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Archer Swift


The unimaginable happens...

An anti-American group of fundamentalist extremists within Saudi intelligence plans and executes the introduction of a contagious and incurable virus into the United States. Two weeks elapse before anyone sees clearly what has happened ... but by then it is too late. Innocent carriers of the virus have already spread it out into their various communities. Bigpox is unleashed ... with terrible consequences.

The same fundamentalist assassinates thousands of members of the Saudi royal family at one stroke, this time with a fast-acting virus. Oil flows to the United States are stopped immediately, with one exception.

A fundamentalist general from Malaysia now enters the stage. He is appointed to lead a United Nations force ‘to restore order’ in the United States, now that every part of its infrastructure is collapsing because of the silent but raging bigpox virus.  The general’s personal ambition — to control the United States and secure his immortal place in history — far exceeds his stated military mission and his religious zeal. 

At the eleventh hour, a small group of fiercely determined Americans brings an end to the general’s regime and the country begins to get back on its feet.



inner was over. Fine wines and spirits had loosened everyone up. Catchy music had taken hold of the gathering. A waltz, a polka, some Sinatra songs, and then a bunch of old dance favorites poured out of the band without a break. Conversations flowed ever faster and voices rose. A swollen river of talk was steadily fueled by a rising tide of alcohol. Discretion gave way to the sharing of broken confidences, gossip and scandals. The momentum of the evening gathered speed toward the climax. At 10 p.m., the president would say a few words.

But at precisely 9 p.m., the one remaining canister activated itself.

A tiny diode light on it that was no bigger than a pinhead turned from green to red. As it did so, an internal spring was released and part of the flute-shaped canister wall automatically slid open. If anyone had noticed, they might now have seen what looked like tiny holes on an elongated miniature flute, except that, as seen under a magnifying glass, the holes slanted outward on an angle and in every direction. The canister was a masterpiece of miniaturized engineering, created by Bulgarian hands.

One half second later, a tiny but high-powered oxygen jet within the housing was released. It expelled several million microscopic particles of the most dangerous, most contagious virus cocktail on earth, from one side of the room to the other. A virtually invisible cloud of lethal dust dispersed languidly throughout the room, descending slowly and silently upon the assembled guests. The miniscule recombinant germs married invisibly with the swirling cigar and cigarette smoke. They now rose and fell together in one lazy, devilish dance, up and down and around the chandelier and down onto the guests in slow, silent, meandering, rings of death.

Too bad the president had decided to waive the no-smoking tradition for tonight.

The band played on. No one could have possibly heard the sound of a tiny jet spraying death over the heads of the federal government departments and their bare-shouldered wives and escorts. No one paid any attention to the two funny little flute-shaped canisters that hung from a cluster of helium-filled balloons hugging the ceiling. That is, except for the cleaning lady … the next morning.


                                       *                      *                      *


Gladys Marshall was very grateful to have this cleaning job at the White House, and all thanks to the president. He had met her at a social welfare center in South Carolina while swinging through on an election tour. On New Year’s Day, one of the marines had gone up on a ladder for her to retrieve all the balloons. They were now tied to the arms of one of the naked bronze figurines while awaiting their fate.

“What’s this thing?” Gladys mumbled to herself, noticing a tiny object, some metallic thing or other that looked a bit like an expanded aluminum comb dangling from the balloons. She lifted it up toward her thick lens glasses, but her vision was weak. She then held the canister to her nose and sniffed at it: no odor. “Can’t be that bad,” she mumbled to herself.

Then she took hold of one clump of balloons with the canister still attached, and walked it over to old Fred Meeks in West Wing Security. He had asked to have some of the balloons for a local kids’ home that he helped to run on the side. It emerged much later that these were the balloons attached to the canister that did not get activated. At least, that is, not until the kids at the home started to play with it.


"Few of us can forget September 11. But how many of us imagine another event that could dwarf it completely? Bigpox offers a window into what America could face in the event of a successful and wide-ranging biological attack. It reminds us all to be vigilant about obvious threats and to make sure that our central and local governments provide proper precautions to prevent a catastrophe that few beyond this author can begin to imagine." - AC.