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On the 4th of August 2000, nobody could have imagined that within a matter of weeks, the United Kingdom of Great Britain would cease to exist as a nation. A virus, the likes of which the world had never seen, was about to sweep the nation. Many had feared that the new millennium would bring about the apocalypse on January 1st 2000, and the world laughed at them when their predictions did not come true. Seven months later, the world would not be laughing at what was about to come.
At 11:34 AM, August 4th 2000 in Norwich, England, a vet in Norwich treating a Yorkshire terrier apparently infected with the rabies virus is bitten by the dog. He restrains the animal and immediately attempts to clean the wound with cold water and anti viral wipes. An ambulance arrives soon after and takes him to Norwich University Hospital for stitches. By the time the ambulance reaches the hospital, the bite is showing signs of infection and the man "Patient Zero" is dipping in and out of consciousness. He is taken to Intensive Care as his condition deteriorates. Doctors determine quickly he has been infected with the rabies virus, but none are certain as to why it is affecting Patient Zero so quickly as it can often take weeks for rabies to affect people like this after being exposed. The patient is transferred to Quarantine and experts are called in from London and Cambridge to evaluate him. Tests show that he has indeed been infected with the rabies virus, but it appears to have mutated into a far more dangerous strain. Six hours after being bitten, the man suddenly sits up on the bed, much to the shock of hospital staff, and lunges at a nearby virologist grabbing his arm and biting down hard, tearing a chunk of flesh away. The patient gets off the bed and runs at another doctor, grabbing and biting him. A security guard rushes into the room and restrains the patient. However, he too, is bitten. The patient is handcuffed to the bed and secured. The three staff who have been bitten are taken for treatment. Within an hour, all three men who were bitten are complaining of nausea and headaches. An hour after that, they are coughing up blood and losing consciousness for several minutes at a time. Three hours after being bitten, the security guard attacks a nurse treating him, biting her, before being restrained by another security guard. Twenty minutes later, the virologist who had been bitten turns and bites four staff members before being restrained. An hour later the third person bitten also changes and bites a doctor and a police officer who had arrived to investigate the disturbances. Several police officers began to arrive at the hospital to interview witnesses and talk to the suspects, but the suspects would not cooperate, and seemed hell bent on attacking anybody they could. Those who were most recently bitten also changed and bit others, who then changed and bit others. Within 24 hours, there were more than 100 cases in the hospital. Several more police had arrived to try and contain the situation. At 12:05 PM 5th August, a group of 15 infected broke into the intensive care unit, overpowering doctors and security guard who tried to stop them. The patients in the ICU, wounded in various accidents (fires, car crashes, stabbings, etc) were defenceless against the attackers. The infected began to claw and bite at the people lying in the beds, many hooked up to life support machines. Within a few minutes, all patients in the ICU had been killed. Patients in other wards came to see what the noise was all about, only to be pounced upon by the infected. The infected rampage through the wards, killing dozens of people and infecting many more. By 1:00 PM, the remainder of the hospitals patients, as well as the police and security still left inside, had been evacuated from the building. Several patients and staff who had been bitten were being treated in the hospital car park where tents had been set up to accommodate for the wounded as the building was no longer safe. By the time they realised what was happening to those who were bitten it was too late. By 2 o'clock, many more people who were being treated in the makeshift car park hospital were turning and attacking those treating them. Police attempted to restore order, killing several infected in the process but still he number of infected grew, forcing the police to retreat back to Colney Lane, and eventually from the area around the hospital all together. As 3 o'clock drew near, the infected had spilled out of the hospital and into the neigbouring parts of the city, killing and infecting as they went. Two hours later, the police had been pushed back to Watton Road, just past the Institude of Food Research. The arrival of riot police and armed response units managed to hold the infected back and slow their spread for a while. But more and more people were becoming infected, and that meant the police were becoming outnumbered.
Infection hits Norwich
Within 30 hours of Patient Zero arriving at the hospital, there were close to 350 cases of the virus in Norwich with more than 200 people killed outright by the infected. Police started to arrive from neigbouring Constabularies to lend support, but even they could not significantly stem the spread of the virus. At 5:30 PM, the NHS Trust that had run Norwich University Hospital sent information to the Home Office and the Department of Health regarding what they thought to be a new strain of the rabies virus. At the same time, the Prime Minister Tony Blair was also being informed over the phone by the Chief Constable Ian McPherson of how bad the situation was becoming, and he even asked for military assistance claiming that : "Its as though Hell itself has set upon Norwich...everybody's killing each other, there's massacres going on all over the bloody place. We need help and we need it now !"
Troops from the Royal Anglian Regiment were dispatched shortly afterwards with orders to shoot to kill any and all infected. By the 40th hour of the outbreak, the number of infected totaled 2,000 + with at least 800 killed.
At 7:00 PM the Prime Minister declared a State of Emergency in Norwich and surrounding areas. The following is from the Home Secretary Jack Straws Press Conference regarding the Norwich outbreak :
“At 1:30 PM yesterday afternoon, police received 999 calls from staff in the vicinity of Norwich University Hospital regarding a violent disturbance. Since then, the situation has escalated onto the streets of Norwich with casualties believed to be in the thousands. As the Chief Medical Officer said earlier, it is absolutely vital that the public remain in their homes and avoid all contact with infected individuals. Anyone currently in Norwich is asked to seek shelter immediately. If you are not in your home and are incapable getting back home please head to the nearest church, school or community centre. Norwich Police, in conjunction with local government, have set up protected shelters within these buildings. Locations of these safe zones are being e-mailed to all major news outlets as I speak. I would like to stress the need for calm, and that the situation is under control. Rumours that emergency services have collapsed or have fled are completely baseless. Police units from neighbouring constabularies are beginning to arrive, as is a contingent of troops from the Royal Anglian Regiment in an effort to restore law and order to the area."
