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The Second Black Plague: Anatomy of a Doomsday Pandemic

adapted from & inspired by material previously published at Othertimelines.com

 

Part 5

 

by Chris Oakley

 

 

 

From the January 8th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:

DEATH TOLL IN AUSTRALIAíS RDS EPIDEMIC NOW UP TO 130,000; N.Z.

CASUALTIES AT 102

SCIENTISTS FORECAST EXTINCTION OF HUMAN RACE WITHIN 4-6 MONTHS

PHONE SERVICE BETWEEN WELLINGTON AND CHRISTCHURCH DISRUPTED

 

From a Channel 9(Australia) news broadcast dated January 12th, 1970:

One of Australian Rules footballís most storied clubs has become the latest

casualty of the global RDS epidemic with the news that the Sydney Swans, beset

by growing financial difficulty and the loss of several critical players, will cease

operations until further notice effective as of midnight tonight. When asked how

soon the club might resume play, team executives had no comment...

 

From the January 15th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:

RDS PANIC IN AUSTRALIA GROWS AS PINE CREEK REPORTS ITS FIRST CONFIRMED CASE OF VIRUS

 

From Mr. Lís diary entry of January 19th, 1970:

I can barely stand listeneing to the radio anymore-- all I ever seem to hear from it

is bad news. Did you know the RDS body count hereís now up to 118? 118! And theyíre

reporting at least 2 or 3 new cases every day. Iím beginning to wonder how long Iíve

got before I catch that damn bug myself....

 

From a notice posted outside the Alice Springs city hall dated January 24th, 1970:

RESIDENTS OF THIS CITY ARE REMINDED THAT MARTIAL LAW IS STILL

IN FORCE AT THIS TIME AND WILL REMAIN SO UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

ANYONE FOUND IN VIOLATION OF THE MARTIAL LAW DECREE WILL BE

SUBJECT TO ARREST AND POSSIBLE EXECUTION.

 

From the January 28th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:

NATIONWIDE DEATH COUNT FROM RDS UP TO 155,000; N.Z.

CASUALTIES APPROACHING 130

GLOBAL TOLL UP TO 3.94 BILLION

TWO SOLDIERS COURT-MARTIALLED FOR REFUSING TO

ENFORCE ALICE SPRINGS MARTIAL LAW DECREE

 

From a pirate radio broadcast somewhere in Queensland dated February 5th, 1970:

What are we waiting for?!! The federal governmentís just a bleediní house of cards and itís high

time someone knocked it over! Get a gun and join me! Weíve gotta save our country while thereís

still time!....

 

From the February 6th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:

PIRATE RADIO OPERATOR IN QUEENSLAND ARRESTED ON SEDITION CHARGES

 

From a Channel 9(Australia) news broadcast dated February 15th, 1970:

As we approach the sixth anniversary of the respiratory disintegration syndrome pandemic that

has devastated 90 percent of the world, anti-government riots are raging in Adelaide this morning

despite the best efforts of local police and RAA troops to keep them under control....

 

From Mr. Lís diary entry of February 21st, 1970:

I threw my radio out the window this afternoon because I couldnít take listening to

one more casualty report, one more university egghead saying weíre all doomed. Iím

just about the only one in my apartment building who dares going out anymore, what

with the riots and the economic crisis....Iíll be lucky if I survive until the first day of

spring...

 

From the February 25th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:

AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND OBSERVE REMEMBRANCE DAY FOR VICTIMS OF

GLOBAL RDS PANDEMIC

ABORIGINAL MASS HEALING CEREMONY UNDERWAY AT AYERS ROCK

 

From a Channel 9(Australia) news report dated March 2nd, 1970:

500 people were shot to death today while attempting to break the quarantine

seal around Darwin. In New Zealand, the official casualty toll from that nations

RDS epidemic has now risen to 173...

 

From the March 5th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:

AFL TEETERING ON VERGE OF FINANCIAL RUIN

 

From a notice posted outside the Wellington city hall dated March 10th, 1970:

Residents of this city are advised to arm themselves at once if they have not done so

already, in order that they may defend themselves against criminals and lunatics. Those

who are armed should keep their weapons close at hand and be ready to use them at a

momentís notice...

