NationStates Jolt Archive

Dust In The Wind

19-07-2008, 06:04
IC posts only
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any OOC post whatsoever goes here:

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A disease is spawned in a junkie's house in Atlanta, Georgia, an odd mix of various drugs, and the common cold that the man was carrying at the time. He takes a hit of the deadly concoction, and goes on a deadly drive through town, half out of his mind. The disease works quick, tearing it's way through his system, causing spasms so hard that his bones break, and his organs twist up into disfigured knots. In his death spasm, his foot nails on the gas, and his truck goes flying through the glass front of a local convienence store, killing one and injuring two.

The police and paramedics arrive on the scene within minutes to investigate, and every single one of them inhales the airborne virus into their lungs. The junkie (Ben Stintson) is pronounced dead at Atlanta Medical Center at 4:32 PM, Saturday, November 14th 1999. There were 4 deaths that day, and very few in the next week. Then, out of nowhere, 57 people were admitted one day a few weeks after, all complaining of aches and hard coughing.

A day later, everyone in in the hospital had died, except for nurse Jo Goodman, who took to running with her little girl, Kate. They got all the way to NYC before Kate died in her mother's arms. Jo was delirious from heartbreak and the sickness, and she went ranting down the streets, hacking up blood and black phlegm the whole way. She got 2 miles, and infected about 400 people before she stumbled into the intersection and fell. The 1993 Ford driver never saw her, much less her skull, until it was under one of his tires. He got out and looked briefly.

He decided it wasn't worth jail time today, and he peeled out before anyone could catch his license plate. He had a slight case of the sniffles when he got home with the present for his four year old son and wife of twelve years.

Clarence Weston sighed contentedly as he turned onto the beaten-down dirt road leading to the Weston family farm. The milk cartons bounced slightly in the back of his equally beaten-down '78 El Camino. It was a beautiful day. The trees swayed in the breeze, and they reminded Clarence of his father. He could picture his spirit drifting without a care through the green leaves.

Clarence let the car get down to about 10 miles an hour, and put his arm out the window. It was a good day. Simple, quiet, and pretty. Just the way he liked it. He wasn't even worried about his mother, whereas most days he came home, expecting to find her dead, like his father. The day he'd died, it took 4 hours before anyone knew he was dead. They figured he was just asleep. Clarence hadn't been in that godforsaken room since that day.

He pulled the car to a stop, even savoring the slight resistance when he turned the key in the ignition. As was characteristic of this car, the engine sputtered and choked to a stop. He loved it. As he stepped out of the car, he cried happily,

"I'm home everybody!"

To his shock and awe, there was no response. This had never happened before. He'd at least always heard a yell from Lucille, alerting him to her presence. But now, nothing. Not even the neighbor dog barking. Not even the birds chirping. He knew something was wrong.

He dropped the keys and sprinted into the house. It was the worst thing he'd ever seen. Right in front of the door was his 6 year old sister Lucille, an eternal scream painted on her young face. There was blood down her chin, leaking down on to her white shirt, and she was laid on her back, with her whole mouth full of blood and black flecks.

He resisted the urge to puke, but the urge to cry was too great. His knees buckled, and he stared into her glassy, unmoving eyes. She was dead. His little sister, the last child before his dad died. The Weston family angel. He picked her up and took her to the bathroom to clean her up. There he saw another gruesome sight.

His brother Steven, his best friend, his favorite person in this world, lay in the bathtub, surrounded by cloudy, bloodstained water. His eyes were open, and had the same glassy, frozen look about them. This time the urge was too great. He put Lucille down and kneeled over the toilet, retching. This lasted about a minute, and then it occured to him that his whole family was dead.

It was an abstract thought, and it didn't even fill him with much sadness, only a far off feeling of regret. He left the two in the bathroom and shut the door. He noticed that his weary feet were carrying him to his mother's room. There she lay, eyes shut, a peaceful smile on her face.

She hadn't been taken by whatever had taken the others. It was the cancer that took her. He kneeled by her bed, and uttered a quick prayer for her. Then he took her cold, frail hand between his.

"Why, mamma? Why'd you all have to go?" He broke down and started sobbing uncontrollably. "I love you Momma! I miss you! I love Daddy too! I love all of you. You tell everyone that I'm sorry for all I've done. I'm sorry for leavin' ya all alone! I'm sorry Momma! I'm sorry!"

With that, he tore out of the house and went to the car. He was looking for a gun. He was going to end it now. Clarence Weston was a strong man, but even the strongest of men would be hard pressed to not crack under this. He found the .357 in the glovebox. The wooden handle felt good in his palm, like it was meant to be there. He contemplated it for a minute, examining the smooth metal barrel. Then he stuck it between his teeth. His eyes were wild, tears flowing smoothly down his creased cheeks. His palms were sweaty. He muttered a quick prayer, and hoped his family would forgive him. He pulled the safety off, and slid his finger up and down the trigger. Then he pulled it slowly. It went in and in for what seemed like an eternity, then he felt it pull.


His whole body went numb. He dropped the gun, and sat curled up in the front seat, tears racking his whole body. About an hour later, he regained a semi-sane state of mind and sat up. His face was red and stained. His eyes, empty and hollow. He got out and picked up the keys, then sat down in the car, and shut the door gently. He turned the key in the ignition, cursing the resistance, and it put-put-putted it's way to life. He whipped around and slammed his foot on the gas, speeding out onto the open road.

Then he noticed something odd. The milk had spilled.
20-07-2008, 03:17
Here we go again. Mark walked into a brightly lit room with a long, rectangular table. Sitting around it were the head executive types that ran the lousy company Mark worked at, GM. The only reason Mark was even allowed to be in the same room as them was that he was the assistant to the head of them all, Mr. Graw. And they needed him. They all knew it too. Everybody did. That's why everybody hated him.

