Immunodeficiency [4/4] – Journalism 2

This series of four articles was written as an exercise in developing a world through the use of creative writing.  In a team of three, I was project/creative lead, and responsible for writing the lore of our fictive world.

 

Governments Abusing Super-Power

REPORT BY JOSEPH MCMANUS

HAVING seen the ‘success’ of the American government introducing programs for the identification and maintaining of Superhumans, the Australian Government appears set to follow suit and introduce a program of its own – but should the Australian public fear for their freedom?

Since the commencement of the superhuman support program two months ago, the United States Government report to have sucessfully helped and re-habilitated over one hundred and fifty gifted Americans – supporting them financially and emotionally through these isolating mutations.  However rumours have begun to circulate about the true intentions of the American Government in running this program.

Insisting that the choice to accept the support being offered to the American superhumans is entirely up to the individual, reports of the government resorting to financial incentives to accept the superhuman support have appeared, perhaps implying that there is more to the program than merely helping the individuals.  A program spokesperson could not be contacted on this matter, and even the American media are having trouble getting straight answers from the government and those involved in the program; generally having interview directions limited to the “Talking Points” issues that the government are supplying.

One family in Otawa have managed to get a response from the government when they reported to CNN on Monday, that the father of the house, Hugo Brathewaite, has been in the re-habilitation facility since the start of the program two months ago.  Insisting to the CNN reporter that Hugo was a family man who had kept in contact with them every day to let them know how he was, Lindsay Brathewaite told the reporter that not having heard from Hugo in six days was particularly troubling to her and their two daughters.  The government claims to have responded with an official investigation in the matter but insists that there have been communication problems with the facility in this week just gone.

Futhermore, while the research conducted and information stored by the United States government regarding this program is classified as to ‘protect the privacy of those involved’, rumours that those being supported as part of this program are being catalogued and tracked like animals, are causing out-rage in the superhuman community.

“I had serious issues when my boyfriend dumps me because he thinks I’m a freak” says Kathy, a 17 year old girl who can no longer tolerate loud noises due to an enhanced sense of hearing, “And because my sister tells me to go get help…the police think they can watch my every move?”

A tiny inexplicable marking that can be found on many of the superhumans that have opted for government support has only fed the rumours of this catalogueing and tracking project.

With the strength of these rumours on the rise, the Canadian Ari Taub, one of the first superhumans to be recognised – along with LaShawn Merritt and Alexandra Feeney at the Beijing Olympic Games – has founded the “Superhumans Against Government Supression” in an attempt to force answers from the program, the government and their spokes-people.

“We’re not a violent group” assures Taub, a greco-roman wrestler able to regenerate torn muscles almost instantly, “We just want the answers that the government aren’t giving us.  America has a right to know what is really going on and we’re the ones to demand it.  We’re not stupid, and we’re not going away.”

 

Until these issues can be sorted Australian superhumans should consider the move to introduce a superhuman support program on our shores, a threat to our privacy and individuality.

Immunodeficiency [3/4] – Government Press Release

This series of four articles was written as an exercise in developing a world through the use of creative writing.  In a team of three, I was project/creative lead, and responsible for writing the lore of our fictive world.

 

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For immediate release                              November 12th, 2008

 NEW GOVERNMENT FUNDED PROGRAM TO ADDRESS

SUPERHUMAN MUTATION CAUSED BY SCID TREATMENT

Following the information provided to the United States government by the World Medical Association two days ago concerning the cause of the superhuman mutation that has begun occurring globally as an unexpected side-affect of curative treatment for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, the United States government will be implementing a monitoring and screening program for those in the population still receiving treatment for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency.  This monitoring and screening process is part of a larger program designed to identify persons at a higher risk of experiencing altered bodily functions after being treated for the disorder, ensuring the reintegration of those that have experienced side effects from the SCID treatment back into society, and a continued monitoring and response program for those that may have difficulty readjusting to a normal life.

