Parysh Tambein was moving fast through the packed streets of Amsterdam. The cigar in between his fingers was burning at a steady pace and leaving puffs of grey smoke in his wake. The N95 mask was not comfortable on his face but he used it nonetheless. He was wearing a black suit from Brioni. The top three shirt buttons were undone, displaying his hairy chest. The Gucci Princetown slippers made him appear even more masculine, whereas a lesser looking man would struggle to pull the look off. There were no clouds in the sky and the sun had started it's daily rise. He barked into the iPhone. Where the fuck is John Martin now? You imbecile. How the hell did you manage to loose him again? The voice on the other end was subdued but clear. Parysh grinded his teeth like a shark while climbing into a Tesla Model Y that had arrived with no sound and now opened the door for him. What the fuck? Where is the Brander? He has not checked in yet, don't you know? What do you mean, you motherfucker? He was shouting into the iPhone. He hung up angrily, then barked at the driver. Get me to the airport! There was a visible rage in his dark honey colored eyes. He made another call. Do we know when they will start mass producing the vaccines? Ok. But have they received the Nexus? There was hope still to stop John Martin and his family. That meant taking them out. And their secret factory. But he needed to know where the Nexus was being manufactured and contained. He was also in need of intel on where the labs were. In his mind a plan was forming with a very bitter outcome for the Martin family. He cursed in Arabic. This family had powerful means and important friends. It would not be easy. He should have just killed Martin when he had held him captive and the man was totally in his power. John Martin was no fool. He had survived the dogs and escaped the hunting party later in the woods. Parysh had watched the surveillance footage from the room where they had held Martin captive. His respect for John Martin had grown. He had measured the dose of LSD himself and it should have been enough to put the business man in a mental hospital permanently, but Martin had managed to control the high. He had also burned the dogs with alcohol while drinking it himself. Parysh shook his head. If Martin had not been spotted while boarding the train he could have eluded them altogether. The Brander had been highly recommended but even the hitman had come up short against John Martin even after all the guy had been through. Incredible! But it was not pure luck that had kept Martin alive. He was an avid hunter of lions and other dangerous animals. He was still as fit as a man in his forties and he was smart. And he was rich. Very rich! Martin had to be dealt with. Strange that he had decided to go on his own and get waisted with no protection at all. The man was either very arrogant or he knew something that Parysh did not yet know. But now that his family was involved it made the job harder. Parysh opened the window in the Tesla and tossed the cigar carelessly out of the window. It flew through the air and landed on the naked foot of the broke and very stoned American backpacker on the side street. He screamed out and then looked at the cigar that still burned. The cigar was dirty after rolling in the street but the American still picked it up and started to smoke what was left of the cigar.
The Brander was in pain. His left eye had been removed but the right one had almost healed perfectly. The doctor had done his utmost to save the right eye but it was beyond repair. Now the black eyepatch that covered the cavity, gave the Brander the look of a pale pirate. He was standing in the capitol of Norway. The streets of Oslo were alive again. It was now the beginning of May and the country was coming out from a total lock down. The Covid-19 virus had burned through most of Europe but this small country had managed to contain the virus by forcing people to stay at home for weeks. The Norwegians were slowly returning to their normal lives after this ordeal. The kids were running happily in the the open space around the big tiger at the square by the Oslo Sentral train station and the trams were busy and cramped with people on their way to work. The beggars roamed outside the subway entrance. The Brander was disgusted by this. The Tiger City it was called. More like the beggar city. No one was even wearing a mask. The Brander had been surprised when entering the country. There were no precautions taken at arrival by the government. None of the passengers were tested in any way before entering through customs. Stupid people. The Brander shook his head. They have no idea what they are dealing with. The Covid-19 virus had spread from China and all around the world in just a few months and this potato country was acting like there was no virus just weeks after their own lockdown. The Brander did his best to maintain distance from the people around him and then got into a cab. He was soon on his way to the Scandic Park Hotel in Holmenkollen. He was now wearing a N95 mask. The cab driver looked at him strangely but said nothing, as the taxi tore through the streets of the city towards the west side.
John Martin was sitting in his favorite Egg Chair. He was drinking water from a handsome glass. His hair was now back to it's normal color and he was rested. His beard was stylishly groomed and he looked fresh. His children Lela and Leif had joined him in the comfortable happy couch, designed by Antonio Citterio. Leif Martin was very tall. His straight blond hair was very Scandinavian and so were his features. He was wearing brown corduroy pants and a white Lacoste shirt. The small green crocodile logo looked chic somehow although the 80's were long gone. His face was angular and all his features were lean and hard. The mouth had the same lines of cruelty like those on his father's face and his forehead was big. His eyes were calmly watching his father and sister and his left hand rested in his lap. He was drinking a cup of French toasted coffee. His sister was looking well, he thought. The long black hair was tied up in a bun in the back of her head and the green eyes were very clear in the dim sunlight that filled the big room from the big panoramic windows, even after the shutters had blocked out the sun.