Mark sat down. The others glanced at him briefly, but refused to recognize him. He decided to make them. "So, now that we're all here, how about-" One of the men on the far side of the table made a soft, polite cough. Mark glared at him, then continued. "So, now that we're all here, how about if we start with-" A second man coughed, a little louder then the first. "Excuse me, but is there something you'd like to say?" The man shook his head and apologized. Right. "So then, how about if we start with Mr. Lemanski's presentation on our-" The first man coughed again, but it lasted much longer then the first time. He pulled out a handkerchief and coughed into it. Mark noticed blood at the corner of his mouth. "Sir, are you alright?" He nodded and sat down, but even as he did this, a third man broke into a coughing fit. The man at the head of the table stood up, but began coughing too. Suddenly, about half of the people in the room were coughing into their fists or handkerchiefs. Mark looked around, only slightly amused, and nothing more. "Perhaps we should continue this when we are all feeling better. Two days from now, same time sound good to you all?" The executives nodded as they left the room, heading for the bathroom.

Mark sighed and picked up his suitcase, which he hadn't even gotten the chance to open yet. What a surprise. Another meeting that nobody is ready for. he thought as he left the room.

As he left the building, he started planning for the next meeting. As he got into his car, he noticed that there were multiple people coughing in the streets. How odd, he thought. He simply started up his new ZR1 Corvette and began to drive home. He had already removed the incident from his mind. He didn't need to dwell on it. Why should he? It was just another average day in the life of Mark Mirril.
20-07-2008, 04:16

The back up band began the rain and thunder glissade ( that opened..

Riders on the storm, Riders on the storm,
Into this house were born, Into this world were thrown

Oh it wasn't my usual, but I loved that old song, and my voice carried it well, smokey and murderous...

The club was full and they were swaying to my command by the end of the set. I did three encores, then pled exhaustion. They booed, but gave me another round of appalause.

I left with a bonus in my pocket, the manager had a bad cough though. I noticed that every one seemed to.

A day spent winding through the rural back routes coming up from the southern most tip of Florida. I had no schedule and was enjoying the scenery.


I pulled the OD jacket closer about me and flipped the Iridium phone closed. The cab of my rig was warm, but I felt as cold as the oh dark thirty wind blowing outside.

"Don't come home, we're closing the routes in." Johnnie Lee had siad, his voice hard and flat with authority. I left out a long breath, and stuffed the phone in an inner pocket. I agreed with him. What ever it was that was taking down people right left and sidewise didn't need to be brought into Mountain City. Thankfully, the gap and the bridges that gave most their way into and through the tiny township hidden in the rolling mountains of northeastern most Tennessee, were easily held or sealed - blown that is - and the quarry that provided the residents of Mountain City most of their livelihoods had plenty of explosives, and my relatives had the expertise to use it effectively. By dawn - less than three hours away no one would be able to get in or allowed in if they came in via the few and little known back roads.

I couldn't make it there in time, and even though I was family...

I looked at the big gas and minimart, and swallowed hard. I didn't want to go back in there. But I needed to, to turn on the gas pumps and to strip it of every thing I could. The dead wouldn't care, and they were the only ones populating it at the moment. Slowly I stood and left the warmth of the motor coach. First the gas...

Three hours later I was sweat soaked, and jumpier than a long tailed cat in a room fulla rocking chairs. I've never felt less like singing in my entire life, and it's open knowledge that I live to sing. But the minimart is stripped, every gas tank is full, the rig's waste tanks are competely emptied and prepped, and I found two shotguns, a Remington 700 rifle and several pistols to add to my already sizeable arsenal. Not much extra ammo though.

Now to look at the maps and try to find some place to hole up till I see if I've gotten it - and to listen to the broadcasts..
20-07-2008, 20:52
Mark was driving along the highway. He liked to look at the others in their cars, to guess what kind of people they were, to evaluate the worth of their lives. Let's see... low self esteem, single mother, about 40... probably low class, poor, and is worthless. This one.... same. How about that Volvo driver? He continued like this for some time, until he realized he missed his exit. That's odd. Oh well. It's not like its the first time. He decided to head for the next exit on the left. He had never taken it before, but he liked taking new roads. It was different. It made him think.

He had heard of people becoming sick a lot lately. It seemed that they were dropping like flies. However, Mark didn't watch the news. He didn't need it. It was just filled with useless distractions from his life, so what was the point? As far as he knew, these were just crazy rumors flying around. He noticed that he had somehow ended up on a dirt road. Ugh, the country. Most boring place on earth. Then he thought of how the people were coughing at the meeting for the first time. That was very odd.... perhaps there is something to this thing spreading around... Eh, I'm sure it's nothing to worry about. He refocused on the road, only to see what looked like an old El Camino racing towards him at an incredible speed. He swerved to the right a bit on the road, just to be safe.
20-07-2008, 21:10
Kathy tossed a worn out pen into the trash bin. Why do they keep buying those things? They don't last more than a week when you chart constantly. She rummaged through her desk and finally found one that worked. She had been working double shifts to cope with the unusual number of patients in the clinic lately, even though her main duty was the intensive care unit. They'd seen more and more people coming in complaining of coughs and sniffles than usual and although it was as simple as telling them that it was just a cold and giving them scripts for cough medicine, the charting required for all of that was ridiculous.
She looked at the clock and figured she could come in early the next day to finish.
"See you tomorrow Erin." She said to the woman at the computer in the nurses' station. She had her purse and briefcase in hand and headed out to the parking garage where a Chevy Malibu awaited her. She got in, enjoying the leather seats and started the car. She was just in time to hear the news from her favorite station. A murder downtown, a bank robbery, the information she called in to them about the sudden increase of colds, and then the weather: rain three days straigt. A great ending to a great day. she thought sarcastically as she showed her pass to the ramp attendant, who raised the gate for her to leave.
20-07-2008, 21:24
Jackson West wrenched himself out of bed. "This has got to stop" he thought as he looked at the clock. He had been up all night last night, party at a friends house. Beer and guitar hero plus some questionable pizza pulsed through his veins. Rick had left with a cough and Amy was puking in the bathroom. When Jackson opened his front door he was greeted with a horrible sight. A car had rammed itself into the neighbors house, he saw the driver hanging limp from a tree limb he had caught on. He walked into the street, the setting sun casting a hellish atmosphere. From the downtown area smoke rose, blinking the sleep out of his eyes he looked farther down the street, more cars and people who had just stopped in their tracks. A woman clutched a bundle of blankets to her cold corpse, her veins webbed black. Jackson heard the sound of an approaching plane, he looked up and saw it diving towards the ground. It smashed further down the street into an office building, rending the steel supports and bringing the whole building toppling to the street, a gas line ignited, propelling shrapnel into nearby buildings. "My God"
20-07-2008, 22:51
Clarence was speeding down the road when he saw a shocking, scary, and surprising sight. Here was a blazing red ZR1 on the right side of the road, and someone was in it. Someone alive. He tried to stop, but the El Camino finally kicked out on him.

