Asher lived in a world that was diseased. Generations ago a disease spread throughout civilization. Even in a time of modern advancement, it went overlooked. Long thought not to be a threat, it bided its time, waiting. Once it had a hold on the world it made itself known. Overnight half of humanity was gone, taken by a sublime design of nature. Research began immediately for a cure, but one was never found. It was found to mature after 20 years. It was then a fifty-fifty chance it would be fatal within 10 years. One in two people died. People wondered how humanity would continue on, however people still went to work, trains continued to run on time, and over time an air of normalcy returned. Society adapted to the changes, and eventually came to thrive again. A new dawn was born on the ashes of the old. Time was now only for the truly blessed. This was the world Asher was born to. He was alone in a dying world. His parents died at 30, determined to have a child even though in all likely hood he was to suffer the same fate. He came from nothing. Schooling was taken on loan as was much of his life. He seemed to have a restrained brilliance that was never recognized or taken advantage of in a productive way. He worked a menial job, enough to feed and shelter himself with just enough left over to get himself back to work. He resented his lowly beginnings. He left wronged by society. Wrongly placed in life, neglected and left to his own devices. For his twentieth birthday he would be able to find out if he was expected to live or die as so many others had.
Asher sat in the doctor’s office. The white walls offset by the yellow cabinets gave off a sickly medical tint. The clock seemed to scream out every changing second that was slowly passing Asher by as he awaited his fate. As the door opened the doctors stern face was an unwelcomed sight. As he sat down he looked up and delivered Asher his news.
“I’m sorry Asher but it doesn’t look good. We knew this though with your family history. While we still don’t know that much about it, we do know now that family history is a strong indicator of survivability. Now I have to remind you, I know 10 years doesn’t feel like a long time but that is a lot more than others get. A lot of people go off the deep end, don’t be one of them. Have some dignity in your final days.”
The doctor stood up taking his chart and handing a paper to Asher. Asher sat stunned and angry at the news he was struggling to accept.
“isn’t there anything I can do? Has there been any progress in-“
The doctor cutting Asher off responded in brief.
“There isn’t anything you can do, now if you’ll excuse me I have actual patients to see, accept your fate and make the best of it.”
The door slammed as Asher’s stared off into the distance. He had nothing left, just anger. He could not accept that he was just going to die and that was the end of it. He resolved to find a cure, no matter the cost. He used all his credit before they were revoked due to his diagnosis, to buy as much equipment and supplies as he could muster. Since he stopped going to work, the bank immediately foreclosed on him, evicting him into the street. Many people before Asher had given up after their diagnosis, the bank was trained to watch this behavior. It moved with a mechanical efficiency to remove him. His entire life’s work, coming from nothing, was taken from him. He set up his equipment and things in a sewer culvert near his former home. There was a small near by city electrical box that he stole power from. It was there that he lived and worked for eight years. Eight long tireless years working on developing a cure, but he had finally done what no man was able to. Asher loaded the cure into a small needle and injected it into his vein. He waited several days before checking on the results. It was working. Asher had been victorious. There was only one man he wanted to scorn.