Why oh "Y" Is the Cure Infectious

May 11, 2017
By T.Prescott, Merritt Island, Florida
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T.Prescott, Merritt Island, Florida
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​Terri​ ​woke​ ​to​ ​the​ ​cool​ ​morning​ ​air​ ​on​ ​her​ ​face,​ ​sunlight​ ​trickling

through​ ​the​ ​thin​ ​curtains​ ​draped​ ​over​ ​the​ ​windows.​ ​Getting​ ​up,​ ​she​ ​followed
her​ ​easy​ ​morning​ ​routine:​ ​Tidy​ ​the​ ​bed,​ ​brew​ ​a​ ​pot​ ​of​ ​coffee,​ ​and​ ​see​ ​her
husband​ ​James​ ​off​ ​to​ ​work.​ ​He​ ​took​ ​a​ ​cup​ ​of​ ​coffee​ ​and​ ​headed​ ​down​ ​the
driveway​ ​to​ ​his​ ​car.​ ​As​ ​James​ ​left,​ ​Terri​ ​sat​ ​down​ ​on​ ​the​ ​sofa​ ​with​ ​a​ ​cup​ ​of
coffee​ ​and​ ​grabbed​ ​the​ ​journal​ ​she​ ​kept​ ​from​ ​under​ ​the​ ​couch​ ​cushion,
deciding​ ​it​ ​was​ ​a​ ​good​ ​time​ ​to​ ​write​ ​a​ ​new​ ​entry.


Another​ ​day,​ ​just​ ​like​ ​it​ ​is​ ​always.​ ​I’m​ ​beginning​ ​to​ ​grow​ ​tired​ ​of
the​ ​​ ​same​ ​old​ ​schedule,​ ​same​ ​cleaning,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​days​ ​don’t
differentiate​ ​as​ ​much….
Terri.​ ​August​ ​14​ ​1953


She​ ​sighed,​ ​knowing​ ​that​ ​no​ ​matter​ ​what​ ​efforts​ ​she​ ​made,​ ​it​ ​was
either​ ​this​ ​or​ ​go​ ​hungry.​ ​Terri​ ​didn’t​ ​know​ ​much,​ ​so​ ​it​ ​was​ ​hard​ ​to​ ​get​ ​a​ ​job,
although​ ​she​ ​did​ ​have​ ​a​ ​definite​ ​liking​ ​towards​ ​science.​ ​She​ ​liked​ ​to​ ​inquire
about​ ​science,​ ​but​ ​it​ ​was​ ​hard​ ​to​ ​get​ ​a​ ​job​ ​in​ ​it.​ ​Specifically,​ ​she​ ​was
interested​ ​in​ ​medical​ ​science.​ ​How​ ​the​ ​body​ ​works,​ ​reacts​ ​to​ ​things,​ ​and
antibiotics​ ​that​ ​can​ ​cure​ ​disease.​ ​​ ​Her​ ​sister​ ​had​ ​also​ ​been​ ​in​ ​the​ ​same
field,​ ​and​ ​Terri​ ​got​ ​most​ ​of​ ​her​ ​information​ ​from​ ​the​ ​things​ ​Alice​ ​did,​ ​as
James​ ​did​ ​not​ ​want​ ​Terri​ ​to​ ​be​ ​doing​ ​this.​ ​Alice​ ​had​ ​managed​ ​to​ ​get​ ​a​ ​job​ ​in

a​ ​lab​ ​and​ ​she​ ​frequently​ ​focused​ ​on​ ​curing​ ​disease,​ ​and​ ​occasionally​ ​just
experimented​ ​around​ ​with​ ​genes​ ​and​ ​how​ ​they​ ​reacted​ ​to​ ​other​ ​genes. 

Currently,​ ​there​ ​were​ ​many​ ​things​ ​going​ ​on​ ​inside​ ​the​ ​lab,​ ​little​ ​to
Terri’s​ ​small​ ​knowledge​ ​of​ ​the​ ​world​ ​around​ ​her.​ ​Alice​ ​had​ ​not​ ​told​ ​her
anything​ ​that​ ​was​ ​going​ ​on​ ​inside​ ​the​ ​world​ ​of​ ​the​ ​scientists,​ ​and​ ​honestly
didn't​ ​plan​ ​to​ ​unless​ ​she​ ​got​ ​asked​ ​directly.​ ​There​ ​was​ ​no​ ​need​ ​for
someone​ ​like​ ​her​ ​poor​ ​little​ ​sister​ ​to​ ​have​ ​this​ ​knowledge,​ ​just​ ​to​ ​spread​ ​it
around​ ​like​ ​a​ ​rumor​ ​in​ ​high​ ​school.​ ​Through​ ​Terri’s​ ​eyes,​ ​this​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​thing
was​ ​meant​ ​to​ ​be​ ​spread​ ​around​ ​to​ ​the​ ​general​ ​public,​ ​to​ ​be​ ​known​ ​by​ ​all
people,​ ​but​ ​she​ ​didn't​ ​know​ ​that​ ​advertising​ ​this​ ​was​ ​possibly​ ​the​ ​worst
thing​ ​that​ ​one​ ​could​ ​do. 

As​ ​soon​ ​as​ ​people​ ​get​ ​a​ ​glimpse​ ​of​ ​what​ ​they​ ​were​ ​doing,​ ​the​ ​world
would​ ​go​ ​crazy​ ​over​ ​it.​ ​What​ ​once​ ​was​ ​something​ ​that​ ​was​ ​impossible
would​ ​be​ ​now​ ​obtainable​ ​by​ ​mankind,​ ​and​ ​available​ ​for​ ​all​ ​to​ ​use,​ ​just​ ​as
everyone​ ​would​ ​want​ ​it​ ​to​ ​be.​ ​Genetic​ ​development​ ​could​ ​get​ ​so​ ​big​ ​that
the​ ​demand​ ​would​ ​make​ ​it​ ​impossible​ ​to​ ​get,​ ​even​ ​for​ ​those​ ​who​ ​actually

did​ ​need​ ​something​ ​through​ ​it.​ ​Things​ ​like​ ​this​ ​worried​ ​the​ ​few​ ​that​ ​were
working​ ​in​ ​the​ ​lab​ ​with​ ​Alice.

Terri​ ​got​ ​up​ ​to​ ​call​ ​her​ ​sister.​ ​She​ ​didn't​ ​really​ ​know​ ​why​ ​she​ ​had​ ​had
this​ ​urge,​ ​but​ ​James​ ​had​ ​left,​ ​so​ ​they​ ​might​ ​as​ ​well​ ​go​ ​out​ ​for​ ​lunch​ ​for​ ​no
apparent​ ​reason​ ​at​ ​the​ ​time.​ ​She​ ​grabbed​ ​a​ ​five​ ​dollar​ ​bill​ ​off​ ​the​ ​counter
and​ ​shoved​ ​it​ ​into​ ​the​ ​pocket​ ​of​ ​her​ ​dress.​ ​She​ ​grabbed​ ​the​ ​receiver​ ​off​ ​the
phone​ ​and​ ​spun​ ​the​ ​rotary​ ​correctly​ ​for​ ​Alice’s​ ​phone​ ​number.​ ​Her​ ​sister
responded​ ​and​ ​said,​ ​“Hello​ ​Terri,​ ​Nice​ ​day,​ ​isn’t​ ​it?​ ​How​ ​are​ ​you?”​ ​a​ ​silence
prevailed​ ​for​ ​a​ ​second​ ​as​ ​Terri​ ​gathered​ ​her​ ​thoughts.​ ​Maybe​ ​she​ ​might
ask​ ​about​ ​the​ ​research​ ​going​ ​on​ ​within​ ​the​ ​science​ ​community.​ ​“I’m​ ​alright,
but​ ​I​ ​was​ ​wondering​ ​if​ ​you​ ​would​ ​want​ ​to​ ​go​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Crystal​ ​Cafe​ ​diner​ ​with
me​ ​in​ ​an​ ​hour.​ ​How​ ​about​ ​it?”​ ​“Oh!​ ​That​ ​sounds​ ​wonderful.​ ​Meet​ ​you​ ​there.
That​ ​is​ ​the​ ​one​ ​that​ ​is​ ​about​ ​a​ ​five​ ​minute​ ​walk,​ ​correct?”​ ​Terri​ ​grinned​ ​as
she​ ​realized​ ​that​ ​her​ ​plan​ ​would​ ​work​ ​just​ ​as​ ​planned.​ ​“Yeah!”​ ​she
exclaimed,​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​too​ ​excitedly​ ​for​ ​the​ ​context​ ​of​ ​the​ ​phone​ ​call.​ ​“Okay,​ ​see
you​ ​there,​ ​Ter.​ ​Bye!”


She​ ​ended​ ​the​ ​call​ ​and​ ​placed​ ​the​ ​phone​ ​back​ ​where​ ​it​ ​belongs.​ ​She
could​ ​not​ ​wait​ ​to​ ​get​ ​to​ ​the​ ​cafe​ ​and​ ​have​ ​a​ ​discussion​ ​with​ ​her​ ​older​ ​sister.
Terri​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​get​ ​a​ ​quick​ ​shower​ ​so​ ​she​ ​could​ ​fix​ ​her​ ​messy​ ​hair​ ​with​ ​the
curlers​ ​and​ ​hair​ ​dryer.​ ​She​ ​carefully​ ​selected​ ​a​ ​blouse​ ​and​ ​skirt​ ​to​ ​wear​ ​to
the​ ​diner,​ ​making​ ​sure​ ​it​ ​was​ ​comfortable​ ​enough​ ​to​ ​walk​ ​in.​ ​She​ ​walked
across​ ​the​ ​house​ ​to​ ​go​ ​into​ ​the​ ​bathroom​ ​with​ ​her​ ​clothing.​ ​She​ ​hopped​ ​in
the​ ​shower​ ​and​ ​managed​ ​to​ ​be​ ​out​ ​within​ ​five​ ​minutes.​ ​She​ ​threw​ ​the​ ​outfit
she​ ​has​ ​previously​ ​chosen​ ​on​ ​and​ ​got​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​bathroom​ ​with​ ​her​ ​wet
hair.​ ​She​ ​went​ ​to​ ​the​ ​living​ ​area​ ​of​ ​the​ ​house​ ​and​ ​grabbed​ ​her​ ​rollers​ ​off​ ​of
the​ ​coffee​ ​table.​ ​She​ ​knew​ ​that​ ​she​ ​did​ ​not​ ​have​ ​much​ ​time,​ ​so​ ​instead​ ​of
air​ ​drying​ ​it​ ​like​ ​the​ ​traditional​ ​way,​ ​Terri​ ​decided​ ​that​ ​it​ ​would​ ​be​ ​better​ ​to
just​ ​dry​ ​them​ ​the​ ​fastest​ ​way,​ ​unnaturally.​ ​When​ ​she​ ​had​ ​finished​ ​drying​ ​her
hair,​ ​she​ ​pinned​ ​her​ ​locks​ ​in​ ​place​ ​and​ ​hairsprayed​ ​them​ ​so​ ​they​ ​would
stay.​ ​She​ ​put​ ​on​ ​a​ ​pair​ ​of​ ​flat​ ​shoes​ ​and​ ​grabbed​ ​the​ ​money​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the
pocket​ ​of​ ​her​ ​other​ ​dress​ ​to​ ​head​ ​out​ ​the​ ​door. 

Terri​ ​then​ ​carefully​ ​closed​ ​the​ ​door​ ​and​ ​started​ ​down​ ​to​ ​the​ ​diner.
When​ ​she​ ​realized​ ​that​ ​she​ ​was​ ​going​ ​to​ ​be​ ​late,​ ​she​ ​started​ ​to​ ​sprint.​ ​After
all,​ ​it​ ​would​ ​only​ ​be​ ​five​ ​minutes​ ​maximum,​ ​right?​ ​Turns​ ​out,​ ​she​ ​was
wrong.​ ​Her​ ​skirt​ ​got​ ​snagged​ ​on​ ​a​ ​rose​ ​bush​ ​that​ ​was​ ​just​ ​a​ ​little​ ​too​ ​close
to​ ​the​ ​sidewalk.​ ​She​ ​stopped​ ​and​ ​attempted​ ​to​ ​untangle​ ​herself​ ​from​ ​the
little​ ​thorns​ ​that​ ​the​ ​roses​ ​had​ ​all​ ​over​ ​them.​ ​She​ ​managed​ ​to​ ​get​ ​out​ ​with
only​ ​a​ ​little​ ​damage​ ​to​ ​the​ ​garment.​ ​A​ ​rose​ ​had​ ​come​ ​off​ ​of​ ​the​ ​bush,​ ​so
she​ ​picked​ ​it​ ​up​ ​to​ ​bring​ ​with​ ​her.​ ​She​ ​then​ ​continued​ ​to​ ​run​ ​down​ ​the
sidewalk,​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​further​ ​away​ ​from​ ​the​ ​side​ ​the​ ​plants​ ​were​ ​on. 