The brakes blew out, and he tried to swerve. He caught the road sideways and felt it coming. His car sailed about 8 feet into the air and started spinning like a whirling dervish. Clarence braced himself against impact, covering his head with his arms and expecting the worst.

He didn't quite get it. The small ditch by the side of the road caught his car, a catchers mitt that probably saved his life. The frame of the car compressed like a soda can, and Clarence knew the damned thing would never run again. As soon as the car stopped rolling, Clarence unbuckled his seat belt and clamored out.

He stood up and walked toward the road. Then he felt something warm by his ear. He put his hand up to it and brought it back in front of his eyes. Blood. He was in the breakdown lane when his legs gave, and the ground rushed up to meet his unconscious body.
20-07-2008, 23:06
Mark swore as the El Camino went off the road. He pulled his Solstice over on the side of the road on quickly got out. He looked over, and saw that somehow the man had walked away from his car, even though he was bleeding from the head. Mark was about to call over to him, when the man collapsed. Great. Now I suppose I have to deal with this.

He walked over to the man. "Are you alright?" He was clearly unconscious, but Mark had wanted to make sure. He whipped out his cell phone and dialed 911. He waited, but his phone couldn't connect. "Crap. Can't get a signal. Sorry." he said to the man on the ground. He continued talking out loud. "Now what? There's nobody nearby, I can't get a hold of paramedics.... so now it's my problem, huh?" He shook his head. The whole ordeal had shaken Mark a bit, but he was never one to lose control. He went back to his car and got out his traveler's first aid kit. He bandaged the couple of cuts the man had gotten on his forehead. Other then that, though, he seemed fine. "You're pretty lucky, you know that?" He picked the man up, one arm under his back, the other under his legs, and carried him back to his car. "I really wish I had gone with a bigger car now, huh?" He reclined the passenger seat all the way back using his foot, then set the man down on it. He made a point of buckling up his seat belt. "Safety first, right?" He chuckled a little at his joke. He got into the drivers seat and tried his phone again, but to no avail."No such luck, I suppose, eh buddy?" Mark wasn't really sure why he was talking out loud, but he had heard once that the last thing that people lose when they are unconscious is their hearing. Plus, no one else was around to hear him. He started up his car, and did a U-turn in the middle of the dirt road to get back to the city. "Better get you to a hospital quick, eh?" He drove fast, but not too fast, so as to keep the ride smooth.
20-07-2008, 23:24
Clarence came to, and his first notion was that he was moving. His second was that he wasn't driving. His third was that his head hurt. He tried to sit up, but his head screamed at him to stop. It kind of came back to him now. He'd seen someone..and the Camino'd flipped. Then he felt blood from his ear, and collapsed. That was it, and it came in slow bits and pieces too. He used his eyes to see if he could get his bearings. To his right was the inside of a car door.

Ok. I'm in a car.

He swiveled his eyes to his right and saw the general outline of a man, probably about 40. He looked a little nervous, but not much else. His hands rested lazily on the steering wheel. Clarence took a minute to get the implications of his current situation. This man had saved his life, more than likely. He'd also probably been the guy in the Solstice. Which meant that Clarence was in that thing, more likely than not. He was overcome by a short but violent wave of sadness. The El Camino had been kind of his best friend, and he'd probably never see it again. He choked down tears and tried to speak, alert the guy to his consciousness. But all that came out was a strangled choke, similar to that of a dying animal.

God I hope I'm not dying.
20-07-2008, 23:37
Mark was sitting back, thinking. The only reason he appeared nervous was that he was trying to think of a way to explain this to the authorities. They tended to be very nosy. Hmm... I suppose just tell them the truth. This guy was flying down the road, swerved, hit a ditch, and I took him to a hospital. And my phone wasn't working.

He turned and glanced casually at the man after he made the odd noise. "Hey, are you awake? I wouldn't think you'd be awake for awhile after a crash like that. And I'm kidding. You look great. You know, except for the blood and the freaked out expression."

Mark turned his eyes back to the road. One accident a day was good enough for him. "Don't worry, I'm taking you to a hospital. I wouldn't try moving or talking, you need to just rest. And by the way, I'm Mark. I'd shake your hand, but you don't seem up to it." Mark wasn't even sure if the man had heard him, but it didn't make much of a difference, he supposed. Mark was staying very calm, and trying to calm the man down too. And why wouldn't they be calm? It was just another day, like any other.
Nova Nippon
21-07-2008, 00:22

Six hours later, three hundred miles plus some I was in Greenville, North Carolina. What had once been a lovely small city, of just over two hundred thousand. Now the City smoulderd as some fires burned out of control, and in others wsa little more than already burnt out shells. A city of the dead, or mostly so. Though some living wanderede the streets in a seeming daze and what other vehicles were on the roads avoided the rig - some turning off with dangerous abruptness to avoid sharing roadway with me, and there were countles fenderbenders - and worse littering the streets.

Three had called when they'd finished isolating Mountain City, and sounded vastly relieved to find me alive. He told me where to go next. He had three dogs in training at a kennels just outside of town.

