The man walked into the lab carrying nothing but a black briefcase, his eyes hid behind dark sunglasses even though it was bleak and cloudy outside. When he walked into the security room he didn’t proceed to the metal detectors or the security guard posted there, instead he took a seat on one of the uncomfortable benches.
A short pudgy man walked out of a side door a minute later. The short man wore a white lab coat and held a pair of goggles in his left hand. He approached the man with the briefcase and held out his right hand. The man shook it quickly before dropping it back onto the briefcase perched on his legs.
“Lenny Quinn am I right,” the scientist asked smiling a large smile?
“Yes and you are,” Lenny asked?
“Charles. Charles Perkins, remember we talked on the phone about you coming down for a show around the lab,” Charles said looking down at his goggles uncomfortably.
“Oh, yes of course,” Lenny said and returned the smile taking off his glasses to reveal dark brown eyes.
Charles looked up again happier at being remembered, “If you’ll just follow me we’ll go through security and show you the project.”
“Actually if it’s ok I’d rather just skip the security. I’m in a hurry and my earring is a pain to remove,” Lenny said pointing to a metal stud in his ear.
Charles hesitated a moment before looking up and smiling, “I guess it wouldn’t really matter. Your not carrying a bomb or anything right,” Charles asked and cracked a large smile.
Lenny didn’t say anything just stared down and smiled the same small tight lipped smile. Charles’s smile wavered for a moment and he turned around walking back through the side door. Lenny followed shooting a quick smile at the security guard who hadn’t looked up from his magazine since he had entered the building.
The door led into a bright white hallway with florescent light bulbs hanging from the ceiling, the hallway led past several closed doors. Charles turned the corner to face several elevators. He punched the down button and they waited for several seconds in awkward silence.
As soon as they entered the elevator he started to talk, “It’s really quite interesting, I’m sure you’ve heard the rumors circulating about what where working on.”
“Oh yes, I most defiantly have,” Lenny said and smiled.
“Yes, well the interesting part is that most of them are true, excluding the more preposterous rumors of course.”
“Of course,” Lenny said as the doors opened and they stepped into a much darker hallway.
The difference was incredible. The doors in this hallway where reinforced steel, with thick tinted glass. There were more cameras and the walls where a darker white.
“This is where the more serious experiments take place,” Charles said and he started to walk faster. He stopped suddenly and slid his card through the computer on the side of a door. There was a clicking sound as the door swung open and they walked in.
“We’ll have to put suits on of course to go into the lab,” Charles said.
“Why,” Lenny asked simply?
“Well where working in a dangerous environment with dangerous viruses and what not. You don’t want any of that stuff to get on you,” Charles said as if it was the simplest thing in the world.
“What kind of viruses,” Lenny asked.
“Well now that’s why you’re here isn’t it,” Charles said and opened a locker that contained several white suits.
The slipped the suits on then checked each other for any mistakes. Charles walked over to another door and slid his card through another machine. There was a loud sucking sound and the door slowly slid open. They moved into a small empty room.
“We have to be decontaminated first of course,” Charles said and suddenly streams of liquid pounded onto the outside of their suits.
Lenny taken by surprise took a step backward, “Don’t worry the liquid is completely harmless,” Charles said.
“What is it,” Lenny asked.
“Just some decontamination stuff, I don’t know the actual ingredients. This will take about five minutes. We have to do it again on the way out.”
“Oh, well maybe you could start to fill me in on whatever it is your working on in this lab,” Lenny said.
“Don’t you want to wait so you can write it down or whatever,” Charles asked.
“I have a very good memory,” Lenny said.
“Ok, well let’s clear some thing up. First of all one of the main rumors is that where working on zombies, which is completely preposterous,” Charles started and the liquid stopped spraying.
The door in front of them opened and Charles walked through it while he continued to talk, “Zombies are totally ridiculous. They’re something made up out of the fears of people, for movies and what not, what we’re working on here is purely scientific.”
“Of course,” Lenny said again.
Charles walked over to a desk that sat in the middle of the room; it was cluttered with computer things and vials of different liquids. Lenny followed; the suit was skinnier than he thought not the bulky suits seen in movies. It was awkward to walk in though making him feel heavier and slower than before.
“What we’re doing here will benefit mankind far beyond anything else ever accomplished in the world of science, your article will change everything we thought we knew about science and then some,” Charles said starting to speak faster obviously becoming excited just talking about the experiments.
“People are so set on things that seem normal that most don’t even realize what is possible to do, now more than ever what with the mapping of the human genome. When you think about how the body works you might think that we have quite a lot of it figured out. But the truth is that we have barely tapped into what our bodies are capable of.”
“Some people might think that what where doing here is against God and what not. That’s it’s not for us to decide when people get to die and that we should just let them go when they go. But sometimes it’s not their time. Life isn’t always fair and sometimes people die who don’t deserve to die.”
“What exactly are you getting at,” Lenny asked.
“Imagine a woman who gives birth to her child but later dies because of some unexpected health issue. Now that isn’t fair, now the father must raise a child alone. Not only is that unfair but the child is forced to grow up without a mother. Why, because of fate? That just isn’t right,” Charles said excitedly his breathing coming faster and faster.
