en been in the recovery room for well over an hour and was coming round. There was the worst pain he'd ever experienced in his belly and back.
A nurse came in and had cranked his bed up a little, shoved a pillow into his arms and said "hold that pillow tight to your chest and cough."
"Cough?!?!?" He could barely breathe and was in an immense amount of pain and she wanted him to cough?
His attempts at pleasing the nurse with his coughs was nigh on to absurdity. What in the world had Doc. Wilson done to im?
Finally she let his bed back down and administered the shot of the pain med Dilotid via the IV in his arm. With his free hand he began doing a little bit of exploration of his stomach where it hurt so bad. He was alarmed at what he felt!
He felt stitches along the mile long incision made by Doc. Wilson, then what felt like an open hole with a tube running out of it. He called for the nurse to tell her wasn't all sewed up. "It was meant to be like that" she replied. We have to keep a continual visual watch lest you develop an infection.
Ben was wondering what the item was that had been removed from his gut. "That will be the first thing . . . . "
And his temperature was going up. The area around the incision was turning red. The oxygen unit on his finger was registering his oxygen levels were going down. They put an oxygen mask on him and it seemed better for a little over two hours then the oxygen levels in his blood started dropping again.
"Luanne would you see if Sung Wu can come take a look at this man?" Within fifteen minutes Sung Wu was there conferring with Doc. on the status of Ben Stodges.
Doc. noticed that one of the first thing Sung Wu did was check the eyes of a person. He wondered why he did that and was going to inquire about ASAP but would forego the subject for now. What he saw in the face of Sung Wu he did not like.
Sung Wu was a homeopathic medicine Dr. unequaled by anyone Doc. Wilson knew. His studies worked on giving the body the meds it needed with which to heal itself. Surgery was the last option, and sometimes it's the only answer.
In Bens' case it had been thus. The glass vial had to be removed. Sung Wu had not yet been informed about the vial but would have a guess as to the direction of treatment. First, they had to find out was ailing Ben.
"Keep a close watch on him Luanne and advise me of any change" Doc. instructed as he followed Sung Wu out of recovery.
Sung Wu didn't have too much of an idea what to do but he did know that step one was this man was to be quarantined. Get protective clothing and mask for anyone going into that room."
Doc. Wilson felt an icy chill go us his spine. He was formulating his question when his thoughts were broken into. "Where is the body of the imposter?"
"Still in the morgue" answered Doc. Wilson.
"Did you X-ray that body?" asked Sung Wu.
"No, we don't normally X-ray cadavers unless he is suspect.
"That's step two Sung Wu replied.
"In what was he dressed when he came in? Did he put the uniform on over the clothes he was wearing? Or was the uniform all he wore?"
"Only the uniform over his personal under clothing. His underclothes were not military issue. They like what the poor would wear over in Iran."
"Where is the uniform and clothing taken off the imposter?"
"I'm sure they've already been incinerated" replied Doc. Wilson.
"Find out. We need to secure those clothing articles if we can at all. Also, since he was wearing the uniform removed from Ben Stodges he ditched what he was wearing when he abducted Ben. That avenue of how he did that must be learned, and the clothes he ditched in Virginia must be located and 'Q'd' (quarantined)."
Inquire of Doc. Wainsboro if they still have any samples of Bens' output. If so, 'Q' 'em and get them here.
"Where is Bens' clothing? If it is still around, 'Q' it as well. I'm thinking every person who came in contact with Ben Stodges must be 'Q' as well.
"Have Luanne sit own and list everyone who came inside the hospital then get em all here for a blood test. If I'm mistaken then I've erred on the positive side. If I'm right, we have an emergency on our hands" said Sung Wu.
"Does this happen to have anything to do with the work Dr. Ishii did in China during WWII?" Doc. Wilson inquired.
"Exactly that." Everyone who came in contact even briefly must be tested. All those who were shot with the .22 he was using must be tested. Unless I miss my guess, we're going to have a whole bunch of dead folks on our hands. Doc. Wilson, I'm declaring an alert."
"Start separating the potential infected from those of direct contact. 'Q' them all until we know for sure. You and I could be already infected as well as your entire hospital staff. Contact Dr. Wainsboro and warn him. I think we've been looking in the wrong place for The Storm . . ."
An alert was broadcast throughout both Bunkers - Texas and Virginia. "This is a medical alert. All egress to and from the Bunker is herby forbidden unless cleared by Doc. Wilson or Sung Wu. Each and every person must report to the Emergency Room today according to the first letter of your last name. Letter 'A' will report commencing 1200 hrs. and will go through the night if need be."
Ladasha and Luanne were the first to take the test which consisted merely of a simple finger prick and a smear of blood. Quick and painless. But was all this necessary?
Ladasha posed the question to Doc. Wilson and he responded with "have you ever heard of Dr. Shiro Ishii? Probably the worst human ever to call themselves a physician specializing in biological warfare research. When you've heard Sung Wu speak of it, you're heart will be wrenched from your chest. He was directly affected in that he lost all four grandparents and others to the fiendish methods of Dr. Ishii.
Doc. Wilson and Sung Wu were busy in the morgue X-raying the body of the terrorist who'd infiltrated the ranks of the Virginia Bunker shooting Americans in the back with his .22 Luger. They found another vial. Only this one had exploded . . .
The alert was immediately upgraded to Medical Emergency Lockdown until further notice. The terrorist had performed his job perfectly. Virginia Bunker was also placed on Emergency Lockdown. Absolutely no egress whatsoever. Those attempting to leave will be shot on sight.
Ben Stodges died that afternoon.
The prior sentence speaking of the death of Ben Stodges is the prelude to The Plague.
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