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From the imagination of Chase Shivers

February 7, 2018

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Chapter 53: Quincy

Chapter Cast:

Gene Polanski (Mason Shay), Male, 45
- Business VP, husband of Tamara, father of Lauren, Finch, and Logan
- tanned beige skin, 6'1, 210lbs, short peppered grey-black hair
Tamara Khouri-Polanski (Quincy), Female, 43
- Professor, wife of Gene, mother of Lauren, Finch, and Logan
- dark olive skin, 5'6, 150lbs, shoulder-length curly rich brown hair with natural red highlights
Lauren Khouri-Polanski, Female, 15
- High school freshman, daughter of Gene and Tamara, sister of Finch and Logan
- medium olive skin, 5'8, 150lbs, back-length curly black-brown hair, colored white-streaked highlights
Finch Khouri-Polanski, Male, 14
- Eigth-grader, son of Gene and Tamara, brother of Lauren and Logan
- dark olive skin, 5'6, 145lbs, ear-length curly rich brown hair with natural red highlights
Logan Khouri-Polanski, Male, 12
- Sixth-grader, son of Gene and Tamara, brother of Lauren and Finch
- medium olive skin, 5'1, 110lbs, ear-length straight black hair
Holly Bridgewater, Female, 19
- Agent of Marker 1, sister of Anna
- Bronze-tanned skin, 5'1, 100lbs, straight shoulder-length straw-blonde hair
Anna Bridgewater, Female, 22
- Agent of Marker 1, Sister of Holly
- Bronze-tanned skin, 5'2, 120lbs, straight shoulder-length straw-blonde hair
Marcus Hannigan (O'Leary), Male, late-30s
- Former agent of M1 and Playa Gordo
- Pale, freckled skin, 5'11, 185lbs, short sandy-red hair
Adam (Silver) Silverbaum, Male, late-20s
- M1 Technician
- Ashy beige skin, 5'7, 150lbs, ear-length black hair
Aristotle Bridgewater, Male, late-40s
- Former M1 Executive
- Bronzed beige skin, 6'2, 185lbs, short blonde hair
Erol, Male, 16
- Turkish student
- Light-brown skin, 5'7, 135lbs, short, wavy black hair
Major Ingrid Danielson, Female, late-40s
- M1 Officer
- Tanned, freckled beige skin, 5'11, 175lbs, cropped coppery-red hair
Lee Lee, Male, 50s
- Neurological scientist
- Pale tan skin, 5'6, 130lbs, short black hair, wire glasses


Stutter... Shift

"Charles, good grief," Tamara laughed, "That was not funny."

The man grinned, never awkward except when it was just the two of them alone. In front of others, Charles Utah was the most charismatic man in the room, but in the rare moments he and Tamara were on their own, his carefully-controlled demeanor became a little hesitant. It was like he tried just a little too hard to impress her.

Tamara found it adorable. Sure, he was a reasonably attractive man, and, in some other life, she would certainly have given him a shot to take her to bed. But she was married, reasonably happily, and with all the other deep secrets Charles had gotten them involved in, Tamara was not about to add adultery to her list.

"Sorry," he said, "I heard that one from the Russians who came into town last week. I thought it was clever."

"Not nearly up to your usual standards."

"My standards are rather high, I agree."

His eyes lingered on her a moment too long, and Tamara looked away.

"Sorry," Charles said, "Quincy, I'm sorry. I know you're married, I... I shouldn't look at you like that."

Tamara shrugged, not really bothered by his attention. Just the opposite, really. It was just flirting, after all. "It's fine." Her eyes met his just long enough to let him know there was an interested there, but short enough to suggest it could go no further.

"So," he said, shrugging and shuffling his fingers rapidly across the keyboard, "what to help me settle a score with two Russians who stiffed us and left me with an inadequate joke?"

Tamara grinned, "Naturally."

Stutter... Shift

"I don't walk to talk about it, Charles. I just... need to not work with Mason for a while, okay?"

"Your husband is core, Quincy! You can't not work with him."

"Then I quit."

"Just tell me what happened. I can help!"

"Don't push it, Charles. Just drop it. Give me a few days. I just need to think."

Charles sat the device he'd been showing her onto the desk and lowered his head. "I'm sorry, Quincy, whatever happened. If I can help..."

His soft tone helped her calm down a moment. "Thanks, but I'll deal with it. I need to fly home and confront him. I'll be in touch."

Stutter... Shift

"What do you mean he won't be around? I fucking need him, Quincy!" Charles's anger was slow to rouse, but this time he was in an absolute rage. "What did you do?!"

"I did nothing, Charles. Nothing at all. He decided to walk away. Not me."

"Goddamn, woman. It is vital he fly in immediately. We turn this deal or we lose it. It won't work without him here!"

She shrugged, "Sorry. Out of my hands."

Stutter... Shift

"I'm glad you've both decided to be reasonable," Charles said calmly in that silky voice which always seemed to lessen the tension in any room. Across the table, Gene growled to himself, but he didn't continue the argument which flared up just moments earlier as he and Tamara saw each other for the first time in weeks in the hallway outside. "Reasonable," Charles continued, "is how we move forward. Now, I don't care one bit about your personal life. But I do care when it affects our work. Poppy will be here shortly. I expect you'll both remember your place in this plan? It needs to be... perfect..."

