John Druitt sat in a makeshift office. Papers were strewn about a weathered desk and a computer screen blinked at him. He saw none of it. He stared down at the photograph in his hands. A dark-haired woman and a blond girl, their cheeks pressed together, smiled out at him.
He didn't turn to the voice, although the more primal part of him would have liked to rage at the intruder. He wanted to be alone with his grief.
"We need to sort out her research. See if there's something we can use."
John sighed. That was Will Zimmerman; Always thinking about the next step, trying to stop the disease from spreading. Helen would be proud of him, if she were still here.
"Helen and I were never exactly a dream couple." John said quietly, the words bursting from him. He could control his tears, but words were something else entirely. He would never have to show any emotion, except that he had to talk.
Zimmerman shifted uncomfortably. John knew he didn't ever approve of his relationship with Helen. Not that they had much of a relationship in the past years.
John pressed his lips tightly together, and felt his hands start to tremble. There was a hole in his chest, a gaping wound. It was diseased, slowly gnawing its way outward, leaving him empty and aching inside. "I loved her."
"I've lost everything. I never really had any of it, but I lost it all. A daughter," John touched the blond child's face, "the love of my life." For the first time, John looked at Zimmerman.
In his eyes was a soul ravaged by grief. Zimmerman, too, felt Helen's loss keenly. John almost envied the way his eyes welled up with tears and the way he was able to push passethem and continue on with Helen's final work.
"The last I talked to her, she said she thought was a near a breakthrough."
John stood up, and put the photograph into his breast pocket, next to his heart. Zimmerman noticed, but didn't protest. He didn't say a word as John left the room.
Two weeks later, John took the photo out of his pocket and stared at it. The tactical nuke beside him was blinking down to zero, and swarms of the creatures came at him from all sides.
My Helen, my Ashley. I will be with you soon.