Frenzy

by Kevin Mercurio

9 Hours Before

Major Miller got ready for work just like any other day.

He showered, shaved, got dressed, ate breakfast, drank coffee, read the newspaper and took his pills. On the side of the container, it read: Nathan Miller, Sertraline, 100 mg Tablets, Take 2 a day by mouth. Major Miller smiled. He always thought that was humorous, having to specify in which orifice to place the pill.

As he does everyday before leaving the house, Major Miller picked up the picture frame by the front door for examination. The photo was of him and his wife at Corcovado Peak in Rio. It was a beautiful summer day. They were beaming with absolute joy, as it was the number one destination on their list of destinations. It was a perfect moment in time, and even then, Major Miller was able to relive that very memory. He was happy.

Major Miller took the same route to work for 15 years. Since his shift always started at 6:00am, he was always one hour ahead of the traffic. He worked in the neighbouring province just outside of his hometown. The complex was at the end of a long, beaten road, securely located deep within the nearby provincial park. For the work that was being conducted, he was surprised that there were so many houses nearby. He knew that the probability of accidents was very low, but the chance still existed. “These people know nothing,” Major Miller muttered to himself, “but that’s probably for the best. What they do is for the public good.”

Major Miller would always know he was close once the surroundings started to change. Throughout the drive, it was a gorgeous scenic route lined with extravagant cottages and tall, crisp maple trees. Many dwellings had docks, and most docks had small fishing boats floating effortlessly on the lake. The lake was breathtaking. When the entire complex stopped all operations in the summer months, Major Miller would always bring his wife and son for a picnic by the lake. The water was tepid, which to them was just right for swimming conditions. He loved those memories. It was at the end of the lake that the complex was found.

Major Miller always arrived at the entrance 15 minutes before his shift began. The entrance wasn’t what one would expect for the workings of this particular government facility. In fact, it looked like the entrance to any privately owned parking lot business. A passerby would easily mistake such a place for one, seeing as anyone could likely end up there while touring the park. There was a security guard inside the tollbooth structure on the right-side of the entrance, with the arm sticking across to the left. Those with the right pass on their front mirror automatically lifted the gate when stopped in the designated sensor area. Otherwise, the guard would aid travellers in rerouting their journey. Just behind the gate, there was a big sign with the words, “AREA CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE”. Major Miller smiled. He always thought that was humorous, pretending the area would open to the public at some point in time.

He parked his car in his appointed space labeled: Maj. N. Miller, and walked inside the complex. The structure looked like a tarnished-metal cube from the outside, with only three floors. There was a window in the top-left quadrant of the front side, the only window of the complex. Upon entry, there were three security stations one must pass in order to gain access into the complex. Since he had been working in the facility for many years, Major Miller was well recognized. The first security guard at the primary station always unlocked the first set of doors after a hand shake and a brief morning greeting. The secondary station was even easier. All he had to do was scan his identification card on the wall, which would unlock and open the adjacent steel doors. The last station was always the longest. For maximum security, the wall module would audibly ask you to provide another source of identification. However, it would always change. One day it could be to scan your iris. Another day it could ask for a fingerprint, or a strand of hair. That day, with a scan of his right eye, Major Miller was inside, and took the elevator to the top floor.

Major Miller’s duty was to sit in front of the only laboratory on the floor and grant access to only certain personnel. It was the only productive room on the floor, as most rooms were devoid of any materials. Many scientists and officials worked in the complex, yet only six individuals were allowed access to the third-floor laboratory. Dr. Mathers was the primary investigator and managed the lab’s operations. He had employed three senior scientists: Dr. Lee, Dr. Harper and Dr. Tankov. The remaining personnel were the Department Vice-Leader (DVL), Mr. Nicholson, and Major Miller’s commanding officer, Colonel Jones.

It was around the beginning of his shift, that Major Miller noticed his watch was missing. He likely had forgotten it at home. “That’s odd.” He thought. Though, he brushed the issue aside. Major Miller was ready to start the day.

Except the day was no regular kind of day for Major Miller. Up until then, Major Miller had been doing the same routine for 15 years. Major Miller would get up, get to work, get to his desk outside the third floor laboratory of the complex, get home and sleep. What Major Miller did not know, and could not have known, was that something terrible was going to happen to him.