Tamara nodded. She was still furious at Gene. He'd been meeting with some woman named Vangalina over the past several months. She wasn't completely sure that Charles was ignorant. She'd seen him flinch, just once, when she'd used the name. Gene had refused to discuss it, saying only that Tamara had misunderstood something, that he wasn't cheating. But there were signs of his infidelity all around, and she'd seen them before. This wasn't the first time Gene had strayed. But it might be the last.

Stutter... Shift

"Charles... I'm tired... Poppy's left for the day. Gene's... somewhere else... Can't we just take a break?"

The man looked up from his monitor and keyboard, pausing to see that Tamara's expression held a measure of something other than exhaustion. "I... I suppose..."

Tamara hadn't really meant to try to seduce the man, or maybe she had. She really wasn't sure. Gene's behavior, namely his cheating and then the denial of his affair, had torn Tamara apart. Something broke inside her, and right that moment, she wanted to fill that break with something pleasurable. Charles was right there, reasonably handsome, attentive when needed, and she knew his interest in her went well beyond their secret projects for Whitehead. He'd never come onto her, never suggested she come to his bed, and that made it all the more intriguing for Tamara to take the lead.

She stood and leaned over him, taking one hand in hers and stroking it. Charles seemed nervous. He never seemed nervous. Awkward, in private moments with Tamara, but never nervous. It brought a delighted smile to her face.

Stutter... Shift

"Oh, Charles..." Tamara was on her back, legs spread, in the bed Charles used when he was in this apartment a few times a year. His form was awkward and uncertain, his movements more so, but Tamara loved it, regardless. It was like teaching a young boy about pleasure. Each step, she instructed him, guided him. Even to the point where his hard cock slid home, she coached his movements. "That's it," she breathed, "just like that... just like that... you're making me cum..."

Stutter... Shift

"No, Charles, Goddammit!" Tamara shouted from across the room, keeping her distance from the man whose behavior had become increasingly bizarre over the last few months. "What the hell are you talking about?"

"He doesn't understand you, Quincy! Only I get the real you! Please, leave with me and we'll put everything behind us... everything!"

Gene's infidelity had led to a strained period in their marriage, but they had not broken, and over the last few weeks, things had gotten much better. Tamara didn't tell her husband about the three times she'd bedded Charles, and she had no desire to do so. Lately, Charles had been aggressive. Tamara last shared a bed with him many weeks earlier, at first telling him the timing was wrong and encouraging him to work on Whitehead projects. More recently, Charles seemed to fixate on Tamara, talking ill of Gene, clearly lying about events Tamara knew had never happened. Charles was a manipulator, Tamara knew, and he wasn't even trying to hide it from her then.

"He understands me well enough, and I told you... What happened between us was a passing moment, something we both needed at the time, nothing more. It will never happen, Charles. Just unlock the fucking door and let me leave!"

Charles held the unlocking remote in his fingers, turning it over. He was fuming, as he did a lot lately, but then he calmed. A smile spread over his face. "One day, my dear, you will regret this. I promise you that. One day, you'll remember what you could have had, what we could have been, and you're going to regret this decision. One day... you're going to wish you'd chosen differently when your life is in my hands..."

Tamara's pulse raced, afraid that Charles was planning to kill her. Instead, she heard the various locks open behind her, one by one. She stared at him a moment. "I'd done with Whitehead, Charles. Forever."

"Oh, we'll see, my dear. We'll see..."

Stutter... Shift...

- - -

The battle for the port complex had ended moments after Logan had killed three enemy soldiers and wounded two more. The main fight had turned when Major Danielson and her guard of three or four tough veterans took captive the enemy company commander, causing the will to fight to bleed quickly from the opposing forces.

Logan had begun to shiver and feel quite weak immediately after the sounds of battle had died off. His ears were full of thick cotton, it seemed, his hearing clearly suffering from the long minutes of loud noises and concussive blasts. He slumped against the side of a warehouse and tried to regain his composure.

It was only starting to sink in that he'd killed three people. Two more were wounded and taken prisoner, and Logan knew they might die, as well. All because he'd been a hero. It left a bitter sting in his mouth. Why would a hero feel bad about doing the right thing?

"You alright, son?"

Logan looked up to see Major Danielson staring down at him. He tried to nod but it turned out to be more of a drooping slide further down.

She squatted and watched his face. Logan felt tears coming on.

"First time I ever killed somebody... I was sixteen," she began.

Logan listened as best he could through cottony ears.

"Was alone, near my home, got grabbed by this man and thrown into his truck. He tied me up, planning to rape me. I got lucky. The rope slipped and I was so angry that I used a screwdriver to stab him over and over and over and..." She was clearly reliving the experience and Logan watched her pause, shiver, and then Major Danielson collected herself. "The point is, Logan, sometimes killing is right. It's not easy, it's not fun unless you're a psychopath or a sadist. Mourn, my boy. That's natural. I cried my eyes out for days after I killed my wannabe rapist. But it was the right thing to do. No other young girls would suffer at his hands.