Her long fingers held the cup of Chai tea in a delicate manner and the red shirt made her skin look even more tanned than it was. She was wearing rough jeans and smoking a Marlboro cigarette while listening to her father's story. John Martin was getting his children up to speed. The pandemic was rising, he told them, and he had to ensure that the Nexus would not fall into the wrong hands. He needed their help. The global vaccine race had already begun the year before when the Wuhan based virologist Shi Zhengli had shown Martin's scientists the cave where she had initially discovered the original Covid-19 virus in 2004. Martin Invest had proceeded to hire some of the best virologists in the world and then he had founded the Sandford Research group in July 2012. Their headquarters was situated in a secret location. It was being kept secret because of several reasons. Security was the main issue, and the news media the second. When Dr. Vijay Karat had first entered the bat caves in 2014, he wanted total privacy and only two men in diving suits followed him silently further into the dark cave under the enormous clusters of bats in the ceiling of the cave. He knew the bats were carriers of the different Covid-19 strains of the virus family. But how had the bats become carriers of the virus in the first place? His theory was sound and he was now going to test it. The bat cave he was now walking inside, was situated in the Guangxi province in China. The thousands of bats were sleeping silently. Just the sound of a flapping wing broke the silence from time to time. In the bottom of the cave was a underwater lake that ran through the caves like a life line. There were other animals and insects that also thrived in the darkness. A scorpion crawled past Dr. Vijay's boots. He shivered. That one was deadly. He adjusted the infrared goggles and continued deeper into the cave. There! He pointed to the divers. They slowly went into the dark water and submerged. Both of the divers were using a very strong headlight and their underwater vision was very clear. Dr. Vijay Karat was looking at the map on his phone. If he was correct this could change the future course of the world. He believed the source of the virus was not the bats. No. It was something in the water they drank. The divers were wearing full protection gear while in the water because if he was right, the dive could be deadly for both of them without it. Outside the cave they would later burn their diving suits. All precautions were taken to ensure their safety and to the others of the group, including himself. The second diver carried a small box that was waterproof and air tight. The first diver was working hard to make out all the details in the dark water. He was looking for a red rock like formation but had not seen it so far. He stopped and looked around slowly. The second diver stopped too. Then the diver pointed. There! The formation of the red substance went along the rock wall on their left side. They were now fifty meters down in the underwater tunnel system. The red substance was three meters long. The first diver was very careful as he started to scrape slowly into the red substance. It fell away silently in the darkness. Beneath the red, there was something blue. He had never seen anything like it. It was in the color of cobalt. He scraped very carefully at the blue substance. It came away and floated. The other diver moved very carefully and caught it in the box with a sweeping motion, using both of his hands. Then they started the slow climb towards the surface. As soon as they stepped outside the cave they removed their gear carefully. Under the diving suits they were wearing another air tight suit that was also removed. The box was washed in strong soap and the divers were hosed down with huge amounts of water and soap. They removed the oxygen masks that were thrown into a fire and burned along with the rest of their gear. Dr. Vijay Karat was watching from twenty meters away. He knew that still with these precautions the divers could still be infected. They walked into two small huts where they would stay quarantined for twelve days. The box containing the substance was then packed securely and shipped to the headquarters of the Sandford Research Group.
Dr. Vijay Karat was looking at the substance through the microscope. He was wearing a complete triple protection suit under the normal precautionary measure lab outfit that had been developed by NASA. The gasmask was not comfortable but he took no chances. Neither did anyone his team. He was working with the best scientists in the world. His boss had not spared a dime on this venture. They had the best labs that money could buy and Vijay had overseen the process of putting the different teams together and make The Sandhurst Group as efficient and streamlined as possible. Within a month they knew that the substance was alive. It was a fungus. It contained hundred types of genetic RNA. One of them was the current SARS-CoV-2, But the fungus also had another double strained RNA that he had never seen before. After three years of intense study, they had finally unlocked its secrets. The double strained RNA was another type of virus that seemed to keep the SARS-CoV-2 in check. When fused together the double stranded virus destroyed the SARS-CoV-2. The team was elated. But they had to test it. And they slowly did. They did careful animal testing. None of the animals had any negative reactions to the virus that they now named, The Nexus. Then they tested it on humans that were carefully picked and that had volunteered for the the dangerous mission, because of their infection of SARS-CoV-2 in December of 2019. The most astonishing outcome was then carefully recorded. The physical state of the people that participated in the trials increased. Then they tested negative from the Covid-19 virus within one day after being administered a very small dose of the Nexus virus into their bloodstreams. The SARS-CoV-2 was completely eradicated from their system. There were no side effects or any effects or reactions recorded at all from the 200.000 people that went through the first trials of the Nexus vaccine. By now it has been tested on more than half a million people with the same incredible result. Compared with the Pfeizer, Moderna and the other vaccines out there right now, the Nexus is the future because it will eradicated all the strains of Covid-19. Not only the SARS-CoV-2, it also is 100% effective on all future mutations.
