Diary, I have to be completely honest with you. I've left some things out. There are some things I couldn't tell you about. Some suspicions I had that I didn't mention, for fear that I was being monitored. But after today, I don't need to worry about that. So here is a candid explanation of what has been going on.
I thought that Alexander Dalton and Thomas Markovitz were up to something. My first hint was all of the bizarre suggestions Dalton has been giving me regarding my mutated superflu. They kept dancing around the same central theme. He wanted a virus that would infect and kill people who aren't MAD.
I grew more suspicious when I heard about Tom buying a pharmaceutical company. Medizi was known for being able to synthesize complex organic structures from a genomic blueprint. They have dozens of such facilities around the world. Perfect for starting a pandemic. The disappearances of Joanne and Camille were the final straws. They were test subjects, so Dalton or Markovitz could test that MADs were indeed immune.
I knew this was crazy. I knew it was ridiculous. But today, when I entered Dalton's lab, I had my eyes open.
The screens changed as I opened the door. When I looked again, they said something innocuous about Alzheimers. But just for a brief flash... they had said something different. I tried to reconstruct it as I talked to Dalton. It seemed to be talking about a virus that was only active for precise ration's of neurotransmitters. Very suspicious, and made even more frightening by that fact that he felt the need to cover it up. I grew nervous as I spoke to him. "Wh-what are you planning to do this weekend?" Build a bioweapon?
"I will likely be flying to Brazil on Sunday. The president will need me."
"He trusts you a lot, doesn't he?" I bet he doesn't know what you're cooking up down here.
"I have earned it. More than ten years of loyal service, for the betterment of all mankind."
Until now, huh? "W-Well... see you later."
I was suspicious. Extremely suspicious, at this point. But it was still possible that Alexander was working on some secret project to use a virus to treat some mental disorder. Unlikely, but possible. This would require some snooping.
It was a simple matter to sabotage one of the terminators. I felt like Sarah Connor as I opened its skull up and melted on of its connections with a blowtorch. Next, I visited Dalton. "One of the terminators is broken, and I haven't been able to fix it?
Dalton sighed. "Those contraptions can be quite a bit of trouble. But still, I suppose I had better take a look. Quite likely some silly mistake Tom made while constructing them." He left.
I watched him walk away. As soon as I knew I wasn't being watched, I pulled a small camera out of my pocket. It would transmit to my laptop, and I could watch Dalton as he did his work. After I has ascertained what he planned to do, I could go to the police, no the FBI, with my evidence. Would they believe me? Dalton was a powerful man. My best bet would probably be to go public with the information. Then, there would have to be an investigation.
Eventually, Dalton returned to his office. He pulled up some notes on his screen. He jotted down some diagrams on his touchscreen whiteboard. I tried to follow along. It did look like he was designed a virus. It certainly looked like it could be lethal. It also looked like he was incorporating a lot of my work without telling me.
I began working out the best way to go public with this information. I could email a few hundred reporters simultaneously. I would post the information online, probably in several places. Actually, I could probably ask Tom for money, and the pay for a big banner ad on the front page of some important website. I was compiling a mailing list of reporters when I heard a knock on my door.
My heart froze. Had I been found out? I walked slowly, and opened the door.
And saw Dalton standing outside with two terminators.
"I am the greatest scientific mind on the planet," Dalton said. "Did you think I would fail to notice your clumsy blowtorching?"
I opened my mouth, but didn't trust myself to speak.
"Oh, I know you bugged my office. Pretty easy to pick up on it when you send the information over Wi-Fi."
"It... it was encrypted," I sputtered. No idea why I felt such a need to explain that. He must have already known.
"Yes, but it still looked like video. And it wasn't hard to figure out where it was coming from. Of course, I also saw you put it there. You aren't the only one with a camera in my office. Which prompts me to ask. How much do you know?"
"I know everything," I said. "And I already went public with it."
"You did no such thing," Dalton said. "Now tell me what you know, and I will explain the rest."
"I know that you are working, using my research, to create a disease that will kill everyone in the world except MADs."
Dalton cracked a smile. He began to laugh. It was the first time I had ever seen any levity from him. "No. In fact, quite the opposite. I am working on a virus that will kill all MADs. Kill you and me and all the dangerous maniacs who threaten the world with nuclear annihilation. That is my plan."
I was confused. "You want to die?"
"I am willing to sacrifice my life for what I believe in, yes."
"How long have you been working on this?"
"In broad strokes, for about three years. If I cannot cure MADs of M.A.D.N.E.S.S., I will cure the world of MADs. I first came across your work on the subject a year ago. For you information, soon after your arrival in Poughkeepsie, you would have found yourself here."
"And what exactly is your plan?"
"I will release the virus using Tom's recently purchased Medizi facilities, as well as several other similar facilities I have constructed. It will be a modified form of the London Virus, in fact. It will infect the brain, and replicate. It will cause only a slight headache in neurotypicals, but will be fatal to MADs in less than eight hours. It will be contagious enough to kill ninety-nine percent of MADs within one week. Air- and waterborn."
"I am. So are you. So is Tom, and so is Gabe, and so is Oberon. And any one of us could wake up tomorrow and kill a million people. We could turn New York or Los Angeles into the next Topeka. The next London might not be a city. It might be a whole country, or the world."
"But, you're becoming the very thing you hate. You said yourself that you're modifying the London Virus."
"If you're worried about its affect on neurotypicals, don't worry, I have already begun to test the virus, although there is still tweaking to do."
"But even if it works, you will kill thousands."
"Millions, more likely. But it will still be smaller than London. Did you know Oberon once tried to destroy Washington? Or that Xingxi Yu tried to knock out the European power grid? MADs are the greatest threat- the only threat- to human survival, and I will eliminate them."
"Are you going to kill me?"
"I thought I made it clear-"
"No, are you going to kill me now?"
"I am not. I was hoping you would join me."
"Why on Earth would I do that?"
"Because you agree with me. Allegra, soon after you discovered your sickness, you killed six people. I read the reports, I watched the trial. I know how you feel. I know that you will do everything in your power to ensure that no one ever does what you did."
"You're trying to do the same thing but millions of times worse! And MADs do good things as well. Think of everything we've accomplished here!"
Dalton sighed. "Yes. Every now and then, we give the world a little toy. But none of it can balance out the threat of species-wide extinction that every one of us represents."
"I hope you understand I am not a villain. I am giving a great gift to the world, and I need you help. I will let you sleep on it. One of my machines will bring you dinner. Tomorrow, you will see reason. Or I will make other arrangements."
Well, the choice seems pretty clear to me. Killing that many people is wrong. But... Dalton knows a lot more about MADs than I do. Could he be right about this?
I mean... he has some valid points. We are dangerous. MADs kill people every day. Right now, there are only five thousand in the United States, but we are still one of the dominant issues in the country. What the rate of M.A.D.N.E.S.S. continues to increase? One of us will eventually kill everyone with a virus, or nanobots, or a black hole, or nuclear war.
But... I can't kill myself. I can't kill Gabe. I'm not even sure if I can kill Daniel. MADs are people. We are living, thinking people, who don't want to hurt anyone. We save lives. We do more good than harm, don't we? I can't work with Dalton on this. I can't.
Diary? I'm scared. I don't know what Dalton will do to me, when I tell him I can't work with him. Will he torture me? Will he threaten Gabe? Or my parents? I can only imagine the sort of pain a MAD like him could inflict on someone. He has an expert knowledge of the human brain, and unlimited resources. And I am held captive by his army of terminators. I am scared.