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'Hardball'
With Kim Harwell
ZWN's special report correspondant






Haiti - Troops Push Forward.
Stories of Heroism and Horror.

Posted: December, 2006

"They started climbing on the Humvee. Just a few at first. We would shoot them off from our flanking positions. But they kept coming"

I arrived in Haiti yesterday. Dispatched by ZWN at the last minute, to take the place of Field Reporter Zandra Corbes, who has been missing since Friday. Last seen boarding a Black Hawk helicopter, in order to cover a dangerous rescue mission deep into undead territory. Neither the helicopter crew nor Zandra have been in contact since Friday. Rescue missions have been ongoing throughout the weekend. But sadly, there is no trace at this point. Our thoughts are with her and the crew of the chopper. We hope and prey they are safe and well.

Now that International Peacekeepers have liberated the key cities of Port-Au-Prince and Port-De-Pai,. UN forces can begin the push outwards to neighboring areas. Rescuing Haitian villagers and town dwellers alike. This will prove an arduous and challenging phase. But one with many rewards. "The relief on the faces of the people being carried away by our choppers, it makes it all worth while." said Major Mason Drasell of 1st Airborne Command today. "Some of these people have been holed up for days, even weeks. Not daring to go outside, in case they were spotted and attacked by Necro's." He added.

Nuclear option discussed
The area was so saturated with zombie undead, that, according to a ZWN inside source, at one point a small scale nuclear bombing was even considered. Nothing was off the table. But the risk of civilian casualties proved too strong an argument. The plan was shelved early on in the discussion stage. The military declined to comment on this report.

It takes a while to grasp the shear scope of devastation here in Port-Au-Prince. But rather than hear the militaries spin on the operation, I wanted to take full advantage of my embedded journalist status, and ask the troops to share some of their stories.

Helicopter crash

There is a clear danger that the rescuers face, each and every time they undertake an extraction of villagers to safety. The rescue helicopter crew's have no immediate way of screening the people they extract. Not aware of who is infected and who is not, one crew paid the ultimate price. "We winched aboard a small child. she had the Necro virus She bit the pilot on the hand. He freaked out. Lost control. and the whole chopper crashed killing all 17 crew and passengers." recounted a fellow chopper pilot (name withheld)



Rescue operations are hampered by a continuous undead presence
The undead are attracted to the sound of the Helicopters. This makes it difficult to land in infested areas.

Each extraction of villagers has the same basic strategy.
Phase one: A single Black Hawk helicopter undertakes a reconnaissance pass. Unlike conventional war, where a foe may choose to hide from the enemy, the undead are curious. They are drawn to the sound. This gives the chopper a decided advantage Able to lure many of the undead into the open. They proceed to exterminate with devastating effect. This lays the ground work for phase two of the extraction

Phase two: Heavily armed Strykers escort rescue vehicles to each extraction zone. Typically, these 'search and rescue' ancillary vehicles are light but maneuverable APC's. Tanks are rarely used. "They are not needed in the outlining villages." says Operations Commander Col. Vincent Roy. "Tanks would be cumbersome and un wieldy. Light armored vehicles are very effective. The gunners keep the zombies at bay. The extraction teams are housed in the APC's. Before exiting the APC's, we announce our presence via Mega Phone. We give each villager three minutes to come out of hiding, and begin making their way to the awaiting APC's. We will assist the infirm and suppress any zombie activity towards the villagers with ground level volleys from our gunners."


Armored Stryker's are best suited to this type of operation

Left behind
A less rosy picture was painted by a search and rescue team Private (name withheld) "The APC's also carry the villagers. We never know how many villagers are alive, so that means we never know how many APC's we will need either. They only hold so many. This is frustrating. You just have to leave villagers behind when you are full. They are screaming and hanging on. Their presence has been given away and the Necro's see that. But what can we do? we try to hold the the zombies off as long as we can with fire arms. We even let the villagers try to cling onto the tops of the vehicles, but they get pulled off by the zombies. At that point there's nothing we can do. It's heartbreaking"

Humvees
Sgt. (name withheld) recounts a vivid story of the first extraction she was involved with. "We didn't quite know how to handle the undead at this point. We were all a bit naive I guess. Even our command. We went out in Hummers. Well, our orders are clear. Wait three minutes after calling the villagers on loud speaker. Wait three minutes!!! imagine what that's like when you have hundreds of zombies suddenly looking right at you. The Necro's started swarming around us. Our drivers were doing something we started calling "the shuffle." it's when Necros try to get on your vehicle. You drive forward. Reverse, anyway you can to shake them off. Well, this worked for while. But one of the Humvees got stuck in a deep pothole. We knew that wasn't good. We tried to nudge it out, but it wouldn't budge.

They started climbing on the Humvee. It's wheels were spinning and screeching as It tried to free itself. That just attracted them more. Just a few at first though. We would shoot them off from our flanking positions. Quick bursts. But they kept coming, like a f***n swarm of ants. They couldn't get in though. The Armor and glass are very strong. But then one of the windows got bust open. We think it was friendly fire from our gunners. Whatever it was, That was it. They crawled right in. The crew were screaming. We sprayed the whole Humvee. It was a mercy kill. We never used a God damn Hummer again."

Insightful and indepth special reports by Kim Harwell

Jamaica Quarantine

Liquified Zombie

Island of Lost Souls

Haiti - With The Troops

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Read ZWN Field reporter Zandra Corbes amazing story of survival and rescue in the Haitian zombie hot zone.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three


 
 
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