After​ ​not​ ​too​ ​long,​ ​she​ ​managed​ ​to​ ​get​ ​to​ ​the​ ​cafe​ ​and​ ​find​ ​the​ ​spot
where​ ​Alice​ ​was​ ​sitting.​ ​She​ ​sat​ ​down​ ​and​ ​sighed,​ ​and​ ​gave​ ​her​ ​sister​ ​the
rose.​ ​“So,​ ​What’s​ ​your​ ​story,​ ​Ter?”,​ ​she​ ​said​ ​snickering​ ​quietly.​ ​“Gosh,
Alice.​ ​Always​ ​straight​ ​to​ ​the​ ​point.​ ​Anyway,​ ​I​ ​had​ ​an​ ​encounter​ ​with​ ​some
flow-”​ ​Alice​ ​cut​ ​her​ ​off​ ​there.​ ​“Oh​ ​really​ ​now?​ ​Taking​ ​‘Stop​ ​and​ ​smell​ ​the
roses’​ ​to​ ​a​ ​whole​ ​new​ ​level​ ​now,​ ​eh?”​ ​Terri​ ​sighed,​ ​trying​ ​not​ ​to​ ​crack​ ​up​ ​at
her​ ​sister’s​ ​sarcastic​ ​nature.​ ​“So​ ​can​ ​I​ ​see​ ​any​ ​of​ ​your​ ​research?​ ​I’d​ ​love​ ​to
see​ ​how​ ​you’ve​ ​been​ ​doing!”,​ ​she​ ​implored​ ​to​ ​change​ ​the​ ​subject.

The​ ​waitress​ ​then​ ​realized​ ​that​ ​they​ ​were​ ​there​ ​and​ ​approached​ ​the
table​ ​as​ ​quickly​ ​as​ ​she​ ​could​ ​go.​ ​“Hello,​ ​welcome​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Crystal​ ​Cafe.​ ​what
can​ ​I​ ​get​ ​you​ ​ladies​ ​to​ ​drink?”​ ​They​ ​each​ ​ordered​ ​a​ ​coffee,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​waitress
returned​ ​in​ ​an​ ​instant​ ​with​ ​the​ ​coffee​ ​they​ ​ordered,​ ​along​ ​with​ ​a​ ​pitcher​ ​of
cream​ ​and​ ​a​ ​small​ ​dish​ ​with​ ​sugar​ ​in​ ​it.​ ​“Enjoy!”​ ​the​ ​waitress​ ​shouted,
huffing​ ​slightly​ ​from​ ​the​ ​amount​ ​of​ ​times​ ​she​ ​had​ ​ran​ ​through​ ​the​ ​building.

The​ ​women​ ​both​ ​thanked​ ​the​ ​waitress,​ ​but​ ​she​ ​was​ ​gone​ ​before​ ​any
words​ ​had​ ​escaped​ ​from​ ​their​ ​lips.​ ​Alice​ ​turned​ ​to​ ​her​ ​sister,​ ​and​ ​let​ ​out​ ​a
lengthy​ ​sigh​ ​in​ ​slight​ ​annoyance.​ ​“Terri,​ ​I​ ​don't​ ​just​ ​bring​ ​it​ ​with​ ​me
everywhere​ ​I​ ​go,​ ​there's​ ​just​ ​no​ ​reason​ ​to.​ ​If​ ​you​ ​actually​ ​wanted​ ​me​ ​to
bring​ ​anything​ ​with​ ​me,​ ​you​ ​should​ ​have​ ​said​ ​something​ ​earlier​ ​when​ ​we
were​ ​on​ ​the​ ​phone.​ ​Terri​ ​frowned.​ ​She​ ​had​ ​hoped​ ​that​ ​her​ ​sister​ ​could​ ​just
know​ ​that​ ​she’d​ ​bring​ ​the​ ​papers​ ​with​ ​her,​ ​whether​ ​this​ ​was​ ​a​ ​realistic​ ​thing
to​ ​wish​ ​for​ ​or​ ​not.


“I'm​ ​not​ ​sure​ ​what​ ​exactly​ ​what​ ​you’d​ ​like​ ​me​ ​to​ ​do,​ ​I​ ​didn't​ ​get​ ​any
prior​ ​advance​ ​to​ ​bring​ ​it.”​ ​Alice​ ​said,​ ​trying​ ​not​ ​to​ ​let​ ​her​ ​irritation​ ​show
through​ ​her​ ​words.​ ​Her​ ​attempt​ ​was​ ​futile​ ​and​ ​she​ ​didn't​ ​exactly​ ​come​ ​off
as​ ​a​ ​pleasant​ ​person​ ​to​ ​be​ ​around​ ​at​ ​the​ ​moment.​ ​“Sorry.​ ​I​ ​expected​ ​you​ ​to

read​ ​minds​ ​or​ ​something,​ ​oh​ ​smarter​ ​sister.”​ ​Terri​ ​said​ ​dryly,​ ​emphasizing
the​ ​word​ ​‘smarter’​ ​to​ ​add​ ​to​ ​the​ ​displeasure​ ​she​ ​already​ ​had​ ​from​ ​the​ ​tone
of​ ​voice​ ​she​ ​had​ ​gotten​ ​from​ ​Alice.

Alice​ ​took​ ​a​ ​moment,​ ​and​ ​then​ ​laughed​ ​at​ ​Terri.​ ​“You​ ​thought​ ​I​ ​could
read​ ​minds??”​ ​she​ ​said​ ​cracking​ ​up​ ​at​ ​the​ ​hilarity​ ​of​ ​the​ ​seriousness​ ​her
sister​ ​had​ ​expressed.​ ​Terri​ ​smiled​ ​at​ ​the​ ​ground​ ​and​ ​realized​ ​that​ ​what​ ​she
said​ ​definitely​ ​had​ ​been​ ​stupid​ ​to​ ​say.​ ​“Yeah,​ ​I​ ​genuinely​ ​believed​ ​that​ ​you
could​ ​read​ ​minds​ ​when​ ​we​ ​were​ ​kids.​ ​It​ ​started​ ​that​ ​one​ ​time​ ​when​ ​you​ ​told
me​ ​I’d​ ​get​ ​a​ ​cookie​ ​in​ ​a​ ​minute​ ​as​ ​I​ ​was​ ​about​ ​to​ ​get​ ​up​ ​for​ ​a​ ​cookie.”​ ​The
connection​ ​between​ ​the​ ​two​ ​seemed​ ​just​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​stronger​ ​than​ ​it​ ​had​ ​been​ ​in
quite​ ​a​ ​while.

Alice​ ​got​ ​up​ ​from​ ​where​ ​she​ ​was​ ​sitting​ ​and​ ​downed​ ​the​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​the
coffee.​ ​“Alright,​ ​I’ll​ ​be​ ​back​ ​in​ ​about​ ​ten​ ​or​ ​fifteen​ ​minutes.​ ​I’ve​ ​had​ ​my​ ​fun
playing​ ​with​ ​you​ ​so​ ​I​ ​am​ ​going​ ​to​ ​go​ ​and​ ​grab​ ​the​ ​research​ ​you​ ​asked​ ​for,​ ​I
suppose.”​ ​She​ ​walked​ ​quickly​ ​back​ ​to​ ​her​ ​house​ ​and​ ​took​ ​all​ ​the​ ​papers​ ​off
her​ ​walls,​ ​which​ ​she​ ​looked​ ​at​ ​just​ ​about​ ​every​ ​day​ ​to​ ​get​ ​her​ ​mind​ ​started
on​ ​thinking​ ​about​ ​how​ ​to​ ​continue​ ​on​ ​the​ ​project​ ​she​ ​was​ ​working​ ​on.​ ​She
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put​ ​them​ ​in​ ​a​ ​bag​ ​and​ ​prepared​ ​for​ ​the​ ​questions​ ​that​ ​Terri​ ​would​ ​probably
ask.​ ​​ ​Really,​ ​there​ ​was​ ​no​ ​escaping​ ​from​ ​her​ ​sister’s​ ​trap​ ​of​ ​questions.

Alice​ ​began​ ​to​ ​walk​ ​back​ ​to​ ​the​ ​cafe​ ​that​ ​they​ ​were​ ​seated​ ​at,​ ​the​ ​bag
bouncing​ ​on​ ​her​ ​shoulder​ ​slightly.​ ​She​ ​inhaled​ ​deeply​ ​and​ ​let​ ​herself​ ​drift
into​ ​a​ ​state​ ​of​ ​thought,​ ​only​ ​piloted​ ​by​ ​the​ ​subconscious​ ​process​ ​of​ ​walking
and​ ​seeing​ ​where​ ​she​ ​was​ ​even​ ​going.​ ​When​ ​she​ ​arrived,​ ​she​ ​could​ ​easily
find​ ​the​ ​table​ ​as​ ​her​ ​sister​ ​was​ ​speaking​ ​loudly​ ​to​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​ladies​ ​that
worked​ ​there.​ ​As​ ​she​ ​sat​ ​down,​ ​she​ ​realized​ ​that​ ​she​ ​had​ ​a​ ​new​ ​coffee
sitting​ ​there​ ​for​ ​her,​ ​despite​ ​not​ ​really​ ​wanting​ ​any.​ ​Oh​ ​well,​ ​she​ ​thought​ ​as
she​ ​sipped​ ​at​ ​the​ ​new​ ​one.

She​ ​pulled​ ​out​ ​the​ ​research​ ​papers​ ​and​ ​presented​ ​them​ ​to​ ​Terri​ ​as
they​ ​were.​ ​No​ ​need​ ​to​ ​even​ ​think​ ​about​ ​it​ ​anymore,​ ​her​ ​hands​ ​went​ ​to​ ​work
arranging​ ​them​ ​all​ ​in​ ​a​ ​way​ ​that​ ​would​ ​have​ ​them​ ​make​ ​sense​ ​to​ ​just​ ​about
anyone​ ​that​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​think​ ​about​ ​them.​ ​“Okay,​ ​so​ ​what​ ​does​ ​this​ ​mean?”
Terri​ ​asked,​ ​thinking​ ​about​ ​what​ ​it​ ​could​ ​possibly​ ​be.​ ​Looks​ ​like​ ​Alice​ ​was
wrong.​ ​“Well,​ ​we’ve​ ​been​ ​working​ ​on​ ​some​ ​things​ ​in​ ​the​ ​lab.​ ​This​ ​is​ ​for
genetic​ ​modification,​ ​how​ ​to​ ​do​ ​it.​ ​The​ ​process​ ​to​ ​say​ ​the​ ​least.​ ​This​ ​has

never​ ​really​ ​been​ ​done​ ​before​ ​so​ ​it​ ​will​ ​take​ ​a​ ​while​ ​before​ ​it's​ ​even​ ​a
possibility​ ​for​ ​us​ ​to​ ​do​ ​anything​ ​extraordinary​ ​with​ ​it.”

Terri​ ​looked​ ​back​ ​down​ ​at​ ​the​ ​extensive​ ​notes​ ​in​ ​awe​ ​and​ ​felt
somewhat​ ​proud,​ ​even​ ​if​ ​the​ ​discovery​ ​wasn’t​ ​even​ ​her​ ​own.​ ​Honestly,​ ​she
just​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​be​ ​of​ ​any​ ​help​ ​to​ ​society​ ​rather​ ​than​ ​some​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​“Man’s
rag-doll”​ ​that​ ​could​ ​possibly​ ​be​ ​thrown​ ​around​ ​like​ ​she​ ​was​ ​nothing.​ ​They
sat​ ​there​ ​and​ ​drank​ ​their​ ​coffees,​ ​and​ ​Alice​ ​paid​ ​the​ ​bill,​ ​despite​ ​Terri
insisting​ ​that​ ​she​ ​paid​ ​for​ ​the​ ​both​ ​of​ ​them.

