It is my specious pleasure to be addressing you in the fullness of time. My name is Zombie Orwell. You will be hearing a lot from me in the coming months as we ratchet up the intensity of our Zombie Rights Revolution.
I wish all of you safe human-hunting. Please message me (ZOMBIEORWELL@GMAIL.COM) if you have questions or free tacos.
Jim's glinty, glinty eyes surveyed the Valley of Godless Ruination. Four hours prior, the love of his life had met a bloody end. In happier times, Jim might have made a meta-joke about someone's bloody end, but these were not happy times. Jonathan, he thought. You sexy idiot. You sexy criminal.
Jim had no more tears left. Only rage, and an ache in his heart. He knelt and put his palm to the cool dirt. You belong to the earth now, my love. He saw a rock the size of an Xbox controller. What the fuck did we call it? The Duke? He no longer had a taste for videogames. That part of him had perished the second Samit had placed his sword on Niero's neck.
“This is your devastation and your final hour.” the assassin had declared. “Only once you have been eradicated will our mission end.” Samit the Silent, he was called. Good Samit the Silent, tactical is he. Jim remembered the song they sang when their former brother had disappeared. They thought Samit had been kidnapped by the Polygonals. They were wrong, and their carelessness had cost Niero his head.
Tactical is he. Damn it! It says “tactical” in the bloody song. We should have known. He frowned the frown of a thousand collapsing stars. Then he remembered The Duke and frowned harder. Then…then he remembered the naming of Microsoft’s third game console and his frown became death itself. He picked up the rock and clenched it in his gloved hand, forcing it to absorb all of his pain; all of his rage. His grip tightened.
Damn you, Samit. Damn you, Niero. The stone began to glow. Damn you, Microsoft. Damn you for making us scramble to find ways to differentiate between the first Xbox and the Xbox One. The stone was red hot and steam was rising from it. His glove was melting. The pleather made popping and hissing sounds. He squeezed harder. And you, Jonathan. You sexy criminal. You left me here to finish this alone. You know I’m not strong enough without you. You KNOW!!
The rock exploded in his hand. Whether from the absorbed rage or the force of his grip, he couldn’t tell. His gaze returned to the Valley of Godless Ruination. He knew not what he would find there, but he knew blood would spill upon the dusty ground.
To his left was an ancient corpse, behind him the wrecked Destructzord. The corpse was now merely a pile of bones. The feathered end of an arrow protruded from the dead man’s rib cage. A sword and a whetstone lay beside the fallen warrior. He was killed while sharpening that pitiful sword. Jim withdrew his own steel, thinking of the joke he might have made, long ago, about sliding a shining sword from its scabbard. His own sword was massive, and forged into the shape of a life-sized nude Matt Borealis. It glinted like Jim’s eyes.
He paused to enjoy the shape of the sword. Matt’s curves are as lovely as they are deadly. And Samit will know it, before long. He picked up the whetstone and continued sharpening Matt Borealis’ curves. He looked yet again at the village in the Valley of Godless Ruination and shrieked in fury.
His phone buzzed. Last Scion had sent him a six-second video. “This one admitted to killing the king,” he said, looking into the camera. Then he pointed the it at a dead body laying on the ground. Jim's phone buzzed again. Another video.
“A news report is saying the Destructzord has been razing cities worldwide. What have you done, Jim?” The video showed a TV with film of the zord burning a building to the ground. He put the phone in his pocket.
Vague, Orwellian images fizzed before his eyes. He saw fire and lasers. He saw buildings melting. He heard himself screaming and felt the Dzord lurch to one side.
Just then a moan came from behind him, causing the dusty ground and burning wreckage to pop back into existence. He turned around and saw a wretched figure shambling toward him.
“Coooooookkiiieeee,” it said. “Ooovvveeeeeeeeeeennn.”
Jim's stomach dropped and the air grew cold. No. The figure lurched forward, nearly falling. Jim's phone buzzed again. He looked at the screen.
