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It all started just outside of New York City, in 1958. Scientists had just made an amazing discovery of a type of bacteria that could multiply itself by one hundred in a second. They had always tried to keep it in an enclosed space, but one day, a man decided that he was going to go inside the air tight room that they had always set aside for the bacteria. The other scientists had heard of his idea, and eventually agreed. They made a lock type compartment that would keep anything from getting out without passing an inspection that a computer did. As the man finally got his wish, he entered the air tight room through the lock, and pulled out a high powered device that would allow him to see the tiniest of creatures. The man kept observing the bacteria and took so many notes. Then all of a sudden, the man coughed. At first he didn’t think anything of it. But then he coughed again, and again, and again. Soon he felt like he couldn’t breathe at all. Soon the man started vomiting. None of the other scientists who were watching through a window dared to go in the room to help the man in fear that they might be as sick as he was. Then the man’s breathing started to slow, until it stopped all together. The lab that this took place in was evacuated immediately and the government marked the area as uninhabitable.
Fifty Five Years Later
John and his friend Kale were about to find out what was in the old abandoned lab that was just half an hour from their home in NYC. They had been permitted to do this by the NYPD, as long as they wore radiation suits. The two quickly caught sight of the abandoned lab while they were hiking down the valley. They soon reached the old laboratory, and entered it through the rusty metal door. The place looked weird with the high tech equipment next to the rotting wooden chairs and moldy walls. The two walked around looking at different things until they came to a window that looked into an empty room, except for a skeleton lying on the floor of the room. They started to look around for a door that would get them into the room. They eventually found a large metal door that lead into a small room. On the other side of the tiny closet sized room was another metal door. John went in first, hoping to see what had caused the skeleton to die. He didn’t see anything in the room other than some dried vomit on the ground, and some futuristic looking goggles strapped to the skeleton. What John didn’t see was the millions of bacteria fleeing from their ancient prison. John had just released the worst creature that ever existed into the outside world.
. . .
Martin loved to go hiking in this area. Everyone said that it had some sort of nuclear radiation, but he knew that wasn’t true. The nice thing about hiking in the abandoned valley was that there was no one there to disturb him. That was of course before he started coughing. Soon, he went limp and breathed his last breath.
. . .
John and Kale were walking back from the lab when they saw him. They found Martin dead on the ground lying in a pool of vomit. At first, the two didn’t know what had happened to the man. That was when John realized the similarities between this man and the skeleton in the room.
“I think whatever happened to the person back at the laboratory has happened to this man,” said John.
“You don’t think that there was some kind of airborne virus in that room do you?” asked Kale.
“I don’t know, but whatever it is, it can’t be good.”
The two men ran as fast as they could to their car and sped back to the city, not removing their suits until they reached the city limits. They quickly ran back to the police station to find FBI officials in the building.
“Them!” shouted the commissioner, “They were the ones that went to the lab!”
“FBI,” said the leader of the group “Is it true that you two entered the abandoned laboratory recently?”
“Yeah, there wasn’t much in there. No nuclear radiation anywhere. In fact, there wasn’t one bit of evidence that told us of any sort of nuclear power,” said Kale.
“That is because there was something far more dangerous than nuclear radiation,” said the FBI agent,” There is a type of bacteria that can multiply itself hundreds of times in less than a second. And when this bacteria is inhaled, it can cause swelling in the lungs and other organs, causing the victim to vomit until the throat seals itself up and you suffocate. This is the reason that laboratory was abandoned, so that the bacteria wouldn’t spread and destroy hundreds of innocent lives. Now tell me boys, did either of you open up an airtight room back there?”
“Yes,” said Kale. Suddenly, he started to cough.
“Oh no,” said the FBI agent, “He’s been infected. There must have been a leak in his suit when he was back there. Kid, did you see anyone near the lab?”
“Yeah, we saw a man that had died just recently. I think he might have been infected.” said John.
“How far from the lab was this man?”
“He was about a ten minutes’ walk from the lab”
“Oh no, it’s spreading. We need to evacuate the city now!” shouted the agent, “And somebody put this man in a sterile contained area!” he added pointed at the now vomiting Kale. But by the time someone grabbed him, they were too late.
. . .
Everything was mass chaos in the city. All 8,244,910 citizens were trying to evacuate the city, but huge traffic jams had slowed down the process. Some people had given up driving and had decided to just walk through the traffic. John was upset about his friend’s death, but he knew that he had to keep people from ending up like Kale. He had decided to start handing out gas masks to people stuck in traffic so that they could continue to evacuate even when the virus reached the city. John couldn’t help but thank Garret Morgan for the lifesaving invention. That was when he heard the woman scream.
