The Virus

January 29, 2008
By Hirut Mamo, Shoreline, WA

She angrily wiped away the tears that were falling rapidly down her cheeks. She didn’t know what to do. Who to believe, whom to trust. Everything was just so wrong. She could no longer tell reality from her own imagination. The thing was gaining more and more control by the minute.
“Viv, you have to trust us. We are your friends. I am Derek and this is Terry. We have been working together for over six years now. I am a scientist working for the Air Force in Area 51. You Terry and Jason are Air Force commanders. And you are Viv, Vivian...?
But Vivian seemed to be far off in her own little world. She looked to be in a daze.
“No, I don’t believe you. You want to kill me and then use my body as an experiment. But I won’t let you do that to me. No, no, no...”
“Viv what are you talking about? We all care about you and we would never do anything to hurt you. Look Viv, there was an accident in the lab and you got infected with the alien virus we had been working on. Vivian you have to focus on what I am telling you... Vivian!” Derek exclaimed her name when it looked as though she was about to pass out.
“I don’t think we are getting anywhere with this Derek. We need some major enforcements.” The ever-practical Terry whispered.
“I know, I know but I was hoping I could get through her.” Derek whispered back dejectedly. “But I don’t know what calling for enforcements will result in. She seems highly volatile already. And that P90 she is holding is fully loaded”
“Ya, well you have been trying to talk to her for the last half an hour and I don’t think you have made much of an improvement. I think I can manage to call in for help if you just distract her for a while, you know. Just talk to her.” Even in this horrific situation Terry couldn’t hold back his smile at the absolute dread etched on his friend’s face.
“Yes, of course what could be easier than talking to a delusional person with a killing machine who thinks I was sent from above to assassinate her and wipe out all of mankind?” Derek lamented to the now Terry-empty room.
As soon as Terry left the room, Vivian became aware of her surroundings. She aimed her gun at Derek and started crying out. “Where did he go? Tell me where he is?”
No matter how much he tried to make himself believe that Vivian would never do anything to harm him, Derek couldn’t help but flinch when the P90 was directed towards him.
“Umm... Terry had to take a quick trip to the men’s room. You know he had a lot to drink today. But he will be back. But at the mean time why don’t we try and...”
“What do you think I’m stupid or something? I know he went to get the others. But I won’t let you do it. You are not going to succeed no matter what you do. Just understand that I will fight you till the very end and the only way you are going to win is over my dead body.”
“Okay so we are making some sort of progress. Why don’t I start telling you about us? So you are a major. You actually got promoted form Captain about three weeks ago. Terry Broach is a first lieutenant and Jason Clyde is a Colonel. Like I said before I am a scientist. We have been working as a team for over six years now. We specialize in Alien technology. It has been long since we proved that there are numerous planets on which other beings lived. And we have met some advanced aliens who helped us build a ship that travels to other planets. I help with the scientific research and such and you guys usually do the solider stuff. And...” Derek stopped mid-sentence when he realized that Vivian wasn’t exactly listening to him.
“Okay so I guess I will continue on talking to myself then. Well how about I tell you about each of us specifically?”
Still there was no answer. It really didn’t seem like she was paying him the slightest bit of attention but he had to keep talking or she would start demanding where Terry went off to or worse start shooting all over the place.
“Well I can just see the enthusiasm oozing out of you. So anyway, your name is Vivian Cade. Your father is in the CIA. He is a special Agent and I would say that you guys are really close. Your dad and mom divorced when you were fifteen and they both have re-married. Actually, you were recently engaged yourself...”
But Derek didn’t have the opportunity to finish his last sentence. He heard the unmistakable sound of Terry’s enforcements surrounding the area. But the thing that stopped him in his tracks was not the arriving force. Rather an idea had just formed in his mind that might...
“Derek!” Again, Derek was rudely interrupted. “I have got the place surrounded. Don’t worry every one is just carrying a tranquilizer gun. Have you made any progress yet?” Terry asked.
“Well since you have been gone, I have been talking to myself so no, not really.” Derek admitted in a defeated tone. “But I had this idea that might...”
“What is the idea? You know how I love your ingenious ideas Derek!”
“Jason!” Derek called back. “I didn’t know you were here too. I thought you were taking some time off. And I though I heard that you were in Hawaii or something? I guess what I am trying to say is, what are you doing here?”
“One of my teammates has been compromised. I think I need to be here more than anyone else, don’t you think?” the colonel replied. “So what is the brilliant idea you had?’
“Well yes of course, she is under your command and it is understandable that you...”
“Ya, yes my brilliant idea. Well I was wondering, you know how we have discovered that the alien virus only had the power to influence the infected person’s mind partially?”
When all he got was ‘so what?’ looks he decided to continue on. “Well we know that they can’t just control a person. They just influence them through hallucinations and delusions. And ...”
“Derek we all know this from your oh-so-interesting report. Where are you going with this?”
“Well Jason if you would have just let me finish...” But the murderous look he got from the Colonel was enough to stop even him from going any further. “Well what I am saying is that Viv is still in there. It is just a matter of getting here out. And all we have to do is talk her into submission so that we could get the things out of her. I think the best person for that would be her fiancé well at least he would’ve been.”
Before they were able to make any sort of progress they herd a loud and painful cry come from the spot Vivian was standing. She seemed like she was trying to fight off something that the others couldn’t see.
“You can’t win. You can’t get me. I swear to God that I will die before I ever let you do anything! Do you hear me? She screamed to the room at large.
Her sudden outburst had caused the surrounding agents to step inside the warehouse and now Vivian was freaking out. She started violently waving her P90 around and they all realized that it was just a matter of time before she started shooting at eveything in sight.
“Well it looks like we don’t have much time so what do you suppose we do now Derek?” The Colonel asked.
“I don’t know. I was hoping that having someone really close to her talk to her might have helped but like you said I don’t think we have any time for that now. I have already tried speaking to her and she didn’t seem to fond of Terry so...” Derek didn’t even know what he was saying himself. He didn’t want anything to happen to her but he knew that if they didn’t get to her in time she would eventually die from the strain and if not that just kill herself.
“Derek didn’t you say that the virus would eventually kill her because of its impact on her nervous system?” Colonel Clyde asked. When he got a nod from both Terry and Derek he continued, “How long does she have?”
“Well it is hard to say but not long and ...” but Derek never got the chance to finish his statement. The Colonel had stepped out of the shadows they were hiding in and was heading straight for Vivian.
“Colonel what are you doing?” Terry cried out. “You don’t even have your Kevlar on. Colonel what are you thinking, don’t put your weapon down... Clyde!”
But Jason was past caring. There was no way he was going to let Cade die of some God-forsaken virus. This was not going to happen. He won’t let it happen!
“Cade listen to me.” Jason started. “You are imagining things that are not here but I am real. We are all real and we are here to help you. I promise you that we aren’t here to hurt you. We are your friends. Cade please...”
“No you are just one of them. You have been taken over. You just want me to trust you so that you can execute your plan. You aren’t real.”
“Cade listen to me. I am hear and I want to help you..”

