Dr. Prof. Anton Zimmermann's research logs
A dusty folder is laying on an empty lab table. It appears to be held together mostly by ductape and paper clips. The title "Dr. Prof. Anton Zimmermann" is written on the cover with a thick marker. You open the folder and tons of sticky notes and unledgable research papers slide out onto the table. The first paper you see seems to be a personal file.
Name: Dr. Prof. Anton Zimmermann
Date of Birth: 07.08.1946
Place of Birth: Berlin, Germany
Education: Doctor of Medicine
Occupation details: Dr. Prof. Anton Zimmermann joined the LVU on 01.01.1990. He is tutoring micro biologie and is the head of biological research.
Personality details: Many students report anger issues regarding ANY critisism on his research. Dr. Zimmermann is prone to sudden burst of rage. He has been warned several times by the head councler but we cant let him go as he is one of the best researchers in his field.
Before the breakout
Its been a week since I had to evacuate Louisville. I don’t get why they told me to leave. I am an expert in this field. With me as the lead researcher, the flu would have been cured in a day but they couldn’t handle my tamper. I wonder how much progress they made. Its been awfully quite and the media hasn’t reported on the status of the flu I days. How I know Richard, he is probably at the end of his knowledge and regrets sending me off. Why would he do that anyway? My way of working might be a bit … unorthodox but at least I get shit done!
I am currently staying in a shady motel in Riverside. The change of senary helps me to organize my thoughts and ideas. I took the freedom to modify the Motel TV and was able to listen in on a couple of military channels. It seems like the government doesn't know how to act. They locked of Louisville completely and don’t let anyone in OR out. If I remember correctly, the flu can only affect you, if you somehow get in contact with the body fluids of an infected individual. Why would they lock down the city then? I have this gut feeling, that all of this is a much bigger issue then the government tells us. Ill keep my eyes and ears open for any further transmissions. No one tells Anton Zimmermann to “take a vacation” or “keep his nose out of the research”. Who do they think I am?
Oktober; One month after the breakout
I knew it! They fucked up! The flu, or rather virus, is out of control. I overheard a military transmission stating that Louisville has been overrun and the gates to the city have been breached. Its only a matter of time until the infected arrive here. Ill better get my truck running and get the hell out of Kentucky before its too late.
I managed to leave Riverside but all the roads up east are closed. The virus is far worse then I expected. People are going crazy. I had to bash some heads in with a pipe-wrench I found, while filling my tank at the gas station, south of Riverside. Some crazy guy even tried to rob me so I ran Into the woods to hide. How could this escalate so quickly? If I had been involved in the research, this would not have happened. But that's there problem now. Ill try to get as much usefull stuff, from these warehouses close by, as possible. “Jeder ist sich selbst der Nächste” as my mother used to say.
With a loaded backpack and some decent weapons I made my way north to a small farm house. With the food I gathered, Ill be able to survive on my own for a bit. I also got my hands on some medical supplies. Cutting up one of these infected felt good. Like in the good old days before I had to move to the US. With a bit of luck and a couple of willing test subjects, I might be able to cure this virus myself. Luckily I met just the right test subject. A guy named Wolfgang Star set up camp in the farmhouse right next to mine. He seems like a O.K. dude but he doesn't seem that intelligent. I am used to low IQ people around me so it doesn't bother me as long as he keeps his hands away from my supplies.
November; Two months after the breakout
Only a couple of days after settling inside this dusty old farmhouse, I received a transmission from a guy named Dr. Connor Dune. As he was a fellow scientist, I figured it would be in my best interest to meet up with him in person to discuss his progress on virus research. His horrible sense of direction led to me driving the completely wrong way at first, until I found out where he lived. His base of operation was a mansion at the Westpoint lake. As we started talking over a cup of coffee, I noticed that we had a lot of things in common. Connor offered me to stay at his house, so we could assist each other in the research process. Sure enough, I drove back to Riverside to grab all the supplies I had left and moved in with him.
Shortly after claiming my room upstairs, I managed to reach someone over my radio. I had been looking for a generator magazine for a while now, as we needed electricity to keep our food fresh and any potential medication cooled. The guy I managed to reach was named Samuel Adams, I think. We agreed to meet up at MacCoys, north from Muldraugh, as Adams lived in Rosewood, which was quite a while away from Westpoint. The trade went thru smoothly and Connor and I where able to get some more supplies from the MacCoy warehouses. Back home I met Shaman, Connors neighbor. Shaman is an excellent mechanic. He seemed a good fit for our group so we offered him to join the house, which he did. The three of us would end up being a good team. Finally some intellectual people around me.
I went out of town for a bit and as I returned home, I found Shaman struggling to fit all the ammunition he found onto our shelf. While I was gone, he made a trip to the LV boarder and found tons of ammo and some guns. He got hurt pretty badly on his trip but I was able to patch him up. Connor and Shaman left to get some spare parts for our car, while I tried to contact a carpenter. We needed a wall around our front yard to keep sneaky burglars from stealing our cars and for an extra layer of safety. I was able to reach a guy named Les, but an oncoming storm fucked with the signal so I lost the connection. Luckily, a girl named Abigail appeared in front of our house that night. As it was a cold night outside and the storm kept getting worse, I let her inside to warm up over a cup of coffee. We talked for a while and she told me, that she was in fact a carpenter. I offered her to stay and work for us for a bit but also told her, that I needed to discuss this with Connor and Shaman first. I gave her a walki talki and told her to keep in touch with me, so I could contact her if Connor and Shaman returned.
Shortly after Abigail left, Connor and Shaman returned with our white pickup truck. I could not believe it was our old one as Shaman repaired it back to look as good as new. He really outdid himself on that one! I told them about Abigail and the offer I made her. Connor seemed to agree with me thou Shaman wasn't to keen of this idea. He thought this coincident was just to good to be true. Under normal circumstances I would agree with Shaman but winter kept creeping closer and we did not have enough time to learn carpentry our self. I radioed Abigail and she arrived shortly after. We talked for a bit, gave her the keys to our house and she began with construction. It is rare to see such a hard working carpenter.
While Abigail was working and Connor left to get more planks, I had plans to visit the Westpoint pharmacy to hopefully find the lab equipment I needed. Sadly I had no luck in finding any flasks and test tubes but a near by food market had boxes of canned veggies in the back storage so at least I would not return empty handed. As I drove by a the gas station, I saw a jeep parking. I stopped to say hello and met three other survivors. One woman introduced herself as Clare, a fellow doctor, the other girl was named Hazel. Sadly I forgot the name of the third person but he was affiliated with them. Clare and I had a quick chat about our research. She told me she had a group of 17 survivors back in Riverside and that her research progress was also held back by a lack of lab equipment and asked me, if I could lend her some of our virology books. I agreed and took them back to our base.
As we arrived, Abigail had just finished with the walls. Connor and Shaman where outside, inspecting our cars. We chatted for a bit and I gave Clare my books. She told me, she would return the favor by borrowing us the books she had. They left shortly after. As we continued our wall construction and went inside for dinner, we heard a honking outside. Clare and Hazel had returned with the books. As I was flipping thou the pages, Clare asked us to promises her, that we would share our research progress with her. The way she asked this favor send a weird chill down my spine. Of course I would share my progress! I want to help the people out there by finding a cure but dose she want the same? Are we just a helpful tool to her? Clare also told us about her plan of raiding the LV hospital for the necessary lab equipment. When we offered her our help, she denied, saying this task was purely a mission for her people. Again, this statement was kind of contradicting to her asking us to share our progress. I returned her the books and they left shortly after.
It was already late but Connor, Shaman and I had something to discuss. We sat in the back yard and thought about how we could raid the hospital. It would be necessary to do it the next day, as we didn’t want to risk Clare and her Riverside group to grab all the flasks and test tubes for themselves. Connor told us that he had a plan but it we where getting pretty tiered so we decided to further discuss our plans the next day. I hope its not to late for us to get the supplies and I also worry about our friends from Riverside. They did not seem like they could face these masses of undead by themselves but could we? I guess we will find that out tomorrow...
December; Three months after the outbreak
Shortly after my encounter with the Riverside people, I met another group called the Outpost. There leader Samuel came to visit me with two of his friends Kevin and Nina. They offered me to join them and keep me safe from the bandits and cannibals all around LV and Westpoint. As I am not very handy with any guns, I thought about joining them for my own well being as an attack by an outside group would get me killed very fast. This was not a decision I could make by myself tho as I didn't want to leave Connor, Shaman and Abigail alone. I thought it would be a good Idea to at least check out the Outpost and get a better feeling for the people there. So I drove with them.
Seeing the Outpost in all his glory, I was taken aback at the sheer amounts of resources they had at there disposal. With all of the stuff they had, it would be a breeze for me to make progress on my research. I told Samuel about my decision to join, only if my friends where allowed there two. He agreed and I drove back to Westpoint to ask the others about my idea. At first Connor and Shaman where septic but they told me they would meet me at the Outpost a couple of days later and that I was free to join them. So I did. I loaded up all my research equipment and drove all the way from Westpoint back to the Outpost. It was quite a journey but in the end, I made it. Its a miracle that the trailer survived it all the way there.
