Princesses:Amazon Brigade/Chapter 06
Chapter #6: Deadnecks
<Capn_Ascii> As we join our heroi--
<Capn_Ascii> ...yeah, that.
<Andrea> Andrea turns around and looks at Selphie and the corpse, "YEEEAAARGH!" she agrees.
<Capn_Ascii> The apparantly-animated corpse is screaming rather loudly at Selphie. How rude.
<Selphie> "Hello," Selphie starts, "Do you know anything about the seismic disturbances of late?"
<Capn_Ascii> "YEEEAAArrrr....." The zombie's scream trails off. It blinks, slowly. ".....that's it? A freakin' *undead monstrosity* gets the jump on you, and you're asking about tectonics?" It facepalms. "Un-freakin'-believable..."
<Andrea> "I gotta admire your style, Selphie," Andrea admits.
<Selphie> "Well, it's what we came here to investigate before the officials arrive in the morning."
<Suyana> "I thought we were about to have some epic fight. But...now I feel like the mood is spoiled."
<Capn_Ascii> "Tell me about it. C'mon out, Frank, we're done."
<Capn_Ascii> "Wait, what?" A voice comes from inside the coffin that Jenny slammed moments ago. "Already?"
<Andrea> "Information is always better than fighting. Let's not fight if we don't have to."
<Capn_Ascii> The coffin opens, and the 'corpse' that 'hugged' Jenny shuffles out, looking rather more aware than previously. The one behind Selphie speaks up. "My name's Chuck, and this is Frank. We're zombies." The 'well, duh' in the air is palpable.
<Selphie> "I'm Selphie, and I'm normal!"
<Capn_Ascii> "How nice for you."
<Selphie> "These are my pals. We're trying to find out what's shaking things up around here."
- Suyana blinks. "I'm Suyana. Also, why are you zombies?"
- Jenny crosses her arms and looks at the zombies with just a touch of a glare.
<Capn_Ascii> "Because we're dead. Doi."
<Andrea> "Dead people normally... are just dead."
<Suyana> "Yeah, that's been my experience."
<Capn_Ascii> "Oh, that. Yeah, I'm not to clear on it myself. The padre says it's something to do with 'ambient psycho-kinetic interference' or some duch, I dunno. Not my cup of tea. Me n' Frank are farmers. Well, used to be farmers. Now we're dead farmers."
<Capn_Ascii> Frank nods. "The only thing we grow these days is pushin' up daisies. Get it?" He grins and elbows Jenny, clearly amused by his own joke.
<Andrea> "So, the priest knows about you? And didn't tell us? Interesting..."
- Jenny glares harder at Frank.
<Selphie> "The priest said nothing unusual has been going on. So are zombies usual in these parts?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Yeah, well, it's kind of his job. The short version is, this used to be our town back when we were alive."
<Andrea> "So what happened?"
<Capn_Ascii> Chuck frowns. "The padre probably fed you some line about how the townsfolk moved away for economic reasons or some such. Truth is, they left 'cause of us."
<Capn_Ascii> Frank nods. "We're the previous generation of farmers who lived here - the ones buried in that cemetary near the church."
<Jenny> "Just you two, or are there more of you?" Jenny asks grimly.
<Selphie> "So disrespectful for the newer generation to not appreciate the older generation established here." Selphie says sadly.
<Capn_Ascii> Chuck continues. "Nah, there's lots of us. At least a couple dozen. For some reason we all started wakin' up and crawling out of our graves a while back. The young folks who lived here kind of took offense to that."
<Capn_Ascii> "They screamed like babies and ran." Frank shakes his head. "Pansies."
<Andrea> "How long ago was this 'a while', exactly?"
<Capn_Ascii> Chuck glares at Frank, but nods. "Been a few years now. Town's been ours again ever since. The padre's the only one who didn't freak out over us - he's been pretty cool about it, actually. He helps us put a public face on things when the occasional snoops like you show up."
<Capn_Ascii> "He told us that a survey team was due in the morning, so we were all making ourselves scarce until they did their thing and left. But Frank here forgot something and we came back for it, and then we saw you going up the street in the dark and thought maybe we had prowlers."
<Selphie> "Pansies and pushing up daisies." Selphie makes a mental note for her future gardening plans.