“I have found the assassin,” Last Scion said. “It is probably a trap. Don't come. Will send message if I kill him. If not, I am dead and you are the last Dtoider.” The message looped. Jim dropped the phone and watched the dust swirl around it.
“Coookkiiiiiieeeeeeee...” The figure was nearly on Jim. This is the closest I've ever been to my crumbling cookie. It no longer looked like Jonathan. It moved as if half its bones had been broken. Its left cheek bone had been smashed in, leaving an enormous bruise over the flattened area. Take me, my love.
He felt teeth sink into his neck and he screamed with pleasure as Jonathan tore away a piece of flesh. He was ready to die , but as his soul-mate’s teeth clamped down again, Jim's hand grabbed the Borealis Blade. Before he could tell his hands to stop, they had knocked Jonathan to the ground and sent steel through the undeceased neck.
Jonathan's head rolled away from his body. Jim wailed and fell to his knees. It had all happened so quickly. His muse, his lover, his spirit animal had come back to life for him, but Jim's own body betrayed them both. He stared at the ground in disbelief. His world faded to black.
Last Scion had the crosshairs on Samit's head. The assassin was addressing a crowd of perhaps a hundred men, women, and children. They stood amid smoldering ruins. Their city appeared to have been recently leveled, and if the news reports could be believed, Jim was the cause.
The entire world will be on Samit's side now, he thought. Jim has left craters in a thousand cities. But none of that mattered anymore. He would kill the assassin and then Jim would allow Last Scion to escape the realm of the living and finally join the Pantheon of the Warriors.
He pulled the trigger and watched Samit's head snap back. It should not have been so easy. The body crumpled and fell. Last Scion's phone was recording video the incident, which he sent to Jim. The crowd ran screaming but a few people were gesturing in his direction. I must quit this place.
Jim's eyes snapped open. He stood up. In his hand he saw a gleaming object. Humans were nearby; he could smell them. A screaming hunger grew more intense with every second. His body carried him toward the flesh.
Last Scion dropped the Dragunov he had lifted off a body. The dusty, dusty, dusty, dusty, dusty, dusty, dusty, dusty, dusty ground threw up wisps of thin brown smoke. He pushed open the door and drew his dagger. He preferred the heft of a sword, but was deadly enough with steel of any length.
The air outside smelled of anger, sadness, and drought. He walked past another television showing news footage of the Destructzord razing several cities. The assassin must have a copy of the zord, he thought but that is our wreckage on the hill. It didn't matter. He would leave this broken city and implore Jim to take his life. If Jim refused, Last Scion would have to report his failure to the Council. They would decide what punishment to levy.
Jim had not responded in at least two minutes, even though the 3G signal here was strong. Something foul has befallen the large one. Angry voices drifted toward him from behind. He could barely see the ion smoke in the distance.
He ran up the gentle slope. The voices grew excited and the buildings drifted steadily past him. He heard a crack and felt the air snap by his head. He veered into an alley. Up on a hill, roughly a kilometer away, was the crash site. He was nearly on the outskirts of the smashed and smoking village.
Last Scion let the dagger fall. They will not catch me. Jim must take my life. His hands were shaking. The voices grew louder. Last Scion turned left between two buildings and felt his shoulder explode with pain. Then a gloved hand was around his throat. The pain was easy enough to ignore.
He saw a nude, shining man streaked with red. The fat one has lost himself. Jim dragged him to the nearest building and slammed him into the wall. The lion had already determined not to struggle. He looked at the rising sun and felt teeth on his neck. I die as a warrior. It was a better fate than he deserved, having failed in his duty, but he had already imprinted himself upon The Histories.
The sun burned his eyes, the teeth tore at his neck, and he shot his soul skyward to commune with the gods and elders.
Narrator X - 3rd person omniscient.
Blood rolled down Jim's face. The Last Scion's body had been completely devoured. (Contrary to popular belief, zombies do not hunger for brains. Their goal is always flesh.) A group of villagers found Jim not long after he had finished eating. They put him down easily, as the Borealis Blade was a perfectly crafted instrument of death and arousal. A man named Gamaliel found it and used it to slice Jim's head neatly off.
