Bella couldn’t help but stare at Edward. She vividly remembered the day that he had broken her heart, causing her to seal away her affections, never permitting any other man access to her heart. The memory strengthened her resolve to maintain a professional distance as she turned away, then stepped behind the President’s Resolute desk, her desk for the next four years, or possibly more.
“Mr. Cullen, please have a seat,” Bella said in a voice void of any emotion.
Edward paused for a moment. His heart was racing just being in the same room with her. She had only become more beautiful over the years. He watched her graceful movements as she walked around the desk and turned back towards him. Then he heard her voice as she told him to sit down. It was so formal, so void of any feelings, unlike the one he had remembered. He used to love to listen to her talk, her voice was so full of passion for whatever subject she was discussing. Things were undoubtedly different now and he needed to realize that.
“Thank you, Madam President,” Edward said as he unbuttoned his jacket and sat down, adjusting the holster, so it didn’t dig into the chair.
“I have been briefed on your responsibilities, though I would like to get to know the qualifications of each of the agents assigned to this office, including yours,” Bella inquired as she tried to keep her voice steady.
“Yes ma’am, I served four years in the Marines, spending most of my tour in Iraq and Pakistan. When it was time for me to re-up, I decided not to continue and came back to Washington. Once here, a friend of mine convinced me to apply to the Secret Service. I have been an agent for over five years and on Presidential protection for four of those years. My last position was Deputy Special Agent In Charge,” Edward answered, his voice also empty of emotion.
Bella wanted to know more about what he had been doing since he had left her, but it wouldn’t be appropriate to ask for personal information. “Thank you, Mr. Cullen,” she said, then looked down at the folder on the desk that had the names of her security team. “I see that there is one female agent on the team.”
“Yes, Kate Vos. She was top of her class and has been an active agent for three years. The Deputy Special Agent in Charge is Garrett Kline. He has been in the agency for eight years and on Presidential duties for five. He protected President Swan in his last year in office.”
“Well, Mr. Cullen, I am going to be extremely busy for the next four years putting this country back together after the mess that Aro Volturi has gotten it into. As I am sure you are aware, there will be a lot of traveling and visiting the hardest-hit areas of the country. Also, I am sure you are aware and well versed in the procedures and protocol with visiting Heads of State. I intend to rebuild the relationships with all our allies and restore the reputation of this country again. Do you have a problem with any of that?” Bella asked.
“No, Madam President. I will ensure your safety wherever you may go or whoever may grace this venerable institution,” Edward proclaimed, meaning it more than she would ever know.
Doctor Zafrina Botha stepped outside of the facility to take a moment to get a breath of fresh air. She had been in the building for forty-eight straight hours and the breathing apparatus was beginning to irritate her skin. She entered the decontamination unit, stripping off her headgear, suit and stepping naked in the shower. Donning a clean pair of scrubs, she pulled her long wet hair back into a ponytail.
As she walked outside, the excruciating heat hit her like a brick wall. The facility for her lab was in Lake Assal, which is located in the middle of Djibouti, in a closed depression at the northern end of the Great Rift Valley. Situated in the Danakil Desert, it is enclosed by hills in the western region. This location had been selected due to the fact that no one ever ventured into the area and provided them the seclusion and secrecy they needed to complete their work. Finally, her sister would have her revenge against those who had killed her husband. Zafrina thought back to the day that her backers had contacted her.
It was the day after her brother-in-law’s funeral. Serena was an emotional wreck and Zafrina was trying to comfort her. Amun was a local business broker in Matadi, while Serena worked as a doctor in the local hospital as an infectious disease specialist alongside her. Zafrina’s specialty was the mapping of the ebola virus.
She was sitting in her office going over the lastest data she had, hoping to find a cure for this bug when a man walked into her office.
“Good day, Dr. Botha. How is your sister holding up?”
Zafrina was taken aback by the fact that the man knew about her sister’s heartbreak. “As well as can be expected. Does she know you?” She asked, her eyes held a puzzled look. He was about six foot tall, dark hair, ice-blue eyes, and had a thick Russian accent. His pale skin was already pink from Africa’s strong sunshine.
“No, though I am here to offer a way for her to gain justice against those who killed her husband Amun,” he declared with a menacing tone of voice.
“Who are you?” Zafrina asked.
“I am Stefan Dimitri,” he answered.
Zafrina had heard of the name Dimitri before and as she thought hard, it suddenly hit her. Dimitri was the last name of the President of Russia, Vladimir Dimitri. A look of surprise covered her face.
“I can tell you recognize my name. I am Vladimir’s brother and head of the KGB, so when I say I can help her get justice, I can,” Stefan declared with vengeance.
“What do you want?” Zafrina wondered.
“We would like for you to design a weapon with those little bugs that you know so much about,” Stefan explained with an evil smile.
“What type of weapon?”
“An airborne ebola that can be dispersed in a crowd,” Stefan said.
