Jefferson Middle School newsletter
Chapter 5: Survival
Michael’s heart was pumping. He was absolutely terrified. He began to sweat and breath heavy.
“Where do the vents lead?”
“The whole compound,” Palmer said. “I knew we shouldn’t of connected them!”
“He could be anywhere,” Connor mumbled.
Suddenly they heard the sound of something moving in the overhead vents. A small vent was just above them.
“We need to get out of here,” Michael said.
In sync everyone stampeded out of the crowded observation room. People shoved and pushed.
Palmer pulled out a walkie-talkie from her lab coat. “The subject is out of containment! Bring out everything we got.”
Michael heard screams and yells. He didn’t know where to go. The whole world was spinning around him. He felt something tug his shoulder. He turned around.
“Follow me,” Connor said. Michael did so without hesitation.
“There is an emergency bunker in case this happens,” Connor gasped as he continued to run.
Dozens of scientist scrambled around the facility. Everyone was panicking and terrified. He didn’t blame them. He didn’t know where he was going and stayed close behind Connor.
Finally they were met with another glass room with a metal door. He slid his ID card on the electrical door to enter. People were already inside.
“This glass is bulletproof, it can’t get through.”
As he threw open the door, they heard the familiar sound of the vents.
Michael mumbled, “...Oh, no.”
The subject crashed down in front of them. It looked like a dead corpse, but Michael, Connor, and the rest of the scientist knew better. It quickly regained consciousness, before anyone could leave.
“Let's go! NOW!” Connor cried.
They quickly ran out of the “safe” room. Behind them Michael could hear yells and screams. He didn’t want to think about what was happening to the few people in there. He told himself that at least some made it out.
He was breathing hard as he followed Connor. Out of one room he saw three armed guards, all sporting what appeared to be bulletproof armor. He didn’t recognize exactly what guns they had, but Michael knew they were automatic and probably damaging.
Michael and Connor stood on the left side of the facility opposite to the “safe” room. They waited, still terrified that the subject should be near them. Finally they heard the loud crackling of gunfire, and the whole facility went silent. Finally the gunshots stopped.
Michael and Connor were surprised when they heard the distinct static of a walkie-talkie. They didn’t realize that Laura Palmer was right behind them.
She listened to it, then spoke softly into the device “Are you sure it’s dead?”
They heard more static. “How many casualties?” she asked. The walkie-talkie crackled.
“Three?!” she said putting her hand to her head.
“We need an evacuation.” She regained her calm. “We can’t let it spread.”
The guard stood in the safe room. He clicked the walkie-talkie off. The subject was down, along with three other people which was caused by the subject. Bite marks being proof. He was glad that so little people died, it could’ve been worse. A lot worse.
The two other guards already left the room. He was about to leave the room when he heard something. It sounded like cloth hitting the floor. He turned around. In the now dark safe room he saw three shadowy figures rise in the darkness. He ran.
Palmer now walked with Michael and Connor.
“How did it escape?’ Michael said serious now.
“The vent screen’s latch is electrical, we designed it that way just in case,” Laura responded.
Connor added “Except our failsafe was more of a fail.”
They heard the walkie-talkie turn on again.
“What happened?” she answered.
Connor and Michael heard someone speak loudly into the walkie-talkie but they couldn’t make out what exactly they said.
Palmer’s expression changed quickly as her arm holding the walkie talkie drooped.
Chapter 6: Escape
The loud sound of gunfire echoed through the facility. People were in panic again as the guards attempted to shoot down the now 3 infected workers. They infected were too fast however, and knocked the guards to the ground and made havoc into the facility.
“Let’s go, now!” Palmer yelled.
“The office!” Connor added.
They ran amongst the many scientists, all scrambling to get away from the infected. He heard muffled screams and yells, presumably from people being pinned and mauled.
As they ran through the crazed mob, something hit Michael to the ground. He quickly regained balance and turned to see one if the infected facing away from him. The infected had ran straight into him. But he didn’t hesitate to continue following Connor and Laura. Both of them were already at the door. Laura swung the door open and they all rushed inside.
Connor turned to the door. “Close it! Close it!”
Michael quickly did so, without question. The relieving click of the metal door was met with a loud bang. Michael peered down the small window. An infected had ran straight to the door, which crushed skull, seemingly killing it. He faced his back against the door and slid down. He was exhausted, tired, and terrified.
They all stood sat down in the itchy carpet floor of the office. They had stayed in there for presumably an hour.
“What is this virus?” Michael spoke.
“It’s a prion disease, not a virus” Palmer responded.
Connor added “We call it Prion-X.”
“But how does it do it? How does this happen”
Palmer explained, “Prions are infectious agents made of protein. They are misfolded proteins which then misfold normal proteins. This can lead to many different disease such as Scrapie and mad cow disease.”
“But we never expected they could have such severe neurological effects.”
“But how is it possible that they could be wounded so severely and still survive?”
Connor explained “Most pain is actually mental, this prion just doesn’t make you feel pain and so they don’t realize it.”
Michael shook his head, still in disbelief.
Laura spoke “We can’t let this spread.”
“Well how are we going to do that now? First we have to think about surviving,” Michael reminded her.
“There is a way,” Connor said.
Laura turned to Connor “You’re right, there is a way.” She got up. “We can destroy every last bit of this place.”
Michael didn’t follow. “What do you mean?”
Connor spoke now “We have a failsafe… in case something like this ever happens”
“What is the failsafe?”
He smiled. “A bomb.”