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Chapter 4

"His body is rejecting the antibiotics. We have him stabilized, but if we can't get his temperature down, we may start to see organ failure. His left lung is punctured and must be repaired soon. He still has life-threatening swelling of the brain and has lost a considerable amount of blood. His body has endured more trauma than any human being I have ever witnessed, and survived. It is my professional opinion that we abandon him as a candidate and find someone more viable," said Dr. Osaka to the panel of scientists seated around the large conference table.

"No. Absolutely not," said Abdullah Alfredi Khan, a very small, frail man, standing at the head of the table. "If Allah wills for this man to live, we will know he is the one. You will continue to treat him and keep us informed of his progress. We will offer prayer for his recovery. God willing, he will pull through and we can move on to phase two." Many of the men at the table began to shake their heads in disagreement.

"Alfredi, what you are asking of us may be beyond the capabilities Allah has granted us. I must agree with Dr. Osaka. Even if he survives, we have no idea what psychological issues he may experience," said Dr. Ubayd.

"As Allah said to the angels, 'I know what you do not know,'" Alfredi responded.

"He has experienced worse. Only Allah knows the future. So I'm asking you to trust my judgment."

"Brother, we are always with you. This is not about your judgment. It is about the reality of the situation. Othello Greene looks like an unrecognizable lump of flesh. Survival would be miraculous, on its own, but full recovery and advancement to phase two and three . . ." Osaka paused. "It's just highly unlikely. If you insist on continuing, I will have no choice but to take my recommendation to Barawi."

"Well then, it's settled." said Khan pleasantly. "We will continue as planned. You go to Sheik Barawi and explain your position. You will find that we are in agreement and we are fully confident that you and your team will be successful. If there isn't anything else, I have other pressing matters. As-salaamu alaikum."

"Wa laikum as salaam," everyone in the room responded.    

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