This story is a prologue to my in-development Sci-Fi thriller, Hard as Roxx. It paints the story of a slow decline of Earth’s culture into dystopia. It is also an alternate take to the scenario painted in the story “Due South.” Admittedly, this is quite atypical for a short story. However, I thought fans of science fiction would enjoy seeing how one small event can trigger another, leading to a complete change to life as we know it. This is will be presented in several parts, depending on interest. I hope you enjoy the story. Fellow writers are free to use the 21st-century timeline as a basis for their stories, but I would appreciate an acknowledgment if you do. Peace – BJ
Transcript of the Testimony of Dr. Trint Sandahl, Chief of Anthropological Medicine, The Newborg Institute, 27 October 2147
During the early years of the twenty-first century, a well-intentioned, but ill-advised scientist attempted to learn if he could “influence” the malaria strain to be treatable by flu drugs. What he created, due to mutation by the virus in concert with poorly executed containment protocols, was a strain treatable by neither malarial nor antiviral drugs. Man created a bug, and nature, being designed to encourage life, found a way for it to become a new species.
It took time for the new species to take hold, as it first had to find a host sufficient to its needs. Birds were an easy first choice. They were accessible; they were mobile and content to flock in large groups. The interacted freely with other host species. This was important to the burgeoning life form, as it took several generations of the virus to become prolific at surviving outside of a host for more than brief periods of time. Within a few months – lifetimes in the virus’ evolutionary cycle – it had developed the ability to leap from host to host. Within another few weeks, it mutated again and was able to leap from birds to accommodating pigs living nearby. From there, it was a simple matter to take the final leap to human hosts – caretakers of the pigs and willing to flock and migrate as readily did the birds.
The new world order had begun, with a small, otherwise unremarkable species fighting Homo sapiens for dominance. The best human minds struggled to understand how the virus continued to mutate at such a prodigious rate, and why the best efforts of human beings could do little to stop its annihilation of the human species. Early in the virus’s onset, human science focused on the why. Why would a human-influenced viral combination, combined from two controllable viruses, wreak such havoc? Why did all the mutation and adaptation models for such an organism fail? Why was this single germ threatening all of humanity? Why?
Unfortunately, they were looking for the answers in laboratories, when, perhaps, they should have been looking in nature. Human beings had executed a slow, but inexorable extinction of much of the world’s species almost since the beginning of the Industrial Age. Now before you react, esteemed members of the Security Council, this is not some environmentalist rant you are hearing. Remember, I wrote this speech in the sanctity of the twenty-second century, dictated it to my lovely admin bot, and present it here, surrounded by the best that the human species has to offer. And while I love and study nature, I just as readily embrace our world’s technology. Still, because of us, the world as we knew it has changed drastically, with many species lost forever. The Earth, however, has survived. Nature has thrived.
All of our models failed, you see, because nature does not simply abhor a vacuum; she fills it with life. The sole purpose of nature is to sustain life, any life. Humans, in their quest to conquer nature, were dominating the planet, but were creating a biological vacuum where diversity once reigned. Nature, my colleagues, is easy to understand: diversity good, vacuum bad. Even a Neanderthal could understand it. [Laughter] Perhaps the new species – our small, ungainly virus – was restoring the biological harmony. The new virus was new life, atop the food chain, so to speak – much as humans had been. It continued to mutate beyond our abilities to combat it, because nature designed new life to survive. It was a new species, and nature protects its own.
Humans destroy life. The Earth, because of its design, has allowed humans to evolve into something else, something that is in harmony with the rebuilt earth. We here, are the first newly evolved man, Homo Novus, and if we do not learn the lessons of the past, we shall be succeeded by yet another species. Nature will correct us again, if she needs to. She is a tough mother, nature. As a mother myself, I understand why.
Nature, ladies, gentlemen, and esteemed robots, abhors dominant species. That is why she allowed such a minor species – a genetically modified flu virus – to change the course of human history. Let us hope we can learn from our history – finally.
(to be continued)