Read the opening chapter from Before -
Just keep moving, don’t make eye contact with anyone.
I jogged down the steps to the subway, avoiding looking at the sea of faces that were heading up. The bag I carried bounced off my hip and I thought of the contents inside and what would happen if they broke. I couldn’t slow down though, so I placed my hand on the bag, holding it firmly against my body.
Several people bumped into me, none of them bothering to apologize. If they knew what I was carrying they would definitely keep their distance.
The train hadn’t arrived yet; a small crowd filled the platform. I moved as close to the edge as I dared; eager to get out of here.
I was breathing heavily, sweat dripped off me. My shirt was soaked through. A blonde girl, about my age, gave me a disgusted look and inched away from me. I didn’t blame her.
What have I done?
I had just ruined my entire life. Working at Gene Pharm was my dream. I’d done my time as an intern, earned my promotion and here I was one week in and I had stolen research. I was in the lab, going through old projects and cataloging them. A message had appeared on my computer screen, an instant message with a file name. There was no sender, so I just assumed that it was an internal memo for me on which file I should work on next. The file was buried deep and once I read it, I could understand why.
Maybe I could still fix this. If I took the bag back, explained the situation…
No. If I took it back, they would kill me. And if this stuff ever got used…that didn’t bear thinking about. I wasn’t naïve, I know that a lot of pharmaceutical and research companies work on some deadly stuff, but this was beyond anything I’d ever seen. It had the potential to wipe out most of the world if it got loose.
I heard the distant rumble of the train. I just needed to put some distance between me and Gene Pharm. Then I could decide what to do next. My parents owned a cabin up north, before they died. It was in my mother’s maiden name. I could go up there and lay low for a while. There was no way they would think to look there.
As the train pulled up, I saw them. Two suits, about twenty feet away, searching the crowd. I knew they were from Gene Pharm.
Keeping my head down, I boarded the train. It was only a matter of time before they caught me. I quickly took a seat and opened my laptop. Inserting the flash drive, I opened up my email. There weren’t many people who would understand what I was sending them, but one person sprang to mind. Jack Wylie. We were in college together, chemistry specifically. He would know what the formula was and what it could do.
I typed Jack into the mail recipient box and his email address came up. I glanced around for any sign of the two goons in suits. They were two cars back, searching every passenger.
“Damn,” I muttered. I attached the file, typing a quick message to Jack.
I need you to take a look at this. Gene Pharm was working on it and I think they are going to test it on humans. If you don’t hear from me again – make sure the media gets this.
I prayed Jack wouldn’t think it was a hoax. Ripping the flash drive from the laptop, I slipped it down the side of the seat. It was better not to get caught with the evidence on me.
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About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”