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 woke up shivering. He was in a dark room lying on a hard surface. The only sound was a soft, steady hum. He felt needles stabbing into his legs and shoulder when he tried to sit up. He collapsed back to the ground.
“Fuck!” he yelled. “Fuck,” he moaned. Then he thought of Jonathan. The last thing he remembered was Jonathan getting upset and going in the oven. Then giant phalli erupted from Wii U boxes. That was too much for him. I must have fainted from pure elation, he thought. Shit! I missed all the fun.
“Damn it, Jonathan. You sexy idiot. You sexy criminal.” He heard a purring noise to his left. It soon turned to growling. A voice spoke.
“Where are we?” it asked.
“Probably Jonathan's bedroom,” Jim replied.
“That is doubtful.”
“I think he drugged me, the cheeky bastard.”
“Your desperation is unseemly and you are joking at the worst possible moment... Oh, gods!” The voice became frightened. Or anxious, Jim thought.
“I've fallen asleep. Jim, where's Dale?”
“How do you know my name? Who are you?”
“Do you know anyone else who growls and purrs? I'm Last Scion. Where's Dale?”
“We must find him immediately.”
Jim heard him begin to move and fumble through the dark. “Oh, leave him be. He's probably run off with Jonathan, the cheating bastard.” With that, Last Scion pounced on him.
“Have you forgotten everything that has happened today?” The lion was pressing him into the ground. “Jonathan is dead. Now help me find Dale!”
“Dead to me, you mean,” Jim said, “and...”
“NO!” Last Scion dragged Jim to his feet. “He was devoured by a monster made of swarming sex toys; the very same objects that tore through Elsa and crushed Occam and beat several of our comrades to death. This is no longer a game, you 4th rate mummer. This is no longer a joke. Destructoid is done. You and I are all that remain unless we find Dale now!”
Last Scion let him go. Jim stood in shock. The lion didn't seem to be pitching him a Dismal Jesters skit, but his words were too absurd and, if true, too devastating to believe.
“Take your time to adjust to this nightmare.” Last Scion spoke softly. “Then help me search.” He left Jim there and began rifling through objects strewn on the floor. They made heavy thuds when he set them down.
Jim's eyes struggled to adjust to the dark and he was unable to find words, so he joined the hunt. As his vision got better he saw that the objects Last Scion examined were sleeping bodies. Jim walked up to one and knelt down to see if it was Dale. He lifted the head toward his own. The face slowly came into view as it inched closer.
Jim slammed the head down and fell backwards. “Fuck me!” He scrambled away from the body. It was Caimdark with Huge Members lodged in the eye sockets. He crawled away from it and fell upon something that was clearly not concrete. His hand fell through it as though it were a dry, rotten log. By now he was having no trouble seeing.
He looked down upon a burned body staring staring back at him. Jim fainted for the second time that day.
(dixon dixon dixon dixon dixon)
The light was blinding. “You should not go back into that room. It is a place of horrors.”
“Mmmm,” Jim croaked in response. His throat felt as dry as the corpse he had fallen upon. “Water... please.”
“There is none. Even now Dale searches, but he will find nothing. The Destructzord was not built for comfort.”
“Destruct...” Jim was confused. “Are we on...”
“Yes. We are being carried to the sun. Samit means to extinguish us like he did Niero. But Niero died quickly. We will not share the same fate. The assassin would have us suffer.
“Then this is the end of Destructoid,” said Jim.
“Not yet. As soon as I finish patching your wounds, you shall go to the cockpit and pilot us to Earth. I shall protect Dale until I am relieved of duty, but you may do as you wish after we report what has happened today.”
“Strider, Devore, and the Smurfish one remain on Earth. Hamza may yet live, but his crusade of vengeance will be the end of him.”
“Is he really going to kill all of them?” Jim asked.
“Hamza wants to break DRECK, but they will break him first.”
“Not if I help him.”
“You cannot succeed. You will die with Hamza.”
“You're probably right, but you can't stop me from trying.”
“My only concern is Dale. You are free to do as you wish. I am merely telling you what will happen if you try to fight them.”
“Why do you still insist on protecting Dale? Niero's gone. He doesn't care anymore. You're not gonna get fired.”
“It matters not. He, like I, is the last living member of a once great house. Several millennia ago our houses were one. Internal politics divided us, but it was my father's dying wish that the world see the lions and wolves reunited.”
