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Anton Werner Mittlewerk slowly walked down the long dark hallway that led to a secondary secret lab. The inhuman screams grew louder and louder as he approached the entrance. It was calling! Calling for him to come in. For it to try and get into his head once again and manipulate him into setting it free.
As Anton opened the lab door and cautiously entered, he thought back to how it all came to be. He thought about the woman, that still had to exist somewhere within its core.
Ten years ago, Anton was a guest lecturer at the University of Stockholm, addressing virus expansion, as related to The Spider Protocol. After a week of lectures and talks, he and a couple of associates headed over to a popular club located near the campus.
It was a crowded Friday night, with staff and students celebrating the end of another week. It was there in a booth, near the exit, where he first saw her.
Blonde and beautiful, she was with a couple of other girls, sipping wine and sampling appetizers.
Anton had just to enough to drink to provide him with just enough liquid courage to approach her. He did and to his pleasant surprise, she didn’t tell him to get lost.
Her name was Elke Sommerstan. A biology graduate of the University and by far the most beautiful woman in the bar that night. They talked. She had attended one of his lectures and was impressed. Her interest was also in viral expansion and how to contain such viruses. Anton turned on the charm and she was just plain charming. He asked her out. She accepted. Six months later they were married in Switzerland where, at the time, Anton lived.
Elke helped do research for the VIK institute and when Anton’s father, Thomas, had mysteriously disappeared, while on an exploratory business trip to the South pacific several years ago,* she had helped Anton transition to the CEO position of the Apollo Candy Company, headquartered in the States.
She was his rock, his soul mate, until that one fateful night, two years ago.
There was no reason for it. Two drunk kids coming home from a party, driving too fast and too reckless. They sideswiped Elke’s car. Life lined to St. Sebastian’s Emergency Medical, she lay in a coma, hooked up to a variety of devices that kept her barely alive.
When Anton arrived, the doctors told him there was no hope. Anton refused to accept the obvious. He felt like he was in a dream, that none of this was real. ‘There had to be something the doctors could do,‘ he thought, “something HE could do!!’ Then he remembered.
His father had acquired something, many years ago, from a source he had always refused to disclose. It was labeled UV 108. Unknown Virus number 108. His father said the virus could be the savior of the world or its destroyer. Maybe both.
His father did allow Anton to read the reports on the source of the virus and the results of the experiments that had been performed.
The initial test results were classified. It was recommended that this virus be destroyed. But one side affect it had was the re-animation of dead tissue. Although the re-animation didn’t always pan out as anticipated.
But at that point, Anton didn’t care. He couldn’t loose Elke! Besides, he had not personally witnessed any of the subjects who, had been injected with the virus. Maybe they were wrong. Maybe Elke would prove them wrong! Either way, Anton felt he had no choice.
So he bribed the staff and paid off the management of the hospital and brought Elke’s comatose body to the clandestine laboratory section of the Apollo Candy Corporation. The front company that hid the inner workings of what his father had called Project Sumo.
So, Anton injected Elke with a dose of UV 108. The unknown virus.
As Anton entered the secondary lab he could hear it. The ‘ticka-ticka’ rattling sound and the periodic, inhuman banshee screams, that always sent shivers down his spine.
As he rounded the corner, he approached a large steel reinforced, Plexiglas cage that sat in the center of the lab. Four ten foot pylons, one stationed at each corner of the cage, hummed lowly, as it kept the cage engulfed in a subtle electro-magnetic field that was for everyone’s protection.
As Anton stood in front of the cage, inside he could see a dark mist float about. Suddenly, he was temporarily blinded by a series of bright, strobe-like flashes. For only a second, he felt a presence in his mind and he knew it was scanning. The dark mist then began to slowly condense. The screaming and rattling suddenly stopped.
As Anton’s eyesight slowly returned, he focused on the human shape that now stood in the center of the cage. As he gazed upon it, it gazed back and subtly smiled. Anton smiled back and couldn’t help but think that what was left of his wife, Elke Sommerstan Mittlewerk, never looked prettier!
Next: Chap. Twenty-Four “A Meeting in the Mist”