7 September 2077
Do not be alarmed.
No harm will come to your computer.
The truth can be an ugly thing, but it is still better to know than not.
Among the seven, I am known as Nathan Jackson. Unlike my namesake on the show, however, my medical knowledge begins and ends with “Never apply a tourniquet to the neck”, no matter how much you might want to.
No one alive can forget the tragic toll of the 2065 influenza epidemic when one fifth of the world’s population died within a six month period, when entire villages are wiped out, when families ceased to exist, when the immunization didn’t work the way it should.
Eventually it was determined that the 2065 flu was closely related to and an even more virulent form of the 1918 influenza. Supposedly we were ready for such an even with the flu pills, immunizations, etc. We were wrong.
Many theorists have wondered at Mother Nature’s ability to mutate and change, resurrect and alter such things.
The truth is, Mother Nature had little to do with it.
For over one hundred years scientists had been working with the 1918 flu virus to find out what made it so virulent and what they could do to keep it from happening again.
This information wasn’t, and still isn’t, a secret. It just doesn’t happen to interest the general populous. It did interest three leaders of three first-world countries who believed the world was over-populated and a “solution” was needed. What better solution could there be than one they could blame on Mother Nature?
It is frequently taught in schools that the natural world will seek a balance between resources and consumption. In animal populations, when food is plentiful, the population increases. When food is not plentiful, populations decrease due to starvation, and lower birth counts. Disease also plays a role in controlling population so that the resources don’t become overwhelmed.
For humans, disease, starvation, natural disasters and war have served as balances. In some countries, legislation has been tried as well.
Since starting a worldwide war most definitely not an option, that left starvation – a near impossibility thanks to modern farming techniques – natural disasters – always a chancy thing to try and trigger – and disease.
The trio settled on disease as their solution. But they knew it had to be something unexpected and devastating; something that would spread quickly, yet something they could ensure wouldn’t affect or kill them or their families.
Enter the flu.
The disappearance of one vial of the flu strain and the vaccine that was being worked on was recorded and reported within five minutes of the theft. The fact that there was a break-in was kept quiet from the news sources, but every government agency was alerted. A search commenced, the answers, those few that they found, were found too late.
Within 48 hours of the theft, the inoculation had been given to the leaders and their families, the virus released in a major airport in each of the three countries and within a week those ill from the disease were overwhelming most countries’ hospitals and supplies. The normal anti-viral medicines were effective in lessening the symptoms, and did extend and save some lives, but not as many as they could.
It was discovered two weeks in, as vaccines for the released strain were being given to the public as quickly as possible, that he flu strain had mutated again and was not resistant to the vaccine.
Every available resource in every country was put to task to find the solution, find the answer, prepare as much vaccine as they could and to save the world.
Working around the clock in constant worldwide contact, it took four months to discover the solution and one more to get enough out to the world to ensure the end of that strain’s attack.
I won’t go into the symptoms, or how it killed, those memories will always be too close to our hearts to discuss. That pain is also why the even that took 20% of the world’s population is so frequently ignored or hidden away.
As to what happened to those three leaders? One lost his life to the monster he released. One lives with permanent lung damage – even his money and power couldn’t fix that. The third lost his wife and two young children. He was hailed as a hero and lauded for his bravery in continuing on in the face of such tragedy and retired to his home where he remains to this day, still firm in his belief that he did the right thing.
How did this happen? How could they agree to this?
You would need to ask them. We suspect it had to do with the fact that people, living, breathing, life-living people became nothing more than numbers and statistics to these men.
Veritas est Lux.
Truth is light.
Let the light destroy the shadows and dark.
Nathan Jackson stepped out of the operating theater and stripped off his bloody gloves, tossing them into the hazardous waste disposal unit before stripping off the rest of his surgical scrubs. It amazed him that with all of the advances through the years, they had yet to find a way to completely do away with cutting the human body in order to heal it. In this case, he had been removing pottery shards from a man’s back.
Stepping out of the scrub room Nathan headed down the hall toward the locker room. Though it bore little resemblance to the locker rooms he had seen in history texts, it served the same purpose.
Right now he wanted a shower and about ten hours of sleep. Pulling double shifts was not as easy as it had been when he was doing his residency.
“Did you see the latest Missive?” Kyra Abercrombie asked, falling into step next to Nathan.
“Been in surgery,” he replied, too tired to allow any sort of emotion to enter his voice. He found a piece of paper thrust in front of him and began reading it through it.
“I suppose you’ve already been question because of your name?” Dr. Abercrombie inquired.
“Right after the first an second missives,” he admitted. Handing the paper back, only to be told to keep it. “I can assure you, though, that my medical knowledge is a bit beyond not applying tourniquets to the neck.”
That answer drew a laugh from Dr. Abercrombie. Opening her locker, which was three down from Nathan’s, she grabbed her things and prepared to leave. “I find it impossible to imagine you being part of something so secret and subversive,” she assured. “See you tomorrow.”
“Bye,” Nathan replied. When her footsteps had faded, he looked down and read through the missive one last time, a small, satisfied smile curved his lips. “Can’t imagine it at all,” he whispered softly.
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