The End Project

It starts with the end. No one has the right to play god, but what happens when the human race doesn't give a secret group of scientists much of a choice? Nuclear war has just been declared and WWIII is predicted to be the last. The war would have been devastating. It would have been the end. A much worse end than a group of scientists have planned. They plan to release a gas that will end the human race. It would give people a much less pain filled death that the radiation of the war would given them.

Dr. Valaria Byerly is one of the lead scientists to this project, and a widow to her only daughter Layna Byerly. Valaria is a strong believer that the human race should be no more, but she does not have the guts to kill her only daughter. Lucky, she knows how to make sure her daughter will be one of the only survivors. The key to Layna Byerly’s survival flows through her blood. An extremely rare blood condition that affects only about one out of sixteen million people in the USA.





Dr. Valaria Byerly set the note next to her daughter’s bed on the oak nightstand. Some indie music quietly played from a small speaker that was set next to a lamp. Valaria removed the light chain that held her deceased husband’s wedding ring from her neck. She pursed her lips and slipped her own ring off her finger and added it to the chain. Valaria knew this would not be enough to earn her daughter’s forgiveness for what the middle aged widow was about to do.

She knew her daughter, Layna Byerly, would be all for the plan to end the human race. But Layna would not be happy with Valaria’s plan to make sure the young woman would be one of the last people on earth. Valaria was happy to die with the rest of her people, but she could not kill her only daughter. Not after all Layna had accomplished. Not after her father had died.

Valaria watched her seventeen year old daughter sleep. Layna was a senior in high school and was exactly a week away from her eighteenth birthday. Layna could have graduated her sophomore year, but insisted to finish all four years. Valaria was speechless when her daughter made this decision, but respected her choice. She knew Layna had her reasons.

Layna’s caramel brown hair lay in a halo around her perfectly beige skin and distinct cheekbones. Valaria had many similar traits, but Valaria’s eyes were a soft, soothing brown. Layna’s eyes were a sharp, powerful green. Much like her father’s were. With her eyes closed, Layna looked much less cruel. She wanted to stroke her daughter’s head, but unlike her mother, Layna was not a deep sleeper. Valaria had to be stealthy, if Layna woke, things would not go as planned.

Layna was often cold, but she was not a bad person. Valaria knew this. When Layna was a child, even before her father’s death, she was alarmingly antisocial. Did and said things that were not thought through, and often rude. Layna constantly seemed bored and unsatisfied. When she was around other children, she seemed to treat them like they were of lesser importance than herself.

When Layna’s father was killed, everything became worse. That is when Valaria finally decided to get her daughter help. Just as she suspected, Layna was diagnosed with ASPD(Antisocial Personality Disorder). In other words, Layna was a sociopath. A very misunderstood mental condition really. Layna was far from violent. She was not crazy. After a few years of therapy the symptoms seemed to fade, but they never took away the diagnosis.

Layna was not a bad person, not even close. She was a very smart and strong person. Those were two of the many reasons Valaria chose her to be one of the last people on earth. Layna would be the only person that would have any knowledge of what had happened. It was all on the note.

Valaria had a plan. She was one of the lead scientists in the End Project. Just days ago world war three was declared. Nuclear war, radiation would fill the planet. Death. A painful death would fill the planet. Dr. Valaria Byerly and her team were ordered by the president to activate the End Project. That night everyone in the world was to die.

But Valaria had a plan. A plan slightly different than the president’s. The president of the United States and the secret team of scientists decided to take judgement into their own hands. It was wrong, but Valaria knew they didn’t have much of a choice. The human race was a disease that infected this beautiful planet. A small voice told Valaria there was another way. She listened to that voice. The second choice was one of Dr. Valaria Byerly’s greatest discoveries: Byerly Blood Condition (BBC). A very rare blood disease that affects only about one out of sixteen million young people in the USA.

She discovered BBC only about eleven years ago, so they didn’t have much knowledge about it. It wore off as the person aged. It was fatal to most, but some adapted. One of those kids that adapted was Layna. It did cause the person to be prone to seizures. All Valaria had to do to make sure Layna and the very few others with the condition survived the gas, was alter the formula slightly. And no one on her team would notice the slight change. She was sure of that.

Layna had a choice. A big decision. Since the blood condition was so rare, it was close to impossible for any of the young adults (and possibly children) to simply run into each other. Valaria left her daughter a list of people that had the blood condition closest to their area, New York City, and the other person’s location. There was only one other person in New York State. Lucky for Layna, they also lived in New York City. Layna’s big decision was whether she wanted to find them or not. Layna decides to find them: one day the world might repopulate with humans. Layna leaves them: mankind most likely never come in contact with each other and die out.

The fate of the human race lay on Layna Byerly’s shoulders.

Valaria left her daughter’s bedroom. She slowly shut the door to the room. The click of the knob sent a pang through her body. She decided to take a taxi and leave her car and it’s keys. To save Layna the trouble of finding a vehicle if she needed one. She shut the heavy oak door as quietly as possible. And just like that, she left her beautiful Brooklyn home for the last time. She would never return. Valaria felt a single tear fall down her face.

It took about thirty minutes to get to the lab. Valaria stared out the window of the yellow taxi. The car passed one of the many cafes. A group of about five friends sat outside in the night. Laughing under the thousands of city lights. Depending on how long they planned on staying at the small cafe, that may be the exact spot they would take their last breaths. Valaria then decided not to look out the window anymore.

