*BEFORE YOU READ*copyright protection26ＰＥＮＡＮＡlSsiGHR2O4
A quick author's note:copyright protection26ＰＥＮＡＮＡfqUhidB1Sl
First of all; thank you for reading this book, I truly appreciate, and I hope you love it. If you do, please comment and tell me what you like about it and what more you wish to see, it will help me become a better writer and mean a lot to me!copyright protection26ＰＥＮＡＮＡmjUZusF0sK
And now, for the story...copyright protection26ＰＥＮＡＮＡ1OCu6jbYl0
Find Me a Cure copyright protection26ＰＥＮＡＮＡP7nK7RcMSE
Chapter 1: 202copyright protection26ＰＥＮＡＮＡxTs9oztzxP
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"...Achievement of a lifetime. With that in mind, Ladies and Gentlemen, with profound privilege, I would like to introduce you to Emerald Reese – also known as, 202!"30Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ9UXta17lnO
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"202!" The rushed whisper of Amanda, Director's former secretary – and recently turned manager of the Front – shot in my direction.
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As I jolted awake, the extravagant chandeliers, the golden walls that impersonated the inside of a genie lamp, and most importantly, the colossal, glittery stage, entered my blurred vision field in an instant. Gosh, this launch evening was a tedious little thing! Except it wasn't little. In fact, it was huge; grand; majestic; the very event that the Front had been waiting for, for over 19 years... or so I read in that newspaper article this morning. It still didn't change the fact that it was boring, though, so don't blame me for taking five.
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"Get up there!" Amanda urgently hissed.
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My eyes were still adjusting to the lights – seriously how much electricity? – as I made my way to the stage, trying my best not to fall on my face in this prison of a dress that I'd been forced to wear. I took in the numerous tables of people in their uttermost formal attire; the scientists, the mathematicians, the doctors, the entrepreneurs, the journalists, the media – all whose eyes followed me. Perverts.
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"What would your reaction be if I told you that the next child, grandchild, even great grandchild that you have, will be immune to cancer?" Director spoke, as I stood beside him.
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Disbelieved widening of eyes, then nods of approval, followed by smiles were shared around the room.
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"Widening of eyes, nods of approval and smiles?" I offered. They laughed.
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Director let out a chuckle before continuing. I had a feeling he only did it because the audience seemed to find my sense of humour worth contracting their facial muscles for.
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"I understand, it sounds bizarre. Cancer, after all, isn't an illness like the common cold. I can certainly understand if you're criticising how cancer obviously isn't an infection that could easily be cured with the simplicity of a vaccination. But, if what you are thinking were to be true, this launch evening wouldn't be taking place."
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Speculating mutters travelled through the vast room.
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Director turned to me. "This is 202—"
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I was going to have to stop him there.
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"Emerald," I corrected, and the audience laughed again. The irritancy which began to formulate in Director's face really was amusing.
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He adjusted his black-rimmed Armani glasses and continued, "almost two decades ago, an unimaginable amount hard work and dedication was put into creating a very important formula at the Front. This miraculous formula was found due to to the backbreaking works of five people..."
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Director really enjoyed spelling things out right to to the last syllable – things that I could have summarised fairly quickly:
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The five people he was talking about were Chadwick and Holland Front; they were married and conjointly owned a multibillionaire pharmaceutical company called the Front – I never really understood the significance of the 'the' before the 'Front', but, oh well. The other two people were, in fact, my parents Daniel and Elizabeth Reese – they were also married. The last person was Director himself. The five were the best of friends; all Russel Group University graduates in anything concerning science. So, would it come as a shock to hear that it was the combination of these five amazing brains that created a miracle? Actually, it was a bit more complicated than that.
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How they did do it? Let's begin with the why.
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"At the beginning stages, we stumbled upon roadblock after roadblock. Indeed, the Front is a pharmaceutical company, but we tended to exercise pretty much anything within scientific and mathematical fields; be it state of the art technology, or investigating enigmatic theories, you name it. However, following very little success with cancer, the choice of abandoning the project and moving onto something more plausible seemed highly attractive..."
