Life in a Yellow Zone

"Karen, no!"

Darien suddenly woke up, drenched in sweat. He dream't of Karen again. He knew he wouldn't be able to forget it, ever. Goddamn it. How long was it? About three years, he reckoned. Three years since that fateful day. Karen was playing outside the house at the time. The tiberium saw her, and she saw it too. All green, and shiny, and glowing, unlike anything she had ever seen before. Innocently, like all average 4 year old children would do, she walked towards the field. Darien, only 12 years old at the time, was leaving the house, going to the water tank to get some water. He too was young, but he was already old enough to know what a mortal danger tiberium was. He screamed in terror when he saw his little sister, happily playing with the green crystals. He yelled for her to get back to the house, and Karen did. He remembers thinking, "Please God, please..." But it was too late. Horrified, he saw his little sister vomit a yellow-greenhish flow of puke. It glowed, showing her fate was sealed.

The next thirteen days were hell. Karen got sicker and sicker, as tiberium spread trough her like an infection, growing, feeding off her defenseless body. Darien's parents tried taking her to the refugee camp's medical post, run by GDI. But as soon as they heard the word "tiberium", they backed off her. They were thrown out at gunpoint by the scared GDI medical staff. Having lost all hope, they took her home... and waited for the end. On the fifth day, Karen started to have problems talking, her voice getting raspy as tiberium spread to her vocal cords. Her eyes started to get green, and by the ninth day, her tears, wich, in horrible pain, she shed constantly, started to flow green. In the end, all that was left of her was a mix of tiberium and horribly mutated flesh. She became a visceroid.

Not long after that, GDI evacuated their people out of Greenville, leaving all the civilians behind. Abandoning them to their fate. Darien ran away from his haunted home and family about a week later. Desperate and grieving, he joined the endless flow of tiberium refugees going east, fleeing from the ever expanding tiberium. From the ground, he saw the GDI Orca transports carrying soldiers, guns, or the few people who were lucky enough to reach an airfield not yet abandoned by GDI. One day, he saw one of the transports go down, crashing behind a berm nearby. After two hours of walking, his barefooted feet bleeding from the rocks and shell casings, he reached the crash site, hoping to find some food, or water. Among the burned bodies of the passengers, he saw someting different, but equally precious: a gun. In this case, a GDI Mark II assault rifle. He picked it up, putting the rifle on is back, and picked up a bandoleer containing a few rounds. It was the first gun he ever had. Barely did he knew it would be the first of many. He booted it back to the blown out road and kept walking east. Blown out tanks and APC's were visible in the landscape, and a few burned out cars were scattered along the now unused road. The remaints of a once prosperous american life, now destroyed by tiberium and war, seemed to taunt him as he walked up the road. He eventually reached an old sign, saying: "Harrisburg, 3 miles"

He finnally arrived at Harrisburg in mid-October 2034, a 13 year old boy with an assault rifle in his skinny hands, starved like hell. He was stunned by what he saw. Whatever remaining order the city had when GDI was present had disapeared when they moved out to the Blue Zones. Harrisburg, once inhabited by some 5.000 people, seemed to be home to about ten times that number, with the city having descended into complete anarchy. Between the blasted, bombed buildings, firefights between numerous factions, trying to take over the ruins of the city, could be heard. Tiberium was still far from the city, but not far enough the weather wasn't affected by it. The once prosperous farmland surrounding the city had turned into a desert, devoid of life, and the once blue sky was filled with strange, almost dust-like yellow clouds. Harrisburg consisted of the city center, bombed beyond recognition during the Second Tiberium War, made of a cross shaped speedway with a few side streets leading out of it, and the slums, a ring of shacks and tents surrounding Harrisburg proper.