The doctor’s voice was calm. But the tone did not change the diagnosis. Chenton had two months to live.
One moment replayed over and over in his mind. Two seconds. That was all it had taken. Two seconds to hit the glass vial with his elbow. Two seconds for the powder to fill his lungs.
Two months to die.
Chenton had been experimenting with what he called The Eradicator. The idea was that TE would go after unique cancer cells. Only, the “unique” wasn’t in place yet. Now his body was slowly being eradicated. This wasn’t the way I wanted to go, Lord.
Chenton stared blankly out the window. It looked the same as it had yesterday, the same oak tree, the same daffodils, perhaps even the same sparrow flitting across the sky. It was somehow comforting.
The intercom buzzed. “Chenton, I think we’ve found something.” The voice of Chenton’s best friend and lab partner was laden with excitement. “We found a compound that will counteract The Eradicator.”
Jonte laughed triumphantly. “We just need to get it to Dr. Pelou for some chemical changes.”
Thank You, Lord. The nightmare was over.
Chenton was fourteen hours into his journey to Dr. Pelou, right in the middle of nowhere, when he noticed the vehicle following behind his Hover. It was a Trailer baring the markings of Bi Lang, the most notorious mob in the world.
Chenton didn’t fancy sharing airspace with a Bi Lang Trailer. A rock began forming in his stomach. On impulse he sent out a voice wave. “What do you want?”
He was surprised they answered. “We want the vial.”
He punched another button. “Jonte, why in the world would Bi Lang want the new compound?”
“Well,” his friend was hesitant. “It seems that if you change it molecularly and add one chemical, suddenly it is the most effective chemical warfare agent ever invented.”
The world was closing in on Chenton once again. “Pray for me. I’m going to try to out-maneuver them.”
“I haven’t stopped praying.”
Chenton jerked the Hover low, picking up speed. He was in the middle of the desert, but an hour ahead lay vast mazes of rock outcroppings. He could slip the Hover into those and get away on foot.
But even as he reached the first of the jagged red peaks, Chenton knew deep in his heart that it was hopeless. The Trailer would find him in a matter of hours.
The Hover landed and Chenton leaned his head on the control board. Why Lord? I’m not ready yet. There’s still work to be done here on earth. But another thought followed right behind…chemical warfare would end much more of that work before its time.
“Chenton?” Jonte’s voice echoed through the Hover.
“I’m not going to be able to run from them.”
“You have to try! God can hide you from Bi Lang.”
Chenton took his time answering. “Yes, God could hide me from the Trailer. For that matter, He could just heal me right now.” Disconnecting, Chenton climbed out of the Hover. He sunk to his knees in the hot sand, cradling his head.
For a long time Chenton spoke to God. He reminded God of how close he was to discovering the cure for cancer, of how he thought he knew what had gone wrong with the formula, and of the fact that it would take another man years to figure out his notes and process.
But the time came when Chenton had said all there was to say. He had protested and pleaded, and at last he was quiet. It was only then that Chenton listened. It was then that he was still, that he knew God was God.
When he rose, his knees were stiff. He felt he had a little picture, just a tiny glimpse, of what that night in Gethsemane must have been like.
Chenton reached into the Hover and pushed the com. “Jonte, you know that verse in the Bible that says ‘greater love hath no man than this; that he lay down his life for a friend’? Do you suppose it is even greater love if it’s for a whole country?” For a moment there was only the sound of two men breathing. “I’m going to break the vial.”
The glass shone in the sun, tinkling against the red rocks, mingling with the orange sand. The powder rose on the wind, disappearing with a faint cloud of dust.
Thy will be done.
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