Seven - Hoping for the Best, Preparing for the Worst

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Phoenix

It's so funny how accustomed you can become to something once you do it a few times. I'm on a schedule now. My mornings consist of waking up and heading straight to the lab where I give exactly one pint of blood and then head to breakfast. After breakfast I head back to my room, shower, get dressed and then by late morning, my team has already left.

I've only been canvassing for a few weeks now, but we have been scoring a lot of extra food, water, bedding and more, from the trips. The community is growing daily and we have to keep up with the constant need for these everyday items. The headcount inside the walls is now up to forty-two.

I do worry that we are being too lenient with who is being let through the doors these days. Things were going so well, they grew lax on security, and I am scared that at some point someone will try to take advantage of that. I've voiced my opinions to Ike and he seemed understanding, but he hasn't made many changes around here.

The one thing I still haven't gotten used to is the amount of downtime at camp. If I'm not canvassing or giving blood, there isn't much to do to. Getting more time with Cullen is a plus, but I'm never going to let my guard down again. Every time we think we are safe, something shakes up our world to the core. Maybe by being more alert, I can see the warning signs before it's too late.

Francesca has been surprisingly cordial. She has been keeping her word. Her first patients were given the first trial dose of the anti-serum, and they saw 100% reversal of all of the animalistic traits. Humanity returned to their eyes again. They decided to test one of the biters who had already transitioned fully and there was no change to their demeanor or behavior. She said it was because their soul had already left their body. For a brief moment in time, I thought of Harlan. Poor unsuspecting Harlan.

What we have, what Francesca has managed to reproduce, it's worth everything. No one outside of the lab can know that we are in possession of a cure. People kill for the cure.

This is the beginning of something though, and I am thankful I am still around to be a part of it.

I walk down the stairs to the main level and immediately see Neveah playing with her friends. They are playing hide and seek or tag, as they are running around chasing one another. "Good morning," I greet them as I walk by.

"Good morning," they all say in unison, slowing their roll just long enough for me to pass and then continuing on with their game.

I smile to myself and then make my way to the Oval Office. Ike is just finishing up with a meeting when I approach. "Phoenix," he says surprised. "Can I help you with something?"

I take a few steps toward the big desk. "Yes, I was thinking I could sit in on the meetings with you this morning."

His eyes widen in surprise. "Of course, by all means."

"I'm just curious about the vetting process, and want to know more," I say casually. He instructs someone to bring me a chair so that I can sit beside him.

One of Ike's new guards peeks his head inside the door. "Sir, your next appointment is here."

Ike nods. "Bring him in."

A middle-aged man comes up behind the guard, he is Caucasian with long, shaggy blond hair and a handlebar mustache. He is broad shouldered and wears what appears to be a permanent scowl on his face. He sits down in front of us and I have immediate goosebumps. It's a feeling that is hard to explain as I've only experienced it a couple of times in my entire life, but this man gives me the heebie-jeebies.

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