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Rated: E · Short Story · Sci-fi · #1664637
The end from a simple mistake, posing as something helpful.
         My name is Lucas Clark, and I am going to tell you how the human race became endangered. At current there are just under three hundred humans left alive. I am a researcher of sorts, I have studied everything possible to try to help reverse this disaster. Coming to the final conclusion that I am helpless, I decided to write down everything I know in hopes that an answer would come to me.

         The current date is October 3, 2099, but this story goes back over a century. On December 25, 1984, two people patented something that within ten years would be a common household item. These two people actually invented antibacterial soap. The ingredient relevant to history is called Triclosan. Which in small doses acts as a bacteriostatic, substance that halts the spread of bad bacteria.

         This was a great thing, until the bad bacteria started to grow resistant. It started a few years after antibacterial soap hit the market. The soap did its job perfectly, it killed almost all the bacteria, even the good bacteria. Some bad bacteria was able to survive, with a clean it slate it reproduced like mad. These survivors slowly grew resistant each time. These survivors along with any other bad bacteria picked up left the person vulnerable.

         The strain that wreaked the most havoc on the human race was a bacteria that was actually very common. It was actually pretty controllable until the year 2016. When the bacteria mutated into a resistant super strand. These bacteria actually mutated to eat the Triclosan along with the bacteria's normal diet of tissue. This bacteria became resistant to bacteriocides, used to kill bad bacteria. It also began using bacteriostatics as a food source. The name of this bacteria was Streptococcal Pharyngitis. Common strep throat.

         The name of the resistant super strand has been lost. We do know however that in 2016 there was a major outbreak claiming hundreds of thousands of lives in the Americas alone, over a six month period. The antibiotics used to treat it ended up making it rage even more violently, killing the person quicker. The way it kills is still unknown, the best guess is that the bacteria reproduced so fast that it actually began to overwhelm vital organs. Notice I said kills?

         It has been 83 years since that first outbreak, since then cities have been lost to the wilderness. People are still dying to this day. Nature's human exterminator is a simple bacterium, that we ourselves created. We know that the first strand was transmitted through poor hygiene, such as hand washing. Only four years after the first outbreak, in 2020, the strand became even more deadly by somehow going airborne. We still do not know if this was due to nature, or some human attempt to bring the world to its knees.

         Today another person became infected, my best friend. Any person infected is banished from the settlement. They travel as far as possible to avoid infecting loved ones. He left in the early morning leaving a note at my doorstep. Everyone knows the symptoms, we all wait for the next one to disappear, hoping it won't be us.

         In the 83 years since it showed it's ugly face scientists have gone through millions of potential cures. Chemical failed, as did biological. They have mounted expeditions into the deepest rainforests, tried unlikely, mundane substances. They even tried using strains of viruses and other bacteria. Not one even slowed the super strep down. Is this the end of humankind? Were we meant to destroy ourselves from the start?
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