28 Days Later - Death of a Nation

Day 1
As the sun set on the evening of May 4th 2002, a trio of well intentioned but ultimately misguided animal rights activists broke into a primate research laboratory near the University of Cambridge, unleashing several chimpanzees which were - unknown to the activists - infected with the highly contagious Human Cortio-Deficiency Virus, or more commonly known as "Rage". Despite desperate pleas from one virologist who catches them in the act, they open the cages and are immediately rushed by the virulent primates thus leading to the worst viral outbreak in recorded history.

Police received their first 999 call from a terrified security guard in the lab complex at 8:45 PM. The phone call cut off amid shattering glass and screaming. Police response arrived on the scene seven minutes later. A single police car was dispatched with two young male officers who were unsure of what to expect other than there had been a break in and a fight seemed to have broken out. They moved quickly but cautiously towards the building armed with nothing more than batons .

As the officers opened the front door they disturbed several growling rabid-like people down the hall. The infected refused to heed the officer's stern warnings to stay back, instead lunging at the bewildered policemen and murdering them both on the spot before they could call for assistance.

Loss of communication with the dispatched officers alarmed Police HQ in Huntingdon, and several more officers were sent to investigate the area, which had since abandoned by the infected who had wandered off in search of more victims. The mutilated bodies of their colleagues were discovered soon after prompting a large manhunt to find the murderers. Several police cars began to patrol the streets around the complex in search of the suspects, finding blood stains and signs of violent struggle in several streets. Members of the public rushed out their homes to tell the officers that mobs of vandals have been running up and down the streets chasing people and smashing windows.

Less than a mile away several car accidents occurred as infected ran across roads in pursuit of victims, forcing drivers to break or swerve. Some infected were knocked down, only to get back to their feet and attack the drivers who got out their vehicles to help what they assumed to be drunkards running out in the middle of the road, adding to the slowly but steadily increasing number of infected on the streets.

A single infected wearing a lab coat staggered into Cambridge train station, foaming at the mouth and covered in blood. Several people who had just finished their shifts and were waiting on the train home had no idea of the chaos that was about to unfold. An off duty nurse rushed over to help the man upon seeing his convulsions. It was the last mistake she would ever make as he tackled her to the ground and vomited several times on her face. Most people stood there dumbfounded, but two young men decided to take it upon themselves to do something about what they believed was a drugged up rapist. They too, like the well-meaning nurse, had just made their last mistake as both she and the man who had attacked her suddenly launched themselves at the would-be heroes. From there it spread like wildfire.

Phone calls to increasingly overwhelmed 999 call centres alerted police to what was mistakenly thought to be a mass brawl between drunken students at the train station. Specialised public order units were dispatched as were several ambulances. Local hospitals were put on alert for a potential influx of casualties. CCTV footage showed the attack clearly. Those behind the cameras were bewildered as to how the number of people involved in the altercation was constantly increasing. Two members of the British Transport Police who were doing a routine patrol of the station attempted to intervene, only to become infected themselves and join in on the growing violence. CCTV camera operators could only look on in sheer horror and utter confusion. As the fighting increased, people began to flee the train station in all directions, with the growing crowd of infected in pursuit. Panic began to take hold.

At Police HQ, dozens of specially trained public order police were gearing up, equipped with stab vests, helmets, riot shields and heavy duty batons. Orders went out to seal off the streets in the immediate vicinity of Cambridge train station and arrest those involved in the riot. Within thirty minutes the riot police arrived at the train station and found it the same as the research facility – abandoned and soaked in blood. The infected had already left in search of new victims and were prowling nearby streets, attacking anyone in sight.

A decision was taken to secure the streets where the worst of the violence was being reported and seal off those streets. This was when the first real contact between Cambridge riot officers and mobs of infected occurred. They formed defensive lines, banging their batons on their shields and marched forward in formation in an effort to intimidate the infected, who were still believed to be drunken hooligans at that point.

Things took a turn for the worst when some of the officers were exposed to infected blood. Within a few minutes, several officers had turned and were fighting with their former colleagues, dragging them to the ground punching and kicking, even clawing and biting them.

The shocked and shaken policemen, horrified at the savagery they were witnessing being committed by both civilians and their own suddenly foaming and mad colleagues, quickly got back in their vans and withdrew from the area to reevaluate the situation. They formed a defensive line on nearby station road whilst waiting on reinforcements from other police stations. The people who were in charge had no idea what to do. This was uncharted waters from everyone. Information was exchanged between officers on the ground and senior police leadership in Huntingdon. It was becoming clear this was something entirely new. These people were not normal.

