The Quarantine Zone

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Initial Infection

About a day or so had passed after the reservoir had broken, things didn’t to seem to go haywire at first, but that was the mere silence before the storm; the real anarchy picking up in the middle of the night; when everyone should be asleep or more; or for a better word, when no one was prepared for the resulting chaos to come their ways.

All throughout Topeka, incidents of aggravated assault broke out; police reports said victims looked to have had parts of them eaten by whatever had attacked them; almost like a rabid animal did it to them. Witness reports also pointed to the fact many of the aggressors were in fact just civilians, but they all described the same occurrence about each violent person.

They all shared green eyes, with milky white pupils.


“Dr. Connors, status report?” Professor Elliot asked, much of the BioTech staff amassed in the board room, the plasma screen TV displaying the current chaos going on throughout the city, showing reporters hastily trying to both explain the chaos as well as try not to be torn limb from limb and eaten by the literal hordes of shuffling people, all with a distinct dead appearance and those eerie eyes. The man addressed spoke, obviously terrified about the entire predicament.

“Sir from what my team and I have been able to piece together this…infection if you will was started from the Eastern Reservoir; I discovered it was not only cracked but it ran into the river that went through the park set for the animals…unfortunately all of said animals had to be euthanized via the security teams as they were extremely aggressive.”

“I’ll have to send word to their owners, any other information?”

“The infected waters ran into the Water Treatment Plant no doubt, and due to the anomaly it was the decontamination there was unable to remove it from the waters.”

“And it’s been pumped into every major area of Topeka as well as bottling for drinking…this is clearly the product of that major fault…” He rubbed his chin, obviously scared himself now. “Any further notes on this critical subject?”

“Infected individuals seem to display heightened aggression towards anything…well not them in other words; and will do everything possible to rip and tear people apart; even abandon limbs and sacrifice organs, but from there it takes a gruesome turn as they’ve been seen eating their victims; if you’ll allow me I can switch the Television to broadcast the live-feed of one of our rooms.” Elliot waved his hand in allowance, and Connors changed the screen with the press of a button; broadcasting the mail room. Inside the scientists could already see someone slumped against the door, beating on it languidly, emitting low grunts and moans every so often before daring to stare up at the camera with a deceased, dead look on his face. Shockingly, his eyes were also that sickening color as well; he was infected.

“The infection’s gotten here as well?”

“We’ve contained it already sir, but the creature you see in there now used to be the man who ran the mail room; Orlando Loomis. A few people saw him come in trying to conceal his arm, saying it was sprained and he didn’t want any pressure on it else it’d get worse…that was about five hours ago; he then seemed to go into shock and collapse on the floor in the mailroom before getting back up minutes later…like that.”

“Five hours…Jesus Christ it takes five hours for someone contaminated to turn into those things outside?”

“Yes sir, when Loomis was down I investigated for a brief moment; he had suffered a major bite on his arm, from a dog or something judging from the teeth marks; I was then fortunate enough to evade him and then seal him in the mail room so he can’t get out and attack whoever we have left here; I’ll have to send the security team in to deal with him later on. But from that incident I was able to draw a hypothesis; this infection spreads through the infected waters, blood, and saliva contact; being bitten by one of the infected people or animals is a good way to sustain illness but even then getting infected water, blood, or saliva into an open wound or entry point into the body will lead to anyone becoming just like Loomis.” Everyone in the room shuffled around uncomfortably, someone even fainting from fear; a loud thud resulting a moment later.

“How big has this gotten?”

“Much of Topeka is in unrest; I’ve put out a distress signal to the local military; the city is already being quarantined…too bad it does mean that many who are not infected will be unable to escape this nightmare however—“

“It’s for the greater good,” Elliot spoke up, leaning back in his seat, wiping his sweat coated brow and exhaling a breath of air he had not been aware that he had been holding. “We can’t risk this infection getting to the rest of the world; much less the rest of Kansas. I do not know if we’ll survive this but for the rest of the world we need to try and ensure this virus stays here, even if it means this city needs to be eradicated with everything inside of it.” The gravity of the situation made everyone beyond scared, but many of them nodded in understanding, even though this meant that barely any of them would escape and survive the epidemic.

Then the PA system blared in alert.

“Attention all staff, we have a major emergency! The front doors are being battered by what appears to be a group of people, all matching the description of the infected individuals outside! Everyone evacuate to the upper levels immediately!” At times like this Elliot almost regretted not installing that Heli-Pad, but what’s done is done; he stood slowly, and his eyes drifted to the TV screen.

“Connors…where the hell is Loomis?” Everyone’s eyes shot to the screen, confirming their shock and horror; Loomis was indeed no longer in the mail room; the door looking to have been broken open; and just outside their own they heard an ear piercing scream, and a splatter of blood coating the open door, a rising chorus of shuffling feet approaching them, as well as the steady moans and groans of the oncoming horde.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please arm yourselves with whatever you can.” Elliot spoke, breaking the handle of the chair he had been seated in and brandishing it as a crude club. “Seems we have two choices at this point, go down fighting, or off ourselves off so we don’t become one of them…”


Topeka was quarantined indeed; military barricades at every exit point of the city forcing people to remain inside as they set up electric fencing with the hopes it would delay any attempts for people to escape and possibly spread the virus to the rest of the state.

However, they were too late, for an unforeseen circumstance evaded their detection.

Unbeknownst to the military, or nearly all within Topeka, a Beagle rushed through the sewers below the city, running as fast as his little legs could take it; soon leaping out a storm drain and past the quarantine, beginning to shuffle towards the desolate highway; those who usually occupied this roadway were either stuck within Topeka to fend for themselves, or were now one of those creatures.

This dog wasn’t normal; for starters its throat had been slit by a jagged weapon of sorts judging from the torn tendons, a steady stream of blood oozing down to the pavement and staining the ground as its midsection had been ripped open, its entrails hanging out; all fatal wounds. Its eyes were that same horrific color as the others; the dog slowly trekking down the road, too far from the barricades for the military to track it let alone even see it walk away from all the chaos and unrest. It was long dead and no longer calling the shots; the virus was in control of its mind now; its body being an expendable asset to the horrific infection as well.

A thought did rest on its mind, a product of the virus no doubt but still a thought.

Spread.

And that was it, the dog’s path was set to continue along the road, to find the next town, and the next, and the next; to feed off of someone and kill them, to spread this infection; until there was nothing left to kill. The Beagle still held the natural instinct to hunt and feed, almost as if it were ignorant to its entrails being torn apart and its stomach actually ripped out and left in the sewer after it had been attacked by its former master, or rather attacking him and the man failing to defend himself, but its primary goal now was to pass this virus on to whatever still had a heartbeat in its range. The sounds of cataclysmic explosions didn’t bother it as fighter jets passed far above it; carpet bombing Topeka with the prayer it would eradicate every infected person or thing inside the city; sparing the rest of the state from experiencing the nightmare in that one night.

They were close; but it wouldn’t matter, there was always a chance for them to try again with the next city…


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