Nationwide Today,A. M.. Edition, October 10, 1998
RACCOON DEATH TOLL RISES AS SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAMS COMBINE EFFORTS
NEW YORK, NY - The official body count now stands at just under 4500, with the blackened ruins of Raccoon City still being combed for additional victims of the apocalypse that took place early last Sunday morning. As a nation's mourning begins, over six hundred men and women are working to uncover the reasons behind the destruction of the once peaceful community. Local relief organizations, scientists, soldiers, federal agents, and corporate research teams have come together in a show of determination and purpose, pooling resources and accepting delegated responsibilities in order to get to the truth.
NDC Director Terrence Chavez, the official head of the effort, has been joined by top researchers from disease-control centers all around the world, national security agents from several federal branches, and a privately funded team of microbiologists from Umbrella, Inc., the pharmaceutical company, which is investigating the possibility that there may be a connection between their chemical lab on the outskirts of the city and the strange infection now being called "Raccoon syndrome."
Initial studies of this illness have been vague and inconclusive, says Umbrella team leader Dr. Ellis Benjamin, "but we're convinced that the citizens of Raccoon were infected with something, either accidentally or intentionally. All we know at this point is that it doesn't seem to have been airborne, and that the final result was rapid cellular disintegration and death; we still don't know if it was bacterial or viral, or what the symptoms were, but we won't rest until we've exhausted all of our resources. Whatever the findings, and whether or not Umbrella materials were a part of it, we're committed to seeing this through to the end. It's the least we can do, considering how much our company owes the people of Raccoon." The Umbrella chemical plant and administration facilities in Raccoon City provided nearly a thousand local jobs.
The 142 survivors are still being held in quarantine for observation and questioning at an undisclosed location. While their identities are still being protected, the FBI has released a statement listing medical conditions. Seventeen survivors suffered minor injuries but are in stable condition, seventy-nine are still on a critical list following surgical procedures, and forty-six of the survivors, while not injured, have suffered some major mental or emotional breakdown. There is no confirmation as to whether or not any are infected with the syndrome, but the statement did include a reference to survivor's stories that verified the existence of the infection.
Gen. Martin Goldmann, overseer of military operations in the ravaged city, is hopeful that all of those still missing will be found within the next seven days. "We've already got four hundred people out there working twenty-four/seven, searching for survivors and running identification checks - and I just got word that another two hundred will be coming in on Monday..."