Back upstairs, no one dares speak. Patel works, occasionally whispering to himself, filling the room with tinny clanging of his utensils. Jane sits on the counter, staring out the window at the dark compound below, swinging her legs back and forth. Lexi holds onto Elliot, putting him to sleep by bouncing him gently up and down.
Isaac sits beside me, even though Jay sits across the room from us, her knees pulled up against her chest.
"Shouldn't you be with her?" I ask, jerking my chin towards her.
I admit that she looks tortured, staring off into nothing, breathing in uneven bursts.
"Sometimes, it's best to give her space," Isaac says, "She has to fight her own inner demons."
"Why did she do that for me?" I ask. Every word is a struggle. My mouth has dried out, leaving my lips cracked and bleeding. The wound on my arm grows still, stretching from my elbow to shoulder now. Lexi has covered it up with some gauze, but the heat still radiates from it. My left hand has been taken over by the veins, completely useless.
"I can't read her mind," Isaac says with a laugh, "Maybe it brought back memories she thought she had forgotten about her own mother. Maybe she just likes helping people. She probably doesn't know why she did it herself. I'm surprised that she volunteered, too."
He falls silent, pulling the piece of paper out of his pocket again. When his pencil starts moving, I can only assume the conversation is over.
I pull my tablet out, skimming through the notifications.
The compound is on lockdown, and Rivers hasn't found Kovach yet, according to the messages he has sent me. I try several times to message my father, but they don't go through. Where is he?
"What if Kovach went to the Repor?" Lexi asks, reading the messages over my shoulder.
"Why would she go there?" I ask.
"Maybe she plans on opening the doors."
I take a slow breath, eyes going wide.
"Why didn't I think of that?"
Lexi smiles sadly, shrugging.
"You're sick. The fever is probably affecting your mind. Naomi told me once that people with extremely high fevers see things."
I narrow my eyes at her.
"I'm not hallucinating yet," I say. I look over at Patel who is holding a tube of red liquid. "How much longer, Doctor?"
Patel turns to face me, holding the tube between two fingers.
"It's done," he says, "This is the first vial. It is very concentrated. I need to dilute it before it can be given to an individual. I have enough from Jaelyn's blood and my original to continue making the vaccine. It should be enough to disperse to the compound. I just need more time."
"Can you do all that without that first vile?" I ask, standing up. The action makes my head spin, but Isaac offers me a hand as I begin to sway.
"Yes," Dr. Patel says, "Why?"
"Can I have it? I think I know where Kovach is."
If Lexi and I can make it out to the Repor before Kovach does, we could still stop her. Surely, the old building has a sprinkler system. If I remember right, the infected in the Repor suffer from many open wounds. The vaccine would get into their bloodstream through the wounds, curing them of the virus and killing them.
YOU ARE READING
Selected (Book 2 of the Immune Series)Science Fiction
"As far back as I can remember, I've been surrounded by water. The salt in the air even now makes it hard to breath, forcing me to squint. Sand clings to every inch of me, caking my pants and shoes. The wind from the ocean picks my hair up, sending...