"We have had many cases like this," The doctor explained, at complete ease. "Don't be alarmed; it's just the flu."
"Just the flu?" Mrs. Lombardi asked. "This can't be just the flu. It has to be something more. He's grown so much taller in three days, and he's spit out some kind of green ooze yesterday."
The doctor and worried mother looked at the patient, a young adult named Dakota Lombardi. He looked limp in the chair, a little detached from the conversation, his green eyes looking somewhere else beside the tiny room. His skin gleamed in a layer of sweat, and his normally bronze skin was paler, a sickly color. He looked more than sick; he looked like…
"He looks like a zombie." Mrs. Lombardi said bluntly. "Now I want you to tell me he just has the flu. Look him right in the eye and say that. I've seen the news; all these sudden cases of the flu, but I don't believe a word of it. This is not the flu—it's something much bigger. I know it."
The doctor faltered from the woman's argument. "Ma'am, the symptoms your son has are similar to the symptoms of the Flu."
"Key word: Similar. How about his green tongue?" The woman looked towards her son, gaining his attention. "Show him your tongue."
He understood her words, sat up a little straighter, his school Leatherman jacket from his school scrunching up from the edges a bit. Silently, he stuck out his tongue. It was a deep, sick green.
"How do you feel?" The doctor asked, leaning against the counter. He was observing Dakota.
Mrs. Lombardi said, "We already told you."
"No, you told me. I want Dakota to tell me."
Dakota started to speak, but his voice was too scratchy for anyone to understand. He cleared his throat, and spoke a little louder this time. It was still husky and low, but it was understandable. "I feel like shit."
"Dakota!" Mrs. Lombardi chastised, giving the doctor a worried look. "Please excuse his language. He hasn't…been himself lately. Along with these symptoms, he's been different." She ran a hand through her hair in distress. "He seems angry a lot, and he's gotten so angry at me over small things. Anger has a lot to do with it. I don't even know how he has the energy to be angry; he's so ill."
"I'm no psychologist," The doctor said, "but that does seem strange. I'll let you in on one thing: This may not be the flu. Don't tell anyone, please. However, we don't know what it is. We think it may have something to do with the Flu, but how it spreads is still unknown. It could be like Rabbis— "
"—Rabbis?" Mrs. Lombardi exclaimed hysterically. "My son might have Rabbis?"
"Please stay calm. It's not Rabbis as a fact, but we're trying to figure it out." He started writing something down on his computer. "Now I will prescribe him his medicine."
"What do I do if it doesn't work?"
The doctor shrugged. "I don't know…come back?" He handed the woman a note and walked out of the room, going to his next patient.
"Well," The woman put the note in her purse, glancing at her son. He didn't look normal. His face was clouded with something unrecognizable. "You hungry?"
He didn't seem to hear her. And then, suddenly, he said, "Hungry?"
"Yes." Mrs. Lombardi had to hide her tears. She hoped he would be okay. She really did.
"Yeah." He said thoughtfully, as if he was thinking deeply. "Mom?"
"I…zone out a lot." He admitted. "My mind goes completely blank randomly. Like when you were talking to the doctor. It completely blacked out." He saw a tear escape his mother's eye and he immediately rushed to hug her, but remembered he was sick and didn't want to give it to her. He restrained himself, and wobbled a bit on his feet, his knees feeling…less stable. "Sorry."
"Don't apologize," Mrs. Lombardi said shakily, grabbing a napkin to dab at her eyes. "I just wish I knew how to help you."
Dakota stared at her miserably. He hated seeing her sad. His mother was normally a strong woman who always had an answer to problems. But this time…not even the doctor knew what to do.
"This doctor doesn't know what he's talking about." She decided, her voice stronger. "We'll just find another. That's all. Eventually we'll have to find a doctor that knows what's going on."
Dakota felt his mind going blank again. He stared at nothing. His entire mind just…shut down without him even knowing it. He was thankfully snapped out of it by his mother shaking his shoulders, her eyes wide in terror.
"You weren't kidding," She said, noticing Dakota was back, "when you say you black out."
Dakota replied emotionlessly, "Told you."
His mother cupped his cheek, starting to cry softly again. "I'm so sorry you're so sick. I hope it's just the Flu, but I have a feeling it isn't. Doesn't Darren have the same thing?"
"Yeah. But he doesn't blank out…and he doesn't get so angry." Dakota said, knowing that he had a sudden anger problem lately. He was ashamed of it, but the anger was so dominating that it stripped him of his conscious at times. "And my height." He towered over his mother now. He used to be 5'8, but now he was a tall 6'3, just in three days.
"We'll get this straightened out." His mother promised, mostly to herself. "We will. We have to."
Dakota swore there was something inside of him.
Something raw. Something that could someday…dominate him completely. It could already "take him over" whenever he felt the anger. But the thing inside him—it felt feral; animal-like. Like a wild animal.
It scared him.
Days passed, just two, after he last went to a doctor office. He got a little taller, but not much, and his anger increased rapidly. He spit out green slime at random moments, and he was always sweating but felt cold. That was a fever. So, he wore his Leatherman jacket, which was more of a hoodie but he spent some good money on it.
