Eric R. Lowther

Eric R. Lowther is a horror writer who has made the prolog of his zombie story Area 187; Almost Hell into a full cast audio drama, available as a set of YouTube videos.

In the year 2007 an accident at a clandestine U.S. government facility in rural West Virginia releases several test subjects infected with a necrotic virus. Within weeks the U.S. military and the Department of Homeland Security are forced to declare the bulk of the state under quarantine. Defensive lines are fortified and nothing is allowed in or out, damning those missed in the short period of evacuations to a living hell and locking away the real truth of the virus' creation.

The government transfers the responsibility of maintaining the quarantine from the military to the Department of Homeland Security, which christens it “Area 187”. Suits and claims are dismissed under anti-terror legislation as the rest of government scrambles to cover their involvement in the original project, distancing themselves and their reelections.

Seven years pass.

Homeland Security enforces a total news blackout on all things Area 187, and as with other disasters before it the bulk of America is more than willing to move on. Conspiracies continue to thrive outside the now-immense defensive wall and fortifications, and mercenaries known as “grave robbers” regularly slip in and out of the Area, stealing valuables and taking contracts to bring back specific items for well-paying customers. Our story follows Josephine Terrell, a television reporter and John Heath, once an Air Force search-and-rescue team leader that escaped the Area after five years of fruitless searching for his wife, as they risk their lives from both the dead and the living inside Area 187 to rescue a group of survivors.

Josephine is looking for the story of the century, one that will prove living, breathing Americans still await rescue inside the Area and that Homeland has been covering up their existence. Heath joins her mission after he sees what may be his wife, Eileen, in a video message from the survivors. Personal rivalries, government conspiracies and a simple man's simple promise weave together with death incarnate to follow their every step as they make their way through a blasted, nightmarish landscape full of the hungering dead. But the peril offered by the mindless corpses behind the wall becomes second to the danger presented by the living beyond it…