Plague War 2: Pandemic
Vinh sprinted across the winter beach and threw himself flat on the first rise of dunes. His breathing was harsh and chest tight as he looked along the foreshore for evidence of Carriers. Aside from his detachment of Marines, the only sign of life was a lone gull searching for food amongst the seaweed. A thick section of waist-high scrub blocked his view ahead of the plague-ridden town of Queenscliff. Thumps sounded to either side as the rest of his squad joined him on the grass-covered dune.
‘Damn that water was cold,’ muttered the soldier to his left, a bloke called Nate. ‘My balls feel like fucking ice cubes.’
Glancing over his shoulder, Vinh saw the boat, a seven-metre Rigid Hulled Inflatable, disappearing off shore to await their retrieval on completion of the mission. The craft had dropped them into chest deep water rather than risk beaching in the rough conditions.
‘Yeah, Command better have the weather forecast right. If we get stranded on shore when that front hits, I’ll be seriously pissed,’ said Vinh.
A heavy bank of grey clouds dominated the horizon above the entrance of Port Phillip Bay. The water had deteriorated in quality during their short transport from the Australian Navy Frigate, and an iron-grey swell was growing in size by the minute, fed by a southerly that whipped spray off the waves and up the beach.
The soldier to Vinh’s right slowly rose up on a knee and peered over the top of the scrub inland. A Sapper called Mark, he’d joined their detachment the previous day on secondment from the Army and was the only man amongst them with prior experience of fighting the Infected.
‘Do you see any?’
Mark just shook his head in a negative and crouched back on the dune.
‘Hey Vinh,’ whispered Nate. ‘I bet your Viet Cong grandpa would be proud of us. Invading an Australian beach with orders of shoot to kill, eh?’ he said with a smirk.
Vinh didn’t get angry, Nate was just a shit-stirrer by nature. They’d both been part of the 2nd Brigade RAR before it was retrained as an amphibious battalion, and the man was like a brother.
‘Piss off. You already know my parents were from the south. My grandfather fought with the Australians against the communists. And today hardly counts, the only people we’ll be shooting are technically dead.’
‘Sorry dude, I keep on forgetting that,’ said Nate, an expression of overplayed contriteness on his face.
‘Oi, you two,’ said their officer from behind. ‘Show some professionalism. Unless it’s mission related, shut the fuck up.’
Feeling suitably chastised, Vinh closed his mouth and tried to focus on the job again. His squad was tasked with completing a reconnaissance of Queenscliff prior to the deployment of a larger force. The Frigate to which he was assigned had been offshore when the virus sped across the country. Some pockets of resistance remained, but the vast majority of the population had been decimated in an orgy of violence. A rabies like disease called Lyssavirus had mutated and successfully transferred from bat to man with disastrous effects. In humans, the Lysan Plague as it had become known, rapidly overwhelmed the immune system leading to death. But, as the corpses refused to play by nature’s rules, that was where the trouble truly began. Plague victims reanimated with no human sensibilities remaining; in truth, they were still dead. With minds incapable of conscious thought, hearts that lay flaccid and lungs empty of oxygen, they’d become nothing more than vectors for disease transmission. Known as virus ‘Carriers’ or the ‘Infected’, the creatures were consumed by a mindless rage, driven to attack any non-infected creature and feed on their flesh. As the virus was transmitted via saliva in bites, the plague had spread like wildfire down the east coast and across the country. Brain destruction had proved the only method to kill the Infected permanently, as it disabled the virus’s control of the body.
Vinh had listened to the story a thousand times during the Frigate’s return from active service in the Indian Ocean. He’d even viewed footage of various massacres inflicted by Carriers; but still it seemed impossible, like an elaborate April fool’s joke gone wrong.
The officer climbed to a knee after one last look around and gathered his men closer to speak.
‘We stay on plan unless the situation changes; recon the marina, then head into town to estimate numbers in the main swarm. After that, we return here for extraction by boat. Avoid shooting where possible. There are only ten of us and the bastards are attracted to noise of any sort. I don’t want to draw a crowd of those freaks if I can help it.’
The officer made eye contact with each of his men as he talked, and the reality of the mission appeared to be sinking in, as each settled and returned his gaze unwaveringly.
‘Ok, let’s get this done,’ he said, rising to his feet.
