I started toward the door. Alaric grabbed my arm before I took my second step, stopping me. I turned, blinking at him.
“Was it worth it?” he asked.
“God, I hope so,” I said.
He let me go, and as a group—reunited at last, for whatever good it was going to do us—we walked into the building.
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[IMAGE: A woman who appears to be Georgia Mason (ref. The Wall, 6/20/40) stands in front of a podium bearing the logo of the Epidemic Intelligence Service.]
WOMAN: My name is Georgia Mason. My name is Subject 7c. I died on June twentieth, 2040, during the Ryman for President campaign. I was resurrected earlier this year by the CDC, using illegal and unethical human cloning technology. If you are viewing this video or reading a transcription on a download-enabled site, you can verify my DNA structure by downloading the file labeled “G. Mason genetic profile.”
[DOWNLOAD FILE HERE.]
GEORGIA: I am here because the CDC wanted a more effective mechanism for lying to you, and believed I would provide a viable control for my brother, Shaun Mason, as well as serving a potential role as a mouthpiece for their version of the truth. I am here because I was not allowed to rest.
[IMAGE: The camera swings around to show Shaun Mason (ref. “After the End Times”) holding a whiteboard on which the date 8/7/41 has been written.]
SHAUN: Listen to the dead girl. She’s telling you what you need to hear.
[IMAGE: The camera returns to Georgia.]
GEORGIA: Before I died, I told you all that someone was trying to keep you afraid. Someone was trying to keep you from realizing that you were being controlled through unnecessary security and exaggerated fear. I begged you to rise. I begged you to stop them. Unfortunately, words are cheap, even today, and actions are expensive. I did not change the world by dying. All I did was die.
But you still have the opportunity to change things—and that opportunity is greater and more immediate than any of us could have known. Kellis-Amberlee is not the scourge we have been led to treat it as. It is a living thing, and like any living thing, it seeks to evolve, to find a balance with its hosts. Kellis-Amberlee has been trying to adapt to us, and we have been trying to adapt to it. But our government, believing that it has the right to decide for everyone, has not allowed that adaptation. They have been killing those individuals who represented our best chance of finding peace with this disease. For more information, download the file labeled “reservoir condition fatality rates.”
[DOWNLOAD FILE HERE.]
GEORGIA: You may already be hearing reports that we are terrorists. That we have destroyed a part of the nation’s capital, and either killed or kidnapped the president. These reports are untrue. One of our reporters, Rebecca Atherton, was killed in the process of rescuing the president from those same individuals who had me brought back from the grave—those same individuals who had me killed in the first place.
[IMAGE: At this point in the video recording, a five-second clip of Rebecca Atherton, filmed a year previous, plays. She is wearing khaki, her hair is loose, and she is shooting a zombie with a paintball gun. Each paintball appears to be filled with acid. She is laughing. Her face goes to still frame, and the image returns to Georgia.]
GEORGIA: And why did they kill me? Why did they arrange a set of circumstances that resulted in Rebecca’s death, and the death of countless others? Because there are things they didn’t want you to know. This is one of them: The virus is changing. I repeat, the virus is changing. But there are people who wanted to control those changes, no matter how many lives it cost. They believed that only by keeping us afraid could they keep us under control. But we have had time to learn and grow since the Rising. We are smarter now. We have adapted.
There are things we cannot tell you, because there are answers we do not have. But we have more information than we did, and please believe me when I say the information that is left unshared is only that which must be studied further before it is safe to reveal. The EIS will be working with the government to codify that information. In time, you will know everything.
The CDC’s motivation for resurrecting me, as opposed to any of the others they could have chosen, was simple: They thought you would listen to me. They thought you would accept my words as truth. Let’s prove them right. Believe me. Believe the contents of these files… and believe your president.
[IMAGE: President Peter Ryman walks into the frame, followed by Vice President Richard Cousins. Georgia Mason moves to the side, and President Ryman takes her place. Vice President Cousins stands to his other side.]
PRESIDENT RYMAN: I am speaking now, not only to the citizens of the United States of America, but to the citizens of the planet Earth. Because Kellis-Amberlee is a global issue, not a national one, and the conspiracy in which I have been engaged over this past year is thus also global in its scope. Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you that I have been held against my will, with my family as hostages to ensure my cooperation. The individuals responsible for this have a simple goal in mind: to continue to forward their control of the American public through manipulation of the Kellis-Amberlee virus.
I regret to state that, during my time in office, I have approved immoral, unethical, and illegal scientific experimentation, resulting in the murder of both American and international citizens. I have signed papers approving the weaponization of Kellis-Amberlee. I was present when the decision was made to release a modified strain of mosquito capable of carrying the Kellis-Amberlee virus into the sovereign nation of Cuba. The fact that I did these things under duress does not absolve me, or ameliorate the nature of my actions. I have betrayed my country. I have dishonored my office. I have betrayed myself.
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