10 August 2012

Zombies in Hamburg: A little thought experiment part 2

In the last post I started the little Gedankenspiel on how a supernatural reanimation of corpses to zombies here in my home-city of Hamburg would play out, which can be useful as a backdrop for a role-playing campaign. Let's keep this show going by moving on to the next stage of the infestation of the now spreading Z and the finally reacting government agencies from outside the city.

So, let's see of things are going to turn out...

Generation 6

Wednesday, 7:38 AM. The tired and exhausted police were forced to retreat and instead of hemming in the Z, they are now defending enclaves of people lucky enough to be inside them. People have built barricades like the city hasn't seen them since the attempted revolutions during late World War I, whilst the Z are reanimating and murdering themselves through the rest of the urban sprawl. Churches and mosques are fortified from within, as are a lot of apartment-blocks. Some people who have been barricaded since Monday start to get really hungry. But help is on the way. A contingent of the Bundeswehr is approaching from the East, packing mostly anti-riot and disaster-relief equipment. As communication between the entrenched police and the military leadership establishes the Crazy Shit that is happening, the troops quickly learn that their Klappspaten entrenching tool may be the best thing they brought along as the serrated edge can be helpful in hacking off limbs and heads. This isn't much of a relief for the inexperienced soldiers who are now sent in to fight the undead in close-quarters combat and as there is only about five hundred of them, they do not have too much of an impact on the slowly growing zombie population. Together, army, firefighters and the police which are still working and haven't gone AWOL, helped by volunteers, are vastly outnumbered by their relentless enemies. But it's a start. My girlfriend and I have by now left the car behind and are attempting to hike the seventy kilometers to my fathers place. Good luck to us, as we will grow tired eventually, while the Z don't. But then there is plenty of distractions for them... Also, the loss of family members may be too much for some people, as such some become easier prey for the Z or even go as far as comitting suicide in the light of the imminent apocalypse, leading to a continoous growth of the zombie ranks. Status:
Zombies animated: 144 000 - almost 10% of the city population!
Zombies destroyed: ~ 10 000, most by the police and fire-fighters in the city.
City population: 10% are zombies, 30% are on the run, the rest are hiding/barricaded in. Shit got real.

Generation 7

Wednesday, 9:23 PM. More groups of the army arrive, giving some relief to those fighting inside the barricaded areas of the city. After all, how many limbs can you hack off before you're physically and mentally exhausted? The emergency council in Berlin is discussing bullshit-ideas with no ground in reality because they are all politicians. A request by the minister of defense to drop napalm on the Z doesn't work because the German army has no napalm. The idea to use one of the nuclear weapons lent to the German army by the United States is infeasible, especially as the situation is not yet legally declared a war by parliament. In the city, desperate mobs of angry people gang up on zombies, cutting them apart with kitchen utensils and gardening-equipment whenever they can vastly outnumber them. The zombies are starting to lose their momentum as the resistance against them grows more organized and better informed. Streams of refugees leave the city, aided by the THW people working overtime. The fact that the countrys largest sea-port hasn't been operational for over two days now is starting to be felt throughout the economy in the rest of the country, stock-prices for German companies plummet. In the rest of the world, every religious fanatic on every single continent tries to interpret the situation in favor of their belief. A lot of people are confused that this is happening in Hamburg, not in, say Gods Chosen Country (which is of course defined differently for different people) or a more sinful place such as Bangkok or Amsterdam. Status:
Zombies animated: 212 000 - growth is slowing.
Zombies destroyed: ~ 60 000, the people are fighting back and the army is here now.
City population: about half the people have fled the city by now, the rest is adamant on staying or too deeply entrenched to leave anyways...

Generation 8

Friday, 11:15 AM. After five days of anyone who dies coming back as a murdering, undying monster, the city is exhausted. A loosely organized militia is fighting alongside the police, firefighters and soldiers while more and more people realize that there is nothing like this happening and are trying to get out of the city on foot or by raft on the river, as the streets are clogged with left-behind cars where the THW hasn't cleared them for their own relief-trucks. The emergency staff in Berlin is mostly busy keeping other nations which are, as everyone around the globe, watching videos leaked from the disaster area, from attacking Hamburg with heavy weaponry, especially nuclear solutions. It is by now clear though, that the phenomenon is local and apparently not a spreading disease. People do need convincing though. More forces have gotten into the city, by now the six or seven thousand active police officars and firefighters are supported by a militia of about ten thousand and roughly eight thousand troops. More are being mobilized in South Germany. The zombie spread is severely slowed down as fewer people die now that the first shock is over and everything is getting organized. Status:
Zombies animated: 300 000 - the city has now lost almost ten times as many lives than during Operation Gomorrha in World War II.
Zombies destroyed: 150 000 - more of them being killed than resurrect by now.
City population: Only a third remain - and they are preparing to leave by now.

Generation 9

Sunday, 7:48 AM. After a long night of debating, the emergency staff in Berlin and on the ground in Hamburg agree that it is necessary to evacuate the remaining population from the city, as it is by now clear that there is a circle of about thirty km radius centered on the Alster lake in the city center, where dead vertebrates reanimate and become shambling killers. The army and THW start forming a plan to get the remaining people out of the city, by now there is also support from neighboring EU countries arriving, the Dutch, Danish, Polish and French armies offering their support. A plan is made to evacuate the zone and then set up a perimeter around it to keep the Z inside and living things from entering it. Inside the city, the evacuation is being prepared, which ironically leads to some people returning into the city to get personal things they may have left behind on their initial escape, thinking they'd eventually return here. The long-term repercussions for the German and global economy are starting to be felt on the stock markets around the world, as this is a large scale disaster hitting an industrialized nation with hundreds of thousands of people dead. Status:
Zombies animated: 330 000
Zombies destroyed: 220 000
City population: Twenty percent are still there. Refugee camps around the city are overflowing and the lack of tents and housing is a huge problem.


A circular zone is established, first with a chain-link fence of about 180 km length around the city and, on long-term, probably a re-routing of the Elbe-river to go around the zone. The comparison to the former inner-German border is made by the press but there isn't much to be done. The fence, heavily guarded, is used to prevent zombies from wandering out and animals from wandering into the now evacuated zone, while there are still refugees coming out for months and there are even smugglers getting people in to find their stuff and/or loot unclaimed property in there. Some people even refuse to leave and hide in the vast urban area, living out their lives on vigilance from the undead still roaming the streets at night. Along the perimeter, major religions and small sects set up holy sites and camps to be close to the strange undeath-anomaly, each claiming it to be theirs. There are sometimes violent conflicts in between them. The huge stream of almost two million refugees is something that hasn't been seen since the end of World War II and most major urban centers grow over the following years, building new housing with funds from international disaster relief funds. The Alster lake is drained to discover what is in the center of the circle but that isn't the topic of this post.

Well... It's a rip in space-time that starts spewing cosmic horrors, Cthulhu and four-sided triangles, of course...

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