She stood by the window, looking out.

   Looking blindly at the shades of gray and red. The room was lit by many small lights. The window glass was thick, difficult to see through, like meters of liquid, clouding and clearing her vision in quick succession.

   There was no sound. All the windows, all the walls were soundproof. She looked down at the people scurrying back and forth far below. Most of them were coughing, she knew. Occasionally she could clearly see them clutch their throat. They fell and hit the tarmac… with a dump sound.

   Hands folded behind her back she returned to the center of the room.. It was a nice room. Pale colored paint on the walls, pale colored furniture. Scarce furniture, a chair, a table, nothing more. A very clean room. She walked to the dinner table, scratching her arm in a distant manner. Shaking hands grabbed the pills on the platter and the glass of water. She swallowed the pills. Good, clean food, a nutritious dinner. No waste of time. During the time it would take to eat an old-fashioned full meal she could do a lot of work, perform several necessary social services. She was a humanitarian, after all. Perhaps she couldn't help those poor beggars below, but she could do a lot beside that.

   A flash of light made her turn. She walked to the window once more, knowing fully well she shouldn't. There could never be any point to it. Down below the cleaning crew drove by, their huge, imposing machines sweeping up all who had died the last hour. People yet not sick desperately attempted to escape, to run into the nearest shelter. Many did not make it in time.

   The left arm started shaking, shaking slightly. She didn't scratch it. It would stop by itself. It always did.

   She looked out the window, looked at the violent eruptions of red and gray.

   It stopped. The arm stopped shaking. And she told herself that it hadn't really shaken at all.

   She turned abruptly and returned to the relative calm of the room.