In November of the year 2014 the great United States went to war.This wardid not involve guns or bombs or jets flying over head.Rather, it began at three major airports (DFW, LAX, Dulles) with three very sick Middle Eastern women.No one knew these people were sick. They were completely asymptomatic and thus they were allowed into the country.One of them embedded herself in downtown Los Angeles visiting the sites of the great city and enjoying studio tours.Another traveled the District of Columbia then headed to New York to partake in a few Broadway shows and seethe Statue of Liberty. The last young woman went to a Dallas Cowboy Football game then headed to Austin to visit the University of Texas, where she collected information about becoming a graduate student in their engineering department.
Within three weeks of their arrival, all three of them died silent deaths behind sealed doors.It would take three months until these ladies were pinpointed as the source of the horrific destruction that was about to occur.
Across the nation people emerged from the woodworks with odd symptoms that left the medical community scratching their heads.Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, disorientation, malnutrition, elevated fever, and overall malaise were just a few of the typical concerns.Most people didn’t even bother going to the doctor when the symptoms emerged, assuming it to be a bad case of the flu.But within days, all of them were rushed to the hospital knocking on death’s door.
The first US citizen to die from the ghastly disease was an elderly man in Fort Worth, Texas.His doctor inadequately described the cause of death as the influenza virus with complications of pneumonia and the man’s already diagnosed chronic hepatitis C. When the next few people died almost back-to-back just within the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was called in and launched an immediate investigation into the strange deaths.
At the same time, people in the north eastern United States and southern California began succumbing to the disease.As can be imagined, the news media snatched the story and brought it to the public’s attention.Around the same time, the bodies of the three Middle Eastern women were discovered and an outcry of terrorism screamed across the land.The media spun the tale so perfectly that the general public went into a desperate frenzy.Americans called for action upon the Middle East, demanding that the government destroy anything associated with terrorism.
While the nation was on the brink of global war, the CDC was quickly ruling out known pathogens.The death toll continued to rise at an exponential rate.Panic was everywhere.People refused to go to work or into public places and they began stockpiling their houses with water and canned goods, expectingthe worse.
Medical experts across the globe jumped in to study the disease.It was discovered that the pathogen was apparently a cleverly bioengineered virus that had the worst components from some of the deadliest diseases known to man. It was a genetic grim reaper that spared few.The news media cleverly called it the Chimera virus, and the name stuck. Who was responsible for the construction of the pathogen was unknown.No one outwardly claimed the attack but fingers were being pointed in many directions.America entered a state of def con level 4, preparing for war.
Chimera spread quickly by contact of body fluids and the air, a lethal combination.Blood sucking insects, such as mosquitos and ticks, served as excellent vectors.The virus did not remain stable outside of the body for long periods of time, usually becoming non lethal within 24 hours on a surface.
The Chimera acted as lytic virus.Once it infected a cell, it took over the cellular machinery, forced the cell make new Chimera until the cell burst.The virus specifically infected hepatocytes, or more commonly known as liver cells. Because the liver plays an integral role in metabolism, body detoxification, red blood cell breakdown and the storage of glycogen, the destruction of such an important organwas almost always lethal.
Once contracted, the incubation period was 5-10 days with a ghastly90% mortality rate.Usually the final cause of death was multiple organ failure and hypovolemia, a condition of overall decreased blood volume caused by excessive diarrhea and vomiting.Patients often died within three weeks of showing symptoms.Medical care providers could do nothing but watch as their patients become prey to the deadly disease.They could only treat the symptoms and try to alleviate the excruciating pain the victims were no doubt experiencing.There was no magic pill or vaccine that could destroy Chimera.
To assist in the control of the spread, the bodies were burned.Unfortunately, there were not enough crematoriums to handle the amount of dead, thus the bodies were piled up and burned in deserted fields.
Once the government realized that that the Chimera was out of control, any city that had a report of the infection was immediately quarantined.People felt trapped and as if their rights were being taken away.Thus violence broke out.The National Guard was called into the areas to gain control under martial law until they themselves fell sick. It was as if the entire nation was dying.
It took almost two years for Chimera to sweep from sea to shining sea all the whilewreaking deadlyhavoc.The United States dwindled from a healthy population of 330,000,000 to less than 40,000,000.There was little foreign aid because no one wanted to chance bringing the disease to their country. At first, United States defectors were shot on site at the Canadian and Mexican borders.But the disease did eventually spread into these other countries.Those that fled by sea were destroyed before they made port.The powerful and giant United States of America became a third world country and all of the North American continent was ignored by the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves.
Those that survived Chimera weren’t necessarily lucky.Surviving the plague was the easy part.The aftermath was hell.
Desperate times called for desperate measures and in desperation people turned to their animal instinct:survival of the fittest. Groups of people formed and started small civilizations, some of them passive some of them violent.Their goal was common:survival.The basic necessities came into play: clean water, food and shelter. Money was obsolete to acquire these goods and therefore trading became the way of business.People had been shot over something as simple as a bottle of water. There was no law and no one was held accountable for their actions. Those that were willing and able to fend for themselves survived.
A small faction of the government survived and relocated their headquarters to Oregon.They promised a unified government for the people and safety for those who supported the cause. A vaccination for the virus was promised to the public, but only to those that were willing to fall under the government’s rule.Slowly the new United States government attempted to re-establish control, starting at the west coast and working east.The leaders had zero tolerance for those that were unwilling to pledge their allegiance.Those who did not fall in line were killed. What was once an indivisible land, was no longer a nation under God.