Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Infection

In the beginning, the Infection was not called a disease. It was meant to be a medical miracle, a way to extend the length of one’s life. The scientists who created it were ecstatic over the invention of a concoction that seemed to have no faults, no flaws. They began studying the brain in hopes of targeting it, making it stronger and altering it in nonthreatening ways.
This concoction had some unexpected side effects that were not recognized or identified when tested on animals. By the time it was tested on humans, it was too late.
This so-called medical miracle was able to preserve the vital organs indefinitely, making them far more durable than they were naturally. Instead of targeting the weaknesses diseases and cancers left behind, the medicine strengthened the organs that would be affected in the long run. This medicine was meant not to cure cancer and diseases, but to prevent them. For example, a family with a concern of lung health might have their child injected to strengthen the lungs to stave off lung cancer.
The side effects that were a result of these alterations to the body were drastic and so unexpected that they were entirely overlooked. Major damage was inflicted upon the brains of those injected with the “medicine.” The frontal lobe was one of the immediate effects of the injection. The reasoning and speech of those injected took major hits, causing those with the drug to make illogical decisions and struggle to communicate.
The parietal lobe was not affected much, if at all. The recognition in an Undead’s eyes is genuine. The recognition, movement, and perception of stimuli seem to be mostly intact. We still do not know what has caused this lobe of the brain to be left unscathed, but as far as scientists can tell, this lobe has received little damage. It is possible that over time, the Infected’s parietal lobe sustains damage, but as of now, any such damage is not evident.
The occipital lobe also seems to suffer little to no damage. Again, the reason is unknown, but it appears that the Undead have vision that is just as sharp as any human’s. It is, however, unknown whether or not if any change in vision occurs, such as bad vision improving after Infection, or deteriorating.
The damage to the temporal lobe is still being evaluated. The extent of the damage could potentially be severe, but is hard to tell at this point in time, as the Undead cannot simply report to us what it is that they remember from life before Infection.
As the temporal lobe of the Undead is still being studied, so is the cerebellum. The cerebellum is typically associated with the coordination and control of movement, but it does not appear that the Undead have any loss of coordination. Perhaps they lack control of their movement, but we do not know if they cannot control what they do, or if they are simply too desperate for human blood to control their actions.
It’s also believed that the hypothalamus took one of the biggest hits when injected with the drug. The hypothalamus in humans controls emotion, thirst, hunger, and circadian rhythms. It is thought that emotion is limited or nonexistent in the minds of the Undead. Along with little emotion is the constant thirst and hunger for blood. Unfortunately, scientists are unable to conclude if this is a real thirst for blood, or a simple need for sustenance. As for circadian rhythms, it appears as if they are completely obliterated. Undead do not seem to have a preference for the time of day, probably mostly because they do not sleep, another part of the brain affected by the drug. The Undead do not sleep. Their minds automatically repair themselves alarmingly, and since this is nothing that has been seen before, scientists are at a loss for why this is. They believe that it could perhaps be a benefit of the drug, a way for the brain to repair half of itself at a time, similar to a dolphin, but there have been few to no advancements on this theory.
It has not been ruled out that during the short period of time between the injection of the drug into the blood stream and the waking point that the brain is reconstructed, although it does not appear different. A setback in studies remains with technology and equipment spread out all around the world in places that are now deemed unreachable or unsafe due to large populations of Undead inhabiting them, waiting in a state somewhat like sleep for somehow to come to them to provide the sustenance they need.
Alan Canter from Chicago, Illinois invented the “miracle medicine.” He was extremely confident and passionate about his work, so it was natural that he would involve his family, including his newborn daughter. After many experiments on animals, the results always outstanding, Alan was finally ready to test his creation on a human subject. He was given permission, as the experiment had seemed successful, the results nothing short of miraculous.
After injecting baby Katelynne, Alan waited eagerly for the results, hoping to extend his daughter’s life, sure that the results would be incredible and world-changing. Katelynne responded well to the injection, and everything was going as planned. She was responding just as the animals Alan had tested had, and this was encouraging. Alan did not think anything of Katelynne’s stopped heart, especially when it restarted.
Alan did not, however, anticipate the quickly-changing eyes on the face of his young daughter. Within minutes of awakening, Katelynne’s blue eyes were swallowed by the pupil, and soon the pupil dilated so much that there was no white left. Puzzled by the odd side effect, Alan approached his daughter to get a closer look.
Katelynne looked up at her father with recognition, her chubby face breaking into a smile of recognition, her two teeth barely visible. She held out her fat little fingers, and Alan smiled in relief, reaching for his daughter. Before he could pull his hand back, Katelynne had sunk her teeth into his outstretched finger and sucked at the tiny droplets of blood greedily.
Alan pulled his hand back, eyeing his daughter regretfully. At that point, he still did not realize the danger. He continued to observe Katelynne, taking many notes. A half hour later, Alan died and came back. It happened so unexpectedly that his crew of scientists soon succumbed to the Infection. One man, James Leo, escaped the others, but in his haste did not shut the doors behind him. The Undead scientists followed him out.
Since no one knew of the lethal Infection, the fatalities in Chicago were horrifying. Seven-eighths of Chicago’s population fell into the hands of the disease within the next two weeks, and those who did not fled the city. Without any barriers to stop the Undead, they moved from city to city, letting loose illness across the country. News reports on the miracle medicine gone wrong saved many lives of those who hastened to throw up wards, but the damage was done. The U.S. Army found itself fighting its own nation as Undead lined the streets and brought down children, adults, and elderly.
Two-thirds of the country was gone. Dead. Irretrievable from the horrible claws of the Infection. The remaining one-third slowly fought back the waves of Undead, losing another half of their population to Infection and starvation, as they were unprepared for such an occurrence. The remaining one-sixth of what was once the United States hardened into warriors, survivors. They slowly regained control of city after city, built impenetrable barriers, fashioned deadly weapons, trained long and hard for another attack of the merciless Undead, and learned to live in brand new circumstances.




Join the Discussion


This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

McKaylaMorey said...
today at 9:38 am:
Dearest Elaine, This is your best friend. I loved this piece of delicous art you graced my life with. My life is now complete. Thank you. --Mickey-Poop
 
ElaineEL27This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
today at 10:15 am :
Awh, thank you, Mickey-doodle-doo. I knew you were my best friend for something. :)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback