11 10 Only NINE SEVEN more purchases of The Proposal or the Arc 5 PDF get everyone M/W/F updates for all of April! All purchases enter you in a raffle for a piece of original art. Details below.
I find it curious that all the plagues and viruses that led to pandemics jumped their way through other animals, often livestock, first before making it humans. What's also interesting is that genetic variation allowing europeans to survive the black plague also imparts HIV resistance (lack of the CCR5 receptor means the virus can't get into the cells in the first place). For quite awhile now organizations like the WHO keep their eyes on swine and avian flu, issuing alerts if the viruses start jumping to humans. Then people went and CREATED a strain of very lethal bird flu. Great. I wonder what's going on in this page. Engineered? Random? Who knows! (I do but I'm not telling).
And yes, flu has been recorded in cattle, horses, swine, AND birds, and if those animals are in close enough contact, it's been known to jump between species, even to their human keepers. My doomsday scenario may seem a bit convoluted here, but patience, please. All will be revealed in time.
Also, yes, the American Department of Defense does indeed give funding for vaccine development. I was amazed when I first found out that a bunch of profs where I did my master's had grants from what I had always considered to be a MILITARY R&D organization.
Peter here also expresses my own loathing of stories the major news outlets deem fit to release to the public. Did YOU hear the dark rumblings of an engineered flu released in the Ukraine? (yes, yes, conspiracy theories). From SARS to bird flu to swine flu to bioterrorism (oh shit, the FBI is totally going to be digging into my site now), everyone would much rather read about...American Idol. Dancing with the Stars. Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Oh, and sorry to be all American-central with this. Suppose I could have chosen some international [equally worthless and obnoxious] hit, but hey, I am American and all ;)
Anyway, I'm off for my spring break next week. Comics are all updated and ready to go (as well as vote incentives) if I don't have much computer access. See you when I get back!
Up front, I want to say that anything in these bonus comics is exactly that--a bonus! An illustrated extra! Not necessary to continue reading the story. What these stories ARE is a fleshed out, close up of events that have been mentioned in passing and will never really be part of the main story. The Arc 5 extension explains a lot more of why Scot tracked down Colbey, and what was going on in the background of Driftwood. The Proposal is the story of how Peter proposed to Colbey. And it's nothing nearly as gushy as it sounds (it's rather tragic actually...). Each of them is illustrated! They're regular size comic pages with 1-4 illustrations per page, with a bit more narration.
Selling these little background stories allows me--a student--to continue to put the effort into making sure this comic updates to schedule...or even more than that. And I want everyone here to be aware of how much it MEANS to me that you guys are willing to support this story. This story is almost half way over now, and we're just getting to the good part! I'm so happy it's enjoyable enough that readers are willing to support me.
And in the case of The Proposal, all of this support is going straight into my SPRING BREAK FUND. Because I'm going to the beach, dammit, and I'm gonna have fun and not do work, but it's so faaaar away and I'm driving and I have to eat and help out with other costs.
Since this is getting rather long-winded, just once again let me say a big THANK YOU to everyone so far. When I first drafted this story I was kinda worried it wouldn't be received well, but the feedback I've gotten has been overwhelmingly positive. All purchases enter you in a raffle for another drawing too!
Click the image below to purchase! You will be forwarded to the PDF after purchase by clicking "return to donation coordinator" after check out.