"All three were about finished with their training, working schutzhund training. Go get them, they'll be extra eyes and ears for you at the very least." He said before giving me directions out to where Bullocks Canine Service kennels were located. And reminded me to fill up the gas tanks at every possibility.

"Also Ro darlin, you might want to check out Hawksnest." He mentioned the newly built and very tiny resort just a few minutes drive into the mountains west of Seven Devils. That was just an hour from home, but until they knew I was clean they'd never let me through the gap.

As I hung up from him I watched a small crowd gather and break into shops across from where I had pulled over to take the call. It was jewelry, electronics and booze. They left the smart things to take completely alone. But while I watched I saw no sign of any police response. I wondered if they were all dead or too busy elsewhere.
21-07-2008, 01:18
Kathy was pulling out of the parking ramp when a car drove past, toward the ER entrance. She caught a glimpse the man in the passenger seat, passed out with blood coming from him. She swore and took off down the street, knowing the ER was working at capasity as it was. Grabbing her cell phone, she hit the speed dail for the ER's phone. "Annie? It's Kathy. Get a gurney ready, there's a man bleeding here and he's going to need care now." She pulled the Malibu up beside the car and ended the call. Shutting off the engine, she climbed out of her car and opened the other car's door. "I called in already, they're coming with a gurney and they're getting ready for a trauma case."
21-07-2008, 01:24
Mark looked over, a look of slight surprise on his face. "Now that's fast." A brunette with green eyes had just opened his passenger door while at the toll gate. Hmm... I guess I'm getting out of paying the toll? He got out of the car and walked over to Kathy. "His car rolled into a ditch. He walked away, but passed out on the road. He woke up a little bit ago in the car, but I think he's out again. He can't talk, anyway." He looked back at the man. "I'm no doctor, but it seemed like he wasn't hurt to bad, except for head trauma." He took another look the woman. "So, I can assume you work here? Sorry to call you back into work so soon. Anything I can do to help?"
21-07-2008, 01:31
"Don't worry. I may have punched out, but here, I'm always on the clock. You're basically helping me ditch paperwork anyway." Annie came out with the doctor on call and a gurney. The pulled up in the space between the cars and Kathy grabbed the neck brack on it. "And ya, you can help. Hold the doors open with Annie while Dr. Alquist and I get him in there. On three." Kathy and Alquist hoisted Clearance out of the car being careful to support critical areas. Once onto the gurney they rushed inside and started checking vitals and getting monitors on him. "Hey, driver dude, check for a wallet, I'll get papers so we can get more information on him." She ran off with Annie to the nurses station. While Ann started loading the patient history database, Kathy grabbed a clipboard with forms on it.
21-07-2008, 01:36
Mark had been about to correct her and tell her his name was Mark, but she was already gone. "Ah, whatever." He searched the man's pockets, trying not to do it too awkwardly. He came up with a wallet that had a drivers license. "Hmm.. Clarence Weston, huh? Well, I wish I could say it's nice to meet you, but I'm not sure if it would be entirely accurate for either of us. I'm Mark Mirril." Mark looked at Clarence as he said this.
21-07-2008, 03:29
Kathy came back, the clipboard in hand. "I hope you've got good handwriting." she handed Mark the clipboard. "Care to fill out as much as you can? It's just basic stuff like what happened and his name and such." She checked the monitors and grabbed his chart from the edge of the bed. After making a few notations she told the nurse the nurse that "he needs a CT scan to see what's going on and the rest of the orders are on the chart."
21-07-2008, 05:21
Mark smiled as he was handed the clipboard. Hmm... I really do hate attention from the media... and it doesn't help that I don't know what they could say about me... hmm...

He began to quickly fill out the form in flawless penmanship. It was just one of the things that came after working his job after all these years. He included every detail he could think of, including location, the man's name, all except for how he had talked to the man while he was unconscious.

Hmm.... seems fine... He looked up to the woman, then back to the clipboard. He had left all of the information about himself blank, excluding his name and any information, like his car, from the report. I'd rather not go through with all this drama I suppose.

He quickly set the clipboard on a nearby table as the woman seemed busy. "If you'll excuse me, I need to use the lavatory. I'll be right back." He walked out the door and down the hallway, not asking where the bathroom was, not waiting for an answer. It's only fair, I suppose. She didn't give me her name either.
21-07-2008, 20:23
Kathy poked her head out the door. "Do you even know where it is? I ask because you're going the wrong way." she'd read Clearence's forms quick and grabbed a vial and needle to run bloodwork and a tox screen. She put a lable on it and handed it to a nurse while she readied one of the canisters for interdepartmental transfers. She highly doubted it would hurt anything to send it that way. Besides, they had inserts designed for this kind of thing.
23-07-2008, 05:10
He turned halfway. "Oh, don't worry about me. I'll find it all right. I'm sure you're busy, don't let me keep you." He continued to walk down the hallway at the same, easy going pace.
23-07-2008, 22:19
The Kennels had been hit by the plague. There were bodies littered every where, and not just the humans. Most of the dogs were dead, or dieing. It took me awhile to go through their paperwork and figure out that the three Three had sent me for were dead. But a young male Shiloh Shepherd and a couple of half grown pups had survived. I scooped them up and got out of there.

I piloted the rig back down the road to the brand new Petsmart store. On automatic I looted it for what I thought I'd need. I didn't need to even break in - the rear loading dock door was open, courtesy of a dead body.

