**This is the journal of Felipe Mendoza, Virologist and Lead specialist with Atlas co. Currently developing Plan Victoria. This will be a rough outline and hard copy to document my personal perspective and experiences on the development of a wonderful new virus and its transformation period. Needless to say I am very excited.
February 26, 2020
It is an exciting time! My recent transfer to Miami has been a little hectic to my personal life. Who am I kidding, its been a disaster not seeing my mother and my fiancee every day, but it will be worth it won’t it? Miami is our current main operations site for this project, I’m excited. We have taken this awful virus and formulated some wonderful results. It is a shame we can’t share this with anyone what we are doing because it is truly wonderful!! So many possibilities to who and what we can create.
March 3, 2020
Lunch was amazing today at the cafeteria. I really think the lunch ladies are liking me more and more. Can’t get enough of these little fried ham logs and the coffee is basically crack in a cup.
Research is going well despite the current population getting affected. The survivability rate of Victoria is very high. We are estimating the initial survival rate to be a controlled rate of 99.9%. Our current counterparts in Europe and Asia seem to be having a very similar survival rate, although their estimated contamination rate was grossly miscalculated. Sigh, go figure. Regardless, we are so pleased with our little Victoria. Initial assessment so far is asymptotic and remain dormant in the human body for months. We calculate 5-6 months of incubation before we can reactive its growth rate and allow final transformation and or vaccines for subjects. Those who show signs of failure into final phases will be vaccinated or sadly disposed of, but we don’t expect many of those. Current experiments are generating incredible results!
March 5, 2020
Miss my family so much. Today was just really hard. Talking to my mom and Ruth on this phone is just so sterol. It is so damn hot here. Trying to stay positive but after a month of landing here I am truly home sick. At least the food remains excellent.
March 12, 2020
Subject 22 has shown some immense promise. He has taken to the initial incubation quite well. He was given Victoria 5 months ago and we are seeing just how amazing this virus can generate and grow after incubation. He talks to me often while in his containment room and it can get very difficult to get him to concentrate on our cognitive tests. He is quite funny and remains in good spirits despite his current situation. Cognitive reaction is three times faster than his initial test. Physical tests have shown an increase in muscle mass, speed, and neuromuscular sensitivity by 80%. He is quite the specimen now. We have seen Victoria blossom in him magnificently. If only the other subjects could see just how lucky they are to be a part of this.
March 16, 2020
The news is playing their part. With our counterparts in the active media, we have been able to push quite the agenda. The high level of fear of contamination, we hope the population will remain more docile. This will allow the incubation rate of the virus to accelerate due to less outside stressors. People at home is quite the blessing for Victoria. I have spoken to Ruth several times to assure her that the spreading of this virus will not be so awful as it seems. I wish I could tell her it is 100% calculated and extremely controlled. With Victoria being programmed to attack a certain genome code in the population we are very happy with our proliferation period. We estimate 60,587 Americans will be gifted the virus with a 97% survival rate into the last phase. It is fortunate that voluntary genetic collection companies have spread so much in the last 2 years. 23 and me and ancestry.com have been truly a god send when searching for genomes in the population. Made our jobs 100 times easier I cant get enough of this coffee, my goodness.
March 19, 2020
Subject 22 has shown exciting physical abilities. Both speed and strength have increased 30% from his original testing. Body fat has dropped and his distance runs are something to behold. What amazes me most is his attitude. He is dark skinned black man which makes his smile that much more radiant. What a great attitude. I know we are not supposed to humanize our subjects but he has been a pleasure to work with. He calls us all doc and talks to us constantly despite most of my team telling him to focus. I laugh quietly most of the time watching the interns get frustrated at his sarcasm. Our other subjects have met us with hostility and anger, I bet they kind of signed up for this? No matter, I try not to ask how they got here, I simply try to do my best with what I have.
Subject three expired today. It was unexpected but we don’t foresee losing any others.
March 23, 2020
I spoke to Ruth today for hours. She does not really know just how safe her and my mom are. I wish I could be specific, but I am sure that all our smart devices are being monitored for just that reason. I suppose it really helps to have pen and paper doesn’t it? It is so hard to hear her cry and be powerless way over here. I can’t stand it but I know the job I signed up for, the opportunity. She is so scared, I think one of her friends might have received the virus. Poor girl. I try not to think about that aspect of my job, I really cant. Can you imagine what we can do for humanity once this is over? Cell regeneration, dementia, Alzheimer's, and cancer? All things of the past!!
