Friday, June 14, 2013

Primate vs. Zombies, Part Two

"Fire!" quacked Gunter.

Gonga was startled at the volume of the zombies' voices before he realized it was his own bellowing he heard. Mixed with Derrick screaming like a girl. Gunter calmly picked off the lead zombie with a purple dart to its decaying forehead. The zombie shook violently and collapsed. Darts hailed down on the rest of the zombies, sending them spasming to the ground. The last one twitched for a second and then lay still, like a severed limb.

"How long before they back to...people?" asked Gonga. He felt a little queasy.

Gunter poked an inert zombie experimentally with his foot.

"I don't know. It's not like we had plenty of time to perform extensive medical trials."

The first zombie sat bolt upright, gasping, the purple dart still suction-cupped to his forehead.

"Guuuu!" he gurgled, trying to form human words. The other former zombies were awakening too. They were moving slowly, but the light was back in their eyes. And they weren’t trying to bite anyone.

"Excellent!" quacked Gunter. "It's even more potent than we had hoped!"

"Me see this be so," said Gonga. "Must find rest of real undead to make not dead."

"Let's divide into teams and circle around the student center," said Derrick. "That seems to be where they are concentrating. Gonga, you and Gunter should stay together since you can understand Gunter."

"Quack!" quacked Gunter (this time it was the actual penguin word for "quack", a private joke between him and Gonga).

But the undead were multiplying faster than anyone had anticipated. Hordes poured out of the student center, the less coordinated zombies (mostly bookstore employees and patrons) falling and being trampled by those surging behind them.

"This bad!" yelled Gonga. "Them too big numbers!"

Gunter watched in horror as a former zombie sat up groggily, only to be bitten again. It was plain that the zombies were infecting the cured faster than he and Gonga could shoot.

"Retreat!" he quacked. "We need to get to higher ground!"

Gonga knew just the place.
"Follow Gonga!"

The undead were on all sides. He and Gunter broke cover and ran around the back of the library through Speaker's Circle, taking out the zombies in their path. There was no sign of Derrick's group anywhere. It seemed as if all of the zombies on campus were gravitating to the strange scent of gorilla and penguin. Gunter suddenly realized that they were running across the quad.

"Where are we going?"

Gonga pointed at the columns.

"There, to that!"

"So we're doomed. Did you forget birds can't climb? And penguins can’t fly?"

"But Gonga can climb! And me have rope in backpack for buddy!"

"This is not one of your best ideas."

Gonga was already half-way up the first column. Gunter fired over and over into the oncoming zombie mob. He could only keep them a few steps distance away now.

"Here buddy! Rope!"

Gunter looked up. The end of the rope was still out of reach.

"It’s not long enough!"

"Sorry Gonga not measure these things. Here, me make longer."

Gonga clung to the top of the pillar with one paw and dangled the rope low with the other. Gunter emptied one last clip of purple darts and then wrapped the end of the rope around his flippers.

"Pull, Gonga, pull!"

Gunter was heavier than Gonga had expected.

"Buddy should cut back on the fish feasting! Or do a pushup or something!"

A zombie was snarling and clawing at Gunter's feet. It was Derrick! He was a zombie now! And not a pretend one either. Gunter stepped on zombie Derrick’s face to ease the tension on the rope. Gonga scrambled back on top and hoisted him up. The zombies were piling on top of each other, inching their way higher up the sides of the columns. Gunter shook his head.

"Our position is untenable. The number of zombies has grown exponentially."

"It look like this end of line. It been nice knowing buddy." Gonga shot zombie Derrick and watched him twitch as several groaning zombies sank their teeth into him again and again. "It no use."

A chugging sound was growing louder in the sky. A helicopter popped out from behind Jesse Hall, flying low. Gonga and Gunter watched in astonishment as it came straight towards them, trailing a purple mist in its wake. Gunter started yelling something about "the professor". Gonga thought he caught a glimpse of some kind of lizard thing in the pilot's seat. But then, it had been a long night. What was certain was that the zombie plague was miraculously being stopped in its tracks. The purple liquid antidote had drizzled down on them all. The whole quad was littered with twitching bodies, gradually coming back to life.
Gonga hugged Gunter.

