SW10/HCC: Superhuman World 2011: Zombies vs. Vice-President Corrigan!

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Sun Feb 13 17:18:30 PST 2011

February 2, 2011

what Does the Zombies' Terrible Secret Mean for the World?


The Vice-President's plane, Air Force Two, was a C-130 cargo plane as usual.  If 
it was good enough for paratroopers, it was good enough for Crusher Joe Corrigan.

The pilot said over Elkhart, Indiana, "Exit window up.  Good luck, Mr. 

"Thanks."  Corrigan decided not to mention, he wouldn't be using the parachute 
this time.  He felt like smashing things, and the ground was a good start.

Vice-President Joseph "Crusher Joe" Corrigan had *said* he was on a fact-finding 
mission when he came out to smash things.  There were supposed to be zombies 
around Elkhart and nearby South Bend.  Probably good to smash.



That worked out well.  Corrigan had landed in a field near the Indiana Toll 
Road. The ground was frozen and Corrigan *wasn't* head-deep in dirt.  The 
Earth's orbit and the seasons may have changed, but this year, February in 
northern Indiana still meant a hard freeze.

Corrigan jumped out of his small crater and jogged to the Toll Road.  At the 
nearest bridge, he saw Indiana National Guard troops, and said hello.

"Uh, hi, Mr. Crusher Joe.  No one told us we'd get one of these visits."

"I'm on business.  Where's your C.O.?"

"He's up on the Cassopolis Road."

"Can you tell me where exactly?"

"Well, you go that way down this road, then turn left before the airport..."

"Which way as the crow flies?"

The soldier pointed.  Corrigan jumped a mile that way. Then he jogged.

He found a checkpoint at the state line.  A captain was stopping cars.  Corrigan 
walked up and said, "Is there a danger of a zombie breakout, Captain?"

"Mr. Vice-President! ... They've tried to break through our lines a number of 
times, sir.  They get humans to drive them."

"You mean, humans are cooperating with zombies?"

"They may be conducting a reign of terror now.  We just don't know without 
breaking the blockade ourselves."

"Then excuse me while I go find out."  Corrigan jumped, far into the sky - 
beyond the blockade!


Coming down after about fifteen jumps and ten miles, Corrigan saw the 
distinctive Diamond Lake, with the zombie prison on the island in the middle. 
They'd been moved there from North Dubuque, Iowa, after they were created in a 
chemical accident.

Diamond Lake looked quiet.  So did nearby Cassopolis.  Crusher Joe Corrigan 
stomped into town.

Some natives came out of buildings, because they'd heard the ground shake when 
Crusher Joe landed.  One man in a trucker cap said, "Uh, Mister Vice-President, 
welcome to town.  We weren't expecting you."

"That's okay.  I heard about a zombie scare.  Where's the zombies?"

"Uh, they're still on Diamond Lake Island.  Even after the lake froze.”

“Who cares if the lake froze?  Isn't that island supposed to be a prison?”

“Yeah.  But zombies tore the fence down.  They can do that.  They *did* it, once 
the lake froze and they could go somewhere.  But they just stayed there, once we 
said we'd shop for them."

"Shop?  For what?"

"They want protein, but don't we all?  And they like scrapple, maybe 'cause it's 
got hog brains in it.  But what they really *need* is salt."

"Why's that?"

"Hell if I know.  Maybe it helps preserve 'em.  But if we give 'em salt, they 
can live on anything else they can find.  They ate all their trees.  Started 
eating ours.  At first we stopped them, 'cause we need our trees for firewood. 
But then *we* needed food, and trees started looking good.  Some of our old 
people got bit by zombies, just so they could eat the trees too."

... Shit.  Corrigan knew, the answer to Earth's famine was somewhere in this.

Then a woman charged out from a storefront.  "Mister Vice-President, we're so 
glad someone's paying attention to our concerns!"

"Lady, *my* concern right now is a zombie outbreak.  Where's the zombies?"

"Our zombies have the right to go anywhere they want!  If zombie curses can 
actually happen, they're a new natural part of life!  Its victims have as much 
right to go anywhere as anyone else does!"

"Except there's a quarantine."

"That quarantine was declared by state governments!  It's like saying, don't 
bring worms with your firewood!  It takes a *Federal* quarantine to stop 
*people* moving!"

"Whatever.  Courts.  You know that.  Law now."

But then all the people froze.  A tank was coming up the road - from Indiana!

