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Contagion is an alternate history about a disease outbreak following a boat sinking the the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It starts from the sinking of the boat to the immediate results, the expansion of the disease, and the aftermath. This alternate history is still very new, and is being edited. Due to this, the creator of this alternate history asks that you do not edit it.
This page serves as the timeline of the althistory.
The Sinking (June 1)
The Pacific Runner is a cruise ship that goes across the Pacific Ocean by going from the Marshall Islands to Hawaii regularly across the year. In early June, it makes this crossing, going from Honolulu to Majuro, taking about 6 days each way.
As the ship is close to halfway to the middle of the cruise, an engine explodes dramatically, injuring 3. Captain John French orders someone to see what damage had taken place, and it is informed to him that a massive hole was made in the bottom of the ship, and that water was coming in. Captain French calls in the closest radio tower, being that of the Johnston Atoll. Nobody answers. He is informed by a crew member that the island has been deserted since 2004. Captain French knows that his radio is not strong enough to reach Honolulu, the next closest tower, and runs out of ideas. It is predicted that the boat will sink within 2 hours.
After five minutes, the same man who had informed Captain French of the fate of the Johnston Atoll realizes that there is an airport there, and that because the runway is still in use for emergencies, the ATC tower would still be in operation. The Pacific Runner sets its course for the Johnston Atoll.
Captain French knew that the ship would not manage to arrive at the Johnston Atoll in time. Coral reef in the area could damage the hull of the ship further, and he knew that he could not make it before the boat would sink. Passengers were readied into the lifeboats as the cruise ship continued its course, weaving around the coral reef in the area.
The Pacific Runner was about 3 miles away from the Johnston Atoll when the motors could no longer run. Unfortunately, Captain French had predicted that the boat would sink about a minute later, judging from the last checkup he had made on the motors, just a minute before. Due to this, the information of the boat soon to sink was too late for about 100 unlucky passengers, who drowned as the boat went down. The rest of the passengers, about 300 of them, rowed to the Johnston Atoll, Captain French among them.
Upon arrival at the island, isolation was clear. There were plants that had grown all over the runway of the island, and everything looked about a century in age. There was no sign of life, and even the shrubbery all over the island was dead, as if it had never been watered for a very long time. Captain French went to the ATC tower which was still functioning and contacted Honolulu. From there, a rescue plane was sent to pick up the passengers of the Pacific Runner. Within an hour or so, all the survivors were being taken to Hawaii.
The Rescue (June 2)
All survivors were taken over to Honolulu airport, where specialists interviewed many passengers, asking them about if they had heard an explosion or anything of the sort, as to figure out what had happened. After about an hour of this, the experts came to the conclusion that the engine had exploded because of a badly-made part of the motor, which then caused a hole in the boat. The company owning the boat announces that a ceremony will be held in honor of those who died in 2 days, and that the next day all the passengers will be sent to the Marshall Islands or their home by plane with a 75% discount on top of the 200% refunded cruise trip.
A total of 173 of the passengers are taken over to the hospital due to symptoms that doctors declare to be related to fatigue, stress, and mostly shock. Doctors answer to the media, saying that there is nothing to worry about, that that accidents like this almost always lead to a lot of hospitalizations.
The Ceremony (June 3 to 4)
On June 3, another 32 passengers are sent to the hospital, for similar reasons that the first 173 had. 2 patients that went to the hospital on June 2 go to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), having symptoms including tachycardia and severe chest pain. Doctors are not able to find out what the patients have, and their situation gets worse as new symptoms appear, including the loss of conscience.
On June 4, yet another 37 patients go to the hospital, and doctors worry that there may have been a disease on the Pacific Runner that had infected many patients. However, they suppose that the disease had been a minor one, because very few passengers had any major symptoms, and most of them are expected to be released the next day. Both of the two ICU patients are taken back to regular care because symptoms of chest pain and tachycardia are both gone. However, another 10 survivors go to the ICU for the same symptoms as the previous 2.
In the ceremony in honor of those who died in the sinking, all non-hospitalized survivors (58 passengers) and the families of those who died attend.
