I didn’t even return home that evening. The events of the day suddenly made the world seem altogether more dangerous again, after everything we had done to restore control. I flopped on the sofa in my office, days of strain and insomnia piling up on my brain, and I submitted to sleep.
I was awoken sharply a few hours later, I had no idea of what time of day or night it was, by a gentleman who was quite clearly a senior member of the Preservation. As I gathered myself, the man who roused me hauled me out into the main corridor, where specialist teams were gathered around the doors of subjects A, B & C. Huge hazardous material units were stationed, and as the man barked a serious of questions at me, it became clear that a member of my team had made the call. Under the circumstances I can understand their decision, whoever it was, but it may ultimately prove to be the wrong one.
The subjects were no longer under my care, I was told. They were being taken to an approved facility for further examination. My fragility meant I couldn’t comprehend my surroundings, let alone what this all meant. Fifteen minutes later, they were gone; the Preservation were, as you would expect, extremely efficient. I was left with a disturbing threat echoing in my ear as to what the ramifications would be for me, this hospital or anyone I had ever met should what happened here become known. Predictably, any notes or records we had compiled until that point had been removed and left with the Preservation.
Fortunately, they hadn’t accounted for Dr Banks. I relocated her to a secluded area of the hospital and informed my team that I had released her from care and that I was going home to be with my family. However, it is in this room that I continue to work. For how long, I’m not sure. I will be discovered eventually. That makes the time I have even more crucial and after an assessment of the scenario in its entirety, I have reached my conclusion.
A percentage of the overall PZSD Category II sufferers are susceptible to an advanced psychological effect, identical to that which subjects A, B & C succumbed to. PZSD has an impact on their ability to comprehend who they really are. As such the differentiation between dreams and reality becomes blurred, until they begin to collapse into the former. At some point, their mind forces upon them the notion that they have been bitten.
Subjects A, B and C were not carriers of Neurological Zombosis, so, theoretically, these extreme cases should be unable to transfer the ‘disease’, simply because they have no disease to transmit. If the reach of their predicament begun and ended there, then while still quite clearly a significant problem, it is one that would be manageable. But the remaining elements of this study prove more worrying.
The subjects suffering dreams in synchronisation is something that I have deliberated on, alone, for days now. It remained totally unclear to me until last night, when, lying on the couch in my office to rest, I endured a bizarre nightmare.
I am in my house, and decide to head to bed. Upon climbing the stairs, I decide to leave the hallway light on, and instead of entering the main bedroom where my husband would be, I open the door to the spare bedroom instead, and lay down on the thin sheets. The room is a mess, full of my daughters’ creams and makeups strewn all around the TV. Her dressing gown is hanging from the wardrobe in front of me, on the left knob. I suddenly have the urge to be violently sick, but I wake up before I have the chance to.
I am now concerned as to my own mental stability, and believe while there is no disease present in me or any of my subjects, there is a contagion at work here, a disease of the thought process, of the inner workings of the brain. That is why the three subjects, after their initial period in stasis in rooms next to each other, dreamed with synchronicity. It is my best attempt at enlightenment. I dearly hope I am wrong, because otherwise I feel I am taking my first steps towards the madness that my subjects endured. And if I have contracted this, what of my staff?
I have made my excuses to my family that I need to remain here for the time being. I cannot risk returning home and them discovering me like I discovered my subjects. I am set up in Dr Banks’ room, with her wrists restrained in front of me as I write.
To me, her situation is much clearer. I believe her sickness to be an evolution of that suffered by the subjects. I think that the final contagion at play has infected her rationality. The bite she received from subject C, in conjunction with the paranoia and omnipresence of Neurological Zombosis in our everyday lives, has deceived her own thought processes. Her brain has directly correlated a bite as a pre-cursor to NZ, and has begun acting out the symptoms against her will. This means that my subjects and others like them have the potential to unleash a cerebral depressant upon a wider populous, one that may prove as difficult to control as the day that the Blood Turned.