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U=(N/T)M*G: Pandora

Ah, climate change. A host of chaos in the near future because of it, no matter what we do now. Intensified storms, higher seawater levels, habitat destruction. Lots of stuff to keep us busy for years.

We can throw one more middle finger on top of that pile. Ancient viruses. Yep. You read that right. Scientists are already pulling samples out of the increasingly warm Siberian permafrost, and quite a few of these viruses are still viable.

No, there’s no need to panic, yet. It’s that yet which is the problem. First, these viruses are the super big ones and aren’t too dangerous, though that also means the little and deadlier ones are probably buried in the ice too. Second, we don’t really know what these things can do. Maybe they’re benign, harmless to us because we’ve still got the inherited immunity from our distant ancestors. It’s also possible that we’ve lost the immunity and these suckers are about to rip through the human population at the levels of the Black Plague.

The whole situation does present some unique ideas. Viruses long thought dead could do any number of things. We can graft any kind of symptoms onto them that we want, cures made from equally ancient medicines, infection vectors not seen today. Buck wild doesn’t not begin to cover what we can do with these in our writing. Or hell, maybe one of these viruses is compatible with one of the junk DNA viruses in our genome.

That’s a twist to play with!

T.A. Creech

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