The Discovery (June 5 to 6)
On June 5, 30 new survivors end up in the hospital, and hospital officials realize that a major disease has infected all of these patients. All infected survivors are denied to leave the hospital, and staff must work all day, assuring that the survivors are okay. The two patients that went to the ICU on June 3 die of a disease, and the hospital requests an autopsy, which is scheduled the next day. Because of the declaration of the disease, all those infected are sent to an IDU (Infectious Disease Unit), where specialized care takes place. All patients in the ICU are sent to the IDU as well.
Of the 28 passengers that were not infected, none of them chose to go to the Marshall Islands, and all went home to varied locations across the world (five to Los Angeles and San Diego, two to Paris, ten to Beijing, two to Mumbai, one to London, two to New York, two to Moscow, and four to Tokyo). Although Hawaiian health officials object and claim that they could expand the disease, they are all on planes, leaving the islands of Hawaii.
On June 6, doctors perform an autopsy on the two dead patients, and find out what killed them; a disease they had never seen before. The disease was named Redeo Disease (meaning come back in Latin). The disease was found in the brains of the patients, where it had taken over the section of the brain associated with the heart. When that was taken over, it caused tachycardia and chest pain. However, these symptoms leave after a while, when the disease finally settles. However, when the immune system discovers and attacks it, the infected part of the brain collapses, leading to death. While the disease infects the patient, it also spreads into the nose and mouth, making it very contagious.
Upon the discovery of the official symptoms of the disease, it is found that a vast majority of the hospital has the disease, and that many people are suffering from it across Hawaii. Most countries with the possibly infected passengers react to this threat.
United States of America
President Bush reacts to this outbreak by organizing a quarantine of the entire island of Hawaii. He does not, however, do anything about the survivors in southern California, stating that they are, "an unlikely danger." A vaccine is being searched for, but many fear it will come too late.
Chinese president Hu Jintao quarantines the city of Beijing and quickly finds all survivors and sends them to a specialized hospital. Many citizens of Beijing attempt to escape the city illegally as to avoid infection, and a total of at least 300 people die in the process, but it is believed that many escaped.
In reaction to the danger of a massive outbreak of Redeo Disease, France closes the entire department of the Île-de-France region, and nobody is allowed to enter or leave. In reaction to the angered nation, he says, "we must minimize damage by acting swiftly." Most major hospitals begin international plans with the UK to find a cure to the disease.
The UK reacts by shutting down the city of London, and places anybody who has symptoms similar to Redeo Disease in specialized hospitals. However, many people flee from London as to avoid getting the disease.
Russia acts very strongly against Redeo Disease, shutting down the entire area around Moscow, and readies the destruction of the city if things do not go better.
After it is discovered that Redeo Disease may be in Japan, citizens flee from the cities, and police cannot control this. Although a quarantine attempt is made, it fails miserably.
Although India makes a very strong attempt to quarantine the city of Mumbai, high population there makes all attempts fail completely. In reaction to all the mayhem, president Abdul Kalam predicts that the nation will break apart if no cure is found.
Massive Expansion (June 7 to June 30)
After a period of most of a month, Redeo Disease has expanded over a vast majority of the world, and about 75% of infected countries' populations has died due to the disease. To the right is a map showing how the disease expanded over time during June. The countries that were infected on June 7 are in red. If a country was infected with Redeo Disease from the 8th to 14th, it is in orange. If infection took place from the 15th to 22nd, the country is in yellow. If the country was infected from the 23rd to the 30th, then it is in green. Countries in gray were never infected with Redeo Disease. As a result of the rapid expansion, most of the world, and all of the continents were effectively destroyed of almost all humans, with the exception of extremely isolated areas of zones in Africa and Siberia and the occasional city still surviving.
As a direct result of the outbreak of Redeo Disease, airlines and ships discontinued going to infected countries, which helped slow the contagion of the deadly disease. However, as people fled from infected areas, they were oftentimes spreading Redeo Disease, not realizing what they were doing because they were either immune or did not have any symptoms yet. As a result of this, Redeo Disease moved in great waves away from the points of origin, like pebbles making ripples in a pond.
