Note: This story has its origin in "The Virus" by The Joker
Naturally, a number of myths and romanticized stories have grown up even in the few short years since the beginning of the New Age. Many of these concern the first critical moments that made all the difference. Did it really happen just that way? Maybe not, but so the story goes...
Dr. Mercedes Silva was doing a routine gene sequence when the wail of the All Seal alarm froze her heart. Putting aside false hopes that it was only a drill, the Chief of the National Institutes of Health Western Biodome looked at the maze of lights and lines to see where the emergency originated. Only the gravest accident would require an All Seal, which severed all chemical and biological links of the Biodome with the outside. Carved into the heart of a mountain, the top secret facility was virtually impregnable. Until they unsealed it, Mercedes and the sixteen other of the world's elite women scientists working at the Biodome were as isolated as if they were on the moon.
Amazingly, the All Seal order had come not from one of the laboratories, but from the communications center. Trying to remain calm, Mercedes touched the appropriate videocom button and asked, "Ayo, what the hell happened? Who hit the All Seal switch?"
The image of a tall black woman filled the screen. "I did, Mechas. Look at this!"
Ayo Obkonko patched the television feed to the viewscreen in front of Mercedes. The annoying CNN logo and fanfare was at last fading and the bearded talking head of Wolf Blitzer appeared. "To recap the breaking news, CNN has learned that two days ago scientists working for a Mideast dictator released a virus into the atmosphere that has already spread over Europe and is expected to reach every corner of the globe within days. The virus attacks and blends into the human genome, producing virtually a new species of human. Effects of the disease appear to be sudden massive physical, emotional, and intellectual change in women and lesser but still major changes in men. Needless to say, there is no known cure for the malady and there is little chance of one being found, given the rapidity with which the virus is spreading and the dramatic nature of the effects. For the most recent information, we take you now to our correspondent in Baghdad, Christiane Amanpour."
The scene shifted to a pan of the Central Mosque as seen thousands of times from the top of the Ministry of Information headquarters, the place all the foreign correspondents in Iraq go for the most authentic information. Then the camera focused in on a gorgeous young woman with long, lustrous black hair and smoldering, deep- set dark eyes. Mercedes was shocked at what she saw, recognizing CNN's top foreign correspondent, but just barely. The image before her and 100 million other viewers worldwide looked more like a slightly aging movie starlet than a serious reporter. The cameraman didn't pass up giving viewers the full body shot that showed a luscious woman dressed in the shortest mini the religious authorities would allow, even on a kaffir, and sporting a set of tits that hadn't been seen in the Old World since Gina Lolabrigida was a filly.
"Hi, folks," chirped the painted lips of the remade journalist. "They want me to tell you about what this virus thingy is doing here in ... uh? ... here. So far as I can tell, it's doin' us lotsa good! Oops, I shouldn't have said that. It's really going to be a problem, I think, the way all us girls are getting sort of filled out." She paused to give her knockers a demonstrative little shake for the camera. "How are we going to keep our guys to ourselves?" she asked rhetorically. "Experts say..." Here she broke off with a sly grin, "I wonder why they couldn't get any real 'perts' instead of just EX- 'perts?'" The new Ms. Amanpour clearly had wandered out of her depth.
"The Vir-us pro-du-ces an extra-ordin-ary in- crease in the lib... ?" The confused young woman stumbled over the text she was trying to read, "The libby? ... the Libby Dole?," she giggled. "That doesn't make any sense ... Huh?" She tossed her locks and cocked her head to hear the earphone better. "Oh, yeah! That is sooo RIGHT! ... They told me to say it just makes you want to 'do it' all the time," she grinned, nodding.
"Thank goodness Jamie came over here with me to sorta keep me in line. I know last night over at the palace talking to Sadammy I got so horny I was ready to <BLEEP>him ... Oh, oh! I guess they don't want me to say the 'F'-word," she tinkled. "Well let's just say it was hard to worry about what that big sexy guy may be hiding out there in the desert when you're wondering what he's hiding inside those cool 'jammies he wears," allowed the internationally famous correspondent, unable to suppress another titter. "Fortunately Jaime got me back to the hotel before I did anything foolish and just <BLEEP>ed the <BLEEP> out of me ... Oh damn, I mean he and my producer took turns calming me down."