 

From Mr. Lís diary entry of March 16th, 1970:

The building manager got shot last night while he was walking his dog; we tried to catch

the shooter, but he got away by ducking into an alley before we could get hold of him. And

thatís not the worst of it-- the manager died waiting for the ambulance to show up. This

countryís coming apart at the seams....

 

From the March 25th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:

AUSTRALIA RDS DEATH TOLL AT 181,000; NEW ZEALAND CASUALTIES REACH 205

LEADING SCIENTIST WARN EXTINCTION OF REMNANTS OF HUMAN RACE ONLY 60-75 DAYS OFF

TOWNSVILLE POLICE CHIEF AND MAYOR KILLED IN ANTI-AUTHORITY RIOTS

 

From a letter by a Dunedin, New Zealand school headmistress to the parents of the schoolís pupils dated April 2nd, 1970:

With deep regret I must announce that due to the present crisis, all academic activity at this

school must be suspended until further notice. We are unable at present to guarantee our

pupilsí safety and do not wish to expose them to unnecessary risks....

 

From a Channel 9(Australia) news report dated April 5th, 1970:

Fourteen people were killed and eight injured when a bomb exploded this afternoon at the offices of CSIRO in

Canberra....

 

From the April 11th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:

AUSTRALIA RDS CASUALTIES NOW TOPPING 200,000

N.Z. DEATH TOLL AT 229

NEW ZEALANDís THIRD-LARGEST PRIVATE BANK CRASHES

 

From Mr. Lís diary entry of April 16th, 1970:

The paper says there was a riot in Invercargill last night....something like fifty people

killed and the town hall got burned down...

 

From a Channel 9 news report dated April 24th, 1970:

One of the last surviving communications links between Australia and New Zealand was severed

when a fire apparently sparked by an electrical short-circuit destroyed the main telegraph station

in Wellington. The station had been used by reporters with the Sydney Morning Heraldís New

Zealand bureau to file their stories on that countryís RDS outbreak....

 

From the April 30th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:

500 DEAD IN SIMPSON DESERT MASS SUICIDE

FEDERAL OFFICIALS ASSURE PUBLIC RADIO LINKS TO NEW ZEALAND

REMAIN SECURE

 

From a Channel 9 news report dated May 4th, 1970:

Brisbane experienced the worst civil unrest in its history earlier today as federal

troops and anti-government rioters clashed in a firefight which left 200 dead and at

least 400 wounded. Much of the city is reported to be in flames at this hour...

 

From the May 8th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:

NATIONWIDE RDS DEATH TOLL EXPECTED TO REACH 250,000 BEFORE JUNE 15th; NEW ZEALAND CASUALTIES

PRESENTLY STAND AT 350

SYDNEY UNIVERSITY UNDER ARMED GUARD AFTER VIOLENT ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATIONS

 

From Mr. Lís diary entry of May 13th, 1970:

More bad news in the papers-- thereís some kind of revolt going on in Tasmania. The

mayor of Hobart got killed along with a bunch of cops when they tried to quiet things

down. Reminds me of when Governor Faubus called out the National Guard back in í62...

 

From a Channel 9 special broadcast dated May 21st, 1970:

Due to growing financial troubles and a shrinking pool of trained technical

personnel, we regret to announce that until further notice we must suspend

broadcast operations in the 12 noon-4 PM time period...

 

From the May 23rd, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:

AUSTRALIA RDS DEATH TOLL UP TO 231,500; 400 DEAD IN NEW ZEALAND

NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES APPROACHING 80 PERCENT

 

From a letter by the general manager of New Zealandís largest professional cricket club to the teamís supporters dated May 28th, 1970:

Due to the present national crisis we are sadly obliged to temporarily suspend play....However,

we remain hopeful that we will eventually be able to resume operations...

 

From Mr. Lís diary entry of June 4th, 1970:

Depressed again. Itís been at least a week since I last left my apartment...and for some

people around here itís been even longer than. Thereís this guy living two floors above me

who hasnít been seen out of his place in six months. Some of us think he might already be

dead, which wouldnít surprise me much at this point...

 

From the June 5th entry:

My mistake-- turns out the guyís not dead after all, just a really heavy sleeper. Frankly

I wish we could all sleep through this whole lousy mess...it would make the virus easier to

deal with....

