YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE...MAYBE TWICE!
Downtown Chicago took 4 weeks to clear before we started moving to clear the surrounding areas. Chicago officially returned to normal three days later while cleaning crews were still operating. Business began as usual even though beyond the slowly expanding walls of our perimeters, hell raged throughout the world.
We learned the internet had only been down two weeks. The world starts crashing down around us and somewhere, it's a priority to keep survivors from not being able to check their email. Go fucking figure. Not that we could use it, we were still on communication lockdown. Didn't matter much, there wasn't any television or radio running.
Fourth Infantry and our Illinois National Guard hosts rotated shifts to keep us from burning out. Two weeks clearing followed by two weeks watch on a section that had been cleared. Not that those were a day at the beach, perimeters got breached, undiscovered locations filled with revenants got found, we stayed busy.
Survivors constantly turned up. Right around the time we started pushing outward, more and more of them reaching safe zones were telling some pretty fucked up stories. Yeah, more fucked up than what you'd expect from a worldwide zombie outbreak. We just figured it some kind of mass hysteria, some delusions created by the mental stress and emotional devastation reality was plunging into. In fact, after a while, we were pretty much ordered not to repeat anything we heard. So… sorry… can't share with the class.
Week five ended with a visit from our division commander, Major General Dymek, and our first strategic briefing since this whole fuck fest started. I was on watch rotation, so I got to attend. Dymek promised to provide us all of the intel available that had put together in two months since the world imploded.
After listening to the Maj. Gen, I can understand why he's the leader everyone says he is. Charismatic bastard, and funny… knew how to work us up the right way.
He started the briefing what we know of our enemy. At approximately between 2300 and 0100 hours, attacks commenced from those affected by the condition we know all too well by now. That's not a local time, either. That's fucking WORLDWIDE outbreak time. Every major city was hit within one hour of another, give or take. Casualties were astronomical and are still being calculated, blah, blah, blah. Lots of motherfuckers died that night and more keep dying every day, far as I could tell. Dymek went on to say that the time of the outbreak and its lack of central location is presenting serious difficulties in indentifying everything about it, but that fact is something important.
In the days that followed, all nations with the ability remaining, shutdown their borders and blacked out all communications save military and political. Many of which were later compromised. All combat actions during the war immediately ceased and the participants withdrew to deal with this more pressing issue. But the war didn't end, and no cease fire is in effect. As it stands, America is on a nationwide shut out of all contact with the rest of our allies outside of a few restricted channels in the White House and the Pentagon.
Then he gave us what had been learned so far about our enemy. The condition wasn't based on a source of contagion like had been suspected, nor was it an effect of chemical or biological weapons. What was known was that persons suffering from a bite wound containing some form of black, dark green thick fluid expired anywhere between several minutes and one hour following attack depending on severity of injury. Between five and thirty minutes following death, the deceased becomes ambulatory and attacks any persons it can find. Individuals will bite and consume anyone that it can catch. Motorskills are limited and extremely awkward, but effective for its goals. No mental capacity beyond pursuit and consumption exists. Microorganisms are suspected, but specimens for research are difficult to acquire and remains aren't in any condition for study. Research is ongoing.
The division commander next outlined the strategy that would be used, based on tactics developed previously and refined during the last few weeks. I'll spare you the details, but it was basically how we were gonna secure each major city starting at the center, reinforcing and securing a foothold, then expanding outwards. Getting the places of industry and economy up and running were priority by POTUS himself.
Hell, we were planning on fighting, now we knew there was a plan behind it.
But there's an old expression, 'if your plan is going well- you're walking into an ambush.' And I was starting to feel like our ignorance was going to bit us on the ass like a motherfucker