Velma Dinkley's Journal, April 2, 2009

The First Outbreak, in China, was one of the worst. Traffic jams, panicked mobs… most of the deaths were probably caused by panic, that's what I usually hear what happened during the outbreaks… they awakened to a nightmare.

The creatures. They were stronger then. There were pictures of the earlier cases. I hope that kind never appears again. Savage, strong, maliciously intelligent, cadavers possessed by an elemental hate, the black ooze pouring from their openings. The virus was horrible then, passed from people to people by breath droplets swimming in the air, or hand prints on doorknobs.

Tianjing… the police got it together in the end. The military found them later, holed up in a central police station. Hundreds of them, citizens and policemen. But when they had crowded there to get away from the beasts, they put them in a worse position. The People's Army found them blackened with infected oil, their eyes glistening with hunger to shred skin and break bones.

The Chinese were never good at quarantines. Tianjing went down in a day. The entire province, a day. The creatures moved faster then. But some of the infected were able to get on planes, and they left to bring the curse to other places across China. The cities of Kunming, Changsha, Harbin, and Zhangjiajie fell to the plague in the evening; most had gotten very little news of what was happening in Tianjing. There was no warning… what could they do?

It was the worst time. The beginning of the collapse.

Coolsville, Ohio hadn't been hit first, but it had been hit hard. Being just within easy driving distance of Akron had seemed convenient when there weren't zombies roaming around, but now the undead swarmed in, eager to feed on the families who had stubbornly refused to evacuate. The hospital had an influx of people who were showing up with bite marks before the news in China had gotten out. They had been treated and sent home, or kept overnight if the bite looked too serious. Within twenty-four hours, the virus had done its work, and the hospital had to be barricaded from the outside by the Ohio National Guard. Meanwhile, the local police, Shaggy's father included, were rounding up families in the city that had remained in their homes. A quarantine area went up in the middle of the city where the hospital was, and the quiet city of Coolsville was disturbed long into the night with the sounds of gunfire and screams.

By a lucky streak, the Mystery, Inc. crew had been home on break from college. When the quarantine went up, we headed out in the Mystery Machine to help move women and children away from the danger zone, into the ranks of the National Guard. Soon, though, the streets were empty, save for the few straggling undead that had somehow escaped the quarantine.

But numbers would avail the walking dead. No one could have predicted the influx of fresh, shambling zombies from the surrounding cities. As the National Guard tried vainly to keep the zombies in, more were coming across the borders from Akron, Columbus, and Cleveland. Soon, the idyllic city would be awash in flames, screams, and gunfire.

We all banded together to try and aid the people we knew and loved. Scooby Doo proved to be invaluable, his keen nose smelling the infection on the ones who had been bitten. The gang had hated to leave behind so many, but we had already reached the van's capacity by the time we had reached the halfway point of the city.

We had set up a safe way point for ourselves between the evacuation site and the areas where the National Guard still operated in pockets around the city. Using our rather sturdy van, we were able to move pretty freely through the area, grabbing survivors off rooftops and second floor windows and carting them to the relative safety of the evacuation site. The zombies were a relative scarcity in the city proper still, but there were still a few large groups gathered around the survivors, obviously. For those we could not save, all we could do was pass out bottled water and food rations and tell them that we would swing around again. we were lying, although we didn't know it at the time. Soon enough the suburban paradise's infrastructures began to crumble as more zombies began to pour in. Humanity began to succumb to the virus, little by little, until the police and the National Guard began to try and evacuate the citizens en masse to shelters set up out of the white zones.

Shaggy's father had been bitten during one of these evacuations, saving a young woman by throwing her aside as a shambling corpse grabbed her long hair. He sustained a bite on the shoulder, but was able to hide it under his riot gear for a long while. He couldn't hide it from Scooby Doo for long, though. When the formerly gentle Great Dane smelled the rotting wound, he went nearly insane, growling and barking and snarling and placing his big body in between Samuel Rogers and his family, especially Shaggy and his sister, Maggie.

Shaggy sent his mother and sister to the evacuation pad, telling them it would be safest for them there. He couldn't know he was wrong. He didn't know that the evacuation sites had been overrun. By staying with his father, he had unwittingly saved his own life and the life of his friends, but he had doomed his family.

It wasn't long before the fever set in, arcing high enough to be fatal even without the deadly bite, and Samuel was soon lost in delirium, his face going pale and his eyes showing signs of jaundice as his liver and kidneys began to fail. Rank with sweat and bile, his death was not something to be witnessed.

Shaggy witnessed it. So did I. Fred had taken Daphne to the other room. Still a gentle soul, she didn't handle the stress of the infection well. To put it mildly, zombies scared the bejeezus out of her. I stayed with Shaggy those last few hours. I held his hand, and I was the one to tell him his dad had finally passed away.

I will never forget the first gunshot I ever heard. I was little, and my uncle had taken my dad and I hunting. I was really there to watch the animals, so the roar of the rifle ripping through the air startled me to the point of crying.

When Shaggy pulled the trigger of the pistol that splattered his father's brains all over the basement wall, the silencer muted the blast. All there was to mark the passing of Samuel Rogers was the soft pak of a bullet.

We soon realized we couldn't hold out much longer. Our CB radio that Fred recently installed in the Mystery Machine wasn't picking up any signals. Radio silence was a bad thing. We had to move, and soon.

Coolsville, Ohio, was now a part of the largest white zone in the Eastern United States.

A/N: For those of you expecting another shot of Obeisance or Aquila today, here's something a little different I've been working on. AUs fascinate me, and I really wanted to do something as a palette cleanser. So I took this old rough out of storage and polished them up. Hopefully you'll be as entertained as I hope you will. This ain't your daddy's Scooby Doo, for sure. As always, thanks for reading!