 

From the June 10th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:

250,000TH RDS FATALITY IN AUSTRALIA CONFIRMED THIS MORNING

SUICIDE RATES IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND AT ALL-TIME PEAKS

ARMY RESERVE COLONEL KILLED IN APPARENT MUTINY ATTEMPT

 

From a Channel 9 special broadcast dated June 16th, 1970:

Until further notice, all broadcast activity in the 5:00 PM-6:00 PM time period is being hereby

suspended....

 

From a special address by the prime minister of Australia to the Senate dated June 22nd, 1970:

Regardless of how catastrophic our present circumstances have become, we cannot give in

to the temptation towards despair, because that way lies the final, total, and irrevocable demise

of our country....

 

From a hecklerís response to the PMís remarks:

Pull me the other one, why donít you?! This bleediní countryís finished, donít you know

that? The Rome virusíll kill us all, just like it killed everyone in America and Russia! Canít

you see weíre all doomed, you blind old fool?!!...

 

From the June 24th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:

CONFIDENCE IN PRIME MINISTER SHARPLY DECLINING

CHANNEL 9 TO CANCEL ALL REMAINING EVENING BROADCAST ACTIVITY EFFECTIVE FROM 8:00 PM TOMORROW

 

From the June 30th, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail(New Zealand):

WORLDWIDE RDS CASUALTY TOLL NOW STANDING AT 3.91 BILLION; EXPERTS PREDICT EXTINCTION OF HUMAN

RACE WITHIN 30-45 DAYS

PARLIAMENT LEADER RESIGNS AMID BITTER PUBLIC CRITICISM OF GOVERNMENTíS HANDLING OF RDS CRISIS

 

From an editorial in the July 2nd, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:

With great sorrow, we announce that dire shortages of material and skilled workers are forcing

us to temporarily halt publication of this newspaper effective immediately. Under the present

circumstances it is becoming extremely difficult if not impossible to honor our commitments to

our readers...

 

From Mr. Lís diary entry of July 5th, 1970:

God, Australiaís gone to hell in a handbasket. There was a riot in Katherine today and half

the city got burned down...some of the cops were supposed to stop the riot ended up being

part of it instead, which goes to show you how bad things really are over there....

 

From the July 10th, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:

RDS DEATHS IN AUSTRALIA APPROACHING 275,000; N.Z. CASUALTIES IN

EXCESS OF 700

N.Z. DEFENCE MINISTER FOUND DEAD IN APPARENT SUICIDE

 

From a Channel 9 news broadcast dated July 14th, 1970:

In an ironic turn of events, the former French embassy in Canberra has burned down on what

would in the past have been Bastille Day in France. No one was inside the embassy complex

when the fire-- whose origins are still uncertain --broke out in the main lobby; the embassy was

reduced to ashes in less than two hours....

 

From the July 20th, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:

WELLINGTON CITY HALL UNDER SIEGE BY ANTI-GOVERNMENT GANGS

AUSTRALIA RDS DEATH COUNT TOPS 275,000

FLAGSHIP OF N.Z. NAVY REPORTS THREE CREWMEN MISSING; DESERTION

SUSPECTED

 

From a Channel 9 news broadcast dated July 26th, 1970:

An RAAF reconnaissance flight over Darwin has confirmed that the

Northern Territory coastal city is now effectively deserted....

 

From the August 1st, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:

AUSTRALIAN RDS DEATH COUNT NEARING 300,000; 1000 DEAD IN NEW ZEALAND

 

From Mr. Lís diary entry of August 4th, 1970:

There was a huge fire here in town today-- one of the locals tried to burn an RDS corpse

himself instead of letting the health board do it and things got really out of hand. Poor guy

got fried to a crisp and so did two of his neighbors, and on top of that his house burned to

the ground. About the only thing that didnít get burned was the corpse...

 

From a Channel 9 news report dated August 9th, 1970:

A federal health expert said today that the RDS pandemic has decimated the worldís

medical system to such an extent that it has cleared the way for other diseases to run

rampant throughout the general human population, thus exacerbating the already

steep population decline caused by the plague, now approaching its seventh year

worldwide and and its third year in Australia....

 

From a propaganda leaflet by a group calling itself the Australian National Survival Party, dated August 17th, 1970:

PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA, ARISE! SAVE OUR COUNTRY BEFORE ITíS TOO LATE!

