Room 406

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This room is different than the other. I'm not surrounded by red tubes. Instead, there are computers all around me, floor to ceiling screens. It all seems very advanced. On the other side of a window the tubes of the virus line the walls, blue tubes as far as I can see. The door to that room is solid glass, with another keypad attached to it.

I step carefully towards the screens, which are completely black except for the outline of a hand. The words "Place hand here." blink across the top in bright white letters. Cautiously, I stretch out my hand, pressing it on the cold glassy surface.

On impact, the screen comes to life. My name appears across the top, above my head. Files clutter the right of the screen. They have no names, just numbers, except one. It reads "Welcome Message".

Considering the screen recognized my hand, I think it's safe to make the assumption that I can touch it to open up the files. So, hands shaking, I tap the Welcome Message folder, and a dialogue box appears.

Preparing video for...

Jaelyn Nicole Price...

3... 2... 1....

The screen blacks itself out again. I am surrounded by white noise, an empty crackling sound. The screen blinks white, and then, a younger version of my father pops up.

The man staring back at me looks barely older than I am. His hair isn't gray; it's a brilliant blonde, just like mine. There are no wrinkles on his face, and I don't hear the wheezing in his breathing. He wears a long white lab coat, just like the one he works in now. I recognize the room behind him as the room filled with blue tubes through the glass behind me.

"Hello, Jaelyn," he says, in a clear voice. My father's voice sounds tense every day, but this young man is calm, happy almost. "If you're watching this video, you've discovered the existence of the second strand of the virus. Not only that, but you've broken into Room 406 and managed to figure out the computer. That means you're so much more capable than I could have hoped. I know President Hartley didn't leave the room unattended."

I sit down in one of the rolling chairs, pushing my hair out my face. It's like watching a stranger talk to me. His half-hearted compliment almost seems sarcastic, like something I might say.

"I can only wonder what you've done with me, since I'm sure you deem me responsible for the virus in the first place."

I nod to myself, taking a deep breath.

"And you should, because I was head of the development team. I was not alone, though, which is important. I headed a three man team of scientists who were at the top of the nation at the time. We were the best of the best, the brightest men on earth, and we all had families with children and people that mattered to us.

"I was approached by the president in January of 2047 and told that I would head the creation of a virus that would turn humans into 'zombies', making them lose their minds and desire to eat other humans to survive. We weren't given an option, Jay. You have to understand that we had no choice."

My father shakes his head, like he's trying to remove the painful memory. He covers his eyes with his hand, grimacing.

"It was either do as he said or he would punish us where it mattered most. He promised that if we didn't do as he said that he would end all our lives, beginning with our families so we would suffer through losing you first and then beg for death."

His voice shakes, and he looks back towards me, tears brimming his eyes.

"I had no option. I signed the contract to protect you and Mandy. We started production right away. My team were responsible for creating the first strand and the cure, which we did in a matter of months. For us, it wasn't hard work; it was just time consuming. We were simply told that the goal of the Decontamination was to cleanse America of it's filth, making America great again."

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