Read Alien Virus Online

Authors: Steve Howrie

Tags: #scotland, #aliens, #mind control, #viruses, #salt, #orkney, #future adventure science, #other universes

Alien Virus

BOOK: Alien Virus
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ALIEN
VIRUS

 

Steve Howrie

 

Alien
Virus
.
Science
Fiction.

Copyright © Steve Howrie
201
6

 

The right of Steve Howrie to be identified as
the Author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with
the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.

 

All rights reserved. No part of this
publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written
permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations
in printed or electronic reviews.

 

*****

CONTENTS:

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty
-One

Twenty
-Two

Twenty
-Three

Twenty
-Four

Twenty
-Five

Twenty
-Six

Twenty
-Seven

Twenty
-Eight

Twenty
-Nine

Thirty

Thirty
-One

Thirty
-Two

Other books by Steve
Howrie

 

O
ne

 

I woke up one Friday. Woke up
to Reality.

I was in the office and
Trevor, my editor, was being his usual charming
self
,
and Sandi
was being, well, just Sandi. The Sandi I still loved,
an
d… no,
I was
in work mode that day – no time for dwelling on the past. The
present was far more pressing.


Sandi
– what happened to that piece I was working on yesterday –
the one on salt?”


What, the
‘salt isn’t bad for you after
all’
thing?”

“Yeah.”


I showed it to Trevor,
and he told me to bin it – sorry.”


What! I hadn’t finished
it…
w
hy did you
show it to Dr Death?”


Kevin, you know he hates
you calling him that.”

“Yeah, well, he kills off more
stories than anyone else I know.”


I had to show him – he
asked me what you were working on, and then he saw it on your desk.
Personally, I thought it was great – well researched, topical,
witty…”

“Then why?”


Salt’s not on the menu
today, Kevin. Salt’s bad news – no–one wants to hear otherwise. It
would be like saying smoking’s good for you.”


This isn’t about smoking
– it’s about salt. And what ever happened to telling the truth? Or
am I thinking of a different Universe?”


Sorry Kevin, I can’t get
into this now. I’ve got a busy day, and I’m taking Marti out to
dinner tonight… it’s his birthday.”


Oh great. Well, don’t
forget the salt
then
.”

Hearing that Sandi was
cavorting with Martin that night was the last straw. I was now
pissed off with both her and Trevor. Okay, most of my research for
the article was from the Salt Manufacturers Association. But it was
logically worked out, scientific facts that no–one could genuinely
refute. Facts that
were being covered up.
Oh, but what the hell. If Trevor wasn’t going to print it, that was
that. I needed a drink.

Escaping to my local
boozer with a copy of Focus always calms me down. I don’t know what
it is about that place, but as soon as I come through the door it’s
like the World’s suddenly not such a bad place after all. As I sat
at the bar, sharing a joke with the barman, I couldn’t help
noticing a strange bloke in the corner. He was standing up, talking
to a group of people at a table. His hands waved expressively, even
violently. The people – two men and a woman – watched on, smiling,
as if being entertained by a stand
-
up comedian. One looked over to
me and winked. I smiled back, not knowing what I was smiling at,
but sharing some sort of bond – me and him against the
odd
-
looking man
with the waving hands and desperate expression.

And then, giving up on
the others, the strange old guy came over to me and started his
spiel. It was quite a turn. After listening solidly for ten minutes
I tried to paraphrase his talk.

“So what you’re saying Mr…”


Frank Peters – just
Frank will do. Frank by name, frank by nature.” I ignored his
dubious wit and continued.


You’re trying to tell us
that
an intelligent virus from outer
space has permeated the water supply and the food chain, and we’ve
all been affected by it.

“Practically everyone,
yes.”


And its most deadly
effect is to convince us, by tampering with our thought processes,
that it is actually a good and necessary part of each and
ever
y
one of
us?”

“Undoubtedly. We must not
underestimate its cunning.”

The man was clearly
bonkers. But I was enjoying the game – though I did think perhaps I
should tell someone about him. That is, until he said, “Salt is the
only defence.”


I’m sorry – did you
say
salt
?”


Yes – it’s the only
thing that can neutralise the virus. And it makes
sense
: s
alt
kills or neutralises all sorts of parasites on our planet – why not
ones from other parts of the Universe?”

If he wanted
my full, undivided attention, now he had it. He
continued:


All this recent bad
press for salt is just the virus talking. It warps man’s thought
pattern and turns him away from his own common sense. Take my
advice and avoid hospitals.”


