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Friday, January 25, 2013

Intro to Dude, Damsels and Disease and Full Moon Interview with a Zombie

Dudes, Damsels and Disease.

In honor of my soon to be released book Apocalyptic Moon, a world where humanity must rely on a secret society of shifter to survive.
 I will be dedicating my blog to a series I'm calling Dudes, Damsels and Disease, a primer for writers on historical and futuristic diseases.

Okay, so why am I starting with a zombie interview? Namely because my new After the Bane series, deals with the aftermath of the zombie pandemic. Of course, the zombie disease is not real but it combines two big universal fears, death from disease and cannibalism. Zombies are the most popular monsters and they are us! 
Even the Centers of Disease Control has discussed what to do in case of zombie attack.CDC and zombies
 From The Walking Dead to World War Z, zombies are everywhere. During the next few weeks I will give you my humble take on why we are so facinated with zombies.

Later in my blog series I will choose a disease every two weeks and discuss its natural history.  I'm not reviewing diseases such as cancer, heart disease alcoholism or obesity but diseases caused by microbes, insects, parasites and fungi.

This full moon,  I have decided to interview a zombie, Mr.Z  (real name is not used since the family only know he is missing). 

Where does one go to interview a flesh-eating mindless zombie? The answer is in a secret black ops underground lab somewhere in a desert. I am not allowed to give any more details than that.

How can I interview a mindless zombie? Though they can make sounds, they can no longer speak. However, with the help of Professor M. and the nanochip implanted in the zombie’s brain, Mr. Z’s answers will be interpreted by an advanced computer and sound like Mr. Z talking. Mr. Z will be secured, since he will be reacting to my living flesh and nothing more.

My Interview with Mr. Z

Professor M. gave me a private tour of the underground lab. He explained that prior to Mr. Z’s infection, he was an unemployed store manager who was bitten near the secret lab. The lab was built to support zombie research and to prevent the pestilence.

I sat across from the mid-forties man. He was wheeled in, like The Silence of the Lamb’s Hannibal Lecter, complete with heavy duty straight jacket , mask and strapped in. His eyes widened and he moaned. I felt a rash of goose flesh in that crawling fear of being eaten alive.
His brain was exposed and was wired and soon connected to the computer.
Professor M. : “Go on ask him anything.” He removed his mask and immediately he snapped hungrily at him. Drooling and stuttering a moan, anxious to feed.  
Me: “What are you feeling right now?” The computer buzzed and the zombie spoke in a stiff contrived manner, like a puppet. His skin was corpse-gray, and he was bald with thin hair in patches. His body smelled of decaying flesh. Somewhere between the stench of a rotting road kill and a landfill.
Z: “Hunger. Hunger for your brain and guts.” He then snapped his jaw at me.
Me:  “So you won’t be satisfied by animal flesh?”
Z: “Only human flesh.”
Me: “Do you remember your past, who you were?”
Z: “No.” He shot out a stuttering moan and turned to me. “I am hunger.”
Professor M: “The zombie’s hippocampus was damaged, but ask him about Jessica and Luther.”
Me: “Do you know a Jessica or a Luther.”
Z: “No. I only want to eat your flesh.” He sniffed and fought his restraints.
Professor: “You asked him if he knows his wife of fifteen years and his twelve year old son.”
Me: “Mr. Z, do you feel pain or sorrow?”
 Z: “Only hunger for living flesh.”
Me: “So if you were released, you would attack and do what?”
Z: “Bite the first human I could reach and feed, then find another and another. Feed.”
Me: “Do you feel any emotions?”
Z: “Only rage when I attack to feed.”
Me: “I take it you don’t remember how you ended up a zombie?”
 Z: “No.”
Professor:  “He took a back road in the desert. One of our escaped zombies got to him. We shot the zombie in the head and brought Mr. Z in and kept him in isolation. On the third day he died and quickly reanimated.”
Me: “So your lab created this zombie virus?”
Professor: “The perfect doomsday biological weapon, but we never created it. One night we found a man near our base as if planted here for us to find.”
Me: “Why keep this lab, why not destroy the zombies you experiment on?”
Professor: “We are determined to find a cure. Besides, other labs around the world have similar zombie labs.”
Me: “And nobody knows.”
Professor: “Best to keep it a secret, otherwise panic would lead to chaos. Like nukes, this a weapon that we hope to never use.”
Me: "Yeah right," I muttered.

Z: He moaned and shook in his straight jacket. 

Professor: “Put him pack in his pen.”  Black uniformed armed men came in and took him away.
Me: “What can we do if some terrorist releases the virus or another zombie escapes?”
Professor: “Have a vehicle loaded with enough food and water for a month and get as far away from populated areas as possible.  Pack guns and rifles, but when you run out of ammo, make sure you have a sharp machete, sword or ax. Keep in mind that the next siren you hear, might not be for an impending tsunami, hurricane or tornado but for zombie attack.

I thanked him for allowing me to see and speak to a real horror movie zombie and happy to return to the Bestiary Parlor. 
What is stranger than fiction is that there are real cases of zombie disease found in nature. The dreaded zombie-ant fungus.

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