Apex Predator

Happenings in the Apocalyptic world, where apocalypse caused due to a strange disease which pursue people to Starve

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12. Kingdom of Starvation

Oscar grasped a deep breath, to settle inside the room with the iron door. Oscar looked around the room; it was filled with many journals and books, few drip packets at one of the cupboard and pot and cup on a double electric stove. And there was journal on the table which had a table lamp along with a quill feather pen mounted on a stand, and an ink bottle near that. The ink bottle was open indicating that the journal was in work under progress. On the cover which appeared to be made out of some kind of leather, had a Big “M” inscribed on it in golden letters. There was what seemed to be a glass window, near the table. The window was not a regular window. The window was made of glass and it occupied as half the room. Oscar rolled up the split curtains hanging on the window. There laid a steel structure which seemed to be like a fire exit beyond the glass window. And there was a door at the glass window to access that steel structure. There was a night vision goggles hanging on the knob of the glass door. Oscar opened that glass door and went out to the steel structure. As soon as he leaves that room, there was a pitch dark. Oscar could not even watch his step on the steel structure. Oscar suddenly stepped back into the room in fear that he might fell from the steel structure. He took the night vision goggles hanging from the door and went through the glass door. Still it was dark. Oscar searched for some kind of switch on the goggles to light it on. Finally he found a flip switch at the sides, once he turned on those goggles, he looked down.

He saw people residing lying in bed. Oscar thought that he knows that place from somewhere. Then Oscar murmured “Oh shit”, as he recognized the place, it was the whole view of the bunkers. Now Oscar knew who threw that single drip packet and hot water, when they were locked down in their bunkers.

Oscar slowly returned back to the room. He removed the goggles; Oscar searched the entire room for the cure or any sign of cure. But he could not find anything on that. So Oscar decided to browse through the journal rack.

Then Oscar went to the table and sat on the chair near the table. He started to read the journal on the table, with the help of the table lamp. The page of the journal doesn’t seem to have any date on top of it. Instead there were few pages folded from top and from the bottom into a triangular shape, to mark the end of each day or to separate from one day to another. The page of the journal always starts with the word “Today”. Oscar started to read the last page which was half written. There were multiple handwritings on the same page. First part of the handwriting was neat and implied the quiet and pleasant nature of the person who wrote it, but also indicate that he is in a confused state, as though it had been written with faster speed.

Today

I am tirelessly working on the Subject for the third day. The Subject still seemed to be alive, but his internal organs were getting eroded, due to the increase in the strength of the compound X306. But the compound x306 works as per the expectation. The bacterial activity is getting increased by the compound. The strength of the compound X306 is far more effective than the previous trial X305 and the sustaining lifetime of the bacteria is more than three days. Today I am going to open up the experimental subject, in order to get samples of the bacteria for the first time.

Up to this line the handwriting was neat and orderly, but the style and tidy nature of the handwriting changed drastically into scribbling and again started with the word Today in the middle

Today

Mr. Jeff screwed up today’s work. He needed to be punished for his work. He let that man took away the map. The only map which led us from pits to the headquarters. I warned Jeff on the matter of that Old Wells but Wells did not even listen to me. He was not loyal to me. He questions my actions. I don’t like that. If there were any more mistakes from Mr. Jeff, then he has to pay his life as the price. This time, I will just hurt him and show how cruel a man with responsibility can be. Secondly I am eager to listen to the report of Mr. Jim on the subject under examination. I am so excited to hear the good news from Mr. Jim.

After this the handwriting changed, and was with separate letters and there is no connection between one letter and another like we used to have in cursive writing. The handwriting showed that the person who wrote that must be determined person, since all the letters are of same size even though they are repeated multiple times in the sentence. In fact the handwriting was so neat that it looked like a hand printed journal.

Today

I questioned Sir. M on his action today. I am afraid that I might get punished for that. Sir. M thinks that I was responsible for losing the map. I will find the map at any cost and punish those who took it.  I will show my undying loyalty to Sir. M. For that I need to operate the Dead soldiers in a tactical way today. I need to use the cameras as well as the Dead soldiers together to locate the proprietor. Once I get dead soldiers to catch the suspect. I will punish him in front of the bunker gates. I will make the Dead soldiers pluck out his eye, while he was still alive so that no one else should even think about touching the corporate properties after that.

