Caged Minds Excerpts » PenTwist

Caged Minds Excerpts

Caged Minds

By David Pyle

This book is a work of fiction. References to real people, events, establishments, organizations, or locales are intended only to provide a sense of authenticity, and are used fictitiously.  All other characters, and all incidents and dialogue, are drawn from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real.

Caged Minds  Copyright © 2015 by David Pyle.  All rights reserved.  Printed in the Unites States of America.  No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever or stored in a database or retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without prior written permission of both the copyright owner and publisher of this book, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

FIRST EDITION

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data has been applied for.

ISBN-10:  0692447814
ISBN-13:  978-0692447819

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Select Excerpts from Caged Minds, pp. 337-340

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Jasper casually slid over one of the stacked folders, leaving it closed as he constructed his thoughts.
“The viral specimens I’m speaking of are the sort used in biological warfare.  I’d like to tell you a little story if I may and then we can discuss Mr. Hanner when we’re through.”
Art felt his stomach seize.  Jasper might already be insane.
“You look a little pale, Mr. Butcher.  Perhaps you’d like something a little stronger to mix with your coffee?”
Art shook his head, took a sip of carefully roasted caffeine, and remained silent.
“Quite some time ago, I learned of a desolate little village about twenty miles south of Algiers.  Are you familiar with the area?”
Art nodded slowly, still listening, and more than a little apprehensive.
“Of course you are.  Very simple people, innocent, despite the egregious terrorist regime they labor under.  Most of the natives live out their entire lives never knowing anything other than the immediate area in which they were born.
“It seems a terrorist cell accumulated a group of willing biologists and opened a clinic in the region several months ago.  It was there under the auspices of helping the local impoverished people with the usual medical humanitarian generalities.
“At the same time, these medical scientists were given three male subjects which were in the final ravages of this awful disease.  You see, unfortunately, syphilis is still quite common in third world countries.

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“As a blunt primer on the disease of syphilis, in its final act it penetrates and destroys the blood-brain barrier.  This is the filter which prevents harmful pathogens from entering your most defining organ.”
Jasper tapped the side of his head for emphasis.
Art took another sip if coffee to clear his clotting throat, “So they’re working on some super STD?”
Jasper continued without answering, “These good gentlemen managed to isolate the activities of the most aggressive stage of the syphilis virus while enhancing its properties with another highly contagious derivative.
“In summation, what they created is an airborne version of a pathogen, which has a twenty-two hour incubation period.  Do you remember the Ebola outbreak last summer?”
“Who doesn’t?” replied Art.  “Wait…, that nearly took out the entire west coast of Africa.”
Jasper nodded, the crinkles of sadness spreading across his brow, “Yes, we were less fortunate in our intelligence gathering efforts back then.”
Jasper opened the folder in front of him and displayed several grainy photographs of test subjects, taken at an extreme distance with a telephoto lens.  Inside some sort of metal containment area behind a large brick building were two men who looked like garden variety zombies.  Bloodshot eyes, emaciated, haggard, with bloody scratches all over their bodies from attacking each other.
“This isn’t Ebola.  You want this virus?” asked Art.
Jasper stared with pursed lips, “It’s critical that I have it.”

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“In twenty-two hours or less, you have these results.”
Art felt the coffee in his stomach churn.  The same telephoto lens had captured the entire population of the village going at each other like rabid pit bulls in a dogfight.  He’d never seen so much carnage in one place, captured in the photographs before him.  Men, women, and children were attacking each other out in the open dirt streets of their little village; scratching, clawing and biting one another to bloody lifeless pulps.

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