7 Hours Before

Everyone arrived on schedule. First was Dr. Mathers. He arrived in his regular work attire: a lab coat surrounding a crude sweater-vest surrounding a yellow shirt, and brown corduroy pants. Major Miller was slightly appalled by him, as his physical proportions were unusual for a man his size. He was a stocky, tall man; had a small round head with patchy, brown hair combed to his left side. He carried a black briefcase in one hand and a large coffee thermos in the other. Major Miller registered him upon his arrival, and Dr. Mathers went inside to begin work.

Second was Dr. Lee. She arrived dressed in one of her usual patterned skirts. Major Miller admired the amount of colour the woman always wore. So lively. She was a thin mother of two children, medium height, and had long, black hair with auburn-highlighted tips. Dr. Lee was tired. She was tending to her daughter who was sick with the stomach flu. He listened to her nightly experience and sympathized, though he knew the flu was very infectious and kept a safe distance. Major Miller registered her in the database, and Dr. Lee went inside to begin work.

Dr. Harper and Dr. Tankov arrived together. The two would always carpool to work on Mondays. Dr. Harper was an active runner, wore glasses, had a strong, skinny build and long, dirty-blonde hair. Dr. Tankov was an outdoorsman; large physique, thick, bushy beard lining his sides and around his mouth. When exiting the elevator, Major Miller noticed they were always giggling to one another. They were usually in mid-conversation upon registration, talking that day about the elderly man on the news who crossed the freeway at peak rush hour, completely oblivious to the traffic. The reporter had speculated he had dementia, or possibly some form of a dangerous illness. Major Miller laughed too, and Dr. Harper and Dr. Tankov went inside to begin work.

It was the beginning of the fall quarter and operations at the complex were just resuming. That was why Major Miller was surprised to see, nearing two hours into his shift, exiting the elevator at the end of the hall that led to the third-floor laboratory, was Mr. Nicholson and Colonel Jones. Mr. Nicholson wore his plain white-collar shirt and red tie striped with purple diagonal lines. He looked distracted, eyebrows raised passed where his dark-brown hairline would have been decades ago. He was furrowing his thick moustache with his bottom lip, listening to Colonel Jones as they began approaching the laboratory. Colonel Jones was in full uniform, flashy medals pinned on the right side of his jacket, recognizing his demonstration of honour, sacrifice, and leadership. He was speaking sternly to Mr. Nicholson, and stopped the conversation once they reached Major Miller. Major Miller registered them in the database, and Mr. Nicholson and Colonel Jones went inside.

“Strange that Colonel Jones is here so early in the quarter,” he thought. “They must have changed the time for our evaluations from last year.”

Several minutes later, there were loud sounds of scraping metal followed by an explosion. Major Miller knew the protocol and rushed inside. Upon entry into the lab, he was able to immediately spot the accident. Most labs are packed with essential, though dangerous, types of equipment. Centrifuges come in various sizes and are able to subject samples to high levels of centrifugal force for separation purposes. All personnel were at the back corner of the room, where the interior of the large centrifuge was exposed, and contents scattered in all directions. Sparks from the machine caught nearby documents, producing a fire. Dr. Mathers was seen putting out the flames, as Dr. Lee tried, to the best of her ability, clearing debris, samples and equipment from the wreckage. On their left, Dr. Harper sat in a chair with a bleeding arm, tended to by Dr. Tankov and Mr. Nicholson. Upon starting the machine, the samples were not balanced and caused the rotor to disengage from the core.

It took one look from Colonel Jones. Major Miller turned and inputted the 6-digit passcode that locked the door, then grabbed the nearby face masks and gloves.

5 Hours Before

It did not take long for the rest of the complex to evacuate. The 6-digit code, specific for Contamination Level 6 situations, sounded the emergency alarm for a Code Blue. A Code Blue was not frequent at the complex, but not uncommon either. About two occur every year, with one rarely ever being truly harmful. However in this case, the circumstances were different. Only the third-floor laboratory contained biological entities capable of a Contamination Level 6 situation.

There were several steps outlined in the Advanced Safety Procedures Section of the employee handbook that were required to be followed. All personnel inside the laboratory at the time of the incident must remain quarantined and sealed within the laboratory until further instructed. Face masks and gloves, located at the first-aid station directly adjacent to the entranceway, must be immediately put on until further instructed. Most importantly, all personnel directly affected by the incident, such that an open wound was produced, must be further quarantined in another dwelling separate from the rest of the group until further instructed. Lastly, all biological entities in open areas must be cleaned with the appropriate biohazard disposal kit located next to the first-aid station.