The South American Wave
The South American Wave was the movement of Redeo Disease toward the southern tip of the Americas, and led to the infection of all of the South American continent. People rushed away from the United States, and they carried the killer southward as many were being killed in Mexico, then the Panama area, moving on to Brazil and ultimately Argentina and Chile. Americans attempting to enter Canada met the Canadian military, which allowed nobody to pass. In the poor areas of South America, hospitals were far too scarce to help those infected, and death rates were around 90% of the population.
The Indonesian Wave
The Indonesian Wave was the movement of Redeo Disease toward Papua New Guinea. As the disease was spreading all over India and China, those stuck in the southeastern tip of the continent were trapped and rushed to safety toward Papua New Guinea and Australia. The water between islands was no obstacle, and crime rates staggered as people were stealing in order to gain the money to get a trip across islands. In order to stop Redeo Disease from arriving in their lands, Major-General Michael Jeffery used the Australian military to stop illegal immigrants from entering their lands. Many fleeing immigrants tried to pass the blockade, and for a while all of them failed, oftentimes losing their lives in the process. The islands near Papua New Guinea were not entered by immigrants due to the false belief that there were already infected, which was information Australian and New Zealand gave to immigrants as to deter them from those nations. However, their luck did not last. On June 20, the immigrants finally overcame the weakened army, and got into Australia, rushing for their lives into lands they thought were safe, insisting that they were not contaminated.
The Central Wave
The Central Wave was the most deadly movement of Redeo Disease, and it involved the expansion of Redeo disease toward central Europe and Africa. As people fled from France and the UK, they went northward towards Scandinavia, but could move no further, since Icelandic police kept beaches and ports closed to incoming ships. As a result, they moved toward Greece and central Europe, and as the disease was gaining more ground, people fled to Africa via Gibraltar, Italy, or Turkey and went on southward. In Africa, the disease spread like a wildfire, and the amount of people fleeing southward became enormous. Many countries tried to hold their borders, but the immigrants, now armed, fought against police and forced themselves on. This continued until finally South Africa, the last country, used their entire military force to hold immigrants back, killing all who attempted to approach the nation without remorse. However, just as Australia could not fight off the wave of people, South Africa, and soon afterwords Lesotho was infected as well with the disease.
The Surviving Nations React (July 1-7)
In reaction to the contagion of nearly the entire world, the surviving nations called for a meeting in the city of Papeete, where the nations would choose what to do in reaction to what had occurred in the previous month.
The only remaining nations of the world attended the meeting, being:
- Cook Islands
- French Polynesia
- American Samoa
- Wallis and Futuna
All of the nations spoke out about what they wanted to do, and almost all of them agreed that it was important that these nations collaborate together intensively in order to re-form the world and successfully make their nations work.
On the second day of debating, the idea of an alliance of the nations that still survived was very prominent. Only about one half the countries still remaining were for the agreement, and it was necessary that all nations comply. Finally an important message came from a Kiribati representative that made many stop and think, and was likely the most important words of the entire meeting.
|“||Those who choose not to join, are those who feel they can do this on their own.||”|
The presidents of each founding nation was made the representative for his/her nation when the API called for a meeting, and every nation worked individually, but the nations of the API were forced to remain peaceful, and no single nation could do any militaristic or otherwise major action without the other nations approving of it.
The Cure (July 8-14)
As the first major action of the API, the plans for finding a cure to the disease were activated, and all major companies and hospitals that had the facilities needed to find the cure were activated. The program was a large success, and hundreds of people were working in a large collaboration in order to find the cure. Eventually the breakthrough came on July 10.
The lead researching group for the cure in French Polynesia was headed by Wallis Falette, a researcher that was born in France. He found that the disease was actually a disease that infected the heart and lungs. As the disease went through the cardiovascular system, it infected most of the veins in the body and caused general weakness. However, the disease, once settled, made no harm to the body, simply using oxygen like anything else in the human body. This period of calm is what caused the lack of symptoms from patients in the past. Then, the immune system attacked the disease everywhere it was, especially in the heart, where it was most abundant. When killed, Redeo Disease made a toxin that was made to kill the white blood cells that were going to attack other cells of Redeo Disease. However, this toxin also killed heart tissue, and this led to heart failure. Falette realized that the cure to the disease was as easy as making a counter-toxin. In only 3 hours he found that counter-toxin, and with it, the cure to the world's worst epidemic.
