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This chronicles the origin and spread of the virus that led to the events of Dead In The Street
There was a sense of nervousness and excitement in the air. So it was at the end of every successful project. By now Dr. Simon was used to it all, including the undesirable meetings with her insolent boss. “Did you get my plane?” he asked in an arrogant tone, as if he constantly needed to reinforce the idea that he was the boss. Fortunately she was not the type of employee who would hold her tongue “What do you need the plane for? Unless being shipped to a safe location I don’t think CRZ-1 should be leaving our premises.” He seemed sickened by her retort. “If you haven’t noticed”, he replied, “It’s MY decision, MY father’s company, and MY last name that signs your checks. And if you want to keep it that way, you’ll do exactly what the fuck I told you to do and find me a fucking plane. Understand, VERLINE?” He said her name with disgust in his mouth. They had always bumped heads. Ever since his father passed and left the biotech company to him, he’s run it into the ground and completely gone against his father’s wishes of no military contracts or hazardous substances. She tried to remain calm.
“I have worked with the substance.” She said “I understand just how dangerous it is. I’d also like to think that I’m partly responsible for either its failure or success.” She seemed genuinely worried about her boss’ intentions. With CRZ-1 possibly on its way out of the door she had to speak up now or never. “What if it gets into the wrong hands? What if it spreads into the public?” “Well it WON’T get into the public. That’s what biohazard containers are for. We’ll do it just like the agent told us; it’ll get shipped to the CDC and put on lock down.”
“And you trust them?? They’ll probably maliciously spill it into a well for fuck sake!” There was a long silence as she studied his demeanor. “Oh my God, Jim. Don’t tell me.” He remained quiet. “You sold it didn’t you?? That’s why you wanted it mass produced! Have you lost your fucking mind?? Do you know how many lives you’re putting at risk?? What exactly are they planning on doing with it?!” “That’s none of your goddamed business, Verline. Find my aircraft and when you’re done, don’t bother coming back into my building! I’ll have security escort you out. Have your shit cleared by Monday.” “Save yourself the trouble. I quit!”
She walked out of Amerisys Biotech with mixed emotions. She had worked there for almost 15 years. But what Jim was doing was wrong. CRZY-1 was experimental, studied on with rats. It was only meant to be used to study how aggression evolved. But the compound did something else to rodents. It turned ordinary destructive animals into something much worse. Perhaps the scariest thing about it was the ease with which it was able to spread; it migrated from one animal to the other with desperation and hunger, just like we imagine the first humans to leave Africa for the new continent would have in early human history. It marched like a roman army and destroyed other organisms not affected by its powerful reach. You were either its hosts or its victim. In a world affected by CRZ-1 it was all just this plain and simple. She should’ve noticed the dollar signs in Jim’s eyes when he saw what it did. In a way this is probably her own fault for not destroying the virus when she had the chance. She tried to get her mind off of it. She only hoped and prayed there was some bureaucrat in Washington who would see the implications of this being used on a human population. She highly doubts it.
“Vector 1-9, now flying over the Mississippi River, about 600 miles north of New Orleans. I should be in Atlanta in 0800 hours.”
“Roger that Colonel Gervais”
Hans looked over at the skyline seeing nothing but plain grass and sky. He was told to fly low at only 80,000 ft for this mission; shipping some crates from a biotech company. Probably some new form of smallpox or whatever these egg heads come up with. He wanted to get to Atlanta as quickly as possible, because something was wrong with this plane. He couldn’t put his finger on it but the instruments were sluggish and handle seemed to stick. He grabbed onto his rosary with a cross at the end and said a prayer.
“Lord, if today is my day to go, I won’t survive if this plane decides to crash on me. Of course I don’t want it to crash. C’mon bondieu, work with me. Amen.” That seemed to be the deathstroke. At that moment the instruments shut down and the handle went stiff. The aircraft did a steep dip.
