Governments, health agencies, the World Health Organization, and the pharmaceutical industry had been on the look out for ‘the Big One’ for almost a century (at first – in what was perhaps a slightly more honest era – because they wanted to prevent it, and later on, because the agencies involved wanted to make money out of it). In the age of hypersonic travel and commercial orbit hopping it had long been considered by pundits only a matter of time before the REAL pandemic was sparked off, as opposed to the countless false pandemics that have been hyped up by the big pharmaceutical companies (or more accurately, by their buddies in the world of corporate media) trying to unload whatever useless, mercury-contaminated vaccines they might happen to have had stockpiled before they went past their sell-by date. A great deal of effort and careful diplomacy had been put by the international community into regulating the likes of the immense industrial pig farms of northern Mexico or the even more immense automated chicken farms in China before their unscrupulous daily use of broad-spectrum antibiotics created a superbug capable of wiping out the human race, and putting an end once and for all to their incorrigible pig and chicken eating activities. When the ‘Big One’ did finally turn up on the scene however it came from an entirely unsuspected quarter – it came into the world via the kitchens of one of those ubiquitous hospital catering companies.


Whilst it is true that both staff and patients have been complaining about the appalling sloppiness and downright shoddiness of hospital food for as long as anyone can remember it is also true that no one has ever taken these complaints seriously – certainly not the hospital administrators or executives! Neither did the governments or health agencies or the World Health Organization, for that matter. In a way, I suppose it could be said that hospital food has always been mankind’s blind-spot, and as we all know, nothing good ever comes out of a blind-spot. In this case, what came out was humanity’s downfall. What came out was a true demon – fully-fledged, fully-armed and ready to go. Via whatever utterly unscrupulous practices it is that pass for ‘cooking’ in one of these nameless hospital catering companies a particular type of unnatural ‘pseudo-protein’ was created, a fantastically virulent and unstoppable super-pathogen designated by experts (for the sake of convenience) as Pseudoprotein QBZ1074. One of the world’s great hospitals became a source not of healing, but of the most devastating disease ever to afflict the human race. This was – one might say – the ultimate in iatrogenic disasters. This was the one they never saw coming.


That was sixty years ago. It’s ancient history now. The world that we then knew has vanished and a new one has appeared in its place – a world in which over 99% of the human population is now made up of Nerfs. I know I said that Nerfs are a vastly simplified form of human being, that they are rudimentary zombie-like ‘pseudohumans’ who were capable only of repeating certain basic behavioural reflexes, but perhaps I was being overly harsh. In many ways it’s true they’re not that different from how people used to be, back before the advent of the Great Pandemic. I mean, they look pretty much the same as people used to look, as far as I can tell from stock photos or video footage of the time. And certain aspects of life seem to go on much as they used to – folk still go shopping, sit around drinking coffees or chai lattes in cafes in shopping malls, they still go home and watch TV or play games on their smartphones, or go on Facebook and do all that kind of stuff. People still hang around in bars and pubs and nightclubs and they’re still big into celebrities and sport and drinking and gambling. People still vote dumb politicians into power – nothing’s changed there. The only thing is that people are now just too dumb to survive on their own any more. They can’t just look after themselves. They just aren’t evolutionarily viable, I guess you could say.


On the face of things you might possibly argue that life continues pretty much the same as it always did. But the well-documented ‘dumbing-down process’ that had been insidiously progressing throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has now been accelerated so much with the advent of Pseudoprotein QBZ1074 that the human race cannot now survive without the constant help and supervision of its handlers – genetically modified, neurologically-augmented, non-human life-forms, created as a last ditch attempt to save humanity from extinction. I am one of those handlers, and what follows is my story…


Ok, I know I’ve said all this before, earlier on in my narrative, and I know that I also keep on saying that I am a ‘non-human life-form’. More specifically, I am a modified dog. I’m a type of a sheep-dog, I suppose you could say, only my job is to shepherd humans…







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