The Zombie Strain, as the infection was most commonly known, was actually identified as PrP-1174, a prion.The first instance of the Zombie Strain, henceforth refered to as PrP-1174 is in December 2011 at the Koch Research Center. The Center operated as a research and development lab for the BioPharma Conglomeration. Most readers will remember BPC as the cause of the near extinction of humanity, but as this document strives to maintain a continuous record, no assumptions will be made. BPC operated the Koch RC as its primary facility for studying viral infections, with the study of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease being a focal point. Multiple sources have cited that PrP-1174 was a bioterror weapon, or a mutation of CJD. Both are incorrect. The cause of PrP-1174 was at heart, a pure accident.
Signs and Symptoms
- No Symptoms
- Drastic changes in apetite
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Severe headache
- Homicidal behavior
- Stress Atavism
- Uncontrolled Anger
- Uncontrolled Hunger
- Uncontrolled Sexual Urges
Stage one progression is the longest, meaning most victims of PrP-1174 do not know they are infected for most of the illness. During this period, they are carriers of the disease and can pass it to loved ones and children. Following the path of infection, this happened, and the disease moved into the food supply as well as into the public health system. The robust prion survived in tainted blood supplies, undercooked meat, was passed to medical personel attending vehicle accidents, and was passed sexually throughout the world.
Stage two progression has a general duration of two weeks. The victim will slowly become confused, and will generally believe they are suffering from migraines. It was found that during this time, the immune system would be compromised, and stage two usually coincided with another disease. There is some speculation that stage two is actually triggered by a secondary infection, but there is not enough laboratory evidence to support this theory at this time. While the PrP-1174 disease was in its first wave, most spectators considered the victims of the disease to be suffering from 'Crazy Flu' or 'Brain Colds'. Most did not know that if they had not already been infected for months themselves, they had very recently been exposed.
Stage three is the most violent and disturbing disease ever recorded. The victims of the disease become zombie like. Victims demonstrated a near complete loss of pain sensation, their behavior became very erratic and violent. Most victims became incapable of speaking, reading, or responding thoughfully to any sort of stimulus. Lacking stimulus, the victims would wander about with no apparent direction. Provided stimulus, they would investigate. Items of strong personal value would hold their attention, such as photos of children, favorite toys, or favorite music. The presence of a living creature provoked varigated responces. Most animals were either ignored, or were attacked and attempted to be consumed. The presence of a human not in stage two or higher provoked a much more disturbing responce. Victims of the opposite sex would be attacked and violently molested, and then mauled and eaten.
PrP-1174 and the Brain
PrP-1174 builds up in nerve tissue, with the brain being the obvious focal point. There are few tests that can easily detect PrP-1174 that do not involve taking a slice out of the victim's brain. Blood and saliva tests are still being developed. Once a trigger is received, the prion goes into high gear. Previously, the prion would be replicating itself at a slow rate, saturating the nerves, brain, and spinal cord. Now, the prion starts causing auto-immune responces and creating spongiform encephalopathy. The brain tissue is disrupted, creating holes in the cerebrum. Victims of advanced PrP-1174 have vacuoles large enough to be seen with the naked eye.
The concentration of vacuoles in certain parts of the brain cause aversion to light, as well as eroding the psyche, memory, and ethical and moral behaviours. The end result is a living organism that is in extreme disorder, it has a constant urge to eat no matter how much it has consumed, as a biological urge to reproduce, no matter the consequences.
This behaviour and the lack of understanding of PrP-1174 is believed to have been one of the reasons that the disease spread as fast as it did and was as devastating as it was.
We had all seen the various zombie movies growing up, once bitten, in a matter of minutes or hours you would be one of the shamblers. We barricaded, we defended ourselves, but we were shocked when people bitten by the infected instead of turning into shamblers... got better. There were a lot of people who after being bitten, or seeing someone bitten ended it with a bullet. It was pushed very quickly that there was no need to shoot someone bitten, or to shoot yourself if bitten.
They were wrong, damn them, they were wrong. The first wave was over, most of the eggheads who made it were dead, or were wandering around downtown trying to fuck or eat anything that moved. SWAT and the national guard was cleaning them out. We were happy, the shit was over. Then, people who were bit started turning sick as shit. They didn't linger through the crazy flu, they were normal one night, had a headache or a migraine, or felt horny and hungry. The next morning they would be sitting on you eating your nose.
So many people had scattered after the first wave. The government tried to keep track of them, but there were too many. The second wave hit countries all over the world. Everything really started falling apart then. I don't remember how many waves they said there were. I remember listening to a Free Radio Broadcast coming out of NYC talking about the 8th Wave of infection. Those guys were brave, stupid as a sack of hammers, but brave.
The Night the Lights Went Out
Records indicate that March 1st 2013 was the last day of the world as it was known. This corresponds with a major earthquake in California that disrupted power grids and effectively shut down the internet. Satellites were still and remain functional, but groundside servers were dead, and there were not enough technicians left to get the power back on. The power grid across North America failed, plunging that continent into a night of Zombies.
By this point in time, with the European nations battling their own waves of infection and America effectively out of action, there was nothing to slow the spread of PrP-1174 across South America, Africa, and the East. South America and Africa were especially devastated. South American population densities and climate allowed for rapid spread of the disease, and a shortened incubation period. In Africa the only thing that spread faster than the Zombie Strain was the belief that killing a 'zombie' and eating their brain would render the eater immune to the disease. This horrific practice would later spread across the middle east and into Asia. China was among the last nations to fall to the ravages of the disease, but not before killing a large percentage of its population in preventative purges and quarantine camps.
The Tortoise and the Hare
We expected the Zombie disease to be fast, but if it had been as fast as in the movies it would have been containable. Cities could have been quarantined, hell dropping nukes would have solved the problem. There is no cure for the Zombie Strain. You get it, you are going to be dead 2 years tops.
Instead it was slow. Half of the victims had it a year before they knew anything. By then, they had given it to their spouses, their children, their coworkers... Then, Secondary infections hit, and the old humanity died. Lazy, fat, self-indulgent, over-stimulated, it died.
The factories that make processed food are still there, and the nuke plants and the tanks, and the bombers and the missiles, its all still there. But the technicians and the pilots and the maintenance workers, the people who know how to run them are gone. If you want food, you hunt for it, or you grow it. If you have a skill, you are important. I remember in the years after the end, there were people with MBAs, important people in the old world who almost starved because they couldnt do anything that didnt involve a calculator or a cellphone.
If you can turn a wrench, or know how to run a farm, or make clothing, you're set.
Life after Zombies
PrP-1174 isnt gone, and there are still zombies out there. It only takes one person to bring the infection in and take out an entire enclave or community. But that isnt the problem now. People aren't having kids. Some don't want to bring children into a world that is lit by candles and electric windmills. Most are afraid. Some are afraid that everyone else is infected and a few minutes of lust and they will be infected too. Some think they are infected, and dont want to spread the disease. The hypochondriacs are the most problematic. Every headache, every moment of confusion, every moment of arousal could be the Zombie Strain rearing its head.
The worst part, sometimes it is.