Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WIP Wednesday

A continuation of last week's (also, "the group" has no name yet, which is why I use that phrase so much :p):

“So let me get this straight,” Eliza said, pacing between her bed and her desk. “You’re here to break me out of St. Claire’s?”

“Well, we prefer the term ‘liberate’, but yes,” Jonah replied

“Okay…” Eliza said slowly. “But why?”

“Well, to make a long story short,” Jonah started, “My group and I think that it’s unfair that you’ve been afflicted with a disease that will take your life at – how old are you? Fourteen?”

“Fifteen,” Eliza answered. “As of -“ she glanced at her watch. “Three minutes ago.”

“At fifteen. We’ve created a cure that will rid your system of all traces of the Attenuate Virus. If you come with me, I’ll bring you to our doctor, Abigail Markham, and she can give you the Cure. Then the plan is that you return here and convince the doctors that you’ve had a miraculous recovery.”

“But what’s in it for you?” Eliza asked. “Why wouldn’t you want credit for healing me?”

“It’s all right,” Jonah said. “We’re not working for praise. We want to make you and those like you better. None of you did anything to deserve this affliction. So come on! Pack a bag and we’re out of here!” He noticed Eliza hesitating. “What?”

“This whole thing is just… weird. I really want to believe that you and your… group can heal me, but I don’t know why I should trust you. Why would you choose me to save? There are twenty – six other people in the world that have AV. Why me?”

Jonah smiled. “Well, to be perfectly honest, you were chosen solely for your location, although your age doesn’t hurt, either?”

“I don’t understand.”

“As you know, AV has spread to people all over the world. You are the only one of the afflicted on the East Coast.”

“Lucky me,” said Eliza wryly. “And what do you mean about the age thing?”
“Well, it’s not required, but it always helps to have a subject that is younger. Usually, that means they’ll have less health problems and also respond to treatments more quickly. Abigail also has her own reasons for preferring younger candidates, but you can ask her to explain them when you meet her.”

“You’re talking like you go to medical school. How old are you?”

“I’m sixteen, almost seventeen,” Jonah responded. “And I didn’t even graduate high school, let alone go to medical school.”

“Then how do I know you know what you’re talking about?”

“Listen.” Jonah sounded suddenly impatient. “I’m offering you the chance of lifetime, literally, just like the group offered me last year.”

“You had AV?”

“No, but they inoculated me so I can never get it. I’m telling you, Eliza, this Cure works. The group has been working on this for a long time, much longer than I’ve been involved with them. Last year, they heard about my experiments in chemistry and asked me to help them. It was an honor to be asked, and far more lucrative than staying in school.”

“Exactly what kind of experiments were you doing?”

“God, you ask a lot of questions.”

Eliza raised her eyebrows. “Well, you’re asking me to come with you so you can inject me with something I can never be sure is what you say it is.”

“I was allowed to stay after school to try my experiments, but there were… limitations.”

“Such as?”

“Well, I couldn’t test my results, because that would require human or animal subjects. Besides being illegal, I could never morally do that, in case something went wrong. I would never be able to forgive myself.”

“But what about this Cure? You’re willing to test it on me?”

“Oh, I didn’t create it. I just helped. By studying under Abigail, I’m learning how to craft different vaccines and treatments without worrying that I’m messing something up. You know the influenza pill?”

“Of course,” said Eliza. In 2019, a pill had been created that all but eradicated the threat of the flu. Eliza had never met anyone who had had it since then. It was an unbelievable breakthrough.

“Well, the group created that. Now they’re working to cure more terminal illnesses, like the Attenuate Virus, HIV, AIDS, cancer, muscular dystrophy, stuff like that. Believe me, we’re the people you want on your side. So, will you come?”

Eliza chewed on her lower lip, weighing the situation.

“Okay,” she decided. “I’ll come.”

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