Erasing Mistakes Chapter 4
Day after day, Kim saw countless people. Young people, who should have had their whole lives ahead of them dead or dying in front of his eyes. Even younger, relatively healthy women who could no longer bare children. Every day since hed come to the hospital to help people, he saw more and more death. Every day Kim wondered why he even bothered. The people were all dying. There was no life in their eyes anymore.
The homeless madmen on the streets, preaching the end of the world, no longer seemed so mad. The survivalists that had moved out of the country and hidden themselves, no long seemed so paranoid. Hope was gone. The end was near. Was there anything to live for? Was there a reason to see this life out till then end?
Kim could not think of one. But everyday, he continued to go the hospital. And everyday, he worked very hard to keep the dying alive. To comfort the pain and ease the sadness. Though he was without purpose, he continued to go. Being driven by something deep inside him. Something he could not even put his finger on.
What is the government thinking!? Has the whole world gone mad!?, Kims mind questioned. Pointless war. Expensive war, costing so many lives. Kim had always felt there was some higher purpose to his life. He believed that purpose was his work on nanotechnology. He had been so close to making it work. So very close. Only to be shut down. Banished.
It was hardly inspiration to continue his work. But he did. In his spare time, he would continue to study and research. But he could no longer experiment. All he had was speculation and theory. Kim could not turn those theories to facts. Or even disprove them. It was like being given wings, and then locked inside a cage.
Im doing my best to make a difference thats all I can do, Kim reminded himself. That was his mantra when he woke in the morning and looked in the mirror. When the young man, with rings under his eyes, stared back at him, questioning him for a reason to even get out of bed. Im doing my best thats all I can do.
And day after day, he would go to the hospital. And the people would seek his help. And then, they would die. Perhaps not right then, but not long after. The pain in the eyes of the barren women after hed broken the news to them. The sadness in the eyes of the people, not much older than himself, dying before him. Kim found it increasingly hard to detach himself from his own emptiness.
But Kim had woke up this morning, looked in the mirror, and did not need his mantra. He immediately felt today would be different somehow. Special even, perhaps in a good way. His rational chided him for such foolish fantasies. His pessimism insisted that today would be no different than any other. But that indescribable drive, that unknown force had Kim Kasim at work ten minutes early. And as he worked and the hours started to pass, with nothing but the usual sickness and death around him, the drive did not lessen.
He was granted a short break every day for lunch at the hospital. Though he rarely felt like eating after spending all day treating the dying. This afternoon, for some unusual reason, he was starved. The cafeteria was partially full. Doctors, residents, nurses, visitors, all spread out in the cafeteria.
Kim ordered just a sandwich and sat down at an empty table. He ate his lunch quietly, his mind blank for a change. He glanced around the cafeteria again, just in time to see a nurse walk in.
It was the long red hair he noticed first. Bright red hair that hung all the way down her back, even more radiant upon the sheen white of the uniform. Kim looked up at her face. The bluest of eyes hed ever seen, almost pale skin. Then, he noticed those eyes were also looking at him. Her face wore the same curious staring expression as his own. He gave her a small smile, and pretended to go back to his lunch. The nurse was at the counter getting her own, as he watched out of the corner of his eye. She took her lunch and seemed to head off to another free table. Then, she stopped, hesitating for a moment, and turned to look at him again. Kim could make no effort to hide his staring. She sent him the smile this time, and turned toward his table to join him.
Hello. She spoke softly as she put down her lunch and sat across from him.
Hi. He replied just as quietly.
Youre the new doctor, right?
He nodded, then held out his hand. Dr. Kasim but just call me Kim.
Elhaym just call me Elly.
Kim blinked. Elly why does that seem so familiar? I wonder if weve met before
Elly shook her head. I dont believe we have but you do seem familiar somehow.
For the rest of their lunch break, Kim and Elly talked of their work, the health crisis, the government. Lost in their conversation, they hardly noticed when everyone else had gone back to work.
Wed better get back to work too. Elly said, finally noticing the time.
It was very nice talking with you, Elly. He commented, shaking her hand. Maybe we could continue this conversation He paused, seeing her smile get wider, he widened his own. over dinner sometime?
Elly nodded quickly. Id love to.