"You killed the enemy today, Logan, and do you know why it was the right thing to do?"

He thought a moment, then wearily shook his head.

"Because they would have killed you. They would have killed me. And Erol and every other ally you have on this island. And they would have tried to find your mom, and your dad, and your brother and sister, and they would have tried to kill them, too. Take comfort in that, my boy. Take comfort in knowing you suffer now for what you've done so that others don't suffer later. Others you love are safer because of your sacrifice. I won't pretend it's easy, Logan, but it is necessary."

He felt a little resolve inside him even if it was largely drowned out by his emotional response to the events of the day. "Okay..."

Major Danielson looked out over the complex, silent.

"Uh, can I ask a question?"

"Of course," she replied.

"What happened to the tank?"

Major Danielson shook her head and gave him a frustrated smile, "Never was a tank, it seems."

"What? I thought they had one."

"Fog of war, my boy. Fog of war. Information in battle is incomplete, at best, and incorrect at the worst times. There was no tank. Just a mistake. Good for us, yes? One fucking tank would have been a little difficult to deal with. We have no anti-tank weaponry here. Might have taken a fucking Sergeant York sort of hero to run a Satchel charge up on it."

Logan managed a weak grin. "I'd have done it."

Major Danielson smiled at him. "I have no doubt, solider. No doubt at all. Rest up. We're gonna evac out of here in about thirty mikes."

"Where are we going?"

"Israel. On our way to HQ to consolidate our forces. The fight is getting stretched out, thin in spots. Good time to check our strategy and use our forces where they can have the most impact. You'll be happy to learn, I'm sure, that your family, all of them, are fine. Just had word from the man Bridgewater himself. "

"That's great!"

Weary, emotional, overwhelmed, Logan curled into a ball and hid his head as Major Danielson rose and left him alone. He cried hard, perhaps harder than ever before. Deep in that personal, confusing misery was a nugget of happiness that he might get to see his parents and siblings again some day. He wondered how much would have changed for all of them before that moment happened.

- - -

Stutter... Shift

The Chancellor's manner was a mask of control and cleverness. Tamara needed little observation to see that the man really thought a lot about himself. Not quite openly pompous, certainly a tone of arrogance, but it was an indulgent arrogance, a charismatic personality accepting that other people must, in some way, assist his rise to even greater power and glory.

"And so, you see," the man said to the four of them gathered in the jet's comfortable lounge area, "the good Barron's skills will be put to great use. Great use."

"We don't take in strays, Chancellor," Charles Utah growled with less menace that Tamara felt necessary. The man talking to them had only recently been introduced to the group, and while he was clearly a man of means and power, his insistence in bringing in his own operator was meeting furious resistance from Charles. "We don't work with people we don't know."

"I understand, my good man," the Chancellor replied, "I so understand you. And that is why we are on our way to meet with him. I promise you, all of you, will be surprised by how many skills he brings to your team. Not just creativity and improvisation, but planning, and strategy, and... I daresay... some unique talents the likes of which you've never known."

"What sort of talents," Poppy asked to Tamara's left. The woman displayed the least emotion of all of them, a rare thing when Charles Utah was in the room. Poppy's demeanor suggested openness to the Chancellor's ideas, but Tamara knew the woman well enough to see through her mask. Poppy was pressing for weaknesses, and if it wasn't Charles doing the pushing, it was good to see the woman probing the Chancellor's suggestion with a delicate knife. "We have a wide range of talent, here tonight and elsewhere." Only Tamara, Gene, Charles, and Poppy had been brought to the inpromptu meeting at thirty-thousand feet, on their way to Nova Scotia to meet with a man calling himself Baron Quick. The other members of Whitehead would be informed if anything came of the meeting.

Everyone was in on the ruse of ignorance but the Chancellor. The seated members of Whitehead were already familiar with Baron Quick. The act had to be convincing, though.

"Ah, my dear, it is not really for me to describe to you the wondrous means at Quick's disposal. He is, shall we say, a man of many... techniques."

"You're dodging," Poppy replied.

"So I am, so I am," the Chancellor responded with a wave of his hand. "Do you have among you a man, or woman, capable of planting seeds of doubt? Of ensuring a certain person remembers events in a way you can control?"

"What are you talking about," Charles muttered, "sounds like hogwash."

"Not hogwash, my man, not one bit. No, I fear, instead, that I am doing the good Baron a disservice. I can only understate his abilities. I cannot do them justice."

"So, what," Tamara asked, "is he some sort of... brainwasher? Torturer?"

"Not the latter, I think," the man replied, "not intentionally, anyway. But your first guess... closer to the mark, perhaps, but once more, it does his work no justice. I feel you can only accept his genius by seeing him in action."

Tamara saw Charles flinch, and Gene's posture became a little defensive. You're overdoing it a little, boys, Tamara thought. Gene growled, "If you're planning a demonstration on one of us, you'll be dead before we reach the ground. That wasn't part of our agreement."

