Chapter 6 - The Lord Giveth ...

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The first thing Derick saw when he opened his eyes was two distortedly large eyeballs staring back at him from behind thick frames. They seemed to have a life independent of the pudgy, rosy-cheeked face that held them; probing and judging in constant search of the truth. They were analyst eyes, and Derick was not fond of being analyzed. He rubbed his own eyes and sat up.

"How long have I been sleeping?" Derick asked.

Jonah smirked. "It's almost one o'clock."

"Are you kidding?" Derick instinctively reached for his cell phone sitting by the monitor only to rediscover its demise. He looked around at all of the people still in the office and saw that things were still humming. In fact, it seemed as if the tempo had picked up.

Jonah grabbed the folder sitting on Derick's desk and opened it. He began reading then paused. "What's this Lancaster hospital business all about?"

"Just being thorough, it's probably nothing. Listen Jonah, I need to get going."

"I understand," Jonah said, "but before you do, there's something you need to know." He pushed his glasses back up to the bridge of his nose. "The secret's out."

"What do you mean?"

"At 0900 this morning, ABC News aired an investigative report titled 'Baby Crisis 2015, Should We Be Concerned?' Apparently there was a leak."

Derick thought about the gravity of this for a moment while he ran his fingers through the short black hairs protruding from his neck. The public had to be prepped for news like this. People needed to be eased into a crisis of this magnitude, not pushed off of the diving board. His thoughts turned to the safety of his family, and for a second he completely forgot he was engaged in a conversation.

"It doesn't take em long, does it?" Derick said. "We knew this was possible."

"We've already gotten reports of rioting in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Detroit. Everyone is on high alert. The President is scheduled to go on TV in two hours. My point is, be careful out there, things are get'n scary."

Derick nodded as he pulled his chair up to the computer. His hands were poised over the keyboard when he realized he hadn't locked his computer. On the screen, clear as day, was a document titled 'Resignation Letter.' There was no way Jonah hadn't seen it. He looked back at Jonah who was now standing behind him with his arms folded.

"I never figured you to be one to run from a challenge," Jonah said.

"I'm not," Derick said without turning around. It was hard to put into words exactly why he had started typing it. All he knew was that his entire being was occupied with the thought of being with his family, and this present situation did more to solidify this feeling than distract him from it.

"Look," Jonah said, "I get it. The toll it takes, the sacrifice, the time commitment, I get it. Hell, I couldn't tell you the last time I got eight hours' sleep, and I live alone." Jonah sat down on the chair next to him and lowered his voice. "Just do me a favor before you decide on anything. Consider this. Whatever is happening out there right now, you and I are smart enough to know that this is going to get much worse before it gets better. People react, that's what they do. But people like us? We think. We solve. We fix. When things start to fall apart, we hold it together. People need that rational mind in the midst of chaos."

At that moment, a deafening siren began warbling through the intercom system, followed by red flashing lights. Everyone one in the office froze in place, unsure how to proceed.

"What the hell is going on Jonah?" Derick shouted, his hands covering his ears. "Fire drill?"

"I don't know," Jonah said. "They should be announcing the type of emergency if there is one. Let me call security." He turned to the rest of the office. "Everyone stay where you are until I can confirm what this is."

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