Daniela groaned at the sound of Duncan’s voice, she had almost made it out without him noticing. She briefly considered ignoring him and making a run for it but decided against it and turned round to face him.
“What is it Duncan?”
“I just wanted to make sure you were alright after last night.” Duncan said, that ever present grin on his face.
“I’m fine.” Daniela said.
“Are you sure?” Duncan asked. “I mean it was a lot to take in.”
Daniela sighed. “Like I said, I’m fine.”
“Well if you ever need anyone to cry on again, my services are always available.”
“Look Duncan,” Daniela said. “Just because I cried on you for one night, does not mean that I’m planning on making a habit of it. It was once, I’m over it.”
Duncan widened his grin.
“Well, I’m not just around for crying.” He said. “I’m sure there are other things that we can think of to do with our time as well.”
Daniela raised her eyebrows at that. Was this guy for real?
“Great.” She said. “I’ll let you know.”
She started to walk away but he grabbed her arm, holding her in place.
“It’s just, you know, we are the last human beings alive in the world right now. We have certain responsibilities to take on, like repopulating the earth and everything.”
“You have a point.” Daniela said. “But unfortunately I’ve already slept with a bunch of guys today and I’m all shagged out, sorry.”
Duncan laughed. “Well, if none of them managed to impregnate you, you know where I am.”
“Thanks, but I’m feeling hopeful. I really think one of those little suckers stuck.” Daniela tapped her belly.
“Damn, I knew I would regret not taking you up on your offer last night.”
Daniela opened her mouth to retort but was interrupted as Kelly walked up to them both.
“Daniela,” she said. “I was hoping to find you here, I’ve got something I’d like to show you.”
Suddenly Daniela felt really tired, she really didn’t want to have to face any more fighting. The prospect of going back inside that room drained her.
“I was just going to go and take a nap,” she said. “I’m really tired.”
“Yeah,” Duncan said. “She didn’t get much sleep last night,” he threw her a wink. “Take it from me, I know.”
“Don’t you have somewhere to be Duncan?” Kelly asked.
“Sorry ma’am,” Duncan said. And with a small salute and another grin to Daniela, Duncan left.
“This will only take a moment.” Kelly said, turning her attention back to Daniela.
Daniela sighed heavily, she was really tired and couldn’t bring herself to do anything. Her brain felt like it was on meltdown. She was pretty sure that one more piece of information thrown at her and it would self combust. However, Kelly was looking at her expectantly and for some reason, she liked her. She didn’t know why, she was pretty sure that this woman was the person she should be blaming for the death of everyone she knows, but she couldn’t help but be drawn to her.
“Fine.” Daniela said.
Kelly gave her a reassuring smile and led the way out of the restaurant. They passed the doors leading to the bedrooms and continued down the lobby until they reached a large set of double doors with a sign saying ‘Clinic’ in big neon letters hanging over the frame.
Kelly led her into the clinic and Daniela was immediately faced with white walls, clean beds and sterilised equipment. There were a couple of medical staff floating around, tending to people with bloody noses and knuckles. Obviously some people’s reaction to the end of the world was even more violent that hers.
“Gary,” Kelly said, stopping by a man in his 30s who was holding an alcohol swab. “I’d like you to meet Daniela.”
Gary gave Daniela a welcome smile and put the swab down to shake Daniela’s hand.
“Nice to meet you.” He said. “You’ve been the one I’ve been most intrigued about. Love to meet a fellow genius.”
Daniela decided she liked Gary straight away. He was cute in a kind of ‘big brother’ type way and had a demeanour that made Daniela want to trust him. Judging by the fact that he had heard of her however suggested that he was also in on the whole selective survival plan so once again Daniela found herself confused as to whether she should be liking him as much as she was. Relax Daniela, she thought to herself. You’ve just met the guy, no need to go analysing every aspect of his personality.
“Gary, I was wondering if you could give Daniela her jab whilst she is here.” Kelly said.
“Um, no.” Daniela said. “I’m really not a fan of needles. I don’t need any injections.”
“It’s fine,” Gary said, grabbing a kit from a nearby cabinet. “Hop up on the bed.”
“Seriously,” Daniela said. “I really am fine. No needles.”