Contrary to the Home Secretary's assurances, emergency call centres had been overwhelmed with calls for help and the citys police force had taken heavy casualties. Ambulance and fire crews were coming under frequent attack and there had been several cases of police officers deserting and fleeing Norwich with their families. In a widely reported case, a fire crew attending a house fire on St Crispins Road was attacked by a group of infected. They held their ground by shooting water from their hoses at the infected for a few minutes until being forced to withdraw as more infected arrived. That fire spread throughout St Crispins Road and nearly a dozen buildings burned down, and over 40 people died in the flames. A few hours after that incident, the citys 999 call services were suspended due to the call centre overload and the danger of infected attack on emergency crews attending incidents. Instead of responding to individual calls, ambulance and fire services were stationed in secure areas of the city, and only responded to incidents in said secure areas. Likewise, police set up defensive perimiters around these secure areas, although they would not be secure much longer. Emergency Services were starting to fall apart all across Norwich, and the population was soon left to fend for themselves. The first soldiers began to arrive on the 6th of August, and set up checkpoints on the outskirts of Norwich to prevent the infected getting out, effectivley quarantining the entire city. 137 uninfected civilians were shot dead trying to break through the quarantine that day. The Soldiers killed at least 300 infected in only a couple of hours, but more and more kept coming. By the early hours of 7th August, the Army, along with the remnants of Norwich Police, had pulled out of the city and helped bolster the defences set up to impose the quarantine.
According to top secret figures circulating within the various government agencies and departments involved, the numbers of infected were exceeding 40,000, with more than 8,000 dead. Government advisors warned that the situation was out of control and to brace for a possible larger scale crisis that could spread beyond Norwich.
Virus Breaks Through Quarantine Zone
On the 8th of August, four days since the first cases of the virus were reported, the infected were attempting break through the army blockades surrounding Norwich. Mortars, machine guns and even heavy artillery were used to hold off the onslaught, and for a while, it seemed to work. But more and more infected kept pouring out of the city, and ammo was starting to run low. The troops fought valiantly, and even support from RAF close air support was not enough to turn the tide. At 11:12 PM, the main army blockade on the A74, just outside Norwich was finally overrun. In the next few hours, the remaining blockades were abandoned as the troops were ordered to pull back. On the 9th of August, the Prime Minister ordered an additional 10,000 troops to East Anglia to help contain the virus.
BBC Reports Concerning "Zombie Outbreak" August 4th - August 8th
August 4th (DAY 1) - "And to round up today's news in East Anglia, an incident has been reported at Norwich University Hospital. At least three people have been murdered by an unspecified number of attackers, with at least ten injured, four critically. Police have declined to comment further."
AUGUST 5th 9:00 AM - "Welcome to BBC News 24 and the headlines this morning, Riot at Norwich University Hospital. At least 30 people are confirmed dead and hundreds more injured. Unconfirmed reports indicate that rioters made their way through hospital wards and the intensive care units attacking and killing patients and staff alike. Police have not yet ruled out terrorism."
August 5th 7:00 PM (from an on-scene reporter) "The situation appears to be growing worse and the death toll has risen again, this time to 54. The number of rioters has, for reasons unknown, continued to grow, forcing staff and police to evacuate those remaining inside. The wounded are being treated in the car park as...(infected break through front entrance, over-running police)"...oh my god ! They... they look like they're biting people...they're running towards us. Go now, get in the van !"
August 6th - "There are reports of chaos across Norwich tonight as violence sweeps the entire city. Hundreds have been killed, and thousands more injured. According to the Health Protection Agency, this violence has been caused by a mutated strain of the rabies virus, which was first confirmed in Norwich University Hospital by doctors on Wednesday afternoon. The Prime Minister has sent in the Army and declared a state of emergency in an effort to restore the situation to normal. People living in the city are advised to seek shelter immediately and not to venture outside for any reason. Emergency phone lines are overloaded as...(newscaster stops talking and listens to his earpiece)...I've just received word that a travel ban is being enforced to Norwich, effective immediately, quarantining the city. No unauthorised persons will be allowed to enter or leave Norwich, and armed troops are setting up checkpoints on all roads in and out of Norwich. The Home Secretary will be holding a press conference in an hour to explain this travel ban in further detail."
August 7th - "Thousands of people have died as these "Zombies", as the public are now referring to them, overrun Norwich and nearby villages. Soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment manning the blockades on the roads in and out of the city are reportedly facing a sustained assault by large numbers of infected. The Ministry of Defence denies the soldiers are low on ammo and morale, but many reliable sources who have asked not to be named are saying that at least three blockades have been overrun, and that most units are running low on ammo. At least sixteen cases of desertion have been reported, with all but four being shot immediately upon being captured."
August 8th - "Prime Minister Tony Blair ordered an additional 10,000 combat troops to the infected zone in an effort to contain the spread of infection. Current reports now have the death toll surpassing 25,000, with that number expected to rise significantly in the coming hours. All signs point to this situation worsening before getting better. According to the M.O.D., all of East Anglia is now under a state of martial law, due to the high percentage of police officers who have been killed in Norwich, including those from other East Anglian counties, resulting in a lack of law enforcement and a massive increase in crime in which the army must now step in and deal with."
