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Achoo

Fools

Always pushing things

Testing boundaries

Taking the piss

Fucking idiots

Never mind that now

Too late

Plenty of time later to curse them

Count your stars you're out

Away

Too many without that chance

What was the estimate?

Half a million within the day

Double that in two

Response time would be two and a half hours

Successful containment in four, maybe five days

Not your problem

Only number to worry about is the release time

Fifteen minutes and counting

Wheel up in twenty

The door would be closing in five

By the skin of your teeth or ample time?

The passing of time is entirely dependent on the mindset of the individual perceiving it

Look at you philosophising

Spose now is as good a time as any




She sat rigid in her seat, panting. Her lab coat stuck to her, the added layer was unnecessary on a day as such. It was pushing 50 degrees she had been moving with speed for the past 60 minutes.

Next to her sat a father and son, both chatting away in Romanian, a language she had tried learning a while back. She listened and tried to understand what they were saying, putting her mind to work and away from the anxiety of what if.

They had just finished a holiday and recounting their experiences. Something about the temple. They had eaten good chicken cheese? Surely a mistranslation...




They're going to die

All of them

Nothing you can do

No time to warn them

Had to get out

You protested the project

They didn't listen




The door was sealed and a moment of relief followed. This man next to her leant over and kissed the lad on the head.




Without you this would have gone ahead days ago

You held it back

You saved some, at least




She felt her eyes falling as the plane rolled forward. She was off to the land of nod...

The light was warm on her eyelids, her surroundings soft. A gentle lull of movement put her at ease as her head slipped forwards

forwards

forwards


AWAKE


Her head snapped up. Her eyes pinned open, hear beats per min to 200. Dear in the fucking headlights.

"Any food or drink?"

A hostess stood over her with a smile of resin and false courtesy

"Coffee, strong...please"


There was to be no rest. Not yet. Outside, the plane was over the city. A million people, all moving, doing, thinking, feeling and appreciating, despising and conniving, each one existing without a clue as to what was coming for them.


The coffee was tar. Cheap, freeze dried and bought by the kilo. The kind that burnt the throat on the way down but was cold in the hand.

Perfect.


"Excuse me, my son would like to know if you are a scientist?"

The man next to her smiled. She did not smile back.


Why is he asking?

What does he know?

There's no way he can know?

How?


"I'm not a scientist"

"Oh, I just thought because of your lab coat"

"My..."


So close and yet...


Her hands moved to her coat. Her stomach danced.


Nothing can be done now

Wait and pray

For all the good it will do


There's still hope.

A chance the coat was not contaminated

A chance nothing has been passed on


"ACHOOOO"












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