So after leaving NYC, I decided to follow a lead about other immortals. Story was that they were in charge of their own university that accepted anyone. It certainly sounded interesting, and it created questions. How had they gone without detection? Can they tell me more about being immortal?
After arriving at the university, I opted to disguise myself as a potential student. As I was exploring the campus, I "happened" upon the Dean of their science departments. After all, he surely would be immortal if any were. I asked him if he had heard about any "undying plagues." He told me no, and that I could ask the various history professors. As I was about to exit the room, he told me to stop. He asked me if I knew of anyone that was suffering from them. I said yes and asked if he did. He also said yes. In an odd way, we both somehow knew that the other was immortal.
We talked for some time, and he introduced me to the other immortals. I won't say how many there were, but I will say that there were enough to head every major portion of the university.
I learned that the circumstances of each Immortal's "life" are different. Some are like me and revive near-endlessly. Some age normally, but can't die from any other means. Some don't age, but can die from anything that can kill a normal person. They've done research on it there. Some of it for longer than the university has even existed. They believe that the catalyst for the person's immortality is what causes these differences. There was also some mention of the possibility of it being genetic.
When I told them about my own circumstances and how the Archangel has the only means to kill me, they exchanged a few nervous glances. They had known someone like me before, and they had tried an experiment to remove that one weakness. Their friend died in the process. I asked if they could do it for me.
I asked knowing that it could kill me. That I could have possibly died without having the chance to find Sam and the others. I asked knowing that I would never find them if I was worried about Archangel or his bullets. I prepped myself for the worst.
As I sat on my own, waiting for the head of the university and the sciences Dean, I thought again about everyone I had known up to this point. I never want to forget anyone. From all the bloggers between Med and Beth to all the people I've encountered in between like these immortals and the members of the Agency. At last, the door opened and they walked in with a needle.
They told me that I could still back out. They were scared of losing another Immortal to this. I said no. They rolled up my sleeve and inserted the needle. I was told that it was similar to a flu vaccine, just with trace amounts of Archangel material inside of it.
As I was thinking about that, pain shot through my arm. Suddenly, it felt like someone had lit a fire inside my veins themselves. I felt like I was being torn apart from inside-out. The feeling spread from my arm, to my chest, to my legs, my head, everywhere. It hurt the most when it had reached my heart and had been pumped through elsewhere.
I was only in that room for two and a half hours, but it felt like a lifetime. My body felt like it was about to explode. I wanted the pain to end, I wanted to die from the process. But then I remembered my job: I need to find Sam and the rest. I need to save them.
After writhing about in agony for some time, the pain let up. It wasn't completely gone, but I could at least walk. In fact, I still feel some of it. A slight burning sensation from within, but it has definitely faded in the time since. I'm still not entirely sure if it worked, and I'm not keen to test it myself. Only time will tell, I suppose.
Before I left, the head of the university spoke to me about my future.
"You know Carter, you can stay here. With us. We'll provide the education you need to teach here, at this university. You'd be among friends and be safe for once."
"I would, really, I would. But I have to find my friends first. I have to go. Maybe one day, I'll return here."
That's when I remembered that I hadn't asked about them going unnoticed. "Before I leave, how have you avoided detection for so long?"
He laughed as he responded, "I have no idea. Funny, right? I've been here longer than anyone else, yet I have no clue why. Maybe it's the area around here. Maybe it acts like a perception filter of sorts."
We said our goodbyes at that point and shook hands. He was glad that I survived the shot and hoped to hear from me again. I left feeling as if I had left home for a third time in my life.