"Poison Maiden, Open Skies" by Laurie Tom

"Poison Maiden, Open Skies" by Laurie Tom 

This story was published in "Intergalatic Medicine Show Magazine". 

What would happen if you were at work and there was an accident?  An accident that made you sick, made you spend months in the hospital, and then transformed you into a supernatural poisonous person? 

That is what happened to a group of factory workers.  While they were at work there was an accident in the factory.  It made everyone really sick and killed off all the men, but the women were transformed.  They became so poisonous that just their presence poisoned and killed anything in their general vicinity.  Of course the military jumped at the chance of having these lethal weapons and started using them to fight the Germans. 

The government was supposed to be working on a cure, but in the end the government was really just looking at how to create more of the same.  They wanted more lethal weapons, not being interested in curing anything. 

So the group of women escaped from their cells ("homes") and went to live in the farthest reaches away from civilization that they could find.  They lived free and in the open for the first time in a long time. 

This reminded me of a superhero story.  Bad accident, transforms into something with special powers.  Except of course they weren't superheroes in the comic book sense.  They just had bad luck and then were taken advantage of by their own government. 

This story reminds me of how the government always seems to promise society so many things and instead always look out for their own best interest instead of the populace of the country.  They are more interested in war and weapons, than peace and harmony.  This story illustrates this point very well.

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