Local police arrived shortly thereafter and, having been bribed by DRECK representatives to the amount of roughly $50 USD, declared the case closed. The crashed Destructzord, they said, was the same that destroyed a thousand other cities in mere hours. The corpses in the alley had killed each other, and Dtoid entered the history books as a villain to rival Francisco Franco.
Gaming was, of course, thoroughly destroyed. It quickly became a wasteland of free-to-play games, overpriced DLC, microtransactions, and horse armor. No more single player games were ever released, not even Skyrim VS Angry Birds.
Nobody in the village ever told any outsiders about the Blade, though they would go on to use it in a series of events that would stir the world and ignite long-dormant liberation struggles.
There were no happy endings for anyone related to the gaming industry. Except, of course, for Zombie Orwell. He had managed to infect both Jonathan Holmes and Jim Sterling, thereby leading to their deaths. The Last Scion's death was a happy accident for which he claimed full credit.
As a result of his masterful hacking of the Dzord cockpit, thousands of world cities burned to the pavement, or to the dust. Millions of lives were snuffed out. He managed to sow all this chaos and doom despite dying the very day Niero was kidnapped. If ever a more impressive feat of post-mortem devastation has been caused in the world of High Literature, this author has not yet encountered it.
Hey Dtoid. Right now I don't have any Zombie Orwell in me. This is the guy behind the voice. What I'm gonna do goes against the unwritten rules of the character I've created, but I've reached an interesting and terrifying and exhilarating place in life; a place that demands I drop the character for a minute and... spit real talk.
Let's start with introductions. I'm Brandon. I live in Oaxaca, Mexico. Why Mexico? Because I've been desperate to visit the country since I started taking Spanish lessons 13 years ago. I came in November 2012 and I don't plan on going back to the homeland (USA). Why Oaxaca (Wa-Hawk-Ah), specifically? Cuz I met a lovely young lady from here and I think she might say yes if I ask the right question.
The food, the drink, the climate, the mangoes, the avocados, the mangoes, the history, the architecture, the mangoes... Life is good.
But I'm in trouble. I work for thieves. Since I'm basically an illegal immigrant, I have few options when they try to screw me over, and my employers know it. Even if I were a citizen, I'm in a country where the phrase “workers' rights” is not in the vocabulary.
I teach English. My school gives me an envelope with cash every two weeks, and until recently, my salary has been just enough to pay the rent and buy food. (No complaints, though, because I use my extra time to build side projects and create yummy internet content.) But now they're robbing my hours. For the last two pay periods they've payed me exactly half of what they owe me, and they say “oh, sorry. We don't know your schedule. We'll pay the rest next time.”
But we all know "next time" ain't coming. Next time was supposed to be today.
And earlier today they decided it would be super cool to prorate my salary because I didn't attend a workshop that they failed to inform me about. “You didn't come, so we have to cut your pay.” I left more pissed off than I've been in a loooooooong time, almost panicking, wondering what I was gonna do. But then I started thinking.
My Plan And My Content
I've been here on Dtoid for a couple years, writing absurd things and having a great time. Some of the absurd things I write even get a warm reception, which never ceases to amaze me and fill my cold, black heart with fuzzy tinglies. Lately I've been working my ass off to produce a Mexico History Podcast (in between classes and visa runs to Guatemala so I can keep living in Mexico semi-legally).
I wrote a book (Devastation and Destruction of Destructoid) where Mr. Andy Dixon gets drowned by metal dildos, where Dale North gets killed in mysterious circumstances (as does Hamza's stripper girlfriend), and where Jonathan Holmes is a mob boss. Other things happen, too. And there's a dance number. The final chapter will be up Monday.
I've also recorded a few chapters of DDD, to be released as a disturbing audiobook.
I have a dark sci-fi book in the works. And did I tell you about the Mexico History Podcast? Your ears want it. If I told you how many hours I've poured into it since the beginning, you wouldn't believe me. But I do it because I love it. This is the kind of stuff I want to do full time (or as full time as monetarily possible).