The Anglian Ring
As Norwich fell to the rampaging hordes of Zombies, the British Army fell back in disarray. Britain's Military Forces are among the best trained and equipped on the planet, but they were not trained to deal with such a situation. Morale was lowered considerably when soldiers had to shoot their mates who had been bitten. Troops fell back down the A11 and A47, establishing defences at the towns of Attlebourgh and East Dereham. Other troops set up defences at Hevingham and Blofield and a few other towns and villages around Norwich, effectively creating a "ring" around the city. But as the number of infected grew, the situation became bleaker. Large groups of infected who had followed the retreating soldiers began to try and overrun their defences. By 11th August, over 800 soldiers of the British Army had lost their lives. The First Battle of Attlebourgh began at 12:07 PM, August 11th 2000. It pitted 3,000 Zombies against 400 soldiers of the Royal Anglian, who had been the first to see action against the Zombies a few days earlier, and so were more experienced. That experience paid off, as the Zombies were all killed within an hour, with th loss of "only" 92 soldiers. A similar battle was fought at East Dereham about the same time, although the soldiers took much heavier casualties than at Attlebourough. Despite taking the losses, the British Army valiantly held their ground, and even counter-attacked on several occasions, although they paid a heavy price for their bravery. By the 12th, the troops, war-weary and shocke, but no less determined, were still holding out against the infected. The same day, General John Paulson who was leading the troops around Norwich sent a top-secret message to the M.O.D. and the Prime Minister, advising them that the situation on the ground was becoming extremely volatile, and that it was only a matter of time before they had to retreat again. He asked that the government begin large scale evacuations frm areas of East Anglia still unaffected by the virus as he believed the infection would continue to spread. The next day, 13th August, the Prime Minister agreed to his request. The towns of Downham Market, Thetford, Brandon, Fakenham (real town, by the way) and Kings Lynn began evacuation procedures.The problem was however, such a large scale evacuation had not been attempted in the UK since the first days of World War 2, and there were no plans to accommodate the tens of thousands of people being evacuated. Several thousand were able to find places to stay with family and friends,which did lighten the governments burden considerably. For the rest, the Army and the Red Cross set up camps in public parks and inside schools and churches to accommodate what the media had just began to describe as "refugees". By the 14th of August, the troops were still slowly put surely being forced to retreat, although this was not like the hasty, chaotic retreat of a few days earlier, this was a fighting retreat, and the infected were made to pay for every inch of ground they gained. On the 15th of August, East Dereham finally fell after a second, larger battle there. Attleborough fell six hours later after the last troops there finally withdrew, taking the towns population with them to safety. East Dereham and Attleborough were the two most important towns to the Anglian Ring, and with their fall, the Anglian Ring was penetrated, and soon afterwards collapsed. Pandemonium was being reported across South East England as people began to panic buy and hoard supplies. Filling stations run out of fuel, and riots started outside supermarkets as rationing began in some towns.
International Reactions August 9th - August 16th
United States - August 9th - President Clinton calls Tony Blair and offers his condolences to the British people.
European Union - August 9th - All members of the EU offer their condolences and express their "horror" at the "shocking loss of life"
Commonwealth - August 9th - The Commonwealth, made up of former British colonies e.g. Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and a few others all express their sympathy to those who died and their families.
United States - August 10th - Realising the extent of the situation, the US begins a hurried evacuation of its citizens living in East Anglia.
United Nations - August 11th - Offers humanitarian aid to the UK.
France - August 12th - French President announces that refugee camps will be built in northern France in case the situation in the UK grows worse and people need to flee the country.
United States - August 13th - Clinton promises to give Britain up to $150 million dollars in aide, and first American shipments of medical supplies and food aid arrive for those affected by the disaster.
E.U. - August 14th - EU promises an aid package of 200 million euros and begins sending humanitarian aid.
Iran - August 15th - President Mohammad Khatami declares that the outbreak is God's punishment on the British for their support for Israel. The UK withdraws its embassy staff from Iran in protest.
United States - August 6th - American Red Cross staff arrive in the UK and begin working with their British counterparts.
Emergency Powers Act 1920
On the 15th of August, the ever increasing numbers of Zombies were forcing the British Army into another retreat, and close to 60,000 had been confirmed dead since the outbreak 11 days previous. The then Prime Minister Tony Blair, accepted that the situation was rapidly deteriorating and activated the emergency powers act 1920, meaning that all of East Anglia was under a State of Emergency. This declaration gave police and military forces extra powers of arrest to detain those who were causing problems, such as food and fuel hoarders and people who were delaying evacuation efforts for whatever reason. This declaration was vital in speeding up the evacuation of Ipswitch, where the infection was rapidly approaching. By the time the infected overrun the army blockades guarding Ipswitch, 75% of the population had been evacuated. However, thousands were still left stranded in the city. The citys police could do little to protect the civilians, and the army had already left during the evacuation, leaving only two companies of soldiers behind to help the police. Within four hours, 3,000 people had been either killed or infected in Ipswitch.
