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Incident Report Follow Up 13

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Agent/Witness: A

Base: Theodore, Alabama

Date/Time: June 30, 2004

Incident: I'm late in finishing my report, but I'll be concise.

We had been following a series of investigations of increased zombie activity in the rural area outside of Theodore, Alabama. These incidents are all well documented. The trend in these incidents shows a decreased time for viral gestation, leading to a zombie less encumbered by decay. We didn't notice at the time, but in reviewing my reports it seems obvious now. Attacks on animals increased in frequency, even on faster animals such as dogs.

Theodore has plenty of
wooded areas for zombies to hide.

Had we made this connection, my team might still be alive.

My reports leave off as we were investigating reports of an "intoxicated man" and several dog mauling instances. This was in the vicinity of many of our previous cases, so we proceeded with our typical amount of caution.

It's been almost a decade, so the details are vague. The outline of what happened is as follows:

- Follow tracks back into wood-line, encounter zero zombies.
- Double back and split into two groups of three.
- Team B moves approximately two hundred meters to the south of Team A.
- Both teams continue parallel for several hundred meters, veering to the southwest of the initial farm.
- Team B makes radio contact. Message is: "Small shamble, fifty meters. Two, possibly three zombs. Will engage."
- Make our way towards Team B. Hear gunshots.
- Team B makes radio contact. Message is: "No -break- don't come -break- sh(??) -break- don't come -break- (??)garbled(??)-end message-"
- Reach Team B's last known location, negative contact. Hear more gunshots to the south. Pursue.

At this point we are literally running through the trees, yelling for Team B. We get no response, but can hear small arms fire and shotguns. We hear a loud scream, followed by two gunshots, and then silence.

We keep running, losing breath. U1 is ahead of me, and trips over what might have been an exposed root. He loses his balance and falls, sliding down the edge of a ditch we had not seen. U2 follows after him, and I stop to catch my breath and survey the surroundings.

Had I not stopped I wouldn't be here to report this. The zombies were so fast, there was nothing we could do. U1 was mobbed before he regained his footing, and U2 attempted to retreat back up the hill but was taken by a group of several zombies. I opened fire, expending all five rounds from my shotgun before turning to run.

I got lost in the woods and ran for hours. The zombies chased me. Eventually I made my way back to the road and followed it to the initial farm. The house had been attacked, and zombies were obviously still inside. I got in the van and fled the scene. I was pursued up the road for approximately a quarter mile, and observed well preserved zombies moving at a full sprint.

I ended up flipping the van three miles down the road. I remained conscious and suffered only minor injuries, but was forced to call for a ride and run an additional two miles to stay ahead of the stagger, which I believed to be still in pursuit.

I was picked up by our contact in the Sheriff's department, and we discussed the events of the evening. We decided that the only course of action was to set fire to the entire section of woods and clear off the remaining zombies as they fled the flames. We did a controlled burn to minimize any collateral damage, and also to disguise our activities. Controlled burns are common in the area.

The process took days, during which we destroyed dozens of zombies. We didn't encounter any as fresh or fast as the zombies that had destroyed my team, which leads me to believe that this condition is unique to zombies freshly turned by the strain with accelerated incubation.

After the operation was complete I walked into the Army Recruiter's office on Airport Boulevard and signed up. I was shipped off to Ft. Benning, Georgia, for Infantry Basic Training less than a week later. I did a tour in Iraq, and in Europe. I'm out now, and have a family. I'm out of the zombie hunting business, though I do keep my home well stocked with weapons, gear, and supplies.

It has taken me this long to come to terms with the horrific events of that nights. The FVZA lost five great Agents, and I lost five great friends. Their names will be withheld, due to the nature of their deaths, but I ask that your thoughts go out to them. I still blame myself for not doing more to help them, but I'm currently being treated for PTSD—both from the war in Iraq, and the war against the zombies—and I'm told that this kind of guilt can only hinder my recovery.

That's why I've come back, all these years later, to recount the story of that tragic night. Hopefully this report will shed some light on the mutative nature of the virus. Maybe this information can save some lives. They would have wanted it that way.

This is Agent A, signing off. Stay strong, Agents.

Comments from Dr. Pecos: Thanks for the update. Believe me, I understand the reality of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In my day, we had a different expression for it. When an agent started to lose his nerve, we'd say that he had "gone to Pluto." That meant that mentally, he was somewhere else: somewhere far away. I wish we could have availed ourselves of the mental health resources of today. I still have nightmares that are so vivid, I wake up convinced that it's the 1950s and I'm still an agent.

As for the zombies you describe, they seem like early-stagers. Are they coordinated in their movements? The early-stage zombies I dealt with were swift and fairly agile, but a little disoriented (imagine being chased by an athletic, drunk man.) Are you near any military bases? I've long been worried about complications from military testing on viruses.

Best wishes to you in the future and keep us posted on any developments.

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