The men spread out, each separated by two metres as they entered the scrub. The tough weave of their grey camouflage uniforms protected the men from the worst of the spiny dune grass as they pushed forward. Breath plumed in the dawn air. Spring was due to start within the week, but so far, winter clung greedily onto the land. Within minutes, the coastal scrub gave way to parkland.
Pine trees reared high above the ground, spreading umbrella-like canopies of green needles. The sodden grass underfoot was short, its growth naturally stunted by the winter despite the lack of park maintenance.
Movement caught Vinh’s eye to the north and he saw two shambling figures moving aimlessly with slow steps. He raised a hand and pointed out the threat. The soldier closest to the enemy trotted forward to a tree trunk, took a knee and lifted his rifle. Two suppressed rounds zipped forward, and the figures dropped to the ground, brains obliterated. The group moved on again, rifles lifted to their shoulders, ready for the next encounter.
Vinh passed one of the corpses. Shadows cast by the morning light had prevented a clear view of their bodies until now. He felt the hair rise on the back of his neck and his stomach clench. The Carrier lay face up, opaque eyes staring at the clouds above. The Infected didn’t blink, resulting in ongoing abrasions to the cornea’s surface until it lost transparency. It had been a woman of retirement age. Grey hair was tangled, a dried mess of gore and dirt overhanging the trauma of her face. Her left cheek was gnawed away, broken teeth and mandible open to the air. Vinh’s eyes dropped lower, drawn to the rest of her body. The corpse wore only a t-shirt, the right side torn open exposing a mangled breast, the top half of which had been ripped free to hang like a shelf over her nipple. Fat white thighs dimpled with cellulite emerged from the lower margin of the shirt. Interestingly, there was no sign of rot on the corpse. The virus had been active now for over six weeks and Vinh was surprised to see little sign of decomposition. He’d seen numerous dead combatants before, and within a day of being left in the open, the bodies started to swell and distort.
A short, low whistle forced him to look up. Nate hooked a finger at him to catch up. Allowing himself to become distracted, he’d fallen behind the advancing line. Vinh quickened his stride and retook his place.
With no other Carriers in sight, the officer increased speed. The line advanced at a jog, eating the ground as they proceeded toward the marina. The group soon arrived at a road in gridlock: cars abandoned with doors open, belongings strewn on the ground. Along the Australian coast, ports and marinas had been overwhelmed with thousands of people desperate to escape the slaughter on land. Unfortunately, such gluts of warm flesh had lured the Infected like sharks to bloody water, turning frightened crowds into orgies of violent death.
The marina’s car park started on the far side of the road. It was crammed with haphazardly parked vehicles, abandoned by their owners without a second thought as they sprinted for the boats. The team slowed their rate and began to walk through the maze, wary of Carriers hidden from sight.
A startled grunt came from Vinh’s left. His gaze flicked toward the sound in time to see one of his mates jerked down and out of sight. Vinh changed direction, darting around a car to lend support. The soldier lay on his back, frantically trying to extract his foot from under the sedan. A teenage Carrier, pinned to the tarmac under a car wheel, had grabbed the soldier’s boot and wrenched him off his feet. Its lips were pulled up, exposing teeth as it snarled like a beast. The soldier kicked out, hammering his heel into the creature’s face as he scrambled for his dropped gun. A second wrench from the Carrier drew the soldier’s foot to its mouth, teeth clamping onto his leather boot ineffectually. Vinh leant over the marine, jammed the muzzle of his rifle against the Carrier’s skull and pulled the trigger. The creature fell away, slumping onto the concrete minus half its skull.
Vinh stretched out a hand to help the soldier stand, an eighteen-year-old who had the dubious honour of being the youngest squad member.
‘Thanks Vinnie, I bloody owe you,’ he said, grimacing as he stooped to reclaim his weapon, a Browning Hi-Power pistol.
Vinh shrugged it off while eyeing a halo of blood and brain about the pinned corpse. ‘There’s no training for shit like this.’
The officer waited for Vinh to indicate they were ok before the group continued, making its way through the rest of the car park without further incident. At the end, a long narrow building blocked their view of the marina. Cautiously, they edged around the structure to find the port a gutted carcass of its former glory.