Major Miller tried recalling the last time this occurred. It happened 20 years ago, after the “Amerithrax” incidents. Shortly after the September 11th attacks, many American news outlets and two politicians received letters containing anthrax spores. Over 20 people were affected, resulting in five deaths overall. There was speculation from media sources that the United States and their NATO partners had been working against UN orders by devising biological weapons for future retaliation. Even though the bacterium that causes anthrax, Bacillus anthracis, was already such a lethal threat, NATO wanted something more powerful.

Research in virology began surging in the following years. A virus was rumoured to be devised, dubbed T-22.9182119 or T-22 for short. It had the virulence of the influenza virus with the symptoms of the rabies virus for maximum propagation through the enemy population. T-22 was first synthesized in Dr. Bruce Ivins’ lab in Maryland, until he was put under investigation for the attacks. The strain was transferred to the third-floor laboratory of the Bio-Canadian Defence Complex (BCDC). The spill occurred when, during a late night experiment, the residing scientist carelessly knocked over several viral stocks. Upon hitting the alarm, the complex was surrounded with biohazard teams from the Royal Canadian Mountie Police and Health Canada. Very little word got out to the general public about the incident. All files that recorded the incident were given high-level confidential status.

The reaction was no different. Major Miller was able to see, out the window of the laboratory, police trucks and black government vehicles coming to the front entrance of the complex. He could hear a helicopter in the distance, and even against the blaring alarm, he could hear the tactical unit outside the laboratory.

It had been two hours since the centrifuge explosion. Everyone in the lab was calmly sitting quietly around the room, with the exception of Dr. Mathers and Dr. Harper. Dr. Mathers was extremely disgruntled over the circumstances and took residence in his office on the left side of the laboratory, to curse in privacy. Dr. Harper, due to the Advanced Safety Procedures Section of the employee handbook, was locked away in the room on the opposite side, closest to the centrifuge. Dr. Harper was becoming extremely agitated and frightened. There were many samples in the centrifuge, and all were dormant samples. Though, unknown at the time, a bottle that contained T-22.9182119 may well have been one of the samples, and an open wound would have led to possible infection and multiplication. Dr. Tankov and Colonel Jones were trying to help calm the situation, while Dr. Lee and Mr. Nicholson were assessing the damages and discussing the repercussions of the ongoing projects.

Dr. Mathers appeared, cursing away and holding his office television. After plugging the device, he flipped to the breaking news story. On the screen was a reporter from Wolffe News, standing outside the complex behind the police perimeter.

“…the building seen here. Now our sources have explained that the situation is of unprecedented scale. The BCDC houses many of the most deadly biological specimen known to existence. Through leaked documents posted online, we now know of government involvement on the development of bacterial and viral strains to be used in bioweapon manufacturing. Of these weapons, a virus dubbed T-22.9182119, T-22 for short, was one of many specimen leaked into the open building through an equipment malfunction. Symptoms of this virus include confusion, aggressive behaviour, loss of consciousness, and even death.” He paused. “No word yet on the health of those affected, however we do know that at least six people have been left quarantined on the third-floor of the complex. What we can expect in the short while are potential after-effects, and possible fatalities due to the outbreak of T-22. More from our sources earlier this morning said that this was a long time coming, as many officials…”

Major Miller turned off the monitor, and all that was heard was the helicopter buzzing overhead and the quiet sobbing of Dr. Harper.

3 Hours Before

The circumstances only became worse.

Despite the suggestion from Major Miller, everyone continued to observe the television for further developments. News outlets showed 360° footage of the complex from their helicopters. Cameras were aimed into the lone window, trying to glimpse the scene. However, it was located across from where the group was situated, and nothing could be seen.

Anchors and reporters continued to converse about the lethality of the T-22 virus. Innovative graphics and holograms were constructed to illustrate the behaviour of the virus once infection of an individual had taken place. They explained that there were two phases that the virus went through to take complete control of the host. The first phase was selection. The binding of the virus (showed as a gigantic, black sphere with acute spikes) was truly the most devious idea of the multinational project. Like the flu, certain binding proteins were incorporated on the surface of T-22 so that the virus can attach to the respiratory tract and begin infection. The second phase was destruction. From there, the virus can infiltrate the nervous system to begin multiplying in vast quantities (showed as an exponentially increasing abyss of darkness in the brain), and travel to other organs of the body (showed as organs melting into green goo). Further photos and videos of animals, as well as humans, infected with the rabies virus were shown for a better understanding of possible consequences due to the alleged outbreak at the complex.

