Stories

Balance


Day 0
Jenkins came into the infirmary today complaining of stomach cramps. He had eaten Fenaís chowder from the commissary. The doctor gave him an antacid and sent him home. Most likely, Jenkins will be working with the rest of the miners tomorrow.

Day 1
Five more people came into the infirmary with stomach cramps. Each had eaten something different - none had eaten Fenaís chowder. Of course, todayís chowder is a different, fresh batch, so itís not likely they would have had any problems with it. Fenaís chowder is normally pretty good, especially compared to the rest of the food here.

The doctor checked in on Jenkins. He seemed to be fine.

Day 2
Twenty five people came into the infirmary with stomach cramps today. A few had eaten similar meals, but there was enough variance that the doctor tossed out a food-borne illness theory. After the first few came in, he took blood samples from all of them. He wants to test them to make sure thereís nothing going around.

The doctor also sent for Jenkins and the five that came in the day before. All of them seemed to be in perfect health, but he took blood samples from them as well. Just a precautionary measure, he assured them.

Day 3
Over a hundred people came into the infirmary with stomach cramps today. The doctor took blood samples from all of them, gave them some antacids, since that seemed to work for the first few, and sent them home.

Jenkins and the other thirty continue to show no signs of further illness. All of them continue to work every day.

One of the nurses suggested that the current cases be quarantined, just in case. The doctor refused to do it. The corporation wouldnít be happy if a hundred of their workers suddenly had to stop working just because of unknown stomach cramps that went away after a day.

Day 4
The infirmary was overwhelmed with cases of stomach cramps. I didnít get a count of them, but there were at least five hundred if not more. If my reasoning is right, there should be 625 cases total, but Iím not confident.

The doctor didnít bother to take any blood samples. He already has more than enough from the others to test. He simply hasnít had enough time to test anything with all the patients heís had to see. Heís considered sending it off-colony to be tested. I think the corporate adviser will reject that suggestion.

After all, having the blood analyzed at a lab will cost money. And so far, the illness is causing stomach cramps for a day and nothing else.

Day 5
The doctor didnít bother to see all the people coming in with stomach cramps. Instead, he simply told the nurses to give anyone who came in an antacid and send them home. It makes sense, heís figured out thatís been good enough to treat it. Heís been focused on analyzing the blood samples heís taken to try and figure out whatís causing the illness.

Jenkins also came in today with a broken nose. After work, he went to his favorite bar and apparently got into a fight with someone. He doesnít remember the details too well, just that all of the sudden, he was taking swings as a much larger man. The larger man punched him out.

One of Jenkinsís friends brought him to the infirmary to get checked out. The doctor patched him up and sent him on his way. Security will probably have a talk with him, but bar fights arenít uncommon.

Day 6
Even more stomach cramp cases. The doctor ignores them. We give out antacids.

Four people came in for various injuries caused during fights. Two of them were people who had suffered stomach cramps on Day 1. The other two had been attacked by the people who had stomach cramps on Day 1.

No one else has picked up on the correlation, but I havenít mentioned it yet.

The doctor has complained that all the distractions are keeping him from focusing on his studying of the blood samples.

Day 7
Thirty-two people came in for injuries suffered in fights. Jenkins was involved in a fight again, this time breaking a manís arm. The others from Day 1 and Day 2 were involved as well. Iíve pointed out the correlation. Of course, by this point, the others had noticed it as well.

The doctor was too busy treating everyoneís injuries to do any more tests on the blood. Heís ordered security to round up all the people who had suffered from stomach cramps, but thatís going to be a futile effort. Thereís already been at least 50000 reported cases and probably more that have gone unreported.

There are only 5000 security personnel on the colony. And thereís only enough cell space for a few hundred people. If the illness continues to spread as fast as it has, the entire colony will be infected soon.

Day 8
Thereís been chaos on the colony today. Hundreds of fights have broken out. Most are still small scale, but a few have turned deadly. Jenkins killed the man who broke his nose on Day 5. Of course, witnesses said the man attacked Jenkins first.

Apparently, Jenkins flew into a rage after being attacked. He smashed the manís head into a wall until it was little more than mush.

Most of the fights have involved miners. Thatís not unusual, since the colony is mostly a mining colony, but they do interact with the other people here regularly. Either the illness needs a long period of contact to spread or something about the conditions of the miners allows it to spread.