Around nine o'clock, reports of violence were reaching BBC news in London, though details were sketchy with vague reports of disturbances and vandalism. Journalists could not reach the scene as the roads were closed off to all but emergency service personnel.

An hour later, armed response units were dispatched to the area surrounding Cambridge train station as reports of attacks increased dramatically. Initial attempts by armed officers to slow down the "rioters" by aiming for the legs seem to slow them down, but don't deter them from attacking. Rumours began to spread on the internet of mass murder and chaos but main stream media was still largely unaware of the facts yet.

By midnight, thirty two police officers lay dead, with at least the same number infected. Several paramedics and firefighters had also lost their lives or joined the throngs of infected. Gunshots rang out across much of central Cambridge. Gangs of youths began looting in the town centre, believing the violence by the infected was some kind of riot by drunken students, and so decided to take advantage of the chaos to loot and vandalise property.

Despite the best efforts of the police, small numbers of infected were able to get by the roadblocks and reached the main shopping area at quarter past twelve in the morning, populated only with some students returning from nights out and police officers interviewing witnesses to the looting. Chaos broke out as the infection spread in the town centre, by rampaging infected storming into packed pubs and night clubs causing untold casualties and increasing the number of infected ten fold.

By 0200 the outbreak was more or less out of control in The town centre, with incidents being reported in the southern and south western areas of town at an alarming frequency. Crowds of infected several hundred strong rampaged unopposed in some areas. The police were continually being forced to withdraw from engagements with the infected, and could not understand why some of their friends were turning sides and fighting alongside the rioters, a fact they wasted no time in reporting to HQ, who were preparing a report to pass on to the Home Office.

The city centre was entirely overrun by 0230 along with several residential areas. 40% of the city's police force had become casualties by this time and the rest had been largely scattered and forced to withdraw to regroup and consolidate their forces.

Tens of thousands of civilians found themselves barricaded in their homes with no help to be had. The police simply couldn't respond to all these distress calls and advised people to stay behind locked doors and stay quiet.

The Prime Minister Tony Blair was awoken by an aide just after two in the morning and informed that a major public disturbance was occuring in Cambridge and that fatalities had been excessive.
Last edited:
Hey, this is a topic which is of interest to me too.

Essentially, I'd like to inquire as to the nature of the biological effects of it all... My question to you as author of the timeline, and to anyone who actually is a biologist or medical doctor is the following;

Is the disease in this film, or arguably any radical behaviour changing disease, theoretically a biological possibility or is it as ASB as the dead spontaneously jumping out of their graves...

Quite simply, are all zombies ASB or are there cases wherein there is some plausibility (I'm thinking films like The Crazies, 28 days etc, rather than the likes of Dawn of the Dead, I am Legend etc).
From what i could gather, it was originally supposed to be an inhibitor to cure anger, using the ebola virus, but then it mutated into the complete opposite and causes extreme, uncontrollable rage.

The infected are not walking corpses, but rather just highly aggressive and insane, so not technically zombies, but still quite close.
But, like zombie movies, it does raise the question of... why don't they attack each other?

My thinking takes me towards a more larval type infection. There are larvae for example which make ants climb up blades of grass or make caterpillars turn red in nature.

Perhaps eggs could travel using the bite or something?

Not sure, no biologist :D
Intresting. I wonder, would you only follow the first film, or would you also accept as "canon" what happens in the sequel, when they try to resettle England?
But, like zombie movies, it does raise the question of... why don't they attack each other?

It's usually glossed over, but the most popular answer is that they can smell a difference due to chemicals in the sweat of the individuals, or something like that. Sometimes it's also mentioned that the virus' main concern, as is most organisms, is spreading itself, thus it makes the victim very hungry, but not for stuff that smells like itself.
Intresting. I wonder, would you only follow the first film, or would you also accept as "canon" what happens in the sequel, when they try to resettle England?
I will most likely just follow the first film, although i may decide later to expand on that to include the NATO clear up operations and resettlement of refugees in District 1.
By the time Blair got into the Cabinet room at 2.45 AM, most of the other cabinet members were just arriving, blearly eyed and tired, and confused.

A meeting of the Civil Contengencies Committee took place shortly after four in the morning in Cabinet Office Briefing Room A, or COBRA for short. The Prime Minister and the Home Secretary along with some junior ministers and senior intelligence officers took part in the meeting.

The ministers tried to piece together what information they had. All they knew was that a major riot was ongoing in Cambridge and that hundreds of lives had been lost in only a few hours. That was the only concrete information by that point, but updates continued to come into Downing Street during the night, growing worse and worse, with civilian casualties growing by the hour and emergency services stretching to breaking point.

