Dispatches From The Front
Published on Friday, June 21, 2013 - 8:56am
Ahead of the release of World War Z, we've assembled some dispatches from across the globe during the Zombie Wars that weren't included in the original report.
Note -- These first-hand accounts are not for the faint of heart. If you can't stomach reading about zombies or gore, read elsewhere.
WASHINGTON - Gaunt and nervous, Tiana Dyson stands behind the smoking remnants of a Southwest apartment house, just a few blocks from the once bustling waterfront. She admits to having walked in circles around the city for the past 28 days looking for her son. Dyson, 32, left her home in Northeast after leaving her 5-year-old in the care of his teenage babysitter as the three sought refuge from last month's surprise attacks. Hoping to reunite at Hains Point, she hasn't seen them since. "My baby. My baby," she whispers, wringing her hands.
Aged beyond her years, Dyson is one of the thousands of displaced residents who are trapped in the nation's rubble-filled capital, hoping for escape, but afraid to attempt the bridges and the interstate, which are now controlled by insatiable Zombie mobs. Braving the stench of rotting flesh without the aid of a bandanna, she shifts from foot to foot as she mutters absentmindedly and scratches a greenish grey wound on her palm that she claims appeared two days ago.
At Banneker Field, four zombies, chained at the necks and waists, shamble listlessly around the track; a centrifuge arm grinds behind them. Dr. Vijay Abani, a sprightly, long-legged man in silk shorts and a tank top, jogs backward. He affects carelessness, but his eyes are hard. The creatures' arms are constantly outstretched. Their straining can't break the chains, but their bodies decompose, even on the rich diet of pig and ape used here as a substitute for human flesh; at any moment, they might lurch forward, bisected by their own force. "The metal is too strong," explains Abani. "Goes through them like a knife through cream cheese. I'd like to wrap them up in a mass of gold wires, let them bend and splinter in a rolling tumbleweed. But. Budgets!" His laughter isn't cold, not in the least.
His is the last functional power plant on the East Coast. Millions pay him tribute, even when there have been no wires strung in months. Abani's is the Body Electric, and his incorporation is maintained more through hope than through his ability to provide service. If ever the power comes on, the thought goes, one wants to be sure that one's paid up for the month.
He laughs again. "Have you ever seen one gutted? In India, some zombies ate spitting cobras. Now they vomit up the contents of their bellies on their prey. It's like a volcanic eruption: suddenly, everything within twelve feet is burning." He shrugs. "We draw lots," he says, "to see who will have blood drawn to feed them. Only the superstitious would fear infection along such a vector. So you see? We bleed, we bleed to light up the world!"
THE OUTER REALMS - A cryptic discovery has been made on the grounds of the US Naval Observatory. Not far from where the once stately Vice President's residence is just a simmering hollow shell. Members of the DCFD were surprised to find a small vessel of undetermined alloy with unusual markings, now believed to be of an unknown language. Inside, the remnants of the Smithsonian research team found a document which has been roughly translated and is just now being released to the public. The Document is being published here in its entirety. --Ed.
Her eyes twitched in time to the dripping of the air condenser. She had logged 4,866,200,993 drips in her captain's log. The Outbreak had started after her mission had left for the space station. Within months, the already infrequent communications with the surface stopped completely.
The Outbreak turned into what the authorities called The Culling. Her crew had long ago gone for their last walks, slowly orbiting around the dead planet as frozen observers. Dimitri and Mbezi were currently drifting past the irradiated Eastern seaboard of North America. She spotted the Old Republic's Capital! Her lover, her husband, both had lived there before The Culling. Were they now one of The Blissful Dead or one of The Eaten? Or, she shuddered, had they become one of The Eaters? She couldn't think about that now or she would lose count; stay alive until 5,000,000,000 drips.
A box floated past outside. Her atrophied brain didn’t recognize it. oints popped when she moved up to the controls of the outer arm. A thinned-out wreck from so much time in zero gravity, she barely grasps it. She pressurized the space inside the cargo hold with her emergency O2. She lost consciousness.
When she awoke, she was floating next to the secret box. She stretched her claw-like hand out to it and removed an aerosol canister. It read that when exploded in the atmosphere, it would neutralize Compound VSS-1162013. She put on a Space Suit and opened the cargo bay doors. There is just enough force to get her into the Earth's outer atmosphere, hitting terminal velocity above the Old Capital. The canister exploded. The air condenser dripped 4,866,201,600.
LONDON - “Go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over. That was my plan. It was the only plan I had.” These are the words of local hero, Shaun, who with his longtime girlfriend Liz, and closest friends Ed, Diane, and Pete, thought it was just another day when they awoke to bloody, vacant streets. Immediately realizing the seriousness of the condition of the city streets, Shaun wasted no time in ushering his loved ones to safety in the Winchester, a seemingly ordinary London pub. Warding them off single-handedly with a Winchester rifle, fire and a cricket paddle, Shaun aided in the military rescue of those he holds most dear.
Like something torn from the pages of a modern-day zombie version of Romeo and Juliet, this story is not one solely of tragedy, but timeless romance as well. The same zombies who were clawing their way into the Winchester, have turned into societal safety nets, completing daily laborious and tedious tasks carried out in the workplace. Despite losing his best friend, Ed -- who became a zombie when he was infected by the bite of a horde -- they still are able to partake of their favorite pastime of playing video games, with Ed chained securely and happily in the shed in their garden. “I've known him since primary school, you know? I like having him around, he's a laugh.”
In what many are calling a taste of Judgment Day, the origin of the contagion that caused the zombie epidemic has been traced back to… (cont’d on page 4B)
People who read this story also read:
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie Wars by Max Brooks
I am Legend by Richard Matheson
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
The Walking Dead: A Continuing Story of Survival Horror by Robert Kirkman
Generation Zombie: Essays on the Living Dead in Modern Culture, edited by
The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
The Passage by Justin Cronin
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Night of the Living Dead directed by Tom Savini
Shaun of the Dead directed by Edgar Wright
The Omega Man directed by Boris Sagal
-- David Gillette, Adam Schaeffer, Jo Stallworth, and Alana Quarles contributed to this report.