- Zoe M(Dunyazad)CanadaI wear my Halloween costume all year round!
This session report contains spoilers through April only. Please don’t discuss any future months in the comments!
You know when you start to get overconfident, and then everything goes to hell? That’s sort of what happened here.
March was a pretty good month. Yes, many cities in South America were locked down in quarantine while an uncurable disease ravaged the populations, but at least the quarantines seemed to be working. It really was a good thing that we had brought Melody the quarantine specialist onto the team last month. She was so effective at preventing the spread of disease that we were actually able to devote some effort to eradicting the more manageable diseases for the first time all year, and those efforts definitely paid off when both the blue and red diseases were completely wiped out. That let us get to work on figuring out their common structure, which will make it even easier to deal with similar diseases in the future.
Don’t get me wrong, March wasn’t just a bed of roses. There were outbreaks of disease in a couple of cities, specifically Lima and Mumbai, leading to some instability there. We had no monetary assistance from the government. And we completely ignored the government’s suggestion to start building military bases, choosing instead to focus on what we were really supposed to be doing, namely curing and eradicating diseases. That worked out well in the short term, but we’re still a bit concerned about whether this decision will have negative ramifications in the long term. Only time will tell.
And that brings us to April. It started off like any other month: significant concentrations of disease in Kolkata, Buenos Aires, and St. Petersburg; moderate concentrations of disease in Tehran, São Paolo, and Santiago; and minor concentrations of disease in London, New York, and Khartoum. That was maybe a bit more of the uncurable Yellow Death than we would expect to face at the outset, but it didn’t seem unmanageable, and we quickly got to work with the now-standard team: Melody the Quarantine Specialist, her co-worker Sandra the Researcher, Erik the Dispatcher, and Jim the Medic. As per usual these days, the government declined to provide any financial support. Bastards.
Melody did her best to lock down the most critical cities immediately, but it was literally the first day of the month when we got word of a new epidemic, in Santiago. The Yellow Death had mutated yet again, and the results were truly horrible to behold. The victims suffered from a strange affliction that left their skin translucent, revealing the organs within. Their behaviour was erratic, and they hardly even seemed human any more. We sure as hell didn’t want to get near them, and neither did anyone else. It was at this point that we really started to wonder whether the world would ever be the same. There have been endless books written in jest about surviving the zombie apocalpyse, endless action movies, but nothing could match the reality of seeing whole populations overcome by an incurable ailment that sapped their humanity and turned them into hideous creatures.
I say populations because of course the newly-mutated disease wasn’t limited to Ground Zero in Santiago. Before too long, there was an outbreak in Khartoum, and that meant Africa was basically lost: Khartoum itself had joined the ranks of the Faded (with instability among the populace adding to the danger), and it wasn’t the only one. Lagos, Kinshasa, Johannesburg, even Cairo in the north—all were now classified as Faded cities, places that would be avoided by even the most desperate of people. Only Algiers with its military base remained a bastion of normality, and who knew how long that would last? This was a new world we had entered. What would it mean for humanity for the world to be divided into two parts, with the North trying to cling to the vestiges of civilization while South America and Africa had succumbed to a ghastly disease? And how long would it be before that disease spread even farther? Was everyone ultimately doomed?
Of course, it’s not the place of the Center for Disease Control’s elite team to speculate about doomsday scenarios. They simply took the situation in stride and continued to do their job. There was an outbreak of a more typical disease in Seoul, leading to unrest there as well, but the team eventually found a cure for that disease and the two other normal ones too. They even managed to eradicate the black disease entirely, allowing them to conduct research into its common structure. And in the awareness that no government aid would be expected going forward, the team took matters into their own hands and prepared for an air strike out of Bogotá.
On the one hand, their task had been completed. The diseases that could be cured had been cured; research was progressing; the world hadn’t collapsed yet. But no one who had seen a photograph of the Faded would ever forget that image, and no one knew what the future would bring. Everyone had a sinking suspicion that things would get much, much worse before—if—they ever got better.
*cue ominous music*
The story continues in May at the CDC (Spoilers through May).
- [+] Dice rolls