Then I spent a long time sitting behind the rig's wheel, just shaking and crying. Seeing hte dogs dead brought it really home to me. I like people fine, but most of them aren't worth the gold foil on their birth cirtificates. But I liked dogs and to see all those dead - and the kennel cat too ( I really liked cats more than dogs ). That just took me over the edge, and I cried for what seemed like hours.
27-07-2008, 14:51
Mark was on his way out the door, when a lady at the front desk caught him. He simply told her he was leaving because he had forgotten something, and she asked him to sign out. He smiled oddly. "Certainly," he replied. He took the chart and the pen, and after only half a second of hesitation, signed, 'Arthur Radley'. The lady thanked him, and he continued out to his car. He suddenly realized that he had left his car in front of the toll booth, and it wasn't there anymore. Darn. They must have moved it. Well, nothing to do now but look for it in this ungodly huge parking lot. Mark began walking down the rows in the parking lot, whistling to himself.
27-07-2008, 16:35
Kathy looked to the nurse at the desk. "Did he just leave?"
"Ya, I think so." she replied.
"Damnit. I need you to track him down. I have no history and want to talk to him some more, he could have a clue to what happened." Kathy ordered before joining the nurses moving Clearance to get him a CT scan.
28-07-2008, 01:21
Mark was just getting into his car when the nurse came out of the hospital with some others, obviously looking for somebody. That was fast. I thought a name might keep them back for a bit. It was a good name, I suppose. He chuckled at his joke out loud. I shouldn't have taken the time to switch my license plate. It took even longer to do it without being seen, but I think I managed. Well, time to make like a leaf and get out of here. He chuckled again as he started his car, being sure to buckle up. Safety first. The words were etched into his mind. He shifted into reverse, pulling out of his spot, and then drove for the exit of the parking lot. I don't see what the big deal is anyway. I already wrote down everything I knew. Oh well. People will be people.
04-08-2008, 07:03
Clarence came too groggily, and not in the best of states nor moods. He was on a gurney, seemingly by himself...maybe he was hallucinating? He looked around and slowly became afraid.

"Is anyone there!" he shouted, his voice trembling.
05-08-2008, 05:04
Shoot. Forgot about the toll gate. Mark was stuck in line behind another car at the gate, waiting to get out. Great. I wonder if it's a felony to lie to a nurse, or to try to get away? I hope I won't find out.
05-08-2008, 05:06
The nurse chased after the car, glad he was stuck at the toll gate. She rapped on his window. "Hey, we still need you in there. The police will need to launch a criminal investigation with something like this, and you'll be suspect number one if you don't head back."
Kathy heard the screaming and ran to Clearance. "Oh good, you're awake. We need to check things quick." She pulled out a small flashlight and checked his eye responses. "No neurological damage." she pronounced. "But we should still get that CT scan just to be safe."
05-08-2008, 05:12
Mark did his best to not roll his eyes. He didn't know if he should try to lie his way out, or go back. He decided to try the first. "Look, I think I left my phone back at the accident. I need it to call my lawyer and my family. Besides, I already gave you my name, isn't that good enough?"
05-08-2008, 05:29
The nurse laughed. "I looked at the chart, you didn't. And we have a phone you can use here. Besides that, I know your plate number now, you may as well come back in and wait for the cops."
05-08-2008, 05:33
The nurse laughed. "I looked at the chart, you didn't. And we have a phone you can use here. Besides that, I know your plate number now, you may as well come back in and wait for the cops."

OOC: I did mention him signing in at the front desk, FYI, although it was with a fake name. And I did mention that he switched license plates earlier too.

IC: Mark shook his head. Glad I thought to switch the plates. "Please ma'am, this is a big misunderstanding. I signed out at the front desk. And since you have my license number, there's no risk if I leave, now is there? Can't I just go and look for my phone? I'll be right back." Mark's tone and face were sincere, even though he knew he was anything but. He was used to lying through his teeth after years of being a businessman.
05-08-2008, 15:37
Clarence stood up and his knees shook quite a bit. He was either drugged, or hurt, that much even a backwoods country boy knew. The walls were completely white, and he surmised that it was definitely a hospital. Of some sort, at least. He tried yelling again.
Still no response. So he set his shaky legs to work and, with the support of the wall, began walking around, looking for any sign of life.

In this moment of haziness, the thought first occurred to him.

I might be the last person on Earth.
05-08-2008, 20:13
Suddenly a nurse came to him. She looked pretty young, but he was hopeful.

"Oh good, you're awake. We need to check things quick." with that, the nurse put a flashlight to his eyes. It smarted a bit, nothing major. "No neurological damage." she said with authority in her voice. "But we should still get that CT scan just to be safe."

He looked at her with confusion.

"What happened? Where am I?
06-08-2008, 03:52
Kathy smiled. "I'm Dr. Kirtch. You were in an accident. There was a man that saw you and brought you in here. We don't know why you crashed, but you're safe now. The nurse should have finished bandaging any scrapes and we want to run a few tests, but all in all, you're doing quite well for the kind of crash it sounds like you were in." She explained all of this while making a few notes on his chart. "Though the number one thing we don't know is your name. Do you remember it?"
06-08-2008, 06:01
"Clarence Weston." It all flooded his head, so much so that he fancied a slight ache. "I think...I think I flipped my car somehow. I had a seatbelt on though."

"My family's dead..."

With that, he broke down bawling like a baby
06-08-2008, 15:39
Kathy was used to desperation in patients and so she did what any good doctor would do, she became just another person and shared the pain. Kathy sat down on the bed with Clarence, put her arm around him, and held him until he was ready to stop crying, the chart left forgotten on the foot of the bed.
06-08-2008, 15:50
OOC: I did mention him signing in at the front desk, FYI, although it was with a fake name. And I did mention that he switched license plates earlier too.

IC: Mark shook his head. Glad I thought to switch the plates. "Please ma'am, this is a big misunderstanding. I signed out at the front desk. And since you have my license number, there's no risk if I leave, now is there? Can't I just go and look for my phone? I'll be right back." Mark's tone and face were sincere, even though he knew he was anything but. He was used to lying through his teeth after years of being a businessman.

OOC: I know, but she doesn't know all that.

IC: The nurse sighed. God I hope he didn't switch the plates. "Fine, go. But be back as soon as you can."
06-08-2008, 15:52
OOC: I know. But do you like the name?

IC: Mark grinned. Yeah right. "Of course." He pulled out of the parking lot and drove down the road. I'm glad that's over.

