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Wednesday 08 October 2008

Proclamations of the Red Queen

29th February 2008

Fiction: Decima

Posted by: Craig Young

 Here’s a little chiller I’ve been saving. Suppose that a mad fundamentalist scientist unleashed a mutant GE virus that was supposed to attack only those of us who hold the “gay gene”…but something went horribly wrong.


 ”During four hideous months in 2017, ninety percent of the world’s population died from a mutant virus. We were the only survivors.”

-Dr Helena Curtis, Memoirs of A Plague Time

No-one is quite sure why the worlds lesbian and gay population were the only survivors of the Decima Virus. Genomists suggest that the complex of gay genes in our bodies contained a particular configuration of amino acids that destroyed the virus on contact, which heterosexuals lacked. No one knew who unleashed it- China, the United States, North Korea, al Qaeda, it could have been anyone without a soul who made a fatal miscalculation and played the Angel of Death as a result.

I don’t think anyone who lived through Decima will ever forget its effects. As a doctor, I tended to the sick and dying. Later, I was called to supervise the burnings and mass burials when the death toll accelerated.

I was never a seperatist. My most painful memories are holding my five year old niece, Hayley, as her life was ebbing away, painkillers blocking out most of the agony that my brother and sister in law went through. She kept asking for them, though.

And that night, after a harrowing time on the wards, that phone call from Vanessa’s parents. We rushed over there, but it was too late. She went to pieces as she found them, in the garage, in their car, Mendelsohn playing on National Radio.

At the end of it all, there were collateral casualties- the suicides from those of us who couldn’t live without their straight family members, friends, workmates, anyone who lacked our immunity.

It’s been ten years now, and stories have begun to emerge. Of US lesbian Sgt. Lisa Warren, who shot the dying, insane fundamentalist General Barrach in the NORAD bunker as he tried to launch nuclear missiles at San Francisco and Sydney. There are six hundred million human beings left alive now. War and famine have been abolished, and we have a global government, of sorts. Above us, lunar and orbital colonies wheel.

And yet, we still can’t provide basic relief to that damned virus. When I said that our genes are resistant to Decima, I forgot women who got pregnant the old fashioned way. Most lesbians use parthenogenesis or ectogenesis these days, because the old way means that nine out of ten times, the foetus will be straight, and die in agonies shortly after birth. It takes a strong woman to deal with that. Better, then, to plan things out so that it doesn’t.

So we have world peace and equality. But O goddess, why was it at such an insanely high cost?

Tags: General

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