Monday, September 8, 2014

Part 76

I wanted to start asking questions right away but I bit my tongue since I'd agreed to give him a chance to tell it without interruption or distraction.

"It probably goes back further than you showing up but I'm going to call that point my personal awakening.  I certainly became aware that I was getting used and manipulated."  I assumed he was talking about Dr. Ponytail but I didn't say anything because behind the anger I could see a little bit of sadness as well.

"So you come, stir up trouble with a capital T, and then you take off making sure that enough people know it was because of how you'd been treated and that you didn't like being called a liar.  You also left little gems like there were still uninfected people living in the city and how what some people had assumed had made them safe was bound to sooner rather than later come to an end.  In other words you scared people ... scared them into thinking.  Scared them into realizing they weren't nearly as safe as they had thought they were ... had been told they were.  Scared people into questioning the people that claimed to be in authority over them.  You made them wonder who was the liar ... the people that had said they'd come from this city - not just you but those that had come before you - or was it the people in authority that were lying.  Then when word go out that command had broken down and the docs had hidden that fact to maintain their control over the town ... well the crap really hit the fan.  A few were preparing and a few were panicking but neither group was very large.  Mostly people were thinking which was good start, but as it turned out, too little too late."

Gwen said, "I wasn't there for that part but I've heard that what really brought things to a point was when the Sheriff called that town meeting after finding out about the experiment the scientists were about to conduct."

Sarge nodded.  "Yeah, that did it all right.  The egghead docs had apparently been experimenting with captured infecteds - they called them specimens if you can believe that - and claimed to have found a way to use sound as a nonlethal way to control them.  I saw one of their videos and what they said was controlling them was little more than herding them from a secure point A to a secure point B."

Against my best intentions I stopped him and asked, "Did the sound hurt them to push them or excite them to call them?"

He jumped up and pointed at me but seemed to be talking to other people.  "See?!  Even a girl child has more sense than those damn eggheads.  She asks the questions no one else asked."

He stormed around as much as the little cabin allowed then leaned against the wall for a moment breathing hard before sitting back down.  In a highly agitated voice Sarge said, "If that question had been asked there'd be hundreds of people alive today that didn't have to die."

I almost forgot to stir the pot but caught it right before it scorched the bottom of the kettle.  Deciding it was as warm as it needed to be - nearly volcanic while the heat lasted - I started putting it in bowls. Sarge continued by saying, "Hindsight is 20/20.  If you watch it more than once you can see that it is actually pretty ambiguous.  All it really shows is a scientist saying what the infected 'specimen' is going to do, then a button getting pushed followed by the infected specimen doing exactly that.  Only a few people wondered how many times they had to try that until they got the result they were looking for or whether the video had been spliced or photoshopped; and no one was openly wondering how the device actually worked.  The eggheads had gotten it so that people didn't think they could understand their work ... that the average guy wouldn't be able to understand any kind of explanation ... so people didn't ask for it to be explained; they sure didn't ask the commonsense questions like you just did."

"So was it some kind of new gun or something?"

Sarge snorted.  "The mistake would have been found sooner if they'd started out small like that.  But oh no, no they wanted to start big.  They put the same sound boxes on the wall, only made them bigger, and then they mounted them on smaller and smaller circle perimeters around the town.  The ones furthest out were battery operated but the ones closest to town were powered directly by the town electric plant that was run from the dam."

My mouth was hanging open.  "Wait, are you saying ...?  Any kind of sound attracks the puss brains.  If they are hungry nothing seems to hurt them enough to stop them.  Putting out a bunch of noise makers would be like putting lunch bells out that never turned off."

"Pretty much Kid ... that is pretty much exactly what happened."

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