SMASH THE INCOMPETENT OLIGARCHY IN CANBERRA THAT CAUSED THIS

PLAGUE!

JOIN OUR REVOLUTION!

 

From the August 22nd, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:

NATIONWIDE RDS DEATH TOLL NOW UP TO 1550; CASUALTIES IN AUSTRALIA AT 320,000

LEADING SCIENTISTS ESTIMATE 98 PERCENT OF GLOBAL HUMAN POPULATION KILLED BY RDS PLAGUE

PHONE SERVICE BETWEEN WELLINGTON AND AUCKLAND STILL NOT RESTORED AFTER THREE MONTHS

 

From a Channel 9 special broadcast dated August 26th, 1970:

With profound grief, we are obliged to inform our viewers that effective 12 noon tomorrow we will

be terminating broadcast operations permanently due to severe shortages of funds and

personnel....

 

From the September 1st, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:

NEW ZEALAND RDS DEATH TOLL NOW UP TO 1800; AUSTRALIA CASUALTIES AT 340,000

HEALTH MINISTRY REPORTS MASSIVE SHORTAGES OF VITAL MEDICINES

PARLIAMENT OPPOSITION LEADER COMMITS SUICIDE

 

From an internal memo to the Australian prime minister by the countryís top counterintelligence official, dated September 6th, 1970:

The political situation in New Zealand continues to deteriorate with each passing hour....At

least two city mayors have been assassinated in the past week and anti-government rallies

outside the Parliament building are becoming almost a daily event. Frankly, itís astonishing

that the country hasnít yet fallen into open civil war...

 

From Mr. Lís diary entry for September 10th, 1970:

Just when I think things canít get any worse, they do....the newspapers say weíre up to

2000 dead from RDS here in New Zealand and Australia will probably hit the 400,000

mark by the end of the month. I donít know why I donít just hang myself and get it over

with...

 

From the September 18th, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:

2250 DEAD FROM RDS IN NEW ZEALAND, 360,000 IN AUSTRALIA; WORLDWIDE CASUALTIES ESTIMATE AT 3.95

BILLION

RADIO LINKS BETWEEN ADELAIDE AND N.Z. DISRUPTED

CAPTAIN OF AUSTRALIAN NAVY FRIGATE REPORTED MISSING

 

From an Australian National Survival Party propaganda leaflet dated September 22nd, 1970:

CITIZENS OF AUSTRALIA! Our party has won a glorious victory in the fight to save our country

from the inept rabble in Canberra that brought the RDS plague down on us all! Last night NSP special

detachments occupied the city hall in Hobart, Tasmania and announced the formation of the first dedicated

NSP government in Australia! Already this heroic example is being followed elsewhere, and soon we will

reclaim the dead cities of Broome, Darwin, and Fremantle from Deathís icy grip! But our greatest triumph

is still to come-- the swift and final destruction of the Canberra regime!....

 

From the September 23rd, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT DISPROVES NSP CLAIMS OF HOBART TAKEOVER

400,000TH RDS FATALITY IN AUSTRALIA CONFIRMED BY FEDERAL HEALTH AUTHORITIES

 

From Mr. Lís diary entry for September 29th, 1970:

Great, just what the world needs, a mini-Nazi Party stirring up trouble while whatís left

of civilization goes down the drain....

 

From the October 5th, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT CONFIRMS RDS EPIDEMIC HAS SPREAD TO ADELAIDE

NSP CELL BROKEN UP IN HOBART

MAORI LEADERS DENOUNCE LACK OF N.Z. GOVERNMENT AID TO FAMILIES OF TRIBAL

MEMBERS KILLED BY RDS

Government Spokesman Says Financial Crisis Hampering Efforts To Aid Citizens

Regardless of Ethnicity; Denies Maoris Being Singled Out

 

From a report by the Australian defense minister to the prime minister dated October 9th, 1970:

Regret to report neutralizng the NSP is thus far proving more difficult than weíd hoped for. Every time we manage to

liquidate one of its cells, two more seem to pop up in its place. Making matters worse, a few of the very men that we

trusted to crush the movement have instead defected to its ranks....

