“Tell me you’ve got something?” Gary says as he walks into the labs department of District-Three.
“I’ve got a couple of things,” Jones says. “The card you recovered from Anna Withers gave us two massive pieces of the puzzle, firstly we recovered a partial print from the card that is not Miss Withers’, I’m running it through every database we have access to, so far we’ve got thirty-five partial matches, so we’re just reconfiguring the search to see if we can bring the list down to a manageable number. Secondly, the card contained the usual chemicals all the other cards have, but we found a small amount of MDR-Thirty-Seven on this one.”
“You’re fucking kidding me? MDR-Thirty-Seven’s a weapon grade chemical, why the fuck haven’t we picked this up earlier?”
“I tell you why, the chemicals when combined create a sort of nuclear cocktail, the MDR-Thirty-Seven is the first chemical to be absorbed into the skin, then the others. So it stands to reason that we would not pick it up as we’ve been testing the blood for chemicals, but because this is absorbed into the skin and spreads throughout the flesh, it doesn’t show up on blood tests,” Jones says. “With that in mind I went back and ran a check on all the other bodies, and they all came back positive. In fact, Mores readings were off the charts, as was Gillings, the woman whose head you caved in earlier this morning.”
“Anna referred to this Doctor Hide as a him, so we know our suspect is male, she said he was persuasive and that his words touched her deeply, could there be some connection to this and the chemicals on the card as well?”
“I’ve been thinking about that since you mentioned it earlier, three of the twelve drugs in the cocktail have been used in the past to assist with hypnotherapy treatment, regressing patients back to distressing or traumatic events, in a way to try and help them move past it. Maybe he’s using the drugs to assist him in maintaining some sort of control over the victims through subliminal messages he gives them when they touch the card and take a hit of the cocktail?”
“How the fuck would he be doing that?”
“Any number of ways, voice manipulation would be the most obvious way, two of the chemicals used in the cocktail alter the inner ears equilibrium,” Jones replies. “He would possibly be using some sort of synthesiser that would be altering his voice to such a level his words would be coming through your brain like you were the one thinking it rather than hearing it.”
“What can we do to combat any of this?”
“So far we know that prolonged exposure leads to terminal meltdown, but as we found out with our infected lab tech, Simmons, if we can get to the effected person sooner, rather than later, we can in a way control the chemicals effects on the body and in fact reverse those effects. Plus I also have a theory that if I work with the sirum that we’ve used on Simmons we might even be able to possibly work on some sort of vaccine, it would be just getting the dosage of the initial cocktail correct so we can counter balance it. But it would have to be something that could be administered every few hours or so as the body reguarly cleans itself of toxins, and there’s always a slight chance a vaccine could cause other issues as well.”
“How long would it take for you to come up with this vaccine?”
“A few hours maybe, we already have a good working base.”
“As soon as you have something let me know,” Gary says. “Can I have the list of the potential suspects and a copy of the partial? I’ll pass it on to a few outside sources to see if they can help bring the list down.”
“I’ll pass the information to your case file,” Jones replies. “If we get anything workable with this vaccine, I’ll contact you straight away.”
Deep below in the depths of downtown, where the old city meets the new, as the past and the present clash in a blend of what has been and what is, reveals another horror that has been in existence for countless years, The Arena. Rumours have floated around about the underground fighting syndicate that moves throughout the underbelly of the city, never staying too long in one place and never being found, making it a myth more than a reality for many of the city’s residents, if they only knew that this myth was true, would they be more careful where they venture?
The man hits the ground with a thud, his face busted open, slowly he tries to get to his feet but only manages to get to his knees, the crowd cheers with excitement as he is dealt a powerful right to the head that sends him crashing to the ground again, he convulses for a few moments and then goes silent and still, the crowd gets louder as Roland Biggs celebrates another win in his arena.
“Another challenger lays defeated at the feet of our champion Roland Biggs, with this victory Roland now stands at an outstanding one thousand and three wins and zero losses, who out there dares take the challenge, who thinks they can take the prize and defeat the undefeatable, is it you and more importantly will you have the choice to refuse?” a voice says over the PA system.
“NO!” the crowd screams back as the body of the man is dragged out of the arena.
Gary’s phone rings and he quickly answers it, Andrew Fontaine appears on the other end.
“I got a hit on one of your boys.”
“You’re fucking kidding me?” Gary says. “We’ve only managed to bring the list down to 20 how the fuck can you have it down to one?”
“I’ve got sources you guys don’t have.”
“Ghost, I presume?”
“If you need something deep and dark on someone, and if it exists, Ghost will find it.”
“So, who are we looking at?”
“Masters? He was removed from our list,” Gary says as he pulls his files up. “He didn’t fit any of the criteria matches we were after, no history in chemistry and from what his files say he’s been in New London for the past three years.”
“No fucking way has he ever been in New London, the fucker has never left Delta City,” Fontaine says. “I can also tell you he’s got shitloads of experience in chemistry as well. For fifteen years he was a geochemist team leader at Tiracom, his department was primarily concerned with testing and developing a large array of drugs to be utilised in mind reconditioning. But to answer why he was removed from your list would be because someone within Divisional wants him left off the list, I’ll point the finger at Franklin Rodgers, there was a lot of contact between the two eight months ago and last month a shit load of credits moved into his account, coincidently the same day all of the Districts files on Masters disappeared from the system, of course, nothing is really ever gone when The Ghost gets involved.”
“Can you send me all the data you have?”
“I’ll drop it in your box, along with known locations where Masters could be.”
“You just saved us a large fucking waste of time.”
“Always here to help, you need an extra body?”
“No, we’ve got it covered, I’ll talk soon,” Gary says as he hangs up and turns to Davey, who obviously overheard the whole conversation, no words are said between the two as they head out of the office and jump into their cruiser.
“You’re sure we keep it between us?”
“You heard Fontaine, this guy has Divisional protecting him, and Rodgers would’ve never worked alone. He is a subpar Detective, a pretty boy sucking and fucking the bigger fish to keep afloat. If we want a chance to stop him it’s now, and Jones seemed pretty happy with the results from his tests for the vaccine, and we’ve got a good few hours before this dosage runs through our systems, so I say we just run with it while we have a chance without involving anyone else.”
“You make way too much sense sometimes, it scares me.”
“Shut the fuck up and tell me where we’re going first?”
END OF ACT II