“What the hell is T-22? Mathers, do you know anything about this? And those experiments are decades old — of animals being infected with rabies.” Dr. Lee voiced, though ruffled by her face mask.

Major Miller noticed that the ones being the most attentive to the news story were Dr. Tankov, Mr. Nicholson and Colonel Jones.

Dr. Tankov’s expression was more so of worry and concern than of fear. He remained seated by the door of the room that held Dr. Harper, a bit of a distance from the rest of the group but still within audible range of the news story. Major Miller could overhear him comforting Dr. Harper, reassuring that it was only a matter of time until the quarantine was concluded.

Mr. Nicholson was gazing questioningly as the reporters described how the virus acted within our bodies. He was squinting, and finally put on his glasses, to observe the videos and graphics on the screen. Major Miller noticed one of his bushy eyebrows up in a state of utter confusion.

But Major Miller was more interested in Colonel Jones’ demeanour, and watched him closely. He was still upright in the usual soldier stance. His countenance was emotionless, impassive to the severity of what was put into light. This was usual for military personnel, especially one as decorated as Colonel Jones. Though it was not his face that Major Miller was intrigued by. It was his saluting hand, trembling. It reminded Major Miller of his wife, who often had hand tremors in the years leading up to her death. He missed her immensely.

There was some shouting, and suddenly loud crashing was heard from Dr. Harper’s room. Dr. Tankov was seen poised, arms stretched out to the door, attempting to keep it from bursting open.

“Please Taylor, please be calm,” Dr. Tankov pleaded. "The quarantine should be finished soon.”

“I need medical attention,” Dr. Harper exclaimed. “I’ve lost a lot of blood and I’m beginning to feel nauseous and light-headed. You know we don’t work with dangerous viruses without proper precautions and preparation. I loaded the centrifuge and saw no trace of that T-22 virus. This T-22 that they speak of is not even a part of our stocks. I was not infected.”

“I understand. But the possibility is still there. Until we figure out more on what they’ve shown, let’s just be on the safe side. They’re going to let us all out soon. They have to.”

“I’m having difficulty breathing. I’m hyperventilating in this small room. Get me out!” More banging was heard, that time much more aggressive.

“Please, enough, you’re going to make matters worse.”

And with a loud boom!, the door blew open with a hard kick, sending Dr. Tankov flying onto the nearest lab bench. Major Miller watched as Colonel Jones, almost immediately, ran and restrained Dr. Harper to the ground. He grabbed Dr. Harper’s injured arm, and began twisting them behind his back. Dr. Harper cried out in pain. Noticing this, Dr. Tankov grabbed Colonel Jones and threw him to the side. It did not take long for Colonel Jones to roll over top of Dr. Tankov and began pummelling him with his fist.

“Just don’t hurt him!” Dr. Tankov begged, amid the beating.

“I knew you two faggots had something going on. Dr. Harper is infected with that virus.” As he said this, Colonel Jones took out a bottle labelled: T2-phage. “I found this next to the centrifuge, doctor. The consequences are a threat to national security. He cannot leave this place.”

Major Miller and the others were witnessing the entire scene, completely frozen in a state of shock. Meanwhile, Dr. Harper had reached the entrance to the lab and was inputting the door code to escape. With a loud beep! and a green light, the door unlocked and slowly began opening.

“He’s not infected! No one works with whatever the hell T-22 is! They were showing animals and humans with rabies!” Dr. Lee protested.

“Miller, grab him before he escapes!” Colonel Jones barked.

Major Miller thought about the news story. He thought about the possibility of it spreading and infecting him, his family and his friends. He thought about the trip to Corcovado Peak with his wife, and how they revisited the church of their wedding in Rio. He looked down at his wrist, where his watch would have been, the watch his son bought him the year he threw him out of the house. He was furious at him after he caught him and his partner once he got home from work at the complex. He did all this in a split second, right before he tackled Dr. Harper to the ground and inputted the six digits to close and lock the door.

