Character pics for Paxton http://www.booksie.com/other/short_story/semoyia/paxton-character-pics
“Another 20 patients were brought into Paxton general hospital today with the same symptoms as the others, so far there hasn’t been any recoveries from this infection which has a current 60 people in critical condition. Doctors are still baffled by what it could be and have asked some of the world’s best scientists for their opinion although for the time being Dr. Reynolds has asked me to remind you that if you or a loved one come down with any flu like symptoms or develop a fever you are to come to the emergency room immediately”.
As Jackson listened to the newscast a strange smile stole over his face. Of course doctors were baffled , and no other scientist would figure it out. He chuckled, he was the brightest scientist in Paxton and it had taken him five years to create it, it was absolutely laughable that they believed they’d be able to get rid of it in a matter of hours. Quite insulting actually. But the best part, though was that no one would ever guess that the illness was man made and even if they did they’d never trace it back to good old doctor reed. He’s harmless, they all say. Just another doctor trying his best to make the world a better place, and he was. With this virus he’d wipe away the filth, the low lives who are slowly taking over. The conference is only days away. If we can just make enough.
“Ugggh do you have to watch that its soo depressing” Leehya walked into the two-story home and tossed her bag by the door before grabbing the remote and flipping on the music channel.
“Yah and that’s soo much better Hey daddy”
Jackson smiled as his seventeen year old daughter Layla gave him a peck on the cheek on her way to the kitchen.
Her and her sister shared the same looks, age, and birth date but their personalities couldn’t have been more different. Leehya was rebellious, loved to shop, and couldn’t go a day without listening to some kind of music., while Layla was quiet, had never stepped in to a shopping mall without force and was content to just curl up outside with a book and her cat sassy, a stray she found on her way home earlier in the year.
Both had hair as dark as midnight and eyes as bright blue as a summers sky but you could tell them apart in the way they dressed, talked, even walked.
Jackson thought it was incredibly fascinating how two girls who looked so much alike could be so different.
“You know” Layla said coming out of the kitchen with her arms laden with what seemed like the entire refrigerator. “Their trying to see if everyone getting sick has anything to do with the water system but so far they haven’t found anything”
“Yeah?" Jackson smirked, "Where’d you hear that at?”
“Leehya was sneaking around the teachers’ lounge and heard ‘em talking about it”
“Big mouth” Leehya growled taking a sandwich and a pop out of her Layla’s hands “Whatever's causing it I hope they find a way to cure it quick”
“Don’t worry” Jackson said quietly “You two will be fine, it’ll be over with soon. It just has to finish its job first” And it will, he thought, It’ll be magnificent, the world will be beautiful, and it’s just a matter of time. He smirked before looking up. Leehya was tapping her foot too the music that was now blaring out of the TV and shoving her sandwich into her mouth but Layla was staring at him oddly. Jackson was just about to ask her what was the matter before he realized exactly what he had said. Dropping her gaze he got up and walked out the front door cursing himself all the way
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Later on that night as Layla got ready for bed she pondered her father’s choice of words. She was used to people saying that an illness had to “run its course” but she had never heard anyone say it had to “finish its job”. She wondered what he meant. A cold chill crept up her spine as a possibility came to her but she quickly dismissed it as a silly thought and lie down. The last thing she thought before falling asleep was something Jackson had said a few weeks before, “You’re not silly Layla, sometimes your just too smart for your own good".
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Jackson cursed again as he thought about what had happened earlier, Layla had looked at him strangely all day, and how could he blame her after that stupid comment he had made. He was so caught up in the current success of his creation that he hadn’t thought about what he was saying.
He could’ve ruined everything , his daughters were both bright just in different ways.
Layla could pass any test you put in front of her but put her alone on the street and she wouldn’t last a day. Leehya was the exact opposite. Layla was already suspicious of him, had been since she caught him working on the virus a few weeks ago in his study. He had dodged her questions then but now that the plan was in motion he had to be more careful.
If Layla found out what he was up to he’d be forced to take drastic measures. He did not want to have to harm his children, but what if he had to, He thought as he started placing the virus in small vials, would that be something he was willing to do, would he hurt his daughters to save the world from destruction, would he be able to lose them the same way he lost… The phone rang interrupting his train of thought, startled he almost dropped the vial he was holding and some of the liquid inside spilled onto his fingers and the floor.
He snatched up the receiver “WHAT” he barked as he started mopping up the mess with the paper towels sitting on his desk.
“Bad time boss” John chuckled into the phone.
“No, no just a bad day” Jackson replied with a weary sigh as he sat down. “I think Layla might be onto me, I don’t want to have to harm my child but if she finds out and tries to interfere…”
“Maybe she won’t try to stop you, she might even want to help” John said encouragingly.
“She has a soft spot for them John, she wouldn’t understand if she found out. Wouldn’t understand that this is the only way to rid our earth of the garbage that has taken it over.”
“You’ll bring her around sir, You’re her father she’ll listen to you, you just have to know how to word it correctly.”
“I wish it was that easy but I’m afraid it won’t be” Jackson sighed, “Tell me you called to give me some good news John I need it.”
“I did” John said excitedly “Teri just emailed me. The infection is working in Africa too and it’s spreading fast. I’d give it a year and our earth will be pure again.”
“Less than that if we can get a good amount of people infected at the conference” Jackson said smiling all thoughts of Layla flying from his mind “There'll be over a thousand people there and millions more in similar conferences around the world. The water will be everywhere. They’ll all be infected with the first sip. The mayor and his little Lenny will be a tragic loss but their death will help pave the way to a greater world”
“Speaking of the conference, what of your daughters, they’re not going to are they.”
“No, I’ve planned for them to visit their aunt, I don’t want them accidentally infected. I have not perfected the cure yet and I do not want to lose my children.“ Jackson sighed heavily.
“You sound tired sir” John said quietly “Why don’t you get some rest, save the cure for tomorrow. It’ll do no one any good if you fall asleep while working on it.
Jackson chuckled softly “Goodnight John."
As he hung up the phone and leaned back in his chair Jackson closed his eyes wearily. There would be a lot of people who wouldn’t understand at first but eventually they would, they will realize that it’s for the greater good, they would all understand, even Layla, he hoped.