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What he meant was, it was so goddamn hard to find a cure for cancer, that they were all well and ready to call it quits, until:
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"However, a spontaneous accident in Elizabeth Reese's lab had contaminated her body with radiation."
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Sympathetic eyes in the audience searched Director for a happy ending.
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"It was a traumatic time," Director said, solemnly. "Not only would we have lost our most prominent employee and friend, but she, herself would have lost an unborn child."
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He was going too slow again.
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Like it would have on any pregnant woman standing two metres away from a radioactive explosion with so much as a table for defence, the explosion took a burden on the unborn child as well as Elizabeth Reese – the unborn child was me if you hadn't yet guessed. Genetic screening signified abnormal cell division in my fetus: I would live, alright... just with cancer.
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"The universe was playing a cruel joke on us," Director commented. "If attempting to cure cancer only for your unborn infant to get it doesn't scream irony, I don't know what does."
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But, at that moment of time, priority was to inhibit the spread of the radiation throughout my mother's body. So my parents and Chadwick and Holland and Director created 202. When she first took the drug, it was no more special than the traditional antibiotic, because, in reality, the drug was only supposed to prevent the radiation from destroying healthy tissue. But, when I was born, they realised that it did a lot more than they had bargained for. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone.
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Ultimately, they decided to call the cure 202 for reasons I was unbothered to find out.
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"We call Emerald 202, because nine months later, Emerald entered the world..." Director paused for dramatic effect, or so I guessed. "...completely clear of cancer. It was as though God himself had handed the cure down to us on a silver platter." Another pause, before, "Ladies and Gentlemen, there is not a single cell in Emerald's body that will divide a millisecond – even a nanosecond – too fast.
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"And today, I can proudly present to you, Emerald Reese, the first human completely immune to cancer!" His voice played a crescendo on those last few words for more effect.
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There was heavy silence for just a moment.
Then, an earsplitting roar of cheers and applause erupted through the hall. 30Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡSt7KSRQTbP
Director, then, proceeded to reward the audience with a boring lesson on how my body works like a puzzle in order to restrain the chances of malignancy, whilst I stood there like an idiot. After what seemed like the combined lifetime of every human to have ever walked the planet, it was my turn to make a speech. 30Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡKVtNt1RUm3
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Having every ounce of attention in the room rooted on me, I began to regret ignoring Amanda's constant reminders over the past few months to prepare a speech for these vital few minutes. Reflexively, my fingers stroked over the corner of my left eyebrow, hoping to find the black ring that was eternally buried under the skin – only to realise it wasn't there for the night.
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I wouldn't be exaggerating when I say, Amanda basically lost her shit that Friday night, two years ago, when I strolled through the front gates of the Front Headquarters with a fresh eyebrow piercing. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't a piercings-obsessed maniac or anything – on the contrary, the only needles I have ever had poked into my skin were my tuberculosis vaccination... okay, and that one time when I had helped myself to a piercing gun and experimented on my earlobes in a backstreet alley at the tender age of eight. Although the piercings were at bullseye's accuracy, Amanda regarded my fine handiwork by dramatically passing out for a few seconds... twice.
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The eyebrow piercing was at least done in the luxury of a sterilised room and in the hands of a rather heavily tattooed professional. However, that meant next to nothing to Amanda; seeing the shiny silver studs – and a bit of blood – embedded just above and below my left eyebrow, she looked ready to flip a laboratory table. I remember unwisely laughing at this. From that day on, she unceasingly complained about how my "beautiful eyes" now looked like the eyes of a "punk", and how I'd be cast out of all aspects in society and cause delays at airports.
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Jay, her partner at the time, gave me a strong pat on the back for bravery. Bravery, not for taking a needle through the eyebrow, but for willing to face Amanda after doing so. Since then, Jay and Amanda have been married, and I've upgraded from silver studs to black rings.
