The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 changed the world. Despite the threat was almost completely neutralized there were still many unanswered questions about the virus. Some people were saying that it may return at some point. Fear of another pandemic made people less willing to travel long distances and meet a lot of people in person. It was an ideal ground for technological companies to develop new better ways of communicating. By the year 2030 quantum entanglement was the most common means of communicating. Its speed allowed to talk with a group in which everyone was in a different part of the world. Even before the introduction of quantum entanglement communication, another innovation was made. Robots were introduced and replaced humans in physical jobs in mines, factories, construction, public transport and many more.
Now is the year 2050 and until now the virus hasn't returned. An archaeologist, who remembers the pandemic, is investigating a clue which suggests an ancient origin of the virus. A previously unknown Latin scroll written by one of the few survivors of Legio IX Hispana also known as The Lost Legion. The scroll describes the events leading to the destruction of the legion. It happened in the spring of the year of the consulship of Trebonius and Bradua (108 AD). A patrol returned to the fortress in Eboracum (modern-day York) with symptoms of a disease. The legion's medics tried to treat them, but nothing worked. If that wasn't enough each day more and more legionnaires were becoming ill. After about a week most of the doctors were ill and unable to treat the patients. Many of the soldiers were too weak to get out of bed. As more and more soldiers were getting sick the legate, legion's commander, decided to kill the most seriously ill and march out of the fortress with the rest. The legion marched into the forest and hid there to go through the disease in a secluded place. However, the spread of the disease, its course and symptoms didn't change. Only a small part of the legion remained uninfected or have the asymptomatic variant of the disease. Seeing that the legate ordered everyone feeling healthy to run away from the rest. There were only a few such people. For the rest, he ordered a mass suicide. The author of the scroll says that as he was running away he heard the swords cutting through human flesh.
The archaeologist believes that the fate of the Ninth Legion holds a key to fully understanding the coronavirus and preventing future pandemics. He doesn't know that this investigation will lead him to something much bigger.