He stayed in his room while he was sick, in his bed all by himself. He would've loved for his friends to visit him, but he knew they didn't want to catch his illness. Anyone who wasn't sick was lucky. His mother said that this unknown illness was all over the news. People house by house were getting it—it was an outbreak.
But nobody would tell the truth. They were probably trying to avoid creating a Panic.
But Dakota was scared to know that he had an unknown illness. He was one of the first of all his friends who got it.
But the ones who did have it weren't like him. They didn't grow in height so drastically, nor did they have sudden anger problems.
He didn't hear about it until he talked to his friend, Andrea, on the phone. She had gotten..the illness.
"I'm sick," She said, sounding terrible over the phone. She sounded like she was sad, and Dakota could hear her sniffling. "I have these terrible mood swings. I keep crying at everything. Literally. I don't know why. Even if someone jokes with me I just start sobbing. It's really embarrassing." Then, her tone sounded worried. "Everyone else who's sick doesn't have these symptoms. I'm getting kind of worried."
"I know," Dakota agreed. "I get pissed off all the time."
"Did you just say piss?" Andrea asked in shock. Everyone knew that Dakota never cussed unless things were dead serious. He always thought that cussing was trashy, not saying that he was preppy or whatever; his mother just hated cussing. He himself grew to hate it, too.
"See?" Dakota probed. "I've even…lost the control to keep my language in check."
"There! You said it perfectly. You lost the control." Andrew gushed. "It feels like this sadness comes, and I lose my control. And when someone bothers me while I'm in this little episode, I go crazy on them. Really. I did it to my little brother this morning, and I really think I hurt his feelings."
"I don't know what's happening," Dakota mumbled, "but I hope…"
His mind went blank.
"Dakota? You hope what?"
No answer. He dropped the phone, his neck going limp as he stared into nothing.
"…did you just go blank? I'll, uh, call you later." She hung up.
He didn't snap out of it until his mother knocked on his door. "Dakota? I made us dinner."
"I'm not hungry."
"Come eat. You barely eat anymore."
"So?" Dakota felt the anger rising. He clutched onto his blankets, trying to control himself, but he knew that was futile.
She opened the door with a gentle expression on her face. "How do you feel?"
"Why do you keep asking me so many questions?" Dakota snapped, his voice different. It was dark and…scary. "Why don't you just shut up?"
His mother's features instantly went stern and she replied, "Watch your mouth. Don't you dare talk to me like that." Then she seemed to remember that he was sick, so she said softer, "Dakota. I'm worried about you. You need to eat."
The anger swept away with guilt. He sighed, throwing his blankets away. "Do you have any steaks?"
For the past few days Dakota only wanted to eat steak. He didn't really have the urge to eat anything else. He didn't know why; it must've been a part of the illness.
"I heard news from the CEDA, on the news," His mother said a little brighter, "they say the illness is from livestock. They're investigating whether it's true or not right as they speak."
"Why should we trust them?" Dakota mumbled, standing up on his lanky legs. He found it weird to look around his room so tall. So weird. Bizarre.
"We need to trust someone." His mother replied glumly. "I feel like we're…lost."
We are lost, Dakota thought to himself. Lost…
Three days later, Dakota felt worse than ever. His bones felt fragile and his entire body was limp in exhaustion. He felt colder than ever, and the sweat made his hair sticky.
His mother sat at his side, completely worried. She had a wet clothe on his forehead, and said, "The doctor's are busy. Everyone's so sick nowadays."
Dakota, shivering, seemed to not hear her. But, he said, "Mom? Thanks for sticking with me."
She was crying now. "Why wouldn't I be? I love you."
"I love you, too."
And then the anger swept in, stronger than ever. Dakota let out a strangled growl, low and feral, that seemed to echo throughout the small apartment. He closed his eyes tightly, feeling his conscious slowly slip, and when they opened, they were clouded with that something that took him over.
And Dakota Lombardi was thrown in the back, blackest part of his mind, forced to look through his own eyes and see his own actions that he could not control. He watched himself rip apart his own mother and other innocent people, as a zombie. But then he gradually transformed into a Hunter, and had special "powers".
But he stayed in the mind, feeling hopeless.
That is, until he saw her.
This is the Hunter's POV in my story "Prey". He obviously isn't a Hunter yet, but this is just the prologue. I shall update ASAP. :) Let me know what you think! Also, I would advice you all to read Prey before you read this. It'll explain things better, unless you prefer reading in a Hunter's POV.
I also did some research on the "Green Flu" in left for dead. CEDA is the government who covers up for the illness, lying about where it generates from and tries to keep it low. The Green Flu claims to generate from things like Rabbis does, saliva and stuff, but it can also be airborne. The surviors in the game are simply immune to the illness, they still have the illness in their blood but the symptoms don't show. The way for someone to be immune is from their generic traits, they have to have the trait in their X, recessive to the illness. Boys have the higher chance to be immune, for they only need one, girls are harder to be immune; they need two.
Anyway, that's just a little info that I gathered. :D