That afternoon Vincent infected nine people. Those nine people infected fifty-four more in the next hour, and those fifty-four infected three hundred and eighty-six in the next. Some showed symptoms right away. Some went on their daily routine of working, shopping, and even traveling, as if nothing happened.
The disease had come over Vincent fast, and it continued to progress at a rapid rate. By the time, the three hundred and eighty-sixth person gave their first small cough, Vincent had attacked his first victim.
Even as he tore into the innocent man, Vincent tried to stop himself, but he was no longer in control. The illness was. It told him to bite and tear. So while a large part of him took joy in the attack, a small part of him, the part that was still Vincent wept in agony along with the man.
A police officer who was routinely assigned the block to protect witnessed the attack. By the time he and two other men pulled Vincent away, the victim was incapacitated. And missing much of his exposed skin.
The police officer called for an ambulance to take Vincent to a psychiatric ward. He shook he head at the state of affairs in the world today as the vehicle drove off with Vincent strapped on a gurney in the back of it. The officer shook hands with the two men who helped him. All three were infected.
Enough of Vincent was still aware that when the needle of sedative slid into his arm, he offered a little prayer of thanks that he was no longer a threat. But he was wrong.
Every doctor that examined him, every nurse that continued to ply him with sleeping medication became his victim. Hospital employees began to be sent home as they developed symptoms of a severe cold and flu.
The AgFlu had arrived in all it's sickening glory.
It started with a vengeance and it would not end until the whole world knew of its existence.
Sonora seemed calm as she lay in her hospital bed, but she was really counting the hours until she could leave. For now, she flipped through the channels of the TV as Ian and Jorah spoke in quiet tones about their upcoming invasion into the History Museum's basement.
She threw a glance at the conspicuous Atlantan guard that stood by the entrance of the room. At least, he was the only one. The others had been sent errands by Jorah.
Gripping the hard, plastic remote again, she clicked a couple more times before coming to a halt. Sonora drew in a sharp breath as her eyes widened.
"Umm, hey! You all, hey!"
"Sunny, what is wrong?" Ian rushed to her side, his face filled with concern.
Sonora shook her head and pointed to the television mounted to the wall. "Not me. Look!"
Ian swung his head to watch, and Jorah walked over to also watch the broadcast.
The news report told of a mother and her sick daughter in Ohio, of a mysterious illness.
Jorah sat hard in the chair beside Sonora's bed. "It has begun."
The news reporter also said the girl's uncle, visiting from South Carolina, had been admitted to the hospital with severe pneumonia.
"How much do you want to wager he is from Seaside?" Ian asked.
"That fast," Sonora asked, "it moves that fast? She could have barely got there. How? How would she get infected?"
"Vincent." When Jorah and Sonora sent him questioning looks, Ian tells them of the lab assistant, how he caught the disease, and how fast it had started with him. "If he went through the public areas of the Marine Center, who knows how many people he infected."
"I was told," Jorah said. "That the disease works differently in different people. In some, it progresses quickly and in others, it is very slow."
Sonora's heart sank further. "Is it too late?"
Jorah's expression showed his concern. "I do not know."
A hacking cough could be heard coming from the hallway. The three looked at each other.
Ian moved to retrieve Sonora's clothes from the closet. "I want Sunny out of here. If the Infected attack people, I want her away from them. She must come to Atlantis."
"What about my family? If I can't get it, what about them? And I want them safe too."
Jorah patted her arm. "No, they will not contract the disease. The cure resides inside them, as it does you. And they are welcome to Atlantis also."
"Even Blake, though there may be some conditions for him."
Sonora frowned and bit her lip, but any type of condition would be better than being where people were becoming like beasts. She glanced back up at the TV and shivered. "Does everyone turn like that?"
"No. Not everyone."
Sonora looked to Ian. "What do we do now?"
"I take you home," Ian said. "While you are preparing to leave, we will go for the cure."
Jorah's hand became a fist as his anger rose. "This History, they have allowed this to start, something we tried so hard to avoid. It angers me that such people control your world. It is as if they do not care for their people at all."
Sonora's lips twisted in disgust. "It is a problem earth has from time to time. The worst reach a position where they can do great damage to others."
"One way or another, their rule must stop."
A/N: This chapter is a little short, but it was where this ended. I will try to make it up to you in the next one. :)
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Sea Bound (A Sanctuary's Aggression Novel)Science Fiction
#159 on Scifi Hot List. A Golden Pen, Pen and Ink, and Rose Award Winner. In this sci-fi fantasy, Sonora yearns for more than life has given her until the day a shadow becomes a guide to a world she could never have imagined. A new world that offers...