Enemy of Humanity

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
I guess I've always been interested in humans having natural predator. This story is the product of that intrest. Also, I know the end is a little sketchy, but I just couldn't think of any other way to wrap it up.Anyway, I hope you like it and I would love for you to post a comment.

Submitted: July 02, 2009

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Submitted: July 02, 2009



All my life I had lived happy and healthy and I never gave a thought to the fact that humans have a natural enemy, besides other humans. An enemy specifically designed to kill and live off human meat. Sure there have been Sci-fi stories and movies that explored it, everything from vampires to mole-people, but I had always dismissed those for what they are. Some overactive imagination let loose. Yet here I am staring at the one living thing made to slaughter the human race.

“Predators,” The teacher used the word to get the attention of the high-school classroom. “are some of the most opportunistic creatures in the animal kingdom.” With the finish of the sentence he had lost the class almost as quickly as he had grasped it. But he still prattled on. “Take the osprey for example, this bird lives entirely off fish and, often, sea snakes. The osprey cannot dive beneath the waves, thus must rely on surface dwelling fish for most of it’s diet. The sea snake lives at depths far below where the osprey can grasp, yet still, if you were to search around the base of an osprey’s nest you would find more than a few sea snake bones. How? Because the osprey strikes at the precise moment when the sea snake comes to the surface for air. Taking advantage of the opportunity. The same can be seen anywhere in the animal kingdom, from the grizzly bear and salmon to …” I glanced up from my nails to scan the rest of the class. Some were taking notes on Mr. Creel’s David Attenborough impression, some were trying to make it look like they were taking notes, and failing, and others, like myself, were doing other things, not really caring if the teacher caught us or not. Suddenly a part of Mr. Creel’s lecture grabbed my interest. “There have been many theories on the human race having a natural enemy, a species higher than us on the food chain. These theories have been dismissed as unlikely, considering how far humans have progressed from apes to… well… humans.”

Translation, we are so based upon the security that we are the most powerful creature on this planet that we won’t except the possibility of something stronger than us.

I have no idea how long I was sitting in the study, staring at article after article about mankind’s natural enemy. Some swore it was vampires or werewolves or some other thing supernatural, others argued that there was no animal on earth that would consider the human race a primary source of sustenance, but none of them were really what I wanted . Soon, my mother was calling me for dinner. It was Dad’s turn to cook tonight and neither of us were looking forward to it, yet we felt horrible to even say his cooking was almost inedible, he spent so much time on it.

After dinner I hopped straight back on the net, and this time I found something I could actually use. There was a scientific institute a couple of blocks away from my school that was doing a study on the very thing I had been researching. My heart rate picked up like it always did when I was reaching the end of sitting in this dark little study shared by three people. It was time to get out there into the world and be a writer.

The next day, I told my parents I was going to be late home from school and that I was doing some snooping. My dad is very used to my journalistic ways and generally understands. Mum, on the other hand, is more frantic when I need to be anywhere where she can’t see me or where she hasn’t been a million times before. But Dad knows how to calm her down and remind her of the fact that I’m not allowed to take my mobile out of my pocket when I’m out of the house. So, after a long day at school I rushed to the address that was listed on the website. When I came to it there was no doubt in my mind that I had the right place. It was an imposing, intimidating establishment, made mostly of glass and concrete. It had a gravel pathway, a garden full of native plants and a big concrete sign that said;

AUSTRALIAN SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY FOR THE ABNORMALLY CURIOUS. This sounds like my kind of place. I mused and wondered what it would take to get an internship here. I shook thoughts of the future away for now, and walked determinedly up the gravel path to the tinted glass double doors.

Inside the air-conditioner was on and provided blessed relief from the summer heat. A petite woman of about my mothers age with frameless glasses, looked up from the documents she was faxing at the soft thump the door made when it closed.

“How can I help you, young lady?” Her tone was friendly enough, but I got the vague impression there were other, more important things she ought to be doing.

“I’m here on a school project,” I stated simply, a school project was something most people accepted without many questions, “on the natural predators of man, and I read on the website, that this establishment was doing some research on that so I thought…” I let the sentence hang.

“ You thought you would come here and see what you cloud find out.” The receptionist sighed as if this was a thing they got every day. “Well, I’m sorry, dear, we finished that study a week ago. You shall have to go elsewhere for your project.” Suddenly a largish, balding man, possibly in his late forties, came hurrying towards the receptionist.

“Laura, I was wondering if you could send those documents up to… who’s this?” The man suddenly noticed me.

“Oh, just some student interested in the Predator of Man project.” She seemed uncomfortable with admitting it.

“Well, why didn’t you send her in to me? You know I’m always willing to share my work!”

“Sorry Dr. I just thought you would prefer not to be disturbed.”

“Never mind. To err is human, as the saying goes. Now my dear, what can I do for you?”

“I’m doing a project on man’s natural enemies and…” once again I let my sentence hang.

“Of course!” The scientist exclaimed, “Come right this way.” I noticed he wiped his hands on his lab coat and smiled at me. “Sweaty hands.” He informed me cheerfully. He walked me through a metal detector like the kind you see at airports. It beeped unpleasantly as I walked under it.

“Oh, sorry.” I said startled

“That’s alright. Just remove any thing metal, like a watch or a mobile and place it in the tray, you can pick it up when you leave.” I removed my metal charm bracelet Mum had got me for my birthday and put it in the tray provided. Then I remembered my mobile, took it out of my pocket and left it with the bracelet.