"Oh, well, I can't think of anything else to say right now. So, this is Crissy Amanpour for CNN in... ? Well, one of those really neat places they send me to!"
Mercedes was unable to speak for a moment, then recovered. "God! This is awful. I see why you had to act quickly, Ayo. Thanks to you, at least WE are in no danger of infection."
"Yes, but how long can we keep the seal on place?" Ayo asked.
"We have a vast store of water and several months of emergency food rations. It won't be very comfortable, but with power to run electrolysis for oxygen and scrubbers to remove the CO2 we can hold out her for months."
"But it's still pretty hopeless, isn't it? Sooner or later we will have to unseal the facility and then we'll be infected, too. Oh, God! We'll all become mindless bimbos, like ... her!" Ayo cried.
"Not necessarily. We can..."
"Hey, Mechas! There's a call coming in on the Red Line!" Ayo interrupted.
"My God! The President. Put him on."
A familiar boyish face appeared on the screen. "Good afternoon, Dr. Silva." The President paused, looking her over. "Sorry I have to meet you for the first time under these circumstances." As she listened, something about the glint in the Commander in Chief's eye made Mercedes wonder if he was referring to the global crisis or the fact that via TV images, certain kinds of intercourse were excluded.
"Good afternoon, Mr. President. Oh!" she exclaimed when she saw the President was not alone. The camera unzoomed to reveal the entire Cabinet in session. The First Lady and the VP's wife were there, too.
"Dr. Silva, I have been informed about your quick action in sealing the Biodome. You're in charge of our best microbiological research facility. I'm afraid the bulk of the effort to stop this horrific plague will fall on you and your excellent staff. I'm sure that you will rise to this challenge. Aware of the responsibility that our nation, indeed the whole world..." Mercedes tuned out as the President was off on a speech about the key role of women in the global economy, but her attention was jerked back when she heard him say, "You know that women are found in various positions in my administration!"
The Secretary of State blanched and the Secretary of Labor tried unsuccessfully to keep from rolling her eyes at the unfortunate choice of words. Several of the cabinet started to snigger, but the First Lady silenced them with a murderous glare. The Vice President, oozing earnestness, did not seem to hear anything amiss.
"You can count on us to do everything we can, Sir," Mercedes replied keeping a straight face. As the communication broke, Mercedes was surprised how attractive she found the President --he was a sleezebag, but a sexy sleezebag, she thought.
Within hours Mercedes had reorganized the group's work, everything else being pushed aside to work on the Virus problem. As soon as things had settled down at the lab, she called her boyfriend Robert to tell him she would not be coming home for - she wished she knew when she could return.
"OH darling, I'm so proud of you, but does this mean we can't... ?" he asked nervously.
"Afraid so, Sweetie. I'll be here until we find a cure or we run out of food."
"There is no way I could... ?"
"No, honey. The dome is completely sealed. Not even air, not to mention a probably infected male can be allowed to enter." This was not easy for Mercedes to say. She was already missing her lovable if otherworldly poet. He was not a prize catch by many standards -- only averagely handsome, certainly not rich on his salary from the University -- but he wasn't intimidated by Mercedes' fierce intelligence and sometimes monomaniacal dedication to work. Under her tutelage, the sex was even improving. She would miss that most of all.
A week later things were going better than Mercedes had any reason to expect. Her deputy director, Vivian Wu, had identified the Virus and determined its lineage -- an ordinary cold-like virus that lived innocuously in human breathing tracts, never causing more than a sniffle. The Virus's creator had chosen well; the body had almost no resistance to such a virus. Shireen Kumanundawata had found the active sites on the virus that melded with human DNA to produce the changes in women's (and men's, it turned out) bodies and sex drive.
.... There is more of this story ...