French Republic
Timeline: Zombies 2010

OTL equivalent: France
Flag of France
Flag of France

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

(and largest city)
Language French
President Nicolas Sarkozy
Vice President François Fillon
Area (Mainland) 213,010 sq mi km²
Population 62,793,432 (2009 est.)
Currency Euro

France (i /ˈfræns/ franss or /ˈfrɑːns/ frahnss; French pronunciation (help·info): [fʁɑ̃s]), officially the French Republic (French: République française, pronounced: [ʁepyblik fʁɑ̃sɛz]), was a state in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France extended from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. The nation collapsed as one of the first countries to fall victim to the devastating Zombie outbreak of 2010.

The Republic of France

France was a founding member state of the European Union and is the largest one by area. As one of the oldest nations in Europe, France has been a major power for several centuries with strong cultural, economic, military and political influence in the Western continents and in the world. During the 17th and 18th centuries, France colonised great parts of North America; during the 19th and early 20th centuries, France built the second largest empire of the time, including large portions of North, West and Central Africa, Southeast Asia, and many Pacific islands.

Before the outbreak, France was a unitary semi-presidential republic with its main ideals expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. France was also one of the most developed countries on Earth and possessed the fifth largest economy by nominal GDP and seventh largest economy by purchasing power parity.

Zombies 2010

In September of 2010, a deadly and disturbing epidemic caused by an experimental, biowarfare-tested, gas (Released by accident) quickly swept across the eastern United States, beginning near Washington, D.C. It also began in Europe, sweeping across parts of France and the United Kingdom at an unprecedented speed. The reported symptoms within the first twenty-four hours of being affected by what came to be known as the '2010 Zombie Outbreak' included massive internal pain, skin irritation, chills, high fever, and severe, unbearable headaches. As the epidemic had no known cure, and its airborne status allowed it to spread so quickly, world governments were caught off guard. After 48 hours maximum, an individual affected by the 'Zombie Strain' would be killed by the unstable formula.

However, the victims would not remain dead. Extreme stimulation of the glands and the usually unaccessible parts of the brain still partially functioning upon death would cause deceased victims to rise again after biological death. These reacting, functioning, matter would no longer be really human, instead possessing a maddened animalistic nature and an extreme hostility to anything perceived as living.

In France

By the early morning of September 15, corpses were rising from the Paris morgue. Americans unwittingly affected by the toxic gas in the United States had boarded planes to France in the meantime; many of them had died upon arrival, due to the inevitable fatality caused by the Zombie Strain. The French government immediately began an investigation of the large number of American travelers from the U.S. east coast which had been killed so suddenly. To their horror, these people rose as Zombies. Around this time, a number of French staff at the airport began to experience Zombie-like symptoms. Close contact with the toxic fumes clinging to an American's clothes or their luggage caused the first Zombie cases among the French population.

The French government was dimly aware of what was going on, but by the time an official order was released to quarantine Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, it had been overrun by Zombified passengers and airline personnel. Due to the massive spread of the Zombie Strain, France became the first nation to suspect that the strain may be spread through direct contact between individuals, instead of merely breathing in the strain as a gas. September 16 dawned on a Paris engulfed by chaos. The local law enforcement authorities were overrun, and Zombies were breaking through police barricades to swarm into civilian communities. The famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées of Paris was already going up in smoke, turned into a warzone as heavily armored riot police retreated through the area. The French government ordered the military and the Gendarmes to seal off the city to prevent the Strain from spreading any further. This, however, proved unsuccessful. There were now well over 600 confirmed cases of Zombies in the region around Paris. The soldiers sent to quarantine the city were given orders to shoot all such individuals on sight. By September 17, so many Zombies were spilling out of the city that it became almost impossible for even the military to contain them.

A large holdout point in Paris was the Hôtel Matignon, resident of the French prime minister. Military personnel heavily fortified the building to defend the prime minister from the oncoming Zombie attacks. An emergency radio broadcast told the remaining French civilians to report the Hotel if they were in the vicinity. If not, they should seek shelter in a fortified home or safe area. The French government ordered that nobody was to leave the city. Anyone, seemingly innocent citizen or Zombie alike, was to be shot immediately. However, soldiers and police alike ignored the order. Horrified at the wounded or tearfully desperate civilians trying to escape the massacre inside what was once the greatest city in Europe, they helped many of them to safety. The government blamed the failure to contain the Zombie Strain partially on this.

Zombies2010 ParisEvac

An evacuation of a community just outside Paris, on the night of September 17.

Meanwhile, the districts around Paris were hastily evacuated. UN forces arrived to help the exhausted French troops in fighting back the overwhelming numbers of savage Zombies. Fighting continued between armed civilians who had holed up with police or military weapons stockpiles, and the Zombies around fortified houses. Mass helicopter evacuations saved most of the civilians who had managed to make it to the Hôtel Matignon. After the prime minister was evacuated, the once-elegant, beautiful, building was set on fire to burn the Zombies breaking through the defenses. Another large holdout point was the Notre Dame de Paris museum, where several important French officials had gathered with a number of armed soldiers to resist the Zombie onslaught. A military helicopter arrived with orders to only evacuate the officials; the other personnel had to be left behind and were gunned down to prevent them from contracting the Strain.

