I got back from the nearby hospital just now. The good news is my ears will probably be okay since the eardrum wasn’t destroyed completely. In the meantime, they’ve put me on acetaminophen for the pain and given me penicillin to fight the infection. A lot of good that does me, being allergic to the stuff.
There were a lot of UK soldiers there, all in critical condition. It seems a drone buzzed them out on the front lines and dropped some kind of chemical weapon on them. That’s all I could understand, anyway. My hearing is still terrible. I wouldn’t have known even that much if Petty Officer Henschel hadn’t been there to repeat it to me. I’m still surprised she could even stand up straight. She took some pretty serious injuries during the battle.
Is it always hot in Corpus Christi, or are we just lucky enough to have encountered a heat wave of historic intensity? It’s been over 40 degrees every day, but at least it’s not too humid. My ears wouldn’t be able to tolerate the moisture.
It’s pretty hot, but I can take it. Some of the others, though, it’s just killing them. Petty Officer Henschel is taking it worse than any of them. I don’t think she tolerates the heat well—she was looking awful even before it got hot.
The weather is unbearable here. Most everyone is running a temperature and nearly passing out from heatstroke. The heat doesn’t seem to affect me as much, though. Maybe it’s the painkillers.
I died in my dream this time. I was shot and lying there, unable to move or speak or even breathe. There was fighting all around me and I couldn’t do anything but watch. I couldn’t move at all, but somehow, an invisible force moved me and I saw the Little Miss lying dead beside me, half rotted away. He looked back at me with his empty eyes and I wanted to scream at him to say something, but I couldn’t because I was dead too.
Why do I keep having dreams like this even though we’ve already won?
It’s not the weather. We just saw two solid days of clouds and interspersed summer rains and everyone keeps getting worse. The only one affected who isn’t totally out of commission is Petty Officer Henschel. The rest are either in dire condition or completely fine. This isn’t how heatstroke works. This is an epidemic.
How did a fever break out amongst the refinery in the middle of the summer? Why is everyone around me burning up in their own skin while I remain unaffected? Why is Henschel the only one who seems to be hanging on?
Three of the guys died last night. The fever cooked them alive. It was a terrible sight—their skin was red and puffy and their glands were horribly swollen. They looked bloated as drowned corpses before they even stopped breathing. A few others are looking the same even now, coughing raggedly and barely able to breathe while they burn to death. The Lischke twins aren’t looking good. The brother might yet make it, but the sister—
She’s made us promise to tell jokes at her expense over her grave.
Radnitz thought he was so clever, trying to cheer me up by making a bet with me to see who would get better first. He had no idea I wasn’t sick. I didn’t have it in me to say so. He says he’s tougher, so he’ll get better first, and that he’s barely feverish at all.
Should I bother to pray? Is God seeing this while other soldiers get to simply drop dead on the front lines?
Thank merciful God, we have a cure for this fever! The UK soldiers I saw in the hospital were suffering from the very same outbreak. They’ve put the sick soldiers on penicillin and it seems to be working. Thankfully, they’ve enough for us here at the refinery thanks to Rojas’ orders. The Lischke sister—it’s too late to save her—but her brother and Radnitz might just make it. As for me, I can’t take the antibiotics so I’ll need to be careful. I pray this sickness won’t spread further. I’m afraid to go home, for fear of delivering it to my family.
What’s happening? They’re getting worse! They can’t all be allergic to penicillin like me, can they? It must be a bad batch. The fever keeps rising and they’re convulsing and screaming nonsense. It won’t stop! It’s all my fault for bringing the fever with me from the hospital! I just had to have my precious hearing back. What I wouldn’t give for a world of nothing but dull ringing now! What have I done?
He died horribly, like no man should have to. Screaming and writhing and wracked with uncontrollable seizures. Bleeding from everywhere because he wouldn’t stop clawing at himself. Coughing up blood and burning on the inside. I watched every minute of it and buried him with my own two hands. It only seemed fitting since I killed him. Now I have to survive this. I have to go home and tell our family what has become of him.
Dear God! Why didn’t You swift him away on a bullet instead!
Henschel is gone; we’ve nothing but the note she left behind. In it, she blames herself for bringing this plague to us. Somehow, she isn’t sure why, but she is resistant to it, dying much slower than the rest. The penicillin that killed them all only made her a little delusional instead of a shrieking lunatic. Proud and level-headed, the woman who took a bullet to save Bauer only to kill him with a fever, and reduced to being slightly less sick and crazy than the rest. She is certain she will die nonetheless. Between the insane ramblings of the note, there is a tiny note of clarity. She will become a prisoner of war, let the Americans take her, and burn them with their own fire.
So! It was their doing!
– This is likely one of the few first person accounts of the Plague of Fire of which we have record. While some may dither over the reasons and rationale of the US Armed Forces, there is no doubt that they did indeed release the biological weapon that would lead to this horrible plague, and hasten the Collapse.