Fiction – Ruth’s Story #38 Almost through the eye of the storm, still in the false calm and surrounded by zombies in the barricade
“When the three susceptible species are gone; humans, primates and swine, then the virus might die out. Most likely the virus will become greatly reduced as the Black Death did in Europe.”
“While there are some similarities between the Black Death and KCAP pandemics, the etiology of both pandemics is quite different. Although, it is an interesting coincidence that both pandemics started in central Asia, and we have a very vague general idea when both pandemics started. Most of you are too young to remember the 1979 Sverdlovsk anthrax leak which used to be sometimes referred to as the ‘biological Chernobyl.’ Most people have forgotten about that little disaster. Asia and Russia both have long histories of experimental, biological weapons.”
Jamal pauses for a moment to take a few drags on his kretek and take another sip of his green tea.
“When the plague ran out of hosts in Europe after wiping whole villages off the map, it still remained within the infected fleas on the rats. People could still become infected with the plague by the fleas, but with the reduced population, there was not a mass cramped amount of susceptible persons living in squalor. By the time the population reached the same levels as before the plague, modern sanitation and medicine had risen both which had prevented another break out of a pandemic for a long time. Some felt we were overdue for another pandemic of some kind.”
Jamal takes a slight break to sip some more of the excellent now cold green tea.
“So isolating ourselves away from anyone infected is the best defense.” Sutton asks standing with his hands on his hips. Sutton’s MP5, I note now that I am close enough to read its markings in detail, is one of the rare, special suppressed versions made by Heckler & Koch (HK) in 10mm.
“Yes isolation is the best defense so far; however the virus drives the zombies to infect others, so isolating yourself only works if none of the infected discovers your refuge. Our chief concern at the CDC had been with the virus mutants, the cannibals, who carry the retrovirus strain but seem to be able to live with it for a while. Eating KCAP-infected flesh infects the consumer with the retrovirus strain of the virus and was a path the CDC was working to attempt to establish a vaccine.”
“But you never developed a vaccine,” Nguen states. Nguen has also just come back into the restaurant right behind Sutton. I notice that Nguen looks a little green around the gills and that he is sweating profusely.
Nguen is carrying his pencil thin barreled Vietnam-era M16 with the triangular hand guards. Someone found Nguen an old woodland green camouflage LBV like the one I am wearing, although his is much cleaner than mine at present. Nguen’s LBV is obviously well-loaded with M16 magazines.
Nguen’s LBV also carries four Mark1-Mod3 O.D. green plastic cased white smoke grenades. A thick piece of black electrician’s tape secures each grenade spoon to the grenade body. I note with interest that not one of Nguen’s grenades is of the lethal variety. I am, however, surprised to see Nguen with such a distinct, older and out dated model of smoke grenade. I hope the grenades in his LBV are still viable, because the grenades have to be close to 50 years old at least.
Jamal suddenly speaks again which breaks my distant thoughts about old smoke grenades.
“Correct but, eventually the KCAP retrovirus does kill the cannibal who later reanimates as a zombie, but one that is slightly stronger and faster than its lesser cousins; a so-called ‘fast mover.’ Although they live for an uncertain brief period of time, the KCAP cannibals are still able to reproduce.”
“The first generation of KCAP retrovirus mutants, the cannibals, already displays slightly increased strength and endurance. The second generation of mutants, the children born to the retrovirus infected cannibals, might be even stronger and faster than their parents. The second generation might also survive with the KCAP virus and become the dominant species on the planet.”
“So we keep the damned cannibals from reproducing.” Sutton mutters.
“Good luck with that! The few infected cannibals we studied at the CDC Head Quarters in Atlanta were all male and were in ah … um, constant state of readiness for sexual activity.”
“So you mean they had a boner all the time.” One of the young, former soldiers asks who had just stepped into the restaurant to catch that last little bit of information. This young soldier wears current issue Army fatigues and LBV. His current issue Kevlar helmet carries one of the newer models of NVGs folded up above his forehead. The butt of a battered M9 sticks out of the black SERPA pistol holster on his right thigh.
Interestingly the young soldier carries a smooth-sided lightweight M16 that lacks an ejection port cover, forward assist, and shell deflector. I hope that he is not a lefty or he is going to get a hot brass facial. The civilian Leupold® Prismatic™ dark earth colored rifle scope sitting on the Picatinny rail on the forward hand guard looks almost new and contrasts with the flat black rifle. To the right and below the Leupold scope, vertically mounted to a Picatinny rail is an older AN/PEQ-2 Target Pointer/Illuminator/Aiming Light (TPIAL).
“Uh, yes but they were also really ready to assault any female that came within reach. Their sexual recovery time and the brief time that it took to be ready for sexual activity was amazing. We had a verified report from a soldier in the field who watched a cannibal male uh … service six unwilling women within a period of about 30 minutes.”
Sutton turns and gives the young, former soldier a stern look. The young Caucasian male says something to Sutton too softly for me to hear. Sutton nods at him and then pats him on the shoulder. The young soldier leaves the restaurant at a quick trot.
“So we kill all the cannibal women.” Nguen states as he sits at the table a bit shakily.
“Good luck with that too, because rape and pillage seems to be their main game so I am sure there have been at least some children born to the cannibals. The CDC feared that the cannibalistic mutants might be an effect of the virus mutating again, because it realizes that if it kills all hosts it will cease to exist. A virus that intelligent is a frightening thought to give any doctor nightmares.”
“I bet,” I mutter.