Once Upon A Frog

Part 2 of 3

New York 28th February 2020 1500

Dr Martin Lloyd slurped his frappe latte as he got on the F Train from Roosevelt Island. He checked his phone and saw how several of his investments had taken a hit. Frantically, he tried calling his broker to sell his stock however he kept getting a busy signal. 10 minutes had passed and he got off as the train came to a stop and walked to the corner of the 48th Street and 51st Street in midtown Manhattan. As he walked towards the Rockefeller Plaza, he felt the bitter cold blow across his face. He picked a bagel on the way and rushed to the Centre. He caught the lift up to the 53rd floor and felt the need to visit the men’s room. He washed his face with warm water and after drying it walked to the meeting that had been scheduled the evening before.

He walked into the Conference room and the air was filled with tension as he walked to his seat and sat. People were on their phones, checking emails and talking incessantly on their phones until the door opened and a woman in perfectly coiffed hair and walked in with her assistant and assumed the seat at the head of the table. Jennifer Sadowski did not look a day over 40 but in reality she was 64 years old and ran their conglomerate with an iron fist. 

“Gentlemen, we have urgent business. We need an update on the status of work at the working group commissioned with Center for Disease Control and Prevention Research and Centre for Preparedness Response tasked at looking at Toyvid-12.  We also need to know whether our labs in Osaka, Frankfurt and Atlanta have made progress on vaccines for Toyvid-12 We also need an update on our investments. Jeremy, where are we with the Dow?”

Jeremy Mendoza was a middle aged 43 year old who had been appointed Chief Executive Officer pointed to the screen and proceeded to give a briefing. Jeremy proceeded to give an update, said, “The Toyvid-12 victims by countries as of today have skyrocketed claiming 84,000 lives. China (78,928), South Korea (2337), Italy (888), Iran (388), Japan (228), Singapore (93) and the US (62). The past 7 days, we have seen $4 trillion from global stock values. The Dow Jones Industrial average has lost 357 points, at 1.4 per cent to close at 25, 409. The companies they had invested in had people offloading and selling shares. 83,000 people globally had been infected with the Toyvid-12 and had killed nearly 3000 people. Please refer to the Paper before you, which lists the analysis and recommendations which include purchasing the shares that had been offloaded and taking advantage of the fall in share prices. White House officials are considering potential tax- cut packages that are designed to give us a competitive advantage at a considerable risk and the Federal Reserve is closely monitoring the situation.”

Clive McDougal a 52-year-old in a pinstripe suit, Head of Research and Development gave an update on the Working Group’s activities and priorities and an update on the status of the development of vaccines.

An elaborate discussion and debate ensued over investment strategies and what needed to be done. Before the meeting came to an end, Dr Martin Lloyd was nervous as he recalled how a bio hackathon in 1983 where they had created a simulation of the Toyvid-12. They had harvested the virus from the Titicaca Water frog, which was an endangered species. The virus had been created by the attack team in an effort to simulate a bio terrorism attack and at the time and had been stored in a vault.

What he could not get his mind around to was how the virus had made its way out of the vault that was sealed in an highly secure undisclosed location. He was bound by Federal laws to not disclose the same. He sweated profusely and nervously as he stared down at his mix matched socks. For several weeks, he could sense that he was being followed and that his phone and emails were under surveillance as he had seen the light on his laptop had come on by itself one evening even though he had turned the camera off.

Guadalajara 28th February, 2020 1400

It was a cold rainy afternoon in Guadalajara, Jalisco. A group of businessmen proceeded to engage in discussions. At the meeting was the Santos family, the third largest pharmaceutical company in Mexico and they were discussing strategies and yields.  The Santos family was involved in the drug transportation business and had been laundering money through companies in pharmaceutical, environmental, energy and food etc. Their legitimate business interests had also been impacted by the global fallout.

Dr Marina Sanchez who had returned to Mexico to look after her parents had been part of the attack team in bio hackathon in 1983 that harvested the virus from the Titicaca Water frog. She was nervous as she had received an email from an unknown address saying that four members of their team had died under mysterious circumstances within 90 hours of each other. Dr Tatiana Mueller died in an accident on the autobahn in Berlin; Dr Kwan Wu collapsed whilst out shopping in Singapore; Dr Harriet Sinclair was found in her apartment in Oslo where the police ruled that it was a suicide; Dr Ng Min died in a drive by shooting in downtown Los Angeles. 

Dr Sanchez thought that these deaths were too much of a coincidence. Two weeks ago, Dr Lloyd had made contact with her and sent an encrypted message. Since then, she had moved her parents discreetly to an undisclosed location. With the surge of the Toyvid-12, like the rest of her Team, she had been sworn to secrecy and was bound by US Federal laws.

It was very clear that the virus had been recreated and used as a weapon for war and the bio terrorism had been initiated meant that the leak was an act of war. The last remaining species of the Titicaca Water Frog were being kept safely deep in a lab in Rio de Janeiro.

There were only two remaining Team who knew about the harvest and vaccine and given the suspicious circumstances of the deaths of their colleagues, it made sense that their days were numbered. Given the surge in the Toyvid-12 that was nearing a pandemic, they were tempted to reach out to the authorities to divulge the same but the fear of being labelled as bio terrorists and the variables that they could not trust anyone as phones were tapped.

Code Red

It was now time to initiate code red. Dr Marina Sanchez sent an encrypted email to Dr Martin Lloyd activating Code Red. Dr Sanchez wrote a birthday card, which included the history of the Toyvid-12 and the details in which the virus was created. At the same time, Dr Martin Lloyd bought a DVD and transferred the details of the vaccine and mailed it.

———————————-to be continued———————————-

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