Diary of Descent: August


August 2


The use of lethal force is hereby authorized and required to contain and subdue any affected individuals in affected areas. At this time deployment priority is no longer evacuation/rescue. Full priority will be given to subduing/containing any individuals exhibiting the following:

  • Aggressive nature towards deployed personnel or civilians
  • Any sign of attack, disfigurement, or infection
  • Failure to respond or comply with issued verbal commands
At this time there is no method deemed effective at eliminating the symptoms of the affected. The cause of the disease is still unknown. Due to the debilitating effect of cranial trauma and neural injury on affected individuals, it is theorized that an infection of neural tissue may be the cause. 


Facts on infection
  • The direct cause of symptoms is not known, and may not be a biological infection. Its effects appear to be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids and tissue. The agent may still be water- or airborne, and all chemical and biological warfare protocol must be observed.
  • The unknown agent affects both living and dead tissue.
  • At this time the agent does not appear to transmit cross-species (no animal infection). HOWEVER we cannot rule out that animals may still be disease vectors or carriers of the agent. Any animal exhibiting unusual behavior or symptoms of affliction is to be immediately killed, sealed in medical specimen container, and delivered to your regional crisis management team.
  • Living individuals affected by the agent will exhibit slow degeneration of cognitive function with an increase in aggression. There is no known way to slow this transition. The transition has been observed to take up to 72 hours but may occur in as little as 12 minutes after contact with the agent.
  • Those infected while alive may continue exhibiting aggressive behavior despite a lack of monitored vital signs or in spite of severe physical trauma.
  • Individuals who have died without exhibiting signs of infection may also exhibit aggressive behavior despite no noticeable vital signs. 
Until further notice, any non-living individuals not tagged for return to regional crisis management centers are to be destroyed via incineration.

August 3
I am at a loss. A year ago life as we know it ended, and something horrible happened and everyone started dying or coming back from the dead. My life has been focused on getting out of the city and away from all the chaos, hopefully to find what's left of the government or army. Someone that can help. And after struggling all this way, watching people I love die and killing untold strangers just to stay alive, I find a blood-stained note stuck to the vest of a dead soldier missing the top of his head from a gunshot. And the note says pretty succinctly that things are completely fucked and no one knows how to fix it.

I'm off to forage. I'm low on water and I'm so hungry that Buddy is starting to look delicious.

August 4
Can't sleep. I'm lost with no plan. The base seems to be completely overrun. There is wreckage visible from the road; it looks like a plane crashed. I've worked my way around the outer edges of the perimeter but I haven't found anyone alive.

I feel like there's got to be something worth salvaging in there. Rations, weapons, a durable vehicle with gasoline (pretty sure they store their own fuel on base).

I just spaced out for about 10 minutes, dreaming about finding a huge pallet of canned vegetables somewhere in there. I wish I had a map of the place so I could find the mess hall.

August 7
I'm camped out at what looks like it was a checkpoint or campsite or something before it was abandoned. I liberated a couple of canteens from some corpses in military fatigues, but after reading their memos I'm terrified to drink out of them without being able to sanitize them.

Then again, if I haven't caught whatever the fuck this is by now, maybe I'm immune or something.

August 9
I've got company. I was out foraging when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. I dropped down and kept watch. One person. Pretty sure it's a guy based on the size, but they're also completely bundled up so I couldn't tell. I don't think they saw me. Looked like they were casing a building in the southeast corner of the base. It's got a lot of those things milling around the northern side. 

I kept my rifle trained on that person the whole time.

August 11
He's back. Definitely a guy. Balding with no hat on today. He's definitely interested in that building; I can't tell what it is from my vantage point. I staked the place out yesterday but didn't see him. I was worried maybe he'd spotted me, but I think he just now made his way back here.

He's armed. Has what looks like a shotgun over his back and a hatchet slung from his belt. At first I thought he might be a soldier or whatever from the base, some commando type, but he looks too old. He's looks kind of clumsy in his movement, too.

Maybe he's just a regular guy like me. Or maybe he'll shoot me on the spot.

August 13
Back again. I'm thinking maybe he's got a camp far enough away that it takes him a whole day to get there and back. He's trying to thin out some of the ranks of eaters around that building, but he's smart enough to know a gunshot would just bring all of them down on his head. He throws stones. He's actually pretty accurate; he lands one just near enough to set off one or two of them, they wander in that general direction, and then he loops around to smash their heads with his axe.

At this rate he should be done in three years or so.

August 15
I'm going to try and tail this guy today when he heads out. I'm guessing he spends the first half of the day getting here, clears out a few biters, and then heads home. Whatever's in that building, it must be something great for him to keep risking his life over and over like this and walking away each day with nothing. 

I still don't know that I can trust him, so I'm not ready to say hello just yet. I'm going to try and find out where he's going and if he's got anyone with him.

August 15
After watching this guy toss pebbles and bash heads in for a few hours I tailed him back. He must have felt confident that he was alone; he made a beeline for a suburb a couple miles from the base. I've learned that it's best to take some time to wind your way around to try and throw off anyone following you.

He's got a woman with him. I'm guessing they're a couple. She came out to greet him with a hug and a kiss. Neither of them bothered checking their surroundings. They ate dinner outside, huddled around a campfire. Sloppy. Careless.


August 16
Stiff. I've spent the last couple of nights sleeping under a car. All those times in the winter I sat, half-frozen, just dreaming of summer, and today I caught myself complaining about the heat. Tough to keep water around. Even more than usual now that I have to ration for Buddy. Usually he has no problem drinking from puddles, but they're dried up this time of year.

Tomorrow my target should be leaving to head back to the base for a few hours. He seems to be a creature of habit. I'm going to watch his lady friend and figure out what supplies they have.

August 17
I got a few hours of observation in before I fell back to avoid being seen when the guy comes back. 

They have a kid.

Little girl. She was helping her mom pick some kind of plants. Looked like weeds to me but they seemed happy to chew on them while they worked. They ended up making a salad to go with their canned chili.

They've got a big stockpile of cans, too.

August 18
In and out. The woman and the girl left with buckets. I guess they're using a creek around here for water. It was easy to slip in and grab the cans. They didn't have any sort of defenses. There was a pistol on the table, but I checked it and it was empty.

The woman and the kid are unarme

August 18
Something is happening. Some kind of weird exodus, like every animal left in the world came out of the woods and sprinting through the subdivision. Wanted to try taking a shot at a deer I saw but by the time I had my rifle drawn it was long gone. Lot of squirrels, rats, and even raccoons too.

All of them running. They came from the direction of the base. 

August 20
They came through like a tidal wave.

Must be thousands of them, all howling and moaning and staggering around. They move like a swarm of ants, rolling over anything in their way. 

I started making my way back to my camp when the animals stampeded, but before I'd gone even a half a mile I could see them on the horizon. I could see the cloud of dust they were churning up in their wake, there was so many of them.

I turned around and started jogging back, looking for a shelter where I could try to stay low and out of sight.

August 25
I've been holed up in a house for days now, staying out of sight trying to keep an eye out for a break to get out of here. The folks I was watching are stuck in their house, too. I can see them occasionally through a window. We're about two blocks apart.

I know for a fact they don't have any food left.



Anonymous said...

come on...we need closure! anything left?

Anonymous said...

come on...we need closure! anything left?