“SOMEONE’S BEEN INFECTED!” the woman screeched. All of a sudden everything got worse. Soon people were fighting to get out of the city before they were infected. Others were trying to steal other people’s gas masks. People didn’t realize that their numbers were beginning to drop. John had been tackled by dozens of people who were trying to get his airtight suit, each failing to remove the suit from him. John ran towards the police department where the FBI agents had been holding up. Every one of the agents was wearing a suit like Johns, so it was hard to tell who the head agent was. He finally found the man standing next to a microscope.
“What’s wrong kid,” said the man “did you run out of gas masks?”
“Yes, actually I did sir,” said John, “but that’s not the reason that I came.”
“Then why are you bothering me?”
“It’s reached the city.”
The man paused for a moment. “Come with me.” He said, “Oh and by the way, since we’re most likely going to die, call me Oliver. Oliver Smith.” He started to walk down a hall when all of a sudden he stopped, “I almost forgot, if we do survive this, I’m changing my name.” he said, and then he continued to walk down the hall. He then led John through a door into a makeshift laboratory. “As you can see, we have started to study the bacteria.” Oliver said, “And fortunately, we were able to catch a few samples from the place that you foolishly, but unknowingly released these creatures from. Now we are starting to find out what their weakness is.” John saw many people doing different things to what looked like empty jars, but now John knew better than to believe that. “We are starting to believe that we have found a weakness in these horrible creatures.” Oliver continued, “One of our guesses is that when they come in contact with flames that they will disappear, like other bacteria. The problem with this though is that now that they have reached the city, the only way to actually destroy them for good would be to light New York City on fire. And obviously, we can’t do that. But there may be another way.” He said.
“What might that be Oliver?” John said.
“The other guess will work a lot better than burning the city, but it’s almost impossible. In order to do it, you have to find the first of the trillions of bacteria and spray it with water. Once that is done, all of the other bacteria will die. But by the time we do that, the entire United States will be dead.” said Oliver.
“Than what choice do we have?”
“That’s exactly why I’m asking for your opinion.”
There was a long pause before John answered. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I say that we burn the city.”
. . .
“Okay!!! That’s the last of it!” shouted Oliver. He and John had just finished dumping the cities hydrogen reserves into the air. The once grand metropolis was now deserted, so it would be safe to light the fire. The streets had also been flooded with gasoline and oil. “Come on, let’s get out of here!”
The two men quickly got in a car and started to drive away when all of a sudden they heard a gunshot. John looked behind them to see the police commissioner wearing a gas mask.
“You’d better not leave that way!!!!” he shouted.
“Why not?!” Oliver shouted back.
“Because there is no way that you are going to stop the madness that I have created!”
“What are you talking about?” asked John now standing outside of the car.
“You two are not going to stop me from destroying the U.S.!”
“Why on earth would you do that?” asked Oliver, who was now also standing beside the vehicle.
“You would be surprised by what the KGB pay these days.” The commissioner now pointed his gun at John, “You think I would be stupid enough to let you and your friend go into that abandoned lab without a reason? I knew very well what was in that back room, you know.”
“How could you do this to you country?” asked the FBI agent.
“Because the Soviet Union deserves to be powerful for once.”
“Well I’m not about to let that happen!” shouted Oliver. In a split second, he drew his own pistol and shot the villains weapon out of his hand.
“Don’t you dare drive away just yet!” yelled the commissioner. The man was now holding a small cigarette lighter in his hand. One more step towards that car, and I burn everyone in the city!”
“What do you mean ‘everyone’?” asked Oliver. But the traitor didn’t even need to answer because about a dozen men walked around the corner at that moment, each holding his own gun.
. . .
The two Americans were led into the city bank by the large group of Russian spies. They were then tied up and placed in the big vault at the back of the building.
“How do you think we’re going to get out of here?” asked John.
“I don’t think we are kid,” replied Oliver. John then suddenly remembered the small pocket knife in his pocket. He quietly pulled it out and started to cut the bonds around his hands. Soon his hands were free and he started to untie his feet. “How did you do that?” asked Oliver, who was clearly surprised.
“Simple,” answered John, who was now untying his friend’s hands, “I used a pocket knife.” Soon the two were free and were prying open the safe. Once they were out, they realized what they had. They quickly started hunting for a car, until they heard another gunshot. They turned around to see two KGB agents running towards them. The two heroes shot off like the bullets being thrown at them. They ran towards the nearest car and yanked open the door. Soon, they were on their way out of the city.
Once they reached the city limits, Oliver pulled out his own lighter. In minutes, the city was in flames. “I think it’s safe to take these helmets now.” Oliver said, taking off the bulky helmet of the mask. The John did the same and watched the city burn in a giant gleaming ball of fire. Now the horror created by the traitor and ex-commissioner of New York City was gone.
6 Weeks Later
John was now living near the abandoned laboratory that had caused the destruction of the city. He missed his old home, now just a pile of ash, but he was getting used to his new home. John had just received a thank you letter from the FBI for his bravery in a time of crisis. Now that he and Oliver had gone separate ways, life was a lot more peaceful.