*Note: This is totally fiction and in no way should be considered accurate.
Chaz stared beyond the third floor window to the darkened parking lot, barely noticing the storm that raged outside the glass. Thunder and lightning were but a backdrop to the turmoil inside his mind. Snapshots of the destroyed documents played back in his mind like black and whites through a mutoscope. Pages of data, names of colleagues, photo proofs of all the secrets and lies which cultivated a conspiracy of biblical proportions of death and destruction.
True, this wasn’t the first or nor would it be the last time a country resorted to biological warfare to obtain its goal. Many of his buddies were living with diseases from exposure to Agent Orange. He felt betrayed and ashamed that he was oblivious to the devastation manufactured in his own private facility. Now that he knew, who did he dare trust?
With the re-occurrence of hemorrhagic fever syndrome caused by Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa, Chaz pulled together some of the finest and most renowned scientists in the field of virology to work on a possible vaccine. Using a process of cloning through polymerase chain reaction, they had been able to reproduce antigens from human survivors for a possible vaccine or maybe even a cure.
“Colleagues, I come before you today to request human subjects with whom we can evaluate our serum towards thwarting and or arresting the EBOLA virus. We have tested it on chimpanzees infected with the virus and those that we placed into the same habitat. We have had astonishing success, showing antibodies adhering to the antigens of the virus and the non-infected subjects building antibodies against the virus within seven weeks. No subjects acquired the disease although they were continuously cohabitating with the infected ones. If we can duplicate this with our clinicians and the infected patients we may have found a cure and a vaccine to arrest and control this outbreak.” Expecting applause or at the least exclamation, Chaz was shocked by the silence that met his announcement. A few of the members leaned into each other, whispering in muted tones. Others just stared, waiting passively.
“Dr. Chaz Everett, this is astounding news; however, we are forced to reconsider your request. It has been previously decided that if we were successful, the serum would be given to our troops first before trialing it out in the field. If we find it is successful, then we will reconsider your request. However, it is imperative that this information not be shared outside of this facility at this time. As of this moment, I am afraid that this has top secret clearance only.” Dr. Benjamin Stanford declared with full agreement from the room.
Although he argued his points, the board would not be swayed. After the meeting, Chaz hastened to his favorite restaurant, disheartened and confounded. He ordered a carafe of his favorite Madeira. While eating his Caldo Verde with fresh hard rolls, he received a text requiring his presence immediately at the office. Hoping that the board had changed their decision, Chaz rushed out into the night, battling winds and sheets of rain that had started while he ate. By the time he reached the laboratory, his clothes were drenched. Taking the stairs to his office, two steps at a time, he arrived only to find the door locked and the lights out, just the way he left it. Angry that someone had pulled such a juvenile stunt, Chaz stomped into the office knowing he had a clean pair of scrubs, socks and shoes in his closet.
Turning on the light and relocking the door, Chaz turned towards his desk noticing a file folder lying squarely on the blotter pad with a note attached. Disregarding the fact that he was dripping onto the polished parquet floor, Chaz grasped the file and read, “Destroy Immediately upon Review”, written in bold red letters across the yellow sticky note.
Walking over to a well-worn leather chair located near an antique reading lamp, he switched on the light for better lighting and opened the file. Inside were photos of the cultures being grown for the EVD strain of antibodies but also bottles of the serum as well as the live virus lined shelves and incubators. Chaz flipped to the stacks of paperwork, so confused by what he read that he immediately reexamined the pictures again. They were grainy, as if taken with a phone and then printed on a regular printer. Going back to the pages, he could barely contain his anger and surprise to find out that his lab was being used for military and political purposes.
“They have no plans to use this for good at all. Why, my own government plans to infect neighboring countries with the virus, while protecting our troops. Their higher purpose is to destroy those governments, blaming it on the epidemic. Who cares how many innocents need to perish for their political motives.”
Realizing the importance but also the danger, he took photos of the documents with his phone. Chaz walked to the men’s room, flushing the paperwork down the commode.
Deciding his course of action, Chaz packed up his computer and legal papers, driving across the Canadian border heading to Ottawa. Resting in his briefcase were the research papers and documents to the viral serum. He couldn’t trust his own country or colleagues so he would take his chances elsewhere. Maybe the Queen of Canada and the other Commonwealth realms would be interested in the plans of the United States.
After crossing into Canada, Chaz released the breath he had been holding. He smiled. He’d made it.
In New York, two black suits watched through binoculars as the horizon lit up on the Canada skyline. The ground shook and flames rose above the trees. Police on both sides scurried to close down the border.
“Don’t you just love doctors with scruples?” The two men, placing black shades to conceal their eyes, stepped back into the black sedan and melted into the night.