Cambridge and Peterborough
On the 16th of August, the infection reached the city of Peterborough, and it was also advancing on Cambridge. Both cities had been preparing for the better part of a week for the coming Zombies, and so the troops were well dug in, and many people had been evacuated, although armed civilian volunteers had stayed behind to defend their homes and refused to leave. RAF fighter/bombers and Army helicopter gunships were on stand-by, as was heavy artillery. The roads and fields had been mined and barricades had been set up. Both cities now looked more like military bases. At 9:35 AM, a large group of infected charged at the army's defensive blockade situated on the M11 motorway. The initial attack was repelled after 20 minutes and over 500 infected were dead, and for a while it seemed as though no more infected would come. As the hours wore on, nothing happened on the Cambridge Front, so many of the soldiers dropped their guard, and got some well needed - and earned - sleep. At 11:15 PM, another group of infected had wandered down the motorway and found the army blockade, this time the soldiers were not as prepared as they should have been and within five minutes the troops had been routed, falling back to establish a new defensive area between the A423 and A1309 roads. The infection had now hit the outskirts of Cambridge and advancing rapidly towards the city centre, where the roads were jam-packed with panicked motorists trying to flee the city. Likewise on the Peterbourgh Front, the situation was equally, if not more bleak as large numbers of infected rampaged up the A1, smashing through Army defences and kiling 134 soldiers whilst infected almost triple that number. By the early hours of the 17th of August, the infected were rampaging through the streets of Peterbourgh, sloughtering at will.
Emergency Services rescued those they could, whilst the army covered them and held off the infected. By 6:00 AM the infected were in the Woodston and Old Fletton areas of the city centre. At 8:35 AM, police sent out an emergency broadcast over local radio stations advising the remaining population to head for the bridge on London Road, where troops and police intended to make a last stand whilst the civilians were evacuated onto a large container ship in the river, as well as a handful of Royal Navy vessels which had also just arrived. Within three hours, over three thousand people had been rescued by the ships on the River Nene and taken to safety. After the civilians who had arrived at the bridge were finally evacuated, the troops and police who had survived holding off the infected during the evacuation of civvies proceeded a couple of miles North East to the Peterbourgh Hospital, in an effort to protect it from the oncoming infected hoard and allow the RAF time to airlift the patients to safety. The troops and armed police held off the infected, and fought them for over four hours whilst the choppers flew back and forth. Even when they finally ran out of ammunition, they fought with bayonettes, with the butts of their rifles, with knifes, police batons and even walking sticks and crutches that had been abandoned in the hospital. By 5:15 PM, the hospital had been evacuated completely, but the defenders were finally overrun as the last helicopter left the building. Those who had remained behind and made the ultimate sacrifice were all posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest Military Honour.
The next day, BAA (British Airports Association) cancelled all air travel between South East England (excluding the London airports) and the rest of the world. Likewise, all sea travel was suspended between East Anglian ports and the rest of the world. British government health officials were working closely with their colleagues in the WHO (World Health Organisation), as well as the CDC (Centres For Disease Control) and ECDC (European Centres for Disease Control) in an effort to create a vaccine, and it had been they who had advised on curbing international travel between infected areas of Britain and the rest of the world in order to avoid a pandemic.
BBC Reports Concerning "Zombie Outbreak" August 14th - August 18th
August 14th - "The European Union last night promised an aid package of up to 200 million euros for reconstruction, as well as dispatching a large amount of humanitarian aid to the worst affected areas."
August 15th - "We can now confirm that the town of Attlebourgh has fallen to the infected. This latest information has just come straight from the Ministry Of Defence in the last few minutes. For viewers unaware of the significance of the town, Attlebourgh was a vital stronghold of British troops in the region and without it, the so called "Anglian Defence Ring" is liable to collapse, allowing the infection to spread even further.
August 16th - "Both Peterbourgh and Cambridge are now directly threatened by the infection, and emergency evacuation efforts are now under way but many analysts have informed us that an evacuation of so many people, given the speed that the virus is moving, is improbable in the least, and that heavy casualties should be expected. No cases have actually been reported in either city however, but there have been reports of attacks as close as 1 mile from Cambridge and two miles from Peterbourgh."
August 17th - "(from an on scene reporter at Peterbourgh evacuation point. Behind her are thousands of people making their way to boats whilst troops wearing respirators stand guard)"Helen Jones reporting live from Peterbourgh where all hell seems to breaking loose. As little as a hundred yards to my right you can see military and police doing their best to hold off the infected, but there are just so many now. There seems to be more coming every minute. Behind me, you can see refugees being taken onto a container ship that will take them someplace safe,although we still havn't been told where. Several Navy patrol boats have also arrived to aid in the evacuation...(As the sound of gunfire and screaming gets closer, a soldier runs up to the reporter and shouts for her to get on the boat, after a few seconds of trying to tell him she was in the middle of a live broadcast, he knocks the camera away and pick her up and drags her to the boat, the following words can be barely made out before the camera goes off : "For the love of God woman, they're gonna' be here any second, you want to get torn to pieces ?". This is also the last broadcast to come from Peterbourgh.)
August 18th - "Its now two weeks since the first cases of the "Zombie Infection" were reported, and here are tonight's headlines regarding the crisis : The Queen decided today to bestow the Victoria Cross to those who died in the defence of Peterbourgh yesterday and in sacrificing their own lives, saved more than 3,400 people. In related news, all communications have been lost with Cambridge, with the exception of Cambridge Airport, still held by the Army. The infected finally broke through the city's defences late last night, and as of the early hours of this morning, and estimated 50,000 people are either dead or infected."
