Brent Celmins
United States
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“We’re set up to lose this one,” I told my wife.

“Don’t be so pessimistic.”

“It’s not pessimistic,” I said, “it’s realistic. We have no government funding and we have two objectives this month.” Whether winning the month was possible or not, the deck was stacked against us, and I felt were in for two rounds of March no matter what we did.

“Shouldn’t we use the Ops Manager so we can establish some military bases?” my wife asked as I scooped the Dispatcher out of the insert.

“I don't think so," I said. "What if something happens to Osbaldo (our medic)? We need to upgrade the Dispatcher. After the Medic, I think having Dispatcher/Scientist is a solid secondary twosome. We can always meet up and get one of us an extra action.”

My wife was sticking with Esmerelda. If nothing else, we could establish a relationship, and considering how crucial the Scientist is in succeeding in this game, I saw no problem with my wife’s strategy of sticking with her favorite Scientist. So, Esmerelda and our friendly neighborhood dispatcher Kermit are family (how they’re related remains a mystery. They keep their relationship close to the vest, a little unsavory if you’re asking me.).

Once again, we got absolutely housed with Coda, dumping gobs of yellow cubes in Africa. Khartoum and Kinshasa got hit with three cubes each… I mean come on, we couldn’t draw Atlanta or something?

Kermit worked on quarantining the Coda outbreaks in Africa while Esmerelda focused on keeping the treatable diseases under control.

The real problem spot turned out to be Asia. The Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East were experiencing horrific bouts of Insomnia (black). Millions of people couldn’t sleep! And it was catching! All the warm milk in the world didn’t stem the rapid spread of this horrible disease. Epidemics slammed the region, and I was busy keeping Africa under quarantine, often with little success.

Algiers, Istanbul. Baghdad, all in danger of outbreaks. The people of Chennai were the worst off, rioting in the streets.

“I really don’t see how they have the energy to riot if they can’t sleep, “ my wife said. “Maybe we should just not put the sticker on the board?”

“I think maybe it’s the people that aren’t sick that are taking to the streets,” I suggested, grabbing the sticker sheet from her, slapping a yellow '2' on Chennai.

“Ah, good point.”

As predicted, March was turned out to be a real barn burner. No government funding. No Osbaldo. But we needed to pull something worthwhile out of this month, lest it be a total waste. “Look,” I said, “we’re on a one-way track to sleep-deprived hell here in Asia. We need to salvage something good out of this.”

My wife suggested we focus on eradicating Plague so we could at least get the Efficient to Sequence upgrade for blue.

“I’ll do my best to keep other cities from rioting,” I said. “Go do your work Esmerelda.”

Thanks to our Common Structure upgrade on Plague, Esmerelda was able to cure it the very turn after she pulled her fourth blue card—- so we did achieve at lest one of our objectives. But we were still two diseases away from winning the month, and our luck ran out on us after the fourth Epidemic.

The intensify step brought all those poor, sleepless souls back up to the top of the deck and we ran out of black cubes before we even pulled the third infection card. Early March is over.

We did, indeed, select the second positive mutation for Plague. We didn’t drop any research stations or military bases, so those upgrade was out of bounds. I didn’t feel comfortable giving Kermit any of the available upgrades, because we felt Pilot or Local Connections was better suited to give to Osbaldo.

“Another unfunded event it is,” I said.

“Experimental Program,” insisted my wife. “Stick it on a blue card and it gives us at least a shot at doing something useful next time.”

Next time. Next time we would have a measly two funded events. Next time we would have to use the Ops Manager because we have no military bases anywhere; if we are going to get in and out of those places, we need the ability to move about. Next time we would face the reality of losing our first month outright because we have to choose between Esmerelda and Osbaldo, and can't use both.

Next time, I feel, we are doomed…

Pandemic in PDX
Early March
Late March
Early April
Late April
Early June
Late June

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