The marina was huge, holding over 200 berths. Short piers extending from the bank every sixty metres in the shape of a giant wide-toothed comb. Fire had taken hold at some point, spreading along the wooden jetties to the boats, many of which now lay partially submerged at their moorings with only blackened shards of timber stretching above the water like scorched bones. A strip of restaurants along the boardwalk were in ruin, their smashed windows coating the ground in a million glittering shards in the morning sun. Beyond the piers lay a narrow channel providing access to the bay. Three large yachts had come to grief within this passage of water, their sunken hulls blocking all movement in or out of the marina. The wreckage would have to be cleared before the Navy could take advantage of the facilities.
A crash of ceramic plates echoed from the Beach Cafe off to the right. Something was moving in the depths of the restaurant. Their officer indicated for them to pull back; enough had been seen to know the marina was useless to the Navy in its current condition.
They returned to the parkland, jogging along the edge until they came to Hobson St, a narrow road leading to the main thoroughfare of Queenscliff. Avoiding the street itself, the group went down the side of a house before jumping its rear fence. The squad found themselves in the back garden of a magnificent two-storey red brick building. They crouched against the fence line for a moment, listening for movement. Rewarded with silence, the officer climbed onto the back porch to try the door. The handle protested with a light squeak as the catch released. He stood to the side and pointed a finger at Vinh and Nate to come forward.
Vinh grasped the handle in his left hand, his right holding the Browning pistol at the ready. Nate stood at his shoulder, rifle raised. He pushed open the door and the two men entered, each scanning opposite sides of the room for danger. Nothing. Vinh exhaled and waved in the rest of his detachment.
In a jarring change from the colonial era façade of the building, stainless steel bench tops and cabinetry of a commercial kitchen lined the walls of the room in which they stood, giving evidence of the building’s most recent use as a large-scale bed and breakfast accommodation. At the far end of the kitchen lay a staircase to the second level, and beside this, a hallway leading to the front door. The building faced the main street of Queenscliff where an air force flyover had sighted a large accumulation of Carriers two weeks previously.
Nate remained with the officer in the kitchen to guard the front entrance, while the rest of the group kept their retreat free outside. Vinh and Mark were sent up to the second level to observe the street.
Vinh led the way, placing each foot gently to avoid making the steps creak. The staircase was dark, the bulbs above extinguished long ago when the electricity stations went off line. By the time he reached the landing, his eyes had adjusted to the meagre light. A wide hallway with walnut timber floors traversed the entire width of the second floor. Closed doorways faced onto the hall from either side at regular intervals, while thick curtains blocked the windows at either end of the hallway, effectively muting the only sources of light.
Vinh grasped the handle of the bedroom opposite the stairs and twisted the knob; it gave way and the door opened without a sound. Beyond a voluptuous double bed, the room had a tall rectangular window with a street view. The curtains were pulled wide, allowing light to flood the room, harsh after the hallway’s darkness. Vinh squinted against the sudden change as he moved forward. A quick inspection proved the room to be empty and he changed his focus back to the window and street outside.
He paced up to the glass and peered down. Breath caught at the back of his throat and stomach muscles clenched. The street was packed, jammed from one side to the other with a slowly milling crowd of the dead. Without target, they shuffled aimlessly, bumping into each other randomly before moving on again. Even at distance, he could see individual traumas committed during the transfer of infection. Many carried significant disfigurement: amputated limbs, disembowelment and de-gloving injuries common amongst the throng.
Vinh made himself swallow gluey spit and refocus on the task at hand. He needed a rough estimate of numbers. The rest of the town had appeared largely deserted until now, so it was likely that the swarm below constituted the vast majority of Carriers inhabiting Queenscliff. The narrow window obstructed much of his view in either direction. He reached to test the latch in the middle of the frame, when a hand grabbed hold of his shoulder from behind, causing Vinh to jump with surprise. He looked back and found Mark shaking his head at him.
‘Don’t do it. If that crowd hears the window move, they’ll surround us in seconds.’
‘I don’t want to, but we need to know how many of them there are – it’s the whole bloody reason we’re here. If we get the information wrong, it’s not just our lives on the line further down the track.’
Mark ground his teeth together. ‘Fine, get it done so we can get the fuck out of here,’ he muttered.
