August 7, 2045
Outside, the day was still. It wasn’t at all how any of the scientists would have expected. Noah Jackson gazed out through the window, trying to imagine what the view would look like in just four years time. Different, very different indeed. For one, the bustling streets would be still and quiet. Everybody would be dead. He imagined the still body of his newborn daughter, lying where nobody could reach her. His blank expression faltered for a second as he made the decision he had been dreading having to make.
He turned, his face clear of any sign of change, and then looked weakly across the room towards his colleagues.
“I’m going home, I’m not feeling well,” he told the tall, dark, middle aged man that stood, a frightening look of glee in his eyes, on the other side of the room. Then Noah Jackson left.
On the street outside, his mind felt no clearer. He pulled his wallet from his pocket, ignoring the wad of cash that slipped and fell to the ground. Staring intently at the tiny, perfect picture of his daughter and wife he wondered how and why he had ever gotten involved in the organization which, having their way, would kill them like they were nothing more than flies on a summers day – and before he had even spent five years in his new daughters precious company.
How could Noah have gotten tangled up in that? More importantly, how could he fix it? Instead of turning left at the junction, towards home, Noah turned right, heading towards his lab.
His shoulders low and his feet dragging, the young man reached his lab just before the bright light of the sun was obscured behind a cloud. Back in the meeting, the dangerous gleam of glee that had lingered in the dark mans eye turned to ice.
February 10, 2049
The reporter inside the small, fuzzy screen of the television looked graver than ever. The screen flickered to static, yet everyone in the room continued to stare intently at the box, as though it held the answers to life.
‘-already, the majority of the human race have been reported to have passed away over the last twenty-four hours-‘ a snippet came through the static sound and died out for another few seconds before another few words could be heard, ‘-the disease is spreading quickly, there is no known immunity-‘ the television flashed and the face of the reporter appeared once more, ‘-we, America, have lost all contact with the rest of the world-‘ the screen finally went black just as the reporter slumped over in her chair and uttered her last words, ‘Good luck!’
The people in the room waited, silent, for another few seconds, as though the screen would finally flicker back to life and the reporter would smile at them and assure them that she had only been messing around. However, the screen did not light back up, but continued to flicker quietly. Somebody picked up the remote and flicked half-heartedly through the channels, but they were all the same; static and dead. All connection to the rest of the world had been lost, everybody was dying, exposed the disease.
‘How could a disease get around the entire world in a matter of days?’ a girl broke the silence. Everybody in the tiny room turned to look at her, disbelief in their eyes.
‘What does it matter, we’ll all be dead by morning,’ another girl snapped and turned away from her in disgust.
The first girl opened her mouth to argue, but then closed it again at a glance from a man with dark brown hair and a mono-brow.
‘Alice, please,’ he laid a hand on her shoulder, but she shrugged it off.
Alice’s bright blue eyes caught sight of a woman on the far side of the room. She was slumped in her chair and her eyes were shut. Alice shouldn’t tell for sure, but she was probably dead.
‘Where are you going?’ asked a brown haired nine-year-old, who was sitting weakly beside her.
Alice stepped over the piles of bodies, huddled together, some sleeping, some dead already. She didn’t reply. The doorknob turned easily in her hand, and she was outside quicker than she could really realize what was going on.
She, Alice Avery, had left the place where she had been stuck for the last five years of her life. Where she had been imprisoned, yet nobody cared.