As the sun began to rise, the Prime Minister phoned the Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Police and authorised him to use whatever means necessary to quell the violence, including use of live ammunition and water cannons. The live ammo had already been in use in an unofficial capacity for the past six hours, unknown to the PM. It was desperate times. By lunchtime, communications with Cambridgeshire Police HQ had been lost after reports it had been surrounded by "rioters".

BBC news began reporting stories of eye witnesses, who described being forced from their homes by rampaging mobs who were overturning cars and breaking into houses.

By early afternoon of 5 May, government officials were meeting again, this time armed with information received from hospitals in Cambridge, where a handful of rioters had been detained by police and sedated upon arriving at hospitals. Tests had been run and it was clear these people were very sick. The information the cabinet ministers received from the Chief Medical Officer was disturbing to say the least. The virus caused those infected to be locked into a permanent state of murderous rage within thirty seconds of contracting it. Nothing like it had ever been seen or heard of before out with horror films.

An increasingly anxious Tony Blair held a press conference In the early evening of 5 May and declared that a state of emergency was in effect for all of Cambridge, as well as nearby Huntingdon, and that rioters would be prosecuted with the full force of the law. It had been decided to keep the details of the viral outbreak under wraps for the time being to avoid a panic.

Police lines were continually being pushed back as the remaining officers, exhausted and demoralised struggled to cope with the carnage in their town. At least half of Cambridge's police forces was either dead, infected or had abandoned their posts to be with their families within eighteen hours of the outbreak. The outlook for Cambridge was increasingly bleak.

Twenty four hour after the first case of human to human transmission of the Rage Virus , Addenbrookes Hospital was the second last remaining safe zone in Cambridge, other than Cambridge's small airport, where a significant armed police presence had formed. The infected finally broke through the hastily erected barricades set up by the remnants of the city police force, and rampaged through the wards, engaging in acts of violence that would be appalling to even the worst offenders involved in the Rwandan Genocide. Feeble patients desperately tried to hobble away on crutches or escape in wheelchairs, but it was no use. Many were thrown out of their beds and beaten with their own IV poles or savaged wher they lay. Remaining staff and policemen were brutally murdered as they tried in vain to defend the patients, and within half an hour, four hundred people were dead or infected in the hospital and parts of the building were ablaze.

Some of this was caught on camera with footage smuggled out by a doctor who was airlifted from the hospital roof by an air ambulance and passed it onto the BBC.

The nation was in shock. Violence like this had never been seen in Britain for centuries. Panic started to set in. In offices, in school playgrounds, in cafes and pubs and public transport, the only topic of converation was "that thing" going on in Cambridge. Nobody had come up with a better term yet.

A decision was taken to deploy army units from nearby Colchester garrison and close the roads out of Cambridge and prevent any further spread of the virus once it was realised the police had completely collapsed. An air exclusion zone was declared over Cambridge and Huntingdon with only Royal Air Force Search and Rescue helicopters allowed over the area, which were picking people up from rooftops. By the time the troops could be mustered, geared up and deployed, the infection had already spread to the outskirts of Bedford and was approaching the towns of Newmarket and Royston, meaning quarantine procedures could not be put in place in time to prevent further spread. The roads out of Cambridge were jammed. It was pure chaos.

The Prime Minister chaired another meeting of the COBRA committee , tired and stressed, they desperately tried to hash out an effective plan to combat the outbreak, but they couldn't come to an effective conclusion. It was therefore decided to meet again later that night with senior officers of the armed forces including the Chief of the Defence Staff as well as the respective heads of the Army, Navy and RAF, as the politicians realised lethal force was the only practical answer. The news was still reporting on the escalating riots and increasing death toll, but thus far most people remained unaffected outside of Cambridge and neighbouring towns. Rumours continued to abound of terrorism or a chemical leak being behind the violence amid a lack of official government information. Protests broke out In London's Parliament Square as the public demanded answers.

On the morning of 7 May, three days into the outbreak, the Home Secretary and Health Secretary held a joint press conference in London, and told the public the truth.