"No, no," the Chancellor waved away Gene's concerns, "We have a subject ready for tonight's demonstration. You four will only watch, of course. I would never do anything beyond our agreement."

Tamara knew that last statement was an obvious lie, but it did nothing to call the man out on it. "And what, exactly," she said, "does Baron Quick do for us to help you achieve your goals, Chancellor?"

The man smiled. The look wasn't exactly evil or cruel, but something about his expression raised Tamara's hackles. "My plan involves a long wait, my dear. I need... certain things... hidden... until I am ready to activate the final steps. Baron Quick will bring the ability to ensure such things... remain locked away... until I am ready."

"We still know almost nothing, Chancellor," Charles said evenly. "We don't even yet know how exactly we fit in to all this."

"You will, I promise," the man responded. "Before this day is out... you will..."

Stutter... Shift...

- - -

Gene woke with a start to feel Lauren's body against his, Finch cradled on her other side. They were in a narrow bed, crammed together. It took a moment to remember the state of things and Gene's stomach soured all over.

Tamara was in a coma, of sorts, restless in her unconsciousness. Mumbling incoherently a few seconds before growing still and silent again. Lee Lee and the medical staff were uncertain what was happening. Something in the sounds played had triggered the reaction in Tamara, but as of yet, no one knew how things might turn out. For all Gene knew, she was locked away, forever. He wished he'd protested more, done something to keep this all from happening, but it was too late for that, and Gene stewed, miserable and heartbroken, clutching his daughter as tight as he could against him.

They'd been convinced to get some rest by Holly, the short blonde's compassion deep and a small silver lining in a very cloudy day. Gene had led Lauren and Finch into a private bunkroom and together, they'd crawled on top, his kids soon snoring lightly and Gene not far behind. The exhaustion was extensive and deep, and despite his desire to remain alert and beside his wife, he recognized the need to get rest while her condition remained unchanged over the long hours.

Gene gripped Lauren and kissed her neck on instinct. It wasn't really sexual, the way his penis hardened. There was weakness in him, vulnerability, the real possibility of losing his wife sinking in. He needed assurance, most any sort, and having Lauren's warmth against him stirred deeper reactions than he could control.

He let her sleep, though, not doing much more than holding her, sometimes touching her face gently, his teen daughter's smooth skin so lovely to stroke and caress. She looked so much like her mother when she slept. Peaceful. Beautiful. He thought back to the day he'd mated with Lauren, fucked her, made love with her, and it did nothing to calm his erection despite the sadness invading his every thought.

A hand slid down between them and Gene felt Lauren's fingers press against the bulge in his slacks. She stroked it slowly, gently, then Lauren turned over to face him suddenly, staring into his eyes. She whispered, "I need you so much, Dad..."

"I need you, too, Lauren... God, I need you."

They kissed and caressed each other, and Gene's fingers started to draw down his daughter's pants and slide inside her panties.

- - -

Finch knew there was movement a moment before he opened his eyes. He could feel the bed shifting. The sounds of moderate breathing, light sighs, gave away what was happening. His eyes cracked open, weariness still heavy in his body, but when he saw the way his father was moving over Lauren, her legs spread, Finch's cock responded the only way it could.

Lauren turned to watch him as their father penetrated her. She sucked in her breath, staring at Finch. Her hand came to his face and she touched his cheek, then she moved the hand lower, lower, stroking his erection through his pants. Finch strained. He saw his father's tired smile watching him, each thrust into Lauren smooth and gentle. Finch simply loved seeing that moment.

- - -

Her father sliding in and out of her pussy, Lauren slid a hand down Finch's pants and grasped his cock. It was smaller than her dad's but it had clearly grown a bit over the weeks on the run, catching up in size quickly to the man inside her. Lauren shuddered as her dad elongated his strokes, hitting her cervix when he was fully in, then pulling back till just the tip of his penis was still nestled inside her wet vagina. It felt so good to let her father fuck her.

"Would you like to fuck your brother?" her dad whispered as they both watched Finch starting to hump Lauren's fist. Her father's question seemed to be less about Lauren's desires and more about her dad admitting this was something he longed to see.

"Yes..."

- - -

Gene slid off Lauren's body and stood beside the bed, his cock wet from Lauren's creamy cunt. He watched as his son shed his pants and quickly crawled between Lauren's thighs, replacing Gene's dick with his own, soon humping his sister in movements more rapid and urgent than Gene's had been.

He just watched, stunned and loving the way his children kissed as they mated. It was lovely, simply lovely. The two had fought so much over the years that this display of genuine affection, sexual or otherwise, was a real blessing in that troubling moment.

"Dad," Lauren breathed, moving her head to the side, "I have room for both of you..."

Gene didn't understand. "What, Sweetheart?"

"I have room for both of you," she repeated.

Lauren gently pushed Finch off of her, rolling the boy onto his back, his cock bobbing and wet. Gene knew it had grown over the years, but it looked rather impressive for a boy Finch's age, especially with white cream from Lauren's pussy coating the shaft.

Lauren mounted her brother, sliding her pussy down his length and holding it there while she pushed back her knees, causing her lovely young, smooth ass to spread and push up a bit. "I'm ready for you, Dad..."

