I told Obama, over and over, via voicemails and texts. I'm not up for this. I'd run only a hundred yards, and that was as far as I could go. Shadowy subjects wielding guns and swords followed, methodically searching each boxcar, one by one. They'd find me before I caught my breath, I knew.
"Ma'am, what is your emergency?" the 9-1-1 operator asked.
"The pharmaceutical companies are after me! I'm fifty years old, and way overweight. I told the President I'd never make it. They'll kill me and destroy the Superpeach!"
"Are you under a doctor's care, Ma'am? I'll dispatch an ambulance. They'll need to see your prescriptions."
"An ambulance? You need to dispatch the Army!"
"Yes, well, let's start with an ambulance. Keep your phone on, we'll find you."
"You're with them!" I turned off my phone and threw it as far as I could, but that wasn't far, not even out of sight.
Yes, I'm a little paranoid. My brain works differently now, after the accident. But I'm still the most brilliant geneticist, and I'd found the cure. The world, including my mother, would be cancer free within a few years, if I could just get the Superpeach to the White House. Obama would bury it in the rose garden and grow a whole tree of Superpeaches from this overly ripe half piece of fruit, the fruit that stopped tumors in their tracks in my sick rats, the rats I'd left in the lab to fight each other to their own demise.
Even Mother didn't believe me, wouldn't take a bite. "It's moldy," she'd said, wrinkling her nose. But the President would understand, and Mom would believe him. She'd live and grow strong, and sick people all over the world would be cured.
I peeked out from the thirteenth car. Dark shadows wouldn't come into the thirteenth car; they're superstitious. They'd wait me out and the peach would rot away. The chemotherapy drugs would continue to flow, making billions for the shadows' bosses.
Maybe they'd let me go if I handed over the fleshy part. They might not think to demand the pit, the seed waiting to spawn hundreds more baseball sized medical miracles. I carefully removed that priceless pit, cleaned it the best I could, bagged it and placed it into my mini cooler.
It wasn't safe, but my only option. I stuck my head out of Car 13, hands in the air. "I'll give you the peach."
Pop, pop, pop! Bullets whizzed past my head, ricocheting off the boxcar's metal walls. I dropped the peach flesh to the ground and fled to the darkest corner of Car 13. Hopefully they'd find that peach and think their mission was complete.
The shadows were right outside the door. I shivered. They shouted in some odd language when they came upon the peach. Middle Eastern? Russian? The coldest assassins came from there. Of course that's who they'd hire.
A tall assassin looked into Car 13, his black, dead eyes scanning the box. I held my breath. Could he see me? He shouted in deeply accented English. "No more peaches!" Should I answer, assure him I'd never create another, or hide in silence? Silence was golden. Silence would save me.
They picked up the peach flesh and talked among themselves. One stuck a machine gun into the boxcar's door and fired four-inch bullets indiscriminately. I covered my head with my arms, as if that would save me.
"Abadabudinka!" the shooter yelled, and the shadows disappeared. I sat, silent and still. They might hide in Car 12, waiting for me to show myself again. They might have instructions to kill the creator, not just grab the peach.
"What the hell is going on here?" demanded a deep voice. A large black man looked into the car, his eyes resting on me in my dark corner. "Get off my train!"
"You can see me?"
"But, I must ride this train to D.C."
"Train-hopping is a federal crime. You gonna hav'ta find another way. There's a rental car place two blocks over."
"I can't drive." My doctor wouldn't let me, after the accident.
"You got any idea how dangerous this is? You gonna lose a leg, Lady."
"I'm saving the world." Surely he'd give me a ride to save the world. "Really, I'm not some hobo. I look like one because my mission has kept me from bathing for days…"
"I need to see Obama," I said. "I must give this to him, personally."
He gazed at me, knowingly, and nodded. "I tell you what. You get off my train, and I'll deliver that to President Obama."
"I was a Navy Seal, Lady."
What a stroke of luck. I'd requested an Army, but one good Seal was even better. This man, this big man, he'd do what's right, I could sense it. I nodded, approached the door and handed the cooler to him. "Be vigilant. Tell Obama, the first new peach goes to Marvel Marvel. I know, odd name. The Marvels are weird about names. They think a name creates one's destiny…"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Come on, I'll help you down." This Seal was strong. He caught me and lowered me gently to the ground. "Stay clear, now. We takin' off in a few minutes."
"Don't forget. Marvel Marvel."
He nodded. "Marvel Marvel. I'll tell 'im."
"I trust you will." And he was gone. I breathed easier as the train rolled away, heading east. Cancer would soon be a thing of the past. Future generations would gasp, reading about the lengths people went to, trying to rid themselves of this disease. "Who found the cure, only to die in anonymity?" they'd ask. I smiled. Curie Marvel, that's who.