The cure was given to the API, and the organization reacted immediately. The cure, called Alablasin-A (or Blasin for short), was a very cheap one, costing only 5¢ for enough to cure a patient for life. Also, Blasin was proven to work simply by being inspired through a gaseous form, and many large meetings were held, where cans of Blasin were opened for the public to breathe in. It only took 4 days for what the API estimated to be 98% of the population to be treated with Blasin, making them safe to go into the contaminated areas and see how the situation is in the rest of the world.
Revisiting the World (July 15)
The API sent a group of 5 helicopters to fly from French Polynesia to southern United States, as to see what the situation was in the area. Upon arrival near San Diego, the results of Redeo Disease were worse than what many had thought. The entire downtown area was crumbling, with many buildings burnt to the ground. While flying over the city, those inside the helicopters were shocked at what they saw. There were groups of people, armed with guns, shooting at one another. Crime was all over the place and the pilots decided instead to touch down outside the city, and when they landed on the ground near the suburbs, the disease's affect was clear. Homes were empty and there was little human life. Eventually, forces found a man who was scavenging for food inside of a gas station market. The man, whose name was Eddie Rodgers, was given Blasin and he described what had happened.
"From the beginning, it was all in disorder. Everybody started gathering their things and took off with their cars off to lands where there was no disease. Those who stayed were either stuck or were left behind. Those in the police tried to stay and keep things calm, but eventually everything broke down, and everyone was for themselves. I was in downtown at the time that the news was on television, and I knew that the disease would come no matter what, so I just stayed and tried to find a way to live. As it turned out, almost everybody was dead in the city in just a week. For the rest of us, we needed to find food and water. I stayed in downtown for just three days, and I stayed off the streets as much as I could. At dawn, I would find a store or a hot dog stand, take food, and rush to shelter. During the days, gangs run march around, looking for food. If they saw anyone, they would kill them on the spot, and search them for food. When gangs met, they fought on the streets, shooting at each other until one side ran away. I decided that it was too dangerous to be in the city, so instead I went to the suburbs, where there was less people. I took my car and left in the middle of the night. And now, here I am, talking to the last civilization in the world."
What Eddie Rodgers explained was surprising. The API brought him back to their homeland. where it was decided that the API would go to major cities and provide food, water, and Blasin for the cities, as to rebuild and stabilize them, and eventually rebuild the world.
Contact (July 16-20)
As the rescue missions went out to the largest cities of the world, radio signals were being picked up from many cities across the world, sending out messages, all asking if there was any civilization left in the world, and that they needed help. The API designated the cities that survived as 'External Safe Zones.'
- Bellagio, Italy- The city of Bellagio contacted API helicopters passing by to Monaco, and a helicopter was dispatched to go to the city and see what the situation there was. As it turned out, the city was never infected by the disease because of closed ports and roads. However, the isolation meant no food, and was needing of a lot of food to feed the starving, but controlled, population. The API made a steady source of food for the city, dispatched forces to keep control, and dispatched medics that would start healing the city as well as the area around it.
- Aqtau, Kazakhstan- The city of Aqtau contacted helicopters via long-distance radar and pleaded for food and water, saying that their lines of defense were breaking. When the API troops and medics arrived there, it was found that the city had used military force to protect the city from people trying to run away from the disease. The area was promptly given food, water, and cleared of Redeo Disease. API troops assisted in the process of protecting the city by giving Blasin to all who wanted to enter the city.
- King's Lynn, United Kingdom- King's Lynn contacted helicopters flying directly overhead the city to London saying that they were needing assistance, but no reference to food or water being needed was made. API helicopters went into the area with food and water as well as military support as well, but as it turned out there was no need of that, since the abundance of fields in the area meant that the city had a massive surplus of food. The city had managed to keep others out by paying residents of the area to man guard and to keep immigrants away. The river was closed to anybody.
- Terneuzen, Netherlands- As helicopters flew over to Paris, they received messages coming in from Terneuzen requesting food and water, as well as help against the disease. As it turned out, the city was infected, but all who had symptoms were put out to the street. The city was at only half the original population, but because of strict laws there was minimal problems with contagion. The entire city was cleared of disease.