“Oh Lord Jesus, this is how I go?” He reached for the radio and tried to get someone. “Mayday! Mayday! I’m going down! Tower do you read??” Nothing came across from the other end. Not even static. The radio was completely dead. The river was getting closer and closer, and Hans decided he was not going to die that day.
With all his strength he reached behind him and grabbed the parachute out the back of the cockpit. The plane was in a steep dive, falling at hundreds of feet per second. He had to get to the cabin and blow out the exit doors if he wanted to survive. He climbed out the cockpit, to the cabin and barely dodged an enormous crate falling towards him. The contents spilled into the cockpit, some strange looking liquid. He finally reached the door and blew out the exit door. The cabin pressure was enough to suck out all the contents of the cabin, including himself. Hans could see the ground coming towards him and put on his parachute as quickly as possible. He waited the required 10 seconds according to his training and released the parachute. He could hear a large explosion behind him. He looked and saw the plane had crashed right into the Mississippi and exploded. Whatever was in those crates would spill into the river and possibly into a reservoir. He had to get to a public building quick to warn them. Hans landed hard in the grass. He wasn’t sure where he was, but he guessed the Homochitta National Forest. If he can find a park ranger, he can get to New Orleans and warn them. He knew had to hurry. Every second counts.
The virus thrived in the water and flowed into a reservoir in Baton Rouge, which also shared a connection into New Orleans. The workers never saw anything wrong with the water as it disguises itself as a normal harmless tap microbe. To the untrained eye, it is virtually unrecognizable. From there on we witnessed its large spread thanks to its adaptation, human migration and interaction. The virus reached sinks, showers and pools across Baton Rouge-New Orleans corridor. All was fine, until Patient 0. Unbeknownst to him, the ice cubes he made the night was chock full of CZRY-1. He dropped it into his lemonade, where the ice melted and microbe ingested. From his home in New Orleans, he jumped on a plane to New York City. While he was in the air, the microbe was ingested by hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting citizens. He felt sick while on the plane, displaying signs of a fever, same as his wife and children back home who also drunk the lemonade. He sneezed on the plane where it became airborne and breathed into the 25 other passengers in his vicinity, All 25 having their personal and distant destinations within the country and across the ocean.
A young man stepped off the plane, also feeling a little sick. He thought he must have gotten it from the other passenger. Dismissing it as a mere flu symptom, he picked up an antibiotic and called it a day. He boarded his other flight headed back home to Miami. From there, his nose started to bleed. He wiped it off and grabbed another soda off the tray, leaving some of the drying on another cup; a decision which had its dire consequences and influence in continuing the spread. The pilot, not watching, drunk from the cup and became infected.
Like the seemingly never ending water cycle, the series of infection followed their course. When the young man came home, he kissed and made love to his wife, thereby passing on the virus. The next morning he displayed symptoms of fever and stayed home. His wife dropped off their children to school, parting with them with a kiss, giving them the virus as well. At her job as a nurse in a hospital, her nose started to bleed. Unknown to her, a drop fell into a vat of influenza vaccine which was to be distributed inside the crowded hospital.
Over the next few days, chaos spread across all major cities in America and the world. Police reports from locations far apart from one another looked worryingly similar. It’s almost as if an entire class of students cheated and copied their exam off of the same source. Otherwise normal citizens were picking up weapons and displaying violent behavior. Blood marked the streets, and rather unorthodox ways of feeding one’s self could be witnessed among those individuals, and if you stayed to watch for too long you could very much become a meal. They were nothing but brainless copies of one another; they mumbled and repeated the same two words over and over again, like parrots, in their continuous quest for nutrition. Regardless of race, their skin appeared more pale than normal, it did not seem CRZ-1 was capable of discrimination. They clumped into groups, strategized and continue to murder and feast on the flesh of the uninfected. Panic spread across the land as more and more people became infected and became known as the Crazies.
Still conscious, but only able to kill and eat.