Oscar understood that the guy who was chasing him wrote this all, judging from the deviant characters inside him. While Oscar was amusing at the devious journal by the madman, suddenly he heard something from the iron door. Someone was opening the door from outside with the use of a key. Oscar tried to move to the door as fast as possible, but it was too late. The door opened and the madman rushed inside the room and closed the door behind him and stood in a position like he was pushing the door like he was preventing someone from opening the door and he shouted “Quick come here and help me close the door, the key is in my right hand. I cannot move my hand; if I do he will get in and kill us all”

Oscar was startled for a moment, but Oscar gathered his senses when he could not find the gun on the madman’s hand anymore. Oscar rushed to the door and frisked the madman who appears to be entirely different character now. Oscar checked the madman’s pocket. He did not found anything. He used the key on madman’s hand to close the door.

The madman relaxed from pushing the door and slanted onto the door on his back. Oscar suddenly pulled the madman and started to frisk him again of any weapons or anything of any danger. But Oscar could not find anything, he looked at the madman. He looked scared and started questioning Oscar, “Who are you? What are you doing here?”

Oscar suddenly got up and moved to the rack where there were drip packets. Oscar picked one of the drip packets and ripped the syringe from the drip packet. He opened the drip packet and holds that madman down. Oscar started pouring the drip packet into his mouth shouting “Drink”. The madman gargled spitting out the drip into the air. He did not even drink a little of the Drip packet. He pushed Oscar away and screamed in fear coughing “water, water”

The madman got up and rushed to the pot on the stove and got himself a cup of water and started drinking. Seeing this Oscar was stunned, since it was the first time, he saw a man drink his water. Hell it was the first time he saw a man uses his mouth to do anything other than speaking and biting others.

“What are you doing? Why are you trying to kill me?” uttered the madman

“I am not trying to kill you; I was checking whether you will be able to drink that drip packet without puking, to check whether you have the cure”

“But feeding me that drip packet will kill me”

“What are you saying? Who are you and what are you doing here? Why is everyone else dead except you?” questioned Oscar

 “I am the man who made it from bunker which you are staying in into here before you”

“I don’t understand?” replied Oscar

The madman poured himself another glass of water and sat on the chair beside the writing table and started talking

“My name is Mickey. I was a small boy when they brought here. The people of the headquarters said that they found me in the pits alive. One of the Research Engineer who worked here named Rosaline adopted me and raised me as her own son. She educated me, fed me and took care of me, until that bastard Sir. M killed her.”

“Why did he kill her?” asked Oscar, although he knew that the madman and Sir. M were one and the same

“15 years back, some of us started showing signs of allergy from the drip packets administered. My mother attended those patients and analyzed the reason for the rejection. During the analysis, she found out that the drip packets produced has gone bad after three months of the production and those who used those expired drip packets has undergone allergy. She not only found those, she also discovered something interesting. Before coming to that I want to ask you one question. Do you know the origin of the disease?”

“No”

“Ok. 55 years back, the origin of the disease become an epidemic and infected the whole world? You know that at least?”

“Yes, The disease claimed many lives and those who are alive were left to rot on this fortress, I know all that. What are you trying to say?”

“Two days before the disease started spreading, there was a catastrophic shower of some unknown rays from the space. NASA named these rays as “X2 rays, since they don’t know anything about the origin or the nature of these rays. But what also no one knew was that these rays mutated a specific organism in the world. The organism which we call as bacterium “Yersinia Pestis”. The bacterium Yersinia Pestis is the one which causes the plague in human. How it works is a miracle. The bacteria will affect the rat flea first. The bacterium will form a colony inside the food track or the stomach of the rat flea, which infects the rats. The rat flea will not be able to eat any food, so due to its furious starvation, the rat flea try to feed on rats blood more rapidly. This will cause a part of the bacterial colony from rat flea’s stomach to detach itself and enter the stream of rat, hence infecting the rat. If the rat comes in contact with the things that humans use such as food or clothes they will infect the human as well.  But the mysterious rays from space mutated these bacteria and all the Yersinia Pestis bacteria in the world multiplied several trillion times and killed all the rats in the world within a day. But once all the rats are dead the bacteria adapted itself to find a new host to feed on “The Humans”. If these were to happen it should have took at least several thousand years for the evolution. But the mysterious rays mutated and evolved everything within one day. The bacteria became air borne and land borne. The bacteria started forming colonies in the food track of human beings, blocking the food and other entities to enter the food track and in addition to that, the colony secreted a nauseating antigen toxin once it encounters with something other than oxygen, it will implement a repellant action on the host which is puking in the case of Humans. The puking part was the allergy caused by the antigen. So whenever you take an x-ray of someone’s food track or chest of someone affected by the disease, you might encounter a blockage by the bacterial colony on the patients. But what my mother observed on that day was something different. Something extraordinary happened on that day. The patient’s food track was so clear that it did show neither any bacterial colony nor any blockage. Everyone in our research team was amused. My mother got the water from the toilet and asked one of the patients to drink that. First they hesitated but when one of the patients so brave and young, a girl named “Elena” came forward to drink the water. My mother gave her the water and she drank the first sip. That was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. Everyone was so shocked and stunned in a happy way with tears rolling down their eyes. Me and my mother analyzed more on Elena for three more days and found that the trace of bacterial colony was gone from her. In fact he blood samples showed antibodies which reacts with the bacteria and dissolves them. We found out that, the antibodies in the human body adapted in such a fast way, that it formed an antibody by itself for the disease within 40 years. Me and my mother performed more tests on the patients before we disclose that the disease is cured. We want to make sure that the cure is permanent and it won’t submit back to disease at any cost. During this time, I became really close with Elena. We talked for hours and laughed at things for hours. We were so happy.”

