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wausauloner - Thu Mar 15 2012

06:21 AM #
Day two here in the Farm Colonies west of zombie-infested Wausau. I slept well. This is an island of safety in a world ruled by the dead.

06:24 AM #
Of course, my fortified home is a smaller island of safety, one much closer to Wausau's undead horde. Back to what happened there last week:

06:27 AM #
Sue and I were up on my open 2nd floor that first warm night, staring up at The Anomaly that brought the zombie plague to our world...

06:30 AM #
It hadn't changed much since stabilizing in the form of a tiny green point of light two years or so ago. It hadn't moved, either. #zombies

06:33 AM #
Sue & I were talking about how I first perceived it as a faint green fog in the air, a soft glow like the sky before a tornado or bad storm.

06:36 AM #
We were talking about how the first manifestations of the zombie contagion hit animals before affecting humans, like it was finding its way.

06:39 AM #
We talked about how a few strange incidents were, in hindsight, isolated instances of the dead reanimating spontaneously, without a bite.

06:42 AM #
And of course we talked about Z-Day, when a miles-long traffic jam and a fatal construction accident led to the first major zombie outbreak.

06:45 AM #
It was a few spontaneous re-animations, caused by proximity to The Anomaly, that unleashed the biting horde upon our city, country, & planet

06:48 AM #
Nobody then knew that zombie bites would lead to death and reanimation. Wounded people fleeing the massacre spread the plague far and wide.

06:51 AM #
Those of us around here who survived the first wave of zombies were in isolated pockets. We didn't know the world was toast until later.

06:54 AM #
...And as some of us survivors banded together, a horrible truth dawned upon us: Our proximity to The Anomaly meant we were all infected.

06:57 AM #
Eventually, we met other survivors from elsewhere who told us we were known as "The Doomed" because we carried the passive zombie infection.

07:01 AM #
They'd seen original, unbitten refugees from our area die from other causes (starvation, disease, violence), then rise again as hungry dead.

07:03 AM #
As Sue and I stood there, staring at The Anomaly where it hung over the Interstate, we counted "The Doomed." She. I. All our friends...

07:06 AM #
...Those who'd been here when The Anomaly first lit the sky, and those who've joined us since, seeking shelter from predatory survivors...

07:09 AM #
Mostly, we're resigned to being "doomed." We only hope to live well, & long. Kurt, May, & their unborn child live even nearer to it than I.

07:12 AM #
Then we realized something: With 50,000 or so cars driving under The Anomaly every day for a month, millions could be doomed and not know it

07:15 AM #
Sue decided she'd been wrong. She couldn't just take care to the living. She had to help investigate the nature of the zombie plague...

07:18 AM #
...She had to do what she could to learn how it worked. Perhaps to save The Doomed...perhaps to save what's left of the human race.

10:12 AM #
I suppose I'd better continue. The next morning, I woke to find Sue was not in my house. She wasn't anywhere inside my walled-off safe zone.

10:15 AM #
Shorty was gone too. Since my dog has to be carried over the anti-zombie wall, I knew Sue had been determined to go someplace. I knew where.

10:18 AM #
I grabbed my bow, spiked bat, and a couple guns and headed north, away from the safety of my home, towards zombie-held areas...

10:21 AM #
Sue was where I expected her to be, right under The Anomaly. She kept looking up at it, then all around, watching for approaching zombies...

10:24 AM #
Sue saw me approach about the same time Shorty gave a sign that meant she sensed the presence of undead. I saw four zombies approaching...

10:27 AM #
I rushed in and put down the nearest with my spiked bat, then took on each in turn as the rest saw us and advanced...Sue watched and waited.

10:30 AM #
When it was over, before other zombies arrived, I asked Sue why she put herself in a dangerous place, re-exposing herself to The Anomaly...

10:33 AM #
She said she needed to be sure she had at least one certainly "Doomed" test subject close at hand. She couldn't ask anybody else to do it.

10:36 AM #
So for the next few days she wanted to repeat her visit to The Anomaly often, taking blood samples from herself for later analysis.

10:39 AM #
I helped her, of course. Shorty and I cleared paths and stood guard during each visit. We also went scrounging for some specific gear.

10:42 AM #
We retrieved a high-powered microscope from the home of a rock collector I'd met once. Sue began looking at blood samples under it.

10:45 AM #
What she saw was puzzling...in her blood, and in mine...small contaminating scraps or flecks of dark matter, smaller than blood cells...

10:48 AM #
She showed me some. They looked like remnants of blood cells, but different. They were too small, damaged, and fragile. There weren't many.

10:51 AM #
We didn't learn much more about them, but Sue intends to investigate the matter more fully back here in the Farm Colonies.