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A joint work, unfinished...


I crouched by the window trying not to catch myself on the glass ridden floor. Outside, gunshots were erupting from every corner, every street and every house. Most of the men ranged from burly to titch and skinny, wearing nothing but torn rags and jackets. A group of them were taking cover behind a fence, not that it would do them much good. I really should have stayed on the ship....there was no sport to be found in exterminating these pathetic natives. Still, I had a job to do.

These things were relentless, raging machines. Always searching out human blood and flesh. Past encounters had shown me the sheer brutality of these monsters. A few months had past since the initial outbreak. I still remember the crowded hospitals at that time, not so long ago. Just came home once and switched on the TV to find out that Martial Law had been announced by Parliament. Then came the curfews, the anti-infection broadcasts, the drafting of soldiers and finally the decision to exterminate the infected.

The vector was a virus that goes right to the brain. Similar to HIV, but specifically targeted to the brain regions that control emotion and empathy. The infected were driven to kill the uninfected and I was a good example of the fact that the uninfected were perfectly happy to take on the role of exterminator of the infected. What had once been the human species was now divided into two subspecies. The past five million years of human evolution had prepared us well for this war between subspecies. Five million years during which the human brain had grown as an organ selected for murder of mankind's single greatest threat and competitor....other humans.

The human animal is defined by all that specialized brain tissue that allows us to instinctively identify others who are different, view them as vile and then devise efficient campaigns for extermination of the "others". When a victor had been found in that five million year long war of the subspecies, what had been the single surviving human subspecies seemed content to move on and engineer the mass extinction of other species. But we were a ticking bomb, still primed for another round. Then this neurotropic virus arose and almost instantaneously divided the human world in two. In the past, we fought the last subspecies war with spears. Now we had bullets, bombers and nuclear warheads.

This virus has ultimately formed the subspecies Homo Bella, a deformed and ultra violent caricature of Homo Sapiens. These were the mobs rampaging the streets of London, reducing everything in their path to rubble. As a last resort America started an atomic bombing campaign on their own soil, targeting the virus strongholds. The UK followed suit and bombed Cambridge with a single 15 kiloton trident warhead.

It was a council estate. I took everything I needed for a five day siege and most of my neighbours had left for the government food supply centers, in south London. Now, the gun battle booming outside between the infected and the tanks rolling down the narrow roads hit a zenith and finally died down. I peeked out the window and caught my first clear sight of Homo Bella running, screaming and screeching out a battle cry. A crowd of them were coming in to the left of the tank and managed to climb atop it, still roaring. Fear gripped me as I saw the crew members being decapitated.

My room had old relics of days gone by, including a pile of Metro newspapers that I brought home from work and slung onto my bed. It really was in a state. Bits of wallpaper peeling off and dampness on the corners. And a plasma TV, about the size of a laptop. I stared at the screen, wondering if the emergency broadcast system was up and running again, when suddenly a bullet smashed through it. They were out there, pounding away at the ground floor windows until I heard that awful sound of glass fracture. A few seconds passed without much happening, except for the sweat forming on my brow. I couldn't bear those ten seconds of dread. But, still everything was quiet. It seemed that they had all frozen. My bedroom door fell off its hinges as the whole flat shook under the noise and shrapnel of a huge explosion. It was a missile.

Chapter oneEdit

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