There they were.  My father and sister, the only two people I was sure I loved, face down on the floor.  Tears spilled over my eyelids and onto my school blouse as the two of them stared blankly at the floorboards they were pressed against, with their cracked lips and cold, lifeless hands.  I gave up on trying to hold in the worst of my tears and started making these horrible choking sounds that only animals make.  Dead.  Both of them.  How could they be dead?  Didn't I take every precaution?  Didn't I work with my older sister for hours on end harvesting our meager meal of rice and corn?  Did I have scars from years of hard labor for nothing?  Were they nothing but a reminder of how badly I had failed to keep  my family alive?  No, I told myself.  It isn't your fault. It's that stupid disease.  Yes.  That stupid, horrible, deadly disease the people from the mainland had spread "accidentally".  It was supposed to be the latest advancement in weaponry.  Instead it killed off thousands in an epidemic that lasted for months and months in one city, then quietly snaked into the next, ready for its next kill.  It wasn't alive, or capable to devise a plan of destruction or anything like that (I think), but it seemed like it was targeting the poorest families around the village.  Maybe it was being controlled by the mainlanders.  I didn't know.  I was too numb to register anything at the moment.  Actually, I did manage to register shock.  Not because of the dead bodies rotting on the floor.  Not because none of the neighbors had come to check on us.  No, none of those things.  It was because there was a girl standing before me.  A strange girl I had never seen before.  I guess it wasn't the girl that caught my eye, really.  It was the shining black revolver in her hands.  I don't think it was the gun that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, either.  It was the fact that the gun was pointed straight at me.

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