“You alright, Ma’am?” the taxi driver asked her. He looked at her through the rear view mirror.

Valaria did not respond at first. She swallowed hard. “Do you have family?” she asked him.

He seemed a bit troubled by the question, but answered. “Back in New Jersey.” he answered. “I’m alone here.”

She nodded. “Speak with them lately?”

He seemed concerned now. “No, Miss. Any reason why yer askin’?”

“Could you?” her voice cracked when she spoke. “Could you call them?”

“I could... But-”

“Will you call them? When I get out?” Valaria asked, almost desperately.

The man nodded slowly. “Just for you, Ma’am.”

“Thank you.” she said softly.

“Yeah, sure thing. If you don’t mind me askin’, does this have anything to do with the war?”

“Kind of.” Valaria responded.

He nodded. “Ya got a name, Miss?”

“Dr. Valaria Byerly.” she told him.

“Yer a doctor? Like a surgeon?” he asked.

Valaria shook her head. “Scientist.” she corrected.

“Ah, a scientist. Then I guess I better listen to ya, right?”

Valaria smirked. “Right.”

He was a kind man. Valaria hoped he would listen to her and call his family before the gas filled the earth’s atmosphere. He would, he didn't seem like the kind of person that made false promises.

The taxi stopped in front of the large building that contained her team’s lab.

“See ya around, Doc.” he said to her.

She handed him all the money in her wallet. She wasn’t sure why. It wasn’t like he would ever be able to use it. Maybe just to make sure he went out with the feeling of being touched by kindness. Valaria wished she could do that for everyone, but there was not enough time. There never would be.

“Ma’am, I don’t want yer money.” he told her and smiled softly.

“Trust me, I don’t need it.” she insisted.

He smiled, “Bless yer soul, Dr. Byerly.”

She got out of the car and said goodbye to the driver. It occurred to her as she walked down the walkway to the front entrance that she never knew his name. She walked up the cement stairs to the doors. Before entering, she looked up and the night sky for the last time. She didn’t see many stars because of all the city lights, but it was still beautiful.

Valaria realized that the same taxi was still parked at the side of the road. The same man she had spoken to moments ago. She realized, he was on the phone. Valaria was crying now. She forced herself to look away and walk through the door. There were bad people in the world, lots of them. Although, some were good. Good or bad, they would all die tonight. All but very few.

“They will feel no pain.” she told herself. “They will feel no pain.” she repeated softly.

Her shoes made a clicking noise as she walked down the dimmed halls to her lab. Her team was most likely already there.

“Your saving them.” she told herself soothingly, “Saving the good from the bad.”

“Val!” a voice hissed.

She jumped and turned to the source of the voice. It was Troy Harper.

“Troy.” she sighed. “You scared me.”

He tilted his head to look at her. “You know you missed the door, right?” he pointed to the white door next to him. She must have missed it.

Valaria squeezed her eyes shut and managed a smile. “Yeah, sorry.”

She walked back and tried to walk passed him to the lab, but he stopped her. He smiled softly. “We’re all scared, Val. It’s okay.”

She nodded and pursed her lips. He embraced her. She shut her eyes tight, trying not to cry again. She had known Troy for years. He was a good friend, and a good man.

Dr. Valaria Byerly pulled herself together. “I’m okay. We’re doing what has to be done.” she reassured him and herself. He looked into her eyes and nodded. He had a family. A wife, kids. A happy life. All gone. Gone for the right reasons. Right?

She walked into the entrance to the lab. She went to the coat rack and grabbed the white coat that had her name tag on it. Troy did the same. Then they entered the first part of the lab. The first part consisted of mostly computers and file cabinets. The second part is were they created the gas.

The gas was created to travel at almost light speed through the atmosphere. The gas would be launched in five areas. From this lab, and areas in the UK, an island in the Philippines, Brazil, and Alaska. It would reach every area of the world in less that then an hour. The gas was created to consume every square inch of air it could find. Not even the strongest of bunkers could escape it. The only living beings that would be alive in the next hour would be animals and people with BBC.

Her team stood up as she entered. The only person that remained sitting was her ‘boss’, Vince Carie. “Your late.” he accused her.

“What Vince? You going to postpone the apocalypse to fire her quick?” Abby snapped. Abby Young. A quick-witted blonde woman that had been part of the team for about a year now. She was only in her mid twenties and one of the most intelligent people Valaria had ever met.

“Can we please just get this over with.” Matt pleated. Matt Nelson, even younger than Abby, the teams very own tech genius.

“Yes.” Valaria spoke. “Let’s get this over with.”

The team of about half a dozen all nodded in agreement.

“You get the honers, Dr. Byerly.” Vince told her.

She nodded and walked over to the lever that would release the gas. She gripped the metal bar and then turned to her team.

“Did you double check everything?” she asked.

“Triple checked.” Matt answered.

She nodded. The team surrounded her. They all held hands in a circle.

Troy placed his hand on her shoulder. “See you at the golden gates.” he whispered to her.

She smiled softly. “I’m not going there.”

“Why would you say that?” he asked.

She met his warm gaze. “Your a good person, Troy. My hand is on a lever that will end the human race.” she told him.

Troy said nothing, just stared.

“I wish you all well.” Vince spoke. They all bowed their heads.

Valaria tensed her hand, about to pull the lever. A hand stopped her, and pulled her hand away from the bar. She looked up to see Troy Harper pull the lever to release the End Project.

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