A Stolen Beginning

So the Blue Lotus series is set after the Godex storyline but contains project Firestrom within it, due to Emma being the main character and her being a police officer it makes sense for the story to begin with The Actimen Cull.

Here is the Actimen Cull – though it will be an expanded version in the finished novel – this is just a short I wrote a few years ago – initially it wasn’t even part of the Punk Universe.

The Actimen Cull

Metcalf stood back from the oily smoke. If he thought about the smell and what it was, he gagged; but he was the senior investigator in this mess and had to be made of sterner stuff. The plumes were from the incinerator designed to deal with foot and mouth outbreaks in farm animals, but the carcasses being loaded in where most definatly not animals. He chewed his cheek until it drew blood. Someone, he thought, someone high up had thought of these people as diseased animals. The feeling just would not leave him. It was supposed to have been an accident and he was to check and write a report to prevent it in future.

But of course it wouldn’t happen in the future becuase they were all gone, including the women from the shelter hiding from their men, their little ones following them to the same mass grave. Metcalf’s hands balled into fists. Such a waste – the teenagers from the mental health half-way house had mostly been affected too.

With a bad taste in his mouth he turned away from the piles of bodies awaiting incineration. The food in the soup kitchens was the only answer; his men were rounding up what was left of it. The lab would have results for him that afternoon. ‘Sir?’ came a tentative voice.

‘Rose?’ he said turning around. The young sargeant had been crying. Most unprofessional, but then so had he, hadn’t he?

‘Some of the food… some of the food, got into the childrens home.’ she was pale with bright spots on her cheeks. He didn’t correct the term childrens home, there was no point. He sighed heavily.

‘Has anyone survived yet?’ she shook her head. Metcalf closed his eyes and ran his fingers through his course silvered hair.

‘Sir… ?’ her voice broke. ‘It looks to me like… like radiation poisoning.’ She pushed the toe of her shoe into the ash covered ground. He nodded, that had been his conclussion too; but the only thing they all had in common was the donated food. Soup kitchens fed the homeless, shelters and children’s homes often ran on donations too, as did old folks homes!

‘Rose, check out all the old folks homes,’ she nodded, ‘and Rose send warnings to other districts would you?’ The puzzelment was there only for a moment replaced by fear – This could well be bigger than one city, why had it taken them so long to spot it?

Because, he thought bitterly, homeless people die in puddles of puke and blood all the time.

It had only become apparent when the rats had entered the city to clean up the corpses. He’d had to call in the Army to help clear the corpses, there were just so many of them. Rose’s slight shadow fell across his path once more, ‘Dad?’ she whispered, he didn’t reprimand her, ‘Dad the hospitals! It’s in the hospital food too,’ and then she was sobbing and he was hugging, her numb but pleased she at least could still feel.

He squeezed her shoulders, ‘we’ll get them, Rosey’. She nodded mutely.

She dried her eyes and drew back her shoulders in defiance. ‘If it’s radiation it will be easy to trace to source.’

He smiled with no humour. ‘They’ll have accounted for that honey, it will be dirty and mixed source; probably traceable to half a dozen enemies of state.’ he snorted. Yes, he was that suspicous.

He went back to his office to read the incoming reports. There were scared people, clustered around the front of the building, screaming plague, screaming doomsday, crying and wailing. Some of them, he noticed, had the sheen and the odd one here and there had a nose bleed. Some of these people were dying and there was nothing he could do to save them.

The common factor was the food, donated food to the needy, so it could be that cheap contaminated food was being sold on the black market somewhere and a benevolent donar had thought it would feed hungry bellies as well as anything else. If so, that person would probably have commited suicide. He knew those reports were yet to come, the nurses and aid workers who would think they’d done it, the officers who had to watch a childrens’ home die.

Eventually he got into his office, his gut churning on nothing but black tar coffee. This had to be deliberate, all the vunerable had been targeted. His heart sank as he read confirmation messages, every city and town, all of them – the same. It was a national operation.

And then he saw it, a red envolope. Gingerly, he opened it.

Metcalf, Welcome to the New Solution Now the world will be stronger Now we will have only the brightest, strongest Society has been cleansed

Do not fight you are part of it

The Actiman Affiliate


It could be a hoax, people did things like that, and why sign it such if it really were the Actiman Affiliate, the global corporation? And why? Just why? But he was already punching the forensic team’s number and the internal post’s. This was genocide, this was a cull, why hadn’t he seen it? He’d thought it was an accident cover-up – but this was systematic. The sick, the old, the poor, all those who rely on society had been… exterminated.

A white-clad officer took the envelope from him. He called the government; the coldness in his stomach told him he would be fighting them on this one. His life expectancy was now probably very low. Time for Rose and her brother to leave the country – he’d sort out their visas before he trod on too many toes. Of course he thought bitterly if the Actimen Affiliate were involved then there would probably be entire nations writhing in slow languid death already, and if that was the case then nowhere would be safe.

Posted: Friday, October 7th, 2016 @ 9:42 am
Categories: Story.
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