The Melanin Apocalypse
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by Darrell Bain
Category: Science Fiction
Description: A man-made virus is killing all the blacks in the world. The African continent is devolving into total and complete chaos. Blacks in America begin rioting and killing Whites. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta becomes the focal point of a vast political struggle for a cure or a vaccine, with some politicians preferring to let the disease run its course and rid America of its race problems once and for all. China prepares to invade Taiwan now that America is overwhelmed with racial warfare and sick and dying blacks. Israel and the Arab states go to war again. The oil fields of the Middle East and Africa are up for grabs... The CDC provides the only possible bulwark against the whole world falling into anarchy-and then it is attacked by rampaging blacks because of rumors that the government itself might be responsible for the lethal pandemic. The scientists, staff and the small CDC security contingent all have to fight for their lives, and for a chance to save the world from the most appalling conspiracy in history. Darrell Bain's most controversial novel since "The Sex Gates."
eBook Publisher: Twilight Times Books, 2005
eBookwise Release Date: July 2005
93 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [372 KB]
Reading time: 253-354 min.
"They never thought it would happen, but it has. A man-made genetically altered virus has started spreading from Africa, a virus that attacks the melanin cells, killing only those with dark skin, mostly black people but those of Hispanic descent too. Soon the African nations are descending into chaos, with those blacks still remaining attacking whites. The virus spreads throughout the world, economies are collapsing all over, the US instigates Martial Law and Doug Craddock is an ex-soldier pulled in on protection detail at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, where scientists are working hard for a cure. And then another virus turns up, this time killing those people of Middle Eastern descent. When the CDC is beseiged by the militant Church of Blacks, it is up to Doug to try and negotiate terms, even knowing that because he is white, he is now a suitable target.... This is one roller coaster ride that just didn't stop to enable you to get your breath back. Things happen fast and furious, going from one scene to another and you have no choice but to read on to see what is going to happen next. I read it one morning, I just had to see where it was going to lead. At first I wasn't sure whether I was going to like this book, from the description, it sounded like it was going to be a bit too violent for my tastes, and yes there is violence in it, but not in a gratitious way. The author doesn't hover too much on a scene's blood and gore, but more about the effects the violence has on the people caught in the middle of it. The characters are realistic and the love interest in the story added to the action, rather than detracted from it. The romance and thrilling aspects of the book were blended seamlessly and I think it would have been weaker if it hadn't been there. The book isn't horror, but it is frightening in the respect that the scenarios the author describes could very well happen in the near future. A book that certainly makes you think. Excellent read."--Annette Gisby author of Shadows of the Rose and Drowning Rapunzel
On his hospital bed in the city of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Benjamin Imhonde barely had the energy to raise his arm, but that was enough to see that his skin was becoming lighter. Several weeks ago it had been ebony black. Now it was several shades paler. He wouldn't have minded so much except that as his skin color faded, he became sicker…and sicker. Benjamin made an effort and turned his head toward the bed next to him where his wife lay sleeping, exhausted from expending what little energy she had left in the simple act of using the bedpan. She had cried out weakly from the pain caused by her movements, but now she was silent.
Sleeping? No! She looked more like…He didn't want to think what she looked like. He tried to raise his head but a wave of pain coursing through his body dropped it back to the pillow. A tear leaked from Benjamin's right eye, then another, and one from his left. He felt them trickling down his face and tried to rein in his emotions. Even crying hurt now. I'm going to die, he thought. I've known ever since they moved us to the isolation ward. But no one would tell him what kind of disease he and his wife had! Just before the transfer, he overheard talk that the sickness was sweeping through the city of Port Harcourt. Then an orderly told him yesterday--or was it the day before?--that only blacks were becoming ill, and even more ominous, that no one was recovering. That bit of information had been bought from the orderly, but Benjamin didn't mind; he could afford it. He was even willing to pay for more, but the orderly never returned.
