The man stepped over pieces of the broken door and walked across the floor to the body of George Van Tassel, stiff on the bed. “Don’t touch him, you bastard!” screamed Dorris. The man let out a nasty belly laugh. “I will find what I came here for, Mrs. Van Tassel,” he sneered. “I know your husband was on the verge of changing the world. Ha! All of his research,” he scoffed. “Look at him, dead to the world and dead to the cause he pursued.” The man looked in the direction of his thugs and motioned to the aides cowering on the floor of the motel room. “Get rid of these two clowns. We’re taking the old woman with us.”The muffled report of an SR-1 pistol followed two bright flashes of light in the raggedy doorway of Van Tassel’s room. Dorris became physically ill when she got to the front desk. The motel’s owner had a hole between his eyes. She and the man had talked briefly a couple of hours ago when Dorris went to get ice from the ice machine. Turned out he was a family man. He had been married for 28 years. He had a daughter who was engaged to be married next year in June. Now, he was sprawled across the desk chair. Blood still trickled from the black and red circle just below where his hairline should have been. “Come on, sister,” the man spat. “We’re ready for your close up.” He pushed her out of the motel and shoved her inside the open back door of a black Hummer. As he climbed in behind her, he mumbled something to the driver. One of his men sat in the front passenger seat and another sat on the other side of Mrs. Van Tassel. The rest of the men filled up the other three vehicles and the caravan began its journey.Dorris’ mind was going a mile a minute. One thing that worried Dorris was George was so frail. He had passed out in his laboratory at the University just this morning. The department security guard heard a loud crash and came running. He helped Dorris get George on the couch. Thank God she’d been there. But she was always there. She had been his assistant since they married thirty-one years ago. Another thing that bothered Dorris was she knew that she had to inject her husband with the ‘solution.’ The Van Tassels had rehearsed what needed to happen when the opposition confronted George. The ‘solution’ was George’s only hope of surviving. The question loomed because he was so weak, would the concoction kill him? The third and last concern was that this was the first time that the ‘solution’ had ever been used on any human being. There was no way to know what the side effects might be. She tossed all of this around in her head as she was being taken farther and farther away from her beloved George. She retraced her steps, had she followed her husband’s instructions to the letter?
Dorris Van Tassel moved quickly under the covers when she heard the first bang on the door. She removed the syringe that she kept in her pants pocket. With the needle resting on her pinkie and the plunger on her forefinger, she slid the cap off. She whispered in her husband’s ear.“No, George. You forgive me. I’m not letting you go that easy.”Dorris plunged the needle into her husband’s thigh at the exact moment that the door was kicked a second time. The shock of the metal being forced into his flesh, showed in Van Tassel’s eyes. His wife responded to his weak announcement; ‘he is here.’ “Rest now, they will think you died of a heart attack. This will buy a little time. Don’t worry,” Dorris whispered. One last crash on the door and the mercenaries were inside the room. They overpowered Van Tassel’s unarmed aides as easily as a school bully takes lunch money from a nerd.