 

As of tomorrow, patients receiving the government subsidized treatment for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency will first be tested for the genetic signature that indicates an increased risk of developing superhuman attributes.  Those that test positive for the genetic code will be notified in confidentiality that they are at higher risk, and will be given the option of receiving alternative treatments for SCID, that while far less effective than injection provided by the WMA, will still be government subsidized.

Also, all patients that receive the SCID injection will require a compulsory check up at a registered clinic within 7 – 14 days to ensure their health and well-being in the unlikely circumstance that they have a reaction to the treatment.  Patients that are flagged with the genetic signature that puts them at high risk will be offered fully subsidized accommodation for that 14 day period within a constantly monitored environment, where trained staff will be on call 24 hours a day, to ensure their comfort and health over this period in which reactions may occur.

 

Within the month, a government operated hotline will become available to take calls from those experiencing side-effects from the treatment, to nominate themselves for the re-integration program that has been put together by expert psychologists and sociologists.  It is hoped that not only will people find the strength to nominate themselves, but their loved ones will also make nominations to ensure these gifted persons will benefit from all the support that the American government has to offer.  The program will be carried out in a newly developed, state of the art facility complete with first class accommodation, and staff of the highest standard.  As a post-therapy service, all patients will be offered free psychological counseling at any time, and the freedom to attend monthly meetings conducted to introduce those suffering from superhuman attributes to like-minded people.

 

Finally, with the devastating tragedy of the Virginia Tech massacre of August fresh in the minds of the American people, it has become obvious that a law enforcement taskforce capable of dealing with superhuman rogues will be required to combat future criminal activities.  As such, November 21st will see the establishment of a new division of the FBI, the Superhuman Response Unit, tasked with the sole purpose of investigating and responding to criminal activities involving people believed to have been mutated by the SCID treatment.  This specialized unit will be crafted from the most experienced law enforcement officers working alongside gifted recruits that will be crucial in the logistics of dealing with problematic superhumans.

 

Through these programs and projects, the American government hopes to meet the needs of all its citizens, human and superhuman alike, and ensure the well-being and quality of life for the foreseeable future.

Immunodeficiency [2/4] – Official Blog Post

This series of four articles was written as an exercise in developing a world through the use of creative writing.  In a team of three, I was project/creative lead, and responsible for writing the lore of our fictive world.

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Cure Closer Than Ever.  Release Predicted Within the Month.

The World Medical Association is enthusiastic about the most recent results of cure trials.  Severe Combined Immunodeficiency will soon be a thing of the past.  Cure to be released to supporting governments free of charge.

The World Medical Association (WMA) December 27, 2007 — After almost ten years, it appears that a cure to Severe Combined Immunodeficiency may be just around the corner.  If our SCID department continues to get results consistent with the results they’ve been getting this past week, then we can hope to be mass producing the cure before the end of January 2008.

Since discovering at the beginning of the year, that Severe Combined Immunodeficiency was a genetic disorder caused by the evolution of human kind in a clean environment, the World Medical Association has been working on a cure that targets the disorder at a genetic level, with varying results.  The biggest breakthrough we have experienced is with creating a liquid that can emulate the destructive and gene altering properties of gamma radiation.

While gamma radiation is already being widely used to treat cancerous tumours by creating breaks in DNA strands to great effect, it is still widely misunderstood by the general population and as such has a negative stigma attached to it.  Gamma radiation is completely safe when exposure is limited and controlled, and in the hands of professionals can be exceedingly useful in controlling and containing diseases such as cancer.  It is this application of gamma radio-activity that has become the key in discovering a cure to this disorder.

This fluid that may well turn out to be the future of the human race, works by breaking down the DNA in the human body that contains the defective information on immune-system functions, and assists the cells in rebuilding the strands correctly, essentially ‘resetting’ the genetic code, thus reprogramming the immune system to become effective once again.  After receiving an injection, the process of reconstructing the DNA strands occurs overnight, and as test results have indicated, a newly cured patient will be healthy enough to go to work the next morning.

