10/02/2005

Daily Kos: Night of the Living Dead: Blood Warriors

Night of the Living Dead: Blood Warriors
by DarkSyde
Sat Oct 1st, 2005 at 22:50:58 CDT

It is Midnight on the US East Coast: The Witching Hour. The West slides past twilight and our members in Europe settle into bed under cover of the eerie new moon darkness in early morn ... Gather thee round Kossacks, dim the lights, and hear a true Dark Tale from the DarkSyde of zombies and bloodwarriors. Wanna hear something really scary?

There is a ghastly war raging. The legions number in the billions, each recruit is an automated serial killing robot, every one of them set permanently on search and destroy. The meanest of these combatants, a miniature cross between a mobile WMD factory and an agile version of The Blob, charges headlong into battle at the first sign of invasion, launching nanoprobes followed by living machines; pseudopodia greedily foraging for the first taste of their target. Friendly forces surround and eat the enemy's twitching remains. There is no quarter given, no mercy shown. The soldiers on every side are utterly dedicated, single-minded; failure means death: They're fighting for the very right to exist. And if our troops do lose, it's Night of the Living Dead for you and I.

* DarkSyde's diary :: ::
*

Ring around the Rosy ...

Way back in the 'good ole days' of 1347, those carefree times of wanton slaughter, religious torture, and massive infant mortality, another abomination arose far more gruesome than any mere manmade method of killing. It was a horribly lingering and disfiguring human blight boasting a fatality rate in the neighborhood of fifty to seventy percent. And it came out of nowhere. This was an invisible war carried out in the ocean of blood, ensconced within the very arteries and veins. And the epidemic du jour was a three-for-one-sale; A pathological trifecta. Lymph nodes in the armpits and groin would swell so quickly the overlaying skin would often split wide open, oozing blood and pus, and giving rise to secondary blood borne infections. If that didn't do the job, the pestilence might move to the air ways and take the patient down with a pneumonia like condition where they'd slowly suffocate on their own blood and phlegm. And the disease would often attack the blood itself with a casualty rate of about ... 100%.

Through it all the infected would cough up crimson laced fluid, swell and turn black and blue from head to toe as rotting blood flowed like cheap red wine from burst organs and vessels into the muscle and skin. The putrid blood would settle to the extremities, hands, feet, lips and nose, where the tissue would necrotize and slough off. If a team of demented bioweapons researchers led by Stephen King possessed by the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe and advised by Tom LaHaye had set out to conjure up a more terrifying apocalyptic vision, they would have been hard pressed to spin a more macabre fiction, than this sickening historical reality: The Black Death.

A mild buboe on the neck and a hand infused with necrotic tissue due to the Black Death. These patients are in a sense, lucky: They live in a modern world where antibiotics can treat the infection and medical science can address the complications

Pocket full of posies ...

Naturally the citizenry had no idea wtf was happening ... other than the usual assumption that maybe God was really mad. Muslims were certain this had something to do with infidels in the Holy Land as surely as Christians were convinced YVHW was smiting heathen unbelievers. Everyone cooked up convoluted apologetics for why their deity's aim was so broad and so poor: The contagion struck down the young and old, children and adults, the healthy and the ailing. All with impunity despite pleas and prayers and magic spells galore. Really, the only effective treatment was not to get it in the first place, but they had to try something. Non existent medical care and no medical science at all led to some strange treatments indeed for the Black Death outside of the usual hocus-pocus. It didn't escape notice that the plague seemed to strike the more squalid, large cities, quicker and with greater virulence than smaller population centers or the rural areas. Maybe it had something to do with cleanliness or bad air? It turns out that wasn't terribly far off the mark

Ashes ... Ashes ..

So the wealthy got the hell out of dodge. Vacations to the country estate became the rage to put it mildly, from China to England. And for the well heeled who did come down with it, desperate family members would pay large sums of money for their loved ones to be ventilated with perfumed air to drive the filth out. The ambulatory victims were sometimes taken to stands of flowers, like roses, and marched in rings around the blossoms and instructed to inhale deeply. For the bed ridden, their pockets were stuffed with fresh flower petals to help cover the stench of the dead and dying, and they were forced to eat, drink, and snort fresh ashes in the hope that this would 'cleanse' them. It didn't work of course, and sooner or later they'd all fall down.

Pretty wicked origin for an innocent childhood nursery rhyme..

Now, steeled by an epic blood feud fought by their forefathers inside our grandparents, a fortunate few may lead the way to curing so many of so much more. Thanks in great part to a long ago bloodwar fought 700 years in the past at the close of the Dark Ages, science may take the fight further than ever dreamed of during that terrible tragedy.

We'd better. For this grim tale has a sequel coming soon to a town near you: Asian flu? Avian influenza? Super TB? A biological horror designed by bioweapons experts and unleashed by shortsighted control freaks? Or a new concoction cooked up in the boiling organic kettles by Mother Nature? A deadly cocktail of all the above? Mankind is more ripe for a pandemic than we have ever been in all our long, bloody history. Billions are packed like sardines in third-world urban squalor the world over, their immune systems already weakened by starvation, dysentery, and HIV. Fertile fields for new bugs.

Oh yes, it will happen again. And just as before religious opportunists of all stripes will emerge and deftly play on the horror to pitch their deity. And, just as before it will have no effect whatsoever other than to whip the believers into a state of irrational hysteria while filling the coffers of fake healers with blood money. The only question is what will lead the charge, when will it strike, and have we garnered enough hard fought scientific knowledge to combat it? I suspect we'll soon know the answer to all those questions, for the hour of reckoning is drawing near.

Until that dark day, sweet dreams and happy mares my friends from DarkSyde Manor: Good night, sleep tight, don't let the microscopic bed bugs bite.


Daily Kos: Night of the Living Dead: Blood Warriors

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