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far off sirens

It’s peaceful now. I can concentrate better. Even reflect a little. It hasn’t been like that in a long time. 

Living in a city that’s eating itself is a noisy place. Even on the calmest days at the lab, there was always the sound of far off sirens. Plaintive calls, as if from gargantuan beasts being crushed under the burden of their own wounding weight. The mournful backdrop of our ever so slow apocalypse.

So slow. So painful. Death by a thousand cuts. 

We could do better. I could do better.

The far off sirens became my muse. I listened intently and called them closer. Steered us directly to them. 

Because what was the point of slowly bleeding out when I could rip off the bandage? I had the means. For decades my lab had been studying the most deadly viruses in human history--smallpox, bubonic plague, polio, ebola, SARS, COVID--to learn how to eradicate them. 

Eradication was the answer, just not in the way I’d been approaching it. Those far off sirens coaxed me closer to their truth. The real solution for our troubled planet. The simplicity and elegance of it made my path much clearer. 

To study lethal viruses is to admire their resiliency, their adaptability, their purity of purpose. To synthesize more virulent forms of smallpox, plague, ebola, COVID was so much more straightforward than eliminating them. Much more effective for solving the real problem of our mismanaged planet: us.

Civilization was in its death throes, the sirens indicative of our corrupting decrepitude, our wheezing, dying breaths. We’d been hanging on much too long, prolonging the inevitable and taking too many innocent creatures of Earth down with us.

At last, I understood the far off sirens and rushed to help. To create and unleash the microbial soldiers that would rescue our planet--but not us.

So much quieter now. I can only wonder, in finally heeding the sirens’ call, if this is the peace a savior must feel.



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