evacuate the lab immediately.”
“There’s no hope!” Cynthia wailed, tears streaming down her eyes now.
“We…” Walter began.
A bright flash far in the distance made their eyes hurt followed a few seconds later by a thunderous blast knocked them off their feet, throwing them on the ground as shards of glass and ceiling materials rained down on them. Cynthia was still crying aloud lying on the ground while Walter scrambled to his feet tripping on the computer on the ground in the process.
“Are you ok?” He asked, running to where Cynthia was.
He heard a rushing sound and looked out the now glassless window. A distant wall of fire and debris was flying towards them swallowing building after buildings.
“Ooooh Gooosh!” was the only words he could manage.
They both stared petrified at the ominous cloud of red hot fire speeding towards them at amazing velocity. The last thing Walter saw was Cynthia’s horrid face and her trembling body…
* * *
Screams and tormenting cries connote the streets and avenues of San Francisco. All traffics came to a stand still in the supposedly late afternoon sun. Hundreds of people were running on the streets away from the nightmare they knew they couldn’t awake from. Peoples, peoples that were ‘normal’ a few hours ago was now in a full fledge murdering mood tearing at each other’s throats and abdomens, biting into each other’s already bleeding flesh scarred with boils and worse assortments. Gutters were flowing with blood and body parts. The sight was utterly gruesome. High above them, a huge mushroom cloud covered the entire city or was it state, they couldn’t tell. It was all dark and raining black sooty rain. The skyscrapers towered high reaching threateningly for heaven like sacred shrines of hell gloomy against the backdrop of perilous clouds.
A battered figure stood transfixed in the middle of 45th Avenue, the acrid, rotting odour of the black rain drenched him from head to foot, but he continues to stare wide eyed and appalled at the grisly scenes in front of him. He simply could not believe it was happening, right before his eyes, vicious creatures, mutants biting the head off one another. Someone ran by screaming at the top of his throat, “RUN! THEY ARE INFECTED!” then he too, crumbled on the slimy blood soaked ground, writhing and convulsing. Dr. Marshall returned his shocking expression to the crawling, stooping and limping half-humans and a senile smile crept across his face before a searing-hot pain shot up and down his lower left side. He looked down to find one of them clamping a jaw shut on his torso, digging its teeth deep into his body sending blood squirting out his arteries. The words ‘They are infected!’ reeling in his mind and finally, he was swallowed by total darkness.