Vinh re-holstered his pistol, then took off his helmet and rested it on the bed. He rubbed one hand up his forehead, wiping a slick of sweat into his short black hair. Forcing himself to breathe evenly, he pulled out a small digital camera, turned back to the window and eased the catch open. Gripping the base of the window frame, he slowly inched it upwards. The wood squeaked lightly in protest. Vinh glanced downwards nervously, but the sound went unnoticed. He continued until a reasonable gap existed, then eased his head through the space and looked to the left and right. He could see roughly two blocks in either direction and the view didn’t get any better. There were thousands of Carriers blocking the street. Queenscliff’s population had doubled with those trying to flee the plague via the town’s marina. He took a few quick photos of the street in either direction.
From downstairs came a sudden high-pitched scream. Vinh flinched in surprise, hitting the top of his head against the frame. The Carriers below reacted to the noise. Those closest to the house turned in the direction of the cry. Slack jawed, expressionless faces of moments before, were now transformed into a rictus of anger. The scream issued again, and suddenly the crowd was on the move, lurching and shoving into each other as they sought to enter the property in search of the noise.
Vinh pulled his head back into the room and looked back at his teammate. ‘We’ve got to get out of here, the whole bloody street’s coming our way,’ he said. ‘What the hell’s going on downstairs?’
Vinh didn’t get an answer, Mark was already running to investigate. He followed, taking the stairs two at a time as he sprinted for the back door.
Nate leant against the doorway of the kitchen, watching Vinh creep up the stairs to the second floor. The sooner they were out of this house, the better. He hated old places, too often there was an invisible stain of emotion left behind by the different lives that had passed through. It was something that he couldn’t explain rationally to himself, let alone anyone else. And this house was filthy with it, a cold sensation that made his balls clench like he’d waded into ice water. Something bad had happened here, and whatever remained of it was furious.
A scrabbling sound came from the cupboard beneath the sink, nails against the wood panelling.
‘I fucking hate rats.’
The officer smirked at his comment. ‘I find that hard to believe. I seem to recall photos of you with some massive python about your neck.’
‘Snakes I can handle, but rats just make my skin crawl. They eat fuckin’ babies, Sir.’
‘Ah bullshit, Nate. I’d be more worried about what’s on the street,’ he said as he walked across the kitchen to the cupboard in question.
‘What are you doing?’ asked Nate.
‘Scaring the rodent off, so you can stop pissing your pants,’
‘I didn’t say I was scared, just that I’m no fan of them,’ said Nate, annoyed at the officer’s condescending tone.
The Lieutenant leant down to the handle and gave it a tug. Nothing. A plastic child lock held the door closed. Inside the cupboard, the scrabbling re-doubled, causing the panel to tremble.
‘Looks like your rats have made the most of the carrion about town, this bastard must be a monster,’ he said, pulling apart the lock mechanism.
Lock removed, the door suddenly burst open, spilling the body of a small child onto the ground, a girl of no more than three years. The child was frightfully thin, stick like wrists and ankles poking out of its clothes. It sat itself up with shaking arms. Long brown hair was messed over its face, obscuring a clear view of its features. As if noticing the officer for the first time, the head snapped up to look at him. It lifted its arms and reached out like it wanted to be picked up.
‘Jesus... I can’t believe it’s still alive after all this time,’ said the officer as he holstered his pistol and moved toward the child.
‘Sir, I wouldn’t do that. No child survives for a month on air,’ said Nate.
‘It must have had food and water locked in with it. The poor thing’s emaciated.’
The officer leant down and picked the child up, bringing it to his shoulder. He reached up a hand and brushed away the hair from its face.
Suddenly the child darted forward, locking tiny sharp teeth about the officer’s index finger. He cried out in pain, dropping the body to the floor in surprise. The child retained its grip on his finger, madly shaking its head from side to side as the teeth were driven deeper. In desperation, the officer wrenched his hand to the left, sending the child flying into the kitchen wall with a crash.
He looked down at his hand; the finger was gone, torn away at the first joint. Rhythmic spurts of crimson jetted from the severed digital arteries of his finger. The officer jammed his other hand over the wound, clamping down to stop the haemorrhage.
The child lurched to its feet. Hair still partially covered its face, but no longer in a fuzzed-up bird’s nest. The brown locks were plastered to the right cheek with blood, covering one eye. The other remained fixed on the officer while it crunched through his finger which was still sticking out its mouth. The child stretched its neck back, then gagged down the digit like a bird swallowing a large worm. Throat now clear, it opened its mouth and screamed, a cry of pure rage that froze the officer, leaving him rooted to the ground, immobile.
