Sunday, May 24, 2015
Warning: this post contains spoilers for the first 3 Slowpocalypse stories, and I recommend reading those novels first. Also be warned that this shows the ‘sausage-making’ aspect of writing the book, which some of you may not want to know about.
So, I’d discovered what the main plot threads would be and had an idea how they’d work together, but not how it would all start. But I did know it wouldn’t be a coincidence that things happened at the same time. No, like Threat Multiplication, there would be a logic to the timing of everything.
The influence of the Gravity Bug had been increasing steadily all along, with a concurrent rise in violent incidents inside the once (mostly) peaceful community, but it would take some spark to really set things off. The wheat stores had been destroyed, and that wasn’t a secret the administration could keep forever. The eventual fallout from that was why, after the events of book 2, they’d moved forward with democratic reforms. The FURC hadn’t really been set up to operate on its own as a political unit, and the normal organs of government didn’t properly exist. With breathing room to focus on their internal issues, they’d been moving quickly to try to remedy those shortcomings. Director Miles hoped to have the election and the newly expanded Community Council fully in charge of things (as much as he was going to let them be) by the time people really had something to get riled up about. It wouldn’t work out that way, though, and not because the word about their diminished supplies got out before they were ready.
No, the precipitating factor which would determine how everything happened when and how it did would be because Dr. Cummings thought he was ready to test the treatment for the Gravity Bug infection. And with both Kat and David already being slowly poisoned, neither Miles nor Verity would want to delay releasing the virus. The director chose to be a test subject himself and have his deputy leak the information about the wheat stores at the same time, so that he’d be unavailable to answer questions due to illness. But it wasn’t for simply that selfish reason. No, they figured the flu spreading through the community would dampen the fires being lit by the Gravity Bug as people reacted to the news.
So the decision Miles made, to move forward with testing Dr. Cummings’ cure when and how he did would have consequences. But that treatment wouldn’t work except for another precipitating factor – David. His unique genetic heritage meant his body could fight off the engineered virus more effectively than others, which would cause it to mutate in an effort to survive. And it would be that mutated strain which would spread like wildfire through the community – and trigger the immune system upgrade in those who were infected.
That this would all be occurring just as the election approached wouldn’t be intentional, but it would have a lot to do with how things would play out. And that this would also be when Kat and Tony had their personal problem to deal with as well would directly relate to what would happen between them as well as how their issues were resolved.
Next: Part 5 – Tony’s Trouble