Virus, Episode Eighteen

Behind? Catch up now.

Episode One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen

Godfrey

Wednesday, AC April 12

“Let’s give it another foot,” Godfrey grunted, picking up one side of a heavy dividing wall.

“Sure,” Mason said, “Just decide where the hell you want the damn thing to be, it’s heavy.”

Together, they lifted the wall in the greenhouse, moving it into place. “That looks better,” Godfrey said with a nod.

Mason stood up and wiped the sweat off of his face. “We didn’t need to put a divider up at all, you know. My organ plants aren’t going to hurt your vegetables.”

“Haven’t you ever heard of cross-pollination?” Godfrey asked, “I don’t want someone biting into a tomato and finding out it has heart flesh because the two plants bred.”

“Plants don’t breed,” Mason said.

“Yeah they do, with pollen,” Godfrey replied, “That’s why I’ve got the fans running in specific places, to help the pollen get around.”

“How have you people been taking care of that on Earth, since all the bees died?” Mason asked.

“Lots of expensive and ineffective measures,” Godfrey said, “It’s one thing in a little greenhouse like this, but fields can’t be pollinated by fans.”

“Hey, is anyone here to take my order?” someone called from the counter.

“Coming!” Godfrey called. He turned to Mason and said, “You can get the last two panels up. They’re less than half the size, they should be easy to move.”

“Maybe with your farmer’s arms!” Mason cried, tossing his hands up in the air.

Officer Patricia was leaning against the counter, her graying hair pulled back into a simple bun.

April was perched on a stool. “Hi, Mr. Godfrey,” she said.

“Hey, Little Bit,” Godfrey said, “How was school?”

“Good,” she said, “I got a new book to read, and Alex threw up at recess, and Au brought his pet turtle to show and tell.”

“That sounds like a better day than I had,” Godfrey said.

“It was pretty exciting,” Patty said, “Hey April, why don’t you try out those new headphones I gave you and watch a video?”

“Mommy said I’m not supposed to watch videos until my homework is done,” April said.

“We just won’t tell her,” Patty said, “I think there’s a new episode of Howie’s House.”

“Ooh,” April said. She dove into her bag and pulled out her tablet. In no time she had her headphones in, the rest of the world ignored for the sake of her show.

“I thought April had some sort of headset built into her earpiece,” Godfrey said.

“Yep,” Patty said, grinning, “So I think it’s pretty obvious that I wanted to have a private conversation with you.”

“Oh, yeah that makes sense,” Godfrey said.

“Someone claiming to be Sennett showed up at the school today and tried to pick up April,” Patty said, “They were wearing a seeming cuff. The secretary realized it wasn’t her right off, of course. Didn’t walk like her, didn’t talk like her. Common mistakes. Of course, she took off before I could catch her.”

“Shit,” Godfrey whispered.

“What’s wrong?” April asked, taking off her headphones.

“You need to work on your poker face,” Patty said, raising an eyebrow at him.

“Hey, Officer,” Ki said, walking up to the stand. “What did my husband do this time?”

“Truly horrible things,” Patty said, ‘I’m loth to repeat them in front of a child. But we’ll let him off with a warning this time.”

“I’ll just have to keep a better eye on him, then,” Ki said.

“Mason, are you ready to go?” Patty called.

From the greenhouse came a thunderous clattering sound as one of the partial dividers crashed to the ground. This was followed by a flood of swearwords.

“Yeah, he’s ready,” Godfrey muttered, “Get him out of here, please.”

Ki leaned across the counter and stole a fry off of Godfrey’s plate as Mason and April left with Patty.

“Everything okay?” Ki asked.

“No,” Godfrey said, “Someone tried to pick April up from school today, wearing a seeming to look like Sennett.”

“That’s freaking scary,” Ki said, “What the hell is going on with that family?”

“I don’t know,” Godfrey said, taking a fry himself.

“So, I talked to Angela today, in optometry,” Ki said, “About us having kids?”

“Yeah?” Godfrey asked.

“Yeah.” Ki looked down at the counter. “Actually, she came to see me. I guess a lot of the optometrists are kind of pissed off at Sennett.”

“Why, because she won’t let people experiment on her kid?” Godfrey asked.

“No,” Ki said. She leaned against the counter. “She said that she and a few of the doctors asked to take a look at Sennett. Knowing what about her made her able to carry a half Khloe baby might bring us closer to helping people like us have a kid. Godfrey, do you know she turned them down?”

“She hadn’t told me anything about that, actually,” Godfrey said.

“Maybe you could talk to her about that when she gets back,” she said.

“Talk to her about what?” he asked.
“Well, about maybe letting someone run some tests on her,” Ki replied.