I can't keep working for the same school, and there's a high likelihood that things will devolve into the same situation in almost any school that employs me. Things have been... interesting for the last couple months. So I'm reaching out to Dtoid.
Here's the thing, I'm not asking for charity. I'm not asking for handouts. I'm asking for you to check out the stuff I've already created. Check out my Dtoid content. Check out my Mexico history podcast. Check out the Zombie Orwell wordpress. If you like what I've produced, if you think it's valuable, or if you want to see more content more often from Zombie Orwell and the guy behind him, send a little donation via Paypal. On the top you'll see my personal email address (email@example.com). Feel free to send me a message. I'm yours, baby!
If you don't have any money to spare, that's totally cool. Maybe you can just point a friend in the direction of one of my outlets (the Mexico podcast, the Dtoid backlog, etc). Or send me a question for the Mexico thing I keep talking about. I'll do listener feedback episodes. MexicoPodcast@gmail.com
His head turned slowly to the left. The cockpit was sliding forward. He looked at Jim, who was sliding with it. Now the doorway was moving past him. A stack of books floated in air as their shelf kept the same slow, forward motion as the cockpit.
An eternity passed while Last Scion hung motionless. Things recede. The meeting with the assassin had been out of Last Scion's control from the moment they had landed at Poly HQ, and now his friend Elsa was receding along with all the Destructoid members who had come with and met their ends in time with Samit's grand orchestra.
He thought of Occam's final brave seconds, leaping to action in order to protect Jonathan. Last Scion felt the rancor's metal fist smash into Occam.
He thought of Dale and felt something on his back. Its touch grew stronger. The wall. Last Scion had floated through the anteroom and was slowly pushing up against the wall. It was comforting at first, but the comfort soon turned to oppression, then to pain, then agony. The wall ground relentlessly into his back.
Now it was touching his head. He felt a sharp pain in his skull and his eyes grew heavy. He could not resist. His body was being crushed, but his brain was forcing him to sleep. His eyes closed and he fell into unconsciousness.
He awoke to flames and fumes. The smell of burning ion fuel scorched his airway down to the bottom of his lungs. What foul dream is this? Nearby he heard a rhythmic scraping sound. He stood up, though his body screamed in protest. I do not surrender to pain. Pain surrenders to me. But it did not surrender when he walked forward. Instead, his leg gave out and he fell in a heap.
“NO!” he roared. The scraping stopped.
“Last Scion, is that you?”
The British one, he thought. “Yes, where are we?”
“Bloody blazing British ballsacks, I thought you had died.” Jim ran to him. “Are you okay?”
“I am a warrior,” Last Scion answered. “Tell me what happened. The last moment I remember was a peaceful dream in which I floated backward through the zord.” Though it ended as a nightmare.
“We crashed. I'm not sure what happened, but I think Zombie Orwell did something to the control panel. I think he hacked my brain.” Jim looked pale and weak, like he might die of exhaustion at any moment.
“What have you been doing all this time? You look as death itself.”
“The blade,” he said. “I've been sharpening the blade.”
“Damn it, Jim,” Last Scion snarled, “House Dixon has suffered enough shame. You should not pile on by 'sharpening your blade' for hours on end. Go and find Samit. Kill him.”
“No, look.” Jim held aloft a massive, finely crafted sword. It had been shaped into a life-size steel representation of Matt Borealis. He stood nude, hands behind his head, posing suggestively.
Last Scion averted his eyes. It is unbecoming for a warrior to gaze with lust upon such well-made erotica. But the artwork – the craftsmanship.
“My god, Jim,” he said. “Are those...”
“Yes. Droplets of water.”
“You are a true artisan.”
Jim frowned. “The beauty of my art is a result of the anguish in my soul. The only man I ever loved spurned me. He died in the gnashing teeth of a monster made of sex toys. My brain was violated by a long-dead pusher of pens. And now I come crashing to Earth with nothing left.”