After work on Friday? Kim asked.
Elly laughed lightly. Why not tonight?
Why not? Kim laughed as well.
Ill see you after work then. She told him, and waved goodbye as she walked toward the exit of the cafeteria.
Kim smiled and shook his head. Elly
The word that Miss Hawwa had used in their conversation two weeks ago had been replayed in Helen Saffens mind repeatedly. And as she stood in her office over looking the workers toiling swiftly to convert the plant into a missile launcher, Helen could not help but relish the word.
The Mass Driver employees had no idea what they were building. Shed told the supervisors of each section what they were converting the Mass Driver into, but had warned them not to tell their crews. Though, Helen was sure most of the workers would rather be with their families, instead of working all these late nights so hard on a project they had no details for, they worked hard. Perhaps it was loyalty to the government. Perhaps it was just a distraction from the crisis all around them.
The people will be dead in a matter of time.
When the Chief Executive of Staff had called on her for this project, shed been reluctant to obey orders. Helen had thought about outright quitting. Why would she want to be partially responsible for more innocent lives lost? Why would she want a hand in so much death?
But people were dying all around them. So many people. And Helen, like scores of other women, could no longer bare children. And even if she could, who would want to bring a child into a world such as this? Why, when the life expectancy was so short? Why, when no one could be young anymore? There was no time to be young. There was no time to live. There was no time to fix it.
There was no time left for anyone or anything.
Why would she want a hand in so much death? Why not?
All I want is vengeance.
And vengeance is what you shall have, Hawwa. All of Ignas will have vengeance.
Lune had figured her assignment would be a difficult one. Dealing with politicians was always difficult. But this is just insane!, she thought to herself.
Normally, any discrepancies made by government officials could at least be uncovered by rival parties, enemies, even some of their own staff. But someone had ordered a huge lid to be put on this one. Nobody was talking. Lune had a feeling that there was something more to this story that what had been originally thought. And Betty had told her to go with her instincts.
Lunes instincts had lead her to the home of one of the Prime Ministers maids. She had to squeeze quiet a few sources to find this address, and she had a feeling it would pay off. Confidently, Lune strode up to the house and knocked on the door. Unfortunately, a young boy answered the door.
Hed not stopped playing his hand held game to look at her. The boy, who seemed about 9 or 10 years old, leaned against the open door. Who are you?
Lune smiled. Why hello there! Is your mommy home?
The boy rolled his eyes, still not looking at her. No, my mother isnt home. Shes out shopping.
She cleared her throat, feeling a bit foolish. Do you know when shell be back?
Nope. The boy told her uncaringly.
Lune looked behind the boy into the house. One of the first things she noticed was a large, seemingly brand new, big screen television. Lune knew this area of town. It was mostly the poor who lived here. And last time shed checked, one of the highest rated areas for theft. Lune took a quick peek at the wall beside the door. Sure enough, there was a burglar alarm system, recently installed. It was a better system than her apartment complex had. Lune also looked down at the boys toy. Is that the new MiniConsole that lets you play those games?
Now, the boy looked up at her with interest. Yeah! Isnt it great?
Lune nodded. It looks like fun but arent they expensive?
The boy nodded. Yeah they are! Ive wanted this since it came out, but it was too expensive! I didnt think Id ever get one!
Lune faked understanding. I bet you were thrilled when you got it! Its got to be from his mom. Maybe she was offered money for her silence on the Prime Ministers act? Ill bet youre the only kid on the block with it.
To her surprise, the boy shook his head. I thought so too. But a bunch of other kids have them too!
Lune was puzzled. The whole neighborhood? Really? Thats unusual, isnt it?
The boy shook his head again. Nah. Most of the kids around here have a mom or dad that works at the Mass Driver facility. Theyve been working a lot, so theyve been getting lots of extra money.
The Mass Driver ? What in the world? Do you know what theyre doing, working so late?
I dunno. The boy responded, having lost interest in the conversation and turned back to his game.
Lune smiled. Thanks kid. The boy muttered a goodbye and closed the door. Lune walked away from the house, feeling as though she was on to something. Something big. She wanted to investigate further, but she just had to tell Betty what shed discovered. The employees of the Mass Driver facility working overtime. Why? What are they doing in there?
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