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09 November 2011 @ 07:31 pm
as far as the world extends: prologue  

There was fair warning. There always is, for those paying attention.

Chicago fell as quickly as all the other big cities, the first cases being reported in New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, and Beijing, among others. At first it seemed like another outbreak similar to SARS. Weakness, dizziness, cough, fever; emergency rooms filled up with infected and dying. The morgues overflowed. Within hours surgical masks started to appear, sold on street corners alongside mini bottles of disinfectant and latex gloves.

The first report of the dead rising was following the death of a coroner. He'd already made a Y-incision down the center of the corpse's chest to expose the bloody ribcage when the zombie awoke. The coroner's body was found by his assistant only a few minutes later, mutilated, and the security video showed grainy but incriminating footage of the zombie hobbling away, his internal organs beginning to spill out through the vertical slice in his chest.

Panic set in not long after. It took two weeks from the time of infection for someone to die, a full week before they showed any symptoms at all; seven days of kissing, touching, sharing drinks and coughs. For that first week it was almost as infectious as the flu. Once symptoms started to show it could only be spread through blood. But by then it was too late.

No one was quite sure how it spread at first; people locked themselves in their homes but once the dead started walking even that wasn't safe. The disease cut off everything human; empty vessels driven by a new biological urge to destroy every living thing they could. Children clawed at their own pets, unbothered by desperate howls and vicious bites. Mothers ripped apart their own children. It was utter chaos.

There was fair warning but still, they waited too long to leave.

to part i
randomizerrandomizer on February 12th, 2012 04:06 am (UTC)
This story is completely brilliant and wonderful. Thank you for writing it!