Unfortunately we will be unable to provide this cure to those governments that have refused to support the World Medical Association in the search for a solution to this world-wide epidemic.  It has been an expensive and financially stressful venture, and the loss of their support has created significant delays in not only ridding the world of this global issue, but also in the quest for a better quality of living in all people.

Those governments that have continued to support the dream of providing better health to all people throughout the world will be allocated free shipments of our cure as quickly as we can manufacture it, in recognition of their generosity and continued support to our honourable cause.

 

The World Medical Association,

Working toward better health for all people on our beautiful planet

Contact:

Mary Olanida, director of public relations
The World Medical Association
pr@wma.org

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Immunodeficiency [1/4] – Journalism

This series of four articles was written as an exercise in developing a world through the use of creative writing.  In a team of three, I was project/creative lead, and responsible for writing the lore of our fictive world.

 

Terror Plot Revealed to be Act of God?

THE current health epidemic in Canada may be more closely linked to an issue in the natural evolution of the human race, than a terrorist act, according to an official report released by the World Medical Association earlier today.  With over one quarter of Calgary’s citizens now deceased or hospitalised with various seemingly un-related illnesses, the World Medical Association has released its first public statement regarding the cause of the catastrophe – and it appears we may have more to fear from our house-hold cleaning products than the weapons of terrorist organisations.

While the speculations of local doctors and scientists lead to rumours of an airborne mutation of the Human immunodeficiency virus – better known as HIV – as a terrorist attack, the World Medical Association report defines clear differences in the condition of Calgary’s population and the symptoms of one suffering from AIDS.  Having confirmed that these patients are indeed suffering from an immune system deficiency, the WMA are sceptical that this crisis has been engineered at the hands of a terrorist organisation.

As detailed in the globally distributed report, a person afflicted with any secondary immunodeficiency – that is an immune system deficiency acquired after birth – would have insufficient amounts of certain cells that are an integral part of the human body’s immune system, thus leaving it unable to form a proper defence against threats such as bacterial and viral infections.  The report then clarifies that unlike sufferers of secondary immuno-deficiencies, victims of the Calgary epidemic have all the elements of their immune-system physically intact, however, for reasons unknown, their immune-systems are struggling to fight off the most basic of illnesses.

The condition, named in this report as Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), is confirmed to be a non-contagious threat, and this is supported by the reports of new SCID cases beginning to slow since reaching the 7 month anniversary of the first recognised case of this condition.  However, with SCID being non-contagious, the question of how nearly 250,000 people could simultaneously fall victim to such a catastrophic condition, becomes a critically vital question to understanding this new issue to plague human-kind.

Several theories were presented in the report, but perhaps the most convincing was the evolution of the ‘Hygiene Hypothesis’ originally presented by David P. Strachan.

The Hygiene Hypothesis presents the idea that children brought up in a cleaner environment will be more susceptible to allergic diseases than those that aren’t – a theory originally supported by the statistics that immunological and autoimmune diseases are far less common in citizens of developing countries than in citizens of the western, industrialised world.  The WMA report expanded on this theory, proposing that decades of living in such a clean environment made the human immune system redundant and by the process of evolution, the immune system no longer functioned at the level of a normal person.  This being the case, it comes as no surprise then a condition such as this should manifest in Calgary, “The Cleanest City in the World” as selected in 2007 by the Forbes magazine.  However, the drawback with this theory is that, without an accelerant, an evolutionary alteration such as this should take centuries rather than decades.  The lack of radio-activity in Calgary removes the likelihood of an accelerant that could affect evolution in this way, and thus the origins of the epidemic remain a mystery.

 

Conversely, the report ended on a more positive note – the WMA report stating that for SCID to appear anywhere else in the world at this time is “extremely unlikely”.

 

JOSEPH MCMANUS

Independent Journalist