A science fiction story about the end of the world, love, the zombie apocalypse, Pablo Picasso, games, and everything else.
Episode One: The heart of a hero
Episode Two: Love hurts
Episode Three: God speed your love
Episode Four: Two hands ain’t good enough
Episodes and/or related writing are published on this blog – most Mondays and Wednesdays. Please subscribe to this blog to get a reminder when the next episode is published. Subscriptions are free.
Johnny Cash, I Walk the Line
The Book of Carrot
Book One: Principal Virtues
Chapter One: Love is a battlefield
Episode Five: Part One: Rape of the Sabine Women
“Is there going to be a zombie apocalypse?” asked Talk Show Host Mircea Badea.
“You never know…” John said and winked.
“I’m here with Zombie killer, John Dionisius,” said Mircea to the camera. “We’re talking about zombies, the end of the world, chow chows and everything else.”
Mircea turned back to John.
“Have you ever seen a real-life zombie?”
“There’s the members of Parliament. They’re walking dead. Don’t you think?” John said with a big grin.
Mircea smiled and whispered to the camera, “This young man is clever.”
“The senators lurch and lumber forward; they devour Romania without any semblance of table manners. Meanwhile, everything falls into ruin.
The water supply is contaminated. There are less than half the schools today than 10 years ago. 10 years ago – it was bad. Meanwhile gross taxes have increased an average of 6 percent every year in the last twelve years.
The European Union Financial Service relentlessly forecloses on the properties of the elderly and pensioners who can’t pay the property taxes.
Did you know that 662 prime downtown Bucharest properties were auctioned off by the Romanian authority, last week. The auction was held in Berlin – not Bucharest! Of course, there was no mention of it by the Romanian press.”
“I didn’t hear about that. Are you sure that’s not a rumor! Tell me, where do you get your information?”
“You pay for BBC! Oh – so you’re a rich guy- huh!? Do you work for the Russian mob- can you hook me up?” Mircea asked with a grin.
“I kill zombies, Mircea – remember?”
“YES! I’m here with the great zombie killer, John Dionisius. We’re talking about the zombie apocalypse, the end of the world, and money” Mircea said and winked at the camera.
“So how much money do you make from Hachi’s?! He’s adorable, really. He is total fluffiness. You know, I’m a fan, myself! But I hear that you now have five million paying subscribers!
Is all that money going to save you from the zombie apocalypse?”
You know, John, I’m a little jealous. I only have a blog readership of one million and I’m a TV talk show host! Give me your secret- PLEASE!”
“Six million subscribers as of yesterday,” John corrected Mircea as he ran his hand through his brown hair.
“Six million paying subscribers! Are you a millionaire, John?! Do you have a Ferrari?!”
“I’m no millionaire,” John answered. “But I can try. That’s all any of us can do – to try, to lift others up, and, more importantly, to always be true.”
“What’s this, John? My lovely assistant – oh – isn’t she a hottie – just told me that Hachi’s blog is down.”
Fuck! John thought to himself.
“It’s prolly down for a few minutes with all the traffic that we’re getting from your viewers, Mircea.”
“Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you John Dionisius – the zombie killer. Thank you for joining us, John.
And here’s the video that has 288 million views – John killing zombies in Bucharest’s famous Cismigiu Park…”
John got up, shook hands with Mircea and walked out of the studio – he felt like he was walking the line that Johnny Cash sang about.
George was waiting outside, sweating like a pig and trying to pick up Mircea’s hot assistant – she had just stepped outside to smoke a joint.
Meanwhile, John was on the phone with the Fish. The Fish told him that they had been cut off. The signal wasn’t getting out there. As if someone had cut their connection – someone as in a someone from a government office. The Fish was turning up the juice – they’d have remote sites up in 12 locations around the world in five minutes.
“This is going to get very expensive, very fast,” the Fish explained as he closed the phone.
George got the phone number from Mircea’s assistant, then George and John jumped on the public bus. It was crowded, shoulder to shoulder, and no air conditioning. But John was too lost in his problem to mind the sweat box.
The problem, John thought to himself, is not the service interruption. That happens all the time.
The problem is the network and server costs. That’s going to make the Board of Directors, iffy – iffy on John’s proposal to take Hachi on a road show.