They​ ​each​ ​said​ ​their​ ​goodbyes​ ​to​ ​each​ ​other​ ​and​ ​Terri​ ​began​ ​her
journey​ ​back​ ​home.​ ​There​ ​was​ ​no​ ​need​ ​to​ ​run​ ​if​ ​James​ ​would​ ​be​ ​quite​ ​a
while.​ ​He​ ​worked​ ​most​ ​of​ ​the​ ​time,​ ​while​ ​Terri​ ​felt​ ​as​ ​if​ ​she​ ​was​ ​his​ ​slave,
staying​ ​at​ ​home​ ​and​ ​tending​ ​to​ ​everything​ ​around​ ​there,​ ​even​ ​if​ ​he​ ​was​ ​the
one​ ​that​ ​dirtied​ ​the​ ​majority​ ​of​ ​the​ ​things​ ​in​ ​there.​ ​She​ ​would​ ​leave​ ​as​ ​soon
as​ ​she​ ​got​ ​enough​ ​money​ ​to​ ​leave,​ ​but​ ​now​ ​the​ ​best​ ​she​ ​had​ ​was​ ​the​ ​five
dollars​ ​she​ ​grabbed​ ​earlier​ ​to​ ​eat​ ​out.

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As​ ​she​ ​got​ ​back,​ ​she​ ​quickly​ ​tidied​ ​up​ ​around​ ​the​ ​house​ ​and​ ​cleaned
some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​other​ ​things​ ​more​ ​deeply​ ​to​ ​satisfy​ ​her​ ​husband​ ​that​ ​was
making​ ​all​ ​of​ ​the​ ​money.​ ​The​ ​house​ ​really​ ​wasn’t​ ​that​ ​big,​ ​so​ ​it​ ​did​ ​not​ ​take
too​ ​long​ ​to​ ​get​ ​it​ ​back​ ​in​ ​order​ ​just​ ​like​ ​usual.​ ​She​ ​sat​ ​down​ ​on​ ​the​ ​couch
and​ ​remembered​ ​Alice’s​ ​research.​ ​She​ ​grabbed​ ​the​ ​journal​ ​she​ ​had​ ​been
writing​ ​in​ ​earlier​ ​and​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​make​ ​a​ ​new​ ​entry​ ​into​ ​it.
Alice​ ​has​ ​some​ ​amazing​ ​news​ ​today!
The​ ​development​ ​of​ ​genetic​ ​modification​ ​is​ ​underway,​ ​and​ ​I’m
honestly​ ​super​ ​excited​ ​to​ ​see​ ​the​ ​powers​ ​that​ ​it​ ​may​ ​hold​ ​for​ ​the
future​ ​of​ ​humanity.​ ​The​ ​future​ ​people​ ​must​ ​be​ ​so​ ​lucky…
Terri.​ ​August​ ​14,​ ​1953

Just​ ​then,​ ​she​ ​heard​ ​the​ ​car​ ​pull​ ​into​ ​the​ ​driveway.​ ​She​ ​greeted​ ​her
husband​ ​at​ ​the​ ​door​ ​and​ ​imagined​ ​seeing​ ​someone​ ​like​ ​him​ ​being
genetically​ ​modified​ ​to​ ​be​ ​even​ ​better.​ ​Luckily​ ​for​ ​her,​ ​nothing​ ​like​ ​that​ ​has
happened​ ​to​ ​James​ ​so​ ​no​ ​side​ ​effects​ ​from​ ​any​ ​type​ ​of​ ​horrible
modification​ ​can​ ​devastate​ ​them.​ ​“How​ ​was​ ​your​ ​day,​ ​sweetheart?”,​ ​she
asked​ ​him​ ​kindly.​ ​His​ ​gruff​ ​voice​ ​responded,​ ​“Work​ ​was​ ​terrible,​ ​some​ ​idiot
co-workers….”.​ ​At​ ​that​ ​point,​ ​Terri​ ​had​ ​stopped​ ​listening​ ​because​ ​her​ ​own
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thoughts​ ​intruded.​ ​What​ ​if​ ​James​ ​wasn’t​ ​even​ ​here..?​ ​What​ ​if..?​ ​What-​ ​“Are
you​ ​even​ ​listening​ ​to​ ​me!?”,​ ​He​ ​shouted.​ ​Terri​ ​was​ ​startled​ ​by​ ​the​ ​sudden
bellow​ ​from​ ​in​ ​front​ ​of​ ​her.​ ​“S-sorry…”,​ ​she​ ​said​ ​slightly​ ​embarrassed.

Terri​ ​barely​ ​scraped​ ​by​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​situation.​ ​The​ ​house​ ​had​ ​been​ ​filled
with​ ​yelling​ ​for​ ​just​ ​oven​ ​an​ ​hour,​ ​and​ ​both​ ​parties​ ​were​ ​quite​ ​miserable​ ​as
the​ ​effect.​ ​Nobody​ ​was​ ​there​ ​to​ ​help​ ​her​ ​out,​ ​nor​ ​would​ ​there​ ​ever​ ​be.​ ​The
only​ ​thing​ ​she​ ​could​ ​think​ ​about​ ​was​ ​that​ ​she​ ​had​ ​to​ ​leave​ ​and​ ​that​ ​the
living​ ​conditions​ ​were​ ​not​ ​anything​ ​like​ ​what​ ​she​ ​had​ ​imagined​ ​when​ ​she
was​ ​a​ ​child.

