This Halloween came with it a multitude of crimes not listed or enforced by Metropol. We were robbed the sheer terror from finding something unexpected and unexplained trespassing in our rationalized front lawns. That necessary breach of our arrogance, that we were as omniscient of our surroundings as our maker. Forcing us to reel in our minds, updating reality by filling in the blanks and divining forms in the shadows. That bitter metallic taste of fear-synthesized saliva dripping in our mouths.
The zombies came in with a whimper of a ghost story we already knew. Newspapers in their due-diligence and civic duty broke a story not intended for the public. Who, what, where, when, why, and even how was documented in easy to read black and white, preparing the citizens for the future. Except that humans have evolved never knowing the future, built only to respond to the ever present dangers of the now.
We read, distributed, commented, wondered, and fiercely debated what was to unfold days prior to the event, and then we were done. Like the hangover after a night of binge drinking we didn’t want to be bothered by another sip. The news had robbed the new from the story, making it old before its time, with people casually cautioning their friends, “look out for zombies,” in-lieu of the primal screams that had succeeded in passing along critical information to societies long before fire. We were omniscient once again with no mysteries to solve, or forms lurking in the shadows.
As zombies walked, people went about their day. Crime never took a holiday and Metropol continued making arrests, while jurors sneered at the indecency of a zombie attempting to enter the courthouse. Nomos carried on, with the help of a few gung-ho crazies,giving the rest of us a reprieve while they held back the tide, happy to murder something and not only be absent of consequence, but be rewarded for their semi-latent homicidal tendencies.
By the next day, annoyance not fear, had driven most citizens indoors or off-world. The barren streets of Nomos looked exactly as the Metropol Chief announced the event, the Apocalypse. Undoubtedly furthering Metropol’s delusions of their self-righteous crusade, now complete with an army of darkness. With no more crime to enforce, they tried first to barricade themselves inside the church, with their occasional excursions into the chaos meeting limited success.
Huddled inside a compact space, like child’s instinct to pull the cozy covers over their head, to zombies they had to appear like delicious sardines. By the time I thought to scope the place out, I had to quickly back track as a zombie breached the doors infecting anyone in reach, which is to say, everybody in the church.
This immersion of despair was what I needed to eschew my final reservations. Breathing in some sort of burnt smelling dust that saturated the air, I struck out on my own to sample the sweet syrup of discord and take on the horns of the beast in my adrenaline induced high. Learning from the mistakes of the church, I chose a more mobile route, slipping through the tunnels. For all the talk that these zombies were abducted miners, they had difficulty navigating the subterranean paths.
Jumping out like some rabid gopher, I began popping off zombies one or two at a time, at times providing cover to thankless stranglers who happen to find themselves alone on a silver platter. After the first dozen kills, my predatory zeal kicked into full gear. A special glee grew across my face, like driving in an open cabin through a sandstorm. BANG, there went another zombie, a miner named Larry who sent his pay back home to his wife and three kids. BANG, there went Curly, who gave a fuck about him anyhow.
BANG, good bye Earl. Earl’s dead.
With each kill, Metrotek rewarded me for cleaning up their shit, but I’m not going to throw myself into Metrotek hate group. I’m sure Metrotek will give good cause in short time, but not now. Their only mistake was to pay us rather than charge us. These zombies weren't the sewage flowing out into the streets, but rather drug enriched blood that we’ve hungered for. Give us more brainless miners to slaughter. Give us a building to set a flame. Let us dance around with impish delight and we’ll ignore all the rest of crap shoveled on top of us. Add a few so-called zombie women for us to rape, and we may even tolerate Metropol.
I stumbled through my zombie hangover in a burger joint with one of the badly scrapped up Metropol officers, who reflected that this entire event was a test of our humanity. I would agree but for opposite reasons, though my proof needed more time and zombies to materialize. We’re all just three meals from complete anarchy. Seeing how Metropol handled mindless mobs, it would have been interesting to see them handle mobs with slightly higher intelligence, including some from their own ranks turning against them.
The zombies gone, barely touching our hunger, people bemoan without asking the right questions. Further supporting my prior characterizations. No one cared about the miners or Metrotek’s involvement. Only crying about why they were here at all, or those like myself who tasted the salt lick of frenzy, whether they were going to be more in the future.
By the time this article reaches publication, more miners will go missing. How many of them will wake up in some Metrotek biohazard lab? What other experiments will does Metrotek have in it’s program? What will go wrong next, and will we read about it first, or wake up to it chewing on our wife? At what point will miners become to valuable, and citizens or so-called criminals be tossed into the labyrinth?
I do ask those questions.
Metropol has no comment.
Meditek has no comment.
Psychotek has no comment.