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__NOWYSIWYG__ Dead Zone Gazette
February 8, 2017
Your apocalyptic newspaper

Breaking News
Whistler's Grove Finally Falls... But Not Quite
After three days of unsuccessful assaults against the town, HERC has finally secured an outpost in Whistler's Grove, with reinforcements rapidly replenishing the losses endured by HERC. Survivors from Whistler's Grove and Glendale fought hard against HERC, at one point setting parts of a forest ablaze with thick, heavy smoke in order to impede HERC aircraft.

At 1:31am this morning, numerous reports came in from Whistler's Grove confirming that HERC had established an outpost in Whistler's Grove, with more surrounding the town being set up rapidly. However, HERC's presence is unstable in the region, and while survivors have so far been unable to drive out the HERC forces, HERC's "in for a wild ride if they wanna ride."

Refugees have moved to Glendale, Jonestown, and Union City in order to report on whatever intel they collected from HERC. Most of the refugee survivors said that they were "prepared to return to Whistler's Grove and take back what we lost."

A number of HERC emails leaked earlier this week suggest that HERC General Sir Miles Glastondale was in charge of the attack, and is believed to be currently running operations in and around Whistler's Grove. More on page 3...

In Other News...
P accepts Dunell's offer to use Dunell's mercenaries
P recently announced that he had approved of Dunell's offer to "make [Dunell's] troops at [P's] disposal," but made no comment about whether or not the mercenaries would become part of the future Dead Zone Alliance. Josephine Alguacil, P's secretary, spoke to the Dead Zone Gazette, saying that "It is very likely that Dunell's mercenaries will remain privately operated at this time. P is interested in unification, but he stated in a conference that he did not intend for everyone to join the Dead Zone Alliance, only that everyone was willing to work with each other."

P and Dunell met briefly yesterday, where they agreed that the mercenaries should, for now, be used to fight HERC's presence in the city, as well as providing the usual protection from zombies. More on page 7...

HERC reinforcements arrive in Fort Tran, threaten to blow up base
Reinforcements deployed by HERC arrived at Fort Tran yesterday afternoon, coming in simultaneously from the north, south, and west sides, forming a pincer movement that drove back the forces of the South Commonwealth. Evangelina Berkestein, better known as EBee, retreated her forces in order to escape the offensive but swears that they will return in short order. "It is imperative that HERC be kicked out of Fort Tran!" she declared.

HERC, however, has not reacted so kindly to that statement. HERC General Eric Chapman, who led one of the battalions into the region, confirmed that the military base and runways in Fort Tran had been rigged with explosives, and that HERC has threatened to destroy them at any moment. "We'd rather see this military base go up in smoke as opposed to watching you f--king survivors take it back! We can build another base. You can't!" More on page 11...

P announces new sub-organization for the Dead Zone Alliance
P announced today that he planned to add a new sub-organization to the already formidable list of sub-organizations in the Dead Zone Alliance. The newcomer on the table? "Dead Zone Library & Archives".

The new organization's goal is to recover the documents located in the abandoned Union City Archives building, restore them (if possible), and to preserve them for future generations. "It is important that our history is not forgotten," P said at a public conference. "Remembering the suffering we've been through is a reminder for everyone not to make the same mistakes again."

The list of sub-organizations in the DZA now looks like this:

  • Dead Zone Military
  • Dead Zone Zombie Patrol
  • Dead Zone Fire Brigade
  • Dead Zone Medical Services
  • Dead Zone Construction
  • Dead Zone Transportation
  • Dead Zone Garbage Collection
  • Dead Zone Energy Production
  • Dead Zone Water and Sewage
  • Dead Zone School and Education
  • Dead Zone Arts and Culture
  • Dead Zone Food and Agriculture
  • Dead Zone Library & Archives

  More on page 14...

Filipino Friends say Hello!
Ivan the Trader announced today that he had arrived in the Philippines and had begun trading with the locals. "There are three things this country should be known for," he said. "Pineapples, mangoes, and hospitality." A number of Filipino survivors also took to the airwaves to greet Union City and anyone in the state who was listening in.

Before the outbreak, Union City had a population of about 2,000 Filipinos, most of them concentrated in the Northwood area. More on page 17...

HERC Advances Advanced Robotics Program
HERC has been developing its Advanced Robotics Program, or ARP, for the past three years now, and their work has borne significant fruit.

HERC has so far revealed three robots, all of them used for warfare:

  • A16 Gaul: First successful, fully-automated robot soldier, armed with a HERC XP-15 Pulse Rifle. Average speed is about 40 km/h and is specialized in attacking infantry. Cannot attack aircraft or drones.
  • A25 Roman: Fully-automated robot soldier, armed with a HERC XP-55 Pulse Rifle. Average speed is 60 km/h and is effective against both infantry and vehicles. Cannot attack aircraft or drones. Can be airdropped.
  • A28 Gladiator: Fully-automated robot soldier, armed with a HERC VIA-12 High Frequency Pulse Rifle. Average speed is 70 km/h and can attack aircraft and drones, as well as a vast array of ground targets. Can be airdropped. Equipped with special, missile-resistant armor as opposed to the titanium used in previous robots.

These robots could potentially change the tide of warfare as HERC becomes more and more technologically advanced. A leaked HERC document suggests that there are still a number of software bugs in the robots that HERC is working to fix. So far, none of these robots have been used in actual combat. More on page 21...

Consortium and Union City want to repair Route 67
Trade between the Consortium and Union City is becoming stronger and stronger with every passing day, but traders and merchants have complained that one thing still stands in the way: the conditions of the highway connecting the north with Union City.

