Another scream sounded from right outside the steel door. This was a scream of not just fear, but desperation.
The heavy sound of boots grew louder. Hoc glanced around the room at the other scientists, and each one returned the same terrified and confused glance that he must have had on his own face, except for Dr. Robert Nake. He knew Robert well; they’d been friends throughout their Masters and Doctorate programs, and had worked together several times in severe cases of viral outbreaks around the world. Robert’s face didn’t reveal much emotion, he was completely calm, and was that a hint of a smile?
The steel door swung open and two soldiers dressed in camouflage, stormed into the room, their rifles at the ready. Behind them, two more of their brethren followed, dragging a petrified, homeless-looking Polynesian man. He was shrieking as hard as he could, but his voice had almost dried out. The thin man desperately struggled against the soldiers grasp, but to no avail. His breath came in deep gasps between screams, his eyes revealed his fatigue, but he didn’t stop resisting.
“What the hell is going on?” Hoc demanded, sounding much braver than he felt, especially with guns aimed forward at him and his colleagues.
The rifle parade ended with a finely dressed man in a white linen suit, his silver hair was combed so perfect, it looked plastic. He was tall, poised, and clearly in command.
Hoc thought he recognized the man, but as if it were on the tip of his brain he couldn’t remember his name, or where he had seen him.
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