Tuesday, May 21, 2013
5 - 05-22-13 The Diary: Addendum to Part One of The Beginning
<Official Document> Excerpts from unedited diary log of Dr. Michael Anderson found on scene.
May 1: I received a call from a Dr. Mosango, a resident physician in the Kikwit region of Zaire, Africa. He had some exciting news about a new strain of Ebola. I was less than enthusiastic about taking on a new venture, but the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had agreed to pay my way out into the field for further examination. As a side note, I was not particularly prepared and had to have a second rate professor take over my classes for the semester. I do hope the students do not suffer as a result of incompetent tutelage.
May7: The flight to Africa was long and uneventful. Even the in-flight film wasn't particularly entertaining. I landed just after 3pm. After meeting with Dr. Mosango, who has insisted I refer to him as Carl, I am convinced that something more is happening than a simple classification or reclassification of the Ebola virus. For a long time, many in the scientific community have thought bats were the reservoir of the virus. Carl has found a new strain that behaves in very peculiar ways. I need to get to my hotel and get some solid sleep before I can examine the evidence at hand.
May 8: After grabbing a soft bagel from the hotel's lobby, I met with Carl to discuss the day's plan. I must say that, for a scientist, he is extremely robust and energetic. I find the change most welcome. Here is a large man who is truly enthusiastic about his work; not a common thing among my colleagues back home. Carl sits me down in front of a bifocal microscope to examine a cell cluster. At first, I assume that the virus he discovered is a bacteriophage as all of the bacteria in the growth medium appear to be dead. As I look on, however, these bacterial cells suddenly appear to be reforming, or, dare I say, rejuvenating. I turned to Carl astonished, and he simply smiled back at me as though he knew that something amazing was happening.
May 10: After some experimentation, Carl and I have learned that the virus will attack and kill a cell, but then somehow it will infuse the dead cell with the power to regrow itself. We still do not know the mechanism behind this process, but clearly we are not dealing with Ebola or any such hemorrhagic fever. This virus was something new. I don't want to presume too much, but, if this works the way I imagine, it could very well unlock the potential for human beings to extend life indefinitely.
May 24: It has been some time since I have written in my diary. Carl and I have been hard at work trying to make sense of a remarkable discovery. The military showed up today, at no surprise to myself. Carl seemed a bit unnerved but I explained to him that any scientific discovery that could potentially benefit the military was routinely visited. This seemed to calm him somewhat, although I fear the US government will take over this project, thus wresting it out of our hands and taking all the credit. General so-and-so did his cursory overview of our project, seemed unimpressed, and then left without a word. In truth, I was relieved that Carl and I could continue our research unabated.
June 17: I came across something today that both Carl and I find extremely disturbing. In an effort to apply the unique attributes of the virus to human cells, we chose mice as our test subjects. An injection of a small portion of the virus caused the mice to die. This was not unexpected. The surprising part was that, after a few moments, depending on how much of the virus was injected, the mice that had clinically died had come back to life. Normally, this would account for a significant scientific breakthrough. Unfortunately, it was a matter of moments before the reanimated mice began attacking and eating the unaffected mice in the same cage. I think back to George Romero's "Night of the Living dead". Have we discovered the mechanism that reanimates the dead?
July 24: The infected mice have gained control over the population. Carl and I decided that the best experiment for this type of pathogen was to expose it to a neutral atmosphere. Affected and unaffected alike behaved in ways that were anticipated. The infected overcame the uninfected in mere minutes. Imagine if there were human subjects. My primary goal now is to find a way to somehow disable the reanimation process of the virus, or, at best, find a way to kill it without harming the host.
Aug 18: Carl is dead. He tried to escape from the lab and the armed guards shot him. Apparently they know that this experiment is more important than human life. I don't agree with their decision but I think Carl is now free from all the terrible things that I am now expected to perform. The Maker Rest his Soul.
Sept 1: I can't help but stare at the microscope. I know now that any efforts I make are all being recorded. Honestly, I don't mind. I just want all of this to be over. Let's hope that all these crazy, religious bastards slip up and let me go. I may be a scientist, but I am also a man who has a family. I'll be damned if they take that away from me. I will do my best to get in touch with some important people that I know. If I could only get out of this mess...