Mark darted from the stairwell, shoved his pistol against the child’s head and pulled the trigger. The scream was abruptly cut off as the body crumpled to the ground, inert. Nate and the officer stared at Mark, aghast at his intervention.
‘The kid was infected – you know as well as I do a bullet’s the only treatment,’ said Mark. He pointed to the front of the building. ‘We’ve got to get going. The streets packed out there, and they’re heading our way.’
Steps thundered down the staircase. Vinh paused at the doorway as he noticed the small body on the floor. ‘What the hell happened?’
‘I thought it was an abandoned child,’ said the officer. ‘I was wrong,’ he added, holding up his hand.
Vinh winced as he viewed the ragged stump. Everyone in the room knew what the injury meant. He was dead, it was only a matter of time until he succumbed to the virus and became another recruit to the hordes of Infected.
A crash sounded from the front of the building. Nate spun around, looking toward the front door. The window next to the entrance imploded, a Carrier falling through the frame. It got to its knees, a snarl issuing from its mouth as it looked up at the soldiers in the kitchen.
‘Make for the beach at the double. I’ll radio for pickup en route. If I turn into one of those bastards – take me out,’ said the officer.
As the creature rose to standing in the front hall, the men ran for the back door, jumping off the porch onto the grass in their haste to be gone. A maddening growl of rage emanated from the main street, issued from a thousand mouths as the milling crowd transformed into a swarm of rabid monstrosities.
Vinh hauled himself over the back fence, the structure shuddering under the bodies of the rest of his squad. Inadvertently, he looked backward before he dropped to the other side. Down either side of the building came a stream of the Infected. Vinh’s eye was drawn to the first in line, a Carrier that had been an elderly man, naked except for a filth encrusted pair of underpants. A garden stake poked from his obese gut, waggling obscenely with each step. Vinh dropped to the ground, gladly removing the sight from his vision. Almost immediately, hammer-fisted blows of the Carriers rocked the fence. Boards started to splinter as the soldiers sprinted past the next house for the park.
While the squad had been inside, the storm front had arrived. As they ran through the park, gusting wind transformed the foliage of the trees to thrashing life, branches writhing like the limbs of a tortured animal in the gale. Nate and Vinh crashed through the coastal scrub as they hit the sand dunes at the far side of the park. Rough sand particles thrown by the wind needled their faces as the men emerged onto the shore.
There would be no escape this way. The choppy water of a few hours prior, had been transformed by the oncoming storm into a beach of dangerous surf.
‘Looks like they fucked up that weather forecast, Sir,’ spat Nate.
The officer ignored him and unclipped his radio from his webbing.
‘We need an alternative location for pick up. The beach’s a mess, there’s no way a boat can get in safely. What’s your recommendation?’ The officer pressed the receiver up against his ear to listen to the reply from command over the howling wind. He nodded on hearing his order. ‘Will do, we’ll be ready for extraction on the pier within ten minutes. Out.’
‘What’s the plan, Sir?’ asked Vinh.
The officer was looking rough. His face was red and fat beads of sweat rolled down from his forehead, only to be ripped away by the wind. He lifted his hand and pointed down the beach to the north. ‘We make for the pier. They’re sending a Seahawk to pick you guys up.’
‘All of us, don’t you mean, Sir?’ Vinh asked.
‘I’m bitten. We can’t afford the risk of infection aboard the main ship, so I’ll be covering the withdrawal. The pier makes sense; we only have to hold a ten-metre span while waiting for the chopper.’
The snarling rage of the approaching swarm could now be heard over the wind. They were getting close.
‘We need to go before they cut us off. Move!’ shouted the officer.
The men launched into a sprint along the beach. The first Carriers emerged from the scrub above where they had been, tumbling down the dune in their haste to reach the warm flesh of the Marines. Within moments the beach was packed from water’s edge to the scrub line, as the Infected trailed fifty metres behind the small group of soldiers.
Vinh and Nate were in the lead of the small squad. Coming to the base of the pier, they shoved their rifles through the railings onto the wooden slats, then clambered over the top of the low barrier. They reached down to help pull their mates over the edge. Nate glanced to the shore and felt hair rise on the back of his neck. The start of the pier was no longer empty but teeming with pallid ghouls heading their way from the park beyond.