Why?” I
frowned.


They’ll put you on a
salt
–free diet and pump you full of the
virus. I know – they tried to do it to me. They said my sodium
level was dangerously high
– ten times
the average level –
and I needed drugs to
take it down. I think they wanted to kill me – or at least make
me
the same as them
. They sensed I was aware – they sensed I knew about the
virus.”

Was this Science Fiction
or Fantas
y
? The
ramblings of a deluded mind, or a man who
really
saw what
no
body
else
could
?
I just
had to find out – I couldn’t let this go. I told him I didn’t
believe everything
I’d
heard
, but I thought there might be
something in his ideas. Giving Frank my card, I asked him to call
at my office the next morning – before twelve. He nodded. As I got
up to go, he grabbed my arm.


Trust
no
-
one Kevin,
no
-
one.”

I discretely shook his hand,
and slipped out of the bar, aware of stares burning into my
back.

***

T
wo

 

The
next day, the old man hadn’t shown by twelve. I waited
another hour – then another. No sign of him. I shrugged. It just
confirmed by feelings when I awoke that day: Frank Peters was just
a strange geezer – a retired academic perhaps – who was not living
in the real world. The mention of salt had only been a
coincidence.

With my mind on Peters I hadn’t
given a thought to Sandi, who had been strangely quiet all morning.
That wasn’t like her.


How was the meal last
night – did you have to pay as usual?” I knew she hated my pokes at
her relationships – but I just couldn’t help it; didn’t want to
help it. In my mind, she still belonged to me. “Sandi?”


It was crap, okay? The
food was crap, the conversation was crap, and it’s over. I’ve had
it with men – they’re all the bloody same. All they think about is
themselves.” She was talking to me as if I wasn’t a man. I was
going to say something witty, but thought better of it.

“Have you eaten today?”

“I’m not hungry,” she snapped.
Her head was engrossed in a magazine. It was upside down.


Well,
I
need
something – a drink mostly – so why don’t we go down to the Bells
and get legless. I’ll tell you about that nutter I met at the pub
yesterday.” She said ‘no’, but after a few minutes, changed it to
‘okay’. Without looking at me, she went to get her coat.

We sat outside
the pub
watching the
world go by. I began telling Sandi about Peters, which made her
laugh – until she saw the front page of the newspaper on the next
table.


Kevin – did you say
‘Frank Peters?’”


Yes, why?” She picked up
the paper, quickly reading the first paragraph, and then turned it
towards me. “Christ! No wonder he didn’t turn up this morning.”
There was a black and white photograph of Peters and a short
article about ‘an accident’ at 11.30 pm the previous night
involving a hit and run driver. Peters had died in hospital, it
said. There was little other information. Sandi took the article
back.

“What a terrible accident…”


That was no accident –
he was murdered.”

“What? How can you say that?”
she said.

My mind was racing now. I
had to do something. If Peters was right, god knows what could
happen. I reached over for the salt, and took a lick as Peters had
demonstrated the night before. “Kevin, what are you
doing?”


Just taking precautions.
Come on – we’ve got to go. I’ll explain later.’”

I didn’t like being so
mysterious, but it was too dangerous to talk in public. It had been
the death of Frank Peters, and who knows who could be listening.
Outside, I hailed a taxi and we sped off for the nearest Police
Station.

With the glass partition
closed, the back of the taxi felt private enough and I told Sandi
the rest of my story about Peters, including the salt angle. She
obviously found it difficult to accept, but she didn’t reject the
idea out of hand.

“So why the Police
Station?”

I sensed the Taxi Driver
watching us through the corner of his eye and turned to sit in the
box seat to face Sandi – just in case he could read my lips. Okay,
perhaps I was getting a little paranoid; but after what had
happened to Peters, it was better to be safe than sorry. I told
Sandi I wanted to find out how Frank Peters had died – just to be
sure. I couldn’t let this go until I knew the truth about the man –
and his extraordinary ideas. And I needed Sandi to back me up, to
tell me if I was crazy or not.


But what about Trevor?
He’s going to kill us when he finds out what we’
v
e been doing.”


Just give him a ring and
tell him we’re following up a story – something about an unusual
health treatment in Chelsea.”

I didn’t like the probing
stare on the taxi–driver’s face as I counted out the fare; but
there was no time to dwell on that – we had to move quickly
now.

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