cloutier: (music - mcr - gerard)
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

Bright lights. The smell of medicine and antiseptic. A baby cries. Glass breaks. A young woman is in hysterics.

"I'm sorry, Dr. Solanum, but there's nothing we can do but alleviate his symptoms."

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

The woman screams in despair. Her son is going to die.

These people can cure cancer with a pill, prevent HIV with a vaccine. But they can't save her son from this virus.

This virus is unlike any other pathogen this doctor has seen in her labs. It moves quickly, leaving destruction in its wake. She knew it wasn't time to put the baby in daycare. The poor thing gets spit up on and now had a one-way ticket to hell.

Little James has a fever of 104 degrees Fahrenheit and it keeps on climbing. Not even full submersion in the ice bath is cooling him down. He is not responding to anyone's touch, not even his mother's. He's covered in purplish-brown legions, where the child spit up on him. It has only been eight hours.

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

At eleven hours, James can no longer kick his legs. He is paralyzed from the waist down. His heart rate is slowing down dramatically.

At the sixteenth hour, the infant falls into a coma.

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

Four hours later, Richard and Elizabeth Solanum watch as the beeps on the heart monitor slow down and finally stop, like a fan that has been unplugged.

Beep.

Beep.

Beep.

Beep.

Finally, one continuous beep, as James Solanum breathes his last breath.

Elizabeth collapses in her husband's arms as the nurse calls out: "Time of death, 9:13 PM."

---

Three hours later, Elizabeth Solanum performs an autopsy on her Jimmy. She must know what is responsible for her son's death. Jimmy didn't even get to live before his life was taken away from him so suddenly. She hopes that in discovering this killer and finding a cur, she can find some closure.

Elizabeth cuts a Y-incision into her son, and finds most of his organs have been liquefied from the fever. Tears flow silently from her eyes, and drip into her son's liquid guts. She turns to grab her saw to cut into her baby's skull, when James grabs her finger.

Elizabeth gasps and tumbles out of her chair as James moans and gurgles, his eyes still dead. James stumbles to his feet and growls at his mother. He looks at her hungrily and begins to lung. But before he can feast on his mother, Elizabeth grabs the emergency pistol out of the drawer and puts a bullet between her son's eyes.

James crumples into a heap on the floor of the morgue. Dead. Again.

Elizabeth folds herself into the fetal position as she realizes what has happened.

Her beautiful Jimmy is the first human being to become infected.

The first zombie.

Richard comes in upon hearing the ruckus and finds his wife inconsolable. She has had to watch her baby die twice, before he even had the chance to live. He holds Elizabeth close, praying to himself that they never have to come face to face with the Solanum virus ever again.
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June 2016

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