Godfrey laughed. “I don’t think Sennett’s going to like that suggestion,” he said.

Just then Saul, with his suit jacket tossed over his shoulder, sauntered up to the counter. “How are the Anders today?” he asked, grinning.

“Doing alright,” Ki said, giving him a wary look.

“Good, good,” he said.

“How are you doing?” Godfrey asked, “Can I get you something to eat?”

“Sounds great,” Saul said, “The poll numbers are looking real good, might as well celebrate a little.”

Godfrey started chopping up some chicken for a sandwich, then tossed it onto the range.

“Were you talking about Officer Montgomery?” Saul asked, “I was just talking to someone at the hospital about her.”

“I know a lot of my colleagues have been talking about her,” Ki said, “They’d like to run some tests, but Sennett doesn’t seem interested.”

“Yes, that’s what we were discussing. Don’t worry, when she gets home I’m going to talk to her. Persuade her to let us do some tests on both of them.”

“I don’t think Sennett’s going to be up for that,” Godfrey said. He tossed the chicken on a bun with some sauce, and put some fries on the plate before setting it in front of Saul.

“It’s just some blood work and some exams,” Saul said, shrugging. “Besides, there’s lots a marshal can do for the good of the police force. The detective will play ball. If she won’t, her commissioner will lean on her for the greater good.”

He took a bite of his sandwich. “This really is great,” he said.

Godfrey stared at Saul. “I’m sorry, what did you just say? Are you talking about withholding resources from the police force to make Sennett consent to tests on her child?” he asked.

“That’s not what I’m suggesting at all,” Saul said, “I’m talking about incentivizing her to do something harmless that she probably should have already done.”

“And you think it’s our right to tell Sennett what she should do about April? Have you ever even met them?”

“No, but I don’t see what that has anything to do with the situation,” Saul said, “We can learn so much from April. Sennett hasn’t got the right to keep us from that. It’s going to help people like you two have a baby, after all, and that’s just a start.”

“Right,” Godfrey said and flipped the plate of food onto Saul’s lap.

Saul jumped up, crying out in disgust as he grabbed a napkin to wipe the sauce off of his pants. “I can’t believe this!” he cried, “All this fuss over a few tests?”

“No, it’s about the freedom to say no,” Godfrey replied, “I’d suggest you take off before the news people see you. I don’t think this will be the photoshoot you’re looking for.”

Ki looked from Saul to Godfrey. “I, I think I’ll head home now,” she said quietly. “I’ll see you tonight.”

And she hurried away before Godfrey could say anything to her.

Godfrey boarded the transit at the end of the night, trying to avoid stares from the other passengers. He supposed that flipping a plate of food into Saul’s lap had probably been a little drastic, and word had probably gotten around.

Even on his own level, walking towards his house, he was followed by whispers. He was reminded of his small hometown, not in a good way.

He just wanted to get home to Ki and close the door on the rest of the station for a while. With that pleasant thought in mind, he opened the door.

None of the lights were on. Godfrey turned on the one in the living room. “Ki?” he called.

There was no answer. But there was a red flashing light coming from the kitchen table. He went to it and tapped on the screen.

Ki’s face appeared. She looked like she’d been crying, but when she spoke her voice was steady.

“I know you’re not going to like this,” she said, “and I’m sorry for what I said. But I think that you maybe need to do some thinking about how you really feel about me. And about Sennett.”

Godfrey sat down hard on the kitchen chair.

“I was angry for a while because I thought you were sleeping with her,” Ki continued, “But that wasn’t fair of me. You’re a better, more loyal person than that. The more I see how you’re reacting to Sennett being missing, though, the more I see that it’s tearing you up. You’re in love with her. And I don’t want you to stay with me out of some misguided sense of responsibility.

“So I’m going home to visit with my parents. When I get back we can talk about what we’re going to do.”

She took a deep, shuddering breath. “Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m overreacting, I don’t know. I hope I’m wrong. But I guess we’ll see.”

The screen went dark. Godfrey sat at the table another minute. Then he checked the time stamp on the video. It had been taken hours ago. There was no way he could go after her.

Even if he’d wanted to.

He went to the fridge to get a drink, feeling numb.

Just when he closed the door, his wrist pad lit up. Mason was calling.

“What’s up?” Godfrey asked.

Mason looked pale. “Can you come here, maybe?”

“Why?” Godfrey asked, “Mason, you look like you’re gonna be sick.”

“Someone tried to break into the house again,” Mason said, “They, they shot an acid gun through April’s window! The cops are here but, but I don’t know what to do. April’s crying and I can’t- I can’t get her to stop, she’s so freaked out.”

“I’ll be right there,” Godfrey said.

Copyright © 2018 by Nicole C. Luttrell

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

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