The Code Blue alarm was blaring ferociously.

Colonel Jones stood up. “No one leaves this lab, not yet.”

0 Hours Before

In the hours that followed, Colonel Jones restored order by instructing everyone to remain in one corner of the room, furthest from the wreckage. Since the door was unhinged from the wall, and no other room was available for a secondary quarantine, Dr. Harper sat in his own space a distance away from everyone else. Dr. Tankov, as hardy and masculine as he looked, was submissive to what Colonel Jones commanded. Dr. Lee insisted that the news story was false, and that no T-22 virus was ever transferred or studied here. Dr. Mathers sat on a stool and faced the wall, cursing away. Mr. Nicholson remained silent and complied to what was ordered of him.

Major Miller stood in front of the group, alongside Colonel Jones, who watched over the others intensely. Major Miller realized why he was such a decorated serviceman. No one would ever dare cross or disobey his direction for fear of certain unwanted consequences.

The television stayed plugged and tuned in to the news story. At that time, the anchors, seeming to prolong coverage time before new developments came from their reporters or sources, speculated on the catastrophic outcomes of large-scale outbreaks. They showed how one individual that was able to slip through a quarantine could infect the entire population of a small, nearby town within hours (shown as an increasingly large mob of rabid human corpses), and large cities within days. A graphic was displayed, showing the globe with menacing skulls popping up in different continents, as the world became a dark red sphere.

“This may be the end of times,” the anchor stated.

At that moment, Dr. Mathers jumped up and smashed the television set with his stool. He could not endure how ridiculous they were making his situation. The television came down from the lab bench and smashed on to the floor, becoming its individual components. Colonel Jones grabbed Dr. Mathers into a headlock, intended to deprive him of oxygen until he subsided. Dr. Lee attempted to stop the mayhem, but was easily kicked aside by Colonel Jones. Major Miller grabbed her and restrained her, with the intention to protect her from the kerfuffle. Dr. Tankov and Dr. Harper remained seated, still injured from the last confrontation with Colonel Jones.

Dr. Mathers was able to wriggle free due to his disproportionate head, but was taken down. With his free hand, Colonel Jones felt around the floor for a weapon, and grabbed a large piece of glass from the broken television screen.

“Help him!” Dr. Lee implored. “He’s going to kill him!”

Major Miller noticed the razor-sharp glass in Colonel Jones’ left hand. He pushed Dr. Lee to the side and lurched forward, pouncing on the raised arm that possessed the weapon. He slipped on his footing, and collided with the two on the floor. Colonel Jones  pounded his empty hand into Dr. Mather’s chest. He looked to Major Miller, collapsed at his side, with the piece of glass pierced through his upper abdomen.

“Enough,” Mr. Nicholson declared. “The experiment is now over.”

Everyone stopped and looked at Mr. Nicholson, now standing over the open entranceway of the laboratory. Two government officials stepped inside, hoisted Major Miller off the ground, and carried him out of the laboratory.

“You have all been a part of a multi-government experiment.”

Major Miller noticed the blaring of the alarm had ceased. He looked at each of the men in suits at his sides.

“The experiment was to study the behaviour of human subjects and the influence of the media. We have been quarantined here for seven hours now, and I believe we have all the data we need.”

Major Miller passed by the tactical unit outside the laboratory. It was not a tactical unit at all, but rather also men in suits. He looked at his watch. It was 3:00 pm. His vision was becoming blurry.

“We wanted subjects that have the highest status of their field. Which is why we chose this group to perform the experiment.”

Major Miller was carried down the hall to the elevators. He passed by the once empty rooms, now filled with people, desks, cameras and green screens.

“We would never be able to get the approval from the ethics board, as our study conflicts with the statutes of the Belmont Report. We knew the negative impact it would cause on the subjects, and the expenses that may be lost in such an environment as this. But the benefits substantially outweigh the costs. It was for the public good.”

Major Miller thought about the residents that lined the the long, beaten road towards the complex. He thought about his family and friends, the people of his country, and the people around the world.

“We specifically wanted to observe the amount of conflict that could be stirred within rational people; ways we can manipulate and turn people irrational. You are all the country’s leading scientific and military personnel.”

Major Miller passed by the security guard at the front entrance. He was carried outside towards the nearest ambulance. He looked in the distance, and saw a crowd of people dissipating, heading back to their vehicles.