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Unfortunately, for this all-so-vital November evening, Amanda refused to let me set foot outside the Front without removing the ring first. I obeyed. It was the least I could give her for raising me.
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"Um.. hello." I stupidly started, waving awkwardly. "I'm Emerald. Well, actually the Front call me 202, because that's the name of the cure, but... uh... you all already know that." This really didn't look like it was going anywhere.
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However, it was then, that I noticed that no matter what dumbass thing I was saying, everyone was watching me in absolute awe, as if I were a pot of pure molten gold – and the pot was made of diamonds.
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Suddenly, my green eyes sparkled like my namesake. Respect!
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"My parents put their lives into creating this cure. Quite literally." Oh, and there was one other thing, you needed to know:
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"They died when I was four due to some... tragic occurrences, but fortunately they were able to see their life's work in action for four years at least. I'm honoured to be the 'first human immune to cancer' blah blah blah, it's all been said," I saw Amanda frown at my choice of words; I smiled. "But I'd like to bring your attention to something else." I paused for tension, just as Director did – and to kill the audience with the suspense. Then, I continued. "I will only have my time under the spotlight for five minutes. Because it won't be long before I am not the only one immune to cancer. Before long, thousands - millions - of people will be rid of it." I gazed at the sea of strangers. "Although the Front became my family, my home – no seriously, no metaphor there, I grew up living in the walls of the Front's Headquarters, but my parents still remain my parents. So even though they're not here, I would very much appreciate it if you would credit them for the phenomenon that they helped create. Thank you." I took in the solemn expressions on everyone's faces before another huge round of applause followed.
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Tiring would have been the most understating understatement in the entire history of understating to describe how exhausting the next four hours of answering mile-long lists of questions and standing in the endless amount of photos I was forced to be in, were.
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Interesting, how the media probably knew more about me than me myself after all those questions.
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But in truth that's a lie, because they didn't.
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Why? Well, it was simple. Director practically spoke almost every word in the dictionary during this dreary evening, however, he failed to mention one particular quality that I possessed.
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I'll give you a clue: it starts with super and ends in powers. Cool, huh?
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What? You didn't think a company that worked the magic to produce a cure for cancer couldn't give someone superhuman abilities?
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In fact, this evening, the Front kept so much hidden from the world, it should be called the Back! Bad joke. But, as Director always said: it was for my own good. I mean, who wouldn't want to dissect a human with superpowers?
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This all begs the question: How did I get superpowers?
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It was quite like the Incredible Hulk, minus all the green, despite my name being Emerald. Sparing all the science out of it, the radiation combined with the 202 drug created... abnormalities. Or as I like to call them: Superpowers! It wasn't much, really. Just above average strength, above average speed, above average ability to shatter certain objects telepathically, and finally, above average intelligence. I liked to think that, above average humour came with the package as well, but Amanda said that was just me.
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I should probably also mention that they were all actually a little bit over above average.
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"202! Stop daydreaming! You have someone to meet!" Amanda was always nagging at me, but I'd have be blind to skim over how much she really cared about me. It was a lot. Besides, she was not wrong about the daydreaming part. I've always had the tendency to drift away from reality. I even had an imaginary friend when I was young, who accompanied me on my adventures through the long hallways and numerous rooms in the Front's Headquarters. What was his name? Elijah? Elvis? Oh well, we shared quite the escapades.
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"202! Snap out of it! They're coming this way!"
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My brain processed her words as I lifted my head to see a certain someone make her way towards us, and I fumed.
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Subconsciously, I mentally began reciting the order of elements and atomic masses in the periodic table. It was an unusual and strange habit I've grown used to from a young age which came in handy if I were ever in a situation where I was about to uncontrollably unleash my – disgraceful – hyperactive anger. It was kind of similar to how some people liked to count numbers in their unoriginal little heads. I liked to take things the extra mile.
