Lauren Sargent

E.N.D. Fiction: End of The End Final

The year is 1978. Reclaim DNA Hosting has accomplished a great feat: birthing the first test tube baby. The program was headed by renown doctor, Shannon Hauser. It was celebrated everywhere and represented a new dawn for mothers who were struggling to conceive. What they didn’t tell the public was that this baby was special. Not only had they implanted her outside the womb, but they had experimented with the very fibers of her DNA while they were at it. They spliced her DNA together with state of the art technology, hoping to do what, exactly? Time travel, communication with other worlds, transportation to other dimensions… well, anything and everything. They intended to observe the results.

What they didn’t expect was that the birth of the child spawned new infections–mutated ones–grown from the medical anomaly they had created. This child was unlike any other human before. Could she even be called human? Her presence alone started to rip at the seams of reality. The technological pieces inside her DNA communicated through radio, TV, whatever new tech it could find and attempted to affect the greater London area. Half her family grew hungry for blood and flesh, the other half saw things that others did not. Strange visions, disappearing people… were they real? Nobody could say because some could see them and others could not.

Reclaim DNA Hosting had to act fast. They were responsible for this medical and technological anomaly but they didn’t want to be responsible for this outbreak. Dr. S. Hauser asked one of her top men, Tim Groom, to take the child away. And he did. Deep in the swamps of Florida, along the Kissimee river, he settled down and hid the child away. Without access to technology, the infection was reasonably contained. For years, it continued this way. Until…

Years later, the inevitable happened. Tim Groom himself was infected by the now grown child’s contagion. Like her family before, he began to have strange visions and delusions as well. Or what seemed like delusions, anyways. He began to take on the name and persona of Dr. Rausch from The Living Dead. Dr. Hauser and Reclaim DNA Hosting had lost the agent they had entrusted with their deepest secret. He had to be moved but they wouldn’t let him out of their ranks–that would be too risky. They had to keep those who knew about their 1978 secret contained. Groom/Rausch and the original infected child were moved to the quiet town of Fredericksburg.

Life continued, quiet and isolated. It wasn’t long before the child turned woman had had enough. Being so closed off from the world and on the run was no way to live… she escaped in the middle of the night, never to be seen again. Reclaim DNA Hosting didn’t know whether it was a blessing or a curse but their dirty laundry had effectively disappeared. They were no longer responsible. Years past with little to no strange activity, besides those who were already infected.

Flash forward to 2018. Strange activity online begins to show up in a community called DS106. Strange anomalies, weird anatomy, behavior and posts pop up everywhere. It just happens to be located in Fredericksburg, where Tim Groom/Dr. Rausch still resides, doing busy work and his own experiments with time travel. Reclaim DNA Hosting is immediately alerted and they launch into action. Dr. Rausch is sent to investigate the head of the DS 106: Martha Burtis. It becomes increasingly obvious that the infected woman, or at least remnants of her contagion, have become active again. With the growth of technology and its wide-spread reach, the mutation of DNA occurs even more rapidly and intensely than before.

Consumed with worry for her research team and an unfortunate curiosity, Dr. Hauser wants to stop the world from talking about their past mistakes but she also wants to observe what could happen with the mutation in the modern world and on a large scale. She plans the burglary of Martha’s hat in hopes that her exposed head and frequent contact with technology will allow her to be infected and spread the virus even further. It works and the mutation is well on its way… She infiltrates the class communication on Slack to observe the virus under the pseudonym Neo-Rev.

Under the spell of the mutation but not conscious of it, Martha becomes Vanessa Locke and is integrated into the ranks of Reclaim DNA Hosting. She is included in research in what she believes are her own experiments but are actually used to observe the effects of the now updated infection. Everything is going fine; the infection appears to be contained to the DS 106 class and a spare few others at UMW. That is until the infection spreads to the researchers. The effects of the virus are too much and become out of control. Nessie is devastated by the perceived loss of her research team.

Before long, this outbreak spreads. When even the researchers are taken down, it’s not long before the general public begins to get inklings of the infection. Reclaim DNA Hosting is in over their heads, and the infection is beginning to threaten their members’ safety more than ever. Dr. Hauser makes the decision to spread information and clues about the virus in hopes that someone will learn about it and find a cure–without ever implicating her DNA research company.

Unfortunately for her, Annalise Zerweier had been gathering information on the infection for months. After her brother succumbed to a strand of the E.N.D. virus, she was determined to get to the bottom of it. She shared all the information she had learned while doing her own observations of infected individuals with the public through a public announcement. Although Reclaim Hosting agents attempted to burn the document, it made it to the public and exposed the nature of the virus.

She did further investigating of evidence, filing through video footage, documents and more to piece together some facts about who was behind the spread of the virus. The video went live and was aired on station after station, the truth finally coming out. Reclaim Hosting could hide no longer. Once the truth came out, no holds barred, doctors all over the world began to research a cure. The E.N.D. virus was quieted once again.

I loved writing this story! I got to flex some writing skills and finally piece together the ideas I had while looking over the evidence. I also included my other project pieces in the timeline of the story to tie it all together. My one regret is there are some plotholes that I didn’t manage to work out… one of which being that the DNA Hosting people are apparently immortal or just very powerful because they’d be a lot older by now if they were adults in the 1970’s. I hope everyone enjoys their cameos and my take on The End story!

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