I still remember the day we received that first call.

On April 12, 2116 my team
and I were called onto an unusual case in which a nine-year-old girl was suffering from a
wide range of unrelated symptoms, from internal bleeding and convulsions to sever pain
and persistent rashes. Being an Emergency Department physician, I am used to seeing a
wide range of trauma and disease, but I had never seen this combination of symptoms
before. I could not pinpoint the source of the infection, nor could I find any way to slow
down the incredibly fast degeneration of my sobbing patient’s internal organs. Little Lilly
was slowly dying before my eyes, and there was nothing I could do to ease her pain.
Tonight on June 9, 2117, I it is with a heavy heart that I must disclose Lilly Thomason
has pasted away, just two days before her tenth birthday. After her first prognosis, I
searched for answers in other countries only to learn, that this disease has been
decimating the world’s most industrialized nations at an increasingly fast rate. Lilly was
the first in the United States to contract the heartbreaking virus, however the number of
people developing symptoms mirroring those of Lily is increasing (Now encompassing
about 800,000 people in the United States). All over the United States people young and
old are contracting this highly contagious virus the World Health Organization has called
MASS. With no way to stop it and having no notion from where it came from, there are
no means of treatment to fight the virus…”
Sitting in my office, this was all I was able to recount of my press speech before
my colleague and I were interrupted by the cracking sound of gunfire in the nearby
corridor. After exchanging looks of utter shock and concern we ran from the office to the
laboratory, only to find that the doorknobs had been removed and the security locks
sealed. Through the narrow window of the research lab we could see Dr. Jones holding a
small handgun screaming at the other pathologists. I tried screaming through the door,
tears streaming down my face, as he raised his arm pulling the trigger. With no way of
getting past the security sealed door, we watched in horror, frantically calling for Jones to
stop this madness. Those few passing minuets seemed like hours before the police
arrived. Just as they approached the door, Jones raised the gun to his head, and I looked
away, only hearing the loud smashing of the bullet shattering his skull. Frantically
running from the building, I pushed through the crowd of people congregating outside the
hospital entrance. All I wanted was room to breath. Then at the front of the barricade, as I
turned away to escape the massacre, I saw Mrs. Jones, her face pale with worry. From
there so many questions ran through my head, I wanted to scream and get away from the
place that I once thought was safe: Why would Jones do this? He had so much going for
him as head of the department. I truly believed he could find the cure and help millions of
people.
Taking multiple deep breaths in order to prevent myself from hyperventilating, I
sat on the curb contemplating what would happen next. It was then I realized I was not
alone. Standing above me was Jason, my friend who had been with me at the lab
door just a half hour before. He said nothing but gestured for me to stand up from the
curb. As I scrambled to get to my feet, he handed me a letter. The seal to the letter was
jagged and open, so I assumed Jason had already read the contents inside.
Today is June 5, 2117. Alec is gone. My son murdered by the wretched virus. It’s all
their faults, why can’t they find a cure. I couldn’t find the cure. I couldn’t save him. If I
couldn’t save my own flesh and blood what makes them think I can save anyone else.
What makes them think they can save anyone? Its over for them they failed. I failed.
I looked up to see the sorrow in Jason’s face as he said, “It was found in his desk drawer.
The authorities handed it to me thinking you might want to see it.”

Silence and shock, that was all I could comprehend before the tears choked my throat,
“Jones blamed himself. And he didn’t tell anyone about Alec. I can’t believe this.”
Overpowered by anguish I screamed, “How could this happen! How could we not see the
signs!” “We’ve all been so engulfed in our work. No one noticed. Finding the cure is our
only priority now. Without it more and more people are going to die. The cure is the
world’s only hope”.
And I knew he was right.