The corporate adviser continues to deny the doctorís request to send the blood samples off to be tested. At first, it was because of money. Now, the corporation doesnít want to risk contaminating other people with the illness.

They have agreed to send in some specialists, however.

Day 9
More violence. Security has been struggling to deal with it. Theyíve had to use lethal force on more than a few people. The violence has also spread beyond the miners. Some of the security guards have begun fighting too. One store clerk attacked her boss.

Jenkins began bleeding from his eyes. It was just a trickle, nothing fatal. But it was a slow, persistent seep. We canít seem to stop it, no matter what we do. He doesnít seem to mind it, though. He barely seems to acknowledge anything.

The doctor took the blood for testing, but it told him nothing.

Strangely, much of the colony remains unaffected by the disease. While itís reasonable that we havenít heard any new cases of stomach cramps with all the chaos going on, only one of the nurses has shown any signs of infection.

The doctor has kept her quarantined at the infirmary in order to study her. Thereís a constant security detachment assigned to us in order to protect us from the violence.

I donít think it will be enough.

Day 10
The corporation has refused to send the specialists in. The violence is too much. None of it is organized, but the corporation fears for the safety of anyone it sends on board.

Security is fighting a losing battle against the infected. It doesnít help that many of them have also become infected. It happens without warning. Suddenly, a person turns on whoever is nearest and attacks like a dog. The first few times, they calm down after a few minutes. But eventually, it becomes a constant rage. Theyíre like rabid animals.

More people have begun bleeding from their eyes. Jenkins has begun to bleed from other orifices as well. Itís likely heíll bleed to death by tomorrow morning.

One of the nurses killed herself after she started to have stomach cramps. She didnít want to end up like everyone else. But most of the staff remains unaffected, including myself and the doctor.

In fact, it seems like at least half the colony is not affected by the disease. Plenty of miners who were in close contact with Jenkins and the other original patients remain uninfected. Iíve told the doctor this, but he had realized it already. Heís smarter than I thought.

He still hasnít isolated the contagion, though. Maybe heís not that smart after all.

Day 11
The doctor finally discovered what causes the disease. Itís a bacteria that lives in the victimís stomach. It releases toxins into the bloodstream that causes first rage, then the bleeding. And, apparently, overloads the adrenal glands.

Jenkins escaped his restraints and managed to kill three uninfected security officers and two nurses before he was finally killed. Security had to blow his head off to stop him, though I suspect any well placed bullet to the heart or brain would have been enough to kill him.

There have been other reports of people demonstrating high pain tolerance and unusual strength as well. It seems the disease has not progressed at the same rate in everyone. A few people have already progressed beyond where Jenkins was at the same time frame after infection.

The doctor is trying to synthesize a cure, but I doubt heíll be able to save many people. Itís nothing short of a miracle that we all havenít been killed by the infected yet.

Day 12
The corporate adviser and a small security team attempted to escape the colony. They fought their way into the docking bay and managed to get into a shuttle.

As soon as they undocked, a corporate interceptor locked them and destroyed them. The corporation does not want this infection to spread beyond the colony. Theyíve even locked down all communication in and out of the colony. We canít call out, no one else can call in.

They donít want anyone to know what happened here. Itíd be bad for the stocks, after all.

Thatís mildly annoying for me. But I still have ways to send out my report.

Day 13
This will likely be my final report.

The doctor has discovered a cure. I helped him. For a laugh, really. The situation has already gone past hopeless. Weíre all going to die. But the look of hope on his face was priceless. He didnít even question how I came up with the cure.

The cure is airborne, so heís begun pumping it through the station. Those who have progressed to the bleeding-from-many-orifices point are beyond hope. The disease has already ravaged their bodies so much that they wonít survive. Anyone else can be cured, however.

Thatís a good portion of the colonyís population. People are already coming out of their rages and calming down. Those who have are realizing with horror whatís happened to them and what theyíve been doing.

Itís hilarious.

Because the corporation has a fleet right outside the colony. And all communication in and out of the colony is still being jammed.

Iíve already seen a few missile volleys slamming into another section of the colony. Itíll only be a matter of minutes before this section is destroyed as well. No one will survive it.

Iím just glad I prepared ahead and smuggled in this non-corporate transmitter. That way, I can report my success back to you.

The day of salvation is quickly approaching us.

Hail Lord Ocilan.



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