HOPE, INC. CHAPTER TWO PREVIEW


THE RUSH INSTITUTE – TEN DAYS EARLIER

A deadly virus.

A deadly virus kills millions.

Dr. Nolan Jennings swiped his security card in the reader, and walked briskly through his lab calling out a happy “Good Morning” on the way to his private office.

His research team was already performing their morning check on the mice, and making notes to enter into the animal trial database. Eager for an update on their findings, he quickly listened to messages, hoping for at least one response to his latest round of grant proposals.

The research had been peer reviewed, and published in the prestigious “Journal of Immunology and Science”. This was groundbreaking science, and he was absolutely confident in his findings. But, securing funding to advance this type of research was proving to be difficult. In medicine, the biggest breakthroughs were often met with the most resistance.

Is the world ready? He wondered for about the hundredth time. A quick scan of his email revealed nothing urgent, so he pulled on his lab coat and strode into the lab.

“How is everyone this morning? And how are our little ones faring?”

“Still no evidence of disease.” Bridget Mallory leaned over one of the cages, then stood up and removed her glasses, as she did about fifty times a day.

“Excellent! What about the group bred for disease?” Nolan asked.

“None of them have developed a single symptom.” Seth McCleary called out from his desk, which was nothing more than a lowered continuation of the black lab counter top with the addition of a few built in drawers and cubbyholes he’d stuffed with mail, notes, and journals. “Any word from the foundation?”

“Not yet. It takes time.” Nolan surveyed the wall of cages that housed the mice, sticking his finger through to pet a few of them.

The door buzzer sounded, and Bridget moved quickly to open it for Amy Garcia, who balanced a tray of coffee, and a box of donuts. Setting the pastries down in the designated break area, she passed out coffee, and took a read of their faces. “No word yet?” She asked in her Texas drawl.

“I’m sure we’ll hear soon.” Bridget smiled, put her glasses on, and bent over to observe the mice.

Nolan took a sip of his coffee, plopped two donuts on a paper towel, and headed back to his office. “If anyone needs me I’ll be up to my nose in another grant proposal.”

Amy called after him, “When are we going to sequence your DNA so we can clone your metabolism?”

“It’s not genetics, it’s gender,” Nolan called back.

“It’s because you don’t sleep,” Bridget teased.

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