Gene knew what his daughter wanted. God, was he excited. So excited that a jet of precum spurted out of his cock as he knelt behind her, his legs outside both kid's thighs, the precum splashing right against Lauren's tiny little anus. Gene rubbed saliva all over his length, then used the precum and more saliva to make her tight entrance slippery. He felt her butthole clenching his finger tight. It was going to be a challenge to slide inside, but once he thought she was wet enough, Gene pushed the head of his cock against his daughter's asshole and started to press against the wrinkled opening, hoping it would yield.

- - -

Finch could feel the pressure building along the top of his cock from where his father's dick was penetrating Lauren's ass. He knew, personally, how good it felt to fuck his sister there, and Finch did his best to hold still, cock throbbing in Lauren's cunt, while their father's penis stretched Lauren's butthole.

- - -

"Oh, God... Dad! Uhnnn..." Lauren felt more full than ever in her life. Finch's dick was swollen and throbbing in her pussy, her father's larger cock stretching her anus like nothing before. It took long moments of careful movement before she felt comfortable enough to move.

But move she did, rocking her body back and forth, both dicks sliding perfectly in and out with her motion. She gasped, mouth wide open in a breathless cry. Lauren felt her father's hands caressing her ass as he started to move, meeting her rhythm with gentle thrusts. Each one felt like it was ripping her open, but the pain reduced to discomfort and then became pleasure so suddenly that Lauren shuddered into orgasm, her holes squeezing two cocks tightly in blissful release.

- - -

Gene's dick was supercharged, on fire, and he was quickly building towards climax. He managed to hold off through Lauren's orgasm, but his control, and his will to be in control, was fast weakening. Finch was below them, and Gene could feel his son's dick thrusting up into Lauren's pussy. He heard the boy start to pant and moan, and seconds later, Gene felt the other thrusting cock swelling inside Lauren's pussy. It turned Gene on to no end to realize his son was ejaculating into his daughter.

- - -

The cock in her ass jumped and Lauren moaned. A second orgasm crashed in even as Finch's dick finished spurting. Her dad's penis swelled and stretched her, adding back in the discomfort she'd felt earlier. He started to grunt and Lauren was in another world, "Cum in my ass... Dad... Cum in my ass!"

- - -

He filled his daughter's bowels with sticky ropes of scalding cream, spurting over and over, his seed fired into her body with urgency and raw, animalistic passion. The last few strokes were harsh, though Gene hadn't meant them to be so. He was driven to slam himself into his daughter as he unloaded in her rectum, pulsing and spinning and growling in release. His dick burned so wonderfully when it stopped spitting jism through Lauren's tight anus. Gene breathed heavily, not really believing he'd just fucked his daughter while his son did the same.

But, to be fair, all the shit which had happened since they'd started running was unbelievable. At least this moment was one full of pleasure and love.

The resulting collapse of the three of them was full of kissing and touching and gentle caresses. Gene didn't care if it was Lauren or Finch his fingers or lips touched, he just wanted each of them to understand how special they were, how what they'd just shared meant everything to him in that moment. The way they whispered love for him, and for each other, and shared their sweaty flesh together kept Gene's mind from growing too dark.

It allowed him, for just a few moments, to forget that his wife was probably dying in a coma just down the corridor.

- - -

Stutter... Shift

"No fucking way," Gene growled. Tamara gripped his hand to try to calm him, but her husband was having none of it. "You're talking about playing God. I'm out."

"In a way, yes, Shay," Baron Quick replied calmly, "for the good of everyone! What we are doing is no different than inoculating against smallpox, or putting fluoride in the water supply. Everyone benefits when those with knowledge of what is best act decisively."

"Bullshit!" Gene shouted. "You want to poison the water, not fortify it. You're putting the means to control people's lives in the hands of a madman!"

Tamara saw no reaction from the Chancellor despite the man being the target of Gene's true wrath. Despite their careful ruse, Baron Quick had not played his part. Charles had given them a signal to consider Quick a wildcard, no longer an ally. That complicated things on many levels.

Baron Quick offered an easy smile, unperturbed by Gene's furious resistance. "It is inevitable, Shay, that this will take place. Today, tomorrow, the technology, the knowledge, of what we are doing will be rediscovered over and over. Can you not see that it is better to seize the controls now? While those with worse intentions are still in the dark about the tools capable of achieving evil ends?"

"Evil," Gene spat, "interesting choice of words, that. I think what you propose is evil, no matter your intentions. Utah," he said, turning to their partner, "if you are in on this, you can count me out. We walk some tight lines most days, but this is many bridges too far for me. I'm out."

The room held an awkward silence a moment. Even Baron Quick looked like he was out of patience, lips twitching and a nervous tick showed when the man couldn't stop rubbing his wrists.

It was Tamara who broke the silence. "Could you please explain again about these... what did you call them... resonant proteins?" Despite Quick's excited explanation moments earlier, Tamara could not quite picture how the whole scheme might work.

