siafukira: (Default)
siafukira ([personal profile] siafukira) wrote2009-06-20 10:27 pm
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[ooc] timeline.

July 2003

The first outbreaks in China.

October 2003

L cooperates on the Warmbrunn-Knight report. Copies are circulated to the UN, as well as to individual governments and interested agencies such as the FBI and the Japanese NPA. The report is almost universally ignored.

November 2003

Before the war, there are always rumours of war, and the Zombie War is no different.

Israel is beginning to implement the Warmbrunn-Knight report, in utmost secrecy; the rest of the world is implementing sanctions against Israel, crying out against what it sees as genocide. Even when it's not known for what it is, the disease is terrifying.

In Japan, Light Yagami is routinely poking through new files on his father's work downlink - partly in preparation for his planned career, partly out of curiosity. One of the things he stumbles across is the NPA's copy of the WBK report. He's quick enough to parse its dense academic jargon at a glance, even in English. There are countless such reports floating around, and he's read most of the ones that come to the attention of the NPA. But something about that one strikes him as something that shouldn't be allowed to gather dust. He can't forget it. A day goes by, then two more, and then he starts looking for data to correlate with the report and its stark recommendations. He doesn't find much, but what he does find is enough to be alarming, and there's no sign that the report is being taken seriously by those with power.

His worries about the state of society and the world aren't eclipsed entirely, but he is preoccupied. It's that preoccupation, rather than mere boredom, that leads him to stare out of his classroom window on the 28th. He sees the book fall, and investigates it - but has other things to pay attention to, and doesn't get around to testing it. Tucked into the bottom of his schoolbag, it's forgotten. Until Ryuk shows up on schedule, five days later.

Knowing the book's power, and not trapped by it, Light hides it carefully, and adjusts to his invisible companion. He has no intention of ever, ever, ever using the evil thing - but he doesn't trust anyone else with it, either. And somewhere dark, somewhere that could so easily have made him a murderer, he doesn't want to part with it.

April 2004

Over the last five months, outbreaks have continued to grow in strength and number. China has shut itself up tightly, but can't stem the tide of refugees. South Africa and Israel have locked themselves up. The vast majority of the world still thinks this is just more media hype. Whoever really believes the end of the world is just around the corner? The fuzzy reports and videos on the Internet are fakes. The people fleeing - well, nobody really notices them.

Light starts university, right on schedule. He's graduated high school at the top of his year nationwide, dating girls here and there for appearances - nothing too serious or prolonged, controlling them with pinprick precision when they annoy him. Haunted as he is, he's withdrawn from his family and become more private, but not to the extent he does in canon. He has less to hide.

As for Ryuk, they've settled into a routine, of sorts - the book is hidden away as in canon, and Ryuk regularly attempts to tempt Light into using it. Light hands out apples, and works to maintain the shinigami's interest; to make it seem that one day, he might just use the Note. But in reality, he's confident he never will.

In comparison with the quick deterioration of the world, with the spread of "African rabies" around the planet, Light's old thoughts about the world rotting seem like ridiculous teenage angst. Already, the world of last year seems like a paradise.

June 2004

At the start of the month, the WHO declares "African rabies" to be a pandemic, and recommends a tightening of border controls. Island nations such as Japan, the United Kingdom and Madagascar isolate themselves altogether, sealing their borders, desperately scrabbling for self-sufficiency. The global economy is collapsing.

July 2004: The Great Panic.

The initial Japanese outbreak is in Kansai, at Sumitomo Hospital in Osaka. It spreads the next day to Nagoya and Kyoto, with a further outbreak on the east coast in Sendai, which spreads to Hirosaki, then across the water to Sapporo. The rumours are that the dead are walking; they're suppressed, and "business as usual" is maintained for as long as possible. Japan is essentially demilitarised; the defence forces are mobilised, but Japan's military is intended for short-term holding actions until the United States can assist, and they're not coming. With nothing but hand-to-hand combat in its path, the zombie horde is unstoppable. The nation collapses before it.

At the last minute, Dr Yukio Komatsu's report to the Diet declares Japan indefensible and recommends an evacuation; it also popularises the term "siafu" for the zombies, after the African driver ant[1]. The report is leaked a week before its publication, but its conclusions are not. Rumours hit, and panic. The evacuation proceeds over the next week, as power, communications and other infrastructure crumble. Evacuees from Kyushu are sent to South Korea; the rest go north to the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia. Everything that can fly or move over water is mobilised.  It's not nearly enough. While efforts are made to carry out the Komatsu Plan[2], it's impossible; every port and airport is jammed with fleeing people. And the zombies are closing in.