If only it was.
06-08-2008, 15:57
The nurse headed back to the ER with the information she had. Within a few minutes, she was able to type up an accurate description of the car including plates and she even caught a glimpse of part of the VIN number. She printed it out and had the story in order before the police even showed up.
06-08-2008, 16:22
Mark drove down the highway, and he saw some unusual things. There were many cars pulled over on the side of the road, and they seemed to have people in them most of the time. There were even cars stopped in the middle of the road. "Lunatics," he muttered. He continued to drive until he got to his apartment. He didn't spend much money on housing or things for his apartment, so he had a lot of money stored up in the bank. However, he hadn't been to his apartment in a week, being busy with business trips. After he parked his car, he began to climb the steps, carrying his briefcase. Did I do the right thing before? Does it matter? He stopped halfway. Something was wrong. He couldn't hear anything. Usually someone was making a racket, but there was nothing. He continued to climb, his steps echoing. When he reached the top, he dropped his briefcase, which opened and let it's contents loose all over the stairs. He didn't even notice. There was a pile of bodies on the balcony in front of him. God. This can't be real. He noticed that they seemed slick, like they were wet with something. Suddenly the woman who ran the apartment building stepped out from behind the pile with a lighter. "Hey Mark." Her voice was cracking, she was apparently having a nervous breakdown. "Guess what? While you were gone, people started to get sick. Really sick. Then they started dying. Just like that. I see you're ok. But you won't be for long. None of us will." With that she lit the lighter and threw it on the pile which ignited. Mark was frozen, incapable of moving. Gasoline. That's what it was. "But don't worry, Mark dear. This isn't real. None of it is. We just need to move on." Before Mark could do anything, she pulled a revolver out of her pocket, into her mouth, and pulled the trigger.

Mark closed the door. He was sitting in his car, drumming his fingers on the wheel. He had picked up his papers, grabbed his few belongings from his apartment, and gotten in his car. Boy, something smells... oh, right. He was sure to roll up his window. He slowly backed out of the parking lot. Why hasn't anybody noticed the fire or heard the gunshot? Unless it's happening elsewhere? That's possible. He pulled onto the highway, heading back for the hospital. It was all he had now. It was all he could think about.
07-08-2008, 16:45
Mark pulled into the hospital parking lot. He explained at the toll gate that he had simply needed to go get his phone and come back, and so he was let in. He pulled into the same spot he was at before. Fortunately, the car he had switched plates with was still there, so he switched them back when no one was around. He walked in the hospital whistling and saw the nurse at the front desk. "Hello, I just left a few minutes ago, I'm the guy who brought the man from a car accident not too long ago. Could I sign back in please?" Mark was sure to be polite.

Why wouldn't he? It was a day like any other.
07-08-2008, 23:37
Clarence finally looked up at the doctor or nurse, or whatever she was. His eyes were red, puffy, and bloodshot. He was actually out of tears.

"Alright. Let's get it done"
08-08-2008, 04:40
The nurse smiled. "Absolutely." She handed him the clipboard with a pen for him to sign and took it back with a polite "thank you" when he returned it.

Kathy nodded and called to the nurse at the desk. "Radiology ready yet?"
"They said that as long as he's conscience and seems fine that he can wait for the more pressing people to go through." She replied.
"Looks like you're waiting for a bit Clarence. Do you have pain anywhere other than cuts and bruises?"
08-08-2008, 04:47
Mark nodded. "You're quite welcome." He had even used his real name this time. He didn't really care to try to run from this anymore. He remembered the room location, to he started by heading there. He knocked on the door before coming in. "I'm back. This a bad time?"
08-08-2008, 04:49
He focused on his sensory outputs for a second, and he seemed to be ok. It was amazing, actually, that he survived a high-speed crash in that cast-iron deathtrap. He said a quick, thankful prayer under his breath. Clarence figured that the great Lord God had something in store for him.

And he wholeheartedly intended to carry out whatever mission he was given.

"No, I seem to be ok. Thank god."
08-08-2008, 05:09
Kathy nodded. "Good to hear. And no, not really. There's not much we can do until I have a chat with our CTY guys." She made a couple notes on the chart and left to go chew out radiology. She'd just dialed the number when she heard screaming from exam 6. Being the only doctor not already in a room, she ran in while the monitors went off. No pulse, no respiratory rate, nothing. "I need a crash cart in here!" she called out to the nurse, who did as promptly asked. Kathy started CPR when the nurse got in. She charged the paddles and Kathy cut open the man's shirt. After the first shock, his wife fainted, at least that's what kathy thought. A second nurse came in to check on her.
"Keep those paddles ready, she needs them." The nurse said while starting CPR. By the third shock, Kathy had no choice but to pronounce the time of death. It was the same story with the wife. The trio cleaned up, made sure the blinds were closed, and closed the door. There were calls to be made. First to the morgue downstairs and also to the family.
08-08-2008, 05:13
Mark had noticed the scream and Kathy running, but he ignored it, hoping Clarence would do the same. He looked down the hall to see the action, leaving Clarence.
08-08-2008, 05:25
Kathy reached the nurses station and called down to the morgue. "We have two people that died. I want an autopsy done on both. It's a husband and wife in exam 6 and although he came in with symptoms, they both died at nearly the same time. I'm thinking they might have been exposed to something at the same time."
The nurse meanwhile pulled out the chart on the man. "Go figure, they put the wife down as the emergency contact." She dialed the number of the police and told them what had happened. They'd look up the information needed.
Kathy hung up the phone and looked to Mark. "Can I help you?" she asked him.
08-08-2008, 05:26
Clarence heard the screaming, and his subconcious told him to run, to get away from it. He knew it was the same thing that killed his family. He didn't know why, but he knew. He launched out of the bench he was sitting in and ran into the parking lot. After emptying his guts onto the asphalt, he sat down and stared into the sky.