"Certainly," Baron Quick latched on to her encouragement, the excitement rising again in his voice, "it is quite simple, really. The virus is minimal, rather simple, and no tests will discover it for some time. It attaches in the right spots in a person's DNA, waiting to be turned on. A second virus takes control of the chain which manages production of a minimally-important protein, regularly producing just enough of our engineered version to keep the system ready to receive instructions.

"Wi-fi radios can be harnessed as a transmitter for the frequency needed to trigger the resonant protein creation, while also causing those proteins to combine given further instructions. It becomes a better defense than a body's immune system. Some new virus in the wild? We send signals which force the body to fight it immediately. No immune system could react so quickly nor so effectively. We have the knowledge to fight these things, it is the body which resists. We overcome that resistance. We cure cancers. We prevent illness. We make the human body better at all it does. It will no longer need to use such a lossy system as the immune response. We create that response. We solve the problems of disease directly."

"This seems far-fetched," Tamara replied, trying to picture the system being described. "There are so many viruses, bacteria, so many diseases with so many individual responses. You couldn't possibly effectively target and eradicate a single disease even if you had perfect genetic clones to work with."

"Oh, but there you are misinformed," Baron Quick replied. "We have tested this. Extensively. First in fruit flies. Then in mice and cats and cattle. Just three weeks ago, our largest human trial was ended early... because every person with cancer was cured. Every person we studied with diabetes no longer needed insulin. Each and every point of data we considered, we found only success. You see," he said, standing and spreading his arms wide, "we have become God. We will become God." He stared at each of the four Whitehead members, one at a time, eyes confident and full of steel. "The only real question before you is whether you will choose to ascend to the heavens to join us, in control of all things."

Stutter... Shift...

- - -

Gene paced restlessly. He'd left Lauren and Finch to doze, unable himself to find sleep again after the frantic, needful sex with his children. What had happened with the three of them was, for the moment, beyond his consideration. Other concerns weighed heavier in his mind.

His wife's condition hadn't improved. In fact, just in the last hour, her pulse had weakened. Her restless mumbling and shifting had been missing for several hours. In all outward appearances, Tamara was utterly unresponsive.

They monitored her vital signs. There was a heartbeat, though one which had swung wildly at times. Brain and nervous system activity seemed normal according to the Cambridge's medical officer. Normal, at least, for someone in a coma.

Being trapped on the submarine made it that much worse. The claustrophobia of knowing there was nowhere to go to get fresh air or to stare at clouds or a lake meant the cold, grey metal walls were all of the horizon he could see. He paced because it was all that was left for him to do.

And, despite Tamara's condition being horrible enough to drown out other thoughts, Gene couldn't help worrying about Logan. He'd gotten word a bit earlier that the boy had been found safe and was with an M1 Major in Malta. When pressed, Holly had told him that there was an attack on the compound where Logan was located, but it had been driven off and the platoon or so of soldiers, with Logan in tow, were on their way to Israel to consolidate forces with Spider.

It was great to know Logan was safe, but he was still alone, without any of his parents or siblings. The boy was surely frightened. And going to Israel didn't take him out of harm's way. Gene knew the M1 compound there was well-equipped for any attack, but that just reinforced the idea that it was an obvious target worth attacking.

Gene slumped against the side of the medical bay where Tamara was unconscious. The medical officer and Lee Lee where whispering quietly, the latter seeing Gene look in, saying in a calm, quiet voice, "No change."

Gene had poked his head in every five minutes or so since he'd crawled out of the bed where two of his three kids were sleeping. He had to know should anything change with Tamara. He was responsible for all this. He'd been the one to bring her into Whitehead. At least, he thought that must be true. Not all of his memories had returned. Big pieces of his time was still locked away, so the truth was that he wasn't honestly sure which of them joined Whitehead first, nor how they had played a role in helping Victor achieve whatever ultimate goal he sought.

He did remember Vangalia after Gabriel's insults. He'd maintained the cover he needed for that project, even to the point of letting Tamara think he'd cheated on her. She still believed Vangalia was what drove their temporary separation. It was, to be sure, but not in the way Tamara believed.

Gene's stomach clenched and he fought for breath. He didn't have all the memories back of that project, but it's implications were suddenly clear. Had Gene and Utah schemed to control Tamara's mind? Is that what we did? I recall the project, all the test subjects. Was that me laughing with Utah to discover our successes? Why had I agreed to such evil things? Why would I have allowed that to happen? It makes no sense!

Gene couldn't think of a reason why he'd participated. It was almost like... someone manipulated my mind first! It was so obvious that Gene felt stupid for never connecting the dots. Gene had no problem diving deep into grey, and sometimes, black hat territory. But manipulating people like that? No way was that a thing he would have seen through, no matter what. And neither would Tamara.

The problem was, Gene no longer trusted his memories. Since many had been hidden, many may also have been changed. What he recalled may have been planted. That was part of Vangalia, as well, at least, that's what his current version of his memories maintained.

He slumped further against the wall and buried his head in his hands. So much to unravel. The worst part was that Gene knew he'd never get all the answers, especially since Baron Quick was dead. Sure, Gabriel might have known some things about the man's ultimate intentions, but Quick was literally the brains behind the plot. Without Quick, many of the answers were nowhere to be found.