Jim stared at him, uncomprehending.
“As I said, it matters not. It is merely a promise I made to my father. And to Niero.”
“What does Niero have to do with it?” Just then the door slid open and Dale walked in carrying several bottles of water and packs of sliced meat.
“Do you bring salt beef?” asked Last Scion.
“What's that?” asked Dale.
“It is beef with salt.”
“Dale didn't see anything called salted beef in the kitchen. But Jim must have nutrients.”
“Kitchen?” said Jim. “There's a kitchen on a zord?”
“Destructoid works in mysterious ways,” said Last Scion.
“Jim must have water,” said Dale.
“Jim must have water,” agreed Jim. Dale gave him a bottle and turned to look at Last Scion.
“Jim must pilot the Dzord,” he said.
“Jim must do a lot of things, mustn't he?” Jim finished the bottle and grabbed another. “Why can't you do it?”
“Dale tried,” he said, “but the Dzord growled and shocked Dale with electricity. Dale was very surprised and injured.”
“I tried as well,” said Last Scion, “but the viewport flashed red and said 'Lions can not pilot zords.' You are our last hope, Jim.”
“I'd rather not be.”
“If you can not fly it, we are truly done.”
“Roit. Here's the fing, mates: I've neva bloody pilo'ed a bloody aircrawft in ma loif.” Jim began coughing.
“Excuse me? I did not understand a word of that.”
“Yeah, sorry,” said Jim. “Had something stuck in my throat.” He thought of a hilarious way to harass Jonathan, but then felt a knife pierce his chest. He's gone. My cookie has crumbled. Jim began to frown like the man he so lovingly teased. He had never frowned before, but now he understood what Jonathan felt when he said that makes me frown, yep, frowning.
“Nothing will ever be okay again,” he said.
Last Scion nodded slowly. “That may be so, but it is not my place to say.” He walked to the door. “Come. It is time to see whether you can fly the beloved Destructzord, or whether the sun shall consume our corpses.”
“I don't even work for Dtoid anymore. And I've never flown a zord. I mean, I'll give it a shot, but it's impossible.”
“Jim must try!” implored Dale.
“I will. What else have we got to do?”
“Dale shouldn't say this, but there is a prototype PS5 on board.”
Jim remained frowning. “I shall play no more videogames forever. My heart has suffered a loss deeper than the waters traversed by Ecco.” I need a sword, he thought. “Take me to the cockpit. Let's see what fate has in store for us.”
“Fate will not be kind,” said Last Scion, “but we must tread forward.” He walked out and Jim followed, Dale at his heels.
The Dzord was surprisingly spacious inside. Several years ago they had attended Niero's final speech and then scaled the zord, all of them overcome with orgiastic joy. No, it wasn't that long ago.
“Dale, when was Niero kidnapped?” he asked. Last Scion called the elevator.
“A week, Dale believes.”
“A week!?” Is that possible?
“It feels like just yestermorn,” said Last Scion.
“Yestermorn?” Jim's frown of despair became a frown of confusion. And disappointment with the gaming industry. And arousal. “No. It feels like a lifetime ago.”
The elevator doors opened and the stepped inside. The words Radical Badical were written in Comic Sans. They covered every inch of the walls.
“My lifetime is considerably longer than yours,” said Last Scion, “but time is relative, and suffering causes it to dilate. Pain stretches it.”
Jim's frown deepened. “I may once have joked about things stretching out painfully, but you're right.”
“It matters not. The timeline can not change our present.”
The elevator buttons appeared to be written in crayon. They were labeled Engineering, Barracks, Medical Place, and MOH is 4 sukazzzz. “That's the videogame room,” said Dale.
There were more floors than Jim could count. Because I live in Mississippi. His frown almost lightened.
Last Scion pushed the top button, labeled Also Cockpit, and the doors closed. “These load times are unbearable,” he said.
“No,” said Dale. “Not load times. This is real life.”
“Mmm, indeed,” said Last Scion. Just then the intercom made a squibble noise.
“Isaac!” The person on the other end was panicking, but Jim couldn't make out any words.
“Sorry, mate,” he said. “Didn't catch that.”
“... I … been killed... Samit?”
“You're breaking up. Who is this?”
“I'm Smur... news. Strider has... How was...”
“Say again,” said Last Scion.
