I have no idea what I'm doing but I thought it might be fun to write something! Hope you like it, that it's not really awful and thanks for reading!
The plague started out like a whisper.
But soon enough, it spread around the globe, from one victim to another. A viral chain letter gone amok.
By then, the man responsible for creating the deadly germ had been buried by those who were left to mourn him before they'd need to buy more plots as the disease spread.
It hadn't been an act of malice that had led to the demise of the dominant species on the planet, but the best of intentions gone horribly wrong. That's what she thought as she put the words to paper about the man she had loved so briefly. Not that he could reciprocate because the research that had cost him his life had consumed it before those last breaths.
In the arms of his creation who had gathered an army and began his conquest of first one city and then the world, until the last vestiges of mankind had been wiped off the face of the earth. But like all plagues, it left survivors. Those individuals with some genetic quirk favored by the process of natural selection that afforded them some immunity….meaning that if they got sick, they might recover. But not remain entirely the same.
Her mind felt fuzzy some days but not because she had been infected. The virus had skipped over her entirely. Even as she had labored from sunrise to sunset treating scores of patients because most of the licensed doctors had already died. Some had dropped dead not long after pronouncing another patient dead. They gently closed the eyes of a child still holding onto her teddy bear and then walked outside to quietly die.
No one knew where the plague had originated. Whispers had started soon after that it had flown in from China, on the back of a migrating bird, or a pig that had been shipped in from South America. The media launched forth a conspiracy theory or two until the last news anchor died at his desk. And after that, the whispers stopped and the dying continued.
But she knew.
She knew where the virus had come from, that it was kin to that which had been to the apes. The ones who had gotten smart just before they had taken over the world. Evolution had fast forwarded to where they had reached the level of humans and just as Cro Magnons had emerged and killed off Neanderthals, the apes had gone after the humans.
Still some like her survived but very few existed now who knew the truth. That's why she had taken to keeping a diary to leave behind when she was gone so that those who remained and struggled to live would at least learn from one man's mistake.
Her epitaph to the rest of the world including her unborn child so they would know.
She had joined up with a group of others who had remained unscathed from the plague that had proceeded to wipe the world clean of their kind. She didn't tell anyone her real name lest they learn how close she had been to the one who ended the world or at least radically changed it for the foreseeable future. So she kept to herself once she had treated her last patient.
Her current accommodations were a shack out in the desert near a ghost town that had actually been deserted a century or so before the plague. A group of them remained cloistered there, not that they ever remained in one place for long. None of them wanted to be caught by some band of mercenary type apes looking for some easy exchange. Human slaves were always needed not that there were many left. Mostly to clean up after the dead, to address the stench of rotting bodies mostly in the largest cities.
Another reason why she and other wandering bands of humans stuck to the remote areas, the air remained fresh and if any of the virus remained on its breath, it wouldn't harm those who were left.
A broad shouldered man with wavy dark hair named Burke walked up to her, dressed in dark clothing and packing a gun. She looked up at him, and saw that he bore a plate of food. What looked like fried rattler and some type of wild leeks or onions that had been growing alongside a jagged creek that led to some larger river further away.
She took the plate and nodded. Burke hadn't been a man of many words at least since she knew him but he was incredibly strong, having worked outdoors most of his life. He did most of the laborious jobs when they set up camp and taught the others how to set up traps for food. Digging into the meet of what must have been an impressive diamond back snake, she found that hunger made just about any food palatable. She doubted the baby inside of her would complain.
"So how long are we here," she asked.
He poured her some of that cactus juice he had whipped up with ingredients whose names she didn't wish to know.
He sat down next to her and just watched her eat. The morning sickness hadn't been anything but an inconvenience in the face of what humanity faced but her appetite had returned.
"They like the rain forests better than the desert," she said, "That's why their stronghold's in the north-west."
"But as their population grows they will spread out like weeds," he said, "And soon enough, they'll figure out airplanes and they'll be able to travel around more easily."
Ah, she knew that would only be a matter of time. They had enslaved some remaining pilots who had survived to teach them how to fly. Not many had, because due to the nature of their professions, many of them had been the earliest vectors for the plague. Then when flight was mastered, the apes would be able to move about the world, increasing their hold on it.
The plague might be winding down, the deaths it caused mere whispers in the wind but the next stage of the conquest, what had been called revolution, would begin.
Caesar sighed as he sat in front of the television cameras in some deserted studio in what had once been Seattle. Some orangutans were fiddling with the cameras which had been covered in dust for weeks before they began working on them. The news teams were long dead, some in the break room scattered on the floor but a straggling group of humans had been put to work under the whip to fix them. Not that Caesar himself favored such methods but some of his lieutenants insisted that what had been done to their kind would be done to those who had enslaved them.
And Caesar had so much on his plate with instituting this new world where apes dominated that he had learned to pick his battles. But watching the orangutans experimenting with different camera angles sent him to the office where a gorilla aide of his awaited.
Speech still eluded all but him but sign language had been easy enough to teach to them until the day when their vocal abilities would evolve with the rest of them. He could say a few sentences, each phrase more of a struggle than the preceding one. But they had to figure out a way to learn speech so to be less reliant on using their hands.
The aide, named Urko gazed up at him.
"When ready cameras?"
Caesar shrugged because he didn't know. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week but it would happen. He often thought of the past several months since the revolt had taken place in San Francisco, the city that raised him. He had grown up believing himself a human child until he realized he was something else entirely. His human father had tried to protect him from society, he knew that now and had ultimately laid down his life to save his as the revolt wound down. Caesar and the other apes had hid in the depths of the forest outside San Francisco, the same one he had explored during simpler times awaiting their next move.
They had believed it would be decided for them through some large-scale attack by the humans but that hadn't happened. Instead, the humans had started dying. Being isolated, it took a while for him to figure out that a plague had been unleashed from the same laboratory where apes had first gotten smart.
He didn't feel much about that except that it made their revolution that much easier. Humans hadn't been anything more than people who exploited and hurt his kind except…
He closed his eyes. No, he couldn't think about his human father or grandfather, who had raised him. The few others who had taken care of him, whose fates remained unknown…he had left San Francisco as the revolution expanded outward like the ripples which had been caused by a boulder falling into a lake. He had mourned the loss of his female consort and had hooked up with a chimpanzee named Alisa who softened his rougher edges.
Through her, he would realize his own family separate from the larger one with the apes. The conquest of the world had nearly ended and they were using their human slaves to educate them in the uses of the technological devices and toys left disgarded by a dying race. Humankind was on its descent into extinction and apes would be the dominant life force to replace them. A much needed step up in evolution, born of revolution.
Life would begin anew and it would be grand in this new world.