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...Oxygen, 16; fluorine, 19; neon, 20.2—
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Except, some situations were just too infuriating to be avoided by photographically recalling the periodic table.
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"I don't believe this!" I whisper-screamed at Amanda, who was currently flashing the most unauthentic smile in her direction. "Who invited her?! That wrench! That absolute, utter wrench! Oh, just you watch when I get my hands on that repelling little—"
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"Amanda! 202!" Conversed the revolting voice that belonged to her.
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The beast to which the voice slithered out of, was standing about two feet before me in a vibrant red dress, skyscraper-like heels and flashy jewelry that mercilessly clawed onto her skin. All that was missing was a broomstick.
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"It's Emerald," I gritted which earned me a kick from Amanda.
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"Gemma Reynolds! Wonderful you could make it!" Amanda greeted the vile creature.
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"I wouldn't have missed it for the world!" she replied.
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I don't know how many calories I burnt trying to restrain an eye roll.
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"And 202! Congratulations!"
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"Ok," I deadpanned. I failed to understand why was this evil witch, draped in Satan's cloak was congratulating me as though I woke up one day, suddenly immune to cancer. And, she had the nerve to call me by that lab rat name!
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However my short, two letter response only rewarded me another subtle kick from Amanda.
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I took a deep breath. "I mean... th-th-" I can't say it! "Tha-" Gosh, this was hard. "Thaaaa..."
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Amanda's leg collided into my calf again. "Just say it!" she whispered, urgently.
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"Thank you!" I let out in a quick breath as if I hadn't been breathing in like last thirty seconds.
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HURRAY! And I am so never doing that again.
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"You were great up there!" she spoke.
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You mean, my 30-second speech?
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"Is that so?" I replied, restraining my hands from wrapping around her throat and choking the last breath out of—
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"Yes, it's extraordinary what the Front has come up with. Especially since it's something Reynolds Corporation have been at since... well as far as I can remember."
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Right. That's probably why your father killed my parents...
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IMPORTANT Author's Note (again, sorry): Long but probably just this once! But please, read it! I beg you.
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If you're still here, you've finished the first chapter of a book thar I've been working very hard on. I initially wanted to write my longass author's note at the beginning of the book, but that's not very physically attractive. So, here it is:
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For a humorous book, Find Me a Cure revolves around a very serious illness, one that millions of people suffer or have suffered from all over the world. If there has been anyone close to you who you have lost to cancer, you have my sincerest regards.
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Please note, regarding the severity of cancer, I am in no way trying to glamorise or normalise the illness. In fact, cancer itself will not be the main body of this book; my book is romance. Although, the story will be based on the cure for cancer, the main body of it will concern Emerald and Everest (my apologies, he hasn't been introduced yet, but all in good time). Having said that, the story of the cure is sort of the backbone of the book, so it will play a prominent role throughout simply because a romance involving two characters and some mediocre drama is rather boring; having them possess a common goal gives the romance purpose – as tedious as that sounds. I wanted to create characters with dimension, to spark interest, to create something that was worth reading. I wanted to create a story; not a series of cheesy events. I wanted to make something different. In a world of imagination where anything in your wildest daydreams, no matter how crazy or malicious, is possible, why limit yourself?
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Finally, as a religious believer, I believe that miracles are, indeed, a certain prospect. So, just like we did with smallpox, measles, tuberculosis, malaria and many other epidemics, one day, we will discover the cure for cancer. Like penicillin, it's probably right under our noses as we speak. We just need to find it.
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I wrote this book to explore the possibility of such a miracle. Thank you for taking the time to read it.
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P.s. This author's note has been extremely serious and deep. I promise future author's notes will be as jovial as Emerald's own humorous side.
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Thank you for reading. Please, please comment and share if you liked it.
- Ruth ;)copyright protection26ＰＥＮＡＮＡufdhrKspgfns184.108.40.206da2