Part 1 - The Contagion Spreads
Opening Excerpt

In shock and despair, Elaine called their next-door neighbors and close friends, Peter and Mary West. They came over immediately to help her cope with the tragedy of Jim's death. They called 911. An ambulance was immediately dispatched and it arrived in less than ten minutes. The ambulance attendants confirmed Elaine's fears. They estimated that Jim had died several hours earlier.

They were very perplexed about the cause of death and they immediately transferred Jim's body into the ambulance to take it to the hospital. They were sure that the medical officer in charge would order an immediate autopsy to determine how and why Jim had died.

Elaine and the children were in shock and, in their misery, hardly noticed the mild cold like symptoms of runny noses and mild headaches from the infection passed on from Jim on Sunday. The comforting hugs and embraces that Peter and Mary gave to Elaine, Michael and Susan inevitably resulted in them becoming infected with the deadly SDC virus themselves.

In this, they joined a growing number of people in Glens Falls already infected by the virus. Most of the Glens Falls Library staff members, who had been exposed to Elaine during her workday, were already suffering the summer-cold symptoms of SDC. Several library users served by Elaine the previous day were also

Although Michael did not attend his computer day camp on Tuesday because of his father's death, all twelve of the students and the two teachers at the day camp were already infected. Their close contact with Michael on Monday had sealed their fate.

Susan had a busy day on the cash register at the hardware store on Monday, serving almost a hundred customers. She had taken her lunch break with two friends at the pizza restaurant next door. As a result, and due to the very infectious nature of SDC, many of the people she had contact with were infected and destined to be among the first victims.

By Tuesday, SDC had now infected more than a hundred residents of Glens Falls and the immediate area. The virus that had been spread by Elaine and the children was extensive. However, it was localized to the Glens Falls area at this point.

This was not true at all for Jim. His Monday trip to New York had given SDC the opportunity to spread its deadly infection across the United States and to several other countries and continents. This was long before anyone recognized the grave threat to the entire human race. On the Monday-morning flight from Albany to New York, Jim was sitting beside an older couple who had just completed a three-week visit with their son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren in Albany. They were returning to their home, a small village in southern Italy. The Albany-to-New York Laguardia flight was the first leg in the long trip home. They caught the Monday-evening Alitalia flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Rome. Their close contact with Jim on the short flight was enough to infect them both. This ensured SDC was able to cross the Atlantic to begin a first point of infection in Europe.

On the crowded airport bus Jim caught from LaGuardia to Manhattan, he was in close contact with several people. Most, like himself, were visiting New York on business. They had come there from all over the northeastern United States. They were just in town for the day. On Monday night, they returned to their homes, taking the virus from their contact with Jim with them. Several of the airport employees who had been exposed to Jim took SDC into their homes across New York City.

The trade show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center was well attended by people from Boston, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami. There were many local attendees from the New York area. There were also international visitors to the conference from Ottawa, London, Paris and Stockholm. Jim came into close contact with many of these people as he attended a couple of the seminars in the morning and early afternoon.