John Martin cleared his voice. The team removed all the Nexus from all the caves of China last year and the rest of the world and now we have it. Lela looked at him astonished. But dad, this can not be legal. How in the world did you get this past the Chinese government? Or from what ever other countries the Sandfurd Group detected it in? Does anyone else know? USA, Europe?? John Martin was dead serious and for once did not smile when Missy arrived with the brunch. The toast with lemon jelly marmalade, honey and the pancakes looked great. Missy then served the ice cold African Avodale Anima in the three sleek glasses and left them silently. Well, I found a way around that. They simply don't have a choice.
Jesus. Why the hell not? You are fucking crazy dad. Leif shook his head in disbelief. We own the caves and the land under all caves around the world where the Nexus has been detected so far. I have bought it all. John showed them a overview of the position of all the caves. It was 300 altogether. And how did you manage to buy all that land without any sanctions from either of these countries? Lela asked. Martin took the handsome glass in his hands and toasted them. That is my fucking business! His children looked at him and then slowly clinked their glasses in his and then drank the wine. The structure and weight of the wine on their palate was as smooth as a butterflies touch but left them wanting more. What about the legalities? Leif was scratching his head, trying to comprehend the enormous scale of what his father had just told him. We should be in the clear. His father scratched his jaw and lit a Lucky Strike with the ever present Ronson lighter. My lawyers have looked into it. Everything was done legally. Smoke slowly filled the room, as John exhaled the smoke from his lungs.
But why did the Chinese sell their caves to you dad? Because I control their national security software. I also have proof on how they leaked the virus intentionally to the world. John's eyes became ruthless. I put the screw on the fucking Asians. Lela had not said much for a while, but now asked silently. Dad, how much of the Nexus is there? Enough to vaccinate everyone in the world fifty times over! He answered. It is also works on the different mutations that we will be soon all over the world. Are you making the final vaccine now? Or your company? Lela asked. It is already ready! It has been submitted officially for mass production and is now being reviewed in approval for the broader use in the world as we speak. There are many steps a vaccine has to go through before it can be used commercially, and it's all very technical. Their father was smoking silently. We had to do further tests to be 100% sure of how the Nexus worked on the mutations that are popping up around the world. Well, this certainly explains why you were abducted. John Martin looked down at the table, You might wonder why I went partying in Amsterdam? You will be relived to know that a team from CIA was following me around undetected during my adventures. I put on a show-you might say. He smiled his cruel smile. I was never in any real danger except for when that pale fellow showed up at my hotel room and tried to kill me with his crazy brander. I now know who he is and where he is. I also know that the cyber terrorist Parysh Tambein wants to either sabotage the Nexus vaccine or gain access to it himself. He will most likely try to kill us. I don't think he knows where the labs are or where it is being manufactured. At least not yet that is!
Why the hell did you not tell us about any of this and how have you managed to keep all this a secret? Lela was angry now. I got friends in high places. Her father smiled at her.
I am also sorry for keeping this from you Leif. You will both get full access to everything today. Leif rose slowly. Damn! I have to think about this dad. Then he smiled for the first time. You are one crazy son of a bitch. Do you really want to save the world? For a certain price I just might. John Martin leaned forward and then snapped at his son. Sit down.
Leif slowly did what he was told. Lela poured another round of wine and shook her head. Dad, you know that this is just beyond right? I mean.. Her father's voice when it interrupted her was mild but hard as steel at the same time. You have no choice in the matter now my dear girl. Better to live than die no? John Martin leaned in towards his children.
Now this is what we are going to do!
The Brander was holding the LW3 Tundra rifle steady in his hands. He was watching the mansion through the scope of the rifle. It was more than two km away from the hotel room he was currently crouched up in with the barrel of the rifle resting gently on the edge of the window, but he could clearly make out the face of John Martin as the business man quickly passed through the room at the third floor in the mansion. Then suddenly all the electronic curtains closed on all the big windows. The curtains still let in a stream of light from the sun into the rooms, but from the outside it was impossible to glare inside. High tech shit. The Brander looked up from the scope slowly. Soon you motherfucker. Soon you will pay. The Brander touched his eyepatch, his dirty teeth clenched together tightly. The big knuckles of his hands that clutched the rifle were white as ivory.