“Trust me,” Gary said, “It will help in the long run. Although you missed the exposure that is now killing everyone, you have been exposed to diluted pockets of the stuff for months. This will just ensure you’re healthy and not affected by it.”
“You have a cure for the exposure?” Daniela asked, confused.
“Alas no, not for anyone who’s exposed to it like everyone out there is, but we did manage to work out a cure for mild cases.”
Daniela eyed the needle wearily. “I really do feel fine.”
“Fine enough to risk death?” Gary asked. “We’re giving them to everyone in the building, the last thing we want to do is to have saved a small population of people only to see them showing symptoms further down the line. It kind of makes everything we’ve been doing redundant don’t you think?”
“Oh go on,” Gary said. “I’ll even throw in a lolly if you’re extra good.”
Daniela rolled her eyes and sat herself down on the bed, pushing her sleeve up past her shoulder.
“Just don’t let me see it.” She said and immediately cast her gaze to the ceiling.
One tiny prick and it was over. Next thing she knew there was a lolly in front of her face.
“Like I promised.” Gary said, with another welcoming smile.
Daniela smiled sheepishly and took the lolly, immediately unwrapping it and putting it in her mouth.
“Thanks.” She said. She turned to Kelly. “Was that all you wanted from me?”
Kelly shook her head. “I just thought it was a good idea as we were passing through. Come on, I’ve got something to show you.”
Daniela jumped up from the bed and, with a wave to Gary as they left, followed Kelly through the remainder of the ward. Kelly entered a code into an entrance panel on the far end of the ward and took Daniela inside a dark room.
Once the door was closed, Kelly turned on the lights and it was like Daniela was transported back to her lab at home. The place was copied to the last minute detail, except the size of it was larger. Everything that she liked to have with her when she worked was now in this room, right down to her coffee mug. She didn’t know how they had managed to transport all of her stuff here in such short time, but right now she didn’t care because for the first time since she had found out that her whole world had disappeared, she actually felt a rush of hope. She had her stuff it was all hers. She walked around the room, checking the drawers and finding that everything was in the right place. She sat down on her favourite chair and spun it around, letting out a little burst of laughter.
And then suddenly the tears came. Out of nowhere her cheeks were damp and she was sobbing.
“Er Daniela,” Kelly said, awkwardness evident in her tone. “Are you okay?”
“I never thought I’d see this place again.” She said. “It’s just so beautiful. Thank you.”
“No problem.” Kelly said. “We’ve kitted it out with everything you had before and we’ve added some more things as well. We want you to feel comfortable in here. We are hoping that you might be able to help along the way to making this new world a little bit easier to handle.”
Daniela nodded, not really taking any of it in, she was too busy looking through her pot of pencils, everything was there. Everything.
“How?” She asked. “How did you do it?”
Kelly shrugged. “I ordered Katie to take you out the night prior to the impact and then had my team work through the night.”
Daniela remembered Katie dragging her around London for hours. She had hated it. She had wanted to go home, but Katie then burst into tears and said that she had had an argument with Dave. Next thing she knew she was sitting on a bench in Green Park trying to sort out Katie’s love life, which she remembered as being ironic, seeing as she didn’t have a clue what she was doing with hers. Wow. Katie deserved an Oscar.
“There are projects that we hope to be able to work with you over the coming months.” Kelly said, snapping her out of her reverie. “But nothing that needs to be discussed now. I just thought you would want to know that this place is here and it is 100% yours. I’ll give you the passcode on the way out which you can feel free to change to whatever you want.”
Daniela nodded and noted her bookshelf with all her research ordered alphabetically.
“Now that’s different.” Daniela said. “I would never be that organised.”
“As I said, feel free to disorganise all you want.”
“What kind of projects do you want my help on,” Daniela asked whilst inspecting her books.
“A lot of research, mainly to do with understanding the toxins out there. The more we know about it, the better.”
“Sure.” Daniela said. “Why not?”
“Did you want to start now?” Kelly asked.
Another wave of exhaustion fell over Daniela, her body telling her the answer to that question.
“I’m going to sleep now.” She said. “That is providing Duncan has cleared out of my room.”
Kelly smiled a warm smile.
“I’ll look forward to working with you.” She said, and with that, led Daniela back out of her new/old lab.