Her​ ​nicest​ ​nightgown​ ​was​ ​sitting​ ​on​ ​the​ ​bed​ ​for​ ​her​ ​already,​ ​James
smirking​ ​at​ ​her​ ​as​ ​she​ ​picked​ ​it​ ​up.​ ​At​ ​this​ ​point​ ​there​ ​was​ ​no​ ​turning​ ​back.
She​ ​changed​ ​into​ ​the​ ​gown​ ​and​ ​was​ ​back​ ​into​ ​the​ ​bedroom​ ​in​ ​just​ ​a​ ​couple
of​ ​minutes,​ ​James​ ​ogling​ ​her.​ ​It​ ​almost​ ​seemed​ ​like​ ​his​ ​eyes​ ​would​ ​pop
right​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​sockets​ ​at​ ​any​ ​moment.​ ​She​ ​thought​ ​to​ ​herself​ ​that​ ​it​ ​would
be​ ​worthwhile​ ​to​ ​see​ ​if​ ​eyes​ ​really​ ​did​ ​pop​ ​out​ ​like​ ​that.​ ​Maybe​ ​another​ ​day
though.
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Drifting​ ​off​ ​to​ ​sleep,​ ​she​ ​realized​ ​that​ ​James​ ​was​ ​completely​ ​out.
Asleep​ ​to​ ​the​ ​point​ ​of​ ​no​ ​return.​ ​Waking​ ​herself​ ​up​ ​quickly,​ ​she​ ​decided​ ​to
get​ ​up​ ​and​ ​put​ ​her​ ​slippers​ ​on,​ ​and​ ​proceeded​ ​to​ ​walk​ ​out​ ​into​ ​the​ ​living
room.​ ​She​ ​was​ ​still​ ​thinking​ ​about​ ​the​ ​possibility​ ​and​ ​the​ ​greatness​ ​that​ ​the
modification​ ​of​ ​human​ ​beings​ ​could​ ​bring​ ​for​ ​everyone​ ​in​ ​the​ ​long​ ​run.
Maybe​ ​it​ ​would​ ​be​ ​possible​ ​for​ ​certain​ ​diseases​ ​to​ ​be​ ​cured,​ ​maybe​ ​people
would​ ​never​ ​have​ ​to​ ​worry​ ​about​ ​genetic​ ​disease​ ​again.​ ​She​ ​went​ ​back​ ​to
lay​ ​down​ ​back​ ​next​ ​to​ ​James​ ​and​ ​tried​ ​to​ ​stop​ ​her​ ​thoughts​ ​to​ ​to​ ​back​ ​to
sleep.
She​ ​woke​ ​the​ ​next​ ​morning,​ ​finding​ ​a​ ​note​ ​from​ ​her​ ​husband​ ​was​ ​left
for​ ​her.​ ​He​ ​had​ ​already​ ​gone​ ​to​ ​work,​ ​but​ ​he​ ​must​ ​have​ ​a​ ​good​ ​reason​ ​for
leaving​ ​a​ ​note​ ​since​ ​he​ ​doesn't​ ​usually​ ​do​ ​so.
Hey​ ​Ter.
I've​ ​already​ ​gone​ ​off​ ​to​ ​work.​ ​I’m​ ​not​ ​really​ ​sure​ ​how​ ​to​ ​write
letters​ ​to​ ​someone​ ​like​ ​this,​ ​but​ ​I​ ​just​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​ask​ ​why​ ​you​ ​seemed
so​ ​distant​ ​lately.​ ​It’s​ ​probably​ ​nothing​ ​important​ ​to​ ​me,​ ​or​ ​even​ ​to​ ​you,
but​ ​I​ ​feel​ ​as​ ​if​ ​husband​ ​and​ ​wife​ ​should​ ​be​ ​connected​ ​more​ ​than​ ​we
are.​ ​Sorry​ ​if​ ​this​ ​bothers​ ​you,​ ​but​ ​I​ ​am​ ​concerned.​ ​Need​ ​I​ ​say​ ​more?
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The​ ​letter​ ​ended​ ​there​ ​without​ ​even​ ​a​ ​signature​ ​from​ ​him.​ ​She​ ​could
admit​ ​that​ ​she​ ​had​ ​been​ ​distancing​ ​herself​ ​from​ ​him,​ ​but​ ​really​ ​it​ ​wasn't
something​ ​she​ ​planned​ ​on​ ​discussing.​ ​He​ ​probably​ ​already​ ​knew​ ​the
reason​ ​that​ ​Terri​ ​was​ ​doing​ ​this,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​because​ ​of​ ​him.​ ​Even​ ​if​ ​she​ ​didn't
want​ ​to​ ​say​ ​anything​ ​to​ ​him,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​definitely​ ​time​ ​for​ ​her​ ​to​ ​speak​ ​up​ ​and
tell​ ​him​ ​some​ ​fake​ ​story​ ​he​ ​could​ ​believe.
Terri​ ​didn't​ ​exactly​ ​do​ ​anything​ ​that​ ​day,​ ​just​ ​thought​ ​about​ ​the​ ​fake
story​ ​she​ ​needed​ ​to​ ​tell​ ​later.​ ​Really,​ ​there​ ​was​ ​no​ ​need​ ​to​ ​even​ ​try.​ ​Terri
was​ ​a​ ​master​ ​at​ ​this​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​thing,​ ​lying​ ​came​ ​easy​ ​and​ ​was​ ​practically​ ​an
escape​ ​from​ ​her​ ​dreadful​ ​reality.​ ​Maybe​ ​by​ ​doing​ ​this​ ​she​ ​could​ ​share​ ​her
own​ ​reality,​ ​something​ ​better,​ ​with​ ​the​ ​others​ ​around​ ​her.​ ​Without​ ​even
realizing​ ​it,​ ​she​ ​had​ ​no​ ​plan​ ​to​ ​actually​ ​make​ ​up​ ​a​ ​story,​ ​she’d​ ​just
improvise​ ​until​ ​James​ ​was​ ​satisfied​ ​with​ ​whatever​ ​answers​ ​she​ ​made​ ​up.
Almost​ ​exactly​ ​like​ ​some​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​movie,​ ​Terri​ ​thought​ ​as​ ​James​ ​came
home.​ ​He​ ​had​ ​came​ ​home​ ​at​ ​four,​ ​exactly.​ ​A​ ​surge​ ​of​ ​anxiety​ ​rushed​ ​over
Terri​ ​as​ ​she​ ​realised​ ​that​ ​in​ ​her​ ​day​ ​of​ ​not​ ​doing​ ​anything,​ ​she​ ​really​ ​had
13
done​ ​absolutely​ ​nothing.​ ​The​ ​house​ ​had​ ​to​ ​be​ ​cleaned,​ ​and​ ​she​ ​had​ ​not
even​ ​started​ ​on​ ​it.​ ​At​ ​this​ ​point,​ ​there​ ​was​ ​nothing​ ​she​ ​could​ ​do.​ ​She​ ​could
be​ ​kicked​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​house​ ​if​ ​she​ ​wasn't​ ​careful​ ​in​ ​her​ ​word​ ​choice,​ ​her
actions.​ ​Everything​ ​was​ ​on​ ​the​ ​line.​ ​She​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​get​ ​a​ ​move​ ​on,​ ​she​ ​has
about​ ​two​ ​minutes​ ​before​ ​he​ ​walks​ ​through​ ​the​ ​door.​ ​She​ ​shot​ ​into​ ​the
bathroom​ ​as​ ​quickly​ ​as​ ​she​ ​could​ ​and​ ​made​ ​it​ ​up.​ ​Artificial​ ​lemon​ ​scent
flooded​ ​the​ ​area,​ ​but​ ​she​ ​didn't​ ​care.​ ​Bathroom​ ​clean​ ​enough.​ ​She​ ​darted​ ​a
different​ ​direction.​ ​Abort​ ​mission,​ ​ABORT​ ​MISSION!​ ​James​ ​walked​ ​through
the​ ​doorway​ ​and​ ​she​ ​skidded​ ​to​ ​a​ ​screeching​ ​halt.
The​ ​cleaner​ ​and​ ​sponge​ ​was​ ​still​ ​in​ ​her​ ​left​ ​hand​ ​as​ ​she​ ​politely
greeted​ ​him.​ ​“Hello,​ ​James!”​ ​she​ ​said,​ ​breathing​ ​heavily​ ​through​ ​her​ ​words.
James’​ ​face​ ​went​ ​deathly​ ​pale​ ​when​ ​it​ ​dawned​ ​upon​ ​him​ ​that​ ​the​ ​house
wasn't​ ​done​ ​as​ ​he​ ​got​ ​home.​ ​His​ ​face​ ​shriveled​ ​into​ ​a​ ​confused​ ​look​ ​as​ ​he
turned​ ​his​ ​head​ ​to​ ​see​ ​what​ ​hadn’t​ ​been​ ​done.​ ​“What​ ​did​ ​you​ ​do​ ​all​ ​day,
Terri?​ ​The​ ​house​ ​isn’t​ ​cleaned​ ​today.​ ​What​ ​is​ ​wrong​ ​with​ ​you?”​ ​He​ ​said,
glaring​ ​at​ ​his​ ​wife​ ​and​ ​seemingly​ ​seething​ ​with​ ​anger.​ ​One​ ​wrong​ ​move
and​ ​she​ ​could​ ​tip​ ​him​ ​over​ ​just​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​too​ ​far,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​anger​ ​could​ ​come
bubbling​ ​over​ ​like​ ​a​ ​boiling​ ​pot​ ​of​ ​water.​ ​“I​ ​was​ ​thinking​ ​about​ ​you,
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sweetheart.​ ​Your​ ​chiseled​ ​face,​ ​lovely​ ​hair,​ ​and​ ​perfect​ ​body​ ​is​ ​just​ ​too​ ​nice
to​ ​not​ ​think​ ​about,​ ​don’t​ ​you​ ​think?”​ ​She​ ​said​ ​sweetly.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​all​ ​false,​ ​of
course,​ ​but​ ​she​ ​needed​ ​to​ ​lower​ ​the​ ​tension​ ​before​ ​anything​ ​else
happened.​ ​He​ ​seemed​ ​to​ ​like​ ​this,​ ​as​ ​he​ ​lightly​ ​smiled.​ ​“Okay,​ ​okay,​ ​fine.
Make​ ​sure​ ​you​ ​don't​ ​spend​ ​all​ ​day​ ​tomorrow​ ​thinking​ ​about​ ​your​ ​handsome
husband​ ​and​ ​do​ ​some​ ​work​ ​around​ ​here,​ ​alright?
That​ ​was​ ​impressive.​ ​The​ ​fact​ ​that​ ​she​ ​had​ ​managed​ ​to​ ​get​ ​off​ ​the
hook​ ​was​ ​one​ ​thing,​ ​but​ ​without​ ​being​ ​yelled​ ​at​ ​was​ ​another.​ ​Luckily,​ ​Terri
had​ ​a​ ​narcissistic​ ​husband​ ​and​ ​it​ ​was​ ​easy​ ​to​ ​butter​ ​him​ ​up.​ ​No​ ​need​ ​to
even​ ​try​ ​that​ ​hard​ ​anymore,​ ​she​ ​knew​ ​how​ ​to​ ​do​ ​this​ ​by​ ​now.
The​ ​phone​ ​rang​ ​with​ ​a​ ​horrid​ ​noise.​ ​Terri​ ​ran​ ​to​ ​answer​ ​it​ ​as​ ​quickly
as​ ​she​ ​could,​ ​just​ ​to​ ​hear​ ​Alice’s​ ​voice​ ​on​ ​the​ ​other​ ​end.​ ​“Terri.​ ​You​ ​finally
picked​ ​up!”​ ​She​ ​was​ ​practically​ ​shouting​ ​into​ ​the​ ​phone​ ​in​ ​excitement.​ ​“We
have​ ​more​ ​updates!​ ​Can​ ​you​ ​come​ ​over​ ​tomorrow??​ ​Pleeeeease?”​ ​Ugh,
not​ ​the​ ​plead​ ​from​ ​Alice,​ ​it's​ ​irresistible​.​​ ​Nobody​ ​can​ ​get​ ​by​ ​when​ ​she’s
15