By the 20th of August, the infection was being reported in the English Midlands cities of Nottingham and Leicester, although it was still, for the moment, under control there. A number of people who had been bitten and had escaped the chaos in East Anglia had fled to hospitals in the Midlands, hoping someone may have found a cure. They had not. Cases grew in the hospitals, and by the 23rd of August, the infected were spilling out of Leicester Royal Infirmary and onto Infirmary Road and Welford Road, overrunning civilians and the handful of police who were there arrived. The lack of police was due to the large numbers of police officers dispatched to help out in East Anglia before it was overrun, and because of the shortage, there was no way to contain the infection within the hospital grounds. Within 24 hours, the infected had gained as far north Thurmaston area of the city and as far south as South Wigston. As the city had not been adequately prepared for an outbreak, and as there had been no evacuation, Leicester saw the worst violence since Norwich as tens of thousands of people were slaughtered in the streets. By the 25th, most of the city, with the exception of the Roundhill Community College, where students and a handful of soldiers who had been separated from their unit were holding out. Also still holding out was Leicesters main police station, which despite being in the overrun city centre, was still free of infection due to the makeshift barricades and the stubborn resolve of the remaining police, as well as the civilians who were taking shelter there.
The same day that Leicester was officially declared overrun, the streets of Nottingham were becoming pretty dangerous as groups of infected prowled about. However, the situation was still not nearly as bad as the chaos that had plagued other cities due to the fact that any person who had been bitten and attempted to go to hospital was promptly shot by soldiers and police, avoiding a repeat of the chaos that hospitals in Norwich and more recently Leicester had faced. Still, bitten refugees took the virus with them, and despite the authorities best efforts, some slipped through the net. These refugees were the first cases of "Super-Rabies" AKA "Zombie Plague"(the two most common names used by the public) in Nottingham. Isolated cases in the Sherwood and Carrington areas of the city caused alarm among the populace, but people tried to stick it out and go about their daily lives. On August 28th, three days after the first attacks in Nottingham, the city council announced a curfew lasting from 8:00 PM to 8:00 AM in order to keep people off the streets and minimise the spread of infection. Troops and Armed Police were ordered to adopt a shoot-to-kill policy for anyone out past curfew, just in case they were infected. They were told not to take any chances. Despite this order, many soldiers and cops did not shoot people out past curfew(not that there were many) if they could positively identify them as not being infected, but they did give them stern warnings to go home and stay there. The local government began a public safety campaign, with posters with such : "STAY HOME - STAY SAFE" and "IF BITTEN - DO THE RIGHT THING" the latter poster had an illustration of someone hanging themselves. Public transport was suspended as was travel in and out of the city. Most people were advised to stay home and avoid going to work, of course with the exception of those who worked for emergency services, as well as water, power, sewage and garbage disposal. Food delivery by civilian truck drivers was banned after armed gangs started attacking and stealing the food. This resulting in the army having to step in and monitor food distribution. The situation in Nottingham gradually started to deteriorate as more and more cases were reported and on August 29th, the areas of Sherwood, Carrington and New Basford were quarantined. But reports of violence in other areas of the city persisted, and police were receiving more and more calls regarding missing persons cases. Over 400 were reported in the space of 24 hours. A large bulletin board was put up in front of the now heavily militarised Nottingham Council House, where soon thousands of missing persons noticed were placed. Only a handful of those reported missing were ever seen again, most having been attacked by infected whilst out, particularly when alone and walking in the dark. On the 1st of September, following food riots over the new rationing system that was introduced, Nottingham was placed under martial law and several rioters were executed to be made an example of, the effect seemed to work, as public order was quickly.
The infected soon broke through from the quarantine parts of Nottingham and attacked the army checkpoints set up to enforce the quarantine. Within a matter of hours, the thousands of infected who had escaped the quarantine were rampaged through the un-evacuated city, killing and infected thousands of innocent people. Generally more people died than got infected during attacks, but it depended on the severity of the wounds. If a person only received a few bites or scratches, and if no major blood vessels were ruptured, they would become a "Zombie". But if they were killed by an attack, such as dying of massive blood loss due to having their jugular punctured, they would die, unlike the classic "Zombie" which was already technically dead. Yet still the term Zombie did seem to stick among the populace.
On the 4th of September, a month after the outbreak of the virus, the first infected were reported on the outskirts of Birmingham. They were quickly dealt with, but more kept coming and tried to break through the Army Blockades set up on the M6, M42 and M54 set up to prevent the virus entering the city.By the 7th, the number of infected had grown significantly and although a large number of troops, police and armed civilians were defending the blockades vigorously, the government realised it was only a matter of time before they got through. The next day, the evacuation of Birmingham began. In all, close to a million people were to be evacuated. It was obvious that the government could not save everyone, there was not enough time, but the troops were ordered to fight to the last man to give the evacuation effort as much time as possible. The troops followed their orders, and they never retreated, fighting the infection until they ran out of bullets, and even then, they charged the infected with bayonets. The M6 blockade was the first to fall, with the M54 and M42 falling a few hours later. 425,000 people had been evacuated by the time the infection got into the city. That still left more than 400,000 in Birmingham, awaiting evacuation. Those who were left behind but managed to survive to tell the story told of "the streets running with blood" as the infection rampaged through the evacuation centres where people were waiting for help, that would not come. The RAF fire bombed the infected hoards in the city centre, killing many thousands, but by the next day, there were hundreds of thousands of infected in Birmingham, all of them spreading out of the city and into neighbouring towns, including Wolverhampton and Stafford. By this point, there were serious discussions in Cabinet about the use of Britain's nuclear arsenal to destroy cities rife with infection, but the Prime Minister was extremely reluctant to do so.
