I left the kids with Claire. I said I would come back for them after I had used the database on the second floor. They seemed hesitant to let me go, but eased up when Claire showed them how charming she could be. Walking through the halls, the regular sounds are nowhere to be heard...looks like lieutenant really did need all the help he could get. I reach the lab and begin searching up on what is occurring throughout the city. Looking through the notes, I find out that it is not an epidemic, but a pandemic; Seems like our city's not the only one suffering tonight. I reach one of the classified folders and begin perusing through it. It is marked "Contagion":
-Dormant Contagion has been found on an ancient fossilized asteroid, buried deep
beneath the African soil (Near Addis Adaba, Ethiopia)
-Revived and cultured for study
-The super virus has traits of septicemic, pnuemonic, and bubonic plagues
-Spread rate may emulate or surpass "Black Death"
Indicators-Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC), whitening of the pupils, hemoptysis (blood cough), convulsive gnashing of the teeth, skin discoloration, extreme disorientation, vomiting, minuscule hair loss, Dementia, premature rigormortis (body still functions without Adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP), uncontrollable muscle spasms, Cellular Necrosis
Infection Statistics- (1/9,) (0.3% Mortality, 99.7% Other) (413, 980+),
Quarantined Zones- All countries within 50 miles of the equator, Western Australia, London, West Coast of the U.S., Hawaii, Cape Town, South America, Russia, China, Japan, Germany
-With a few exceptions, warm, tropical weather seems to incubate the disease
Containment-transmission is inevitable, "elimination" of the vectors facilitates the extermination of the disease, resistances may be problematic
Survival-weapons are irrelevant considering the sheer odds of infected subjects (armaments should primarily be used for delaying them, not subjection)
-animals are as vulnerable (mortality rates are 40% higher)
-Viral toxins are impossible to extract once circulated through the apex
I get caught up reading the last two words. Everything sounds so ridiculous to me, but in some way seems plausible taking into account what has recently passed. I take what I've just read and accumulate all that has happened today and begin to understand how serious this happening really is. Haunted by those two simple words, I head back to Claire and the kids. When I reach them, they are both tightly wrapped in blankets holding what smells like some good-old-fashioned station house brew. I walk up to Claire, "How are they doing?" I ask. She sighs, "Look at them Pete...they don't look good. I've been trying to reach their parents but they aren't picking up their phones; and it's not just them. I can't get fire station six or highway patrol to respond. Something really bad is happening out there." I feel the urge to let her in on what I've seen, but I feel like I shouldn't burden her.
A scruffy-looking man stumbles in with an urgent look on his face. By the way he looks and smells, I can tell he is homeless. Claire asks him if she can help, but he grabs my collar and shakes me, as if to force me into believing what he is about to say. When he opens his mouth, he reveals a speech impediment. "Th Th They're coming! They're co com coming!" I gently push him back and try to get him to relax, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, sir, calm down!" I can already tell that this guy won't be settling down for a while. "I s s saw them! I saw what they do...they eat you! They fuckin e e eat you!!" Claire being the only one not yet having witnessed anything puts on a face of fright. I look at the kids and they are listening tentatively. Claire tries to tone him down. "Sir, please...sir, sit down and breath. Come on, please, sit over here." She escorts him to a chair across her desk, as he mutters away. "What's your name?" Claire asks. He remains hysterical and continues babbling. "What's your name, sir?" she repeats. Eventually, she succeeds in calming him down and he returns to what I assume to be his "normal" state. Claire runs over to the water dispenser and gets him something to drink. He downs it as if he had been trapped in the Gobi desert. "Now...can you please, please tell me your name?" He looks up at her, with almost an embarrassed kind of look. "Mum Mum My name is Rudy... Rudy Valero. I was mmmaking my rounds on Fifth and Spring when some puh.. eeople started chasing me. I ran to the shelter, but everyone inside was..." He stops and looks at me and the kids. He acts like he doesn't want to say what he's about to, though we already know what it's going to be.
"Were they alive?" Claire asks.
He looks up at her, "..nn...no.."
"...So they were all dead..." she states, to which he replies, "...no."