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.
All the lights were off at the Poly offices as Destructoid's Space Elephant approached. The building seemed abandoned, but Last Scion could see a figure standing in the doorway of the lobby. The assassin would have us believe he comes alone.
Elsa put down the ship in front of the doors and cut the power. Jim threw open the hatch and muttered something about Jonathan's anatomy.
“Is it proper for Sterling to be here?” Last Scion smelled ion fuel leaking onto the tarmac and wondered why the Dtoiders didn't need spacesuits to leave the ship. He was calmed by the word science marching uninvited into his mind.
“You fockin' wot, mate?” said Jim, doing his best impression of one of the many varied speech patterns in House Sterling's thralldom.
“You left us more abruptly than Nanbu. You didn't even treat with us in the Cblogs. We may have granted you forgiveness if you had begged us.”
“I'll have you know I'm an integral link in the Dtoid chain. The words 'Jim Sterling' and 'Destructoid' will forever be synonymous.”
“You almost never ventured into the Cblogs.”
“Dtoid is nothing without the Cblogs and forums,” said Caimdark.
“It is known,” said Last Scion. “Now let us go and hear what lies the assassin has prepared for us.” One by one they climbed out of the Space Elephant. The air was bitterly cold and reeked of the aforementioned ion fuel, but was quite breathable.
Samit waved his hands and the doors slid open. He floated toward them. “Thank you so much for coming,” he said, his face morose.
Jim muttered something else about Jonathan, who sighed.
“May I assume you're in charge now?” Samit shook Elsa's hand.
“Since Zombie Orwell died, yes,” she replied.
“And Niero,” added Last Scion.
Samit nodded. “A touchy subject indeed, but that's why you're all here.” As always, he came clad in red spandex and a helmet.
“You will forgive an old lion his impropriety,” said Last Scion, “but it is difficult to take a man seriously when he clothes himself in... that.”
“I'm afraid it is I who must ask forgiveness. I have not removed these vestments in three millennia, and I will not do so now. Promises not kept are wept. Surely you understand.”
“These niceties are boring my dicks off,” said PhilKenSebben. “Why the fuck did you kill Niero?”
“You've waited long enough for answers," Samit replied. "Please step inside. Follow me to the banquet hall.”
“This is as good a place as any to talk,” said Last Scion. “Give your explanation out here where we are less likely to be ambushed by shadows.”
Samit looked taken aback. “I would sooner die than see further harm come to Destructoid.”
“How much sooner?” asked Last Scion.
“Sir, you are the finest warrior this industry has ever seen. It would take twenty men to subdue you.”
“Or one lovely maid,” said Occam.
“Hey, Jonathan,” said Jim, “there's only one man who can subdue me.”
WE INTERRUPT THIS NOVEL TO SAY THE FOLLOWING:
THAT IS ALL.
Jonathan sighed and walked through the door. Everyone followed him because he was Jonathan Holmes.
Narrator X – Operative word: was.
The banquet hall was smaller than Last Scion expected. Roughly the size of three Gamestops and structured similarly, it had a massive mahogany table in the center. Last Scion saw that it was embellished with carvings of the gods and goddesses of video gaming mythology. Mario was playing soccer with Shang Tsung. Samus Aran was flying an R-Wing.
“Wow, cool table, Samit!” said Jonathan. “Where'd you buy it?”
“I made it,” said Samit.
“No fuckin' way,” said Phil.
“Impressive,” said Elsa.
“It's been a labor of love for about five years. Juliette Starling is going in the center,” he directed their attention to the middle of the table. “Next to Niero.” There, roughly two feet tall, was the third best wood carving ever made of Niero G, deceased founder of Destructoid. He was embracing an as-yet uncarved Juliette Starling.
“Wow, Samit,” said Elsa. “That's lovely. And really touching.”
“We should really be touching, too,” Jim said to Jonathan, who again sighed with the exhasperation of 46 middle school teachers.
“You don't really want to have sex with me,” said Jonathan. “I'm not so hunky anymore. Used to be, sure... Not anymore. Can we just talk about what we came here to talk about?”
“How about we talk about penises instead?” said Samit.
“JONATHAN HOLMES!!” squealed Jim. “He's talkin' about penises!” He cupped one of Jonathan's breasts.
“Nope. Cookie's goin' in the oven.” The Silent Cookie sat down and took out his 3DS.
“Is he okay?” asked Samit.
“He's fine,” said Elsa. “He just does that for attention. Hey, Jonathan! We're not giving in to you this time. Just ignore him, Samit.”