done​ ​it.​ ​“Fine.​ ​I​ ​have​ ​to​ ​clean​ ​up​ ​first​ ​though.​ ​What​ ​is​ ​it​ ​that​ ​you​ ​need​ ​to
show​ ​me?”​ ​“Hemophilia.”​ ​Alice​ ​hung​ ​up,​ ​leaving​ ​Terri​ ​standing​ ​there.
That​ ​was​ ​her​ ​only​ ​response.​ ​Just​ ​hemophilia.​ ​Terri’s​ ​interest​ ​peaked
at​ ​just​ ​one​ ​simple​ ​word,​ ​and​ ​she​ ​made​ ​plans​ ​to​ ​go​ ​over​ ​the​ ​next​ ​day.​ ​Terri
just​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​know​ ​what​ ​she​ ​meant,​ ​so​ ​much​ ​so​ ​that​ ​she​ ​ended​ ​up
staying​ ​up​ ​all​ ​night​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​compile​ ​all​ ​of​ ​the​ ​possibilities.
The​ ​next​ ​day,​ ​she​ ​managed​ ​to​ ​clean​ ​the​ ​entire​ ​house​ ​to​ ​be​ ​spotless
within​ ​about​ ​two​ ​hours​ ​after​ ​starting.​ ​She​ ​was​ ​exhausted.​ ​All​ ​she​ ​could
think​ ​about​ ​was​ ​the​ ​fact​ ​that​ ​she​ ​had​ ​no​ ​answers,​ ​no​ ​sleep,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​felt​ ​like
she​ ​had​ ​no​ ​time.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​like​ ​out​ ​of​ ​all​ ​the​ ​days​ ​that​ ​consistently​ ​repeated,
today​ ​was​ ​the​ ​only​ ​one​ ​that​ ​was​ ​different​ ​from​ ​the​ ​countless​ ​others.​ ​Terri
took​ ​a​ ​moment​ ​to​ ​look​ ​out​ ​the​ ​window​ ​and​ ​see​ ​the​ ​oak​ ​trees​ ​gently
swaying​ ​in​ ​the​ ​cool​ ​breeze.​ ​She​ ​wished​ ​that​ ​she​ ​could​ ​be​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​trees,
with​ ​nothing​ ​to​ ​worry​ ​about​ ​except​ ​finding​ ​water​ ​and​ ​sunlight​ ​to​ ​survive.
Maybe​ ​if​ ​she​ ​could​ ​just​ ​get​ ​reborn​ ​as​ ​a​ ​tree​ ​she​ ​could​ ​do​ ​this,​ ​and​ ​she
could​ ​please​ ​the​ ​people​ ​around​ ​her​ ​instead​ ​of​ ​causing​ ​more​ ​distress​ ​for
16
herself​ ​and​ ​others.​ ​She​ ​shook​ ​her​ ​head​ ​and​ ​cleared​ ​the​ ​thoughts​ ​to​ ​her
head.​ ​She​ ​had​ ​to​ ​get​ ​to​ ​Alice’s​ ​house​ ​for​ ​answers.
She​ ​walked​ ​all​ ​the​ ​way​ ​to​ ​her​ ​sister’s​ ​house,​ ​trudging​ ​her​ ​feet.​ ​Terri
was​ ​so​ ​lost​ ​in​ ​her​ ​own​ ​self​ ​hatred.​ ​It​ ​wasn't​ ​her​ ​fault​ ​that​ ​James​ ​was​ ​angry
at​ ​her​ ​all​ ​the​ ​time,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​his.​ ​But​ ​she​ ​didn't​ ​believe​ ​this.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​her​ ​fault​ ​that
James​ ​was​ ​upset,​ ​her​ ​fault​ ​that​ ​she​ ​couldn't​ ​even​ ​get​ ​a​ ​job.​ ​Heck,​ ​she
could​ ​barely​ ​keep​ ​herself​ ​from​ ​getting​ ​into​ ​a​ ​place​ ​where​ ​she​ ​couldn't​ ​cope.
A​ ​hand​ ​knocked​ ​loudly​ ​on​ ​Alice’s​ ​door.​ ​Something​ ​about​ ​it​ ​was
melancholy,​ ​despite​ ​still​ ​being​ ​loud​ ​and​ ​clear.​ ​It​ ​could​ ​have​ ​been​ ​the​ ​fact
that​ ​it​ ​was​ ​initially​ ​loud,​ ​but​ ​trailed​ ​off​ ​into​ ​nothing,​ ​it​ ​could​ ​have​ ​just​ ​been
the​ ​nature​ ​of​ ​it.​ ​She​ ​couldn't​ ​really​ ​be​ ​sure.​ ​Alice​ ​opened​ ​the​ ​door​ ​and
found​ ​her​ ​sister​ ​standing​ ​there,​ ​puffy​ ​eyed​ ​from​ ​where​ ​tears​ ​had​ ​streaked
down​ ​her​ ​face.​ ​She​ ​was​ ​confused,​ ​as​ ​she​ ​didn't​ ​do​ ​anything​ ​to​ ​make​ ​Terri
upset.​ ​“What’s​ ​wrong,​ ​Ter?”​ ​Terri​ ​didn't​ ​say​ ​anything,​ ​just​ ​stepped​ ​inside
without​ ​a​ ​word.
17
Alice​ ​closed​ ​the​ ​door​ ​and​ ​led​ ​her​ ​sister​ ​to​ ​what​ ​she​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​show
her.​ ​New​ ​development​ ​was​ ​in​ ​the​ ​region​ ​of​ ​genetic​ ​disease​ ​and​ ​such.​ ​The
team​ ​in​ ​the​ ​lab​ ​was​ ​working​ ​on​ ​seeing​ ​if​ ​they​ ​could​ ​come​ ​up​ ​with​ ​a​ ​cure​ ​to
hemophilia,​ ​just​ ​to​ ​test​ ​the​ ​limits​ ​of​ ​the​ ​power​ ​they​ ​now​ ​have.​ ​The​ ​papers
had​ ​been​ ​posted​ ​back​ ​up​ ​onto​ ​Alice’s​ ​wall​ ​and​ ​additional​ ​ones​ ​were​ ​there
as​ ​well.
“So​ ​how​ ​does​ ​this​ ​work​ ​really?​ ​What​ ​are​ ​we​ ​even​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​do​ ​here?”
Terri​ ​asked.​ ​“I'll​ ​tell​ ​you​ ​as​ ​soon​ ​as​ ​you​ ​tell​ ​me​ ​what's​ ​wrong​ ​with​ ​you.”​ ​Alice
responded,​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​get​ ​anything​ ​out​ ​of​ ​Terri.​ ​It​ ​didn't​ ​really​ ​look​ ​like​ ​it
would​ ​work,​ ​as​ ​Terri​ ​just​ ​went​ ​silent​ ​again​ ​and​ ​walked​ ​out​ ​the​ ​door.​ ​Another
day​ ​would​ ​be​ ​better​ ​to​ ​show​ ​her​ ​anything​ ​apparently.
Days​ ​went​ ​by​ ​and​ ​they​ ​hadn't​ ​talked​ ​since​ ​the​ ​incident.​ ​Nothing​ ​had
really​ ​happened​ ​between,​ ​but​ ​Terri​ ​was​ ​in​ ​a​ ​bad​ ​spot​ ​herself.​ ​She​ ​had
came​ ​to​ ​realize​ ​that​ ​her​ ​problem​ ​wasn't​ ​with​ ​her,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​with​ ​her​ ​husband.
She​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​kill​ ​him.​ ​There​ ​was​ ​an​ ​overwhelming​ ​urge​ ​to​ ​just​ ​murder​ ​him
and​ ​get​ ​it​ ​over​ ​with​ ​as​ ​she​ ​cleaned​ ​the​ ​house​ ​once​ ​more.
18
As​ ​she​ ​finally​ ​got​ ​over​ ​it,​ ​she​ ​called​ ​up​ ​Alice​ ​again​ ​to​ ​finally​ ​go​ ​to​ ​see
what​ ​she​ ​had​ ​to​ ​show​ ​her.​ ​Alice​ ​told​ ​her​ ​that​ ​there​ ​was​ ​development​ ​in
coming​ ​up​ ​with​ ​a​ ​cure​ ​to​ ​hemophilia​ ​and​ ​that​ ​she​ ​wanted​ ​Terri​ ​to​ ​be​ ​the
first​ ​one​ ​that​ ​wasn't​ ​a​ ​scientist​ ​to​ ​see​ ​it.​ ​The​ ​whole​ ​thing​ ​was​ ​fascinating​ ​to
Terri.​ ​The​ ​fact​ ​that​ ​there​ ​was​ ​a​ ​cure​ ​being​ ​worked​ ​on​ ​for​ ​something​ ​small
was​ ​confusing,​ ​but​ ​it​ ​would​ ​make​ ​sense​ ​that​ ​they​ ​choose​ ​something​ ​small
to​ ​test​ ​with​ ​a​ ​bit.
Terri​ ​went​ ​over​ ​the​ ​next​ ​day,​ ​around​ ​eight​ ​in​ ​the​ ​morning.​ ​She​ ​barged
into​ ​Alice’s​ ​house​ ​without​ ​even​ ​knocking,​ ​luckily​ ​the​ ​door​ ​was​ ​unlocked​ ​for
her.​ ​“So​ ​much​ ​for​ ​knocking​ ​these​ ​days,​ ​I​ ​suppose.”​ ​Alice​ ​said​ ​chuckling
under​ ​her​ ​breath.​ ​There​ ​were​ ​many​ ​more​ ​notes​ ​and​ ​pages​ ​scattered
throughout​ ​the​ ​house​ ​than​ ​the​ ​last​ ​time​ ​she​ ​had​ ​been​ ​in​ ​there.
“COUNTER​ ​VIRUS?”,​ ​“Hemophilia.”,​ ​and​ ​“Genetic​ ​Diseases”​ ​were
the​ ​first​ ​ones​ ​she​ ​read.​ ​The​ ​one​ ​that​ ​said​ ​counter​ ​virus​ ​really​ ​had​ ​her
attention,​ ​though.​ ​“What​ ​does​ ​it​ ​mean​ ​by​ ​counter​ ​virus?”​ ​Terri​ ​asked.​ ​“Well,
we've​ ​been​ ​quite​ ​literally​ ​been​ ​designing​ ​a​ ​virus​ ​that​ ​can​ ​counter​ ​the
effects​ ​of​ ​hemophilia.​ ​We​ ​have​ ​also​ ​added​ ​some​ ​effects​ ​to​ ​it​ ​so​ ​it​ ​can​ ​make
19
the​ ​human​ ​body​ ​stronger,​ ​faster,​ ​smarter,​ ​and​ ​some​ ​other​ ​benefits​ ​like​ ​that.
The​ ​plan​ ​is​ ​to​ ​make​ ​it​ ​so​ ​it​ ​can​ ​only​ ​be​ ​activated​ ​in​ ​the​ ​presence​ ​of​ ​a​ ​Y
chromosome,​ ​so​ ​that​ ​it​ ​can't​ ​even​ ​be​ ​used​ ​by​ ​women.”​ ​Alice​ ​caught​ ​her
breath​ ​and​ ​continued.​ ​“I​ ​know​ ​it's​ ​not​ ​really​ ​ideal,​ ​but​ ​I've​ ​got​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​my
cover​ ​with​ ​the​ ​men​ ​in​ ​the​ ​terrible​ ​world​ ​we​ ​live​ ​in​ ​at​ ​this​ ​point.”
Terri​ ​just​ ​stood​ ​there​ ​in​ ​awe​ ​that​ ​something​ ​like​ ​this​ ​was​ ​possible,
and​ ​being​ ​done​ ​by​ ​humans​ ​right​ ​now.​ ​Designing​ ​such​ ​a​ ​thing​ ​would​ ​be
absolutely​ ​perfect​ ​for​ ​the​ ​advancement​ ​of​ ​mankind​ ​in​ ​medicine​ ​and
technology.​ ​Future​ ​generations​ ​of​ ​people​ ​could​ ​enjoy​ ​this​ ​valuable
information​ ​without​ ​having​ ​to​ ​work​ ​for​ ​it​ ​since​ ​their​ ​“ancestors”​ ​had​ ​figured
it​ ​out​ ​instead.