U.S. State Route 67, a highway maintained by the State with at-grade intersections and an unpaved gravel shoulder, is in dire need of repairs. Already there have been over six accidents reported on the highway from motorized vehicles getting stuck in potholes, blocking the roadway for as long as six hours.

The Consortium and Union City agreed to repair this roadway together in a joint effort. Engineers and designers have decided to repave the entire road, widening it to two lanes in both directions. The shoulders will also be paved and equipped with rumble strips to reduce the number of accidents.

The biggest question now is not a question of what needs to be done, but how it will be done. While both Union City and Consortium have machines that can be repaired for use on the project, there are concerns that there may not be enough fuel to actually power these machines. In addition, both groups lack sufficient asphalt to repave even half of the roadway. More on page 25...

"I did it for my little brother!"
A young boy is being praised in Union City after he arrived on foot with his little brother on his back.

"He looked at death's door, almost," a survivor who came to tend to him said to the Dead Zone Gazette. "It looked like he hadn't slept for days, his clothes were ragged and torn, his feet had blisters and some mild frostbite from the cold, and he barely had the strength to speak. Nevertheless, he had a smile on his face when he finally arrived."

Nine-year-old Jaden Berber walked all the way from Patternsville, a small town over 1000 kilometres (600 miles) southwest of Union City, when HERC forces attacked survivors there in November. He had his little brother Joey, who is six, with him.

"HERC troopers came to everyone's door," he said to survivors in the Dead Zone. "They kicked down the doors and ordered everyone to leave. As soon as they were out of the house, they stripped them naked, taking everything they had, before shooting them. [...] They took my parents and shot them, but I grabbed my younger brother Joey and climbed out of the window."

The two brothers walked through forests and fields, avoiding the main roads and highways in order to avoid being spotted by HERC. Leaked HERC documents confirm that an operation was being conducted in the region. "HERC was doing what they were known for doing: looting," Marc Carl, a defected HERC trooper, said. "HERC did it in a lot of smaller towns and villages during the early confusion and chaos the outbreak brought on, just barging into people's houses, 'evacuating' its inhabitants, and promptly stealing whatever had been left behind."

The two boys suffered from intense feelings of hunger, thirst, exhaustion, and emotion from the loss of their parents and their old home. "Things may have changed during the outbreak, but we at least still had our family. Now it's just the two of us."

According to both boys, the best motivator for continuing the trek to Union City was "seeing [each other's] faces and how we were both still alive." Bigger brother often carried little brother on his back when little brother became too tired and weary to walk.

Jaden is currently being considered for the Dead Zone Cox's Cross for Extreme Acts of Bravery despite not being a Union City native. "I think we can make some exceptions," Kennedy Cox, whom the award is named after, said. "There's no doubt that these two boys were exceptionally brave, braver than most adults I've seen."

Notable survivors such as P, Kennedy Cox, Preston Rimouski, Jordan Dunell, B-Boy Youshock, Jordan Logan, Woody Hackett, Taylor Rosen, and others have met with the boy. More on page 30...

B-Boy Youshock unveils hip hop program
B-Boy Youshock kicked off the city's newest hip hop program for youth yesterday afternoon. The world-class b-boy performed a number of impressive moves for the public to see as over 300 young survivors showed up for the program's very first class.

"I have to hand it to P and Preston Rimouski for giving me the opportunity to do this," B-Boy Youshock said to reporters. "It's really great to see hip hop as something that can benefit society instead of being stigmatized as illegal dancers on the subway."

B-Boy Youshock is a Union City native who dropped out of high school during tenth grade, where he spent time in and out of juvenile detention centers for drug use. "I was a mess at the age of fifteen," he said to the Dead Zone Gazette. "Smoking weed during the day, taking coke and meth during the night... you name it."

The young b-boy credits B-Boy Black Pastor for being his mentor. "I met him about a day after I was released. He offered to teach me how to break and pop, and I have to give it to him for that. If it weren't for hip hop, I'd be dead right now." B-Boy Black Pastor was killed during the second HERC bombings of Union City.

"I thought that if hip hop could save a troubled teen like me, then it can save many more kids and teens out there as well."

While the hip hop program is incredibly popular among those under the age of 30, most of the older, veteran survivors have looked down on the program, with some calling it a "waste of time and resources, teaching these kids how to stand upside down so that their shirts fall down and we can see their ribs." More on page 47...

Dead Zone Gazette Archives needs your help!
Every time we publish an edition of the Dead Zone Gazette, we save a copy of it and file it into our archives for future reference. Currently, this archive is maintained by a handful of employees. All archived copies are physical, neatly organized into several filing cabinets, and only one copy of each edition is stored. Survivors cannot simply peruse the archives, but must instead file a request to the employees that work there, who will produce a copy of the original and send it to the survivor who requested it. This can take up to twenty to thirty minutes to complete, depending on the number of pages that need to be copied.

As the Dead Zone Gazette grows older and we have more and more archives in the cabinets, we would like to ask the survivors of the Dead Zone for input as to how we can improve our system of making archived copies of the newspaper more accessible to the public so that anyone can freely peruse our archives at will, without having to make special requests to our newspaper. We'll be listening on the communications system channel "DZ GAZETTE" for your input! More on page 56...

The Dead Zone Gazette is written by a team of dedicated writers hoping to bring accurate and well-written updates to survivors in the Dead Zone. If you have any questions, comments, or complaints, please send us a message through the communications system at channel "DZ GAZETTE". Thank you.