Brains. I've never feared them before - from the MRI research to the endless seminars, they've always struck me as the great unknown, like a Rubik's cube with my hands eagerly twisting the bricks. I felt like a small part of a community, all of us collaborating to put together a grand puzzle, a close cousin to that age-old philosophical inquiry - "who are we?". Now I fear them, or at least fear having them, as they've become a commodity much like gold to survivalists, except these survivalists are .. of a different sort. Perhaps they're anti-survivalists, or post-survivalists? They appear to have a taste for flesh, in particular brains. I've always had a taste for brains myself, but largely for my MRI research - only rarely would I even consider eating one. Now there are nigh-invulnerable cannibals (were they still human) wandering the city eating us like Hummus at a greek food festival. Some of us were a bit better prepared, and so there are survivors. As far as I can tell, the real survivalists were hit the worst - the urge to "go it alone" and break with society is a dumb idea at the best of times, and at the worst is simply suicide - through teamwork, numbers, and being very careful, some of us have suffered better fates. Those of us who remain are still doing research - the twisty halls of some of the University buildings have kept, with a bit of planning, some parts of CMU safe from the hordes outside. The third floor and up of Baker Hall, thanks to our destruction of all the simple routes up here, are safe so far, and although my office is a bit more crowded now with the refugees, we're surviving. We have decent stocks of food, and we haven't lost anyone since a few days ago when one of our researchers made a mistake in a late-night experiment. Some brave souls on other parts of campus are apparently surviving as well - we have intermittent (gas-engine?) power, and apparently the cell towers are still online (batteries?) because we have occasional contact with other groups. We've been working with some folks at Pitt and at MRI facilities (all over the phone, of course) to try to figure out this zombie infestation thing - laptops connected to cellphones are keeping our efforts moving for now, but it wouldn't take much more than a few days without power or the cell towers failing for that to end. There's talk of trying to take the second floor of Baker to give us all a little more breathing space, but it seems unwise to me as so far the zombies don't seem to have noticed that we're up here and our points of entry are very narrow/easily blocked. The ability to grab and restrain the occasional lonely zombie that walks down the hall near one of the two entrances without making a stir is also handy when the experiments demand it. Additionally, occasionally we see what looks like military people and gangs down there, and right now we need our independence if we're to keep on trying to figure this stuff out.
Some people imagine that because Pittsburgh is the site of most of those Romero films, we'd be better prepared for zombie invasions. I suppose the state of things downtown, at least as reported to us by the people we've been able to call, proved that to be wrong. Unfortunately, the phone network doesn't still extend, as far as we can tell, to other cities. One team at Pitt claim that some kind of a retrovirus is involved, and that they've found butterfly DNA in all their captured samples. I hope a cure, or at least something to keep this plague from spreading, can be found before our thousands of years of civilisation dissolve into the night.