“Please be seated, then. We'll get down to business.”
Everyone except Last Scion took a chair. “I shall remain standing, if you don't mind,” he said.
“Of course not.” Samit looked at Elsa. “Dale has informed me that you've come into possession of a letter written by Niero concerning his decision to sacrifice himself.”
“Yes,” said Elsa. She lit up a cigarette because it felt like the right thing to do. “This entire situation troubles me greatly, Samit.” She took a drag and held it in her mouth for a moment before blowing it across the table. “You wouldn't happen to have espresso here, would you?”
“Unfortunately not, my good lady. But may I invite you and your comrades to some fine 19XX vintage pinotage?”
Last Scion saw Elsa caress the dagger on her thigh. She is prepared for this meeting to come to blows.
“I'm afraid none of us are fans of South African wines,” said Elsa. “And we had best keep our wits about us; the trip back to Earth will be taxing.”
“Such are the tradeoffs of space travel. We can move faster than light itself, but the body suffers tremendously.”
“I grow tired of this banter,” said Last Scion. “Please explain yourself, assassin, that we might decide what to do with you.”
“In the oven,” said The Silent Cookie, who was still sitting on the floor, absorbed in a brightly colored world of happy animals and xylophone music.
“Do you know what happens to dough, my dear lion?” Samit stood up.
“I mislike your riddle, assassin. Speak clearly.”
“When you form dough into balls and place it on a cookie sheet, what do you do with it?”
“You place it in the oven,” said Elsa.
“Precisely,” said Samit. “And when the dough has finished baking, you take it out of the oven and let it cool. What happens next?”
“Holmes is not a cookie.” Last Scion was sneering. “This is folly. Come, Destructoid. We leave.”
“Cookies get devoured,” said Samit.
“Cookie,” said Cookie.
“There we have it. He is indeed a cookie.” The doors to the banquet hall closed and music began playing softly over the intercoms. Several thousand Huge Members burst from boxes labeled Wii U and Xbox One.
“Tonight we devour a cookie!” shouted Samit. The Members began to swirl around each other, slowly taking shape. Enormous legs and arms appeared from the mist of metallic phalli; then claws and teeth. Elsa turned around and stared up at the beast, dagger in hand.
“Rancor,” yelled Samit, “devour!” The Members moved as a unit, lumbering toward The Silent Cookie. Occam was nearly upon the rancor, gunblade in his hands, when one of the rancor's arms detached and smashed into him. He hit the wall. More Members exploded from PS4 boxes and held him in place while the arm floated back to its body.
“DRECK sends its regards,” said Samit, and the members surrounding Occam collapsed in upon him, killing him instantly. Then they blasted out in all directions. One caught Elsa in the neck, another lodged itself in her head. She fell onto the table, dead. The cigarette landed in her hair and caught fire.
Last Scion was on the ground. There was a sharp pain in his shoulder. Members were flying around the room and the rancor was standing above The Silent Cookie. He knew it was too late to save the cookie, but that didn't matter. Dale was his responsibility. Last Scion saw Samit enjoying the havoc. The bastard is smiling. Elsa's body was entirely engulfed in flames.
Then he saw Dale underneath the table. Last Scion crawled to him as Huge Members shot through the air. When he reached the cowering beast, he whispered loudly. “Dale! You need to feign death. Lie still.”
Dale ignored him. “Dale must save Jonathan!” He tried to crawl out from under the table, but Last Scion pulled him back.
“No! You will stay here.” Last Scion held him fast. Dale was powerless in the grip of his guardian. They could only watch as the rancor's teeth ripped into their friend.
Last Scion felt Dale squirm in his arms. He looked around and saw several bodies lying on the ground, being beaten by Huge Members. His friends and compatriots were dead or dying, he knew, but they did not matter. His task was to protect Dale; and he would succeed or perish in the attempt.
Several moments passed. Last Scion never loosened his grip on the beast he had sworn to protect.
“Bring the bodies to the zord,” said Samit. “I shall have them shot into the sun.” The rancor dropped Jonathan's corpse. He was dead, but his body remained mostly intact. The dread creature then dissolved as the Members began swirling around bodies and lifting them into the air.
“Dale, you must feign death.” The beast seemed unconscious already. He has fainted. This is too much for him. He never trained as a warrior. Last Scion let his body go limp. Whatever dangers lie ahead of them, he knew he could not keep Dale alive in this room of slaughter and polite conversation. He would take his chances with the sun.