The hollow realization made Gene retch. He fought for control, and after a brief struggle, was surprised to find he regained it. Resolve to that absence, that hole, that doubt about what was real in his memories, formed like glowing steel plunged into a cool bath. Control was all he had. Control over how he reacted. How he responded. He would not be destroyed by the holes in his memories, by the doubts, not while Tamara and Finch and Lauren and Logan depended on him. Not while Holly was in his thoughts.

Not while the world literally depended on him not losing his shit.

There was nothing to do but pace again once Gene found his legs, but this time, he started to look for whatever answers might be inside his mind, doing his best to push back the very real fears about his family and his sanity.

- - -

Stutter... Shift

The straps on her wrists were chafing after countless attempts to pull free. Tamara's panic had crested some time earlier, giving way to mournful resolution. There was no escape, and whatever Baron Quick planned for her was clearly inevitable. It was just like the man to not see past the far ends of whatever plan he had prioritized over those in his care.

"I'm terribly sorry, Quincy. This is not quite the reception I'd hope to provide." The man had apologized that way several times already, and Tamara had no way to know if any of them had been sincere. They often were not. "I'm ready, now."

"I don't understand," Tamara groaned, "why me? Why now? What is happening?"

"A change of plans, I'm afraid."

"What change?"

"A falling out, of sorts. A disagreement. You see, not all comes easy when you seek to become God, Quincy. Some events are more complicated than should be. No matter," Baron Quick said, flicking a needle with his middle finger, "the resolution will be worth the effort."

"Resolution? What is happening to me?!"

"You, dear one, will help me ensure the proper outcomes are achieved."

"Is this about the virus? The proteins?"

"Oh, quite so." The needle stung from a distance, somewhere in her left upper arm. Baron Quick continued, "If he knew the truth about things, it would crush him. That would be a desirable result, but his ruin should last longer, and cause him more pain..."

"He?!" Tamara gasped as her mind began to swim. "Who?"

"Our former ally. The man who has not the brains nor the cleverness to be God. He will find only too late that his instrument of supreme power was a hallow shell." Quick's laugh was brief and lacking true mirth, just like always, but Tamara recognized as she drifted out that the man seemed to delight at the thought more than mere laughter could convey.

Stutter... Shift...

- - -

The large aircraft carrying Logan and a small handful of others to Israel had been cold and mostly empty, the voluminous bay which served as both seating for passengers and parking for vehicles held barely a fraction the capacity for the former, some of them on stretchers, and only one supply truck was pulled into a locked spot mid-craft.

The ride had been bumpy but otherwise uneventful. Logan had dozed, mostly, and rather enjoyed that Erol wrapped his arm around him in support.

Israel was mostly a blur of motion and shouting and fast Jeeps until they were inside the M1 compound. Logan was rushed in with the others, Major Danielson being led off to give some report.

"There's my hero!"

Logan turned to see the pretty blonde M1 agent Anna heading towards where he sat against a wall by himself. His heart fluttered. Doubly so when she knelt down and wrapped her arms around him. "I hoped to see you again, Logan! You did great with the vent!"

Logan grinned, the hurts in the world pushed aside for a bit. "Thanks... it was no problem."

Anna smiled, swiping a couple of fingers across his cheek. Logan shuddered. She whispered, "I've got something to show you later... Something I understand... you might enjoy..."

Logan cocked his head, "What?"

Anna simply held her smile while she laughed lightly, "You'll see. I'll come find you when I have a moment."

She certainly had Logan's attention, and he tried to think back to anything he'd said in front of Anna which might help him discover her secret. Nothing was obvious, but that didn't stop him from imagining what he often imagined, that, as the hero, someone was going to let him see boobs. Sure, he'd already had sex with several girls, and women, but he still thrilled at the idea of watching a pretty girl, Maybe even Anna!, pull her shirt up and let loose those lovely mounds.

Such thoughts helped him pass the next hour or two. Erol came and sat with him a while, bringing him soup and freshly-baked brown bread. By the time he saw Anna poke her head in the gathering area, he was starting to lose track of the sexy fantasies which had been circling his brain, weariness once more threatening to take over.

Anna led him down a hallway to a wide, twisting staircase. They went down two flights and entered another hallway, much like the first. Three doors and on the right, Anna stopped and passed a small card over the face, pushing the door open and ushering Logan inside.

It was a bunkroom, a single, narrow bunkbed along one wall, the top mattress holding a couple of shoulder bags, the floor showed one small dresser, a footlocker, a small sink on one wall, and little else. Anna smiled at him, "My room, for now."

"Nice," Logan replied without thinking.

Anna laughed, "Hardly, but... thanks. Listen, Logan... I've talked to my sister... and... I've learned a few things about you..."

Logan narrowed his eyes, "Huh?"

"That you... are doing some mature things for a boy your age."

Logan didn't exactly understand at first, but the way Anna pursed her lips at him made the connection easier. "Uh... yeah..." He wasn't embarrassed, not at all. No, Logan was rather excited to know that the pretty woman was interested in his sexual experiences.