The squad thundered across the springing slats toward the end of the pier. A long weatherboard building covered the pier for roughly thirty metres before opening to the air once more. Spray was lifted off the waves below and flung in their faces as they reached the end of the structure. Turning around once more, they faced the oncoming mob of Infected.
‘Fix bayonets!’ roared the officer. Metal rasped as each soldier pulled a wickedly sharp knife free to fix on the end of their rifle. ‘Make your shots count, remember, nothing but the head will stop these bastards.’
The officer took a knee and aimed at the front-runners of the attacking horde. ‘Shoot at will!’ he shouted.
The squad formed a line behind him, taking side on shooting stances and opened fire. The noise was deafening with so many rifles firing in close confines, stunning eardrums to a high-pitched tinnitus whine. Carriers filled the ten-metre width of the pier, jostling against each other in their eagerness to attack. As rifles fired, the front line of Carriers fell to a person. The Infected directly behind tripped over the bodies, sprawling on the wooden slats. The marksmanship of the soldiers was supreme, shot after bloody shot smashing skull and brains. But still they lost ground. Slowly, the Carriers advanced through sheer weight of numbers, crawling over the carcasses of the fallen, oblivious to the torn and mangled bodies beneath as their hands slipped in entrails and mushed brain.
The sound of chopper blades gained Vinh’s attention. A grey Seahawk was skimming across the foaming waves to their position. They had less than forty metres of the pier free of Carriers and would have to risk advancing closer to give it room to land. The officer evidently realised the same thing, waving the line forward and advancing to within fifteen metres of the enemy.
The blades of the chopper buffeted their backs as it landed on the end of the pier, the structure groaning under the weight of the huge machine. The officer waved his men back, and two by two they turned and ran for the doors of the helicopter until the Lieutenant was left on his own. With the decrease in opposition, the Infected quickly gained ground, advancing as the chopper lifted off.
The officer fell back while keeping a continuous rate of fire. The Seahawk hovered to the left of the pier, and the pilot now directed the helicopter’s machine gun onto the swarm. Wood splintered from the hand railings, exploding as large rounds punched through and onward to the bodies of the Infected, mowing them down like wheat before a blade in an attempt to protect the Lieutenant.
The officer’s magazine ran dry, forcing him to change weapons. He let the rifle drop to his side, hanging by its sling as he drew his service pistol. He continued to fire as his back bumped up against the final barrier. He’d run out of room to retreat. Hands reached hungrily for him, chipped and blood-stained teeth snapped as rancid breath gusted into his face from the corpses, now within arm’s reach.
His pistol clicked dully on an empty chamber.
The officer pulled back up his rifle, shoving the bayonet forward into the torso of a Carrier. The blade jammed, caught between two ribs, stealing the use of his last weapon. He was engulfed by the Infected. One of the ghouls clamped an iron bracelet of fingers about his wrist, jerking him forward into a savage embrace. His other arm was wrenched out by another Carrier, pulling the wrist into its mouth. He screamed as the pack of mindless dead gouged meat from his body in countless locations.
‘You can’t let him die like that!’ yelled Vinh.
The chopper pilot clenched his jaw and swept the machine gun towards the officer, punching holes of crimson through his chest and blasting the Carriers from his body. The Lieutenant slumped to the ground, dead. Most of the Infected surrounding were only temporarily stopped by the passage of bullets. They now dragged torn bodies back to the officer, intent on continuing their feast.
Seeing that the officer was no longer moving, the pilot turned his craft away and headed back to the Frigate, the pier and Queenscliff receding behind them as they sped over the waters of Port Phillip Bay.
Vinh slumped backward against the wall of the cabin, looking blankly ahead. He had escaped, but it was only a momentary reprieve. The main invasion force would land within a fortnight, and he’d be counted within its numbers.
Mark nudged his ankle with his foot, distracting him from his depressive thoughts. Vinh looked up, his mind still reeling at what he’d seen.
‘That your first contact with the plague?’ asked Mark.
Vinh nodded, unable to form any words.
‘I know it doesn’t seem it, but we did ok back there. Ten men into a town of thousands? I didn’t think we’d be coming back,’ Mark said, his face weary.
Vinh turned away. He wasn’t in any state to start looking for silver linings just yet.
Plague War 2: Pandemic