Keeper of the Sleeping Minds

Dregs of humanity

Dregs of humanity

There were hundreds of us, and all they could lay their hands on were assembled in the hotel. ‘Haven’, they called it, but almost as quickly as the plague virus it mutated to ‘Heaven’. To me, it never was anything but hell. Not seeing other survivors was disturbing, but the way they treated us was worse. At first, they kept us isolated and monitored day and night. They tried to understand why we were immune, exposing us to half-dead victims of the plague one by one. The doctors searched for a cure, of course, as was their job. But their experiments got more and more desperate, killing more and more test subjects, namely us.

We developed crude means of communication, tapping on walls in ancient morse code, exchanging written messages while passing one another on the way to yet another examination. With time, they relaxed the measures. Probably routine settled in once they were sure true survivors wouldn’t get infected, whatever they did. At last, they allowed us to talk to each other during ‘break’, the daily hour we were allowed in the hotel garden, by the empty pool. Then it was back to examination. They never succeeded in isolating a working cure. Actually, much later I learned that they did. But it turned out the vaccine only helped when administered at an early age, under twelve months. Most babies and pregnant women were long gone at this point. So the success was minor and they continued with their experiments.

I’m not sure who finally stopped them. One day, Daryl brought me and some other kids down to the dining hall for an announcement. It’s strange, but he was the only suited I had come to put some trust in. He was bad tempered and gruff but honest. The giant room with the crystal chandeliers was packed. I never knew how many of us they’d found. Most were young, but not all. There were children amongst us, some middle aged people and even some old ones. I remember one man that looked like my granddad. At first, I thought it was him, I’d never seen his body after all. But of course, I had no such luck. Before I could talk to him, one of the scientists in a sleek and elaborate silver suit stepped up to the podium. His voice was enhanced by a built in microphone. His speech was short, but memorable.

“Survivors of the plague, fellow humans. This is a historical date. All countries still able to communicate decided today to join their efforts to save humanity. Thus, we enter a new era of history. What once was the United Nations is considered Earth Government from now on. All living humans, including those who escaped infection as well as all survivors, are considered subjects of this new global entity with immediate effect. From now on, all efforts to save the population of this planet will be centralised. The headquarters of this government will be set up in the pacific islands. We will inform you of all measures taken hereafter in due time. Thank you for your attention.”

Due to their almost isolation, the pacific islands had been least affected by the plague. There, some major infrastructure was still working, and to the suited it must have sounded like paradise. No wonder the few of them left in the northern hemisphere were doing everything to relocate as soon as possible. Government set up in New Zealand. Only non-infected were allowed on the islands, of course. They shipped out all carriers of the virus, including the survivors. North Island was defined as quarantine zone. People were allowed to move on to South Island only after spending several months without showing any signs of the sickness. Suits were mandatory on North Island. South Island, to the contrary, was the garden of Eden. It was whispered that there, life went on unaffected, the same as before the plague.

Survivors were not welcome in paradise. As a matter of fact all infected carry the deadly virus forever. But while the suited feared direct contact with us, they found good use for us. Soon after, we where all shipped to Australia.

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