“So you are saying me that you guys are cured by yourself. But how come we are not still cured of the disease?”

“Let me continue. The discovery was not revealed to anyone other than the superiors. The superiors of my Mother asked her to announce the discovery with a powerful demo with the test subject, to the people to show that we were cured of the disease. My mother wanted the announcement to be big and sent me out of the fortress to find something to eat, some fruit or vegetable, since we never had anything to eat in years except the drip packets. She gave me a list of things that I can bring back, for the demo. I asked Elena to accompany me. But she refused and my mother advised me to leave her alone as she was the center of the demo and she could not risk Elena to go out of the fortress. I was heartbroken. I was so angry that Elena turned me down after the cure. In face she said that she was seeing someone. I decided to go out of the fortress alone and never return back”. Saying that the madman looked away from Oscar onto the iron door.

“Hey what happened next” questioned Oscar

“I was sitting in this very same room after I made my decision to leave, that is when Sir. M came to me and asked what happened. I told him everything, as to how that girl Elena turned me down. But what Sir. M was curious was about the cure. He repeatedly asked me whether we were cured of the disease. I told him everything and I left the fortress to fetch the things that my mother requested. I decided that I should return at least for my mother. But when I returned to the fortress, what I saw was…” the madman started crying and continued in the same crying tone “Everyone including my mother in the headquarters was murdered. Everyone was murdered except Elena. It was Sir. M, he ordered the soldiers from the dead control project to kill everyone on the headquarters, everyone except Elena. He tied Elena to the operating table and said that she is going to be her experimental subject in culturing the bacteria again. I can still hear the screaming of her inside my head. I fought with him. But he was stronger than me. He defeated me easily and he convinced me that once the cure is known to the people of the fortress, there will be no one left to work. There will be no one to rule. He said that the people from the bunkers will kill us all for enslaving them too long. The only thing that holds us above all is that disease. He does not want anyone in the bunkers to know that the humankind is cured. Sir. M locked me inside this room and come in periodically to torture me. He once said that he has found a solution to his problem. He said that he has discovered a formula to suppress the anti- bodies in our body and let the growth of the bacteria to sustain. But the formula is temporary in the human system. It can reside for 4 days inside the human system. After that it will get eliminated and the antibodies will kill the bacterium again. Hence he decided to add the bacteria and the formula into the drip packets which you consume as food. That is the reason why you guys cannot eat your food still. You still have the bacteria inside you. The drip packets you are administered has bacteria and antibodies in it. But Mr. Jim was discussing that you guys are showing increased immunity from the antibodies. They were discussing that the subject they tested showed increased antibody count, hence declining the lifetime of the bacteria and formula inside the human body from 4 days to 3 days. Sir. M was so mad at Mr. Jim on this. He ordered him to find a way to sustain the growth of bacteria inside the human body.”

“So what you are saying is that we were already cured and all these time we were fed the disease, so that we keep on working?”

“Yes precisely”

Oscar kicked the chair in which the madman was sitting and that made him fell from his chair. Oscar acted crazy and kicked everywhere shouting “Fuck, Fuck, Fuck” in an angry tone and started to make a mess of the place. He pushed down the rack containing the journals and the books and threw the pot on the stove across the hall. He then fell on the floor crying for a moment.

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