It’s been too darn long since I posted anything so I went digging through some of my old material to find this story. Now take into account that I wrote this eleven years ago, and yet I coined a term for my story that has been used far differently in the last couple years. Let’s see if you can spot what I am talking about :).
Chapter One: The Particulars of the Matter
The chaos theorists were fatally correct on July 12th, 2001 when a butterfly beat its wings in the deep jungle through which the Congo River ran. This particular butterfly had just lightly landed on the rotting corpse of a monkey. This particular monkey had developed a case of the sniffles two days ago that had rapidly turned into a full-on bout of haemorrhagic fever. After 42 hours of convulsions, pain, and abject terror this particular monkey toppled from the jungle canopy down to the forest floor below. It landed within 15 feet of the mighty Congo River that flowed through one of the most densely populated parts of Africa.
That’s where this particular butterfly comes in. It seems that during the incubation period of this particularly virulent strain of Ebola it gained the ability to be transmitted via air currents. It also had an uncanny ability to exchange key proteins with its surroundings, thus being able to transmit itself across many species barriers. It was well suited to murder the world. As the butterfly licked at the blood foaming around the dead monkey’s mouth it ingested the virus and had more spores deposited on its antennae and legs. Suddenly movement of a bird above sent this particular butterfly aloft sending an ever so slight breeze wafting across the blood and spittle. A few spores were picked up lightly and floated over the river to land on its surface tension. A large fish flicked its tail and slipped the spores into an open sore on its fin. And the rest is history…Literally.
Well that merry little virus made quick work of that particular fish. And the fish that ate that particular fish. And the fish, monkeys, birds, and reptiles that ate those fish. The Congo River ran red with blood. The wave of death swiftly flowed downstream at the rate of 100 miles a day. Each successive infection spread the disease and increased its species diversity. It slowly climbed its way up the food chain so that it was well prepared as it arrived at the first remote village on the edge of the jungle. The village of 60 men, women, and children succumbed quickly. The strongest of them was able to hold out for four agonising days before giving out. The virus had spread far afield by that time though. It had skipped 400 more miles towards the coast. Engulfing one village after another, alarms had finally been sounded but it was already far too late. The core of Africa was rotten and it was eating its way out. Ships were madly leaving port as the virus headed to the coast. The refugees fleeing the onslaught only spread the virus faster and it actually snuck aboard an automated oil freighter with an empty hold and a skeleton crew heading for the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Goodbye to said skeleton oil freighter crew. Unfortunately, they auto-docked in Houston and the first replacement crew ran from the scene into the general populous before anyone important had noticed. As scientists and doctors rushed feverishly to find a vaccine or some kind of drug therapy for what had become known as EODD – End of Days Disease, they found an odd anomaly. It seemed that in about 1% of the population there was an inherited genetic immunity. The findings were even stranger that the inherited trait seemed to be spotty. Usually only a single or possibly two direct descendants would have the immunity and it never seemed to stretch beyond three generations maximum. The genetic trait didn’t seem to have an originator either. It was spread evenly across racial groups and seemed to arise as a mutation roughly 50-60 years ago. They even found that this anomaly occurred in animal species affected by the disease. Governments world-wide moved to contain the disease…. Unsuccessfully. In desperation, India dropped an atomic bomb on Calcutta when it was first detected there, but all that did was to spread the virus more swiftly when the fallout spread across the countryside.
That special 1-% dwindled down even further as those in power and mobs of the doomed ran many of them to ground as demons or bringers of the plague. Thankfully this only began to happen as the population of the one-percenters, as they came to be known, began to outnumber the doomed. Once the last plague victim drew his last bubbly bloody breath the population of Earth had dropped to a mere twenty million. That may sound like a lot but they were spread evenly over the face of the planet. They needed to find each other to survive. This is their story…