"Now they back to being fake zombies! Now it back to game! Gonga and Gunter win! We win! What we win, buddy?"

"Just saving an entire institution of higher learning from being destroyed. And thus the world. Now let's get down from this column. The graffiti up here's not very literate."

Monday, April 29, 2013

Primate vs. Zombies, Part One

Crouched with his back against the base of the library steps, Gonga concentrated on catching his breath. He smiled at his own cleverness. Zombies can't read, so why would they hang around a library? His paws shook as he counted out his remaining ammo. What time was it? Only midnight? He would have to get more darts before morning. But without his friend Derrick, how would Gonga know where to look? Derrick had been the expert at zombie warfare. If it wasn't for him, Gonga would not have known that college students had started turning into the undead until it was too late. They looked pretty much like regular people to a gorilla unfamiliar with the subtleties of human body language. Although all the incoherent groaning (especially in a week with no finals) had been a tip-off that something was not quite right. And now Derrick — Gonga swallowed hard — was one of them. The infected. Derrick had made Gonga promise that if they were separated, Gonga would carry on without him. And then Derrick had said something about always playing with honor, a lesson he'd learned long ago when he was a young man with an earring and had cheated in a skateboard race. Derrick said it wasn't worth it, that the right thing to do was to always play fair and square. Gonga didn't really understand what this had to do with killing zombies, but figured it was best to have a positive attitude like Derrick. But look where that had got him. It was time to move. Gonga pulled the strap of the blue and orange nerf gun over his shoulder, and peeked over the edge of the steps he'd been hiding behind. A couple of stray zombies were staggering towards Speaker’s Circle. Gonga couldn't believe that only a few short hours earlier he had been merrily playing his accordian there. It was getting hard to tell if he was the luckiest or unluckiest of all primates. Gonga decided to head farther east. There were no zombies visible in that direction, and lots of cover on the other side of the street. Gonga jogged with his head low, his jungle survival instincts kicking in as he scanned the terrain for potential zombie hiding spots. But there was no movement. Standing beneath the arch of Memorial Union, Gonga paused. Voices. Not undead groaning, but human voices. And one that sounded like a duck quacking. Still cautious, Gonga crossed the steps on the far side of the arch silently. He aimed his weapon as he rounded the corner of the chapel. It was Gunter! And Derrick! Wait, were they all zombies? But the people listening to Derrick had zombie-killing guns. Gunter was passing out darts that looked like they had been stained purple. Derrick was talking in his normal, non-zombie voice. "We have to contain them, before it's too late—" Derrick broke off. "Gonga!" Gonga was confused. He pointed his gun at his friend. "You zombie! You undead!" Gunter planted himself in Gonga's line of fire and quacked urgently in his penguin language. "Derrick is not a real zombie! That was a game!" "Not real zombie? All game? Why would Derrick lie to Gonga?" "I wasn't lying Gonga, I was just trying to...stretch the truth a little because sometimes people do that to be funny, see?" "So lying not lying if buddy say it just joke?" Derrick shrugged. "Something like that. But look, Gonga, you've got to help us!" "Help do what?" "Kill the real zombies!" "What? You just said zombies was game." Gonga scratched his head. Gunter held up the purple darts. "It was a game. But now it's real life. These darts have been coated with an antidote that reverses the effects of the undead virus. We have to inoculate all of the infected before their flesh permanently atrophies." "Why not have policeman or somebody like that do it?" asked Gonga. "Also Gonga thought you have to get a shot to get medicine, not get hit with little purple suction cup." Gunter waved his flippers impatiently. "The antidote can be administered percutaneously. But its potency is such that only momentary epidermal contact is required for it to be effective. And because of the game, the authorities think that the real zombies are just some sort of very convincing prank. We don't have time to change their minds." "Ok," sighed Gonga, "Gonga will help stop real zombies, who are not part of a lie that is ok because it is a joke, by using the same toy gun that he used for playing game, thinking that it was not game but real, and now will use weird purple stuff to turn real zombies back into fake ones. Hey wait, where did Gunter get zombie cure anyway?" "They're coming!" shouted Derrick. There was no mistaking these zombies for healthy college students. Gonga could see the death in their faces. He sure hoped these puny nerf darts were going to work.