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Frightened young couple hugging behind brightly colored test tubes of unknow contents in the foreground

      The Perfect Monster

        We are witnessing the end of the cluster. Every two thousand years or so there is a cluster of events which when taken together remake the world and change the course of humanity until the next such cluster forms itself, two thousand years hence. We are now at the close of one such cluster. We will see the remaining events within that cluster, but having seen them, we will not survive them.

       This book is a book of fiction. The people described herein do not exist but what they can do exists and what is described as having been done technologically, has been done. Some technology is presented as if in the future, but it is technology which exists today. Some technologies are described as having originated some years back and that is so, despite their fantastical capabilities. Some actions which are described as having been taken, have been taken, despite their insanity.
 
        ‘The Perfect Monster’ by W. Lawrence Nash is gripping and suspenseful fiction which explores the dark side of human nature. Contagion grips the world and millions perish, but that is just the beginning of the horror. This fast-paced thriller follows the quest of Jack Trenchart and Claire Watchorn to foil the madness and prevent the total devastation of mankind. Society has broken down. Six great nations, China, the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Russia, and Canada posture as enemies while they collaborate and implement their collective solution. Get ready to delve into a world of psychological manipulation and monstrous deeds, where nothing is quite as it seems. If you're a fan of science- based fiction, this is a must-read for you!

EXCERPT

 

Chapter One: The End

Billions >6.7

1994 Brisbane Australia

 

        The only sound in the laboratory was the squeal of the slowly turning ceiling fan as it spun shadows of its blades across Lucas Glover's face. Lucas hung in a sickly posture in his chair with his notepad and pen thrown askew on the floor. His head was back, his eyes were closed and he slumped, arms draped and hands hanging, slowly moving his head back and forth. Glover was beyond sensation, for he knew what they had done. His technique had been scrupulously correct yet all twelve were dead; twelve subjects vaccinated successfully and all were dead. Lucas knew he and McCaffrey had sounded the death knell for the world.

The holiday weekend passed too slowly for Dr. Crystal McCaffrey and by Tuesday morning she was anxious to get back to her lab. Brisbane Australia offered up one of its 34 degrees Celsius, eighty percent humidity days. Crystal often rode her bicycle the four miles from her apartment to the Teralba Park research site, but not on days like this, and the air conditioning in her old Mercedes was struggling. The heatwaves shimmered up from Highway Five and she was wet with perspiration from the baking heat and the tension of the prospects at the lab. This week should be the payoff. Things had gone well with her research and Lucas would likely be at his bench recording his observations.

        It was a short sauna walk in from the parking lot to the lab and the asphalt was sticky on her shoes. The bike rack was empty except for one bike and Dr. McCaffrey smiled at the predictability. Lucas rode his bike every day whether it was rain or shine or inferno and he chained it to the rack under the roof overhang. He had become nut brown and fit from the cycling in the Brisbane sun and the daily aerobic ritual keened an already exceptional mind.

        McCaffrey entered the lab humming a tune from the car radio and hung her sun hat on the peg. She was fair skinned and she burned to a crisp in ten minutes. Brisbane weather was unpredictable. It was hot and humid, cold and wet, or bright and roasting, just wait a day. This was a roasting day and Crystal was soaked from the short walk into her laboratory. She threw on a stained lab coat with missing buttons and greeted Lucas with the same bad joke she had used every day, “So, Lucas, how they hangin’?”

        Lucas said nothing and he did not acknowledge her. His pallid head moved left and right in the strobing shadows of the overhead fan, in hopeless denial of what he knew to be true. As her stomach tightened, Dr. McCaffrey walked slowly to the containment area window and turned on the light. Through the glass, snuggled in a tight cluster, were twelve small gray and brown unbreathing bodies. The urine released on death had spread to make a sepia background of the portrait. Crystal stood immobile, digesting the morbid tableau and she tapped her nails lightly on the glass as if making a signal might awaken them. Without speaking and made senseless by the fear and understanding of what she saw, she shuffled into her office and rummaged there quietly and came back to Lucas with her bottle of Sullivan's Cove Scotch, which Crystal had purchased to celebrate the conclusion of her very difficult project. The project was certainly concluded but not as expected. She held a mug and a tumbler between her fingers and poured the tumbler half full of scotch and gave it to Lucas. She poured the mug half full and walked with it. She dragged her plastic chair over beside Lucas and sat. A fatigue of disappointment and guilt descended on Lucas and he looked at Crystal and said nothing. She returned the look and her eyes dropped through the amber liquid to the bottom of her mug. The two of them sat together and cradled the scotch. Its perfume was strong and Crystal sniffed close over it. The blade on the air conditioning fan continued to squeal. Needs oil thought Lucas. Crystal did not hear it. They exhaled simultaneously and both slumped in their chairs as if choreographed and each took a deep worried mouthful. Lucas hated the burn of the stuff, but right now, he needed to drink it. Crystal was the scotch drinker and she held it and played with it with her tongue before swallowing. It was the best scotch in the world and it was tasteless. They sighed and shook their heads because they both understood it. They had just stamped an expiration date on mankind.

        “You know Lucas, this changes everything. What we have done, it changes everything.”                                                                               Lucas nodded with his eyes focused ten feet out on nothing. “Yes, Crystal, I know. What now? What do you want me to do?”

        “Nothing. Lucas, there is nothing to do.”

        Lucas nodded to himself. He had already done enough.

        McCaffrey's experimental laboratory event went largely unnoticed. In due course her peers reviewed the failures and successes of the work she and Glover had authored. Those who read the research notes read them narrowly. The implications were not obvious even to professionals in the field. Their work was considered to be at most a laboratory curiosity which merited a side notation and nothing more. The potential for cataclysm was not recognized. Those researchers who did see the danger, decried the recklessness of it and moved on. However, there were others who liked what they saw from McCaffrey and Glover and they did not move on. They massaged the work and coddled it and tuned it up and made it their own.

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