“Ebola is not airborne, unlike some of the other viruses,” Zafrina explained.
“We are aware, but the other viruses are not as deadly as Ebola. Our thoughts were if you could possibly combine two viruses. One that is an airborne contagion that could be bonded with Ebola?”
“This is not like making a cake,” she snapped.
“I understand, but with the right equipment would you be willing to try?”
Zafrina stopped and thought about precisely what Stefan was proposing. Was it impossible to genetically modify the Ebola virus to combine with an airborne virus.? She mentally went through the database of all the airborne viruses when it came to her, Tuberculosis. Maybe, just maybe it was possible, though she would need highly technical facilities and test subjects.
Stefan could tell she was mentally trying to work out what she would need to accomplish this task. “We have built a facility in Lake Assal with level four biohazard protocols. You just need to find your test subjects and I will make sure when the testing is accomplished, they disappear.”
“Why are you doing this for Serena?”
“We are not doing this for Serena. Our agenda is to bring America to its knees,” Stefan growled.
The Americans were the reason why Amun was dead and why her sister was hurting. Amun had been just walking down the street when a shot rang out going straight through his heart. He died instantly. The intended target was an arms dealer, who was ten feet behind him. The Navy Seal shot the wrong target. Zafrina and Serena were in their lab when they received the news of Amun’s death. Serena collapsed on the floor, crying uncontrollably. Zafrina swore that she would make whoever did this pay for her sister’s pain.
“I am in,” Zafrina said, her voice shook with fury.
Zafrina went home after that day and told Serena everything. For the first time since Amun’s death, there was a light in her eyes. They gave their notices of resignation at the hospital, packed their suitcases and traveled to Lake Assal. The research facility was state of the art and if they were lucky they would be able to cook up this new mutant virus. Stefan had already recruited and placed at least a dozen lab techs and security personnel.
Most would have thought finding human test subjects difficult, however, in the Congo, people came up missing all the time. Per Zafrina’s specifications, six men with Ebola were found and seized, along with six men with tuberculosis, and finally six healthy men. Zafrina and Serena began their research, which was a long and tedious process, but their vengeance demanded that they remained focused.
President Vladimir Demitri was enraged. How could Aro lose to a damn woman? Six years ago, he had flooded the election with money and propaganda to get Aro Volturi elected. Aro was an idiot, only looking out for his personal needs and potential financial gains. What the American people were not aware of is that prior to running for office he couldn’t obtain any more loans from America banks, so he came to Russia and begged. Vladimir was more than happy to give him the loan, knowing that one day he would repay him. After Aro was elected, a world-wide shock, he lifted the sanctions against Russia. When Russia became more aggressive against the Ukraine, Aro looked the other way. President Volturi was the best investment Russia had ever made.
Aro thought he was above the law and made some very ill-advised mistakes, causing the American people to rally behind the candidate running against him. Unfortunately, she was fucking perfect, without skeletons in her closet. Isabella Swan was the darling first daughter of the beloved former President Charlie Swan, who ran the country with compassion and strength. Under his presidency, he was able to direct his military to hunt down and eradicate the terrorists who attacked on American soil.
Vladimir had hoped that the fact she was a woman, and not even married, would have been enough to turn voters against her, instead, she got the backing of the women voters. Then she selects for her running mate, a God damn galbooboi. He tried again to hack into the voting machines, but this time around measures had been implemented to ensure they were secured. Flooding social media with fake news, as he had done in the first election, unfortunately failed, as voters were not as receptive this time around.
Deep in thought, he was unaware of the entrance of his brother coming in until he had called out to him. When he turned towards him he saw a smile on his face. “Do you have good news, Stefan?”
“Yes, brother. You are the proud father of a new strain of an airborne Ebola virus,” Stefan gushed.
“Yes. Now you have your first-strike weapon.”
“And is our operative prepared for second-strike?” Vladimir inquired.
“The last message we received, stated that they were being hired for a prominent position in Miss Swan’s administration. When the time comes they will give us the surprise advantage,” Stefan explained.
“Excellent. Activate the other sleeper cells and get the mules ready to transport. I want to hit the biggest target we can as soon as possible. Did Zafrina say what the incubation time is for the virus?” He asked.
“Seventy-two hours,” Stefan answered.
“Wonderful. Now, what event?” Vladimir wondered as he went over to his computer and pulled up the list of events in the U.S. with the largest crowds. His face broke out in an evil grin. The first Sunday in February was the perfect time to release the virus. “I never did like football.”
AN: My desire when I came up with this plot and wrote my first chapter back in July 2019 for Babies at the Border Compilation, that it was going to be a political story with an evil virus threat. How was I to know those thoughts would come to life? This week I wondered if I should continue the story, but with the help of a friend and listening to others, I decided to continue.
So, yes this is a political story. Yes, this will have an outbreak. But as always, there will be a HEA!!!