Nottingham was quickly overwhelmed, and the evacuation effort was abandoned on the 3rd September, with the government instead choosing to seal off the city to prevent the infection spreading. The governments quarantine of Nottingham was a disastrous fallout and the virus quickly engulfed nearby towns and villages with Derby, Mansfield, Chesterfield and Lincoln all being overrun in only a few days. With the Army spread so thin, there was little they could do to protect the smaller towns, as their efforts were concentrated to protecting the big cities, particularly Birmingham, Britain's second largest city (pop 970,892) which was next in line to be hit by the virus. Sheffield (pop 439,866) was also being encroached on as the infected from Nottingham headed north.
As the week wore on, the virus continued to spread, and the city of Sheffield was under serious threat. The local government had already begun evacuating people after Nottingham was overrun, so when the virus did hit Sheffield, only 15,000 people were left, mostly soldiers, police and armed civilians who wanted to defend their homes and their city. By the 10th of September, Sheffield too had been overrun. By this point, countries around the world had began evacuating their citizens, not only from areas in danger from the virus, put as far north as Scotland realising that the virus was going to spread and that the British Army was in complete disarray, and as such, was unable to contain the virus.
Refugee Crisis Looms
The number of displaced people in the UK was well over 6,000,000, and many more were soon going to become displaced. The British Red Cross, as well as other NGOs were totally overwhelmed and the camps established in the safer areas of Britain were full. Many people were turned away from these camps, and in desperation and frustration, they chose to seek shelter abroad. On the 12th of September, the first British refugees landed in France. The French government had anticipated this situation weeks earlier, and had built camps in Normandy and Brittany to house refugees, but these camps were quickly overwhelmed, and the French Government asked for United Nations assistance. The U.N. began to construct giant refugee camps in northern France, and as the days went on, camps were being built in Ireland, Norway, Spain and Belgium to cope with the growing refugee crisis. In all, over 1,000,000 refugees had fled the United Kingdom. All major airports in England are inundated with tens of thousands of people demanding flights, many of whole are without a passport, cash or even a ticket. The British Government demands that all British Airlines allow refugees on board for free, regardless of them having a passport or ticket. The British Airlines agree, and even international airlines come to the aid of the British people and help in the evacuations. By the 15th of September, over 1,500,000 people have escaped the UK.
Panic On the Streets Of London
As the 16th of September dawned, the army blockades on the M11 and A1 set up to prevent the infected in Cambridge attacking London were still holding, but the infected just kept coming. The situation in London itself, even though there were no cases of the infection, was becoming grim. Food riots, protests, soaring crime rates, fuel shortages and just fear in general were causing huge problems in the city and the Prime Minister had no choice but to place the city under martial law. Even the governments food rationing scheme was suffering as hundreds of thousands of refugees poured into London seeking shelter and food. Red Cross camps set up in the Hyde and Regents Parks were overwhelmed, as were local hotels and the temporary accommodation set up in churches and community centres. Tens of thousands were sleeping rough on the streets of the city, although many people, some out of the goodness of their hearts, many others due to government pressure, let strangers stay in their homes. By this point, all foreign embassy personnel in London had been evacuated as the situation grew worse. The empty embassy buildings were quickly converted into temporary shelters.
The British Army began to set up the so called "London Ring", however, this was much better defended than the Anglian Ring which had been overrun a few weeks earlier. Troops, along with heavy artillery, mortars, heavy machine guns and snipers took positions around Greater London, and minefields and barbed wire fences were planted to give extra protection. Helicopter gunships and RAF bombers were put on stand-by. The virus, however, continued to spread, but London's defences proved resilient. The infection was gradually encircling the city, from Southend-On-Sea to Reading and from Reading all the way around to Maidstone. It was the beginning of the "Siege Of London", hundreds of thousands of infected were all around the outskirts of Greater London, trying to force their way in. The Queen and the rest of the Royal Family still in Buckingham Palace were finally evacuated to Balmoral in Scotland, although the Queen did insist that Buckingham Palace be transformed into a safe zone for anyone in need of shelter.
Gradually, the Army was pushed back, but still they inflicted heavy casualties upon the infected. On the 20th of September, the Cabinet, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police, British Army and the Red Cross began to formulate a plan to evacuate London. The problem was of course, that the infected had surrounded most of the city. The town of Gillingham south west of London, was still free of infection, but it was perilously close to Maidstone, which had just been overrun. The so called "Gillingam Corridor" was created. A safe strip of land beginning on the A2 near Dartford, passing through Gillingham and reaching Canterbury. From there, the evacuees would be transported to various camps in the south, or to refugee camps in France and Belgium. And so, on the 21st of September, the evacuation of Britain's capital began.
In all, there were over six million people in the Greater London Area and the armed forces, in their retreat south and eastwards from London managed to control the evacuation of over a million people, while a rearguard slowed the spread of the infection, if only for a while. However, by the time the infected overran the London Ring, there were still close to 4,500,000 people trapped in the city.
RAF, Navy and Police choppers, as well as volunteer civilian pilots continued to go back and forth to London for two more days, and this resulted in more than 3000 more lives being saved. That still left millions people trapped in London, along with 15,000 soldiers and 5,000 police surrounded by hoards of infected which were closing in. As the London Ring collapsed, hundreds of thousands of infected rampaged into London from all sides, and the Gillingham Corridor finally fell.
