Saturday, October 22
Steelhead: Necropolis Now!
I cannot tell you when the plague finally overcame me. It was a seamless transition in my delirium from caring for my single patient to caring for everyone else that would soon succumb. If this contagion is unstoppable, as I feared, we need to establish a graveyard. As is the case for the Haitian variety of zombie, the first one to establish themselves in a cemetery (prime real estate) is called the Baron. And if Patient Zero refuses to take responsibility for leading those he has infected...
"I was the first to call a town meeting in Steelhead, and so shall I be the last! A new dusk arrives for this, our fair city! Now for our agenda!"
The room was quiet save for the echoes of my own ranting. I knew it would soon be standing room only.
"Motion one! The dead shall rise and walk among the living! Resolved! Motion two! The dead shall rise and eat the living! In progress!"
Though my vision was starting to blur sightly, I could see the Founder staring through the window, his arms crossed grimly.
"What's the matter, Old Man?" I shouted. "Why won't you come in? Prior agreements? Oh such a pity! Qlippothic and Ash won't stop me...I can override them! Koen and Amarantis? Let them join me by my side! Where's your precious angel, I wonder? Cowering in his Shanghai tower?"
He gave no response. Still as a statue.
"No matter. Time for a bit of old-fashioned necromancy!"
I lifted the huge tome bound in questionable hide and lowered it with a heavy thump on the podium. Frost grew in delicate lattices across the windows soon after I opened the pages.
"Let me see...ah, there it is. Lichdom!"
My voice strained through the opening syllables, but I could invoke the final request in English.
"Ancient spirits of Evil! Transform this decayed..."
"Floppy Dong!" shouted a voice from the main entrance.
I slammed the book shut immediately. This was not the sort of ritual that tolerated foolish pranks.
"YOU!" I pointed to the short redhead in the airshipman's uniform who stood at the doorway to the meeting hall. "You're not dead yet! Come back later!"
"I'm afraid this can't wait...Doctah Mushtash. We made a pinky-promise, remember? Qlippothic sent me back in time to make sure it comes true."
"What? What pink..." I noticed the glimmer of the steel washer I had neglected to remove. "Oh MINDY! Oh how sweet! You seem to have been cured! A marvelous testament to my medical skills! Now please, go back to your own timeline. Hell, take little Mindy with you before I decide to paradox you out of existence myself!"
She lifted a weapon and aimed it towards me. The glow of the serum chambers were brighter and bluer than my traditional formula, but there was no doubt it was an inoculation pistol. My own pistol!
"Oh I see how this goes!" I climbed over the podium and stared down at her, with the full hunger of the undead rising to the surface. "Didn't I ever tell you that Masons never get happy endings?"
The next moment it felt like an elephant had slapped me on the neck with its trunk, and I fell to the ground writhing. When I came to, it was she who was staring down me. I could not help but notice the washer on a chain around her neck.
"You look better already."
"Did you have to aim for the carotid?"