Prologue

From Atlanta, you can reach eighty percent of the population of the United States within a sixteen hour drive.  Not to mention the city was home to the world’s busiest international airport.  When Dwight D. Eisenhower came up with the Interstate System, he had no idea that it would be used to spread a disease that would be as infectious at the Spanish Flu and resembled the offspring of Rabies and Mad Cow Disease.

At first, rumors ran wild with causes of it: everything from religious extremists to secret government experiments.  As is the case with rumors, you can always decipher the truth given enough time.  Reports and stories of mass rioting and looting or murderous mobs spread throughout the Southeast.  D.C. was hit two days or so after the initial reports.  It was not long before martial law was declared; the Federal Government had to own up to the cause.

It was learned that it had been engineered by Soviet scientists during the Cold War.  The idea was to use the ensuing confusion from a sudden pandemic to overthrow the American government with using KGB sleeper agents.  They were still working on a cure when 1991 rolled around.  All research on the disease was halted when the Soviet Union broke apart.

It was designed to target the victim’s red blood cells.  The carrier would infect its target if their red blood cells were compatible donors.  O- carriers could infect anyone.  However, O- targets were immune to all those except for O- carriers and so on.  It wasn’t a guarantee that you would turn if bitten or you came into contact with the fluids of an infected person, but there weren’t too many people that survived an attack and either didn’t turn or didn’t die.  It was almost like the infected people knew who to infect and who to kill.

It targets central nervous system.  Following a short gestation period after contact from a compatible host, the victim’s metabolism sped up.  They experienced anxiety, confusion, hysteria and agitation.  That was all the Soviets anticipated: a simple and short disruption in the functioning of the American government.

What they didn’t anticipate was the psychological and physiological effects on the victims.  They went crazy and became sociopathic killers targeting anyone who was not diseased.  The Soviets had planned to use the Outbreak in order stage a coup with sleeper cells in the United States.  But after Ronald Regan defeated communism, some of the more foresighted and determined KGB agents put it in cold storage.  Rumors of a biological weapon would spread throughout the black ops intelligence community for decades to come.  It was just a matter of time before America had an enemy in the Middle East that had the knowhow and resources to contact the right people.

Seeking to destroy another symbol of globalization and western culture, Islamic Extremists targeted the busiest international airport in the world, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, Georgia.  However, TSA and Homeland Security were able to detain the would-be terrorists before they set off the weapon.  They would not become martyrs.  The weapon was supposedly quarantined and taken to the Center for Disease Control for further study.  Nonetheless, CDC employees were speciously exposed to The Disease during transport.

Officials claim it was an accident and that the employees broke emergency hazard protocol.  Some conspiracy theorists say the government wanted a domestic field test or that they intentionally set off the it to blame terrorists in order to allow for the declaration of war.  In the end, it didn’t matter.  It spread entirely too fast to contain.

Assisted by the humid summer months of Atlanta, it was able to propagate more quickly than the KGB scientists could have ever dreamed.  What was supposed to be able to be contained within a matter of months brought the civilized world as we know it to its knees within weeks.

People were calling it many different things when it began.  The T-Virus, the Solanum Virus, and a mutated version of H1N1 were among the some of the terms coined by various zombie enthusiasts and talking heads in the media at the onset of the outbreak.  But there was no time to officially name the pandemic.  It just happened.

After the novelty of a Zombie Apocalypse wore off, people began to realize that the conventional knowledge of the slow-moving zombies in the campfire horror story was useless for the most part.  They weren’t the walking dead and these weren’t the zombies of Romero or Brooks. They were not even zombies, they were Diseased.  They weren’t out to eat your brains.   They just wanted to infect you or kill you: to make you one of them or to eliminate you.  They didn’t move slowly, at least not until they started to burn their metabolism out.  They maintained most of their motor skills.  And most importantly: the Diseased were becoming organized.

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