The world changed.
Overrun. The state of the world was thrown into chaos by a small team of scientists working at the direction of one man, Doctor Thomas Sentry, who looking for a way to defeat death. His goals were met and exceeded by the creation of what he termed ‘the serum’, but there were problems, the first round of testing led to the death and re-life of the very first subject it was given to and he came back with only one thing on his mind; consuming the living to sate his hunger. He was locked down and…fed…while the work continued on the next rounds of serum. As work progressed the first subject began to regain some of his former personality and develop some amount of control over his appetite. He also resented the fact that he had died in what was assumed to be a non-lethal test and he wanted free. Locked down, patient zero lashed out at the only target he could touch, the guards. One of them was infected by his saliva and now with two of the dead to deal with, one whose presence could not be so easily hidden from the world, Doctor Sentry began to see his grand vision crumble.
It was time, Sentry decided, to create a new plan. Through his machinations he took down any researcher he didn’t feel would keep his secrets, feeding them to the undead, but through his own carelessness he became infected as well. Before succumbing to his own creation he made another discovery, anyone the initial infected creature destroyed became a sort of minion to their creator. Before he died Sentry did two things, he destroyed the zombie that had infected him, patient zero, and he drugged and tied up his fellow researcher on the project, locking her in the room with him. After death he made short work of his assistant and recovered himself enough to pass among the living while he slowly slaughtered them and created an army. Soon the entire beach front town where his labs were set up was under his control. Zombies who were over-fed became more than they had been before and Thomas Sentry was the chief among this new breed of super zombie.
These thousands were hungry as well and it was inevitable that there would be problems and soon enough minor outbreaks were occurring in the surrounding areas. Realizing one of his minions could infect wide swaths of the population Sentry made sure to revitalize any of them with passports and he sent them out into the world with the goal of infecting large population centers and quickly overwhelming the regions defenses. His plan was a smashing success, his leader zombies, still ‘children’ of his had taken the most populated countries on the face of the earth and the world, for a brief time, was his. While his zombies were out winning the world for him he turned his mind back to the two strains of serum he had worked up and restarted his research. But as he existed now, the serums would not work, he needed live subjects.
Fortunately for him, a group of the living arrived at his labs, their intentions were to kill him, but in his super-human state he easily defeated and captured them. Series two and three were unpatrolled successes, but series two ended without replicating. Series three, on the other hand was passed by the subject, known as Max, to his friend, Bill, in an effort to keep him from dying. Bill was hauled from the battlefield by an elderly man, Ruben, who got him to safety before the entire laboratory was destroyed by the next generation of super weapon, a positronic or antimatter, bomb. Sentry would have escaped even this destructive device had he not been pinned down by Max and the people who came with him to help.
Bill was determined to return to Iowa and his family and hooked up with the Special Forces people who had called the bomb strike down. During their southern journey to the naval base in Fort Lauderdale Bill realized what he had become and shared the ‘gift’ with a few of the more mortally wounded people he came across. He told them the gift came from Max and gave them a brief history of what the man had done. During their travels the group came to the realization that Florida was done for. They bugged out taking a ship around the peninsula to the west and left, with only one of their group ever returning.
Miami was a city contested with the military pulled out; various naval personnel had ties to the community and the citizens fought long and hard before many of them left seeking safer places to live. No one quite ever controlled the city, factions would rise and fall quickly, sometimes gangs would rule, living or dead and sometimes the remaining scavengers would rise up to throw them down. The navy would make periodic visits shifting the power dramatically for the ‘civilians’ while they were in town, but never sticking around with enough force to make a lasting difference.
Many of those who left fled south. Survivors told horror stories told to the people about what happened when they tried to travel north, especially along the east coast where Sentry’s lab had been. One group made it all the way to Key West and then kept on going to a small spit of land that used to be a national wildlife refuge. This group renamed their new home ‘Cayo Elina’ after the woman who had led them there.