2. The Enemy of Disease (II)

Catch up on Part One here

What’s Happened So Far:
In the New Bristol colony, Lana and the remaining rebels start out on their attack of the ‘government’. Meanwhile, escaping from the emergency cargo just in time, Lewis and Emily are forced to find an alternative entrance into the citadel. After following tunnels for a while, they finally stumble upon an unguarded entrance. Infiltrating the citadel, they come across even more unfriendly androids and come under serious fire. Sneaking out through the suspended animation chamber where Shannon is located, Lewis and Emily find James safe with the gentle Professor Kerswell – who found the cure for the disease two years ago.

Music for this Extract:


Extract:

“So if you’ve found the cure, why are you allowing the human race to die out, become extinct?” Emily asked.
“Because I only had enough portaberum oil to cure five people of the disease,” the professor replied.
“But surely you could just go out and get some more from where you got the first load?” James joined in.
“Of course that’s what we did! But there were complications,” the professor stressed. “We only had two people left in the whole world that could fly the space vessels. All the others had contracted the disease. Unfortunately, at least one of the two drivers must have caught the disease before they’d left, as when they were coming back with barrels full of life-saving oil, they crashed the vessel onto the surface of the devastated wastelands above us.”
“And that’s why your masters have been sending you healthy rebels from the colonies?” Lewis asked gently. “To go out and retrieve the portaberum oil?”
“Exactly,” the professor replied.
James had questions whizzing around his brain that he feared asking would only result in more dark home truths. “So how come none of them returned?”
“Up there,” the professor pointed, “is so polluted and toxic that it would kill any man the second he emerged from underground.”
“So why do you send them up?!” Emily exclaimed, horrified.
“No, no, no, that’s not what kills them. Obviously anyone I send up to the surface is wearing specialist clothing, they look rather like astronauts actually, it’s almost endearing. No, no, it’s not the surface that kills them…” The professor gulped. “It’s what lives on the surface that does.”
“Lives?!” Lewis questioned. “How many more are there so completely against the idea of humanity’s survival?”
“Mutants,” the professor revealed with a dark and dulcet tone to his voice. “Once humans, those who were left behind have been modified by the toxic Earth so much that they don’t even resemble human beings anymore. Ugly, unintelligent, unknowing cannibals – the mutants are so hungry they’ll devour you the instant they know you’re there. Makes it rather difficult to retrieve portaberum oil a mile away don’t you think?”
“But it’s worth a try, isn’t it?” Emily stated bravely.
“What is, what’s worth a try?” Lewis responded, quickly and confused.
“Me, going up to the surface.”
“But you can’t, you’ll die!” James proclaimed.
“I’d rather die trying than sat around in these filthy tunnels, waiting for the magic fairies to come along, and make everything better!” She shouted, struggling to hold back the tears.
“I’m coming with you,” Lewis whispered.
“What?” James exclaimed, “but you don’t even live here, you haven’t been alive for nearly 200,000 years!”
“You said it yourself, James. We’re not leaving without Shannon, and the only way to leave with Shannon, is to get the cure. And as the professor’s just explained, the only way to get the cure, is to get that oil. I’m going with Emily.” he explained back, passionate about every word.
“Are you sure you want do this?” Emily asked, scared and unpatronising, looking him straight in the eye.
Lewis just smirked. “Let’s go meet some mutants.”

The Enemy of Disease Music:

Lewis, James, and Lana tell the story of Earth


Lewis gives Emily the Time Crystal


Next Time
:
The Sun Dancers: 3 of 13. Furious at Lewis for making decisions by himself all the time, Lana leads James and Shannon out on their own investigation. However things aren’t all as they seem as the team end up on a spaceship containing the ashes of an ancient Sun God. As the situation continues to spiral out of control, sacrifices must be made before the day is won.

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