PROLOGUE: The Fall Of Woman
Dec. 24th, 2175
Tonight I have decided that I can no longer live in Man’s world, the world I forced into creation. My arrogance, knowing no bounds, drove me to defy what can only be the ultimate design of Mother Earth by saving the human race.
I cured A.I.D.S.
Not only did the antiviral cure I created work, but I made it available for a nominal charge. I did not want to profit in terms of wealth; the glory of being the man to invent a cure for A.I.D.S. was all I sought. That, and the salvation of mankind.
What began as a selfish attempt at medical revenge became the most important medical discovery in history. My husband lost his life to A.I.D.S. and I believed that if I could create a cure, I could attack the virus and avenge his death. Such a notion is foolish, and doubly so for a learned man like myself; still, with singleminded obsession I spent five years developing the cure to A.I.D.S. I vowed that if I succeeded I would make sure it got into the hands of as many of the diseased as possible. It was the only way for me to honor Angelo’s death.
February 14th, 50 years ago, I succeeded in curing the first A.I.D.S. patient. The patient’s recovery was swift and complete; no sign of the H.I.V. virus remained in the subject after only several hours of treatment. Of course, other medical issues took their normal course; my cure was not a panacea, so the subject’s recovering immune system was left to deal with other illnesses he had contracted as a result of A.I.D.S. Mass-production and distribution of the cure, known as the Miracle, began immediately.
I was hailed as a hero and, at the same time, reviled by many of my colleagues. Humanity as a whole loved me for miraculously curing the disease. The scientific and financial worlds were afraid of my giving out so valuable a commodity for so low a price; a single dose of Miracle retailed for $25, when I could have charged a thousand times more for it. Using my fortune, I organized a free distribution of the Miracle in Africa, stabbing at the very heart of the pandemic. Within months, despite the protests of my detractors, A.I.D.S. was cured. A true H.I.V. vaccine soon followed, added to the cocktail of immunizations newborns were exposed to.
I never realized my mistake, nor had an inkling that a mistake had been made.
I believe it was a tabloid that first ran the story on M.A.I.D.S., the new mutated strain of H.I.V. that surfaced in the wake of my Miracle. If Miracle was fast-acting, M.A.I.D.S. was nearly instantaneous; suddenly this new plague swept through the world, carried in the very air we breathe, turning every living creature into a carrier. Even now, the world’s top minds are trying to discover the root of M.A.I.D.S., and also trying to find a cure for it.
M.A.I.D.S. is a mutant strain of A.I.D.S. that strikes swiftly and to maddening effect; the strain only affects our female population. Women began dying off in great numbers; pregnant mothers delivered stillborn daughters; traffic slowed to a crawl as female drivers suddenly lost control of their bodies, then their cars. Complete mayhem reigned across Earth.
Top scientists from all over the world met in Berlin, frantically pushing forward an experimental new form of medicine in an effort to save the human race. For years scientists had been experimenting with synthetic organs, and it was believed that, by replacing female organs with synthetic ones, females could be cured of M.A.I.D.S. At first, the procedure showed promise, as female hearts and bone marrow were replaced with synthetics. Unfortunately M.A.I.D.S. mutated further, and more organs needed to be replaced to keep the disease in check. Scientists had to continuously refine and redesign some of the organs, as most of them had never been tested in humans, while at the same time research and create new organs that had not yet been replicated synthetically.
Wars broke out across the world. Russia attacked Poland, stealing Polish women to help replace the ones they lost. Austria invaded Lichtenstein, Iraq invaded Kuwait, and even America halted the travel of all foreign women, forcing them to stay in the United States.