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Vincent stood at the sink scrubbing his hands with a ferocity that rivaled a flea-bitten dog. "Is this is? Is this the plague that will kill all humankind?"

"I don't know," Ian said. "I only know it is coming and soon. I don't exactly know what it is. Does this have the potential to destroy like that?"

"Rabies already kills more than 60,000 people a year. And that is with a terrible delivery system. If it is airborne... Yes. Yes, it most definitely could."

"It seemed they didn't know it would work."

"Oh, they know it would work, or they wouldn't bother trying to test it on you. Your people are immune to everything. Believe me, if it exists we tried it. This disease was made to kill you, which means it will kill us."

"If it is the one, you must do something."

Vincent's eyebrows rose. "Me? What can I do?"

"I don't know. What can you do?"

Vincent shook his head and shrugged as he pulled a long face. "I have no power, no pull in this company. All I can do it clean up this mess and bar the door. But first, let me get you out of there."

Vincent lowered himself to the floor careful to avoid the liquid that still covered on the floor. He worked at the first band which held Ian to the bars. Not made for the purpose Devon had used them for, he'd simply tied the thick bands around Ian's arm then the bar of the cage. The ribbed bands resisted Vincent's pull. It was tight, digging into Ian's flesh. 

Vincent had to pull it tighter as to loosen it. Ian grunted.

"Sorry, man," Vincent looked at the floor then went back to his task. "I just want to say, you probably won't believe it, but I've always admired your people. You're amazing. Perfectly made, or as perfect as human-like life forms come anyway. I wouldn't ever have hurt you if it wasn't—"

"You did. Many times over--to many people."

"We—we had to know—had to find out for the greater good. It was my job. I was only doing what I was told."

"And so you killed," Ian shook his head. "The first thing any human thinks of doing. The last resort for a sane Atlantian. You could have just asked. I'm sure our scientists have answers to all your questions."

Vincent felt sick. Ian was right. Why did we think we had to destroy them? We could have just talked to them. "You have scientists?"

Ian scoffed. "How little you know. We are far more advanced than you. If this lab is your average."

"Wow. I never thought... We never thought." He remembered back to the many meetings concerning the Atlantians at the History Museum. Never once had anyone spoken of the kind of homes, societies, or cities they must have. Did any of them know? He looked over Ian. They probably did, but wanted us to see them like animals so they kept it to themselves.

Vincent made it through the first restraint on Ian's arm. He moved to the second one. His fingers were steadier on this one. The shock of his fall into the viral soup was wearing off, and he started to reassure himself. I'm probably okay. I have a mask on, and Dr. Shade didn't say any about it getting through the skin. I'm just paranoid.

The knot challenged Vincent, but bit by bit, he loosened it. He tried to swallow a deep tickle that had started in his throat so he could get the job done. But before he could stop himself, a cough burst from him. It built from gentle small one to wet hacking mess. When he straightened from it, almost breathless, Ian stared at him.

Vincent felt something on the mask and reached for the ties behind his head to remove it. A spot of blood marred blinding whiteness of the cloth. Vincent's wide-eyed gaze flew to Ian.

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