Antidote

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Is this really so unbelievable?

Submitted: March 09, 2017

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Submitted: March 09, 2017

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Antidote

 

There were no windows in the room, and the door sealed itself shut. There was a table in the centre of it, around which five people were seated. Other than that the room was entirely empty.

 

Two people sat on either side of the table, and one, the Big Boss, sat at the top. All five individuals exuded power, self-importance. Clearly this was no casual meeting but one of great importance. National, or maybe even International, importance. Four men and one woman, dressed smartly; not a laptop, a tablet, a mobile phone in sight. And no paper either.

 

So, lead me through this again,” said the Big Boss, authoritatively. “Where exactly are we now.”

 

The targeted approach is proving problematic,” said one of the men. The woman seated next to him nodded in agreement.

 

Expand, if you will.” The Big Boss might have phrased it as a question but it was not meant that way; it was an order to explain.

 

Different biological formulas are needed depending on race, on genetic factors. There has been no way to come up with one that would, for instance, effect only the poor, only those with the wrong political views.”

 

No,” the woman spoke up. “There was no discernible difference in the genetic code of these groups of individuals than those who are more..... ‘acceptable’, shall we say.”

 

So you failed.” The Big Boss did not like to beat about the bush. He would say exactly what he thought, no hurt feelings spared.

 

The man and the woman said nothing, looked down at the table. They would be demoted by the end of the day and they both knew it.

 

The two men sitting across from them were trying to keep their smiles hidden. It would not do to gloat, to bask in their companions misery, but they clearly had something to say. One, the man seated nearest to the head of the table, cleared his throat.

 

May I speak, Sir?” Even though he was obviously an important person in his own right, he clearly viewed the man at the head of the table as his superior, and only when he received a nod did he continue.

 

We came up with an alternative approach to the problem which you might find to be a possibility, Sir.”

 

The Big Boss was all ears. “Go on,” he said.

 

Well, we all agree that there are just too many people, right? And we all agree that it would be desirable to chose who survived and who did not. If it is not possible to pick out what groups we infect perhaps we should approach it from the opposite direction and select who gets to be cured!”

 

I’m listening.....” The Big Boss did look interested now, obviously wanting to know more.

 

The last to speak at the table took a deep breath, looked at the four faces around him. “The idea is that we come up with a virus, or bacteria, with which we infect everyone. Not just here but all over the world. Before doing so we need to gather ‘information’ so that we know who should survive. Who should receive the antidote.

 

The Big Boss was nodding, his interest definitely piqued. “Carry on.”

 

It will take a while. We’ll have to come up with the bug AND the antidote in sufficient quantities to administer to everyone we deem fit to receive it. But theoretically, it could be done! It might take time but I see no reason for it to not work.

 

How long a we talking, here?”

 

I can’t put a definite time on it. Six months, a year, eighteen months at most, I’d say.”

 

The Big Boss pushed his chair back from the table and started to get to his feet. “Good work, team. Carry on in that direction and keep me up to date with your progress.”

 

Five people filed out of the room, each going back to their own separate places, leaving the room entirely empty once more. And the words that had been spoken there left with them.


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