What is it? — she was looking carefully on computer screen.
I do not know. — answered high thin person in white apron.
Could it be something viral? — she mused.
Last two days they received samples from one of hospitals in central London. Two people, apparently a couple, went on holiday to China. It was their jubilee. They spent a lot of money to go on the trip they dreamed about for years. Nothing unusuall happened, as they stated. Just normal things people do when on holiday. But when they came back, that is a different story.
For the last two weeks, the hospital’s infectious disease ward has been closed for amen. They didn’t accept new cases. Two people were brought to the ICU on a Saturday afternoon. A man about fifty years old and a woman about sixty years old. Both were recently on a two-week tour of China.
Joe and Anna were a compatible couple. They just had bad luck and caught a virus. That’s what the primary care physician thought until he confirmed the very high levels of antibodies in both their blood.
As the couple admitted, the symptoms started suddenly. Fever, chills, everything resembled the usual flu. They thought the body had become weak and needed to adapt. They were both no longer teenagers, anyway.
But the usual remedies, syrups and aspirin didn’t work. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic just in case, but after that the symptoms got worse. The man started to have problems with breathing, while the woman increased her epilepsy, which she had been suffering from for years. The final decision was made by the emergency doctors at the Saint’s Hospital Welcome to central London. The couple were isolated and closely observed.
However, the usual measures used in such cases did not work. Their condition had been deteriorating for several dozen hours. Someone else in their place should already be recovering. Various medical substances were poured into their veins. Antiviral, antifungal. A lot of tests were done. But there’s still no answer.
This would not have aroused such interest if it had not been for the fact that within a few hours the people taking care of them also started to have flu-like symptoms. Doctors considered such rapid transmission of the pathogen to be at least suspicious. Since they didn’t know what we were dealing with, samples were sent to the Royal Navy’s specialist laboratory in Derby.
Ann and Danny worked in Derby for few years. They were ordinary civilians employed by army in high tech labolatory, that served army and other institutions. She was a doctor and she had degree in neuroscience, he was known for his books about viruses. Both of them were high top specialists. Their main job was to recognise pathogens and provide information for further reference. Army was full of people caughing all sorts of pathogens from all over the world. Sometimes it was difficult to treat them.
What the fuck… — Danny was adjusting electronic microscope.
What? — Ann turned to his way.
I can not make it.
This sample looks like someone poured something into it, maybe hydrochloric acid. It’s all smudged. He sighed.
That’s why you need to enlarge the lens and diameter and sharpen the competition parameters for the program. The rest will be done by the computer, Ann said.
After a moment’s fixing with a resistant tooling, Danny sharpened the image. It wasn’t easy because he was wearing a special outfit. It’s a suit to protect him in case of contamination. It resembled a cosmonaut outfit but was much heavier because earth gravity was not light.
Finally … — Danny tried to smile but his face turned grey, then white than …
What is going on? — asked Ann, looking carefully on the screen. I can not understand. It seems to be like this is some sort of virus. But a bit odd. In the shape of the crown. Like a king or queen, she giggled in her scafander.
I would not be laughing — Danny said. It is definitely some kind of corona-virus but it does not completely looks like one of its kind. Look at those parameters. It is huge like bacterias.
Viruses were inherently small. Much smaller than bacteria. That’s why they were so nasty to make a man. Before they were noticed by the human immune system, they often did a lot of bad things. Attack body cells.
Viruses as much big as that are completely unknown. Nobody seen anything like this. It have to be thousand times smaller — Danny mused. O shit. — he pointed toward a big crown like shape that appeared on the screen where two minutes before was only one. Look — he almost jumped out of his scafander. If that is duplicating so quick it would kill you instantly or it will make it a bit longer but much more painful. We must call the Red.
Red was the code that the military used. It meant the state of the highest alert. In their case, it meant that the pathogen they were investigating was more dangerous than anything they had seen before. So you have to run a quarantine.
Rhony was a young lawyer in London City. His career began recently. He just graduated from one of the best law schools in Eton. Anyone who graduated from this university had two choices — to become a lawyer or judge. Rhony chose the first option. He always wanted to shine in the spotlight. As a lawyer who wins big cases for famous people.