“I’m glad you’ve finally found the time to come and visit me, Anton” the beautiful blonde seductively said, leaning against the thick Plexi Glas plate that covered the cage that contained her.

“You were making such a racket,” Anton Werner Mittlewerk replied, “I had to see what you were up to!”

“Why don’t you let me out, Anton?” she softly said, “lets go someplace nice! We haven’t been out on a date in years. A wife needs to spend some quality time with her husband!”

Anton smiled. Although what now stood before him, just on the other side of the Plexi Glas, was a near perfect facsimile of his wife, Elke Sommerstan Mittlewerk, it wasn’t exactly Elke!

And if he ever did let “It” out, he would be shredded to pieces!

“It” was the result of his decision to inject the unknown virus, UV108, into his dying wife’s body, in a desperate last minute attempt to kept the shadow of death at bay.

The virus had indeed kept death away but at a cost. The cost of some very strange side effects. Effects that resulted in what now stood before him, just a few feet away, within a cage engulfed in a low frequency, Electro-Magnetic field, that served to keep what was once his beautiful wife, in check.

“You know I can’t let you out, just yet,” Anton replied.

“Just yet?!” “Elke” picked up on, “you mean there is a chance you will?”

That inflection of her voice, along with that slight slant of her head, Elke always had a habit of doing when she asked a question she anticipated would result in a positive answer, was still so apparent.

Anton had to keep reminding himself, intellectually, this was no longer his wife. Emotionally, however, he felt there had to still be some part of her, some essence, some soul, that still existed within the layers of what she now had become.

“I’m working on a project,” he answered.

“Elke” turned away in frustration.

“You’re always working on a “project“, “she” replied, “you never find time for us anymore!”

“This project affects you!” Anton said.

It turned back slightly.

“Me?!” “she” softly said.

“Yes,” Anton answered, “I will soon acquire something that may help bring you back to me!”

“Really?!” “Elke” excitedly exclaimed, “What is it?!”

“I will show you when I have acquired it,” Anton answered, “but in the mean time you have to be patient.”

“Patient?!” “Elke” replied, “I’ve been in this cage for almost two years! How much more patient do you want me to be?”

“Just a bit more, dear,” Anton let the term “dear” slip out. Such the affect “It” still had upon him.

“Oh, just go away!” “Elke” replied, “you and your stupid projects! Your project is what got me into this situation in the first place!”

“That “stupid project” saved your life!!” Anton angrily replied.

“You call this a life?!” “Elke” answered, “please, Anton. I beg you! Release me! Let me go!”

“You know I can’t do that,” Anton answered.

“Then I’m done talking with you,” “Elke” replied, “scanning your mind doesn’t give me much pleasure anymore. Send in that associate of yours, what’s his name, Mischa?! I bet he has some interesting people in his head I could become!”

Anton turned to leave. He knew any further conversation with “Elke” would be pointless.

“Where are you going?!” “Elke” called after.

“I’ll be back,” Anton replied, not looking back.

“Promise me you’ll return with whatever it is that will finally bring us together!!” she/it pleaded.

“Just as soon as I acquire it,” Anton said.

“Then I’ll look forward to your return,” “Elke” softly replied.

“And no more screeching!” Anton remembered, “don’t force me to increase the power field, okay?”

“Okay. I promise. No more!” “Elke” replied, "oh, Anton?"

"Yes," Anton tiredly answered, as he glanced back one more time.

"I love you," "Elke" added, with a subtle, sexy smile.

Anton didn't reply or react, but as he left the lab, he could hear the “ticka-ticka” rattle that signaled “Elke” had already morphed back into the pillar of smoke.

Next: Chap. Twenty-Seven “Lucky Charm”

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