| “I’m just here for a flu shot.” Kevin Wilson said to the nurse. Her nametag said “Sandy”|
“Do you have a referral?” Sandy’s voice was smooth and to the point.
“Yes, Dr. Billington, my primary, said I should come here. Here specifically, for whatever reason. My appointment is scheduled for 9 am.” Kevin looked around, not much caught his eye, save for the large windowless steel door on the right.
“Yes. I see. You are to meet with Dr. Lykus. Please have a seat and I’ll page him.” Before Kevin could ask where he could sit, Sandy had picked up the phone and had begun speaking into her handset.
At 24, he was young and fit; no medical conditions that he was aware of, and none on the horizon that he could foresee. Of course anything could happen, but his job as an accountant kept him at a desk. His fiancée Sandra was hoping for a raise this quarter and he didn’t want to let her down.
“Mr. Wilson? Dr. Lykus will meet you at the door over there.” Sandy pointed towards the steel monstrosity and Kevin visibly swallowed in trepidation. Why would they need a steel door here?
Kevin began walking over to the door when it opened suddenly and a short older man stepped out in a white smock. His light grey hair and tiny glasses framed a face that was full of severity and focus, and Kevin felt that he was being studied as much as met.
“Hello Mr. Wilson. I am Dr. Richard Lykus, the chief medical officer of this facility. We have little time for niceties I’m afraid before we can … give you your flu shot. Shall we make our way back?” His voice was professional, but Kevin felt that he was distracted.
“Sure… uh doctor. Just call me Kevin.”
“Fine. Kevin it is. Please, follow me.” The old doctor turned briskly, and began to walk down a tight narrow hallway lit sparsely by a string of white bulbs similar to a Christmas tree's lights. Kevin followed as the door slammed shut behind him.
“Never mind that, it’s simply a precaution we have to take around here.” The old doctor stated as Kevin tried to keep up with him. They entered a room on the right side of the hallway, small and compact with a simple desk and two folding chairs. Both of them sat down and the old man produced a folder out of the pocket of his smock and laid it plainly on the table in front of him. “Hmmm. Dr. Billington says you have the Hydra protein. He may be right. Yes.” The old man glanced at Kevin while appearing to ponder something of great importance.
“What the hell is that? I’ve never heard of it.” Kevin asked pointedly. “I’ve never had to do anything but fill out a couple of forms before…”
“Son, let me explain one simple thing to you. You have an important choice to make in the next five minutes of your young life. You were screened by Dr. Billington for one reason. Within your cells lies a very special antibody protein we call the Hydra protein. It is the last weapon against an affliction that has yet to see the light of day in the age of man. An affliction that resides just down the hall in room 13.”
Kevin sat back in his chair and stared at the old man, what the hell was he talking about?
“Look, doctor … I just want to know why I…”
“We don’t have much time Kevin. I haven’t the luxury of such a thing. Nor do you. So I ask you to have a little faith. You can be a hero to all of us. Can you do that for humanity, Kevin? Can you take a few steps down the hall with me to find out?”
Kevin stared at the old man as if he were staring at a raving lunatic. Yet, inside, somewhere beneath his reasoning he felt a prickling sensation as if hypnotized by a larger mechanism at work here.
“Just follow me, please Kevin.” The old man got up and Kevin reluctantly yet solemnly followed.
“Shouldn’t there be a clean environment in here? I mean …”
“It doesn’t matter now.” They reached the cold steel door to room 13. Kevin stared at the large frame as the old doctor unlocked it.
The door was opened on a small dark room.
“Please Kevin, go on …” The doctor urged him. Kevin found himself wondering what a hero would do.
Upon entering the room the large steel door slammed shut, leaving him alone in the room with something tied to a bed. It looked like a young woman. It was hard to tell.
A speaker overhead hissed to life.
“Kevin, now is the time to find your courage. There is only one way this can work, and I can’t explain why in detail. You must trust me. You will solve everything, but we need you to carry out this one last act of selflessness.”
Kevin stared at the frail form on the bed and shuddered.
“You must bite her.”
Kevin laughed nervously. “What? How the -“
“There’s no time Kevin. She will be waking soon. Do it. Do it for Sandra.”
Sandra? What did that even mean?
He couldn’t bear the thought of Sandra in any danger. Kevin walked over to the sick looking young woman, grabbed her right arm and bit down hard, and then fell convulsing on the floor.
“Thank you Kevin. Your antibodies will now flood her system and she will adapt. Adapt and live again. You were the last hope for humanity that stood in her way; you were the answer to our prayers. Praise be Lillith!”
As Kevin slipped away into the abyss on the cold floor, he watched in horror as the thing on the bed rose to her full height and spread her dark leathery wings for flight upon the world.