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Prologue

Eight years ago

The small young woman sat in the cargo hold with seven large crates that contained the next month's supply to the unit that was actively deployed in the African jungles. She was also to be dropped off at the site they were using to lead a team of other scientists to find the origin of the virus she was deemed an expert on. She had been groomed from a young teen to do this by her processor who was the only one who believed she could find it. They had been looking for years be the time, and she was hopeful but didn't understand the faith he had in her. No one had that much faith in her before. She was nervous about being in a new place, but the feeling was more the adenine rush of knowing she was finally free. She was free from the toxic grasp of her mother who had instilled nothing but a lingering doubt about everything she had ever done. The more the young woman had accomplished in her twenty years, the more her mother tried to undermine it.

The woman thought of when she had graduated college in a spectacularly short amount of time, only six months after she had left the confines of high school, her mother had said she couldn't have really done any of it and she had probably paid someone off for a fake diploma. Even though the ceremony was held at the university with the staff present her mother droned on how her daughter wasn't anything special. When six months after that she had been presented with two of her master's degrees it was a repeat of the first ceremony, and afterward, her mother continued to show her apathy to the young woman who now at eighteen was one of the leading scientific minds of the area. No matter who said it, or how many awards she received her mother always found her weak spot and continued to cut her down to even smaller bits of herself.

By the time she graduated from medical school she didn't even tell her parents she had. She knew better, and the small amount of time she had spent away preparing herself for the challenges of the future of a new country and way of life, she had grown as a person. One person had believed in her, her boss now, he was sitting two seats over against the side of the plane now sleeping. He was the only one who believed she was the answer to all the questions they had come up with in the past thirty years. She hoped she could live up to his faith in her. She just really wanted someone to believe in her.

The plane landed hard and what seemed in the middle of an open field as she got up and looked out of the bay doors that had slowly opened. The landscape was so different than anything she had seen before. She was in awe as she looked out. Her new life was going to begin here. Everything was going to change just as the older man standing next to her had said. He looked at her and smiled his kind smile as he gave her the low down of where they were and how long it would take to reach camp. She barely paid attention to him as he was talking. She was to busy focused on everything else around her. She was home, finally.

The jeeps were loaded up as well as the covered vehicles that were there to bring the supplies to the camp. She was surprised that it was only four of them plus the three jeeps, what she wasn't surprised was the outriders they had as if the cargo was indeed the most precious things instead of food, water, and medical supplies. She remembered where they were and changed her mind, the idea of the outriders was probably the smartest thing. She was hopeful that the people at the camp wouldn't mind her there. She had heard of horror stories of certain military members taking an instant dislike to doctors like herself. She wasn't here to make friends. She was here to do a job. That was what she kept telling herself anyway. She hoped she could make a friend or two as well, secretly.

They drew closer to the camp, and she could see her first glimpse of her new home for the next nine months. It wasn't much. A simple camp sight with four large tents and three smaller versions as well. She could feel her spirits soar as they approached. Her boss got out of the jeep, and she stood in his shadow as soon as she got out herself, still in shock and awe of the natural beauty of the jungle.

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