“No, no. no...”
Meanwhile Derek, Terry and the others were watching paralyzed in fear and in total confusion of what to do. “Do you think he is getting through to her?” Terry murmured.
“I don’t know.” Derek whispered back. “But she seems to be getting weaker. God I hope that’s a good sign.”
“Don’t come any closer. You are my enemy. You are lying and you want to kill me. No...”
“For heaven’s sake” Jason exclaimed. This was getting out of control. He didn’t have the patience anymore. “You know what?” he shouted, “You can’t have her. Vivian belongs here and you sure as hell aren’t gong to kill her!”
And with that Jason walked the remaining distance between them and grabbed her by both arms. For a moment he didn’t say anything, just stared into her eyes. He tried to tell her with all his might that he would never ever do anything to hurt her. He tried to tell her everything. “Viv, I will never hurt you.”
When he knew that she was beginning to understand, he grabbed her face with both his hands and kissed her with all the passion he felt for her and more. He showed her everything that he had been unable for the last six years.
The room was so quiet that a pin dropping could have been heard. Then Vivian relinquished her hold on her gun to wrap her arms around Jason’s neck. They shared in that single kiss what they never had done in words.
The sound of the P90 hitting the floor also seemed to awaken the stupefied agents. “Well I didn’t see that one coming.” Whispered Derek, unable to take his eyes off of the shocking sight.
“You can say that again!” murmured Terry, totally bewildered. “Looks like we didn’t have to the ex after all.”
Then something started shifting in the room. It was as though the environment was changing. And then a light started enveloping the kissing couple. Everyone became aware of a certain charge in the surroundings that were definitely coming from the middle of the room.
“Uh, Derek should that be happening?” Asked Terry, unable to hide the small fear coming from his gut.
“I don’t know but I don’t think the term ‘fireworks” applied to first kisses is supposed to be literal.”
But no one had to wonder for long. At that moment the passionate embrace was broken and the two stared into each other’s eyes. His were a deep pool of grey while hers were a contrasting bright blue as a clear sky.
“Should have done that a long time ago.” He whispered. And with that Colonel Jason dropped to the ground with his hands to his stomach and a sad smile on his face.
“Colonel!” Vivian shouted at the same time that Derek and Terry jumped from their spots and came over screaming Jason’s name.
Vivian put her two fingers to his pulse point hoping beyond hope that his heart hadn’t stopped. Both Derek and Terry were looking at her with a horrified expression on their faces mixed with utter confusion.
“He’s not breathing.”

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