From the statement of the Home Secretary David Blunkett and Secretary of Health Alan Milburn, 10:00 AM, 7 May 2002

David Blunkett, Home Secretary "Good morning and thank you all for coming on such short notice. The situation in Cambridge continues to escalate, with riots and vandalism being reported in all areas of the city. Casualties amongst members of the public and the emergency services have been high, and continue to climb. I would like to commend the bravery of the men and women of Cambridge's police, fire and ambulance services who have done a fantastic job and saved many lives and extend my condolences to the families of those killed. I'm also announcing that access to Cambridge and all villages and towns within five miles of Cambridge is hereby prohibited until further notice and all roads in and out of the area are closed to unofficial traffic as we begin a establish a quarantine zone. I'm going to hand over to Alan Milburn, who has a major announcement to make."

Alan Milburn, Secretary of State for Health "I will no longer disguise how serious a situation we are facing. I have been in constant contact with colleagues in the Health Protection Agency and I can confirm that we are facing a very serious viral outbreak in Cambridgeshire. Symptoms of this as yet unidentified viral strain include internal haemorrhaging, convulsions and finally engaging in acts of aggression. The virus is spread by bodily fluids including blood and saliva and is highly contagious. Symptoms typically show in victims in between twenty and thirty seconds, sometimes less, sometimes more depending on the proximity of the infected wound to the brain. Members of the public are urged to avoid contact with infected individuals at all costs, including infected friends and family members. Rest assured the situation will be brought fully under control in a timely manner. Thank you for your patience. No questions."

Later in the day, the government put several Territorial Army units on high alert and additional active army personnel were dispatched from the army garrison at Colchester and set up defensive positions on the M11 to slow the spread of the virus as it moved southwards towards London. The traffic chaos that resulted from this was indescribable.

Likewise, the army began setting up blockades on the southern outskirts of the city of Peterbourgh, and also began to enforce a quarantine of Bedford, which was reporting a major outbreak of infection in the town centre and northern outskirts. Several hundred people were reported killed or infected and police officers, now fully aware of the viral nature of the violence, fled the outbreak with their families, leading to the collapse of Bedford in mere hours. Refugees pouring out of Bedford were followed soon after by the infected, who set upon the army checkpoints swiftly breaking through the soldiers defences, who were unused to the absolutely insane human wave attacks they were facing. The army was forced to retreat.

Within hours of the announcement of the outbreak, panic buying set in across the country, particularly south east England, as people stocked up on basic essentials. In areas close to the outbreak, looting broke out as shop employee's quit the tills and looted essential's right alongside everyone else. The police did little to stop it with their hands full dealing with the infected or managing the traffic chaos that was developing as people fled towards London.

Four days after the first cases of infection in Cambridge, cases were being reported in a dozen towns in East Anglia and casualties were numbering in the tens of thousands, though it was impossible to get anything other than vague estimates. Nobody was going into infected territory to count the dead after all. Although armed policemen and soldiers had sealed the roads, some infected had wandered through the woods and fields and stumbled into small villages leading to outbreaks behind the lines. The first major engagement for the army occurred south of Peterbourgh on the afternoon of 8 May, as at least a hundred soldiers of the Royal Anglian Regiment opened fire on a large group of infected advancing from the south, in pursuit of refugees. Said refugees made it past the army blockade and into military protection, just as the soldiers opened fire on the infected. Dozens of infected were gunned down, but more kept coming, attracted by the sound of the gunfire, soon the soldiers fell back as the blockade was overrun and as darkness fell on 8 May, and the infection had inundated the south western part of Peterbourgh with soldiers falling back from one defensive position to another. By dawn the next morning, Peterbourgh was a desolate blood bath.

That day the English Football Association held an emergency meeting with the government's Culture Minister and agreed to postpone all matches in England until further notice due to the violence and allow some football stadium's to become temporary displaced persons camps should the need arise.

It was only four days later and already the country was gripped in panic.
Last edited:


I will most likely just follow the first film, although i may decide later to expand on that to include the NATO clear up operations and resettlement of refugees in District 1.
Thats good. To me the aftermath of 28 Days Later ( 2 to 6 months out) and what happens in 28 Weeks Later and after that are as interesting to consider if not more so than what happens in the actual 28 Days of the initial outbreak of Rage. Especially from the perspective of an AH of the 2000's and forward.
yeah, i found that interesting too. Perhaps there were other districts in other cities created ? places close to Europe like Portsmouth, Southampton or Dover may have been prime candidates.

Its also never really mentioned to what state the rest of the UK is in, we only really see London, Manchester and and a bit of Cumbria the end of the first film.
by the time the virus's true nature is revealed, perhaps 100,000 or more will have been infected. by the time the British government breaks out the big weapons (Tanks, APCs, helicopters)(they will be very reluctant to deploy them, politics), it will be too late.
This is your captain speaking. Please remain in your seats and ignore the other passengers roaming the aisles and gnawing on your faces...:p