A/N: Hey! It's been a while... and I feel like this isn't my completely best work, but it's my work! So... yeah. I started this back in January and just now typed it up and uploaded it onto this website... Anyways, I hope you enjoy it! I finally decided to type it because I promised my teacher that I would give her a copy and tomorrow's the last day of school.
THIS STORY IS TOLD IN RUSSELL'S POINT OF VIEW, BUT IT'S SORELY LACKING IN HIS "COLORFUL LANGUAGE". :) Love him anyways!
I sure felt dead. My head hurt. my body hurt, even my mind hurt. I wondered over and over again what exactly had happened after I had approached the group of military personnel, but I couldn't remember. I remembered David and Judy. I remembered this stupid disease and this stupid situation and running from the army like some outlaw.
The memory of the bright lights that had shone down on me as I confronted my certain doom was burned into my mind. I recalled the military shouting at me to stand down, to drop to the ground. Oh, yeah right. Like I'd do that. Right after I got done convincing myself and David that William Farnum and Rory Hamill were just fine.
But the lights were as far as I could remember - at least remember clearly. I remembered the army guys all suited up like some Hazmat operation coming towards me with their gas masks and automatic rifles. I should have shot them dead, but I didn't. At least, I don't think I did. If I had, surely I would also be dead, too. Everything got kind of fuzzy after that.
I wasn't sure if I had been drugged or knocked out or shot. Maybe I was dead. Maybe this had all been a dream, no scratch that - a nightmare - and I was just waking up from it. I slowly opened my eyes and squinted around the room. There were blazing white lights everywhere. I was in an unnaturally white room that smelled like latex and antiseptic. I tried moving my arms but found I couldn't. I tried again, this time harder. Still nothing - only a sharp, jerking movement. I tried my other arm then my legs and finally my chest. I was restrained all over. I lifted my head and looked at my tied limbs. I was strapped to a gurney. Maybe I was in heaven.
I looked up at the sudden chattering of voices that seemed to be over a radio. People in masks, goggles and suits came over to me and peered down. I rested my head back and stared up at them. I couldn't see their faces, but I knew they were looking at me. It's just a feeling you get. especially when they're crowing around you.
No. I wasn't in heaven. Not that I'd ever been there personally, but I was sure that these military bigots wouldn't be there. Not in heaven. But I wasn't sure I'd make it, either. I mean, I spent Sundays in church, the place my mom basically raised me, and, you know, I'd occasionally read the Good Book, but I'd done some pretty bad stuff in my life. Stuff that people couldn't forgive. But then again, the Big Guy isn't really a person, per se. And I know He's big on second chances.. but I think maybe I used up all my chances and don't deserve anymore - but that isn't really up to me.
In any case, I thought that these idiots wouldn't be in heaven. At least not in my heaven. And I knew t wasn't a dream or that I wasn't still dreaming. I'd never have people like that in my dreams. Yet, I wished it was a dream. The crackling static-like voice of the Hazmat-clad man above me broke the hope of dreams.
I heard the labored breathing of the people above me. They all stared down at me like I was some sort of freak - or miracle.
"I'm not sick," I managed to mutter. They chattered for a while amongst themselves then one turned back to me.
"Are you sure? Your temperature is spiked."
"I caught.. the flu from.. from..."
Crud. What was her name? Judy's little assistant. Brunette. Kinda cute - for a kid. Danielle? Sarah? No..
"From.. who? What?"
I closed my eyes tightly. My head was throbbing and the alien voices surrounding me weren't helping.
"Becca." I said it without thinking. "I got the flu from Becca," I lied.
The one in camo stared at me then looked at the others.
"Why are you bleeding? From the nose," one asked.
I sniffed and scrunched up my face. Why was I bleeding from the nose? Oh, right. David punched me square in the face.
"I had an accident."
"What was it?" the one sounded impatient.
"My face ran into a fist," I replied as bitterly as I could, but it came out sounding like I was in pain.
The group of doctors or army or whoever they were watched me for a while but quickly lost interest when a man clad in a white "paranoia suit" came into the tent. I saw bright blue and white lights outside. I heard radio chatter, car wheels on gravel and the sound of helicopters flying overhead.