"Why?" He asked simply.
08-08-2008, 05:27
Mark shrugged. "No, I don't think you can. But thanks for asking. Don't you have a patient to attend?" Mark turned around and started to walk for the parking lot. He had seen Clarence out of the window, but he didn't feel like telling the nurse. She should be more careful with her patients anyway.
08-08-2008, 05:29
Kathy ran after Clarence. "You've not been discharged. Get back to your room or I'll have security restrain you. Besides, we still don't know why you crashed or what could be going on. If you leave now, you could be in serious trouble later."
08-08-2008, 05:32
"Ma'am, I don't intend on runnin'. I intend on tryin' to help as much as I can. But I need to know why this damn thing hasn't taken me too."

With that, he got off his knees, and turned his back on the girl, walking back to his room without a word.
08-08-2008, 05:35
Mark walked down the hallways, thinking to himself. Hmm.... a virus killing people? It makes sense... and some aren't affected by it? I wonder if I am... if it is a virus, I was only exposed to it today, since I was gone from the apartment for a week. So, there's a good chance I'll die. I wonder how long I have? Or more importantly, am I even sane anymore? Mark stopped his thinking to see Clarence heading back to his room. He decided to follow him and make sure he didn't do anything stupid. It seems like he's immune anyway. I wonder why?
08-08-2008, 05:40
Clarence sat down on the hospital bed. He hung his head and shook it. He couldn't seem to cry anymore. Damn good thing, because he was finally thinking logically. Clarence Weston was a logical man in general, even though he was uneducated. He reasoned out that whatever was happening, wasn't happening to him. That must mean he was immune, or one lucky bastard. That also meant that someone else was probably immune, and they needed to help each other.

He looked up to see Mark pushing open his door.

"Hey fella, thanks again. Whaddaya need? Do you know what's happening?"
08-08-2008, 05:41
Mark walked into Clarence's room. He might be odd, but Mark wasn't unsympathetic. "Hey, how are you holding up?" Mark sat down as he said this.
08-08-2008, 05:44
"Well, to be honest, I feel like shit." he managed with a dry chuckle.
08-08-2008, 05:47
"Well, for what I can guess you've been through, that's not too bad. Tell me, why did that freak you out so much? Lemme guess, you saw a bunch of dead people for that shouldn't have been dead?" Mark wasn't trying to be rude, he was just blunt by nature.
08-08-2008, 05:49
"Just my whole family."
08-08-2008, 05:54
"Ah." Mark looked out the window. Mark wasn't sure if he should tell him.... but he figured he at least deserved the truth. "Yeah, I saw a bunch of people dead too. Just a few minutes ago, I left and came back while you were unconscious. They were my neighbors though. At an apartment. But it was weird. The landlord survived. She had gone insane though. I'm not sure if it was the disease, or the deaths that did it, but either way she burned all those bodies when I got there then killed herself in front of me. Kinda weird, really." Mark started straight ahead as he said this, his tone as dull sounding as if he were talking about the weather.
08-08-2008, 05:55
Kathy walked back in. "Call radiology. Tell them he's getting that scan and now. We're adding mood swings to his list of symptoms too." The nurse went into Clarences room and amended the chart after calling radiology.
Dr. Kirtch's pager meanwhile went off. It was from the dean of medicine with a memo from the CDC. He was calling all doctors to his office. "Lankenau's requesting a meeting. Page me if it's urgent." She said to the nurse before heading off to the nearest conference room. It was typical that they'd just use the conference system and talk with everyone without them all having to be in the same room. It let people at home call in too so it was extremely convenient. Once everyone was accounted for, the dean started speaking.
"The CDC sent a fax to every major hospital and we're responsible for sending it out to the clinics and smaller hospitals nearby. It says that there's a virus going around with cold and flu like symptoms." He paused for a second, presumably taking a drink of water. Jacob was after all a very stressed and easily upset man. "We are to quarantine anyone who comes in to help stop the spread." There was an outburst in every room.
Everything from "We don't have that kind of capasity." to "that's nearly everyone that comes in." Once it died down, Lankenau continued.
"I realize all of that. But the CDC's orders have to be followed. Kirtch and Hosie, you guys are in the ER, start admitting."
Amber sighed. "How did I know this would come down on us?"
"Cause we're that damn lucky, that's how." Kathy had ended the call and left the room, Amber right behind her. The walked to the lobby and started speaking to the crowd. "Ok people, who here's been experiencing flu or cold like symptoms?" Everyone raised their hand. "You're admitted. The CDC has given us orders to quarantine everyone in order to prevent the spread of a possible epidemic." The crowd nearly went into a panic but between the nurses and a few extra doctors, the start of admitting everyone began.
08-08-2008, 05:58
Clarence watched the nurse come in and scribble something on a chart by his bed. He decided to check it later, and looked at Mark.

"Mister, I'm a deeply religious man, and I personally think this happened for a reason. You ever read the bible? Heard of Noah? I think this is like that. I think something really bad is going to happen. I think almost all of us are going to die."
08-08-2008, 06:01
Clarence watched the nurse come in and scribble something on a chart by his bed. He decided to check it later, and looked at Mark.

"Mister, I'm a deeply religious man, and I personally think this happened for a reason. You ever read the bible? Heard of Noah? I think this is like that. I think something really bad is going to happen. I think almost all of us are going to die."

Mark knew enough about the bible, but he hadn't thought about religion lately. He wasn't sure what he thought about it. "Maybe. So, you're saying that this disease will kill all evil people, leaving only good? Does that include your family?"
08-08-2008, 06:02
"I'm saying it'll kill everyone but His chosen. The ones who are meant to rebuild. And yes, apparently, that does include my family. I don't know why He did it, but I'll be damned if I'm going to betray the will of the lord."
08-08-2008, 06:07
Mark shrugged. "You might be right. I guess I'll find out soon enough. I'd been out of town for a week, so I was just exposed to the virus today. Guess that means I'm a goner, huh? Do you have any idea how long it would take?" Mark was starting to sound bored.
08-08-2008, 06:08
Clarence decided to stop preaching. Mark looked bored.