“What if we could bring the mother back? Give the child his mother back, what if she died but that wasn’t the end? What if death isn’t holding people back anymore? I’m not talking about immortality here, just that if someone dies when they shouldn’t. If their shot or stabbed or hit by a car. What if they die but their bodies are still perfectly fine, except for the cause of death?”
“You mean to tell me that you can bring people back from the dead,” asked Lenny incredulously.
“Yes,” Charles said breathing deeply and waiting for Lenny to say something.
“It sounds like something only dreamed of. Does it work,” Lenny asked?
“Yes,” Charles said then stopped, “well, to an extent.”
“What do you mean?”
“The virus has some setbacks,” Charles said slowly.
“Such as,” asked Lenny impatiently.
“Well the virus that we have set up so far is injected straight into the brain of the dead animal. In several hours its heart starts to beat again even though it has suffered horrible injuries. It’s almost as if the animal can’t feel pain anymore. So far we’ve only injected monkeys with the virus.”
“You kill monkeys then inject them with the virus,” asked Lenny disgusted?
“Yes, it is horrible but it’s well worth the cost. We started out humanely injecting them with a poison but we needed to test it on other types of deaths. We stabbed one, shot others, and even burned one. Each time they came back to life oblivious to their injuries. One practically had its guts hanging out and still came alive like it wasn’t even hurt.”
“Jesus,” Lenny said gasping.
“That’s not the end of it,” Charles started, “the virus makes them incredibly hostile. They even attacked one member of our team. It…. It tried to eat him,” Charles said shuddering at the memory.
“My God,” Lenny said acting horrified.
“And that’s how we found out about the other side effect. The virus is, once put into the brains of a dead animal, transmittable through saliva and blood. It doesn’t have any effect if the person doesn’t die but if the attack kills them they will come back alive just as hostile and vicious as the animal.”
“What happened to the man who was attacked,” Lenny asked.
“We put him into isolation and he eventually died from the attack. Then he came back and tried to maul a security officer who had to shoot him. The guard emptied a whole clip into the man’s head until the body finally couldn’t function anymore. But the man was still alive, even though it couldn’t move and his brain was destroyed. It was horrible, we had to incinerate the man to finally kill him,” Charles said his shoulders shuddering even more at the horrible incident.
“Well, it sounds like you have a lot of problems to still work through,” Lenny said.
“Yes, well the virus isn’t even close to being released to the public. We just want the world to know that we are doing this for the good of mankind and not to challenge God or whatever,” Charles said perking up now that the story has been pushed from his mind.
“Do you have anything else to show me,” Lenny asked.
“Not really,” Charles said looking around, “I just thought that maybe you would want to look through the files for your article.”
“No I’m good. However I was wondering do you thing you could show me a monkey that has been resurrected,” Lenny asked hopefully.
Charles looked at Lenny quickly then shrugged and said, “Why not.”
Lenny followed Charles through the lab to a back room where he slid his card through yet another security computer. The door hissed open and they proceeded through into a large white room full of shrieking monkeys.
“Don’t get to close to the cages now you don’t wan them to rip your suit.”
They walked to a lone portable cage perched on a counter. It was covered by a thick cloth which Charles removed with a flick of his wrist.
The monkey threw itself at the cage bars suddenly, rattling them. It shrieked and reached a hand through the bars. “The blanket is coated with a sedative that puts it into a daze, remove the cloth and it goes wild,” Charles explained.
Lenny leaned over and peered in at the monkey. Its eyes where large and bright red, its fur matted from its recent drowning. It was howling wildly and trying to reach through the cage to grab one of the two men.
“It’s magnificent,” Lenny said and laid his briefcase down on the counter. He popped it open and reached inside.
“What are you doing? You’re not aloud to take pictures you know,” Charles said peering at Lenny.
“I don’t need pictures; I’m taking the monkey with me,” Lenny said and whirled around.
Charles gasped as Lenny pointed the silenced pistol at him. He fired it twice and the bullets ripped through the Charles suit. He jerked backward at the impact, and blood bloomed across the white fabric drops of it spurting from the holes in the suit. Charles’s body hit the ground heavily lying at an awkward angle as the blood pooled around his body.
Moving quickly now Lenny threw the blanket back over the monkey and picked up the cage. Bending over he reached into Charles pocket and fished out the security card. Running now he exited the lab and stood impatiently as the liquid poured over his suit.
The door finally opened and he tore his white suit off. Slipping the card into a pocket he grabbed the cage and his gun and took off at a run. Bolting down the hallway he rounded a corner and instead of taking the elevator he ripped open the door to the stairs and flew down them three at a time.
Getting to the bottom he opened the door. The security guard was still there reading a magazine. He looked up as Lenny opened the door a puzzled expression crossed his face as he saw the cage. Lenny fired off three silenced shots and the guard fell off his stool his blood splattering the magazine as it crumpled onto the ground.
Turning Lenny left the building and ran to his car, a black mustang. He popped open the trunk as he ran and tossed the cage with the monkey in it onto the body of the real Lenny Quinn. He slammed the door on the lifeless corpse of the journalist and the quiet monkey before opening his door and driving away.
In ten minutes another security officer came for his shift at the front entrance. In another ten minutes the lifeless corpse of Charles Perkins was discovered. In ten more minutes they discovered that one of the monkeys was missing.
In forty minutes a black mustang entered a remote part of the Catskills Mountain.