By three-thirty, Isadora burst into her apartment. She passed no one on her way up and the building was quiet. For this, she was thankful. After fumbling her key in the lock, she finally shoved open her door and went inside. In comparison to her lavish office, her home was relatively humble. There were only two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a dining room, two bathrooms, and an workspace. It was still luxurious, but hardly up to the standards at headquarters.
Immediately, Isadora threw down her things and made a beeline for the kitchen. Her plan to drink once again sounded like a good idea. She ripped open her liquor cabinet, removed a bottle of whiskey, popped off the top, and took a gulp. In truth, it was horrible. Isadora hated whiskey. Still, the burn as it fell down her throat hit the right spot. After another swig, she managed to get her breathing under control, but the shaking was a different story.
Taking the bottle with her, she fumbled into her bathroom. Into the mirror she looked. Her outfit was bloodstained all over. Her jacket, skirt, and shirt all would need to be dry-cleaned. She looked at her hands and they too were covered in Constance's dry blood. With another swig downed, she turned on the faucet and rubbed her hands profusely with soap. And then she saw the blood on her face. It was everywhere. Oh, God.
The sink was not working.
She stripped of the bloodstained clothes and climbed into an ice cold shower. The freezing water felt appropriate against her skin, but did nothing to comfort her. Standing there cold and naked, Isadora realized something needed to change. She needed comfort; solace. On an instinct she did not know, she turned the dials and the water heated. The hot water felt alien to her body, but it also brought strange consolation. Why had she not done this before?
After fifteen minutes in the shower, she killed the water flow and dressed herself only in her robe. It was nearly four in the morning and Isadora should have been asleep hours ago. She felt tired, but not like sleeping. She took her bottle and went into the living room. In the corner rest a large leather chair. She sat in it and took two more swigs before nodding off. Her plan had been to stay awake all evening. She did not deserve to sleep. Nevertheless, she did.
Isadora awoke sitting rather uncomfortably in her chair. The sun blasted through her windows that room seemed bright enough to be ablaze. And her head felt ready to burst at once in the radiance of a thousand-- where was that quote from? Did it matter? She rubbed her temples and shook her head. Bloody hell what a hangover.
To make matters worse, her phone suddenly screamed. Never before had it been so much like a high-pitched drilling jackhammer of headache-inducing screech. Her first thought was not to answer it, but just to make the racket stop. She jerked open her bag and pulled out her yelping phone. With a slamming thumb, she forced down the answer button and demanded, “Hello.”
The voice at the other end, a woman, said, “Ms. Fleming, it's Kathryn from intelligence services.”
“Yes?” Isadora sighed as she slumped into her couch.
“We tried reaching your assistant to have him tell you this, but we can't reach him at the moment. Do you know why?”
Isadora chose to dodge the question, “What's so important that you need to tell me?”
“You asked our department to inform you when the Holdsworth would arrive.”
“We just received word from harbor control that they'll be arriving this afternoon at around four.”
Isadora could not help but smile, “Alright, thank you.”
“No problem, ma'am.”
Isadora hung up the phone and sighed in relief. She laughed to herself. Hope was, after all, on its way. This was the good news Isadora needed. The arrival of her old friends did not mean that all of her problems would suddenly vanish and Isadora held no notion of this. But her only friend here turned out to be a traitor and then a corpse. Friends, however, were on their way.
Isadora checked the time: 11:17 AM. She sighed. There were things to do at the office, but she decided then not to go in. Instead, she would spend the day at home and rest until it was time to meet the Holdsworth port. She sat there and, despite her headache, thought about her old friends, Hank and Lena Mitchell. Back in the day, when the outbreak first happened, Hank was the one Isadora depended on when it came down to it. He was tough, headstrong, and stopped at nothing to accomplish his goals. If not for him, there would be no inoculation. Hank Mitchell was a true leader.
And Lena was Hank's opposite. She was soft, kind, and sensitive. When Hank reacted too strongly, she softened him. She never lacked a smile and put heart into places where it had long since died. Lena reminded Isadora of what they fought for: humanity. Lena's liveliness represented the best in people.
Isadora realized that it was Lena she looked forward most to seeing.
And it soon hit her: their children! It had over ten years since she had last seen Liam and Emma. Would she recognize them? They must be so so grown up, she thought. And then Isadora realized just how much she sounded like a grandmother. At that notion, she sighed. If there was thing Isadora could find to truly hate, it was getting old. All things must passed, she supposed. Even her.
Isadora caught herself smiling, her first true grin in a long time....