"Wake up, Pierce. I think I know what we have to do." Sheila said shaking Pierce from his sleep.
"Huh… What?" Pierce said groggily.
"I know how to cure the pandemic."
"You know how to save us?" Annabelle asked walking out of the kitchen of the one bedroom apartment three were staying in.
"I do, but…"
"What is it?" Pierce asked.
"Is it worth it? What if we're the only ones left? What if this cure makes the disease worse or even kills us?"
"It's better that we try. If we don't experiment with this cure, we'll die from the Livinor Sylen Virus anyway. And if we are the only ones left… We'll deal with it when it comes to that."
"You're right, Annabelle, its better that we try our best. I need some help collecting the materials necessary to create the treatment, which means we have to go out. Are you guys willing to take that risk?" Sheila asked looking at the other two intently. There was a long period of silence.
'I will. You don't have to go Annabelle, stay here and get Sheila's lab ready for when we come back."
"Pierce… You don't have to…"
"But I do. If we're going to make it through this alive, I want to be able to say I helped," Pierce said with big grin on his face.
"Pierce… what if we don't make it?"
"Well, either way, I want to spend the rest of the time I have with you."
"We've only known each other for a few months; you don't have to risk your life for me."
"But I do," Pierce said leaning over and kissing Sheila, "Now let's go find that cure."
"Are you sure you'll be fine alone, Annabelle?"
"Yeah I'll be fine, go find that cure and stop wasting time," she answered with a slight smile. Pierce grabbed a hold of Sheila's hand and brought her outside. The sights and smells assaulted both of their senses. Neither of them was expecting their small hometown to be in such chaos. The streets were littered with refuse, houses were burned to the ground, and stores had been looted.
"Where do we need to go to find that cure?" Pierce asked turning to Sheila.
"There were reports of a similar disease back in 1683 ravaging through a small town. A scientist, Michael Lavour, found a way to cure it before it spread through the whole country. That's why we need to go to the library to find his journal."
"You think the same cure will work for this stronger strain?"
"I'm hoping. Oh my gosh!"
"What is it, Sheila?"
"Those poor people," Sheila whispered pointing to a group of bodies. They had partially decayed but you could still see the effects of the virus. The Livinor Sylen Virus had attacked their bodies inside and out; their bodies were covered in black scabs, their corpses were falling apart, and you could see the places where the Livinor Sylen had caused the body to eat away at itself.
"Don't look, you don't have to worry. We're going to get that cure."
"The library's just around the corner, try to hold your breath until we get there."
The library was dingy and only lit by the light of the smoky grey sky. Most of the books had been burned, stolen, or destroyed.
"What are we looking for in this mess, Sheila?"
"It's a journal, so probably something called "The Life of Michael Lavour". Just look under Lav. in the biography section."
"OK." Pierce wandered off to the left wing of the library leaving Sheila alone in the darkness of the central wing.
"What am I gonna do?" Sheila thought to herself. "I'm not even sure if this book is still here or even it ever was here… Maybe the library records are still in the office. I know most of them were digital, but I'm sure they had hard copies in case of power failure."
Once in the office, Sheila began to search through all of the filing cabinets in the room.
"This is it!" Sheila exclaimed.
"What is it?" Pierce asked coming into the office.
"I found all of the library records."
"Well I found something too… Michael's journal."
"How did you find it so fast? I'm so happy I could kiss you!"
"Then why don't you?"
"No time Pierce. Let me see that journal."
"It's torn and burned, but I'll let you try to decipher it." Sheila took the ruined journal out of Pierce's outstretched hand and started to flip through it.
"That's odd… It says that the disease was synthetic."
"You mean to tell me that this is a man-made disease that's killing off everyone?"
"Yeah, and that wasn't the only thing. The person who formed this plague, it was Michael Lavour's wife."
"His wife? Why'd she make a disease?"
"Michael says that he and his wife had been fighting for a while before the outbreak. They fought about everything but one thing was fought about more than anything else… their daughter's health. Their daughter was always in bed with some new illness and her father was always too busy with his business to find a cure for her. He was the doctor of the century but he wouldn't take the time to look into his own daughter's illness." Sheila explained to Pierce.
"One day, while Michael was away, his wife snuck into his lab and concocted a new disease just for Michael so he could feel what it felt like to be stuck in bed for the rest of your life, no matter how short that may be. She was so frustrated with Michael that she accidentally spilt some of the disease onto herself in her rage. She washed it off the best she could, but she soon began to experience symptoms of the disease. She knew it was contagious, so she did her best to stay away from her daughter. When Michael came home, he saw the black scabs on her skin and immediately asked what happened. His wife was so worried, she confessed about making the disease and how she made it. Michael made an antidote as fast as he could and gave it to his wife."
"So why did the disease come back?" Pierce asked.
"Michael says that his acts to save his wife infuriated his daughter, as he never tried to cure her, and she soon began to overcome her sickness. After months of recuperation, she finally became well enough to walk about. She went to her father's lab, stole the last of the disease, and ran away from home. It's believed that she got married and had a nice family. She had a daughter and apparently instead of using the disease, she gave it to her daughter to hold on to. It became a tradition of handing it down to the eldest daughter and no one has heard about it since then."
"You think that one of the daughters unleashed it on our modern world?"
"That's exactly what I did," a raspy voice said.
"Annabelle?" Sheila asked.
"I am Michael's great-great-great-great-great granddaughter. And I am also the one that released the virus."
"Why did you do that?"Pierce asked.
"That's not important; the only thing that's important is that you don't find the cure." Annabelle reached into her purse and grabbed a vial and flung it into the room with her scab covered hand.
"What did you do!?!" Sheila screamed, "Now we're all going to die!" Annabelle didn't answer she just cackled like an evil witch