“I’m Dr. Treys,” He explained as we walked along a corridor lined with doors marked with things like,

Lab 2A: Aerostatics and Lab 5C: Chemical Compounds. “My main focus currently is on the exact thing you just happen to be researching.” Dr. Treys kept talking as he steered me towards a lab marked,

Lab 3R: followed by an unfamiliar word that hinted at the study of both animals and diseases. Inside were preserved reptiles and mammals, several incubation containers and a few freezers for storing specimens. “This is where the magic happens!” He exclaimed, throwing his arms wide in a very dramatic gesture.

“Um, that’s great.” I commented, feeling a little uncomfortable. “But what I really want to know is if there really is an animal higher on the food chain than humans, and if so, what is it?” I always had a knack at getting to the heart of things quickly.

“That, my child, is something that has plagued scientists for years,” He answered sullenly, then his bake broke into a shining grin of triumph, “until moments ago!” I noticed that he liked to exclaim rather than talk and it made me smile. After I had composed my face into a suitably curious look and asked what it was, Dr. Treys turned to a bench and produced a small round container with what looked like some sort of fungus growing on the bottom.

“Mould?” I guessed, disbelieving.

“Not mould, my dear, but disease! It took me so long to figure it out, but now that I have, it seems so obvious! Think about it, disease has killed millions in a matter of weeks, it had turned thriving economies to third world countries in a few short years! Disease is the one and only life form that feeds primarily on humans.”

“But disease can effect animals too, and plants, for that matter.” I pointed out, still sceptical.

“Just because this particular predator is omnivorous, doesn’t mean it can’t, it is like the grizzly bear. Grizzlies eat mostly salmon, but is that all they eat? No. Disease is the same way, it is an opportunist. Whenever it can’t find a human host, it latches on to the closest thing.”

“So, what kind of disease is that?” I asked, starting to believe what he said was true.

“This is a new disease, just discovered. You see, not all diseases are the predator of man, just a few. Bubonic plague was one, cancer is another, this has no name yet. But there is no cure,” His voice turned sinister at this moment, sending chills along my spine. “and there never will be.” He then picked up a rather large needle, carefully took off the lid of the container holding the predator and sucked it up into the tube of the needle.

“Wh…what are you doing?” I stammered. All the cheerfulness and warmth was gone from him now. He stared at me with hard, menacing eyes.

“You mean you haven’t worked it out yet?” He asked in a voice as cold an hard as his eyes. I shook my head and he chuckled without humour. “This is a government agency, designed especially to research and prove mysteries in science for use in war.” I stood stunned by this unexpected revelation. It seemed apparent he was waiting for a response. After my throat unclenched and I was able to speak I stuttered,

“But… but the…the sign.”

“Oh, please.” He scoffed, “ a cover up. Scientific Society for the Abnormally Curious my foot. Really, didn’t you wonder why the receptionist told you the study was finished?” I shook my head, once again, too shocked to speak. “You know for a budding journalist, your really not that observant.”

“How did you know I was a-”

He cut me off. “I’ve dealt with the press before, and I know the way they ask questions, the way they go about things. I saw you would be ever so slightly too young to be a full time reporter so I assumed that was your aspiration.”

“Why are you telling me this?” My throat started to unfreeze as my curiosity and fear pushed the questions, that I didn’t want answers to, out.

“Well, there’s really no point in keeping anything from you now, after all you already know too much, and you’ll be dead in a few hours anyway, so why bother.” The needle filled with the disease glinted, stainless steal and threatening in his hand.

“Why?” Was all I could choke out.

“I need more subjects, and as this virus only preys on humans…” It was his turn to let the sentence hang. It dangled in front of me like a silver wire, taught and deadly, ready to choke me to death any minute. Carefully, slowly, I backed toward the door, taking the smallest steps I could. Of course, he noticed. Without warning or further gloating Dr. Treys lunged towards me, needle in front like a sword to run me through. From that moment time sped up and slowed down simultaneously. Everything was happening at a blinding speed, yet I could see everything with perfect clarity. In an impossible display of reflexes I knocked the needle out of his hand and sent it flying across the room to smash against the wall. Thank god for sweaty hands.

As Dr. Treys had showed no fear when opening the container and needed a needle to infect me I assumed that it wasn’t airborne, but I covered my nose and mouth with my t-shirt anyway. Time resumed it’s normal speed after the needle hit the wall. The scientist stood for a moment or two in shock, just long enough for me to get my pepper spray out of my pocket and give him a good nose full of it, then I pulled the old knee to the groin and made a dash for it. The numbers and letters on the doors made it easy to find my way back to the lobby. I grabbed my stuff from the tray, ignoring the beep, and sped home.

It was weeks before I heard of the institution that nearly killed me again. I had gone to the local news station and told them what had happened after I had recovered from the shock. By the way they reacted it sounded like they didn’t believe me. But apparently one reporter did a lot of digging and background checks and discovered that my story was true. Once the secret was out, the government had no choice but to close the establishment forever. Me and my family were on the news and got a large sum of money for helping the station and that, my friends, is the end of the story.


I thought. Then I decided to do a little digging on this human-predator thing. I was a journalist by nature, unfortunately my school lacked a school newspaper, but that didn’t stop me from researching and writing about anything that caught my interest. Thankfully, this was my last class for the day and I could get home to the internet without much delay.

Enemy of Humanity.

© Copyright 2019 Jade Ryan. All rights reserved.

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