This is the very last episode of Virus. If you’ve been waiting to read it all in one go, now’s your chance.
Sunday, AC April 16
Godfrey was asleep on the couch when the front door opened. He sat up, grabbing the electric pistol from the table beside him.
“Whoa,” Liam said holding his hands up. “It ain’t good form to point a man’s own gun at him. I see you helped yourself to my stash.”
“Emergency situation,” Godfrey said, “Sorry.”
Sennett nearly shoved Liam to the ground to get past him. “Where’s April?” she asked.
“Asleep in her room,” Godfrey said. Sennett bolted without another word.
A moment later Godfrey heard April squeal, “Mommy!”
The shout woke Mason, who ducked his head out of his room just as Sennett came out of April’s holding her. “Sennett!” he cried, grabbing both of them in a hug. Sennett hugged him back. Over his shoulder, she looked at Godfrey. “Thank you, for protecting them again,” she said.
Behind them, Sennett’s bedroom door opened. Ny came out, looking angry. In the short amount of time Godfrey had known Ny, he’d found that she was almost always angry. Her pale pink skin and orange hair were startling even by Khloe standards, reminding Godfrey that sometimes the prettiest animals were the most poisonous.
Her look of anger faded away when she saw Sennett. “Hey,” she said.
“Ny?” Sennett said, turning to look at her. “What are you doing here?”
“I came to help out since you left April with this useless lump,” Ny said, gesturing toward Mason.
“I’m so glad you’re okay,” Godfrey said, hoping to interrupt the fight before it started.
“For now,” Sennett said. She sat April on her feet. “I need to call Schultz and the Marshals, now.”
“You’re not leaving again, are you?” April asked, clinging to her hand.
“No,” Sennett said, “I’m not leaving you for a good long while. I’ll call them from the living room.”
“What’s going on?” Godfrey asked.
“I only want to go over it once,” Sennett said, “But Godfrey, I have to tell you. It involves Earth.”
Sennett sat on the couch, brushing her hand through April’s hair. “We’re going to take a vacation,” she said, “Right after school lets out. Where do you want to go?”
“Can we go to Station Central?” April asked, looking up at her. The pleading, joyful look in April’s eyes melted Sennett. She thought of how close she’d come to never seeing her child again. How close April had come to not being there when she returned. “Anything you want,” she said with a nod.
The front door opened, and the marshals came in. “It’s good to see you,” Howard said, as Sennett rose. She offered her hand to shake, but he pulled her into a hug instead. “You missed some crazy times.”
“I’ve had enough of the crazy,” Sennett said.
Joy nodded. “Commissioner Schultz won’t be joining us. She’s taking a leave of absence, to mourn her niece.”
Sennett reached out a hand for Joy, who grasped it firmly. “I am glad to see you,” Joy said.
“Me too,” Sennett replied, “But you might not be as happy when I tell you what we’ve found out. If you’ll give me just a moment, I need to contact Captain Evelyn.”
Sennett turned to the screen and tapped her wrist pad. In a moment the Central Command office for Station 19 appeared. Evelyn was there, with Nerumi and Wesley behind her.
“Nerumi!” Sennett cried, nearly laughing. “You made it!”
“Ernie, too,” Nerumi said a gentle smile on her face. “The cure worked! We think it might work on Earth, too.”
“Why?” Godfrey asked. “What’s happening on Earth?”
Evelyn signed. “From what we can tell, it’s been invaded by a new race. They don’t appear to be humanoid, but we can’t really tell.”
The room seemed to have been struck dumb. Godfrey placed his hand over his mouth, his eyes wide.
“My, my father is on Earth, in America,” he said.
“Then he’s in more danger from the virus that we were here,” Evelyn said, “I’m sure that Sennett can fill you in on the details. I’m sending you some videos and research that we found. I wouldn’t advise playing it with the little girl in the room.”
“We’re going to head to Earth after a few days,” Nerumi said, “We’ve got some new recruits here. And with the cure for the berserker virus fully tested, we can get it to the Americas.”
“Young lady, I have a question,” Joy said, “You said that you think this invading race isn’t humanoid. Why do you say that?”
“Because we haven’t seen them, Ma’am,” Evelyn said, “No one has. They hide in large metal suits that are all but impenetrable.”
“This virus was actually designed to help fight them,” Wesley said, “You can see how that went.”
Sennett’s wrist com lit up. She glanced down at it. “Excuse me, everyone,” she said and headed for the kitchen.
“The Hollow Suits are all but unstoppable,” Evelyn said, “If they start taking over stations, humanity is lost entirely.”
Something shattered in the kitchen. Godfrey looked over quickly. “I’ll go see what’s wrong,” he said.
Sennett was kneeling on the ground, using a small broom and pan to sweep up the bits of a mug. Tears were streaming down her face.
“What happened?” Godfrey asked, kneeling in front of her.
“I just got a call from Sophie,” Sennett said, her voice raspy. “She’s a friend of mine who works at the off-station prison. I’m going to get an official notice later today, but she wanted to let me know as soon as she heard.”
She looked up at him, her eyes blazing. “They’re letting her out early, Godfrey. They’re letting that bitch out early!”
“Who?” he asked.
“Candace Campbell,” she said, “The woman who killed Lo!”
End of Book Three
Copyright © 2018 by Nicole C. Luttrell
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