It had made us mad, crazy mad, and there was as yet no way to stem the tide. The infected were easy enough to identify with their mercury-silver eyes and blueish pallor, and the fact that they made no effort to disguise themselves. They were completely guileless, just relentless, and hard as hell to kill. The infected were not undead, they just didn’t die.
It was supposed to have cured us of everything- cancer, the flu, blindness, bad breath, one didn’t even have to brush their teeth. At first it did just that but in one generation, it had all gone wrong. The Panacea Pill had become the instrument of Humanity’s fall from grace.
A pill of nanoagents easily swallowed to regulate our biosystems seemed so harmless, but it eventually transformed the newborns who, after the changes of puberty, went violently insane and became super strong, spreading the infection by bite and by touch if you were unlucky enough to survive an encounter. Wounds healed quickly while biological and chemical weapons were useless. Only a scorched-earth policy could stop them, but realization of the threat came too late to mount a formidable defense. And, their brains still functioned, they were not mindless beasts.
Now the Infected hunted us, the Pure, who desperately clung to small groups of survivors fighting as best we could.
“Three incoming,” came down the line as a whisper while we hid in the crumbles of a broken city, waiting to spring the trap.
I gripped tightly the sealed jar in my hand, ready to do my part. The three infected turned the corner onto our street, toward the barricade where we hid. They sniffed the air predatorily, their heads scanning back and forth as their eyes searched. They could smell us, I knew, and we were relying on that.
Steadily they came- Infected rarely ran- stepping over a snapped power line into a large puddle of water covering the street where, as previously planned, Marcus flipped the switch sending power coursing through the line. Electricity rooted them to the spot while I and several others darted over the barricade and ran at them.
As soon as we got there, Marcus cut the power and they fell limp into the puddle, then we opened our jars and doused them with the acid. We did not know if the electricity would permanently fry the nanites, because if only one survived it might repair the body, so we hoped by totally destroying the body to ensure true death.
We raced back behind the barrier to hide once more. Now we would wait to see if we had found a weapon to fight back and regain humanity- a cure for immortality.