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This ATL deals with a possible time line in which the United States creates a horrible virus to use against the Russians should they have decided to go to war against America. It begins in 1957 when American scientists create the virus, which is stolen by the Soviets, but is accidentally unleashed upon the Earth, infecting four-fifths of the world's population and turning them into mindless, flesh-eating Zombie-like creatures. The rest of the uninfected humans try to survive and keep the diseased horde at bay in an apocalyptic event known only as "The Outbreak".
Creation of the Virus
On August 21, 1957, President Eisenhower announced a two-year suspension of nuclear testing and also plans to stop them entirely in a program to create better international relations and to set an example but this was merely a front for something else. McCarthyism still ran rampant throughout the Union, prompting Eisenhower to start a biological weapons program based on current technology and science with some added help from secret Nazi documents stolen from Germany during the Second World War. During the two years, top government scientists created a virus with power and destruction seemingly greater than the atom bomb. The air-borne disease proved through testing to cause horrendous full-body blistering, gangrenous skin and mind-boggling insanity (showing as loss of speech and cognitive functions and cannibalistic desires) in the victims. Yet the virus was still uncontrollable and therefore unfit for use against the possible war with the Soviets so more funding was put into it under a dummy government branch devoted to the study of rare diseases. The U.S. was then able to conduct more research on what was dubbed the Pulp Fiction Virus (PFV), as those suffering from it looked and acted like pulp fiction-esque Zombies.
Intervention of Russia
However, a top-secret government project such as this couldn't have been keep under wraps for very long. Before long, the Soviets had gotten wind of America's plan through a high-paid mole within the top scientists working on the virus. They also were able to formulate a plan to steal a copy of the formula and possibly a sample of the virus itself during a transportation of documents and test samples between facilities in Washington, D.C. It took weeks before the Soviets had drawn up a suitable plan to steal the items. They forged papers and identities in order to get them into that meeting and make their move. However, neither the Americans or Russians could have planned for what happened next.
On March 15, 1964 a group of American scientists came to a secret conference in Washington, D.C. to discuss the PFV and to transfer documents and samples of the virus to various testing sites in the D.C. area for further experimentation, What they didn't suspect was that there were several Russian infiltrators within the group, waiting to make their move. During the transaction of the various items, done aboard planes flying to Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the spies made their move, killing the other scientists and hijacking the planes.
However, they didn't expect security to be so heavy for this simple movement of goods and the plan was foiled as both planes were fought for control. No-one quite knows the exact events, but soon the samples of the virus aboard both planes were unleashed unexpectedly,(most probably due to the forced landing of one of the planes) the virus spreading through the air carried by the wind currents all across America. But it didn't stop there; soon the virus spread throughout the whole world, each country experiencing the effects of the PFV. Within days the world population changed dramatically as people either died from the virus or were turned into horrible Zombies due to the virus' effects. It seemed as though the Apocalypse had come to Earth.
By the end of '64, the entire Earth had been subjected to the PFV with varying effects in various continents. Such examples were:
Being the epicenter of what was called "The Outbreak", the U.S.A. felt the worst of the PFV. Several parts of the Northern, Eastern and Central States were cut off as quarantine zones from the rest of the country as the Western and Southern States, which were less affected, were choked with refugees. Nearly all of Canada was infected, with remaining survivors choosing to either flee to the U.S. or Central America. The Cntral American countries weren't infected as severely as the U.S or Canada. Zombies appeared occasionally, but it was relatively clear. Refugees were taken in through a controlled process via a heavily guarded border in order to prevent overcrowding.
Like Mexico and the other Central American countries, South America didn't see much of the horrible Zombies plaguing the Earth. This was another hot spot for refugees, but it too had a strictly controlled borders to guard against overcrowding and possible Zombie attacks.
Europe had the most variable of the Zombie population out of all the continents on Earth. Great Britain and Eastern Europe had more Zombies than places like France, Spain or Italy. Unlike Central or South America, Europe had possibly the strictest border control of all for safe zones. Eastern Europe was a wasteland of Zombies while France, Spain, Portugal and Italy formed one giant survivor camp. Scientists there had already begun work on how to combat the virus.