Corrigan could smash, but he knew he really shouldn't.  He suspected, Indiana 
could and did interpret the blockade agreement loosely so as to "protect" 
Corrigan.  Meanwhile, zombies could shuffle around and get holes blown in them.

But zombies were on friendly land, with allies who'd been expecting this. 
Roadside bombs started going off!

Corrigan knew what a command tank looked like; it always has extra antennas.  He 
saw the Indiana command tank down the road.  He jumped on top of it, and yelled 
at a satellite dish (because, where else to yell?), "STAND DOWN!"

But tanks started shooting.  Troops around them did too.

Corrigan jumped back to the frontline.  He yelled, "This Is Your 
Vice-Commander-in-Chief!  I order you to stand down!  If you don't *feel* like 
standing down, you'll get to rumble with *me* first!"

The command tank rumbled up.  The captain popped out with a loudspeaker.  "Mr. 
Vice-President, you are not in our chain of command.  And you have passed a 
military quarantine line which the Commander-in-Chief approved.  We need you to 
report to quarantine immediately."

"Alright.  Cease fire."

"Our quarantine vehicle is that way, sir."

"Do you agree to cease fire?"

"Sir, we need you to move to the quarantine vehicle now."

"Okay, I'm goin'..."  Corrigan walked to the command tank on the way to the 
medical vehicle.  Then he jumped up and started snapping antennas!


"You!  Give me that!"  Corrigan snapped off the captain's head microphone.  Then 
he said quietly, "You have now been touched by a suspected zombie.  How you 
gonna play this?"

The captain yelled, "I'm under attack!"  But his microphone wasn't working.

Corrigan looked around at the other soldiers.  Each had lieutenants in command. 
  Each saw Crusher Joe Corrigan, the famous professional wrestler and their 
Vice-President, humiliate their captain.  All stood down.


When things were peaceful, Corrigan checked his briefing papers again to see if 
anyone had known about the zombies' secret.

The “zombies” of Cassopolis had been interred there, infected after a chemical 
accident in North Dubuque, Iowa.  There'd been a Federal investigation, which 
brought down Mayor Anvernacht of the Iowa industrial town of Maquoketa. 
Anvernacht had disappeared... until last summer, when he came back claiming 
powers from Satan.

The Indiana National Guard had been enforcing a blockade at the state line. 
They'd agreed to withdraw from Michigan after the “Zombie Strip War”, when 
Michigan agreed to a blockade at the same level of effort on their side too. 
Indiana blockaded every road along thirty miles of their border.  Michigan 
blockaded exactly as many roads.  But that left some holes on the Michigan side. 
  So Michigan people who worked with the zombies could shop for them.

These zombies had always craved salt and protein; they'd been nicknamed the 
Corned Beef Zombies.  They could live without the protein; that was just to 
rebuild their body mass if they got wounded.  Salt acted as a preservative for them.

... No, the papers didn't mention the zombie secret.  The best scientists in the 
U.S. government had somehow *not figured out*, the zombies could eat cellulose. 
  If zombies could do that, maybe normal people could figure out how to do that too.


Vice-President Joseph "Crusher Joe" Corrigan had *said* he was on a fact-finding 
mission when he came out to smash things.  Instead he found facts that might 
help save his nation's people.


Author's Notes:

When I conceived this story, I wanted to have zombies roaming the Indiana Toll 
Road.  But under these circumstances, zombies are way too smart to go there.

This story is in response to a High Concept Challenge of 
rac.arts.comics.creative, saying "Zombies".  It follows up on a zombie reference 
in http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2010/deathtrap.htm, "The Earth is a 
Deathtrap!"  That in turn follows up on some unwritten stories about Evil Mayor 
Anvernacht and his reign of terror throughout eastern Iowa.  I first reported 
the Corned Beef Zombies in http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2008/Q2.htm .  I 
looked that reference up from the convenient "Search the Superhuman World!" link 
on every Superhuman World 2010 web page under eilertech.com.  So if you want to 
look up Anvernacht or Iowa in the Superhuman World, you'll find a bargeload 
there.  Happy reading!

(signed) Scott Eiler  8{D> -------- http://www.eilertech.com/ ---------

Only their myths concerned peace and contentment, and that in such a
coercive, sullen package it was obvious that the Earth humans resented
the very idea.

- from "Passing" by Elaine Radford, Aboriginal SF, May/June 1987.

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