- Grants Pass, Oregon, USA- New York-headed helicopters picked up signals coming in from Grants Pass, where a man was pleading was pleading for food, water, and help. When help arrived, it was clear that the city was near collapse as people were trying to keep people from entering the city through the wall they had constructed around the area of Grants Pass. All who wanted to enter and those inside the city were given Blasin.
Further Contact (July 21-31)
Over the course of yet another 11 days, more and more cities reached the world, and all of them were quickly brought back to stability, making for a total of 30 cities that were considered safe. These cities were located mostly in the USA, Canada, and Europe.
The API begins taking planes from now empty air bases, clears them of disease, and begins making large bombings of Blasin over major cities, where skirmishes and instability is very common. In response to the large amounts of people wanting to stabilize major cities, the API Expansion Program responded, saying that, "It would be a danger to our soldiers if we were to send them in areas where armed people are ready to kill for food. For now, we must stay focused on what we can do safely. Know that the time will come when we are ready to save the major cities."
Year I (2005)
Over the course of another year, the city-states remaining expand in order to respond to the greater population in the areas, where people rushed to go to safety, food, and water. The API maintains strict control of the cities, allowing no government to be made, in order to make certain that the cities do not go out of hand. The population in most city-states exceeded the population of the API. Multiple new cities made contact with civilization, and the political world map began to refill. Cities quickly became multiple cities as the expansion becomes to great. Major cities were still not possible to enter under API law. Outside of the cities, the situation was still bad, and people were fighting for food and water. On the last day of the year, the API announced that it will make more serious plans for rapid expansion. However, due to the large amounts of laws restricting citizens in non-homeland territory, the organization was quickly losing popularity.
Year II (2006)
The city of London was controlled, and the city was not in good shape. However, because food and water were no longer an absolute necessity, the city gained much more stability. However, the newcomers saw the API as a bad organization that was far too restrictive, further hurting the organization.
The API, in response to the anger citizens have in its outer territories begins to worry that a revolution would take place, and prepares a large military force in case needed. However, when news of this becomes well-known, the situation worsens, and polls showed that only 15% of citizens were in favor of the API.
Mid-2006 - Revolution
As expansion continues, the call to arms took place as a major political movement goes through the population, and many become extremely angry against the API. A revolution took place, and API buildings and offices were burned to the ground. Although a military effort to stop rioters took place, there were far too few people to guard the now enormous populations. Rioters took over military bases and designated themselves as their own nations. The API sent its primary military forces to take back the lands, (knowing that the new countries would refuse to trade with them, which was a problem because the API relied on outer territories for goods) but the now heavily armed revolutionaries stop them. With their military now gone, the API is given two choices: give the territories their freedom and collapse, or try to win them back. They chose the latter option, but the impatient revolutionaries were very wary of what would happen if the API took them back. A total of 40 missiles were sent onto the API. The nation effectively collapsed, and few people were still alive in the area. The new nations, which were unclear at the time, did not trade or anything of the sort, but instead agreed to use Blasin bombings across the world in order to make it clean again.
As the nations of the world began making the world safe, more and more people were being found in little cities and villages, now safe from disease and hunger. The world looked like it was going to be safe again. A total of 23% of the world is designated as safe-zone, and the territories were quickly claimed by the nations of the world. The world population took off again and recovered to 45% of what it was pre-contagion. Predictions stated that the world would be 100% safe within the end of 2007 at the current rate.
Year III (2007)
As the year progressed, area controlled by nations, which were still not very clear from each other, became enormous and takes most of the world. The world economy recovered almost completely as trade once again began between large distances across the world. On December 21, 2007, the world is completely designated as clean, and the entire world is cleared of Redeo Disease. January 1, 2008 is the official date that the nations of the world will be given their official boundaries.
The New World Nations (January 1, 2008)
In the meeting, all the leaders of the proclaimed nations of the world met. A total of 628 people met in the city of Paris, now the largest city in the world. In the meeting, a total of 35 nations are made, spanning all of the world (exception of the islands of what was the API, due to radioactive danger). The entire world rejoiced, as the new world order was made, and for the first time since contagion, political maps were being made.