Without a road show, he wasn’t going to have a good enough reason to get Cristina out of the country – far away of that crossroads where Cristina is gunned down by a man on a Harley.
“What’s up, bro? You still worried about that dream you told me about this morning?” George asked.
John didn’t answer but George could see the tears about to break in the darkness of John’s brown eyes.
John’s phone rang.
“Do you believe in the zombie apocalypse?”
“Anything is possible,” replied John. “This reality and world that we live in is inescapably a reflection of our internal state. Considering our own confusion, selfish preference, and the magnitude of our lack of heart – things will get worse.”
This is Europa FM and we’re talking about the zombie apocalypse with zombie killer, John Dionisius,” Ioana Maria Popovich announced.
“Doesn’t it creep you out that the game’s landscape is based on a 3D rendering of Bucharest? Isn’t just a little too real?”
“That’s part of what makes the game, compelling,” answered John.
“Places have a power. They have stories to tell. Places speak to us. They speak to our hearts…”
“True – that’s quite a profound insight coming from an 18 year old,” commented Ioana.
“What about aliens?! Do they exist? Or not?”
“If they exist, that doesn’t mean anything to me or you. The kind of technology they would have to have to get them here from there– that puts them 100s to 1000s of years beyond us in everything.
Since we’re going about our business today like Aliens don’t exist, I don’t really think that the alien question is relevant. What’s relevant is the very real devastation of climate change, the rise of famine, disease, mortality, human conflict and the destabilization of local currencies.”
Ioana steered the discussion elsewhere.
“How does the game explain zombies?”
“That is an interesting and insightful story, Ioana.
Do you know Picasso’s painting, The Rape of the Sabine Women?”
“Yes! That nightmarish painting where Roman horses trample a woman and child.”
“Exactly. Rubens also has a painting by the same title.”
“The game’s story line is that the epidemic of the Sabine Super Bug – the zombie virus – began with the violent rape of six alien ambassadors by several leading members of the World Trade Organization. After a 30 day incubation, the infected VIPs developed an insatiable hunger for various human proteins – this is addition to severe symptoms such as loss of personality, intelligence, emotion and conscience AND the gain of some basic regenerational characteristics.
In this storyline, the bug quickly evolved, and now it incubates in minutes or less. It’s communicated from one person to another by the body fluids of the infected. There is no known cure.
During the 30 days of incubation, the infected diplomats had traveled extensively and succeeded in infecting extremely sexually active cells on six continents. By day 60, zombies had over run most every capital among the developed nations. The game starts at day 90.
“So this is Sodom and Gomorah with a wicked twist?”
“You could say that,” John said and laughed.
“It’s said there’s 65 million players – more than two times the actual population of Bucharest live in virtual Bucharest. Each is paying a minimum of 20 Euro a month to play and spend an average of 6 hours per day in game. Then there’s the Romanian game farms supplying online auctions with in-game items where real people are paying up to 10,000 Euro for things like a uniform that doesn’t exist in the real world. Why?!”
“It’s an intense game.”
“On the one hand, everyone likes money. Everyone wants to make money and if you’re good, you can start making real money in this game. You can ring up 1,000 Euro/month with three to six months under your belt. That’s more than most people make with two jobs.
“That’s more than I make in a month!” Ioana exclaimed.
“Something’s wrong with the world if you can make more money playing a game than as a national radio talk show host!.”
“What compels you to kill zombies, John?”
“The game world can be more real than the real world. Emotions experienced in the game can be intense and, of course, it’s intensely social. You have to work with people to survive. You have to give trust and you have to be trusted. People count on you. They need you and you need them. Honor means something in that world.
But that doesn’t mean there is a lack of betrayal, disappointment and consequences.
People need the human drama to survive as persons in a real world that has become gray. They need chests that heave and sigh – because the real world ever becomes more and more heartless and all of us become more and more like the walking dead.
It’s just like C.S. Lewis had warned in his book, The Abolition of Man.”
“Zombies, life, the universe and everything. We’ve just been talking with John Dionisius, the zombie killer. You can see the epic video of John killing zombies on our website – it’s just a click away.
After the commercial, the zombie killer will tell us all about how he made a killing with a blog – a blog about his dog!”
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Next Episode: Part Two of Episode 5
All Rights Reserved by Stan Faryna
01 October 2012