|Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:55 PM|
Dr. Keller and Hanson sat in silence as Dr. Keller gingerly sanitized and dressed his wounded shoulder. What was there to say? The shock of what had just happened sat in both of their minds, each of their thoughts going in different directions. Dr. Keller battled with his scientific mind and the events that had just occurred while Hanson battled with the shock of how he had just hacked up a living being who just refused to be put down until all that remained was pieces. Hanson had seen and done some things, but never to that extent. He reached over and removed a veiny tendon hanging from Dr. Keller’s lab coat pocket which was now a darkening maroon color.
Watching Dr. Keller wince from the pain as he put pressure on his wound, Hanson said matter-of-factly, “so doc, any explanations on what the hell just happened? If the people outside the gates are anything like your old lab buddy, we might have a bit of a problem.” Dr. Keller barely glanced up at Hanson and said, “you got me but I do agree, we might have a bit of a problem.” With that, Dr. Keller stood up and looked over at Hanson and said, “I need to do some tests, can you bring that stringy piece of Sanwa you’ve been holding in your hand to my lab? I need to go collect a few more pieces of my lab assistant to examine.” With that he walked out of the office leaving Hanson staring down at the piece of Sanwa he’d been squeezing like a stress ball.
Dr. Keller examined the cells he’d scraped from what was left of Mr. Sanwa’s upper thigh and his mouth hung open in disbelief as he watched the rate of the cells break apart and decompose under his microscopic lens. As a scientist, one of the things he always did while he took his observations was speak aloud to either his lab assistant or into a hand recorder and out of habit, he did so while he observed Sanwa’s remains. All four slides he’d taken from various parts of Mr. Sanwa showed the same incredible rate of decay. The energy it took for those cells to break down and change quickly caused a complete breakdown in physical and chemical makeup. He jumped as Hanson spoke up and said, “so what’s that mean doc?”
He paused, looked over at Hanson and said, “well, this isn’t scientifically possible but I have a guess. Think of it this way, the body has a natural desire to sustain life and with the rate of molecular breakdown and the energy it saps up from the host, the individual craves energy that can only come from other live matter…us to keep it fueled and slow down the breakdown. I’m guessing the effects of the solar flare changed anyone with either direct or indirect exposure to its effects. It might be slower for the individuals who were not exposed directly but eventually they will be afflicted as well.”
Hanson glanced at Dr. Keller’s shoulder and slowly said, “soooo it’s not like the movies then? It’s not an infection right?” Dr. Keller’s lips turned in a half-smirk and said, “well I do believe that’s the only thing we have going for us right now and the only chance people have. We lucked out because it is NOT viral. If it was, we might as well sit down, crack a beer, and say goodbye to humanity. If people can stay safe until these hosts bodies completely break down, they can have a chance at survival. Right now, I need to get this information out and could use a bit of your help in doing so.”
Categories: Chapter 32