Subject 22 continues to prove this more than ever! Ruth, I wish I could tell you all of this. How mom would be better in hours, how she would remember my face not just sometimes but always! How dad wouldn’t of been eaten alive by that fucking cancer! How no one would feel that despair and hopelessness! Never again. I wish I could tell you everything Ruth. How I could shout this from the roof tops, but instead I have this quiet journal full of whispers… but soon. Just give me some time, I promise Ruth that it will all be worth it.
March 24, 2020
Talked to mom today. Yesterdays feeling left me longing to see her our conversation was short. She was in one of her moments and cried relentlessly when she saw my face. Her eyes looked distant, confused.. as if fighting to figure things out. She called me Andres, my uncles name. Cried for 10 mins and then I had to hang up as the nurse had to inject her again. I haven’t cried like this in a while. I hate this. I remember summers when Sunday dinners were religion. God, you made the best lamb mom. Summers with cousins and uncles.. with laugher and your big beautiful smile. The way you would hum when you made dinner always keeping dad out of the kitchen. Before cancer ripped dad apart. Before this diseases ate away at your memories, leaving you like this… this ghost in a shriveling frame. All the reason to hurry this project up. All the reason to make this work. I wish I could tell you how close we are, how unbelievably close.
March 28, 2020
A national quarantine has been issued. Not sure if I agree with the intensity on it, but this remains great news for our contamination period. We are currently at 35% of our current infection goal and things are going splendidly. Initial symptoms simulate the common flu which can mask the incubation period. According to our records with the CDC, Victoria is only exterminating .003% of those showing any flu like symptoms allowing for our asymptotic cases to go unbothered and untested, making incubation beyond optimal. We are expecting final phases to occur in 3 months time which will allow our collection and processing of patients to be well planned out and precise. We had expected some of the targets to expire prematurely; which is never an easy topic but at the current percentage, I think it is looking optimistic.
Did I mention how much I love the lunch ladies? Double black beans and rice is amazing. Still missing home.
April 4, 2020
We had an argument today. Ruth is really not understanding what is going on and she is consistently panicked. She is really upset she can’t come stay with me but that is impossible. They are shutting down flights but more importantly Atlas would NEVER let anyone near our project sight. We aren’t even aloud to leave the operation site with this quarantine period. I am trying to calm her down, but she is inconsolable. It seems her friend is one of the unfortunate victims in the initial proliferation of Victoria and she is beyond grief. She’s angry with me, I know she is, but I cant leave this work. There is too much invested, so much work and time and lives. I can’t leave and I can’t make her understand yet. God, we argued for hours. Today was such a shit day. So many things I want to tell her, even the smallest detail might fix all of this but I won’t do it. The repercussions for breaking secrecy would cause too much damage.
I recently got great news on subject 22, but it seems pointless to even think about it.
April 8, 2020
I tried to talk to mom again. I miss her. I miss home. I miss Ruth! my dogs… I know I shouldn’t have, but I spoke to subject twenty-two today. After his information retention testing I couldn’t help myself. We spoke briefly on his past life. His name is Abe, he previously owned a marketing company. It’s amazing that this man continues to smile and joke despite the relentless testing. We spoke for quite some time and I guess it pays to be the lead virologist on the floor. I had to tell someone about Ruth and I spilled my guts to him. He sat there in his gray hospital gown and listened quietly. I guess, I just needed a shoulder to lean on and he did tell me something that has not left my mind. He told me life is never easy, but it can always be meaningful. We couldn’t talk more after that as they finally realized how long he was in the subject room. That line… that line just.. Am I doing something meaningful here? I know I have to be, I feel it…but am I losing everything? Abe subject 22… I guess we will see?
