The common man, unleashed on an unsuspecting world via an ungraded internet connection.
|"Legly, over here please," the doctor motioned a nurse away from the room she was about to enter.
"What is it doctor?" Legly asked, the doctor's grim face sending her into a nervous twitter.
"I just got the labs back on patient W3," the doctor said evenly.
"Bad news, doctor?" Legly asked, eyes fluttering in surprise. "But I thought the virus was in remission."
"I thought we'd licked it too, baby, but it's definitely back and more virulent than before," replied the doctor.
"You don't mean..," began the nurse.
"Afraid so," confirmed the doctor, "we've got a mutation."
"Oh my god, no!" nurse Legly was building up to a shriek and the doctor grabbed her by the scrubs and smacked her.
"Get a grip, Legs," berated the doctor, "you'll panic the patients."
Legly buried her head on the doctor's broad shoulder and blubbered into his tailored lab coat. The doctor lifted her chin up and looked into her eyes. Despair stared back.
"You have to be strong, Legly," soothed the doctor, "for the patient's sake."
There was a glimmer of hope swimming amongst the tears in Legly's baby blues. She sniffled and fought to regain her fragile composure. If anyone could help W3, it would be the doctor.
"Now, there is hope, but this is a step back," cautioned the doctor. "All indications point to... a network mutation."
"No!" Legly had braced herself, but screamed anyway. A hard slap from the doctor stunned her into silence.
"Yes," repeated the doctor, "we eradicated the firstname.lastname@example.org, but that just opened the door for a email@example.com infection to take over."
Legly began to sob hysterically and the doctor had to slap her repeatedly until she crumpled to the floor in a heap.
"It's DSL, Legly," the doctor's voice came through even though Legly was covering her ears, not wanting to hear. "A hundred times more virulent than the modem strain. A hundred times! Do you hear me Legly?"
The doctor chewed nervously on his own quivering lip. He tried to put a brave face on the situation, but the prognosis was not good. Not good at all. It would take some time for the new virus to get its bearings, but then no place in the civilized world would be safe from its menace. The time had come to bring CDC into the loop. The virus was localized to southern CA for the moment, but there could be outbreaks upstate before nightfall. Even the sleepy town of Taylors, SC would not be immune.
"My god," whispered the doctor, "is anyone safe?"
Just then another nurse rushed over to the doctor casting a worried look at her coworker, crumpled on the floor at the doctor's feet, before delivering her message.
"Doctor, a patient was just admitted that needs your attention. Name of Marlene D. She presents with an internet connection of over 1 Mbps. Doctor? Doctor?"
"My god. It's begun."