Friday, November 21, 2014

Day Seven-Eighty-Five: His plans always suck

The plan did not go as planned.

When Doc caught sight of the airship, he was ecstatic. He’d never seen such a thing himself, but he’d heard of them in stories and songs from the old days, during the first great war between the regulators and the Non. Even as a child, trapped in a starry abyss, he’d found his father’s stories of the machines quite fascinating, and he’d hoped one day to see an airship of his own. Thus his childlike glee of the transport’s very existence forced him to concoct a plan around capturing it, even if fitting Titan Blue’s malleable bulk inside was a questionable endeavour.

His plan was simple enough: masquerade as zombies. Doc’s group had tried the disguise route before, even while employing bounty hunters, and they knew what it was to play dress-up. They also didn’t have to dress up much as usual, as their numbers greatly resembled zombies already - Freak with its scars and sewn-on heads, The Baron with his skeletal jaw, the blonde man with his stitched face. Titan Blue needed only don her usual wrap of bandages and they looked the part of zombies quite nicely. Eve silently resisted any attempts to dress her up, though once Freak managed to raid one of the clothing tents on the fringe of the zombie encampment she accepted a dapper top hat without comment.

The zombie encampment buzzed with activity. Thousands of undead mingled constantly with one another, clinking teacups filled with half-dead beetles and muddy water together while discussing the weather, politics, social niceties, and the consumption of brains. From what little The Baron managed to catch he concluded that the Non attacks on the Indy Plains had severely depleted the number of victims available to the zombies, though they took such losses in stride. They did not, after all, really need to eat people. It was simply a done thing under the proper circumstances.

The Baron also concluded, after a half hour of tiptoeing through the zombie camps, doing his best to hide his manacles under a ragged silk cloak, that he rather liked the zombies. He might have enjoyed being one. They truly enjoyed their afterlives.

The enormous zombie camp was, in truth, a conglomeration of some forty or fifty zombie clans. Where one camp ended the next began, and the clans happily mingled with one another without a hint of resentment towards differences or competition over hunting territory. The only way to tell the zombie clans apart was to observe their garments: the Monoculars, for example, wore monocles over their eye sockets, while the Phoenixians bore dyed-orange feathers in their ears. Some clans confused The Baron - the Edifiers differentiated themselves by swapping body parts with one another every five hours - and he wondered if metaphor played a part in naming.

The Baron could not figure out why the clans had come together, however, until he spotted a too-familiar face walking amongst the zombies. The face spotted him, too, and matters ballooned violently from there.

They were walking through what appeared to be a market when their cover was blown. Doc’s group had, to this point, managed to avoid much scrutiny thanks to their crude appearances and filched finery. The zombies took more interest in Eve than anyone else in the party, but her green eyes and fearless glare drove any salivating passers-by away. The Baron suspected she could dismember every zombie in the amalgamated camp with little trouble.

“Civilized folk,” the blonde man observed, poking at a neatly-heaped stack of rotting beef cutlets on sale, in the back of a dilapidated cart. “This is fine meat, it is. Or, er, was.”

“Shut it,” Doc hissed from beneath Titan Blue’s bandages. Despite shrinking her size to something more reasonable, Titan Blue still towered over everyone else. “We’re not here to shop. How far?”

Titan Blue shaded her eyes, peering over the tops of the ripped tents to the airship in the distance. “Maybe twenty minutes. Hard to tell with all these people in the way.”

“If I had my body I could make them mine,” Doc grumbled. “Fuck. Fuck it. Ah, let’s… let’s hurry. Hurry, you fools, before anyone asks - “

As if on cue, a portly zombie in a moth-eaten petticoat stepped in the group’s path, her boney fingers clicking ghoulishly against her hollowed cheeks. “My word! Beg pardon, but does your torso speak, my large friend? That is a true rarity! Do you have a gentleman stuck in your gullet? I would much appreciate knowing how you managed such a stylish feat without crushing his vocal chords!”

Stepping back a pace, Titan Blue looked around nervously. “Uh… it… comes… naturally…?”

“We don’t have time for this!” Doc barked, teeth so viciously bared that they poked out from beneath the bandages. “Out of my way, woman! I’m busy!”

“Well that’s rude,” the zombie declared, sniffing. A worm crawled out of her empty eye socket and waggled disapprovingly at Doc’s half-revealed face. “Really, now. You should be more forthcoming with style tips at a gathering such as this! They’re so rare, old chap! Oh, my living friend would love to see this, I think… where is she…”

Doc continued to growl complaints, ordering Titan Blue to force past the woman and keep walking. Only The Baron seemed to catch the one word in the zombie’s chatter which hinted at disaster, and the discovery was rendered moot moments later anyway when one of the stalls to the left of The Baron erupted, showering their group in a torrent of mouldy, questionable mouldy undergarments.

Once The Baron managed to slap an old pair of panties off of his face, he got a brief look at his attacker. Her glaring orange eyes told him all he needed to know. 

“You son of a bitch,” Evangelina snarled, cloak billowing in the chill autumn wind. “Give me my brother.

A few moments later, Bernard’s head exploded. The fight was on.

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully Bernard, Cedric and Driscol can finally die in peace after this!