Curiously, along with the countries that made up Oceania, Africa had the least amount of Zombies in the entire world, making it prime real estate for refugees. It had the least restrictive border patrol, allowing many to enter it and find salvation. Scientists there also began work on combating the virus, but Africa also concentrated on sending its resources to places that were in desperate need of them. This allowed it to help the rest of the world greatly
Along with the U.S., Russia had possibly the worst outbreak of the PFV than anywhere else in the world. it slowly spread throughout all of Asia, infecting and/or killing the millions there. The virus' effects lessened as it spread from Russia southwards with places like the United Arab Emirates, India or Vietnam had few problems with the Zombies. Scientists from all over the continent, the most notable being from Russia, the Middle East and Japan, collaborated on ways to fight the virus while countries rich in resources sent supplies across the landmass to places devastated by the virus.
This was probably the one place on the planet that was the least affected by the disease. This allowed the various countries there to concentrate on finding an antidote and sending what supplies they could to the rest of the world. They also allowed a controlled amount of refugees to enter occasionally as a way of helping in that respect as well.
Fighting the "Pulpies"
The Earth having been ravaged by a horrible plague turning a mass of the population into Zombies, scientists weren't just working on a cure for the virus. In all countries, scientific minds allied themselves with military groups in order to find ways to fight the undead horde in a different way. Alongside the antidote, batches of new weapons were created to kill the Zombie Horde more effectively. Armed with weapons like the electricity-spewing "thunderhead" and powerful hand-held rocket-launchers, humanity was ready to take on the "pulpies", named for their pulpy appearance when alive (due to the blisters and gangrene) and dead (when they had been shot at repeatedly).
The Dark 70s
Thus the 60s moved into what would be known as the Dark 70s for several reasons. Creation of the antidote was proving to be very difficult due to the lack of enough samples of the virus to work with and the number of Zombies spiked during this period, causing great desperation for a cure to be within reach. In addition, there were several problems with food stocks as a severe blight came upon the lands, causing shortages. People became very frightened, wondering whether or not they would survive this decade.
Bumps in the Road
As scientists across the globe worked feverishly to create an antidote to the PFV, it came to light that there weren't enough samples of the virus to work with in order to combat it. What samples there were were locked deep within the hidden vaults of the U.S. government or festering within the dreaded pulpies. Neither one was easily accessible, but the former choice was far more preferable than the latter. The European coalition of scientists contacted the de facto leader of the U.S., appointed president Irwin Ollins, in an attempt to ask for a sample of the virus to study, test and hopefully create an antidote out of. Ollins was stubborn at first, saying that U.S. scientists needed all the available materials in order to heal the country, but eventually he recanted and sent a small shipment of documents and a sample via boat to Spain. However, it still wasn't enough, but it was all the U.S. was willing to give. Copies of the documents were made and sent to other scientists across the globe, but the sample was kept in Europe, the scientists there feeling that they needed it badly as half of the continent was a Zombie-choked hell.
Rise of the Dead
As if fated to coincide with the lack of an antidote this far into the Outbreak, Zombies everywhere seemed to increase in number and courage as fresh attacks were made by them in broad daylight and near highly populated areas. It was hypothesized that their lack of food from being driven back for so many years was what caused them to become bolder, as their need to eat outweighed their survival instincts. Even in locations with a low Zombie population, like Mexico or Australia, what Zombies were there began to charge at populated areas and viciously attack and feed on whoever was present, having absolutely no are for the consequences. These attacks also swelled the undead ranks as those who weren't completely eaten turned into Zombies themselves in seemingly no time at all.
These fresh attacks on civilization by the Zombies began to cause panic in the populace as people began to clamor for an antidote; they felt that weaponry no longer had an effect on the monsters and wanted a cure so that they could save themselves entirely. Unfortunately, the scientists could do nothing of the kind and only offered the frightened citizens hope and the promise that an antidote would be procured in the near future. This didn't seem to placate anyone as small riots broke out in places with a high risk of Zombies. Of course what happened next wasn't much of any help to the scared people, either.
On a Black Horse
On September 8, 1976, a massive heatwave scorched the world as droughts ravaged crops and water supplies, causing major shortages across a world already wallowing in fear.