Who will mourn the last one alive?
President Harris sat listening to his scientific advisors bicker like five year old kids arguing over who stole a toy. None of them could seem to agree. Personally, he didn't care about the classification of the damn virus. He just needed to know what to tell the electorate. Finally, all the fighting got too much for him.
"Can everyone please just SHUT THE HELL UP," he bellowed. Everyone froze, stunned. "All I need from you is some basic information I can bring to the public. Something useful that will help save lives. Do you think you children could do that?"
There was a stuttered 'yes sir' from around the table. For the first time in what felt like hours, the room fell quiet, except for the low murmer of civilised conversation. President Harris sighed, and popped a few pills for his headache. His day was about to get a lot more interesting. A few minutes after his scientific advisors had quietened down, there was a light knock at the door, and his personal assistant stuck her head round the door.
"Sir, the Director of the CIA, the Chief Justice and the Attorney General are here to see you. They say it is in relation to the incident in the health sector."
"I'll meet them in the Ovel Office," President Harris sighed, struggling to his feet and plodding after his secretary.
He felt tired. The "Raging Flu" as it was been called was hitting the country hard. Just that morning he had been forced to declare a federal emergency, and he was due to give an address to the nation soon on how the government was handling the situation- which it really wasn't. When the news of what the virus could really do had leaked into the halls of government, the majority of Senators and Congressmen had firstly become more partisan than before, trying to introduce various (but similarly worded) protection bills, and then they had fled to their respective states after passing "emergency legislation" which effectively gave dictatorial powers to the President. He knew why they had done it. If things went well, and the President did a good job, his party could clame a lot of popular support. If it went wrong, which it was looking like it would, the opposition would claim ignorance of the emergency legislation, and ride public anger to an overwhelming majority for a while.
"Gentlemen, what can I do for you?" President Harris asked as he strode into the Ovel Office.
"Mr. President," the director of the CIA began, placing a large envelope on the desk.
"What's this?" the President asked, eyeing the large, red lettered 'EYES ONLY IN SEVERE EMERGENCY.'
"Mr. President, before you read what's in the envelope, I would like to say that both the Attorney General and I are opposed to it," said the Chief Justice.
"Why? What am I meant to be looking at?" The President asked, slipping a thick folder from the envelope. It's title read 'Civil Protection Bill- As amended.'
"Sir," the Director said in a heavy voice. "This is not the first time the intelligence community has has contact with what the press in calling the Raging Flu. The document you now hold was first drafted at the height of the Second World War, when we gained knowledge of the virus."
The Presidents head snapped up.
"What?" The President hissed. Even the Chief Justice and Attorney General looked surprised at this piece of news. The Director looked passive when he spoke next, as if he were merely discussing the weather.
"In the 1930's, when the Empire of Japan began its expansion in Asia, a contingent of Imperial Marines landed on an uncharted island in the Pacific with the intention of building a forward operating base for the invasion of China. Twelve hours after landing, they radioed the submarine which had carried them to the island, stating they had found an ancient tomb at the centre of the island, whose interior walls were covered in scratch marks and which contained a badly decomposed body. According to the transmission, the body rose up and bit the Marine closest to it. When no further communications were received, a recovery party was sent ashore. They found the Marines outside the opening to the tomb, with a body, in advanced decomposition, bearing a bullet wound to the head. All the Marines were displaying flu like symptoms, and died shortly afterwards," the Director said in a monotone voice.
"Why is this relevant?" The President growled.
"It was what happened afterwards that is important," the Director stated blandly.
"The submarine was ordered back to port. Half an hour before they reached their home base, the subs radio operator informed the base that the dead Marines were, and I quote, 'fighting their way out of the hold we left them in. They are attacking us like feral dogs.' Communication was then severed and the submarine beached itself. Let us say that the Japanese began work on what we would now call a biological weapon. Obviously, they never implemented it. They found no safe way to effectively deliver it, but they tried. After the war, the Chinese and the Soviets got their hands on most of the research. The Brits got their hands on an, ahem, live, specimen due to a failed delivery, as did we. Ever since then, we have been working on containment."
"What went wrong?"
"A home grown terror cell and an operative believing he was working for an animal welfare group opposed to animal testing. That bill, if inacted, will give the authorities the power to control the inevitable civil unrest?"
"At what cost?" The President asked, thinking about the upcoming elections. The Director seemed to read his mind.
"Mr. President, worrying about offending the electorate in order to get re-elected, that won't help if there is no electorate left."
Sloly, the President opened the bill before him and began to read. It was obvious that when Roosevelt had signed this piece of legislation, he had been praying hard it would never be inacted in his lifetime.
Thomas sat with his granddad looking at the Presidents speech, a growing sense of dread settling in his stomach.
"...and so, in accordance with the implementation of Martial Law, the following rights have been amended. Right to freedom of assembly- suspended. Right to verdict by jury- suspended. Habeas Corpus- suspended. Right to legal council- suspended. Deadly force in dealing with civil unrest has been authorised. Effective immediately, all civilians are to consider themselves under house arrest. Between the hours of ten am and nine pm tomorrow has been designated as the time allowed to stock up your homes when you may leave and go to supermarkets and gas stations. No travel outside your home town is allowed. All medical staff must remain in their place of work to avoid spreading contamination..."
"Shit ain't good," Grandpa John mumbled. "All troops been called home, the massive reserve call ups, all retired military personnel under the age of sixty five been drafted. Things are only going to get worse."
Without another word, he got up and wandered down the stairs to his room. The house they lived in was on the side of a hill, so that the ground floor from the front was the first floor from the back, and the 'basement' was the ground floor.
Several minutes after he wandered down to his room, Grandpa John came back to the living room carrying two loaded guns.
"Just wait kiddo," Grandpa John said. "This message from the President will start a shitstorm of violence before the military get on the street."