 

From the October 14th, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:

NEW ZEALAND DEATH TOLL FROM RDS THREATENING TO REACH 3500; AUSTRALIAN BODY COUNT FROM

VIRUS NOW IN EXCESS OF 425,000

HUMAN RACE PREDICTED TO BECOME EXTINCT WITHIN LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS

AUSTRALIAN AUTHORITIES SMASH NSP CELL IN BRISBANE

 

From a readerís letter in the October 18th, 1970 edition of the Auckland Daily Mail:

I wish all these Ďexpertsí who whinge on and on about the human race going under

in three months would keep their traps shut...not only are they scaring me and my

neighbors but they risk putting themselves in the same position as the boy who

 cried Ďwolfí....

 

From Mr. Lís diary entry for October 22nd, 1970:

New Zealand is screwed-- the RDS body count officially hit 4000 sometime yesterday.

Pretty soon itíll be 5000, then 10,000, then 20,000, and so on until thereís nothing left of

this country. Just the other day one of my neighbors jumped off the roof of this building,

and if I wasnít scared of heights I might be tempted to jump myself...

 

From the October 30th, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:

AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL TROOPS ARREST NSP MELBOURNE BRANCH LEADER

FISHING BOAT, AUSTRALIAN NAVAL VESSEL SUNK IN COLLISION OFF CHESTERFIELD ISLANDS

 

From an internal memo by the editor of the Auckland Daily Mail to the paperís employees dated November 4th, 1970:

Lately Iíve heard a great deal of talk about closing this newspaper

down, and let me state without hesitation that I wonít put up with it

one more second. Like it or not, we are the last major regularly

publishing newspaper left on this earth, and I dread having anyone

accuse us of shirking our responsibilities to the public at this

critical hour....

 

From a letter by the mayor of Sydney to the Australian defense minister dated November 8th, 1970:

Additional men needed here at once. I have reason to believe NSP agents may be planning

an uprising in this city...

 

From the November 15th, 1970 issue of the Australian National Survival Partyís official magazine Deliverance:

We regret to announce the founder of our glorious party has died in combat against the hired

thugs of the corrupt and incompetent bureaucracy in Canberra. At the same time, however, we

take immense pride in the knowledge he spent his last moments courageously upholding our

partyís ideals....

 

From the November 21st, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:

NSP LEADER ALLEGED TO HAVE COMMITTED SUICIDE

N.Z. PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET EVACUTED FROM AUCKLAND; MOVE DESCRIBED

AS "UNAVOIDABLE TEMPORARY NECESSITY"

 

From an internal communiquť by New Zealandís top counterintelligence official to the countryís prime minister dated November 28th, 1970:

The situation in Australia is even worse than we can imagine. Ballarat and four other

towns near Melbourne are confirmed to have cases of RDS, and my staff suspects that

Melbourne itself may suffer an outbreak within days. Whatís left of the Australian economy

is crumbling like a house of cards and a brief conversation with my counterpart in the

Australian intelligence service has confirmed that there are virtually no human inhabitants

left in Western Australia or the Northern Territory....

 

From the December 1st, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:

NATIONAL SURVIVAL PARTY DISSOLVES

 

From Mr. Lís diary entry for December 3rd, 1970:

Itís hard to say why, but for some reason Iím feeling just a little more hopeful

about the future of the human race than I have in a long time. Lots of people

figured weíd be gone with the wind by now, and yet somehow weíre still managing

to hang on...if we can just hold out another month or so, maybe we can finally

find a cure for that damn bug and start rebuilding the world back to what it was

before the virus started tearing it to shreds...

 

From the December 6th, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:

POSSIBLE FAINT RADIO SIGNALS FROM HAWAII DETECTED BY N.Z. ARMY LISTENING POST

Scientists Believe Signals May Constitute Evidence Of Human Survivors

 

From the next dayís edition:

PARLIAMENT CONVENES IN EXTRAORDINARY SESSION TO DISCUSS RADIO

SIGNAL DEVELOPMENTS

PM Hints Second Special Expedition To North America May Be In The Works

 

From a notice posted by the New Zealander government in Auckland and its suburbs dated December 12th, 1970:

We are seeking able-bodied individuals to participate in a special expedition to

Hawaii to investigate the possibility that human survivors may exist somewhere on

the North American continent. The work may be hazardous, but the rewards will be

great and you will have the opportunity to participate in one of the greatest scientific

endeavors in human history....

 

From a graffito written in response by an anonymous local resident:

The opportunity to get killed, you mean!

 

 

To Be Continued

 

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