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The needle slid into Ian's arm smoothly, painlessly contradicting the danger it contained. Ian didn't know what to expect. Would any change instantaneous or would it take time? If there was a change. But from what Devon said made Ian some kind of aggression would take place.

At least I can hope that aggression is taken out on him.

His mind swirled with any possible changes. Ian didn't know anything about the Spanish Flu or Rabies, or what the combination could mean for him or anyone else.

Ian's mind fogged and he shook it to clear the cobwebs the drugs brought. "What changes?" It took effort for Ian to get the words out, but talking was good. He didn't want to get lost in any drug-induced delirium. He uttered a sharp bark of a laugh. I would not be aware if I were delirious.

"He speaks!" Devon said. "I am impressed. The amount of sedative it takes to keep your kind under is amazing and yet you continue to fight the effects."

Devon laced his fingers and put his hands on his crossed knee. He wore his hospital mask and gloves along with his dress clothes. "To answer your question, we really don't know. You're the closest to a human subject on whom this virus has been tested, but I can tell you what we expect based on our animal trials. And since, from your DNA, you appear to be part animal, how would that be?"

Ian inwardly groaned but gave a sloppy nod.

"Hanging on by a thread, aren't you?" Devon peered into the cage. "Did you know that the rabies virus actually seems intelligent? The virus needs to spread by saliva. So in order to do that, it rewires the brain to be aggressive, to want to bite and tear the flesh of another person or animal so that it can be passed on and live. It will continue to do that victim after victim, each one becoming a mindless tearing machine to keep it alive."

"Only humans," Ian said.

"Only humans? Quite right, it seems. So far, anyway. I guess we will soon know for sure."

Devon adjusted his white cloth mask tighter to his face. "The thing about rabies is, or has been, is that despite all the biting it's scope was rather limited. There are only so many victims one can infect if it is physically necessary to do so. But, merged with this flu, making it airborne, now that's another matter. I believe that is what they're trying to achieve, because airborne, this virus would be a mighty thing."

Vincent made a sound of disgust.

"Really, Vincent," Devon said without looking at him. "You are a disappointment today." Devon gingerly picked up the vial and held it to the light. He turned it as if it were a jewel and watched the light sparkle off of it. "Airborne--all it takes is a whiff of air--a breath from a passing stranger, a cough--to infect an entire room. What a thing of beauty."

Devon set the vial on a small wheeled metal table in front of him. "And if you're going to use a flu pandemic to bind with rabies, why not use the worst one known to man? Changes? Oh, there will be so many. Confusion, aggression, seizures, stiffening of the limbs until they are useless, possible coma, death."

Ian tightened his muscles on his arms and legs trying to determine if there were any changes. He thought not, but he couldn't trust his own mind. His stomach soured as he worried that this may be the human disease that Atlantians could catch.

"That's just from the Rabies part of it. From the other part, let's see," Devon put a hand to his chin like he had a hard time remembering, "the 1918 Killer Flu. At first, just your normal garden variety symptoms but then many, many people developed a pneumonia attack. It was so fast they turned blue and suffocated from the bloody foam that filled their lungs.

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