He slid the Borealis Blade into its scabbard. “Art is anguish and the ground is dust.”
“Yes,” agreed Last Scion. “Artists were made to suffer. Nobody understands the world like a poet.”
“Or purveyor of fine literature.”
“Truly.” Together they gazed up at the stars. “Yet we are infinitely insignificant.”
“Life is pain.”
“Art is life.”
“Therefore art is pain.” Their two souls communed among the smoking wreckage of the Destructzord. Several hours passed while they discussed things too profound and true to ever set to paper. And their souls communed.
Their souls communed.
Narrator X – After the communion
“Let us find Dale and set about our separate paths,” said Last Scion.
“Forget about Dale. He's gone.”
“Do not tell me this thing, Jim.” He stood up, his body still screaming in pain, but allowing him to move. “I must find Dale.”
He tumbled through the wreckage, shouting Dale's name, but only the fires gave answer. He picked up piles of steaming metal and flung them out of the way, hoping not to find Dale burnt and crackling beneath. His hands were burning, but he ignored the pain. Why do the fires still burn as though fresh?
The next piece of metal he picked up claimed most of the skin on one finger. He snarled in pain. Lions are warriors. Pain surrenders to me. He lifted up another large hunk of steel, but it slipped from his grasp and fell on the ground, kicking up a plume of ion-soaked dust. He choked and stumbled. His bloody bones and charred skin felt evil when he grabbed his throat. NO! This is not where you die, lion.
His body lurched forward a few more steps, but he struggled to see through the tears. A large, dark object came into view on his immediate left. He leaned against it, grateful for a bit of reprieve. Breathe, lion. Accept the oxygen. He took a breath. And another. And another. He stood there breathing and shaking for several minutes.
A scene from his boyhood raced through his brain: the initiation ritual his uncle, Temujin, had designed for his newly-formed army. The pain of those blows and bites and stings came rushing back, but he shook off the memory. He was a boy then, and boys feel pain; but now he was the veteran of 10,000 battles. Pain did not exist.
He looked at his hands. They had nearly burned away, but, with great difficulty, he could still move them.
In the distance he saw a small cuboid building with one corner dug into the ground. He walked to it, realizing, as he neared, that it was part of the Destructzord. He looked at the upside down sign.
It appeared mostly undamaged. He walked to within inches of the wall and felt no heat. The doors were a few feet to his left. I will need to pry them open, but with what hands?
The doors slid open as he neared. Luck had a perverse sense of humor. His eyes scanned the room. Everything had fallen into the corner that was stuck in the ground. He climbed in and began digging for gauze, as well as something to form a barrier between his hands and the burning steel outside that likely covered Dale's corpse. If he dies, the plans are sunk. I have failed him by not insisting on extra precautions during the meeting with the assassin.
He found a roll of gauze in one of the many first aid kits. As he tossed it outside and watched dust swirl up around it he struggled to think of a material resistant to ion flames.
The only thing that can stop a Destructzord is, of course, another Destructzord. Niero's final speech replayed itself in Last Scion's ears. He nodded to himself and started digging furiously for ion bandages. If Dale was dead, he could at least find the body and give the creature a proper burial.
He reached just under the surface of medical flotsam and his fingers closed around a hand. He nearly let go and jumped back in fear, but instead merely flinched and dug faster. He knew it was Dale. He knew the careful plans laid by Niero were now done.
Before long he was pulling a body from the pile of hospital equipment. Nietzsche had the right of it, he thought as he threw Dale over his shoulder and carried him out of the infirmary.
After placing him gently on the ground, he stepped back. Dale's body seemed intact. No bruises, no cuts. Last Scion dared not hope the corpse yet lived. He bent down and put his head just above Dale's face. He looked at the chest. No air passed the mouth nose. The chest was motionless. He had no fingers left with which to check the veins and arteries for a pulse.
Ignoring his extensive CPR and First Aid training, he rolled Dale onto his stomach. Then he saw it.