“Say again. This is not Final Fantasy 8. You have to speak.”
"Say again, Squall! What has happened to Strider?” There was no response. A moment passed. The elevator doors opened and they stepped out in silence. Jim collapsed onto a chair, feeling defeated.
“They are being hunted down and slaughtered,” said Last Scion. The elevator had left them in the cockpit anteroom. Books covered every wall. There was a log fire burning in a fireplace.
“We must help them! Quickly, to the cockpit!” Dale bounded ahead and threw open the doors. “Jim must fly us to Earth.”
“Jim will get us to Earth,” said Last Scion. “But we can not help them.”
“They are dying!” said Dale. “Last Scion is a warrior. Last Scion can save them!”
“They are already dead. My job is not to protect them. I have only one task; I will keep you safe or die.”
“No!” Dale snarled. “You will fight for Destructoid or Dale will ban you from the site.”
“Destructoid is done. Even if that weren't true, I could create a new account.”
“Dale has given Last Scion an ord...”
“I already have my orders!” he roared. “Niero has trusted your life to my hands. You shall come to no harm.”
“Niero is dead, Destructoid is dying, and Dale is now the leader. Dale commands Last Scion to stand down!”
Both Jim and Last Scion were left speechless. Dale had never disobeyed Niero before. He had always acted as though “master” were a god.
“I will not be swayed, Dale. This is more than an order from an employer, and if you will not relent for your boss, perhaps you will for your father.”
Dale said nothing.
“Have you ever wondered why you are called 'North'?”
“North is Dale's surname,” Dale replied.
“Yes, buy why? And why are you half wolf?”
“Dale does not understand.”
“You are the bastard son of Lord Eddard Stark,” said Last Scion, looking into Dale's eyes.
“So is FTL travel. Now listen to me: Lord Eddard, soon after the discovery of the five direwolves, did impregnate one of the females. It was never recorded in the histories. Jon Snow threatened the historian, Martin, with torture and death if he revealed the secret.”
“Dale is... a direwolf?” He looked shaken and worried. “No. No, that's impossible. Dale can not be a direwolf.”
“Not just a direwolf; the last scion of the house of gray wolves. You are meant to rule the north.”
“What the bloody shite does this have to do with Niero?” Jim said.
“Niero Targayen's greatest wish was to unite the seven kingdoms under allied kings for an everlasting peace.” Last Scion's gaze never left the viewport.
“Who are the other kings?”
“I am the last surviving son of Tyrion Lannister, who wisely changed the color of our standard after the disastrous misrule of his father. I am one king. Dale is the second, and Niero the third. I can only guess at the others. Niero died before he could give me the names, though I am certain they are all Dtoiders.”
Those plans are all in ruins now, Jim thought. He stood up and walked to the cockpit. “Whatever happens when we get home, I need steel. I plan to stab Samit in his shitty, sports-loving neck.”
“The Destructzord is built of steel. Dale will collect all Jim needs.” He scurried away.
“Now, how does this thing work?” Jim looked at the controls. They were all labeled with highly impressive and Orwellian phrases like Peace Missiles, Lasers of Everlasting Love, and Tactical Offensive Ejection.
Jim's hands moved of their own volition. As they inched closer and closer to the control panel he felt a shiver run down and back up his spine. Filthy humans, he thought. Dearest dearest... My god. I'm melding with his impressive cerebellum. Deal them the mustard! Deal Samit the filthy mustard!
His mouth went dry. “Only an intellect as powerful as... this cockpit was... I think it was built for Zombie Orwell.”
“Peace be upon him,” said Last Scion.
Jim's hands latched forcefully onto the two joysticks. He tried to let go but his body did not obey. Whencewithly unto the infinite breach. “Shit!,” he yelled, sweating. “My vocabulary is growing exponentially. I am truly becoming with fury upon the filthy human oppressors. Let us destroy their corporeality with all due haste!” A screen dropped down from the ceiling, flashing red words.
BUENAS TARDES, DON STERLING.
BIENVENIDO AL SISTEMA OPERATIVO DZORD 6.0.2
FAVOR DE DARLES LA MOSTAZA A LOS PINCHES SERES HUMANOS SUCIOS.
“Yes, leader! The mustard shall be dealt in great quantities. There will be no survivors.” Jim saw his hand slam down on a large red button and his brain hit the back of his skull.