Excerpt from ‘Plagued’ book 1 – Viral government

Plagued mimics what happened to us between late 2019 and August 2020. It reproduces many of the events and real world people on an alternate earth; one that is eerily similar to ours and yet has significant differences.

The viral pandemic called Covid-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, that wreaked global carnage (and continues to do so at the time of writing this foreword – March 31, 2021), has fundamentally shifted many people’s perceptions of how we should live. People’s ideas of what constitutes good government (and in fact thinking about government at all) have changed. In our world, a number of governments mismanaged the response to this pandemic, thus amplifying the impacts of the SARS virus. The result of this mismanagement is that millions more than should have died. 

On the Plagued earth, similar things happen. A pandemic and mismanagement disrupt the lives of the two main characters. Tory is a director of nursing, whose husband died 4 years earlier. David Chouette is a virologist who has also, in an eery echo of Tory’s circumstances, lost a partner 4 years before. They have the great misfortune of falling in love as a pandemic unfurls on their alternate earth. They face the same crazy conspiracy context that has dogged us here, This impacts their lives (and love); Tory works crazy hours and faces the wrath of dismayed citizens. David returns to the Confederated States (i.e. the C.S., a US which did not have a Civil War but implemented, as a political necessity to avoid that war, an official apartheid style system with ‘other races’) and essentially (and unwillingly) acts as an industrial espionage agent for his employer. They observe the same economic and race related traumas that we did, and are affected by them. Black Lives Matter exists in this alternate reality, as does systemic racism and violence...

January 22

Tonwashing, C.S.

Sebie Keith’s diary


Call me cynical but I wonder not only when but if the impeachment trial of President Horace Bridge will happen. I almost wish I was back in New Selaw (where this kind of nonsense also occurs but not to this insane level). I mean, come on, ‘my fellow Staters’, the man is inept, a crook, a cheat, a misogynist, a tax fraudster (& possibly a murderer* but the jury is still out on that one). And that’s on a good day. Dump him already.

C.S. officials have defended the action as necessary, calling Suk “the engineer of more than three strikes against C.S. forces in Afrique and Aisa.” The UN says that they have yet to produce any solid evidence of that.

We’re over three years into this presidency and most everyone I know is praying for November. It’s kind of wishing our lives away; we all just want to go to sleep like Riup ven Weinkeller and wake up in 10 or so months’ time, just in time to vote this clown out of office.

Sebie Keith

[All opinions expressed herein are entirely mine and do not reflect the stand or standards of any organization for whom I might work, either under this name or others.]

*And is he a murderer? If you live in the Arabian peninsula, he certainly must be, common logic has it. The C.S. drone strike Bridge ordered on Assyrian commander Kalaa Inmani Suk a little over 2 weeks ago has been labelled an act of Terrorism by Assyria’s leader, Qassim Mohammed Kaan. The Assyrians have sent the case to the world court in Amnstahm, Nederlands. They have backing from Norda, Albane, Sweda and Belgrada (which probably doesn’t mean all that much to America’s government). 

January 23


The army trucks roll in in the early morning. Radio and news sites and Web begin to blare. Nahuw has been placed in lockdown/quarantine, the government tells them.

Soldiers and military police disgorge from endless trucks and make sure no-one leaves.

Philip Town, New Selaw

Tory wraps a light sari around her naked body, gathers it up from the floor where she spilled it the night before, and goes across to look out of her first floor bedroom window. A red wattle bird is in a grevillea. It cackles at her. She smiles and looks past the grevillea and the bird and the wooden picket fence. David’s Audi is parked outside, with a few greenish leaves from the beech trees sprinkled across its platinum coloured roof. The wind has abated over the night.

It was buffeting them the night before, kisses exchanged and a look and he had come in. And there he was – is, asleep in the bed. She smiles again…

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