Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
The Awakening ...
It’s an hour before Mayor Davidson finally reaches the construction site on his skis. However, he is not alone. A delegation from the Tannersville City Council is there as well.
“Well mayor, I see you disregarded our warnings.” Roger retorts.
“Look, Dr. Sydney Holloway is good for the city of Tannersville.” The mayor tries to reassure Roger.
“Oh really? Then how are two genetically enhanced creatures good for the town.” Roger responds.
“Two—what on earth are you talking about Roger?” The mayor is in shock.
“The one that’s going to be resurrected due to the explosion and the one that Dr. Holloway plans to use this new road to transport.” Roger explains.
“Plans to transport? He never told me he was bringing another beast into our town.” This is the first time the mayor has knowledge of this development.
“Well, what did you think he needed the road for?” Roger mocks him while the others look on with interest.
“I thought for supplies—I signed an agreement with Dr. Holloway.” The mayor is beginning to feel used.
“You sold the town out for a few bucks. You’ve done some foolish things in your time, but this takes the cake.” Roger looks at the mayor thorough disgust.
“Now wait just a minute Roger, I—” Just then they hear an explosion that shakes the entire site. Some of the trees are falling and everyone runs for cover.
“Dammit Burt, why didn’t you give the warning that you were going to ignite the fuse?” Pete Weatherby yells.
The mayor and a few other people go running toward the construction site when they are stopped in their tracks. There is something moving under a pile of snow. It gives out a blood-curdling scream and then pushes everything aside. The beast has awaken!
An Explosion …
“Head for the cars!” Roger bellows as the entity rampages through the construction camp—leaving a bloody trail of carnage in its path.
“What the hell? Scatter men ...” Pete shouts and the men who escaped the onslaught make their way to makeshift shelters. The mayor, unfortunately, is not one of the lucky ones. The beast easily catches up with him and rips him to shreds. Roger rockets down the road in the direction of the Tannersville Research Center. When he arrives, Dr. Weinberger is just leaving the facilities.
“It’s back.” Roger states looking at Rachel.
“What’s the matter—” Rachel doesn’t finish her question because she already knows what Roger is referring to. “What’s the body count?”
“At least half a dozen, including the mayor.” Mark replies before Roger can say another word.
“Poor Paul—c’mon let’s get inside. Dr. Holloway is still in his office.” Rachel notifies Roger.
“Yeah, there are a few choice words I’d like to convey to the good doctor.” Roger is now reaching boiling point.
“Please calm down, Roger.” This is Rachel’s feeble attempt of trying to defuse a volatile situation.
“Calm down? You didn’t hear the screams of men being torn apart.” Again, Mark is imparting his thoughts.
“Mark is right. I’d like to get my hands around the neck of Dr. Sydney Holloway.” At that instance, Dr. Holloway enters the receptionist area.
“Is there a problem?” Dr. Holloway queries innocently.
“You bet your rear there’s a problem. Because of you pushing to have that damn road completed—the beast is back. At least six men are dead including Mayor Davidson.” Roger rather severely updates Dr. Holloway.
Tannersville Research Center …
“Mayor Davidson? I ... well I ...” Dr. Holloway looks from Dr. Weinberger to Roger. He shakes his head and leans against the receptionist’s counter.
“What are you going to do about it?” Mark roars.
“Me? What am I going to do about it?” Dr. Holloway regains his composure and looks at Mark in incredulity.
“Yes, you Sydney. I told you it was a mistake resurrecting Experiment 697.” Rachel reproves.
“Resurrecting Experiment 697? What on earth are you talking about Rachel?” Roger’s attention diverts to Rachel. Dr. Holloway intercedes.
“I think you’ve said enough, Rachel. Listen—I’m sorry about the men being killed but you have to expect collateral damage when dealing with scientific breakthroughs.” Dr. Holloway rejoins, having entirely reestablished his equanimity.
“Collateral damage, collateral damage? Is that all the lost of six men mean to you.” Mark moves over to Dr. Holloway and has him by the collar.
“A couple of those men were good friends of ours.” Roger rebukes and extends a hand to calm down his son-in-law. “Let him go, Mark.”
Mark immediately drops his grip on the doctor. Tracy and her mom are standing at the entrance door. They’ve just witnessed the entire scene. Tracy rushes over to Mark.
“Are you alright, darling?”
“Doesn’t anyone care how I feel?” Dr. Holloway is experiencing a bruised ego.
“No Sydney. At the present time, no one gives a damn how you feel. We got a town under siege again.” Rachel informs Sydney.
“And now we need to figure out what we are going to do about it. We can’t keep trying to lure that creature over to a cave; then drop tons of ice and snow on top of him. Especially, if it doesn’t kill him.” Roger justifies.
“I think I may have a way.” Dr. Holloway offers and all eyes are upon him.
Studying Alternatives ...
“There is an enzyme I call ZL-90. It is actually a pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria that is not only harmful, but fatal to this particular genetic species. There is no antibiotic for it and death is extremely painful.” Dr. Holloway acknowledges.
“How do you know so much about this enzyme?” Rachel looks at Paul skeptically.
“Never mind—how do we get our hands on it?” Roger exclaims.
“Rachel, to answer your question, before I perfected my creature, I had a couple of failures. So I created an enzyme that would slowly disrupt the normal cellular mitosis. They actually starve due to the bacteria robbing them of vital nutrients. However, the process is slow and extremely painful. There is regurgitation of blood, constant muscle atrophy and violent seizures until the breast goes into a comatose state and expires.” Dr. Holloway advises.
“We could just set charges around the animal and blow it up?” Jeffrey Ellis, County Maintenance Engineer recommends.
“That creature has incredible rejuvenation capabilities. Remember—it was designed for war. If a leg blows off, it will just grow another.” Rachel enlightens.
“The process of regeneration!” Tracy pronounces.
“When you design a biological weapon, you go all out don’t you Rachel?” Roger says in incredulity.
“Criticizing Ray about this will not solve the problem, Roger.” Chasity reprimands.
“Sorry, Rachel. I’m just so upset over all those lives lost and Dr. Holloway calmly referring to it as collateral damage.” Roger retorts and Chasity puts her arm around him.
“ZL-90 just seems like a horrible way to go—even for that creature. After all, it’s only doing what its engineered to do.” Rachel looks over at Dr. Holloway.
“It’s excruciating!” Dr. Holloway adds. “Perhaps we can modify the enzyme to work faster. Add some type of radioactive base.”
“There will still be the need to capture it and administer the dosage.” Mark reminds them.
“Not if we put it into a tranquilizer gun!” Roger suggests.
“We have a plan!” Dr. Holloway exclaims.
“You bet your sweet asphalt we do. Let’s get started.” Roger rejoinders.
To Be Continued ...
One Step Beyond Madness 4
- One Step Beyond Madness 4
All the cards are systematically placed on the table and Dr. Holloway comes up short. The beast will have to be permanently neutralized and the Tannersville Research Center closed. Will this however end the madness?
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on June 20, 2019:
The beast has returned …