The Manehatten Virus Chapter Five: The First Wave
Twenty Days After the Outbreak
"Over three hundred thousand ponies have been infected with the H5N1 bird flu, and over one hundred eighty thousand have died. After the death toll reached one hundred fifty thousand, princes Celestia has requested routine house to house body pickups and is asking that if somepony dies in your home, you wrap them in plastic and lay the body in front of your house. In other news there have been several riots at hospitals in Canterlot and Manehatten, demanding that the stockpiles of Tamiflu be released to the general public. A dozen arrests were made in Canterlot with twenty three in Manehatten."
Twilight and Spike sat on opposite ends of the room watching the reporter speak. Though they were afraid of what lies ahead, the most pressing thought on their minds was what had happened last week. Spike still found it very hard to believe that Twilight cared about him in that way. "I tried calling Lyra. There was no answer so I'm assuming that
" said Twilight, who was trying to break the awkward silence; however her conversation choice could have been better.
Spike just looked at the ground. He knew it would happen sooner or later, so he'd already come to terms with her passing.
As Spike thought to himself the phone rang. The little dragon stood and walked over to it. The wooden floor was cold on his feet. Spike grasped the sleek, cool, object and lifted it to his ear. "Hello?" he asked. "Hi Spike," replied a weak Pinkie Pie. She let out a cough and asked "Is Twilight there?" Spike was a bit shocked. 'No, no, no, not her!' he thought. "Spike?" she asked. The little dragon snapped out of his daze and answered "Yeah, just a second Pinkie." He turned to Twilight and held the phone out to her. His face was pail and blank. "It's Pinkie," he said in an emotionless tone. Twilight stood and trotted over to her assistant, instantly registering that something was wrong. Twilight was a little scared of what she might hear, as she took the phone. She lifted it to her ear and Spike watched as the color left her face. "Hey Twi," said Pinkie, who paused to cough again. It was rather violent. "Hi Pinkie," replied a fearful Twilight. "Twi, I have it, so does mister and misses Cake. The twins are fine. They're-" Pinkie paused to cough and then continued. "They're staying with their grandmother. I just wanted to let you know
And see if you could help." "I'm so sorry Pinkie, but I don't know many medical spells. Besides, I think the only treatment is Tamiflu, and I can't make that." Twilight felt horrible having to tell her this, but it was true. "Oh, it's ok Twi. I just wanted to see if-" Pinkie paused once more to cough. It seemed to last longer than the others. The pink coated pony continued to cough, but when she tried to catch her breath she couldn't. Twilight was terrified. It sounded as if her friend was being choked to death. "Pinkie?!" she asked in a loud, almost screaming voice. The only response was a loud, persistent, cough. After a few seconds the pony finally caught her breath. She looked down on her chest, to see a few drops of blood splattered on it. "Oh god. I have to go Twilight," she said rather frantically. "Ok," replied Twilight. Just as she was about to tell her good bye Pinkie hung up.
Twilight just laid the phone down and sat next to the table. "Pinkie, Mr. Cake, and Mrs. Cake are all going to die. They have it." Spike walked over to Twilight and laid a hand on to her shoulder. The lavender unicorn jerked her head up and looked into Spike's eyes, with tears beginning to fill hers. "You don't know that Twilight," Spike comforted, "The mortality rate is 60%, so one in three will li
" Spike stopped there after realizing what this meant. "So two of them are going to die if we're lucky," replied Twilight, who was beginning to cry now. Spike found himself with tears starting to form in his eyes, as well. He didn't want to believe it, but Twilight was right. Statistically, only one would live, if they were lucky.
The little dragon sat down next to Twilight and wrapped his arms around her. Twilight instantly pulled Spike into a full embrace and began to sob, heavily. "It takes six hours, so I'll call them tomorrow. Then we'll know for sure, but let's just pray until we know. Ok?" suggested Spike. "Ok," replied Twilight. The pair just held each other, for what must have been several minutes, until once again, the phone rang.
Spike reluctantly broke the embrace and wiped away a few tears of his own. "I better get that," he said, trying not to cry. Twilight, who was still crying, nodded to him. The little dragon stood and lifted the phone off of the table. "Hello?" he asked. He heard somepony sobbing on the other line. The voice sounded like it was Mrs. Cake. "Hey, Spike," she managed to say in between a crying fit, "Is Twilight there?" Spike could already guess what she was going to say, he just didn't expect it to happen so quickly. "She's in pretty bad shape right now. What is it?" he asked. Mrs. Cake sniffled a little and let out a cough. It sounded exactly like Pinkie's first one. "I really should tell this to Twilight myself," she replied. "Trust me, it's ok. You can tell me," assured Spike. Mrs. Cake sniffled again and brought herself to say it. "I went up to check on Pinkie and
She's dead." After hearing those words Spike dropped the phone. He thought he could handle it, but hearing it for himself was different than assuming it. His hand just seemed to have lost all feeling. "Hello?" asked Mrs. Cake, "Spike?" It took the little dragon a minute, but the little dragon finally bent down and picked up the phone. "Yeah," he said while trying not to break down into tears. "Spike," she began, "I just want to say god bless you." "God bless you too Mrs. Cake," replied the baby dragon, who's voice was beginning to crack.
Spike just laid the phone down and turned to face Twilight. She already knew what he was about to say. It was obvious. "Twilight, Pinkie died."