Prologue—The Interview

Interview with Captain Andrew Parsons, conducted by Fredrick Burns. Interview takes place in New York, after the successful completion of "Operation Liberty."

In the seven years I have known Andrew Parsons, he has changed very little, except the fact that he seems more world weary and cautious than when we first meet. Together, we have completed two books- "The Rising," telling of his experiences in the now infamous Jackson City incident, and "Sick", detailing what happened on the island nation of Baarein which led to the global pandemic.

We are sitting together in what was once his mother's apartment, overlooking a street where soldiers pile infected bodies onto a pyre. There is no trace of Andrews's mother, or his younger brother, and I fear they may be among the bodies now been burnt, but Andrew refuses to discuss their fates at this juncture.

Instead, we begin the interview as we have every interview- with a cup of hot, strong tea and a cigarette, while Andrew plans out what it is he wishes to discuss. Like before, what he says will form the next book in our series. It is several minutes before he speaks.

"What you have to understand is, we were totally unprepared. Sure, we had foreknowledge of the infection. There were reports several feet high on the Jackson City incident. We had an agency dealing specifically with the threat, the same as most other nations. But of course, for every agent we had in the field combating the virus, we had three in an office writing reports, filing them and finding new ways to word them. We were top heavy with bureaucrats. Don't get me wrong, I know the importance of bureaucrats, the need for documentation and filing, but the problem was the ratio of bureaucrats to field agents. We simply didn't have the man power on the ground to deal with the outbreak."

Captain Parsons stops to inhale a deep breath.

"And our politicians didn't help. In the early days, they were more concerned with re-election than acknowledging what was happening. This led to a state that the first sign most people had of the infection was when one of the infected broke through their front doors and starting snapping at them. It was a nightmare."

I ask him where he was when he heard of the first confirmed outbreak. He smiles and asks which first outbreak—Jackson City or Dallas. When I say Dallas, he nods, as if it should have been obvious.

"I was in Atlanta, just out of quarantine. I think it would be a good place to begin our story, yes?"

Authors Note: This is a sequel to my earlier stories The Rising and Sick. Going to try and write this story in such a way that people can get by without having read them, but it would be a benefit if they were read beforehand.