Noble Fool

"Miss Sabrina?" The calm, inflectionless voice of Yuri Petrov interrupted Sabrina's fevered writing. The doctor was in the middle of committing to paper her preliminary research findings regarding a possible ‘off switch’ for the majority of genes associated with the autoimmune disorder, Lupus. She’d of course kept detailed notes for her own use, but they were written in a private code that Sabrina had developed over a lifetime of use. Now, with the probability of world-wide destruction, the surgeon wanted to leave a deciphered copy in place should someone survive and wish to make use of it.

She’d gotten the idea from Dara.

"Yes, Yuri. What is it?"

The family's head of security produced an envelope and offered it to Sabrina. "Master Stefan has instructed me to deliver this to you. It is from Agent Bauer."

Sabrina's hand shot out to snatch the envelope from Yuri. At the last second, she paused. A lifetime of training kicked in and she waited until the watchful security chief placed the letter between her trembling fingers. "Thank you," she breathed.

"How did it get here?" Sabrina smoothed the slightly stained envelope. If Jack had come home, there would be no need for a letter, she instantly reasoned.

Yuri waited to reply until Sabrina looked up at him. "One of Agent Bauer’s young trainees appeared with it a day ago. Its delivery to you was delayed until Master Stefan and I could take the opportunity to learn firsthand the state of other locations and other survival efforts."

Sabrina was too relieved about getting a message from Jack to be angry that Stefan waited a day to pass it along to her. “Thank you.”

It took a while for her to open the letter. The joy of receiving a message from Jack quickly gave way to a sense of dread about just what his message might be.

The letter began simply enough with Jack telling her about the young trainee he'd trusted to deliver his letter. Jack had taken a liking to the young man. He’d gone so far as to argue for a place to be made among those chosen for the government’s enhanced bunker.

Their refusal was a non-issue, Jack's trainee had informed him. He was determined to make his way cross country to be with his family when the world ended. The young man’s determination was particularly ironic in light of what Jack said next, Sabrina thought:

‘I found Kim, Stephen, and the kids. They are here with me. (Undersecretary) Stahl okayed a spot for Stephen among the medical personnel but Kim and the kids only get to stay if I do as well. It's a kind of blackmail, I know.

Sabrina made no effort to banish the uncharitable thought she had about her stepdaughter. Kim's childish petulance regarding her father had put them all in the situation they were currently in – Jack and Sabrina on two different ends of the continent. Stefan had made a place for Kim and her family among those making the survival effort, but Kim’s resentment of Sabrina would not allow her to accept the possible lifeline her father extended.

‘I'll find my way home. When this is over, I will find my way to you. ‘Cause that's what you are to me. Home.’


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