I spend the first couple of day at the Outpost getting to know more people and setting up all the equipment I needed for my research. All went fine until I heard a familiar voice over the radio. It was Clare. She wanted to get her hands on my research papers. This concerned me as I was not at the stage of sharing my work, and giving it to her at this point could lead to more trouble then good. I was also worried that she might not have any use for me after I gave her my papers, so I told Samuel about the entire situation. He didn’t seem happy about me causing the Outpost trouble within the first week of living there but he agreed to keep me safe. Samuel, Kevin and another guy from the Outpost named Brennan drove off to meet Clare in Riverside. On the way there I told Kevin and Brennan about my situation. They seemed understanding but deep down I began to feel guilt building up. I made a promise to Clare after all. Even if I didn’t know her intentions, I still had an honor to keep. But it was just too dangerous. No one could know how good or bad my research was at that time. Only I knew the risks of handing over my work. So when we stood in front of Clare, I had no other choice then to tell her that I broke the promises. To keep things simple, lets just say she was not very pleased with my choice. I was glad we were able to leave alive and in one piece. On the drive home, I felt horrible. If I haven't made myself a target already, now I knew I definitely had now.
I spend the following days in the Outposts safehouse, reading and writing notes. It would be a long way till I would be able to make a working vaccine and I needed to work as fast and efficient as possible. Connor, Shaman and Abigail showed up to the Outpost the other day. While Abi saw the potential of this place and agreed to join us, Shaman and Connor didn't seem to get along with Samuel to well. I talked to them and tried to convince them to stay but it was to no avail. Shaman and Connor said there farewells and left only a day later. I hope they will do alright on there own. I wont forget them and I hope they wont forget about me.
The Outpost’s carpenters Liam and Robbert build my Lab faster then I would have expected. They really outdid themselves on that one. I even have flowing water and enough space to work and research. I began making as many flask and test tubes as possible to ensure a good supplie of them. I also went on a little purge with Nina, well Nina did most of the work shooting and I collected samples but nonetheless it was pretty thrilling. At some point, I was worried as Nina wondered off quite a bit and the only sound I could here was the blasting of a shotgun and the loud bang of a revolver. She returned safely after a couple of hours with a lot more blood samples then I was able to collect. On our way back, she asked me to not tell anyone of her fighting capability. I promised to keep quite about it. A promise I would not break.
As the days kept getting colder I was happy to be at the Outpost. It is probably one of the most secure places in Kentucky you could stay at. I could focus completely on the vaccine production, which came along quite well. Sam asked me to hand in a written report every now and then to keep him updated. I understand his concern. I joined the Outpost without any real advancements on my project and he wanted to know if me staying there was worth the trouble that I could cause. To his delight, I handed in the report on the same day and was even able to show him a vaccine prototype I made. It was not very potent at the time but it was a start. With this vaccine prototype in my hands things could only get better from there. Or so I thought.
In that night while I was asleep, Kevin took his life. I knew something was wrong with him a couple of days earlier. The sheer amount of pills he took the days before had me worried anyways. Now he is gone. I guess he couldn't handle the pressure. Who am I to blame him for it tho. The next bad news was even more devastating. Sam had some health issues a while ago but after some tests I ran on him, I found out the origin of his declining health state. Sam had an early stage of liver cancer. Breaking the news to him made me feel even worse then before. The look in his eyes changed as soon as the message left my lips. At least he has a couple of months left, before he would inevitably die from the cause. I tried cheering him up but to no avail. Some things are just better kept quite about. I don't think Sam ever told anyone about it. I wouldn't tell anyone ether. Why would I? There is already enough bad news out there. So might as well keep my mouth shut.
January went by in what felt like a week. I focused all my work effort on the vaccine and was able to make a better, more potent version of it. Its still far from a working cure but its better then dying. Who would have known that I would have to test it sooner then I hoped.
The other day, I was stopped in my work by a loud explosion. At first, I toughed someone might have breached the outer walls of the Outpost but as I approached the front gates, I saw the cause of the explosion. A fucking helicopter crashed 50 meters from out outer gates. At that time almost everyone was gone scavenging besides me and Liam. As we tried fending of the hoards of undead attracted by the loud noise, Liam seemed to be much more distressed then I was. Have I already become desensitized by all the infected I hat to cut open? I tried calming him down and we watched the heli wrack from the walls, in case any other survivors would appear from the shadows. When the sun came up again, Nina went out and towed the heli into our compound. I have to give her my fullest respect. I never thought it would be possible to tow such a huge thing.
As the day went by, people came and went to the outpost. I was never good at remembering faces and names. A guy known as Road Worrier joined our group around that time. His real name was Rick and he was the leader of a gang in Raven Creek, which got disbanded due to the sheer amount of infected roaming the area. From all I heard, Raven Creek was almost as bad as Louisville, which in and of itself sounds like hell to me. I am glad he joined us. He seems like a guy, capable of defending the Outpost from intruders.
Besides from other people joining and leaving, not a lot happened in January, until my vaccine was finally needed for testing. Nina returned bitten from one of her supplie runs. With no time to waste, I gave her one of my early stage vaccines. It wouldn't be able to cure her but at least she would live for a bit longer, until I could giver her the working vaccine. She trusts me more then I would in this situation but what other options dose she have? It is on me to help her and I promised her that she will survive. Yet another promise, I could not guarantee to keep. Why do I keep making such bold promises? At least she seems a lot more calm, knowing I am working on a cure for her. I just hope, she will survive long enough to see it working.