“Essentially, we wanted to research the inception and control of mass hysteria.”

Major Miller looked overhead, and saw the helicopters flying away.

“We believed that we could instil fear by simplifying scientific research; choosing key words and images, thereby actually shrouding certain incidents in complexity and keeping viewers glued to the sources. This increases the negativity towards said incidents exponentially. This we’ve known for a while now; how news outlets take small occurrences and blow them out of proportion for viewership, and exploiting people’s own desires and prejudices against them. This works on most people, like the general public. After 9/11 and the Amerithrax attacks, we at NATO wanted something more powerful than a biological weapon: a psychological weapon. But it wouldn’t work on our enemies, no, we would need it to work on our citizens, particularly those highly-regarded citizens that are idolized and looked towards for leadership. We were having problems with manipulating them, but then we discovered the most essential factor. Time.”

Major Miller was carried onto an ambulance and placed on a stretcher. He tried to open his eyes. He was starting to feel warm.

“The media is so easily accessible to most citizens of their country. When outbreaks occur, what rational people seem to lose track of is time. The time it takes a virus to infect a person, perhaps a friend or family member. The time an infected person can travel from one country to another. The time it takes for an infected person to infect a town, a city, a country. It is not instantaneous. This can take years, and even with the most infectious biological organisms, the country’s health officials can easily quarantine and subdue an outbreak before large-scale infections can occur. This is the reality. Do you question how quickly the media obtains their information, and delivers it to the public without review? Do you not question the speculation of a potential global pandemic happening within hours? Do you not question the language they use, and the graphics they simulate, to articulate their rhetoric? Rational people begin to get inundated. They do not stop to think, but instead absorb as much information as they can and react.” He paused. “We need to protect our nations from devastation. This is how we will obtain overwhelming support for anything we wish to pursue, like the obliteration of our enemies.”

 

Major Miller was whisked away in an ambulance to the nearest hospital.

“T-22 does not exist. There is no such thing as an influenza and rabies hybrid-virus. Colonel, that bottle you hold contains a harmless virus that only infects bacteria. You did not listen to the the experts in the room, pleading for you to stop and listen. This is what we were expecting. This is what we were hoping. And this is what we have seen.”

Major Miller lost consciousness halfway to the hospital.

“This study is under high-level confidential status. If you inform anyone, you will be killed.” Mr. Nicholson allowed other men in suits to enter the laboratory. “Those who are unharmed, you may now leave.”

6 Days Later

In the days that followed, many of the scientists resigned from their positions at the BCDC. Dr. Harper and Dr. Tankov bought a house in Vancouver and took up health research at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Lee left science altogether and chose to stay at home to spend time with her family. The only one that stayed was Dr. Mathers, who remained as the principal investigator on the third-floor laboratory at the BCDC.

The whereabouts of Colonel Jones were unknown for quite some time after the incident. It wasn’t until he was arrested for driving under the influence that his name was observed by the others. The news outlets depicted Colonel Jones as a once patriotic hero, now fallen to the depths of the scum of society. A criminal.

Major Miller was released from the hospital six days later. He returned to work, to his desk outside the third-floor laboratory of the BCDC. Prior to his returning shift, Major Miller’s morning routine remained the same: he showered, shaved, got dressed, ate breakfast, drank coffee, read the newspaper, took his pills, examined the photo frame, drove the same route to work, arrived 15 minutes early, parked in his space, shook the security guard’s hand, scanned his identification card, scanned his right eye, rode the elevator and walked down the hall to sit at his desk in front of the third-floor laboratory. On his desk was a new list of certain personnel in which he was to grant access into the laboratory. Everyone arrived on schedule, except the only individual Major Miller recognized was Dr. Mathers.

Mr. Nicholson came by late in the afternoon to welcome Major Miller on his return to the BCDC.

“I’m happy to see you here again.” Mr. Nicholson stated. “Do you remember much about last week’s incident?”

“Thank you, sir. Not exactly, I was losing consciousness after I was impaled by the glass.”

“I’m thankful that no one else was seriously injured, and that you have come back with a full recovery.” Mr. Nicholson smiled, and after a handshake, walked down the hall towards the elevators.

“That’s odd.” He thought. Though, he brushed the issue aside. Major Miller was ready for the end of the day.

_____

“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”
– Malcolm X

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