The French government abandoned all of its military forces entrapped within the city and refused to evacuate any more civilians or soldiers alike. However, UN helicopter pilots continued saving people until September 20, out of goodwill. Even so, there were many who failed to make it to the evacuation points and were torn apart by the Zombie hordes.

Following the fall of Paris, the government moved to nearby Reims, just to the northeast. After Reims University Hospital reported several cases of the Zombie Strain, a special control team in gas masks and hazard suits removed the affected men and women to quarantine areas. The hospital was closed by order of President Sarkozy himself, and nobody was allowed to leave or enter the grounds. The entire city was slowly quarantined by the UN, and a nightly curfew imposed. The city was divided into smaller sections, each assigned to a military squad. All suspected cases of the Zombie Strain were to be immediately reported. However, by this point, evacuees from Paris were crowding the city and, evidencing the reports of the strain being spread through direct contact, appeared to be unwitting carriers of the strain. By the end of September Reims was overrun by the Zombies. The military used lethal firepower against suspected carriers, removing people from the streets and killing them, seemingly indiscriminately. When the French military was finally forced to pull out, most of their personnel in Reims were either left behind to die or shot dead in case they had come into direct contact with any of the Zombies. As the original cause of the Zombie Strain became known, France began requiring all of their soldiers in the field to begin wearing gas masks.

Zombies2010 ReimsLaw

French military personnel watching the highway to Reims. Note the evacuation buses in the background.

By October 3, 2010, despite heavy resistance, all of northern France were in Zombie hands, including the Normandy and Brittany areas. The arrival of refugees fleeing the Zombie-infested United Kingdom to the north only made matters worse. Inevitably overcrowded conditions in French quarantine camps may have doomed many such refugees to the Zombie Strain. The main evacuation point was now moved to Nice Côte d'Azur Airport, in southern France. People were grouped together here to be screened and taken out of the country. This was partially to satisfy the growing demands to escape the Zombie Strain in France and to help reduce overcrowding in safe zones. However, many cases were reported here. It was overcrowded in the airport itself, as thousands of panicked families were crammed together in long lines. It took so long to screen each individual person that the process became too tedious. Many were forced to virtually live in the airport waiting for their freedom. Soon, many of the airport personnel had succumbed to the strain and began to die off. These were all rounded up and their bodies destroyed. However, from there, the rapid spread of the Zombie Strain caused the government to panic and hastily pull back, leaving the busiest airport in France to the mercy of the Zombies.

After the loss of Nice Côte d'Azur Airport, the Zombie Strain rapidly engulfed southern France, splitting what remained of the nation in two. The UN began to set up underground evacuation centers, designed almost like bomb shelters in case of an emergency air strike against the Zombies or simply to provide easier defense against a large group of Zombified people. The French government refused to tell the public everything known about the Zombie Strain, unwilling to invoke mass panic. French scientists began to study the Strain, but were unable to provide a cure. They took blood samples from Zombified individuals and tested them. It was a French scientist who first hypothesized that the Zombie Strain has mutated from its original form into something far more dangerous and destructive. By this point, the Zombie Strain was already sweeping into Germany. As it became increasingly clear that France was doomed, the UN rushed evacuations of masses of people fleeing the onslaught. This proved to be a fatal error as many of the refugees themselves were carriers of the Zombie Strain. Evacuation planes crashed and were lost as the pilots, who were constantly exposed to possibly carriers on a daily basis, were struck by the strain and died in mid-flight.

Zombies2010 GasmaskFrance

A military worker in Perpignan.

The final safety perimeter was established with what remained of the unified French military around the commune of Perpignan, on the French border with Spain. From here, planes took off on bombing raids, launching air strikes against Zombie-infested cities such as Nice in desperate attempts to destroy the creatures. Inevitably, the fringes of Perpignan were overwhelmed by Zombies which had penetrated the military's defenses. The situation turned critical as many of the surviving military personnel displayed symptoms of the strain and their fellow soldiers were forced to kill them, thinning the ranks of the already-spent French armed forces. Despite their preventative measures and hazard protection, military workers' proximity to the Zombie Strain in collecting blood samples and handling Zombified individuals caused many of them to succumb to the strain. As much of the remaining population as possible was evacuated, followed by the troops, which finally pulled out on October 23. Surviving soldiers fled via helicopter to the Balearic Islands of Spain, setting Perpignan on fire behind them. As with the fall of Paris, however, plane and helicopter pilots continued to rescue stragglers left behind out of pity for the remaining French citizens trapped there.

Successor States

Initially following the loss of France, regional coalitions were formed between communities still holding out and the surviving military forces. The only significant French survivor state is the United Survivor Districts of Lyon, a large confederation of several small communities of armed civilians and soldiers that have managed to successfully defend a considerable portion of the city of Lyon. Although France is officially abandoned by the UN, they managed to air-drop a number of medical supplies, provisions, gas masks, guns, and ammunition to the survivors still holding out at Lyon before Germany was finally overrun. It is currently unknown if Lyon has any radio contact with the outside world.

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