Alpha and Omega

This is not vengeance that I deliver unto the world. It is the inevitable full stop at the end of the species’ paragraph in the book of history.

Inevitable. Quite accurate, that word. The end of mankind has been foretold by thousands of people over hundreds of centuries. Eventually, someone had to get it right.

I see it as a Pollock painting, splashes of color and form without shape, splattered across my mind. My wife, on the Tube, going to Piccadilly for an afternoon’s shopping. Had she seen anything that had given her warning? Was it instead just a sharp and sudden light and noise, followed just as suddenly by flat emptiness?

They weren’t sure if it had been a suicide bomber, or if the device had been in a package or rucksack. The devastation was too complete. The car had opened up and been peeled back, like God tearing the husk from an ear of corn. Part of the tunnel itself had fallen in, leading to a delay of two days before any rescue could be attempted, not that there was anything to rescue when the time came. The explosive was powerful enough that anything that had been alive before the blast could have been removed in buckets afterward.

I’d already been working on the Omega virus for six months before my wife’s death, so it would be unfair to say that her murder had unhinged me in some manner. If anything, it had only served to postpone the completion of my work by a week or so, as arrangements for her funeral and assorted legal matters related to her death kept me away from my work more than I had expected.

She hadn’t known the nature of my research when she’d died. She would have thought me mad, of course. Most people would, I am certain. I am not mad, however. I am more sane than perhaps anyone else on earth, if sanity is defined as doing that which must be done for the good of all, regardless of the human casualties that must result from such action.

Omega is simple in its execution. It enters the host either through the lungs when inhaled, or through fluid exchange via saliva, mucous or sexual intercourse. The virus attacks on two fronts, first traveling to the brain where it causes tissue to swell, resulting in intracerebral hemorrhaging, seizures and coma. At the same time, it enters the lungs, causing the overproduction of fluid, which builds faster than can be expelled by the host.

Death results in less than twelve hours. The transmission rate of Omega is estimated at ninety-six percent. Currently, there is no serum with which to fight the virus, although I’m sure that in time something could be devised. However, given the speed at which Omega replicates and will expand throughout the population, I am confident there won’t be enough time for a cure to be formulated.

There are no windows in the lab, being as it is three levels down and protected by thick walls of concrete and is a negative pressure room designed for the safe containment of viral matter. However, I can imagine windows here, looking out over the city, and extending to the country, expanding out to the entire world. Everything I see is fouled and defiled by the hand of man. The air is becoming unbreathable, the water turning to sludge. In his endless greed and hunger, man has nearly brought the world to a tipping point, where not only his own extinction is unavoidable, but the extinction of all other species as well.

They would call me mad? When the human race hurries the entire world to its end?

I would not end this world. I would save it.

Suicide is only cowardice when you insist upon taking others with you to the grave. Without me and my virus, mankind would die the most cowardly death in the history of the universe, taking every life form on the planet with him. Instead, death my way, death by Omega, is the highest form of valor and selflessness. I am trading the lives of a reckless species bent on destruction for the lives of millions of other innocent and more deserving creatures. I am sorry for the primates that must be sacrificed as well, the macaques and baboons and chimpanzees, but as the majority of my research has been the result of my testing on them, I know far too well of the effects of the virus on their systems, and that Omega is as virulent amongst them as it will be their human cousins.

There are rules in the lab which are designed to prevent someone from removing any of the viral or biological material from it, but these rules are easily bypassed when one is the director of the facility, as I am. I have the keys to the kingdom, so to speak.

Ten minutes ago, I put an inhaler prepared with the Omega virus into my mouth, pressed the trigger, and blasted a dose directly into my lungs. It will be two to four hours before I start to feel any of the effects of the virus, although I am capable of transmitting Omega to others sometime in the next hour. By that time, I plan to have gotten up from this table and passed through the two doorways and chemical showers outside this chamber, made my way into the city proper, and be riding the Tube throughout London until I suffer a seizure and collapse in the car.

I didn’t plan the Tube as some morbid remembrance of my wife, but because it’s the most efficient way of transmitting the virus to as many people in as short a time as possible.

The computer model I’ve run suggests the near-elimination of the human species in as little as fourteen days. What the virus doesn’t kill, starvation and other more mundane diseases will finish off in short order. Modern man has lost the ability to fend for himself in the world.

They would crown me the greatest mass murderer in history, if there were any survivors of what I am unleashing, and they would be right.

I will wear the title willingly and with pride.

Murderer of humanity, saviour of the world.

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Bran macFeabhail challenged me with “I figured out what I am, and it’s not good…I’m all right with that. ” and I challenged Kat with “If that song gets played one more time, I swear I’m going to…”

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6 Comments

  1. Where to start after “WOW”.
    OK, first, the language just floored me:
    “The end of mankind has been foretold by thousands of people over hundreds of centuries. Eventually, someone had to get it right.”

    And

    “The car had opened up and been peeled back, like God tearing the husk from an ear of corn.”

    are just two of the phrases that really caught my attention.

    And I love the use of his wife’s death and the suicide bomber as the foil for the plotter himself. This is scary stuff, made that much more plausible by the nerve attacks in the Japanese subway and the anthrax mailing scares.

    Reply
    • Kameko

       /  March 5, 2012

      Thank you so much! I had a lot of fun over here putting together the end of the world. Who doesn’t like a good old-fashioned apocalypse?

      A fictional one, at any rate.

      I’m not encouraging hoarding or stockpiling, by the way.

      Although…

      Reply
  2. Thanks for doing my prompt more than justice. 🙂

    Reply
    • Kameko

       /  March 13, 2012

      Thanks for tossing it out there! It was just what I was looking for, I do believe.

      Reply
  3. This was definitely worthy IndieInk Editor’s Choice! This left me breathless and more than a little freaked out. Mostly because I can see something like this happening! I was literally on the edge of my seat reading this the entire time. You are incredibly talented! Thank you for sharing this with us!

    Reply
    • Kameko

       /  May 4, 2012

      Glad you enjoyed it!

      I haven’t been playing over at Indie Ink these past couple of weeks, as I’ve been working on a bit of my own stuff, but I’ll pop back over there soon and get back into the fray.

      Promise!

      Reply

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