"And I understand you were quite the hero in Malta. Quite the hero. Saved the day, the way I hear it."

Logan swelled with pride, keeping the darker thoughts at bay while he had Anna's personal attention. "I tried my best."

"Well," she purred, "I think someone so brave deserves a reward, don't you?"

His grin was his answer.

Anna moved her hands and unzipped her pants, sliding them down just enough to pull out the shirt tucked inside. Up and off her body in a smooth motion, Logan grew erect quickly to see Anna in her white, cushioned bra.

That was soon off, as well, and the pretty blonde's pink nipples were inches from Logan's face. Anna's boobs were proudly displayed to Logan's immense enjoyment.

"Do you like?"

"Uh-huh!" Logan knew just what to do. Anna's perfect tits were in his fingers as he sucked one then the other into his mouth. The youth was incredibly thankful for all the practice with his sister and others. He wanted to be perfect for Anna.

Her hands yanked off his shirt and pushed him onto the lower mattress, his pants and underwear off quickly. Anna drew down her open bottoms, slid down her underwear, and put her feet to each side of Logan's hips, squatted down under the upper bunk above.

Logan stared a moment, his hard cock bobbing and leaking precum. Anna's pink pussy was perfect, just perfect. Smooth, bald, the pink flesh bright and looking wet. Anna used two fingers to spread her cunt open, and Logan could see whitish-pink flesh inside her vagina. He swelled, and Anna was on him immediately.

Her slippery pussy slid down his length and Logan groaned in pleasure. "Ohhhh!" he cried out, "Ohhhhh..."

"Yes, Logan," Anna breathed, "is this a good reward for a hero? Is my pussy a good reward for you?"

"God... yes! Ohhh..."

It was true, Anna's cunt was so wonderful, so slippery, tight and clenching. Each move up and down made it feel like soft, tight silk was rushing along his length. He watched her face, then gazed to where the blonde's pink nipples danced as they mated.

He caressed her tits and she leaned closer, kissing him. Logan forgot all control, letting go to the experience, letting go to the overwhelming slippery flesh surrounding his young cock. Semen rushed out of him in thick, creamy ropes, filling Anna's vagina quickly, overflowing as he spurted, squishing, more fluids running out, more cum splashing inside her body.

"Yes... Yes..." Anna breathed, "Give me your cum, Logan. Cum in me..."

He strained like never before, his cock swollen to nearly bursting, squeezing out every glob of sticky cream his balls could deliver.

She fell over him and their lips met with passion. He felt drained and so, so blissful. He couldn't believe this dream had come true. She'd wanted him to be rewarded. Needed him to accept her gift. It was so personal, not a pity fuck but a reward. For a hero. Logan determined right then that he'd kill any number of people if it meant getting to fuck Anna again.

A darker edge to that thought tried to creep in and Logan pushed it away, smiling, forgetting everything but the beautiful woman kissing him and continuing to milk his cock with her tight, pink cunt.

- - -

Tamara was aware of herself. Distantly. Blurry and cold. This wasn't a memory, she realized after a long time. The masculine whispers nearby, sounds formless but surely with meaning, could be heard. There was a pressure in her head which was easing detectably, pain receding from her distant nerve endings. There was a calm to things. Not perfectly so, too many jagged edges to feel wholly smooth, but a calm nonetheless.

It was like the last puzzle piece had been roughly pushed into place. Difficult at first, but once fitted just so, the picture suddenly made sense.

Images flooded in. Conversations. Arguments. But most strongly, a simple whispered paragraph came through, a short monologue which changed everything. She remembered every syllable, every change in pressure against her eardrum as the man spoke the truth. She doubted anyone else currently living knew what she knew.

Tamara understood what would happen next. She knew what Victor needed to complete his terrifying project. She knew he would now know, as well. The timing was exactly right. All the pieces were already in place and had been for months. Victor just needed to unlock the last missing piece to turn on his transmitters and become a God, and Tamara knew the man would know now where to find the means to make it work. Tamara might be the key to it all, Victor would know, but the piece he was missing was elsewhere.

Inside, Tamara's smile felt real, but she knew her remote body never moved. She smiled because she knew something Victor did not. The real twist in Baron Quick's scheme. The twist which made Tamara admit to herself that he was, indeed, a genius. Victor would get his, all right, and in a way no one would expect.

Her eyes flickered open and she heard intakes of breath and feet slapping the floor.

"Tamara!" her husband cried out, "Oh, Tam!"

This time, her body responded when the instruction to smile was issued. Her voice was terribly weak, but she managed to say, "Gene..."

There was a bustle of activity and voices, but Tamara spoke into the chaos, "We must go home."

"Home, Tam? Atlanta?" Gene asked, his eyes searching hers.

"Home," Tamara smiled, blinking slowly, "Victor's final piece is sitting beside our bed."

The look of confusion in his eyes was somewhat priceless. She understood, even if he did not. He would see, in time, just how clever Baron Quick really was. How deliciously perfect the final act would be for Victor, the man bent on destroying the world.


End of Chapter 53

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