By Alexandra Schwartzbrod

2017. Mounir est un modeste employé de l’Institut scientifique de Kazan, en Russie. los angeles veille de son départ pour los angeles Mecque, où il doit accomplir le Hadj, le grand pélerinage, le web site explose sous ses yeux dans une fumée de fin du monde. Dans l’avion, il est pris de convulsions et meurt peu après son arrivée.

À son insu, il a introduit dans los angeles ville sainte le plus negative des fléaux qu’on croyait disparu depuis le Moyen-Âge. Persina Yersis. los angeles peste noire.
La bactérie se répand à une vitesse incontrôlable parmi les pélerins. Les morts se chiffrent par milliers. Dans los angeles panique, l. a. rumeur enfle : les juifs ont empoisonné l’eau de l. a. Mecque. Et cette rumeur franchit les frontières, jusqu’à Jérusalem où les Palestiniens puis les Arabes d’Israël lancent des activities de représailles contre les Juifs. Israël s’embrase, Jérusalem tombe.

Cette disaster bouleverse l’échiquier politique foreign et fera basculer dans son sillage des destins individuels : de l’Égyptien Youssef Chahid, médecin volontaire à l’hôpital de los angeles Mecque, à l’Estonien Rein Laristel, tout juste élu secretaire général de l’ONU ; de l’Américaine Susan Rice, secrétaire d’État des États-Unis confrontée au plus périlleux défi de sa carrière, au commissaire arabe israélien Eli Bishara en lutte contre le chaos ; jusqu’à los angeles belle juive turque Ana Güler, déchirée entre Istanbul et Jérusalem. À travers eux, l’histoire s’incarne : de Kazan à los angeles Mecque, de New-York à Tel Aviv, de Washington à Istanbul, de Catane à Dubaï. Leur monde, notre monde, ne sera plus jamais le même. Et si c’était vrai ?

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Apparently someone else had shortened his reaction time as well. I saw the gun barrel first, but instead of putting a foot on the skid to gain balance and see what he was shooting, this guy just pulled the trigger. Even in the roar of the wind and the rotors, the crack of the rifle was deafening. I had no place to go, nowhere to run, and bracing yourself against gunfire was impossible. If he hit me, it would hurt, and I’d fall to my death. Or maybe it would kill me instantly. Either way, I had no defense.

After the sound of the Velcro and her muttered question, no doubt the pilot was listening over the intercom and would be wondering the same thing. I didn’t have much time before he figured it out. My heart hammered hard enough to break a rib. I grasped the door handle and shoved it open. I moved quickly, not only hoping to catch the pilot off guard, but Julianne, too. Even in her state, she would resist if given the chance. Hell, I was resisting it myself. Holding the seat cushions by their built-in straps, I pulled Julianne out of her seat and looped her left arm around my shoulder and my right arm around her waist.

Then she reaches under her gown and tears the sticky pads from her skin. The machine by her bed stops beeping, giving way to a sustained tone. Like someone just died. Still no one comes. There’s a drawer next to the bed, but her clothes aren’t in it. She stands, the white tile cold under her bare feet, and pads over to the door. Opens it. This isn’t a hospital. It’s a warehouse. A big warehouse, with concrete floors, steel walls, forty-foot ceilings. There are pieces of medical equipment on carts, several tables and chairs, some cages along the far wall, and … Oh, sweet Lord.

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