Mac flipped off the television, and looked at Deb with worried eyes. The military was getting involved, and yet nobody seemed to know the details of the disease. There was debate about what happened to the infected, some tried to claim the dead were rising. Others were more logically trying to say that the victims were going through a deep sleep cycle, crashing out, and when they woke up had suffered brain damage, either from the unbelievable fever or oxygen deprivation.
The bottom line is there were no good answers, and not enough facts to determine a pattern. Some people who were attacked could fend off the disease for hours, others succumbed in mere minutes. Whether that was due to the person or the strain was just another variable. Medical science had never seen anything with such diverse symptoms and virtually always the same outcome, people who were reduced to pure aggression, biting and clawing the healthy, while ignoring other infected. These were general rules, but even those weren't set in stone. Internet footage showed some of them attacking each other. There was an incredibly small percentage who retained some higher thinking. They were able to put a little basic thought into attacking, but the one thing every infected had in common was the desire to destroy.
Deb's sister had refused to come stay with them, swearing instead that her new boyfriend would protect them. Mary had chosen to stay in the guest room most of the time, shaken up by what she had experienced, and knowing she had unknowingly left her husband to be attacked and killed. When she told Mac about her escape, she told him she saw her husband breathing, knocked out but mostly unharmed. The truth is, she knew no such thing. She had been so desperate to get out of there and so angry that she had swung with all her might. There was also the knowledge that if John had gotten the upper hand he would have killed her for fighting back. Still, deep in the back of her mind there was the concern that she had killed him or left him in a coma. As her wounds healed, she worried about that in a secret place in her mind. She also struggled with the fact that she wasn't the least bit sad if she had.
Mac continued business as usual, but it was clear things were moving towards a tipping point, a place where the sick were going to outnumber the healthy, and that they might need to look for a long-term solution. Deb knew her husband well, and she knew he was slipping out to work on the grain silo on the property. It had become his playhouse when they bought the property, and he had been spending hours out there working. He had also made several trips to town, before others cleaned out the aisles and fights broke out among looters who were taking supplies by the truckload. Once, she had seen a bed full of leafy plants, and she left him to it. Mac was a smart fella, but he also kept his mind to himself. When he was ready to let her in, he would, and until then she was content to let him work it out.
School had officially been called off until further notice, but they had decided several days ago to keep Adam with them. The worst of the attacks had slowly come out from Kansas City in growing ripples, but highly populated areas were by far the worst. The infected numbers tended to explode, and the concentration of people were higher. Out in the country, they had enjoyed quiet nights. But Mac knew it was just a matter of time before it reached them. Whatever was going on, it was big. It was going to forever change the world, if it didn't wipe it out entirely.