“Activation​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Y​ ​chromosome?​ ​That's​ ​unheard​ ​of!”​ ​Terri​ ​exclaimed.
“Something​ ​like​ ​that​ ​could​ ​take​ ​years​ ​to​ ​finish!”​ ​Alice​ ​finally​ ​decided​ ​to
speak​ ​up.​ ​“That's​ ​where​ ​you're​ ​wrong,​ ​Terri.​ ​It's​ ​projected​ ​to​ ​take​ ​about​ ​half
that​ ​time,​ ​at​ ​only​ ​five​ ​or​ ​maybe​ ​even​ ​six​ ​months.​ ​The​ ​hard​ ​part​ ​is​ ​getting
some​ ​rats​ ​to​ ​test​ ​on.​ ​They​ ​have​ ​to​ ​be​ ​male​ ​and​ ​they​ ​have​ ​to​ ​have
hemophilia,​ ​or​ ​this​ ​can't​ ​be​ ​ever​ ​released​ ​into​ ​a​ ​public.”​ ​all​ ​the​ ​questions
20
had​ ​been​ ​answered​ ​and​ ​it​ ​really​ ​looked​ ​to​ ​both​ ​that​ ​this​ ​would​ ​actually
work​ ​properly.
Neither​ ​of​ ​the​ ​women​ ​could​ ​sleep​ ​that​ ​night.​ ​Alice​ ​was​ ​thinking​ ​about
how​ ​she'd​ ​pull​ ​this​ ​off,​ ​while​ ​Terri​ ​was​ ​thinking​ ​about​ ​how​ ​the​ ​counter​ ​virus
would​ ​work.​ ​Activating​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Y​ ​chromosome​ ​and​ ​curing​ ​the​ ​genetic
disease​ ​could​ ​actually​ ​be​ ​successful.​ ​She​ ​woke​ ​again​ ​the​ ​next​ ​morning
slightly​ ​confused.
​ ​She​ ​called​ ​her​ ​sister​ ​again.​ ​“Hello​ ​Alice.​ ​I​ ​just​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​ask:​ ​How
would​ ​this​ ​‘cure’​ ​even​ ​work?​ ​I​ ​know​ ​that​ ​it​ ​activates​ ​under​ ​certain
conditions,​ ​but​ ​be​ ​honest.​ ​What’s​ ​the​ ​process?”​ ​Alice​ ​sighed​ ​from​ ​the​ ​other
end.​ ​“Okay​ ​Terri.​ ​You​ ​know​ ​what,​ ​come​ ​over​ ​tomorrow​ ​morning.​ ​I​ ​doubt
James​ ​will​ ​mind​ ​if​ ​you​ ​come​ ​over​ ​on​ ​a​ ​Saturday​ ​to​ ​spend​ ​quality​ ​time​ ​with
your​ ​sister.​ ​By​ ​the​ ​way,​ ​We​ ​finally​ ​found​ ​our​ ​rats.​ ​My​ ​lab​ ​friends​ ​told​ ​me.”
She​ ​hung​ ​up​ ​and​ ​did​ ​not​ ​say​ ​another​ ​word.
The​ ​next​ ​morning​ ​at​ ​about​ ​seven,​ ​She​ ​woke​ ​james​ ​to​ ​tell​ ​him​ ​that
she​ ​was​ ​going​ ​out​ ​to​ ​see​ ​her​ ​sister.​ ​She​ ​did​ ​not​ ​even​ ​bother​ ​to​ ​get​ ​herself
21
ready,​ ​just​ ​grabbed​ ​the​ ​car​ ​keys​ ​and​ ​began​ ​to​ ​drive​ ​off​ ​to​ ​her​ ​sister’s
house.​ ​In​ ​about​ ​nine​ ​minutes,​ ​she​ ​arrived​ ​and​ ​happily​ ​skipped​ ​to​ ​the
doorstep​ ​to​ ​knock​ ​on​ ​the​ ​door.​ ​She​ ​was​ ​invited​ ​inside​ ​and​ ​Alice​ ​had
already​ ​set​ ​up​ ​for​ ​what​ ​she​ ​needed​ ​to​ ​say.
The​ ​research​ ​was​ ​all​ ​set​ ​up​ ​like​ ​it​ ​was​ ​at​ ​her​ ​house​ ​last​ ​time,​ ​but​ ​this
time​ ​it​ ​was​ ​not​ ​just​ ​key​ ​parts,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​​all​ ​​of​ ​it.​ ​The​ ​dining​ ​room​ ​tables​ ​and
walls​ ​had​ ​papers​ ​and​ ​diagrams​ ​all​ ​over​ ​them​ ​and​ ​it​ ​seemed​ ​like​ ​it​ ​was​ ​just
a​ ​bottomless​ ​pit​ ​of​ ​everything​ ​her​ ​sister​ ​had​ ​managed​ ​to​ ​achieve.​ ​Terri​ ​did
not​ ​even​ ​realize​ ​that​ ​she​ ​was​ ​gaping​ ​at​ ​it​ ​all​ ​until​ ​Alice​ ​said,​ ​“Shut​ ​your
mouth​ ​or​ ​you’ll​ ​catch​ ​flies.”​ ​There​ ​were​ ​so​ ​many​ ​different​ ​types​ ​or​ ​notes
and​ ​pages​ ​ripped​ ​out​ ​of​ ​a​ ​book​ ​that​ ​it​ ​just​ ​seemed​ ​totally​ ​impossible.
Alice​ ​​ ​began​ ​to​ ​point​ ​to​ ​the​ ​various​ ​different​ ​items​ ​scattered​ ​all​ ​over
the​ ​place.​ ​“This​ ​shows​ ​what​ ​this​ ​new​ ​virus​ ​supposedly​ ​looks​ ​like,​ ​this​ ​one
shows​ ​how​ ​we​ ​expect​ ​it​ ​to​ ​react​ ​to​ ​the​ ​human​ ​body,​ ​and​ ​this​ ​shows​ ​the
different​ ​functions​ ​it’s​ ​supposed​ ​to​ ​have….”,​ ​She​ ​started​ ​with.​ ​She​ ​kept
going,​ ​explaining​ ​the​ ​process​ ​of​ ​all​ ​this,​ ​how​ ​and​ ​why​ ​it​ ​works,​ ​and​ ​many
other​ ​things​ ​that​ ​were​ ​about​ ​this​ ​single​ ​virus.​ ​​ ​It​ ​seemed​ ​like​ ​absolutely
22
nothing​ ​could​ ​possibly​ ​go​ ​wrong​ ​when​ ​it​ ​has​ ​all​ ​been​ ​thought​ ​out​ ​so
carefully​ ​and​ ​precisely​ ​by​ ​a​ ​team​ ​of​ ​such​ ​brilliant​ ​people.
The​ ​next​ ​day,​ ​Alice​ ​managed​ ​to​ ​inject​ ​the​ ​virus​ ​into​ ​a​ ​hemophiliac​ ​rat
at​ ​the​ ​lab.​ ​So​ ​far,​ ​the​ ​scientists​ ​see​ ​nothing,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​rat​ ​seems​ ​to​ ​doing
perfectly​ ​fine,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​the​ ​4​ ​other​ ​test​ ​subject​ ​rats​ ​they​ ​had.​ ​They
checked​ ​them​ ​once​ ​an​ ​hour,​ ​and​ ​nothing​ ​had​ ​happened​ ​to​ ​them​ ​for​ ​the
entire​ ​day.​ ​They​ ​continued​ ​to​ ​check​ ​for​ ​any​ ​signs​ ​of​ ​failure​ ​in​ ​the​ ​rat.
Nothing.​ ​The​ ​rat​ ​had​ ​stayed​ ​perfectly​ ​healthy​ ​throughout​ ​the​ ​day,​ ​and​ ​the
counter​ ​virus​ ​seemed​ ​to​ ​be​ ​carrying​ ​out​ ​its​ ​purpose​ ​so​ ​smoothly​ ​that​ ​the
scientists​ ​were​ ​absolutely​ ​stunned.​ ​Actually,​ ​it​ ​seemed​ ​as​ ​if​ ​the​ ​rat​ ​was
being​ ​healed​ ​​ ​from​ ​things​ ​even​ ​this​ ​virus​ ​wasn't​ ​programmed​ ​to​ ​do.​ ​There’s
no​ ​possible​ ​way​ ​for​ ​this​ ​to​ ​happen.
Alice​ ​had​ ​slept​ ​on​ ​the​ ​idea​ ​and​ ​made​ ​the​ ​decision​ ​to​ ​tell​ ​her
co-workers​ ​that​ ​it​ ​had​ ​worked​ ​perfectly​ ​or​ ​even​ ​better,​ ​and​ ​they​ ​all​ ​agreed
to​ ​continue​ ​testing​ ​further​ ​to​ ​see​ ​if​ ​the​ ​effects​ ​strengthen​ ​with​ ​more​ ​time.
The​ ​rats​ ​were​ ​in​ ​a​ ​position​ ​to​ ​lift​ ​their​ ​bowls,​ ​open​ ​their​ ​cages,​ ​and​ ​other
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things​ ​that​ ​they​ ​previously​ ​could​ ​not​ ​do.​ ​Since​ ​everything​ ​was​ ​going​ ​so
well,​ ​human​ ​testing​ ​is​ ​actually​ ​an​ ​option​ ​for​ ​them​ ​in​ ​the​ ​long​ ​run.
They​ ​all​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​also​ ​test​ ​on​ ​chimpanzees​ ​to​ ​see​ ​if​ ​they​ ​reacted
the​ ​same​ ​way​ ​as​ ​the​ ​rats​ ​had.​ ​The​ ​week​ ​went​ ​by​ ​quickly​ ​and​ ​nothing​ ​had
happened​ ​to​ ​the​ ​chimps.​ ​Really,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​quite​ ​impressive​ ​that​ ​nothing​ ​had
gone​ ​drastically​ ​wrong​ ​yet.​ ​Soon​ ​they​ ​would​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​release​ ​the​ ​“cure”​ ​to
the​ ​public​ ​for​ ​use​ ​in​ ​people​ ​that​ ​really​ ​needed​ ​it.
Humans.​ ​Humans​ ​were​ ​now​ ​an​ ​option​ ​for​ ​testing.​ ​They​ ​all​ ​agreed
that​ ​because​ ​things​ ​went​ ​the​ ​way​ ​they​ ​did,​ ​there​ ​was​ ​no​ ​real​ ​need​ ​for
animal​ ​testing​ ​any​ ​further​ ​than​ ​they​ ​already​ ​had​ ​done.​ ​The​ ​likelihood​ ​of
something​ ​drastically​ ​terrible​ ​happening​ ​is​ ​very​ ​low​ ​with​ ​about​ ​twenty​ ​rats
and​ ​close​ ​to​ ​ten​ ​monkeys​ ​all​ ​having​ ​the​ ​same​ ​results,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​way​ ​it
worked​ ​was​ ​very​ ​simple.
The​ ​following​ ​week,​ ​Terri​ ​got​ ​a​ ​call​ ​from​ ​Alice​ ​saying​ ​that​ ​the​ ​counter
virus​ ​was​ ​a​ ​huge​ ​success​ ​and​ ​that​ ​they​ ​would​ ​be​ ​launching​ ​it​ ​as​ ​an
actually​ ​functional​ ​treatment​ ​for​ ​what​ ​they​ ​were​ ​attempting​ ​to​ ​accomplish.
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They​ ​plan​ ​to​ ​have​ ​it​ ​in​ ​doctor’s​ ​offices​ ​in​ ​the​ ​form​ ​of​ ​a​ ​tablet​ ​for​ ​the​ ​people
diagnosed​ ​with​ ​hemophilia​ ​to​ ​take​ ​first.​ ​The​ ​launch​ ​was​ ​to​ ​be​ ​in​ ​two​ ​weeks,
but​ ​until​ ​then,​ ​people​ ​will​ ​be​ ​hyped​ ​to​ ​see​ ​that​ ​science​ ​has​ ​gotten​ ​to​ ​the
point​ ​of​ ​where​ ​even​ ​the​ ​“incurable​ ​disease”​ ​​ ​was​ ​now​ ​curable​ ​and​ ​for​ ​the
general​ ​public.