At Wellington Barracks in London, the remaining soldiers there played the song "Panic on the Streets of London" over a loud speaker as they fought the infected. The Barracks was overrun after a five hour battle. The infected rampaged down the once busy shopping area of Oxford Street, now lined with mattresses and sleeping bags. Thousands of people, mostly civilians an a handul of police tried to fight back, but it was useless. 10,000 people on that street died in under 30 minutes. Finally, after initially refusing to leave Downing Street, PM Tony Blair is convinced its time to go. He and his Cabinet are taken on board an RAF Chinook waiting in front of the building and flown out of London, just as the infected finally break through the defences in Westminster and overrun the entire area. The government are then flown north to Newcastle which becomes the de facto capital of the UK.
The remnants of the city's army garrison and police force retreat to Hyde Park, where they establish a defensive perimeter around the refugee camp established there which houses over 50,000 people. Huge crowds of infected coming in from the borough of Kensington, which is heavily infested proceed to assault the camp, but the attack is staved off, at least for a while. Within 24 hours of the establishment of the Hyde Park Defensive Area, the crowds of infected have overrun most of London, and estimates put the death toll at more than 1,000,000. In actual fact, over 3,000,000 are dead, with 1,000,000 infected. Soon, the huge numbers of infected prove overwhelming to the defenders, and General Michael Barrows, the area commander realises the situation is hopeless and, with the consent of his staff and all those present, calls in a massive RAF airstrike on the camp in a bid to not only kill many, many infected, but save those there from a horrific and painful death at the hands of the infected. Several RAF heavy bombers and fighter/bombers soon are overhead and dropping their payloads of explosives. Within minutes, an estimated 50,000 people are dead.
At Heathrow Airport, there is absolute pandemonium as a crowd of 20,000 surges forward, trying to get on a plane, any plane. At 3:07 PM , September 24th, 2000, the last plane takes off from Heathrow Airport, London. No planes will return. The crowd, seeing the last plane boarding, react angrily and try to reach it resulting in a devastating stampede that kills hundreds. At the same time, the infection reached the airport and the infected were soon tearing apart those in the crowd. People could not go forward, nor could they go back as the crowd was so tightly packed together. Nobody survived what would later become know as the "Heathrow Massacre".
At 10:00 AM the next day, the last broadcast came from BBC LONDON. BBC television centre had been heavily barricaded and had a contingent of soldiers defending it. "You are watching BBC London, with me Terry Harden. Here are the latest updates, Heathrow, Stansted, London City and Luton Airports, as well as all train and bus stations in the city have been overrun. There is no way out of London. If there is anyone still alive in the city, we advise that you stockpile and ration your food and water and do not go outside. The government advises Londoners to stay home and wait for help, they say the army will be back soon, although reliable sources indicate most troops have retreated from London and the government itself has now fled the city. I must stress that we will stay on the air for as long as possible, but due to frequent power outages, that is becoming more and more difficult, but we will keep on..."(There is gunfire heard, followed by the sound of breaking class and splintering wood). "What's going on, are they in the building? Oh god, somebody stop them, shoot them now! " (The growls of the infected can also be heard. The camera suddenly is knocked over by someone running by, and the newsreader can be heard screaming, as can many of the studios crew, just before the broadcast suddenly ends.)
The Army and the government officially declare London overrun the next day and the hasty retreat to the so called "Northern Line" begins. The Northern Line as a military defensive line stretching from just south of Newcastle to the town of Gretna near the Scotland/England border. The refugee crisis grows worse after the fall of London as the public begins to fear that the government has lost control. A mass exodus of British people then begins as people in Northern England and even Scotland began to leave the country en masse, and by the 27th of September, over 8,000,000 people had fled the UK. The same day, the United Nations declared the UK situation to be the worst humanitarian catastrophe in recorded history.
The Fall of Wales
Within days of the Midlands being overrun, the infection had crossed into Wales. The heavily infested city of Liverpool was where many of the infected that entered North Wales came from,and by the time the RAF had destroyed the bridges connecting Liverpool to Wales, thousands of infected had already crossed. Anglesey in North Wales was declared a safe zone and the Army destroyed the bridges leading to it. The islands population tripled in the space of a week as thousands of Welsh people evacuated to it. At around the same time that London was overrun, the infected were also rampaging through the Welsh capital Cardiff. The city was in chaos, even though more than half its population had been evacuated. The next day, Newport fell, and two days after that the Army was routed in Swansea. By the 28th of September, all of Wales, excluding the island of Anglesey and a few isolated villages and military bases, had been overrun.
On the 1st of October, the World Health Organisation voted unanimously to quarantine the United Kingdom as a whole, not just the infected parts. The quarantine was enforced by NATO warships, mostly American, Canadian and French, and a handful of Dutch. No aircraft or boats were permitted to leave the UK after this date. Over 15,000 refugees were killed in the following days as they tried to escape the UK. The escape attempts went on regardless, it was more dangerous to stay in the UK than try and get across the sea to somewhere, anywhere, that could be safe. Mass protests began across the world as citizens voiced their anger at the treatment of the refugees by NATO forces. Three days after this, in an effort to counter the bad publicity that had occurred, NATO, with UN and British permission, sent in 30,000 peacekeepers to England's southern cities of Portsmouth, Plymouth, Bournemouth, the Isle of Wight, Southampton and Exeter to relieve British troops who were fighting to stop the infection getting into those cities. The peacekeepers would police the streets, freeing up more British troops and police to head to the front lines in order to defend the cities. The peacekeepers were mostly American and Canadian, due to the shared language, making communication with both British civilians and military much more easy. Some French, Danish, Dutch and German troops were also involved in the peacekeeping operation. A further 25,000 NATO troops, mostly Canadians, along with some American special forces, were sent to help the British at the Northern Line and prevent the infected breaking through.