The Last Scion Of The House Of Blue Lions stood up and exhaled. He marched back to the sound of whetstone upon steel, a wild fury in his eyes. The fat one will squeal.
Jim never heard him coming. Last Scion picked him up by the hair and sent him rocketing into the sky. He launched himself up as well and slammed into the man who killed Dale North.
“Before I bring you crashing into the dusty Earth,” he shouted, “before I feed the ion flames with your considerable corpse, just tell my why you did it.”
“What the fuck, mate? What are you talking about?”
They hung in the air for an eternity, the planet growing smaller every second. Their souls had communed among the flames a few minutes ago and now their bodies did the same among the stars.
“You have ruined Niero's plans. You have caused me to break an oath to him and to my father. I shall grant you a quick and glorious death if you tell me why you killed Dale! If you do not, your death shall last for nine horrible days and you shall squeal until your vocal chords bleed and break.”
“I didn't kill Dale. I haven't seen him since... oh shit!”
They were flying back toward Earth at twice the speed with which they had left it.
“You are imprudent, Jim!” They re-entered the atmosphere and caught fire instantly. Jim was screaming in pain while Last Scion enjoyed the weightlessness. Just when the heat started to become uncomfortable, they smashed into the ground.
The sound of mountains crumbling filled Last Scion's ears. He could see nothing, but knew their bodies were cratering through the planet near the crashed Dzord. He will roast nicely on the fires. His heart shall nourish me as I hunt the assassin. If Jim was still screaming, he couldn't tell.
The ground continued to part violently before them. Several minutes passed before they slowed to a halt. Last Scion breathed in the dust and prepared for the return journey.
They exploded to the surface. Last Scion dropped Jim next to one of the many still-burning ion fires and went to find the Borealis Blade. His own steel shall break him.
He treaded the dusty, dusty, dusty, dusty, dusty ground, looking for the boulder Jim sat upon to sharpen his sword. He looked left. Nothing. He looked right. Nothing. Then he looked straight ahead and saw it. Of course! It's so obvious. He ran to it and saw the sword.
He picked up the Borealis Blade and held it in his hands, feeling naked rage crawl up his arm. He felt hatred for regressive elements within the gaming industry. He felt annoyance at Michael Pachter. But most of all he felt a sweet ache in his nether regions. Jonathan, he thought. You sexy idiot... my god. Jim has poured all of his polygons into this fine steel. Then a dagger was at his throat.
Last Scion let the sword fall. “It is a lovely weapon.”
“It's Matt Borealis,” said Jim. “Of course it's lovely.” He forced Last Scion to his knees and picked up his blade.
“Kill me,” whispered Last Scion. “I've waited so long for this moment. I had always thought myself immortal, but now I know.” He looked at the steel-rendered water droplets on Matt's silver skin. “The blade.”
Gunfire crackled in the distance.
“I'm not going to kill you, lion. I didn't kill Dale and I won't kill you. I have never killed, but I will make exceptions for anyone who comes between me and Samit.” Shots continued to ring out in the distance.
“Please end my shame. I have failed. Do your duty. Any of my former generals would have me quartered for such a failure, and I would gladly have acquiesced. Genghis would have clawed my eyes out himself and fed me, still breathing, to his horses. Moctezuma would have sent me to the priests to be sacrificed. Phalaris would have locked me in his Brazen Bull. But I have never failed my leaders. Not until today. Now I know why. My purpose is to feed the Borealis Blade its first soul. My life force shall charge the steel that saves the gaming industry.”
“You're talking a load of shite.”
“If I find the assassin, will you do this thing for me?”
“I'll think about it. But if you ever touch Matt you will find yourself back on your knees, begging again for death.” The shots came quicker with every moment.
Last Scion stood up. “I will investigate the battle. Perhaps I will find the one who murdered the king.”
“Go then. Matt still needs more time with the whetstone. Email me your progress.”
“My 3G signal here is truly impressive.” He put his phone away and strode in the direction of the battle, his hands impatient to feel the life drain from the body of Dale's murderer.