Out of a population of 127 million, in excess of fifty million succumb to the virus, and at least as many again die of deprivation during the Panic, in attempts to get to evacuation points, or of despair. During the crisis, Japan suffers a higher proportion of suicides than any other nation.

Too many in the emergency services and the defence forces have abandoned their posts, rushed to the sides of their families or tried to save their own skins. Soichiro uses his own position to the utmost to make sure that Sachiko, Light and Sayu are on one of the first ships leaving Yokohama, then stays behind to assist, dutiful to the end. Light argues furiously, and tries to stay to help as well; it's his first attempt at suicide through service. Soichiro exchanges the kai gunto he's been using for Light's santoku; without words, he hands over the position as head of the family, and the responsibility for Sachiko and Sayu.

Light never sees his father again.

The journey is beyond nightmare. The boats are overcrowded. There's food - everything that could be got to the transports was - but there's not enough medical care for the hundreds of thousands of shattered people being evacuated from the ruins of their world. For all that people know the siafu can't swim up from the ocean floor, they don't believe it. Everyone knows the checks for infected passengers were cursory, and nobody wants to sleep. Some of the boats in the convoy are taken over; everyone knows they could be next.

Kamchatka is windswept and wet. The camps are very, very basic, with far too much of the available effort having to go into fortifying and patrolling their boundaries. Most people arriving are traumatised, vulnerable to disease. Those who can work, do. Food is extremely scarce, carefully rationed; those who work get more, and it must be collected in person and eaten on the spot.

The checks on incomers are far more stringent than those on departure; it's an illogic, but it's simply easier to check on arrival. Light volunteers to assist; it's something to do (something, please, anything to occupy him, and the shinigami who's drawing far too much entertainment from his front-row seat for the end of everything). The people from the boats are unlikely to be infected, but those who are still flying in are a danger. There's a chance Light could be bitten, and if he is, he knows they'll kill him on the spot. This is his second attempt.

He knows he has a duty to his family, a duty just to survive when so many are dead. Yet part of him - a part that's larger some days than others - can't bear it. He wants the world he knew, and his home, and his boring classes and his family intact again. He wants his plan for his life back on track; he wants to not feel as if death is always one step in front of him. He wants to not be terrified; to not feel as if he's lived in fear his whole life, and always will. He wants to not be afraid of what he might feel if he paid attention. So - he can't kill himself, but in the state he is when he arrives in Kamchatka, he might just welcome it if he had a good enough excuse.

The examinations are carried out by the camp's medical corps - part military, part civilian, made up of anyone who has experience or training and who can still stand upright. Their resources are shockingly limited. Light is recruited to assist - carrying and heating water, preparing bandages, cleaning as best they can. It's something to do; something he can do to help. It's some way to make amends just for being alive.

His mother and sister, in the crowded tent they're sharing with two other families, can manage without him. It's also an excuse not to have to see the ruin of the two of them too often.

[1] Note that "siafu" is a loanword from Swahili, in at least Japanese and English, and can be expected to skip any babelfish translations.
[2] Japan's equivalent of the Redeker Plan, determining who would be evacuated.

October 2004

Sayu dies. It's registered as ADS (asymptomatic demise syndrome), but really it's starvation, and the side-effects of her catatonic depression, and one minor infection after another. It's her determination to escape from the new world she's found herself in.

Sachiko stops talking except for the gravest emergencies, bowed down by her own losses. Light is there to help convey his sister to the mass graves, but on the whole, he finds excuses. He's needed. He's doing what he can - in fact, he's doing all he can, because too many people are dead, and too many more are just giving up. He can't stop, because Sayu is dead, and he was supposed to keep her safe, and if he thought about why that doesn't make sense he might never get up again.

January 2005

Sachiko dies, from a combination of cold, starvation, grief and shock.

Shortly afterwards, Light abandons his family's assigned accommodation and goes into full-time residence at the field hospital. He works and learns all the hours there are, and doesn't take time to think, or remember. It's just one more death. This is all he's ever known, he pretends, and he's going to survive it. Because he's more than equal to it.

July 2010

Light is lifted to the mansion on the morning of the 7th.