It is also easy to be a carrier of influenza A H5N1, otherwise known as the avian influenza, and be unaware of it until hours after you arrive at your destination.
On February 15, 2008 the borders shut down all over the world. Nobody in without being fully examined by medical personnel and nobody out unless it was vital that they left the country. But it was too late.
The avian influenza had made it's way to New York City, Los Angeles, Sydney, Hong Kong, Beijing, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Berlin, Toronto and Vancouver. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. By May 23, 2008, there were approximately 2,000 people dying every day with no end to the pandemic in sight. And by July 17, 2008 borders no longer mattered. There were not enough people anymore. Hospital volunteers were in need and border patrol was no longer first priority. It didn't matter: the avian flu would travel until someone came up with a vaccine. But the flu is tricky and has mutated a total of eight different times after it has been able to be passed from human to human. People were dying. Hospitals ran out of beds, people were put into the houses next to the hospitals, cots were set up everywhere.
And in one last ditch effort to preserve something, three of the major countries in the world formed an alliance and Ames, France was a city created for the purpose.
United Kingdom, Canada and France.
British Intelligence Restriction Department (BIRD) was the one that handpicked people from all nations. They picked scientists, prodigies and children. They are also the intelligence operation: spies and other international and national intelligence related material goes through them.
The Canadian Organization of United Global Health (COUGH) was formed in late December 2007, two months before the pandemic began. COUGH picked the best medical professionals: doctors, nurses and other assorted doctor specialists.
French Anti-Avian Influenza National Territory Security (FAINTS) was formed on September 9, 2008 and was put in charge with the military and security of the city of Ames, which is located in a place in France that will be not disclosed to the public.
All new citizens of Ames are carefully checked over by medical professionals before they are allowed into the city. Fairly large, Ames is modelled after some of the best architecture that Europe had to offer. It boasted state-of-the-art medical equipment, the best that all three countries could come up with. Schools had been built, a recreational centre, a library had been built and filled with classic books in all languages. Apartment buildings had been built as houses would be space consuming but the borders of the city could be increased at any given time.
Ames is a safe haven for those who are healthy and non-carriers of the influenza A H5N1 virus, it is their world that is safe from the pandemic. But each and every person left behind their home, their friends, their family, their lives. Just to start over, because their country's government demanded representation in this secret French city. It was their own way of preserving their people, by sending their best and their brightest to be interviewed by BIRD to see if they would be allowed into the city. It was their way of making sure that their languages, their people, their culture would survive. Some countries just cannot afford the things that the United Kingdom, Canada and France can afford together. And in their own way, each government lets go of their vendettas, their hidden hatred for one another and they come together in a time of need to preserve what little can be preserved. The future of people. The future of technology, of science. And in preserving their future, they give up a little of themselves as they did not demand to be allowed into the city themselves. Instead they demand safe haven for their best and brightest, in hopes that the pandemic will end soon, in hopes that someone in a group of mixed nationalities, the scientists will come up with a vaccine to rid of the avian influenza. That is their one hope: that this nightmare will just end someday soon.