Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
Putting A Taskforce Together ...
“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 beast 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.
The Formidable Dr. Simmons …
First on the agenda is the formulation of the Tannersville Taskforce, so named by Dr. Rachel Weinberger. Dr. Weinberger will assemble a team of animal behavior experts, especially in the field of predators both past and present. She also solicits the aid of the Pentagon— her brother, Major General Adam "Kit" Weinberger in particular.
General Weinberger in turn has contacted military biochemical strategists to devise a plan since the reason this creature is back is due in part to military interference. Dr. Sidney Holloway is receiving a stiff reprimand for his involvement in the resurrection of Experiment 697 and the military officers involved have been assigned to rather unpopular duty stations.
Dr. Weinberger is ready to address her taskforce.
“Gentlemen and ladies, we are faced with one of the most diabolical predators ever introduced to mankind. He has the ability to run at great speeds and target the enemy with uncanny accuracy. He is also equipped with superior night vision, great strength, the ability to repair damaged apertures and keen smelling skills. He particularly hates the fragrance Joy and will rip to shreds any person wearing it.” Rachel pauses to take a sip from her bottled water.
“Is he the result of Experiment 697?” Top biochemical strategist Dr. Robert “Bob” Hawkes asks.
“I am afraid he is.” Rachel admits.
“I thought that this insanity had been disbursed two years ago. Now you say that there is a threat once again? Explain this, Dr. Weinberger.” This time it’s Dr. Theodore Simmons, the Head of Scientific Research and Appropriations, as well as a former animal behaviorist.
“Dr. Simmons—it’s well pass pointing the finger at anyone. We need to take action. This creature has killed a number of people including the mayor of this town. We need to strategize to determine once and for all how to kill this menace. Dr. Holloway has come up with a viable solution called ZL-90. If it’s alright with Dr. Weinberger, could Dr. Holloway take the podium.” General Weinberger states as Dr. Weinberger relinquishes her place in favor of Dr. Holloway.
“It’s about time we get a man in on this to handle things properly.” Dr. Simmons retorts smugly.
“It’s because of a man—Dr. Simmons, that we’re in this predicament.” Rachel throws at Dr. Simmons who immediately mumbles a pathetic apology.
“As General Weinberger has stated, the time has passed for blame calling. Yes, due to my desire to redefine Experiment 697 some explosions have occurred which resulted in the creature’s return to Tannersville. Now, I have the means of permanently destroying it.” Dr. Holloway commences.
“Let’s hear your plan, Dr. Holloway.” Dr. Simmons says.
The End of Tannersville Research Center
Dr. Holloway begins to explain ZL-90 and how his enzyme works to the taskforce. Each member listens attentively and nods in agreement that this is the only way to eradicate the beast.
“And, what about the new creature you have been working on, Dr. Holloway.” Dr. Weinberger brings this information up to the taskforce, much to the chagrin of Dr. Holloway.
“Are you trying to tell me that there is another creature out there?” Dr. Simmons is standing, now looking accusingly at Dr. Holloway.
“This one is nothing like the original Experiment 697.” Dr. Holloway tries to fumble his way through this revelation.
“No—she’s stronger, smarter, and has unlimited strength and stamina.” Dr. Weinberger chimes in.
“Are you beyond mad, Dr. Holloway? If we manage to eliminate this monster you plan to introduce another one? Where?” The veins are beginning to protrude on Dr. Simmons’ neck.
“Right here in Tannersville, Dr. Simmons. This is the reason for a thoroughfare being constructed at the Devil’s Gap. This is the reason that we are without a mayor and several fine men, this is—” Rachel is interrupted by her brother.
“That’s perfectly enough, Rachel—Dr. Weinberger. We all understand your personal feelings regarding Dr. Holloway and his research, but let us not lose sight of the current problem.”
“I agree completely, General Weinberger. After this incident is settled, the Tannersville Research Center will no longer be needed.” Dr. Simmons proclaim. Rachel looks at her brother then very sternly at Dr. Holloway.
“Dr. Simmons—a lot of other research goes on at this very fine center. Environmental studies, for example.” Rachel states.
“That can be done through the Tannersville Center for the Physical Sciences. I will appropriate the funds for a new wing to be erected for the study of Climate Effects on the Environment.” Dr. Simmons says smiling at Rachel.
“You can co-chair along with Dr. Bob Hawkes. Although he has a military background—he can definitely be trusted to keep things in the interest of science.” Dr. Simmons adds.
“It will be a pleasure to work with you in the future, Dr. Hawkes.” Rachel says extending a hand as Bob rises to greet her.
“Thank you—and I can promise you, Dr. Simmons, our top priority will be environment vicissitudes and not pure martial endeavors.” Bob Hawkes reaffirms.
“But what about me and my research?” Dr. Holloway is feeling totally left out.
“You and your madness will be dealt with, I assure you Dr. Holloway.” Dr. Simmons shakes his head. “And as for your creature—I’m sure we can use the same tactics.”
“No, you can’t, I—” Before Dr. Holloway can go any further he receives another stiff warning from Dr. Simmons.
“I am authorizing the use of ZL-90 to be developed and used in the annihilation of the beast and anything connected with Experiment 697. I am further ordering that you surrender any and all information regarding future uses of Experiment 697 and ZL-90 to Dr. Rachel Weinberger for further deposition. Is that clear, Dr. Holloway?” Dr. Simmons censures.
“Perfectly.” Dr. Holloway responds.
To Be Continued ...
One Step Beyond Madness: Finale
- One Step Beyond Madness: Finale
The bait has been chosen—the final preparations completed. All that is left is for the actual execution of the plan. However, who knew that there would be an unforeseen Joker in the deck!
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on June 28, 2019:
The end is near!