|~ The Infected|
The Infected are the main antagonists in the horror film 28 Days Later, the secondary main antagonists in its sequel 28 Weeks Later and the primary antagonists on its comic adaptation, 28 Days Later: the Aftermath. The Infected, as their name suggests, are living people infected with the highly contagious Rage virus which has warped their brain cells to make them see all living people as objects to be hunted down and slain ruthlessly.
The Infected are preferably nocturnal, and are true hunters. The Infected are distinct from regular movie zombies in that they are not the resurrected dead, and they do not eat their victims. They also do not show any emotions apart from extreme rage. The Infected also seek out to spread the virus rather than eat their victims, and unlike zombies, do not show any emotion with friends or family. The Infected are all former inhabitants of Great Britain and the Infected all have no other goal than to kill every other human in the nation.
Two scientists at Cambridge university, named Dr. Warren and Dr. Clive, were attempting to eliminate all homicidal rage, because, prior to their experiments, a series of uncontrollable rage-induced rioting had spread all round the nation over the last few weeks. The police had told Dr. Clive it was getting uncontrollable and they asked them to find a cure for domestic rage. Dr. Clive and Dr. Warren were paid by an international board of businessmen named the Financiers to create a said cure for urban and domestic violence. Dr. Clive and Dr. Warren experimented on different violence genes, isolating them, and Dr. Clive had an idea they should experiment on animals. They created a new inhibitor for violence, and then they decided to mix the Ebola virus in the inhibitor. They then gave it to a violent criminal, who they secured as a test subject from the police. Unfortunately, in the criminal, the inhibitor mutated, and became a viral strain - Dr. Clive had created a "Rage virus." He was so disgusted by this he shot the criminal in the head, who had, for a while, become the first Infected in the country, but the criminal was deceased before he could kill the doctors. When burying the criminal, Dr. Warren had decided they should experiment on animals.
Dr. Warren didn't like the experiment one bit and he contacted an animal rights group just before he injected the virus into several chimpanzees he had secured, and he told the group about the brutal treatment of the animals. Then, Dr. Clive was around when the freedom fighter group broke into the university, and got the monkeys out. Dr. Clive tried to warn the activists not to release the animals because of the highly dangerous virus they contained in their saliva and in their blood, but the activists didn't take him seriously and released the cages. A chimpanzee ran out shrieking, and bit a woman on her throat, tearing her throat open and releasing the Rage virus into her blood. She became overwhelmed and Infected, and thus became the second Infected in the country. She immediately spat infectious blood at the other activists, who became the third, fourth and fifth Infected. Full of Rage, the Infected activists immediately rallied and killed Dr. Clive, who tried to fight back, though weakly, and the Infected, after killing Dr. Clive, broke out of their laboratory and rampaged through Cambridge university, and through the city itself, infecting and killing anyone they met. Soon, they built up a whole army of Infected.
Invasion of Infected
The Infected initially attacked small market towns and villages as they moved along the South of England, and the behaviour of the Infected was dismissed as rioting, because of the riots the inhibitor was designed to eliminate. The Infected originally had no name, and were originally seen as normal civilians, but as time went by and their amount of victims grew, and more and more areas in the country suffered Infected attacks, it became clear these were not regular humans, but hosts of an unknown virus, and as the behaviour of the Infected was full of uncontrollable rage, it became appropriate to call the virus "Rage" and also as the Infected were hosts of the virus it became appropriate to call them "the Infected."
The Infected could move at formidable speeds roughly twice the speed of an adult human, and they crossed miles of countryside in days and attacked countless cities and towns, Infecting thousands of people. In many areas, the Infected attacked and claimed victims with no problem. However, in some areas such as Manchester, the civilians knew of the impending attack and so set fires to drive out the Infected. This worked in a fashion, but the Infected had killed all the authorities such as firefighters so there was no one to protect the city which burned to the ground.
Hundreds of Infected were driven out of the burning city and they swarmed in the forests all round. The Infected overran all Army and military blockades designed by Prime Minister Tony Blair to protect the cities, and thousands of military were Infected or killed. The Infected that survived all the conflicts with the military inherited a desolate, barren country - there was no resemblance of ordered life anywhere in Great Britain, any by day fifteen of the Outbreak, Great Britain ceased to exist as a nation.
28 Days Later
There were perhaps three or five hundred Infected left alive after the conflicts with the military after the Outbreak. The Infected could come and go as they pleased; and sought out any uninfected humans to kill. The Infected would last roughly three months before their ultimate deaths.
Twenty-eight days into the Outbreak, a young man named Jim, who had had a car collision before the Outbreak and so was lucky to survive, awoke in hospital to a barren, deserted London, full of the Infected hordes at night - the Rage virus had prevailed. Jim managed to realize what had happened when he met several Infected himself. He survived numerous attacks by Infected hordes and, along with three other survivors, eventually escaped the country, when the Infected died of starvation three months later.
28 Weeks Later
Even though the Infected had starved to death and the main threat was over, the legacy of the Rage virus lived on in rabid dogs and generally chaotic streets in London that followed the collapse of civilization. The Rage virus also had a secret weapon.
During the Outbreak, a couple named Donald and Alice Harris were barricaded in a cottage not far from London, sheltering from the Infected, when the Infected found them and separated the two. Donald and Alice escaped to different parts of London and they managed to find each other, but by this time Alice had been Infected herself, yet she was a Carrier, who showed no symptoms of Rage. Unknowingly Infecting her husband, she started the Outbreak all over again in the newly populated District One in London.