The​ ​many​ ​families​ ​waited​ ​until​ ​the​ ​product​ ​came​ ​out​ ​patiently​ ​so​ ​that
the​ ​people​ ​affected​ ​would​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​have​ ​what​ ​they​ ​need​ ​to​ ​get​ ​over​ ​the
genetic​ ​disease.​ ​When​ ​the​ ​day​ ​finally​ ​came,​ ​people​ ​flocked​ ​to​ ​get​ ​tested
and​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​that​ ​they​ ​did​ ​not​ ​have​ ​anything,​ ​and​ ​if​ ​they​ ​did,​ ​they​ ​got
prescribed​ ​with​ ​the​ ​new​ ​“cure”​ ​as​ ​soon​ ​as​ ​possible.
Weeks​ ​past​ ​by,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​men​ ​began​ ​to​ ​get​ ​smarter,​ ​stronger,​ ​and
faster​ ​just​ ​as​ ​the​ ​rats​ ​had​ ​shown​ ​in​ ​the​ ​testing​ ​stage.​ ​The​ ​few​ ​people​ ​that
had​ ​taken​ ​it​ ​seemed​ ​to​ ​be​ ​passing​ ​the​ ​affects​ ​to​ ​the​ ​other​ ​people​ ​around
them​ ​as​ ​well,​ ​just​ ​as​ ​a​ ​normal​ ​virus​ ​would.​ ​The​ ​women​ ​were​ ​left​ ​in​ ​the
dust,​ ​with​ ​nothing,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​society​ ​around​ ​them​ ​began​ ​to​ ​change​ ​and
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morph​ ​into​ ​something​ ​of​ ​an​ ​even​ ​further​ ​strengthened​ ​male​ ​dominated
vicinity.
Slowly,​ ​all​ ​of​ ​the​ ​men​ ​and​ ​boys​ ​in​ ​the​ ​population​ ​had​ ​been​ ​“infected”
with​ ​what​ ​was​ ​once​ ​the​ ​cure.​ ​They​ ​began​ ​to​ ​sell​ ​it​ ​as​ ​a​ ​supplement​ ​just​ ​for
the​ ​other​ ​benefits​ ​it​ ​provided,​ ​not​ ​for​ ​what​ ​it​ ​was​ ​actually​ ​intended​ ​to​ ​be
used​ ​for.​ ​​ ​The​ ​tablet​ ​had​ ​been​ ​abused​ ​to​ ​the​ ​point​ ​of​ ​no​ ​return,​ ​and​ ​there
was​ ​no​ ​avoiding​ ​the​ ​spread​ ​among​ ​other​ ​people​ ​as​ ​well.​ ​The​ ​women​ ​could
not​ ​even​ ​join​ ​in,​ ​even​ ​if​ ​they​ ​wanted​ ​to,​ ​just​ ​because​ ​they​ ​made​ ​it​ ​so​ ​that
only​ ​men​ ​could​ ​use​ ​the​ ​product​ ​anyway;​ ​seeing​ ​that​ ​the​ ​people​ ​who​ ​get​ ​the
disease​ ​are​ ​all​ ​male​ ​anyway.
Alice​ ​began​ ​to​ ​realize​ ​that​ ​she​ ​had​ ​doomed​ ​most​ ​of​ ​humanity’s
population.​ ​The​ ​rats​ ​that​ ​had​ ​been​ ​injected​ ​with​ ​it​ ​had​ ​their​ ​peak​ ​and​ ​then
began​ ​to​ ​rapidly​ ​decrease​ ​in​ ​everything​ ​that​ ​was​ ​previously​ ​boosted.​ ​Their
reflex​ ​time​ ​dropped,​ ​they​ ​were​ ​too​ ​dumb​ ​to​ ​remember​ ​how​ ​to​ ​move
properly,​ ​and​ ​they​ ​began​ ​to​ ​do​ ​everything​ ​in​ ​their​ ​power​ ​to​ ​escape.​ ​All​ ​of
the​ ​men​ ​Alice​ ​knew​ ​were​ ​also​ ​going​ ​to​ ​come​ ​to​ ​this​ ​same​ ​demise.​ ​The
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worst​ ​part​ ​about​ ​this​ ​whole​ ​situation​ ​was​ ​that​ ​fixing​ ​this​ ​would​ ​take​ ​too​ ​long
for​ ​her​ ​to​ ​guarantee​ ​anything.
The​ ​human​ ​(and​ ​apparently​ ​rat)​ ​brains​ ​were​ ​unable​ ​to​ ​handle​ ​the
extra​ ​skill​ ​that​ ​arrived​ ​so​ ​quickly.​ ​The​ ​brain​ ​was​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​process​ ​the​ ​new
information​ ​too​ ​quickly,​ ​and​ ​eventually​ ​began​ ​to​ ​“Overheat”​ ​in​ ​a​ ​sense.
Although​ ​the​ ​boosts​ ​were​ ​temporary,​ ​the​ ​falldown​ ​was​ ​long-lasting.​ ​Quite
possibly​ ​even​ ​life​ ​long.
Alice​ ​heard​ ​a​ ​loud​ ​clang​ ​from​ ​behind​ ​her.​ ​The​ ​rats​ ​were​ ​driving
themselves​ ​to​ ​insanity​ ​and​ ​began​ ​to​ ​cannibalize​ ​each​ ​other.​ ​She​ ​hoped
that​ ​humans​ ​would​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​come​ ​to​ ​their​ ​senses​ ​and​ ​not​ ​quite​ ​literally
eat​ ​each​ ​other.​ ​There’s​ ​no​ ​saying​ ​what​ ​may​ ​happen​ ​if​ ​this​ ​did​ ​happen.​ ​An
apocalypse?​ ​The​ ​end​ ​of​ ​human​ ​existence?​ ​Really,​ ​nobody​ ​had​ ​thought​ ​this
far​ ​ahead.​ ​She​ ​quickly​ ​left​ ​the​ ​lab​ ​to​ ​inform​ ​Terri​ ​about​ ​the​ ​reality​ ​of​ ​the
situation,​ ​running​ ​down​ ​the​ ​empty​ ​sidewalks​ ​as​ ​quickly​ ​as​ ​she​ ​could.
Terri​ ​saw​ ​Alice​ ​bust​ ​through​ ​the​ ​door​ ​to​ ​her​ ​home.​ ​“Terri!​ ​Bad​ ​news.
James​ ​will​ ​turn​ ​into​ ​a​ ​practical​ ​zombie.​ ​Nothing​ ​you​ ​can​ ​do​ ​now.​ ​We​ ​may
have​ ​to​ ​kill​ ​him,​ ​actually.​ ​Basically​ ​the​ ​cure​ ​spread​ ​like​ ​a​ ​normal​ ​virus​ ​and
is​ ​causing​ ​brain​ ​damage,​ ​leading​ ​to-”​ ​Terri​ ​cut​ ​her​ ​sister​ ​off,​ ​“Seriously?!​ ​I
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never​ ​even​ ​dreamed​ ​something​ ​like​ ​this​ ​even​ ​could​ ​happen,​ ​I​ ​thought​ ​it
was​ ​all​ ​just​ ​some​ ​science​ ​fiction.​ ​A​ ​comic​ ​book​ ​filler.”​ ​“Sadly,​ ​no.​ ​this​ ​has
became​ ​our​ ​reality​ ​and​ ​now​ ​it’s​ ​our​ ​jobs​ ​to​ ​be​ ​the​ ​heroes.”
There​ ​was​ ​a​ ​moment​ ​while​ ​Terri​ ​left​ ​the​ ​room​ ​and​ ​came​ ​back​ ​with​ ​the
chainsaw​ ​James​ ​liked​ ​to​ ​use.​ ​“Well,​ ​if​ ​we​ ​have​ ​to​ ​kill​ ​some​ ​zombies,​ ​might
as​ ​well​ ​do​ ​it​ ​the​ ​classic​ ​way,​ ​right?”​ ​A​ ​grin​ ​swept​ ​over​ ​her​ ​face.​ ​Terri​ ​began
to​ ​realize​ ​that​ ​she​ ​would​ ​finally​ ​able​ ​to​ ​get​ ​rid​ ​of​ ​the​ ​stress​ ​that​ ​was​ ​in​ ​her
life​ ​permanently,​ ​and​ ​this​ ​time​ ​it​ ​wouldn't​ ​be​ ​illegal.​ ​Alice​ ​sighed.​ ​“I​ ​know
you​ ​like​ ​murder,​ ​sister,​ ​but​ ​just​ ​remember​ ​that​ ​these​ ​are​ ​real​ ​people​ ​that
honestly​ ​didn't​ ​ask​ ​for​ ​this.”​ ​She​ ​brought​ ​Terri​ ​back​ ​to​ ​reality​ ​and​ ​got​ ​her​ ​to
think​ ​about​ ​her​ ​actions,​ ​but​ ​even​ ​that​ ​wasn’t​ ​enough.​ ​All​ ​Ter​ ​could​ ​think
about​ ​was​ ​the​ ​revenge​ ​she​ ​could​ ​bring​ ​to​ ​the​ ​infected​ ​men,​ ​and​ ​that
nobody​ ​could​ ​even​ ​do​ ​anything​ ​to​ ​stop​ ​her.
The​ ​thought​ ​of​ ​the​ ​people​ ​she​ ​knew,​ ​how​ ​the​ ​simple​ ​situation​ ​can
cause​ ​so​ ​much​ ​damage​ ​to​ ​the​ ​future​ ​of​ ​the​ ​human​ ​population.​ ​The​ ​fact​ ​that
the​ ​power​ ​was​ ​in​ ​her​ ​hands​ ​was​ ​much​ ​more​ ​than​ ​she​ ​could​ ​ever​ ​ask​ ​for,
but​ ​she​ ​knew​ ​that​ ​if​ ​she​ ​didn't​ ​use​ ​it,​ ​many​ ​more​ ​people​ ​could​ ​be​ ​harmed.
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James​ ​came​ ​back​ ​home​ ​to​ ​the​ ​two​ ​sisters​ ​sitting​ ​on​ ​the​ ​couch.​ ​He
had​ ​came​ ​home​ ​quite​ ​earlier​ ​than​ ​the​ ​usual​ ​timing.​ ​He​ ​had​ ​a​ ​look​ ​on​ ​his
face​ ​that​ ​made​ ​him​ ​seem​ ​quite​ ​dead.​ ​“How​ ​are​ ​you​ ​two​ ​doing​ ​today?”​ ​he
questioned​ ​the​ ​women.​ ​Terri​ ​glared​ ​at​ ​him​ ​and​ ​snapped​ ​a​ ​sarcastic​ ​“We’re
fine.”​ ​It​ ​was​ ​quite​ ​obvious​ ​that​ ​she​ ​didn't​ ​want​ ​anything​ ​more​ ​than​ ​to​ ​just
have​ ​him​ ​go​ ​brain​ ​dead​ ​to​ ​kill.​ ​“So,​ ​why​ ​is​ ​there​ ​a​ ​chainsaw​ ​on​ ​the
ground?”​ ​James​ ​said,​ ​a​ ​strange​ ​look​ ​sweeping​ ​over​ ​his​ ​face.​ ​The​ ​sisters
looked​ ​at​ ​each​ ​other​ ​with​ ​a​ ​look​ ​that​ ​practically​ ​said​ ​“Should​ ​we​ ​tell​ ​him?”
The​ ​room​ ​was​ ​filled​ ​with​ ​a​ ​tense​ ​silence​ ​that​ ​was​ ​only​ ​broken​ ​by​ ​Terri’s
laugh.
She​ ​stood​ ​up​ ​and​ ​brought​ ​the​ ​chainsaw​ ​back​ ​to​ ​the​ ​garage​ ​and​ ​then
proceeded​ ​to​ ​sit​ ​back​ ​down​ ​just​ ​as​ ​if​ ​nothing​ ​had​ ​happened.​ ​“Alice​ ​can
explain​ ​the​ ​situation​ ​and​ ​then​ ​I​ ​can​ ​tell​ ​you​ ​the​ ​reason​ ​I​ ​had​ ​it.”​ ​A​ ​grim​ ​look
washed​ ​over​ ​Alice’s​ ​face​ ​as​ ​she​ ​prepared​ ​herself​ ​to​ ​tell​ ​it​ ​all​ ​to​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the
people​ ​who​ ​could​ ​die​ ​very​ ​soon.​ ​“I’ll​ ​make​ ​it​ ​simple.​ ​Basically​ ​that
hemophilia​ ​counter​ ​virus​ ​spread​ ​like​ ​a​ ​normal​ ​disease​ ​and​ ​infected​ ​all​ ​the
men.​ ​It​ ​activates​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Y​ ​chromosome​ ​so​ ​it​ ​doesn't​ ​do​ ​anything​ ​to​ ​the
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women.​ ​The​ ​brain​ ​can’t​ ​handle​ ​the​ ​new​ ​virus,​ ​and​ ​you​ ​will​ ​be​ ​brain​ ​dead
within​ ​a​ ​couple​ ​weeks.”​ ​She​ ​sighed​ ​and​ ​waited​ ​for​ ​his​ ​reaction.​ ​“My​ ​turn,​ ​I
suppose.”,​ ​Terri​ ​said​ ​to​ ​interrupt​ ​the​ ​even​ ​further​ ​silence.​ ​“I​ ​had​ ​the
chainsaw​ ​because​ ​this​ ​would​ ​basically​ ​zombify​ ​you,​ ​so​ ​since​ ​there​ ​is​ ​no
reason​ ​to​ ​cause​ ​harm​ ​to​ ​any​ ​more​ ​people​ ​than​ ​it​ ​already​ ​has,​ ​I​ ​was​ ​going
to​ ​kill​ ​you​ ​old​ ​style.​ ​And​ ​before​ ​you-”​ ​James​ ​had​ ​gotten​ ​up​ ​again​ ​and​ ​was
headed​ ​toward​ ​the​ ​door​ ​to​ ​leave.​ ​The​ ​women​ ​both​ ​got​ ​up​ ​to​ ​block​ ​his​ ​path,
but​ ​his​ ​sheer​ ​force​ ​and​ ​speed​ ​knocked​ ​them​ ​both​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​way.​ ​He​ ​was
determined​ ​to​ ​get​ ​as​ ​far​ ​away​ ​from​ ​them​ ​as​ ​possible.
Getting​ ​away​ ​from​ ​the​ ​“psychopaths”​ ​was​ ​probably​ ​not​ ​the​ ​best​ ​move
James​ ​had​ ​made.​ ​After​ ​a​ ​good​ ​while​ ​of​ ​running,​ ​he​ ​realized​ ​that​ ​not​ ​only
was​ ​he​ ​in​ ​another​ ​town,​ ​but​ ​he​ ​didn't​ ​have​ ​any​ ​food​ ​or​ ​water,​ ​or​ ​even​ ​a
shelter​ ​to​ ​stay​ ​for​ ​that​ ​matter.​ ​He​ ​sat​ ​down​ ​to​ ​catch​ ​his​ ​breath​ ​and​ ​realized
he​ ​couldn't​ ​think​ ​properly.​ ​He​ ​could​ ​only​ ​think​ ​about​ ​going​ ​back​ ​home,​ ​so
that’s​ ​exactly​ ​what​ ​he​ ​did.
 

