Immune System (a story)
I wake up in a strange cryo facility wearing nothing but a thin white gown. I hear footsteps down the hall and quickly hide to avoid a strange beast. I don't know what it is.
I check the records for information about myself and find the name on my bracelet, "Philip Kindred", connected with a Detroit Savings bank account. Guess that's what I'm aiming for.
I find a gray shirt, some black pants and some crocs while scavenging. I also find a "Hiya Poopy" backpack. It has this strange pull on me. Maybe it is associated with some past memory.
I spot a glow to the east, and use it as a landmark to follow.
I discover a ripped, muddy and broken roadmap, but in spite of these things it is still readable. I track where I am and recognize Detroit. I head towards it.
I find a cute puppy. Meal with legs. I easily kill it with a swipe from my crowbar. No time to make a fire - night is dawning and I think I see some weird cross between a man and a dog. I quickly eat all the raw meat to satisfy my hunger and head towards the glow.
I reach Detroit and attempt to enter, but am denied access because of my lack of a "DMC Tracking Bracelet". I start towards the Junk Market to see if they sell one, but it costs $3,000. Deterred, I start back to the wild, when a man with a hat calls to me softly.
I go to him. 'Folks call me Hatter,' he says matter-of-factly. 'I think we have some things to discuss...'
He leads me to a kind of building, which is his office. 'There's a hidden lake. Inside is a house. Address is Seven Gables Road. There's a silver urn in there. Get it for me, and the pass is yours.' He holds up a black-and-blue tracking bracelet, to permit entry to Detroit.
I study the strange tracks on the ground. 'Any of your clients dress like the Grim Reaper?' I ask.
He starts. 'Hmm,' he says. 'You seem to have a good eye. Forget the urn job, the pass is yours.' He hands me the tracking bracelet. 'I'll keep an eye on this "Grim Reaper" for you. And if you're ever looking for work, just come to me.' He turns away and guards lead me out.
I sell some of the things that I gathered from scavenging on the Junk Market and make a surprising amount of cash from it. I head towards the Detroit health clinic for a check-up, since I seem to have bouts of vomiting and diarrhea.
'Can we help you?' the receptionist asks, and I order a "Full Diagnostic Check-up."
A lot of blood tests later, I get the results. Cholera 2.
My body heaves, but this time with the misery and surprise that I somehow contracted cholera. Was the water I drank on my journey infected? Or did that raw puppy meat I ate infect me...?
I am not ready to give up yet. My immune system is lowering, powerless. I order some antibiotics and antacids to dull the symptoms and power my immune system.
My cholera has gotten much worse. I am almost always dehydrated, and I try to avoid drinking water I find in the wild in cause it makes the disease worse. I eat at the Red Gnome regularly, and take antibiotics. In my heart, I know I am dying.
I sell all my things to the Junk Market out of generosity, and give in to exhaustion. I fall asleep at the fire barrel in the Sprawl.
Philip Kindred never woke up. His body gave into the cholera while he slept, and his corpse was looted by scavengers and picked clean. After many, many years, his body was removed by DMC Guards, as the stench of decaying flesh and terrible fright that people got when they spotted the rotting body. It was thrown into the sea, where it floats, and some believe that the disease that killed him still rages in his intestines.
I am stalking you