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.

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