English: Transmission Electron Micrograph of t...

Malaria’s right. If I’m going to take this seriously I need some good PR. All it’ll take is a few little changes, a few minor tweaks in people’s perception and everyone will love me. Or at least see why I’m a positive force, not a disease that ravages most of the people that catch me.

They’ll say, look, there’s ebola in that village, great, let’s get over there quick, we definitely need some of that.

Just like with chicken pox. She’s got it well sorted. One kid gets it and you’ve got everyone on the street going to the kid’s house with their own kids, hoping to get it. Let’s play some games and come out covered in red dots.

Yes. I just need to be seen from a new angle, an angle like that. Same with maleria, though, he’s pretty much given up, poor guy, gets into those mosquitoes, flies around, follows their bite into someone’s leg or arm. And for what? No one appreciates it. Not at all.

They put on creams and repellent. They even put great posters up all over the place like that one he saw the other week of a child being attacked by a mozzie twice his size. As if he made the mozzie change to that. How can he fight against that sort of propaganda?

No one wants him. And they probably never will.

No. He’s right. I need help, some propaganda of my own. I’m not as widespread as malaria. No one wants me, but no one thinks they’ll get me either. I’m a distant horror unlike poor, defeated malaria. I’m not universally fought against. Not everyone knows who I am. I need to tell them why I’m beneficial, make them see that, despite all the coughing up of blood, what I do can help the world.

So – what? I can control the population. That’s one good thing surely. Humans go on about there being too many people. So why not use me to cull them?

Because no one likes it when people die, especially en masse. Then again, they kill all the time and no one mourns. Not every death gets in the paper.

I could just do a little here, a bit there and it could be kept out of the news, get rewritten as some vicious cold or something like SARS. Remember SARS? Yes, but not really. A storm in a tea cup.

Yes, that’s it. I need to be presented as a storm in a tea cup. Or if not that then they could at least use me.

I could kill undesirables. Accidentally let me out to run free in a prison or a terrorist training camp. No one’ll miss them and there’ll be no one to blame. A prisoner came into contact with a monkey. I’ll take the blame. I won’t mind.

And then when people see me killing all those nasties they might be less bothered if I enter the rest of the population. No. They’ll be happy to see me, glad to lose their noisy neighbours, their slave-driving bosses, their overbearing parents and bickering children.

They could sell me over the counter. But then that’s legalising murder and no one’ll like that. But if you criminalise me, the mafia will get in on the act, sell me and then there won’t be any tax on me for the government to reap the rewards. It’ll be taboo and you know what taboo things are like, the allure of it. People will want me. Just like cocaine and heroin.

And who’s to say it’s murder anyway when I’m a disease? I could be in a rat, a monkey. If that person you hate’s got a pet, give it to the dog. The dog’ll give it to them and then their wives and kids and neighbours and colleagues who happened to come round for dinner that night and were really quite nice, and then their parents and their parents’ doctors and on and on and on until they don’t need to use nuclear energy anymore because there are so few people.

That’s it. I’m an alternative to nuclear power. Less people, less power needed. And if there’s no people left, well, I don’t mind. I can tackle the kangaroo population or the deer. I can morph into a new strain until I’ve killed them all and there is nothing left but me. Triumphant me, though if I did that I wouldn’t exist either. My purpose would be gone.

Maybe I need ro rethink this.


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