“Looks like I’ve arrived just in time.” Kelly said from the entrance to the clinic. “I thought we agreed for you to wait for me before explaining it all?”
Gary shuffled uncomfortably from where he stood. “They didn’t really leave me with much choice.” He said.
Kelly reached where they were and saw all the blood soaked gauze on the bed.
“What the hell happened here?” She asked.
“Daniela stabbed herself with a scalpel.” Gary answered.
“Apparently lying to people leads them to do crazy things.” Christiana said, icily.
“I don’t know why you’re complaining,” Kelly spat at Christiana. “You must be practically giddy that you have one more thing to be morally outraged at me over.”
“You think I enjoy laying into you?” Christiana yelled. “If you didn’t make it so easy by consistently being a crappy person, maybe I wouldn’t have to feel physically sick every time I look at you.”
“Enough, Chris! I get it! You’re better than me! There, is that what you wanted to hear?”
“Look Kelly, I know you’ve been forced to be the bad guy here. I get that. But throwing us all in here without our knowledge is one thing, injecting us with a drug without us knowing is completely insane!” Christiana argued. “Did it ever cross your mind that some of us might not want to live forever? You have taken away every last freedom of choice from us and turned us into your puppets!”
“For the future population of this world, yes, I have made these decisions. And I would do it again. Someone has to! We couldn’t save everyone, we had to find a way to ensure that humankind continued, this was the most logical step.”
“And what about us? Don’t we get a say in this?”
“Right now? No. When the whole human race is at stake, we thought it best to take any emotion ridden choices out of your hands. None of you would be thinking clearly enough to make a decent enough decision, we had to ensure that…”
“Oh save the speech, Kelly. I’ve heard it before.” Christiana spat, suddenly wanting to be far away from this place. “I’m going to find Connor and try not to let my emotions get in the way on deciding what I’m going to eat.”
“You’re a massive hypocrite, Kelly, you know that?” Duncan said, quietly.
“Oh please, do lay into me as well, Duncan. I’m just dying to know what you think about all of this.”
“It’s just, in one breath you talk about our lives being so sacred that you make sure that none of us will die of natural causes, and in the next breath, you’re ordering us all out into the one thing that can kill us.”
“I’m sorry, what?” Christiana asked, stopping in her tracks. “You’re taking people out there?”
“I would have thought you knew,” Duncan said. “Your boyfriend’s heading up the whole thing.”
Christiana felt like the ground had just disappeared from under her. She grabbed hold of the chair in front to steady herself.
“Duncan, please tell me this is some kind of joke.” Christiana said.
“What do you think?”
“And Connor already knows about this?”
“Duncan, you say another word and I will knock you out cold.” Kelly said.
“What? You think that it’s better that she doesn’t know?”
“I think that it should be Connor who tells her. Not you, and certainly not like this.”
“Duncan, please answer my question.” Christiana said, ignoring Kelly.
Duncan faltered for a moment, looking between Christiana and Kelly, eventually he shrugged and turned his attention to Christiana.
“We’re leaving in just under a month. I was told that I have to go as Connor is heading up the whole thing and he needs people he works well with. Apparently, he’s off making plans for it as we speak.”
This couldn’t be right. Connor wouldn’t have agreed to this without talking it over with her first. Not after the last time. He promised that it wouldn’t happen again.
“How long has Connor known about this?” Christiana asked.
Duncan shrugged and Christiana turned her question to Kelly.
“I’m not answering any of these questions, Chris. You need to have this conversation with Connor.”
“Oh believe me, I will.” Christiana said, her voice level and quiet. “And you can be certain of one thing, there is not a chance in hell that he will be going out there.”
“How?” Daniela’s small voice cut through the tension. Everyone turned their attention to her, no one really following her question. She sighed as she realised that she would have to explain herself. “How are you going out there?”
The room fell silent, full of people who either knew the answer but didn’t want to say or, as in Christiana’s case, was just as clueless as Daniela was. Eventually it was Kelly who spoke.
“Your Danel suits.” She said, simply.
Daniela looked at her, horrified. “No, you can’t!” She said. “I haven’t tested them properly.”
“I saw your experiments in the lab.”
“In a controlled environment, I don’t know about the heat out there or how long they can withstand the toxins outside of the three months I tested them for.”
“We’re only planning to go out for a month.”
“I haven’t tested it properly!” Daniela repeated. “I don’t even know what the ground is like out there or whether the Danel can stand any impact should you come into trouble. It’s not as strong in suit form.”
“We have a month to look into field testing, we’ll need your help on that, if you’re feeling up to it.”
“A month?!” Christiana yelled. “Why the hell are you going out so soon? What’s the rush?”
“We need to examine life whilst it is still there. Our window of time is very small.”
“No,” Daniela said, all colour lost from her face. “It’s not ready, you can’t use it.”
“With all due respect Daniela, I’m not asking you and I don’t need your permission. We have possession of the suits, our team are duplicating them so that there are enough for everyone involved and we will be using them outside.”
“You have actually lost it.” Christiana said. “Do you even realise what you are saying? Are any of us to have any choices left with regards to our lives?”
“Everyone here was saved for a reason. In the cases of Connor and Duncan, that reason was to perform the missions that we needed in order to sustain life in this new world.”
“Even if that means them potentially losing their lives in the process?” Christiana asked.
“No.” Daniela insisted. She sat up straight, shaking her head. “I won’t be responsible for anyone else’s death, you can’t make me.”
Duncan was on the bed then, soothing her and holding her tight. He threw Kelly an accusing glare.
“Don’t you think you’ve done her enough damage?” He asked.
A flash of doubt seemed to cross Kelly’s face, but she quickly replaced it with her normal look of indignity.
“I will take responsibility for the lives of everyone involved in this mission. I am confident that there will be no problems. I shall be going as well as Gary. We will ensure the safety of all involved. My decision is final, in three weeks’ time, we will be leaving.”
And with that Daniela slumped into Duncan’s arms, her consciousness gone.