There are days when the wind is so biting one can barely curse the cold through chattering teeth. There are days when the sun bakes down and complaints can only roll slowly off weary tongues. There are days filled with superstition; days marked in history; days of remembered significance. This was not one of those days. There was nothing remarkable about it. Even the weather was too average to elicit comment. It was any day. It was every day. And, in many ways, it was the last day. When Mike Allard, a history teacher at the local high school in the rural Tennessee town, arrived at work there were some murmurs of illness; students and teachers absent with signs of flu. Even for a newly employed teacher like Mike, a half empty class was a welcome gift. By that night, though, the murmurs grew more panicked. Every television station broadcast wall-to-wall coverage of the sudden outbreak. Before midnight, the word pandemic had become insufficient. The Tilian Virus had swept the globe with incomprehensible speed. The government urged patience explaining that while the symptoms were severe, recovery seemed likely.
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