Word Count: 955
Washington was nowhere near as quiet as New York. American and British troops survived there, and thousands of people had managed to escape the virus’ long reach.
Washington was in a strange state of panic and discord, yet it was one of the least affected cities in the United States of America, thanks to the extra troops posted around the area.
When the British troop arrived, they were pleasantly surprised, in contrast to how their brothers in New York were feeling. All they had to do was round up survivors, make a safe place for them to stay and keep it safe.
The president had taken people into the White House already, and slowly, more were being moved in. There were tents on the lawns, a few cars had been rolled in and there was a distinct air of hope around the place. IT was as though being inside the grounds of the White House made them invincible in their minds. Local people offered up their own generators to help keep the building running.
At first it was a novelty, living so closely with hundreds of others, especially living with their president among them. Not everyone was so lucky, after all; most people were living in camps set up in office blocks nearby.
Still, the overall feel of the area was relatively positive. The army were there, the president himself was safe, and so were they. They enjoyed a steady supply of electricity, and while they could only enjoy reruns of TV shows that people had on DVD, or films they had already seen, they had prefect reason to believe that there would be new movies emerging soon enough; they were safe, this disease thing would just blow over – of course it would be horrible, millions would die, but they would be alive – and they could begin to rebuild.
The army forces that patrolled the areas where survivors lived kept up their morals by competing and keeping tallies of how many infected they shot a day. They were beyond the moral quibbles of whether these infected people really were people anymore. As far as they were concerned, they were a threat and had to be taken out. If they still had a shred of humanity inside of those rotting bodies of theirs, they would surely understand why their lives had to come to an end. In turn, the army also kept up the moral of the survivors – more and more were joining them every day, some from other states. It helped that as soon as there was a quiet enough moment, they dragged away the bodies and burnt them. There might have been a lingering smell of charred flesh over the district, but the view, at least, was clear.
Not that many people minded the smell too much. It meant that whatever those things were couldn’t come back yet again and make another attempt on their lives. Some complained, of course. Some people complained that they had no internet or had limited heating and hot water. These were the people that had never been without before. They didn’t last long before someone told them to – or made them –shut up.
There were a handful of suicides, even within the camp, however. Not everyone kept an upbeat view on their situation. Not everyone could see an end to this.
For these people, vigils were held all over the camps. The president stood on the doorsteps of the White House and spoke a few words in their honor, praising them for making it as far as they did, praying for the living to keep up their strength and hope.
It had been fifteen days since the outbreak spread across the country like wildfire, ten since the camps were set up. Vaccine tests had already failed in most places. There was a small one just outside the camps, but progress was incredibly slow.
One woman, about eighteen or nineteen, had escaped from one of these testing centers only a day or so before, when the power went down and the electric doors all fell open. She was a mess – too skinny, fragile. Certainly not a threat. One of the men from the American army found her on his patrol, took her in and left her with the others to be dealt with and sorted into a camp. Little did any of them know, she had the virus buried deep within her. She, much like Luca, had been a half success of the trials. The virus was slow to act. Her immune system was working desperately to subdue the infection within her, but its attempts were… futile, to say the least.
Less than a day after being taken in, the virus mutated and a fever burned through her like a microscopic rampage. Before anyone noticed, she had passed away in a tangle of sweaty sheets. When she woke up and rose again, she was on her own. There was no one there to stop her from finding a way out of her room. There was nothing there to put an end to her life, or to protect residents nearby as she hunted for her first meal.
By the time she was noticed, she had already infected a family of six. They were loose in the camp and no one had any idea where they were until they found more infected.
Chaos. Chaos and screaming and running and panicking and pleading for lives.
Containment procedures came too late. The damage was already done. Over one thousand people had been living in that office block. Over one thousand people died there. And all of them rose again. She had unleashed an undead army upon the camps.