When Donald became an Infected, he was notably different from other Infected, being more intelligent than others. Examples of this were shown when he stalked his children instead of brutally attacking them upon sight, and when he preferred to kill humans rather than just Infect them, showing he had some form of control over the virus. Most other Infected were just driven mindlessly by the virus to attack and Infect others yet Donald seemed to master the plague, preferring just to kill. Nonetheless, he only needed to Infect one person to fully start the domino effect of the virus.
As Donald broke into the safe room, he vomited infectious blood on a young man, who quickly became rabid and Infected, and he went round attacking other people, and building up a horde of Infected as Donald sadistically watched. Soon, the desperate survivors kicked the doors open and fled, with all the Infected on their heels. Soldiers were ordered to first target only Infected, which made it hard, because from their elevated positions on rooftops, the Infected looked just like regular people. Although they tried to comply, soon the order was changed to fully exterminate everyone, regardless of whether they were Infected or not. They had lost control.
All the Infected managed to escape the onslaught, as one old woman noted, saying the crisis must be over because there's not much gunfire any more. Or maybe it was just because no one was left unInfected to kill.
The Infected escaped into the main streets of London from District One, which was on the Isle of Dogs. There they ran rampant, but NATO ordered London bombed to stop the Infection. The bombing did kill a few hundred Infected yet thousands more escaped District One. Donald Harris himself cunningly hid by a shaded street as the inferno spread and afterwards, the Infected ran screaming into the night.
The Infected caught up with survivors, Tammy Harris, Andy Harris, Scarlett and Doyle on the Regent's Park field, and Flynn, the pilot, was forced to kill hundreds of Infected in a gruesome chopper scene. Sam, a cowardly survivor, begged Flynn to take him yet he fell off the helicopter and Sam got Infected.
Even so, many Infected survived the attack and chased the survivors into town. Although all the surviving Infected were killed by toxic gas, there were many more Infected who went a different route into the London Underground and thus survived. These Infected were running rampant through the barren landscape of Great Britain again.
After Doyle sacrificed himself to US Army flamethrowers, the Infected Donald Harris cornered his children in the Underground and killed Scarlett. Donald tried Infecting his son Andy but Andy's eyes were different colour so it failed. Donald then tried killing his daughter Tammy but she shot him dead, ending the main threat to London.
Even though Tammy, Andy and Flynn flew to France, 28 days later in France there was another Outbreak of Rage. Hundreds of Infected were seen running along the subway tunnel which emerged into broad daylight on the streets of Paris.
Powers and Abilities
The Infected have much the same intelligence, movement and stamina (if not increased movement and stamina) that they do before infection. The Infected's intelligence is most notably decreased, as they can no longer tell friend from foe and in fact attack their friends, seeing them as foes. Their speed is the most notable thing about them, they can run at speeds roughly twice the speed of a normal human, making them formidable hunters. An obvious feature of all the Infected is their eyes, which glow a brilliant red, symbolizing their extreme hatred for other living people.
The Infected generally prefer the night and darkness to bright light, and avoid bright light if possible. The Infected are, however, attracted to bright light if it comes from an uninfected human. They are intelligent enough to learn from mistakes; if they can see that many Infected are failing to reach a human from one route, they will go round another route to kill the human. Unlike other zombies, too, they are shown observing each other and taking note of errors they may have. An example is when in the Second Outbreak two Infected swarmed the tower block rather than focus on the fleeing civilians and killed a sniper.
All Infected bleed profusely from their eyes, tear ducts and scalps, and their mouths are always drooling dark blood. Some Infected have eyes wide, as if from fear, but this is more likely the state they were in before infection.
There are three-four ways to become an Infected. One is through a bite to the throat, severing one's jugular, which causes one to bleed profusely and infects one. Another way is to have infectious blood vomited on one's face, which seeps into one's eyes, also infecting them. A third way is to have a bite on any other part of the body, i.e. limbs and such, which gets one Infected. A fourth, unknown way to become Infected is through humans called Carriers, which are Infected in all but mentality, as they are Infected but have no feelings of Rage. Through an act such as a kiss, one can infect their companion.
All Infected last about four months, before dying of starvation, and, provided they are not shot or gassed or decapitated in that time, the Infected can last up til five months if cunning enough.
- Despite serving as the main antagonists throughout the entire franchise of this flick, they later became the secondary main antagonists in 28 Weeks Later (though they still served as the primary threats) as the main scenario is caused by the film's true main villain.
- The Infected have a high tolerance for pain, however, if they are damaged enough it will impede them, as an Infected soldier whose body was cut open by helicopter blades could only move very slowly compared to the others.
- All the Infected, to varying degrees, bleed out of their tear ducts in their eyes. This may symbolize the fact that serial killers are marked with tear symbols, as all the Infected are natural killers.
- Despite being proven (in the first two films at least) to be infected with a virus, of at least natural origin, the Infected retain some elements of classical zombies possessed or brainwashed by demons or dark magic, for instance:
- They are nocturnal
- They hate humanity and seek to destroy it
- They have superhuman strength and speed
- They act similar to the Deadites
- The Infected cannot cross running water - similar to demons, evil fairies and the Nazgûl. For instance, in 28 Weeks Later it was proven they cannot enter or cross water - those that did enter soon floundered and most likely drowned. The majority of the Infected even turned back as soon as they saw running water ahead of them. Most of them stayed on the bank screaming in vain after Donald.
- Donald is unique among Infected, because he carries weapons - he used Scarlett's rifle to bludgeon her to death. No other Infected has bothered using weapons, using their bare hands.