Monday, February 19, 2007

Viral Microfiction, Chapter One:

Anybody who's been reading this blog knows I've been writing microfictions about a big die off of the human race from an incredbly lethal virus. Oddly enough, I never wrote an intro story.
So today I did, and here it is.
I've started recording some of the virus stories to put out a podcast or cd, having pals read it. I hope to get it done before long.
Anyway, here's the first chapter. Some of the information is from the Bird Flu Wiki, some of it is right out of the science news I read.

The virus seemed to come out of nowhere, and at the same time it popped up everywhere. One week there were only the usual casually dismissed reports of wild birds and animals dying, the next week the morgues of every city and town had started to fill up.
Jet airliners and the interstate highway system allowed it to spread like a wildfire, throwing the sparks that ignited into a wave of death unlike anything modern civilization had seen before.
Every school, daycare and hospital became a center for infection.
In North America, the for profit health system had driven cost cutting in every sector of health care, and there were no isolation wards or extra beds to be had for the number of patients already in the system.
The virus spread on the wind, spread hand to hand, in offal and waste, and even got into the water systems of every town through the wastewater treatment plants . Nobody had time to even figure out where it came from.Some people blamed leftover
Cold War science from the former Soviet Union, others blamed US government researchers.
It may have come from a French lab project that had the goal of using DNA samples to remake ancient viruses. All anybody really knew was that it had a mortality rate of over 94 percent, and just like the 1918 flu, could kill healthy people who became infected within 24 hours.
It was hardest on healthy adults in their 40’s, and nothing seemed to slow it down. Quarantine proved useless, mostly because the just in time delivery systems used in most of the world meant that there were no stockpiles of food, medicine or fuel of any size left in North America.
The truckers who kept the country’s supply chain of food, and medical and fuel supplies also unknowingly supplied the virus along their routes.Some folks saw it coming, but almost nobody had a clue how bad things were going to get. Many of the people who did live died in the fires, the famine, or gave up and died from suicide or trivial medical problems.
Problems that modern science had made non fatal became killers in the space of weeks once the house of cards that civilization was had fallen down.
The huge numbers of dead just added to the misery and level of disease. It was the start of the Chinese year of the Golden Pig, what was supposed to be a time of turmoil, chaos and opportunity, when every child born was fated to be gifted with fortune and wealth.Mostly they just got dead. The few who lived had some seriously weird times ahead….

"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Ralph Waldo Emerson