More memories of the past 2 days flooded into my head. Walking with David, Judy and Becca. Scotty, Becca's boyfriend, and his mom gunned down and lit up like yule logs in their own front yard.
Poor Becca. she was distraught over her boyfriend, as was everyone. Where was she? Oh, yeah.. The car wash.
Images of water, guns and David's old cruiser flashed through my mind. Those 3 psychos at the car wash. They were the reason Becca was dead.
Well, no. It wasn't them. It was the government. The government killed Rory and Bill; they killed Becca, Deidra, Nicholas. They killed Ogden Marsh. They were the ones who engineered the entire thing, who created the stupid disease and lost the plane and destroyed my home. They were the ones who deserved to die. At least in my mind they did.
"We're running some tests on you right now," one of the doctors spoke up suddenly.
"I told you I'm not sick."
"We're not taking any changes. Beside, if you really aren't sick then the tests will show it, right?"
Just at that moment, the words I felt towards that man weren't the kindest. I guarantee you I couldn't see them in church or in front of my mom.
"What'd you say your name was?"
"Russell," I replied coolly, "Deputy Russell Clank."
"Of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department." I felt I had gone through this before with these guys. "What's your name?"
I started laughing even though it made my chest hurt. "That's good."
"Your name is Sam... and you work for the government. I suppose once you find out I'm not sick you'll want me to join the governmentt, too, huh? Well I'm not interested in joining the army."
Sam was silent for a long time, staring down at me from behind his face plate. I sighed heavily and stared back.
"You really messed up, you know."
"We'll tell you once we get the rest results back."
I stared at him for a while before responding. "Oh, was I supposed to believe you?"
I imagined Sam was biting his tongue to keep from replying and I was definitely biting the inside of my mouth to keep from making any more smart remarks - even though this guy totally had them coming.
The boy in front of me turned around when his colleague entered the tent. Blue-tinted white light poured into the tent and I had to squint. Whoever had come in was just a white blob with shining lights behind them - kind of like the cover for "The Thing".
The man motioned for Sam and they both left. I sighed deeply. If they were getting the results back I knew the outcome - positive. I knew for a fact that I was sick. It was all coming back to me - as corny as that sounds. I remember hiding in the grass with David and Judy. They wanted to escape on the highway but knew they'd get caught. So that's when I decided it... I'd sacrifice myself so they could get away. I figured that since I was sick, I'd die anyways, so why not be all noble and die valiantly, you know? Seemed like a good idea at the time.
I was pulled from my thoughts and forced back into reality. Being jostled between reality and imagination was beginning to hurt physically. Sam and the other guy came into the tent, both glancing at each other and at me. It was really starting to annoy me.
"Well?" I asked before I could even process the thought. Why had I asked them? I obviously knew the answer, and if I hadn't, I could have guessed by their actions.
I really didn't like how that was said. It sounded like I had some sort of disease like herpes or AIDS.
"Guess this is where you kill me, right?" Again, speaking without thinking. If I wasn't dead then, I would have been at that moment because I would have shot myself.
There was a long silence occasionally interrupted by crackling static of their radios or the soldiers outside.
Finally one spoke. "Actually, no."
I felt like I was disappointed more than relieved. Why weren't they going to kill me? I was sick. I was INFECTED. They had even said so. Oh, were they going to use me as some sort of experiment? Had they caught David and Judy on the highway? Were they going to test me? Going to see if a loyal friend and employee would turn on the people he cares about most? We already knew the answer to that... much to my shame.
I blinked a few times, unsure of what to think.
"I think he's deaf."
"I'm not deaf. I just was tired from the government telling me lies so I stopped listening."
"We have an experimental drug," the other man replied, completely ignoring me, which I thought was probably best in the end. "We'd like to test it on you."
"No, no way. Your... experiments are what got us here in the first place - the reason I'm here."
"Well," the nameless man walked over to the bed I was strapped to and peered down, "it's either we test the drug on you, or we don't and have to kill you."
"What is it about this 'drug' that is so special, huh? Why does it need to be test - on a sick person, huh?"
Sam and his colleague exchanged glances and then turned to me.
"It's an antivirus."