Prologue – Part II
Senator Mark Malone was angry. And frightened. And sick with worry.
Intellectually he knew that this was not the best frame of mind with which to be dealing with these pissant suits from the DVA, but quite frankly at that moment he just didn’t give a damn.
A former soldier, senator Malone was a hale man at seventy-five. Despite his neatly cropped white hair, he still stood tall and resembled the quarterback of the Army Black Knights. His carefully groomed image helped him inspire confidence in voters and win elections, but here he intended to use his height and bearing to intimidate the agents blocking his way into the hospital.
“Goddamn it! Get the hell out of my way!” the senator raged. “Don’t you know who I am? That is my granddaughter in there, and I am going to her!”
“I’m sorry sir, I can’t let you do that” the lead suit said with bored tones that suggested the honorific was anything but. “I do realize who you are, but what you need to realize is that you have no authority in these matters, and nobody is getting in there until we figure out if that thing in there is still your granddaughter”
Inside the hospital, the intensive care unit was deserted save a single occupied bed in a quarantine bubble surrounded by an alphabet soup of monitoring equipment, and a lone man who appeared to be a doctor observing the various beeps, boops, lights, and waves the equipment gave off.
Between the plastic bubble and the wires, tubes, and monitors around the bed, it would be difficult to see much detail about the patient, though the form under the sheet suggested a female. The doctor was a tall, lean man, clean shaven with dark hair.
Behind him air hissed as the doors opened and negative pressure in the room sucked air into the room.
A slightly shorter man wearing a charcoal gray pinstriped suit, a high collared button down shirt, a fedora, and round rimmed glasses stepped through.
The doctor’s face immediately split into a warm smile as he recognized the intruder. “Dean Smith!” he exclaimed. “How did I know I would be seeing you here?”
“Because, Jeremy, you have always been remarkably perceptive. Even when you studied at Sizemore.” the Dean replied. “What can you tell me about Miss Malone?”
“This morning, Danielle was a normal, 18 year old human female. She was admitted to CMC for a course of treatment for leukemia. This was supposed to be her final round of treatment, as her disease is, was, in remission. When the Trans-Human attacked, I was testing an experimental nano-tech cancer treatment. The treatment is designed to be injected into the blood stream. Once in the blood stream, the nano-bots would, if possible, repair the damaged cells that cause cancer. If not that, they would break the cancerous cells down and carry them safely out of the body.”
The doctor paused for a moment, then continued “At this point, that is all I actually know. Any more would just be conjecture.”
The dean took all of this without reaction, then said “Please continue. I know you well enough to trust your conjecture more than most other people’s facts.”
“Alright” the doctor said “but just remember, this is just an educated guess. I believe the Trans-Human broke into the hospital to steal the nano-bots. Their ability to alter biological structures plays into his obsession with self-modification. He used a… for lack of a better word, “Pied Piper” device to get the nano-bots to come to him. Ani-Man used his power to wrest control of the nano-bots from the Trans-Human’s device.”
Doctor Jeremy stopped to take a breath before continuing.
“What he couldn’t have known is that by animating the nano-bots, the two controlling forces canceled each other out. They defaulted and went about their designed function. In this case, Danielle Malone was the closest cancer patient, and they descended on her.”
The deans’ eyes narrowed before asking the obvious question. “So why didn’t they just cure her cancer?”
Jeremy spread his hands in confusion “I have no idea. Maybe the Trans-Human did something to them before Ani-Man could get them out of his control. Maybe there was a flaw in their programming. Maybe it was a combination of factors. What I do know is that they completely dissolved Danielle Malone.”
Even the normally stoic dean looked shaken by the news. He looked at form under the sheet in the quarantine bubble. “If she was destroyed by the nano-bots, then how is she in there?”
The doctor sighed “I suppose from their point of view, the nano-bots fixed her.”
Author’s Note: Once again, questions, comments, suggestions and constructive criticisms are absolutely welcome. And, of course, I hope everyone is enjoying themselves so far.