With the Army overstretched and morale at an all time low, the government ordered the troops remaining in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lancashire to retreat north to the "Northern Line" which was almost ready. The troops reluctantly followed their orders to abandon Manchester, Leeds and Hull, although 600 troops stationed in York refused to leave and abandon the city.
By the 1st of October, the remaining citizens in Manchester were struggling to survive as law and order broke down with the departure of the army and most of the police, and the power and water services were all failing. Shops were looted and armed gangs sized some shops and petrol stations. The next day, the infected entered the almost undefended city, overrunning the mostly civilian defences. Similar situations began to occur in major cities south of the Northern Line, with the exception of the cities on the south coast of England, which were still very well defended and due to their proximity to mainland Europe, were receiving humanitarian aid first. As the 5th of October drew near, the counties of Yorkshire and Durham had been overrun, with Middlesbrough and Darlington having fallen to the infected. Two days after Middlesbrough fell, the infection finally reached the northern line. The Army's fighting retreat northwards over the previous two weeks had allowed time for the Northern Line to be finished, and over half the British Army (what was left of it) was on this line. A gigantic minefield had been planted from coast to coast and artillery, both heavy and light, backed by RAF jets and choppers, and Royal Navy ships guns along the coastal areas all contributed to the defence of the Northern Line.
At 5:07 PM, 13th October, the Battle of the Northern Line started. Hundreds of thousands of infected were making their way at the defenders. An hour later, Carlisle was overrun, although British forces counter-attacked soon afterwards and wiped out the infected, recapturing the town. The infected smashed through defences in Sunderland seven hours after the battle began, and were just a few miles outside Newcastle, where the government had relocated to after London fell.At 1:30 AM the next morning, South Shields was abandoned by the Army, who retreated back across the River Tyne, where the Eastern part of the Northern Line was mainly situated. After the infected reached Gateshead an hour later, all bridges across the Tyne were blown up. The Royal Artillery was hammering the infected, who could not get across the river. Tens of thousands were killed, and thousands more died as RAF Tornadoes swooped in for the kill. By 9:00 AM, over 80,000 infected who had tried (and failed) to get into Newcastle lay dead on the banks of the Tyne. The Army crossed the river by boat and chopper soon afterwards and destroyed any infected stragglers. South Shields and Gateshead were rapidly retaken, although both had been utterly destroyed by the artillery and air strikes. Similar situations were reported all across the Northern Line, as the Army, now battle-hardened and experienced, and now reinforced by NATO troops, manage to halt the infected attempts to cross the Line.
Within 32 hours of the first infected attack on the Northern Line, over 500,000 infected in total had been killed, with only 603 British soldiers and 258 NATO peacekeepers dead. It was proclaimed by the Prime Minister Tony Blair as: "Our first major victory over the infected." He also went on to praise Britain's armed forces and the public for their resilience in "this time of fear and uncertainty."
The infected had been, at least for the moment, stopped dead in their tracks at the Northern Line, however, chaos still raged everywhere south of that line, with the exception of the established safe zones protected by British and other NATO troops, those safe zones being Portsmouth, Plymouth, Southampton, Isle of Wight, Dover and Dartmouth. Re-inforcements did not reach the safe zone at Brighton in time, and the city fell in a matter of hours. More and more fortifications were being established around these safe cities, and the NATO military command for Southern England set up its HQ in Newport, Isle of Wight.The town of Hastings on the South Coast, made famous during one of England's most historic and important battles in 1066 AD, was about to witness another battle, equally, if not more bloody than that a thousand years previous. An Army battalion was tasked with defending the town, and the world's media was allowed to film, although they had choppers standing by to get out of there in case the infected overrun the troops. The government, seeing the morale boost in the north of the country after the Northern Line Victory, decided the south needed a morale boost, too - if the "war" - as many were calling it - were to be turned around. And what better a place than Hastings for the British Army to win ? At 6:15 AM, 16th October, the infected attacked. The landmines/claymores that had been set up around the outskirts killed hundreds of infected, but still more came. The troops held their ground, all the while the battle was being broadcast live on every major TV station on the planet. The machine gun posts set up on Bohemia Road and Queens Road fired hundreds of thousands of rounds, and snipers in nearby buildings got their share of kills, too. No heavy artillery was used as to preserve the town. (destroying towns did not look good to the rest of the world, or the British public for that matter).
Some light artillery was allowed in less built up areas, with mortar teams killing several hundred infected. Apache attack choppers flew low and fast with their mini-guns, slaughtering hundreds more. The soldiers began to push forward - and so did the infected - and they actually seemed to be gaining ground. Three hours after the battle started, more than 8000 infected lay dead in and around Hastings, and less and less infected were trying to get in. By 10:00 AM, the Second Battle of Hastings was declared a victory for the British Military, and the Government got their propaganda - they called it a morale boost they so badly needed.