April 12, 2020
One of my subordinates was taken away today. Alex was an excellent virologist and quite a brilliant young mind but he broke protocol. They caught wind of a phone conversation he was having with his family and that was it. Handcuffs and aggressive security took him away immediately. I wasn’t there to say goodbye but my co workers told me he was screaming for his life when they took him. Said he fought as hard as he could and was pale and sweaty. I don’t really know what is going to happen to him, the rumors are hideous. They cant really get “rid” of someone can they? I mean legally how can that even happen? They cant just simply send him home so where does he go? It is very uneasy to even think about it.
April 15, 2020
Our infection rate is a little above our expected numbers, but we continue to stay confident in our estimations. Atlas, has assured us that the genome code targets remain intact and the numbers we are receiving from the CDC are not exact estimations. Testing remains increasingly demanding and I have not gotten a full nights sleep in weeks. I am not particularly happy with our proliferation numbers but that is out of this department and control. Things are spreading a little too fast for my liking which would make the control of our collection and processing beyond my scope.
Abe, he has remained intact and has shown no signs of physical or mental deterioration. It's astonishing! His memory recall is at an all time high! His brain is regrowing gray matter and an increase in neuro-stimulation continues to climb. I snuck him a snickers bar from the cafeteria today. It will be our secret, but we were both able to get in a good laugh on how much he loved it. He spoke about his life previous to the testing. It was great and horrible all at once. I want to know more about my “friend” but the more I know the more human he becomes and the worse I feel. The more I want to tell him what I know…Sometimes, I wish he could just be done with the testing and get out, that wont be an option. That makes my stomach turn.
Regardless, the brain imaging results only continues to drive the point home that I can cure mom. We will make a difference here, I know it.
May 1, 2020
I am so tired. I have not had enough time to document anything at all. Spoke to Ruth today and she is more distant than ever. She is continuously angry at me for not coming home and for putting work ahead of family. In her mind I am here for a few months working on a new medication project for a pharmaceutical company, so why do I even have to stay? She keeps asking me to work form home like everyone else. I don’t blame her anger. The secrecy about what we are doing now is at an all time high as our infection rate has vastly exceeded our expectations. The numbers are reaching 85% which is 4 months ahead of schedule. Despite the current cases being relatively mild, the nation is under a state of panic. The tension at the lab is palpable. People are starting to catch wind that friends and even family members are getting mild symptoms. We were ensured upon the signing of our contract that our families were out of the genetic code targets.
All of this is making my stomach hurt. The escalation of both testing and global contamination is nerve racking. There is something wrong. There is no way our numbers can be this off as recent CDC numbers show 150 thousand infections have been reported and the death rate is now at 4%. The vaccination period of our tests is still weeks away and I fear we are running so far beyond schedule that we will not be able to stabilize the fatality rate.
Two of the lunch ladies are no longer working there for some reason and we are down to one who is consistently nervous. I am getting nervous, but I cant quit. We are so close.
*** He was awakened by the sound of not too distant birds chirping hungrily as the looked for grubs. He rubbed his eyes and realized he had fallen fast asleep. Two days in a row? He thought. The morning sun was creeping above the dirt of the field. The morning was cool and foggy, as the beams of orange and red creeped across the sky. He shifted in his seat as his entire body ached once again and looked over to the passenger seat. Blue had made Bryn her dog bed as both of his furry companions were fast asleep and unbothered by the incoming light.
He had fallen asleep with the journal open on his lap and as he looked down at the book he pressed his lips grimly. He wanted nothing more than to finish what Mendoza had been explaining. The secrecy, the contamination and location of this lab. The fear that this was constructed and programmed made him nauseas. Who had been targeted? Why? And how did anyone even become invisible. He gripped the journal firmly and set it on the dash of his truck. Regardless of what was waiting for him at the end of that book he still needed to know about his family, his friends, his parents and her…
He checked his phone… Nothing.
The sunlight showed the road ahead perfectly as he was no longer sitting in the dark shadows of the night. He was not far off the main road as he turn the truck on, startling both dogs who began to bark at nothing. He needed to find his parents, he needed to know they were ok. That they were not targets for this Victoria bullshit. He gripped the steering wheel tightly as his heart sank thinking about all the possibilities that awaited him. He plugged his phone in to the dash charger realizing a dead phone was the last thing he needed. The engine hummed gently as the Bronco finished warming up her engine. He put her in drive and began the trek to his parents, numb to the occurrences of the day before but dreadfully panicked on what was waiting for him on this new day.