"Hmm. I'd say about a day. So, you should probably be dead in about 2 hours. But you look ok. What's your plan anyways? What are you going to do if you live?"
08-08-2008, 06:11
Kathy walked into the room. "Well it seems we've got some problems. First off, you two are headed to our quarantine area. Second, Clarence, you're not going to get that CT scan until we can find a way to sanitize radiology afterward."
08-08-2008, 06:12
"Oh, I don't know. Assuming I survive, and keep sanity, if I have any left. I guess it's one of those things you'd have to wait and see." Mark coughed into his sleeve, then looked back up. "I wonder if dying hurts...."
08-08-2008, 06:16
Mark had kept talking while the nurse was, and he didn't look up when he was done. "So, what about you? You've been around us for a bit. Shouldn't you be quarantined too? But I'm sure you've thought of that. After all you're the doctor." He stood up. "If he's right," he said, motioning to Clarence, "then I've only got a couple of hours. Could I maybe get something to drink? Non-alcoholic, I've got a bad kidney." He was grinning slightly as he said this.
08-08-2008, 06:16
Clarence ignored Mark for a second and turned to the doctor.

"I'll go. But I'd like to know exactly what's going on."
08-08-2008, 06:29
"There's a vending machine on the way there. And yes, the whole ER is going to be quarantined. Why they don't just have us stay here I do not know, but we've got to be moved. What's going on is that the CDC fears there may be a pandemic because people have been dying of common colds. I tried to treat a man earlier who had flu like symptoms too, but he died in exam 6, his wife shortly thereafter." Kathy explained while picking up the chart. "But since both of you seem to be the picture of health, I'm guessing you don't have it."
08-08-2008, 06:32
Mark coughed again, as if to contradict the nurses last comment. "I'm not quite flu-like, but I seem to have caught a cough. I guess a drink will help with that, huh? I hope I live, anyway. So, where to now? Oh, and I don't think we've been introduced. I'm Mark. And you are?" He held out his hand as he asked this.
08-08-2008, 06:35
Clarence worriedly noticed how Mark was coughing, but chalked it up to coincidence. He watched as he stretched out his hand, and waited on the bed.
08-08-2008, 06:35
"I'm Dr. Kathy Kirtch." She said, shaking his hand. "And that's not good. You're going to be separated from Clarence then, I regret to say."
08-08-2008, 06:38
He shrugged. "Fair enough. There's no reason to regret it. Just point me in-" Mark raised his hand to cover his mouth as he coughed again. "Sorry. So, just point me in the right direction and I'll be on my way."
08-08-2008, 06:39
"Well Mark, I'll see you soon I hope." He stood up and looked at Kathy. "Ok, well I suppose we should get this show on the road, huh?"
08-08-2008, 06:42
"Yeah, I suppose the same here. Well, I'm ready to go to. What now, doc?"
08-08-2008, 06:43
"Not yet, we're sorting the people in the lobby out. I've just been given the task of talking to everyone in the exam rooms. I'll come get you when it's time to go." Kathy was starting to get attached to these two. "But right now, I've got five more exam rooms to go talk to." She left the room and began to repeat the process.
08-08-2008, 06:47
Clarence sighed. He was getting a little sick of this room.
08-08-2008, 06:47
Mark sat down. "Eh, this has been some day, huh?"
08-08-2008, 06:53
"In the hour I've been around for, yeah. So, what happened to me?" Clarence asked
08-08-2008, 06:55
"What do you mean? I basically drove you here after the crash, where the nurses put you in a bed. You were sleeping for a bit.... I'm not sure what you're getting at."
08-08-2008, 06:58
"I mean how'd I crash?"
08-08-2008, 15:48
"Oh... well, I was driving along, when you started coming down the road from the opposite way. You were kind of in the middle of the road, going who knows how fast, so I pulled over to the side of the road. For some reason, you swerved off the other-" Mark pulled his arm over his mouth to cough again. "Er, the other side of the road, flipping your vehicle. You walked out, I think you were bleeding, and collapsed on the road. I took you to my car, and... well, the rest is history."
10-08-2008, 23:44
"My god. I'm glad I'm ok, that's for sure. Thanks."

Clarence was beginning to become actively afraid of that cough.
11-08-2008, 02:11
Mark opened his mouth, only to cough again into his sleeve. When he pulled his arm away from his head, there were a few red speckles on his sleeve. "Yeah, sure, don't mention it." Mark seemed distant, his mind elsewhere. "So, should-" Mark raised his arm to his mouth again, but he held back his cough this time. "So should I be quarantined now? Maybe with something to drink, my throat is sort of scratchy, if you haven't noticed."
11-08-2008, 03:47
Kathy walked back in as he was asking. "We were just about to move." she spotted his sleeve. "From the cough?" She asked. "Well, you'll be quarantined soon enough. Let's go." Kathy led the two out of the room and instructed them to head for the entrance to the main part of the hospital. "I need to help move some of the higher risk and more injured people around." she explained. "I'll meet up with you later though." and with that she went to the next exam room to explain what was going on.
11-08-2008, 05:09
Mark hadn't even listened to Kathy as he followed her. He simply walked to the entrance of the hospital, his mind wandering. He was coughing every once in a while, at times it seemed to slow down, at other times he seemed to never stop. He watched as Kathy left. There was something about the way she moved.... now that he thought about it, the way everything moved... it just seemed off, and it annoyed him. He tried not to think to much about it though. Too much of that kinda thinking drives people nuts, he thought to himself.
13-08-2008, 02:12
Mark was just trying to suppress his thoughts when he started into a coughing fit. At first it seemed like an ordinary cough, but he kept coughing into his sleeve, and he quickly found he couldn't stop. He could feel the blood oozing out of his throat as is splattered on his sleeve. It wasn't a lot, but it was enough to give him worry. Am I going to die like this? But odd, everybody else has flu-like symptoms... what could it mean? Mark was beginning to feel lightheaded as he kept coughing, his vision began to darken. Odd, it doesn't even hurt too bad....