Benjamin Imhonde tried one more time to move, to stretch his hand out toward the body of his wife. His arm barely twitched. That was his last conscious movement. An hour later the orderlies came to remove the bodies. They were Catholic nuns. They were white. They showed no symptoms of illness.
* * *
Doug Craddock took a seat at the conference table in the administrative building of the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. He nodded to the others present and smiled across the table at Amelia Foster. He had been with the scientist-physician once before on a mission, to the Congo where a pesky, previously unknown virus had popped up, then disappeared just as suddenly. Amelia's presence meant they must have a puzzle on their hands. She was CDC's top specialist in infectious diseases; they didn't send her just anywhere. He also knew Robert Handley, the man in charge of logistics and a good friend. The other person was new to him, a small attractive woman with light brown hair who looked to be in her thirties.
Amelia saw him looking and realized her oversight. "Doug, I'm sorry. This is June Spencer. She'll be head nurse on this little jaunt. June, Doug Craddock, in charge of our security detail. It was becoming almost routine for the CDC to send a security contingent along with the scientists and health workers when it was called on to investigate disease hotspots these days. There was even a new building going up next to the CDC complex, to be devoted to security.
"Hi," Doug said, smiling at her. The nurse gave a very slight nod in return, without a smile. He diagnosed her problem almost immediately. Another one who thinks the world would be better off without guns--until the bullets start flying in their direction, then we're the first ones they call for.
Amelia tapped her fingernails on the table to get everyone's attention again. "There's coffee and tea for those who want it. Now that everyone's here, let's get started."
Doug had been the last one to arrive. He poured coffee for himself while Amelia played with the keyboard at her place. The wall screen swam into focus. It showed a map of a large part of western Africa.
"Here's where we'll be going." An arrow moved over the map. It stopped at Port Harcourt, Nigeria. "As you can see, we'll be in Nigeria, near the coast. Port Harcourt is a relatively modern city so facilities should be adequate.
"And here's what we're investigating." The next image showed the body of a pale black man. His skin had a peculiar hue, as if some of the color had been scrubbed off with a rough cloth. Other than that, there were no signs of illness--yet he was obviously dead.
"What is it?" June asked.
"Good question. We don't know; that's why we're being sent. The disease starts with a tingling felt over the whole body and progresses over a period of weeks to extreme myalgia, neuralgia, intractable pain and death. The good news is that it doesn't appear to be contagious through airborne droplets, as diseases like the flu are. The bad news is that it's spreading anyway and the medical people don't know why."
Doug rubbed his chin where a five o'clock shadow was forming. He had a beard that showed more gray than did his wavy, dark brown hair, though his hair was beginning to be shot with white threads, too. To him, the new disease already sounded ominous, but then these days any unexplained phenomenon that caused death worried him. Damned terrorists.
Amelia continued. "We've already received specimens from some of the afflicted. So far, we haven't turned up what's causing the illness, though we're beginning to suspect a peculiar little enterovirus that resembles the poliovirus species."
"Polio? I thought we had wiped it out," Doug said.
"I didn't say it was the polio virus; just that it resembles it in certain ways. We'll have to wait and see what the virologists say. In the meantime, our job is to go there and assist in finding and identifying the vector."
"Any clues yet?" June Spencer asked. She and her team would be the ones having the most direct contact with patients. She played with a pendant at her neck, an odd arrangement of diamonds and gold, rolling it between thumb and fingers.
Amelia hesitated, as if reluctant to speak. "Well…possibly. For some reason, it's only people of color that have become ill. That's rather peculiar considering what a cosmopolitan city Port Harcourt is."
The other three people in the room couldn't help it. Their eyes turned toward Bob Handley, whose skin was a rich brown color, bordering on black.
He ignored the stares. "Maybe it only strikes those carrying the genes for Sickle Cell," Handley shrugged. "Or maybe it's an all black neighborhood where the vector popped up."
"It doesn't matter right now," Amelia said. She brushed a tress of her blond hair away from her forehead.
Copyright © 2005 by Darrell Bain