​Terri​ ​and​ ​Alice​ ​collected​ ​their​ ​items​ ​for​ ​a​ ​long​ ​trip.​ ​They​ ​grabbed
weapons​ ​and​ ​put​ ​on​ ​their​ ​sunday​ ​best​ ​for​ ​murder.​ ​No​ ​use​ ​in​ ​having​ ​fancy
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gowns​ ​and​ ​heels​ ​if​ ​you​ ​don't​ ​use​ ​them,​ ​right?​ ​Because​ ​the​ ​apocalypse​ ​was
so​ ​near,​ ​there​ ​wasn't​ ​much​ ​more​ ​they​ ​could​ ​do​ ​than​ ​to​ ​stop​ ​it​ ​as​ ​soon​ ​as
possible,​ ​and​ ​come​ ​up​ ​with​ ​some​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​cure.
​ ​When​ ​they​ ​went​ ​outside,​ ​they​ ​found​ ​a​ ​couple​ ​zombie​ ​men​ ​awaiting
their​ ​arrival,​ ​all​ ​lead​ ​back​ ​to​ ​their​ ​home​ ​by​ ​James.​ ​Garbled​ ​speech​ ​was
thrown​ ​between​ ​them,​ ​and​ ​each​ ​of​ ​them​ ​seemed​ ​to​ ​understand​ ​what​ ​it
said.​ ​The​ ​speech​ ​process​ ​had​ ​been​ ​practically​ ​destroyed,​ ​and​ ​they​ ​were
nothing​ ​but​ ​walking,​ ​(talking?)​ ​Lumps​ ​of​ ​human​ ​flesh.​ ​They​ ​were​ ​only
shells​ ​of​ ​their​ ​former​ ​selves,​ ​and​ ​nothing​ ​else​ ​was​ ​really​ ​human​ ​about
them.​ ​This​ ​was​ ​an​ ​arguable​ ​subject,​ ​but​ ​there​ ​was​ ​no​ ​real​ ​argument​ ​that
could​ ​even​ ​be​ ​held​ ​at​ ​this​ ​point.
Terri​ ​took​ ​a​ ​step​ ​forward​ ​and​ ​drew​ ​the​ ​chainsaw​ ​up​ ​so​ ​she​ ​could​ ​use
it​ ​to​ ​do​ ​some​ ​dirty​ ​work.​ ​In​ ​her​ ​eyes,​ ​the​ ​people​ ​that​ ​had​ ​practically
dominated​ ​the​ ​world​ ​and​ ​even​ ​her​ ​could​ ​just​ ​die​ ​off​ ​and​ ​she’d​ ​be​ ​okay​ ​with
that.​ ​The​ ​horrid​ ​conditions​ ​they​ ​had​ ​forced​ ​upon​ ​so​ ​many​ ​women​ ​was
absolutely​ ​revolting​ ​to​ ​Terri.​ ​She​ ​swung​ ​the​ ​chainsaw​ ​toward​ ​the​ ​head​ ​of
one​ ​of​ ​them​ ​and​ ​the​ ​grass​ ​around​ ​them​ ​soon​ ​looked​ ​like​ ​a​ ​horrible​ ​movie
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murder​ ​scene,​ ​complete​ ​with​ ​the​ ​dull​ ​thud​ ​of​ ​the​ ​head​ ​hitting​ ​the​ ​ground.
Alice​ ​stood​ ​in​ ​shock​ ​and​ ​horror​ ​as​ ​she​ ​saw​ ​what​ ​her
formerly-perceived-as-innocent​ ​sister​ ​had​ ​done​ ​to​ ​​ ​this​ ​man.​ ​Nothing​ ​would
be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​cleanse​ ​her​ ​mind​ ​from​ ​the​ ​image​ ​that​ ​was​ ​gruesomely​ ​produced
and​ ​permanently​ ​implanted​ ​into​ ​her​ ​head.
Terri​ ​bent​ ​over​ ​to​ ​grab​ ​the​ ​head​ ​off​ ​the​ ​ground.​ ​She​ ​picked​ ​it​ ​up​ ​and
turned​ ​to​ ​her​ ​sister.​ ​“One​ ​down,​ ​How​ ​many​ ​to​ ​go?”​ ​She​ ​asked​ ​inquisitively.
Alice​ ​didn't​ ​say​ ​anything,​ ​just​ ​gaped​ ​at​ ​her​ ​sister​ ​in​ ​awe,​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​figure​ ​out
whether​ ​to​ ​run​ ​or​ ​help​ ​her.​ ​She​ ​decided​ ​it​ ​was​ ​better​ ​to​ ​stay​ ​on​ ​her​ ​good
side​ ​so​ ​that​ ​she​ ​wouldn't​ ​meet​ ​the​ ​same​ ​fate​ ​as​ ​the​ ​poor​ ​man​ ​on​ ​the
ground.​ ​“We​ ​have​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​more​ ​to​ ​to,​ ​I​ ​suppose.​ ​Not​ ​a​ ​good​ ​idea​ ​to​ ​kill​ ​them
all​ ​though,​ ​or​ ​there​ ​can't​ ​be​ ​any​ ​cure​ ​testing​ ​for​ ​this.”​ ​Terri​ ​didn't​ ​care
though,​ ​she​ ​just​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​make​ ​her​ ​point​ ​across​ ​that​ ​she​ ​didn't​ ​like​ ​what
had​ ​been​ ​done​ ​to​ ​her.
Terri​ ​slashed​ ​through​ ​the​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​the​ ​others​ ​like​ ​no​ ​problem,​ ​and​ ​left
their​ ​corpses​ ​for​ ​the​ ​next​ ​person​ ​to​ ​find​ ​them​ ​just​ ​laying​ ​there.​ ​As​ ​she​ ​got
to​ ​her​ ​husband,​ ​she​ ​paused.​ ​She​ ​had​ ​a​ ​grim​ ​look​ ​on​ ​her​ ​face.​ ​“Sorry​ ​for
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this,​ ​it’s​ ​for​ ​the​ ​better.”​ ​she​ ​whispered​ ​into​ ​his​ ​ear.​ ​The​ ​fire​ ​lit​ ​back​ ​up​ ​in​ ​her
eyes​ ​after​ ​she​ ​had​ ​her​ ​moment,​ ​but​ ​she​ ​lowered​ ​the​ ​chainsaw​ ​and
proceeded,​ ​leaving​ ​James​ ​there​ ​as​ ​if​ ​he​ ​was​ ​innocent​ ​amongst​ ​the​ ​crowd
of​ ​guilty​ ​criminals.
Alice​ ​gave​ ​her​ ​sister​ ​a​ ​questioning​ ​look,​ ​but​ ​Terri​ ​just​ ​brushed​ ​it​ ​off
and​ ​smiled.​ ​“So,​ ​How​ ​about​ ​we​ ​go​ ​and​ ​find​ ​more​ ​of​ ​the​ ​zombie​ ​men​ ​to​ ​kill
so​ ​we​ ​can​ ​to​ ​and​ ​get​ ​this​ ​over​ ​with?”​ ​She​ ​asked​ ​as​ ​she​ ​began​ ​to​ ​walk
down​ ​the​ ​road​ ​to​ ​get​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​neighborhood
The​ ​ladies​ ​encountered​ ​many​ ​more​ ​of​ ​them​ ​and​ ​killed​ ​them​ ​in
whichever​ ​way​ ​they​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​do​ ​so.​ ​The​ ​corpses​ ​on​ ​the​ ​ground​ ​began​ ​to
build​ ​up,​ ​creating​ ​a​ ​horribly​ ​gruesome​ ​horror​ ​scene.​ ​To​ ​get​ ​away​ ​from​ ​the
fantasy​ ​that​ ​Alice​ ​believed​ ​she​ ​was​ ​hallucinating,​ ​she​ ​looked​ ​up​ ​at​ ​the
salmon​ ​sunset​ ​above​ ​them.​ ​The​ ​world​ ​around​ ​them​ ​would​ ​soon​ ​be​ ​dark
with​ ​the​ ​stars​ ​overhead.​ ​Alice​ ​closed​ ​her​ ​eyes​ ​and​ ​tried​ ​to​ ​imagine​ ​a
different​ ​world,​ ​one​ ​where​ ​she​ ​wasn't​ ​one​ ​to​ ​help​ ​destroy​ ​the​ ​people​ ​that
lived​ ​there,​ ​the​ ​humanity​ ​that​ ​had​ ​succeeded​ ​for​ ​so​ ​long.​ ​She​ ​sighed​ ​and
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opened​ ​her​ ​eyes​ ​again,​ ​to​ ​find​ ​Terri​ ​staring​ ​at​ ​her.​ ​“Sorry,​ ​sorry.”​ ​Alice​ ​said
in​ ​apology​ ​to​ ​her​ ​confused​ ​sister.
They​ ​continued​ ​on​ ​their​ ​journey​ ​throughout​ ​the​ ​town,​ ​leaving​ ​a​ ​train
of​ ​disgruntled​ ​bodies​ ​and​ ​buckets​ ​of​ ​blood​ ​behind​ ​them.​ ​After​ ​this​ ​was​ ​over
with,​ ​there​ ​was​ ​no​ ​way​ ​the​ ​human​ ​population​ ​would​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​bounce
back​ ​from​ ​this.​ ​There​ ​would​ ​be​ ​no​ ​men​ ​to​ ​reproduce​ ​any​ ​more​ ​people​ ​if
this​ ​situation​ ​kept​ ​going​ ​the​ ​way​ ​it​ ​was.​ ​They​ ​would​ ​have​ ​to​ ​stop​ ​killing
everyone​ ​in​ ​their​ ​apocalyptic​ ​world​ ​and​ ​just​ ​leave​ ​them​ ​to​ ​harm​ ​more
people,​ ​or​ ​they​ ​could​ ​permanently​ ​damage​ ​human​ ​society​ ​by​ ​killing​ ​all​ ​of
the​ ​infected​ ​people.
It​ ​was​ ​a​ ​hard​ ​choice​ ​to​ ​make​ ​in​ ​just​ ​an​ ​hour​ ​or​ ​less.​ ​If​ ​she​ ​didn't​ ​stop
her,​ ​Terri​ ​would​ ​end​ ​up​ ​killing​ ​them​ ​all​ ​in​ ​a​ ​line​ ​without​ ​a​ ​second​ ​thought.
The​ ​fact​ ​that​ ​she​ ​had​ ​became​ ​a​ ​vicious​ ​killing​ ​machine​ ​in​ ​the​ ​matter​ ​of​ ​a
few​ ​hours,​ ​and​ ​was​ ​getting​ ​stronger​ ​with​ ​each​ ​kill​ ​she​ ​racked​ ​up​ ​was
terrifying.
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The​ ​whirring​ ​of​ ​the​ ​chainsaw​ ​was​ ​deafening.​ ​It​ ​had​ ​been​ ​going​ ​on​ ​for
hours​ ​on​ ​end​ ​and​ ​didn't​ ​look​ ​like​ ​it​ ​was​ ​going​ ​to​ ​end​ ​a​ ​day​ ​time​ ​soon.​ ​Terri
was​ ​bloodthirsty​ ​at​ ​this​ ​point​ ​and​ ​stopping​ ​her​ ​would​ ​be​ ​impossible.​ ​She
was​ ​practically​ ​an​ ​assassin​ ​to​ ​all​ ​the​ ​men.
Suddenly​ ​as​ ​she​ ​cut​ ​through​ ​the​ ​skull​ ​of​ ​another​ ​man,​ ​the​ ​chain
broke​ ​off​ ​of​ ​the​ ​weapon​ ​and​ ​slapped​ ​her​ ​in​ ​the​ ​forehead,​ ​causing
prominent​ ​brain​ ​damage​ ​immediately.​ ​If​ ​that​ ​didn't​ ​kill​ ​her,​ ​she'd​ ​bleed​ ​to
death​ ​anyway.​ ​It​ ​had​ ​happened​ ​so​ ​quickly​ ​that​ ​nobody​ ​would​ ​have​ ​fast
enough​ ​reflexes​ ​the​ ​ever​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​react​ ​to​ ​something​ ​like​ ​that.
She​ ​fell​ ​to​ ​the​ ​ground​ ​covered​ ​in​ ​blood​ ​with​ ​a​ ​dull​ ​thud.​ ​Alice​ ​had​ ​just
watched​ ​her​ ​sister​ ​die​ ​in​ ​front​ ​of​ ​her,​ ​and​ ​there​ ​was​ ​nothing​ ​that​ ​she​ ​could
even​ ​do​ ​about​ ​it​ ​at​ ​this​ ​point.​ ​Terri​ ​was​ ​dead.​ ​Alice​ ​fell​ ​to​ ​her​ ​knees​ ​and
began​ ​sobbing​ ​profusely,​ ​lifting​ ​Terri’s​ ​head​ ​up​ ​off​ ​the​ ​ground.​ ​She​ ​placed
the​ ​remains​ ​of​ ​the​ ​chainsaw​ ​next​ ​to​ ​the​ ​corpse​ ​and​ ​took​ ​the​ ​chain​ ​of​ ​it​ ​off
of​ ​her​ ​dead​ ​sister’s​ ​head.​ ​Her​ ​hands​ ​were​ ​now​ ​covered​ ​in​ ​Terri’s​ ​blood,​ ​but
she​ ​didn't​ ​care​ ​that​ ​it​ ​looked​ ​like​ ​she​ ​was​ ​the​ ​one​ ​that​ ​killed​ ​all​ ​of​ ​them
including​ ​her​ ​sister,​ ​she​ ​just​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​grieve​ ​her​ ​death​ ​in​ ​peace.
35
It​ ​was​ ​all​ ​over​ ​now.​ ​Alice​ ​left​ ​Terri​ ​on​ ​the​ ​grass​ ​where​ ​she​ ​had​ ​died.
She​ ​stood​ ​up​ ​and​ ​looked​ ​at​ ​the​ ​blue​ ​dress​ ​she​ ​was​ ​wearing.​ ​It​ ​looked
extravagant,​ ​as​ ​if​ ​she​ ​had​ ​put​ ​on​ ​her​ ​sunday​ ​best​ ​to​ ​go​ ​and​ ​murder​ ​the
people​ ​that​ ​hurt​ ​her.​ ​Alice​ ​had​ ​to​ ​chuckle​ ​at​ ​this.​ ​Terri​ ​really​ ​just​ ​wanted​ ​her
own​ ​revenge​ ​on​ ​them,​ ​for​ ​reasons​ ​that​ ​nobody​ ​would​ ​ever​ ​know,​ ​and​ ​she
wanted​ ​to​ ​do​ ​it​ ​as​ ​some​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​role​ ​model​ ​to​ ​the​ ​many​ ​women​ ​that​ ​may​ ​be
watching.
Alice went back to her house and locked herself in, not letting anyone in. She went into her bathroom and grabbed the cleaners from under the sink. She opened the bottle of Glass Wax. She smelled the contents inside of it. She then remembered the knife she had kept with her when she was helping Terri kill those innocent men. Lifting the bottle to her lips she downed the liquid quickly, ignoring the burns she felt in her throat. The taste of blood flooded her mouth just as quickly as she chugged the cleaner. Alice was sitting on the floor and puking copious amounts of blood. She was dying too slowly for her liking, so she took the knife and rose it up to her chest. Using the knowledge she gained from being in the lab, she positioned the knife to where she could stab herself in the heart.
She thought about why she was doing this, but the answer was obvious. She was the one who doomed humanity. It was her fault that her sister died trying to save it. If she was responsible for all of this, she would end up causing more pain to the few people she knew that were still alive. The things she had caused for mankind were irreversible and could never be undone, so she needed to end the progression of Alice for both herself and the people around her.
She pushed the knife directly into her heart and punctured it. The thud of her heart stopped then. Both sisters had died. There is no hope for any people left on the earth. Zombie men would just have to take over, or even just die off. Nothing could be done any longer.



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