Why the Zombocalypse Failed
(© Biswapriya Purkayastha)
From: The Dark Lord of the Universe
To: His loyal Minion, the Most Venerable Nicholas.
Dear Old Nick,
I realise that this letter will not find you in an altogether happy
mood, and I don’t mean it as an official reprimand; in fact I’d like this
entire sorry episode to remain between us and go no further. I don’t want to
demoralise you in any way or reduce your enthusiasm for future projects.
However, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t discuss precisely what
went wrong in Operation Lazarus, and why we’re going to have to start all over
again from scratch. You realise that only if we discuss it step by step do we
have a chance to identify the problem, and understand how to avoid them the
next time around.
Let’s just go over the planning from the beginning, step by step, then,
I’ll admit right off that I have no memory at the moment of whether
Operation Lazarus was your idea or mine; I don’t see that it matters. The fact
is that we were agreed that something had to be done about that
disgusting bipedal race of hairless apes before it laid further waste to the
fair blue planet over which it had secured dominance. I remember both of us
discussing options like provoking a nuclear war or something similar, but we
both agreed that it ran the risk of destroying completely the utterly innocent
non-hairless simian part of the planet’s biosphere. And so we had to drop that
idea, though it would have been easy to carry out.
So we talked about other options, like introducing some kind of disease
which would destroy the apes. However, and unfortunately, at least a few per
cent of these creatures would have been certain to be immune to any disease we
might try, and before you know it they’d be screwing their minds out in an
effort to repopulate the planet; and going by their record, it’s
tolerably certain they’d succeed. Besides, the germs might mutate enough to wipe
out other, and innocent, primate life. So we junked that idea.
The same went for the other bright ideas we had, including meteor
strikes, tsunamis, and random induced psychological aberrations. All were
either not complete enough, or potentially destructive to innocent life, or
both. I’ll admit to you now that I’d begun to despair of finding a way, and had
almost gone back to the nuclear war option.
It was then that you, or I, had what I’ll still call, despite what
happened, a brilliant idea: Operation Lazarus. After all, and it was apparent
right off, the risen dead are a self-replicating weapon, and have the terrific
advantage of not being amenable to destruction. In other words, they can be
revived but not rekilled, and therefore they can destroy the simian societies
from the inside out. And I’m sure you were the one who pointed out that since
all simian societies have corpses, there would be none immune to the effects.
Even those who escaped, not being immortal, would eventually die, and become one
How we chuckled and congratulated each other, as we visualised the
contagion devastating the hives of the naked apes, wiping them out in ever
greater numbers the more countermeasures they took! Do you remember us
discussing the fact that the more of the revived dead the apes attempted to
kill, the more collateral damage they’d inflict on themselves, and the more
dead they’d create? Unlike the crippled "zombies" the apes described in their
popular entertainment, which could be dispatched by simply damaging their
craniums, our subjects, once risen, would be utterly indestructible. Nothing
could stop them, and they’d spread across countries and continents until the
last living simian was gone from the earth.
Yes, it was a brilliant plan, Nick. I fully and absolutely admit that.
It was a plan that deserved to succeed.
Of course, it proved more difficult in the execution than in the
conception. I’m sure you remember how disappointed we both were when we
discovered that it would be utterly impossible to begin the mass revival in
multiple places that we’d planned. The energy involved in reviving even one
corpse, we found, would require the annihilation of a couple of minor suns; and
though we found a couple which would serve and whose destruction wouldn’t harm
any life forms, more than that we could not manage, given the absolute
imperative of maintaining the Prime Directive.
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