<Selphie> "Where do zombies make themselves scarce? Do you return to the coffins in the church graveyard and quietly lie underground until the investigation passes?"
<Capn_Ascii> "I told you, Chuck, I'm not going to spend days kicking around in the woods with nothing to do." Frank pats his pocket. "I got my phone, we can go."
<Capn_Ascii> "Hell no. Would *you* want to spend days locked in a tiny box? We have a place out in the woods - sort of a campsite retreat."
<Selphie> "Oh." Selphie is disappointed. "Do you know anything about the seismic disturbances of late?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Not really. That's why the padre called for specialists. We don't normally like asking outsiders to come stomping through, but if we're parked on a faultline or something, we need to get an expert opinion. Last thing we want is for the earth to swallow us up. Again. Get it?" Frank grins and elbows Andrea this time.
<Andrea> Andrea slaps Frank's elbow. "Great. Do you know of anything else strange that's happened around here?"
<Selphie> "Thanks for filling in the background we were missing. For earth-moving farmers, you've certainly laid the ground work for our investigation. If we can unearth what's causing the disturbance quickly, we can get the stomping outsiders arriving in the morning to leave rapidly so you can get back to your haunts instead of camping. Any ideas where we should start digging up clues? Leave no stone unturned!"
- Jenny gets the tiniest hint of a smile around her glare, then suppresses it.
<Capn_Ascii> "What, besides the dead walking the earth? Not really. I mean, there's that thing in the woods, but he's been fairly quiet lately."
<Andrea> "What thing?"
<Selphie> "Your campsite?"
<Capn_Ascii> "The thing. Y'know, in the woods."
<Selphie> "Would you mind being a little more vague about it?"
<Jenny> "Is it a killing kind of thing?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Frank..." Chuck pinshes the bridge of his nose.
<Capn_Ascii> "The 'thing' in question is some sort of creature that, yes, lives out in the woods. We're not sure exactly what it is - only that it showed up around the time we rose from the dead. It's big, surprisingly stealthy, hunts anything living it can find in the forest, and rips it apart like a vicious dog tears into a steak. The only reason it leaves us alone is 'cause it doesn't like rotten meat."
<Suyana> "So we might get our epic fight, after all."
<Andrea> Andrea contemplates. "Well, I don't see any other leads. The alternative would be wandering aimlessly."
<Capn_Ascii> "Yeah, you folks are lucky it didn't eat you on the way here."
<Capn_Ascii> "I don't know if it has anything to do with tremors, though. It's been here as long as we have, and those only started recently."
<Selphie_> "It wasn't very dark when we walked here. Does the thing in the woods have a name beginning with 'G'?"
<Capn_Ascii> "It doesn't have a name. We just call it 'the thing in the woods'.
<Capn_Ascii> "Since we've never seen it, we didn't want to try and name it and then find out we got it wrong and be all disappointed."
<Selphie_> "Very sensible. Once you start naming them, you get attached to them."
- Andrea rolls her eyes at Selphie. "That's for pets, not probable enemies."
<Selphie_> "Oh. Erm."
<Capn_Ascii> "Look, it's pretty clear that you folks aren't from the seismology office. You might wanna go come clean with the padre. If he knows he doesn't have to keep stuff from you, he might be able to tell you something helpful. Or not. I dunno, just sayin'."
<Selphie_> Still, it would be embarrassing to name a potential opponent "YEEEAAARGH!" and shortly afterward to face its wrath because the second E is silent and you left out a G."
<Selphie_> "Yeah we're just an interested party. Not officials."
<Andrea> "I'm worried that he might try to kick us out."
<Selphie_> "So how do we find The Thing In The Woods? That seems to me like useful knowledge. And don't even consider replying with 'You don't... in Soviet Russia, It Finds You!' or something similar. Then we might check out the other buildings nearby."
<Capn_Ascii> "Nah, he's cool. Tell him we sent you."
<Capn_Ascii> "You want to find the thing? Sure, that's easy. Just go out into the woods with some raw meat strapped to you and walk around like a bunch of dumbass city folk."
<Andrea> "But we saw him first," Andrea replies dubiously. "He probably won't appreciate the lying. *I* don't even appreciate the lying, and that was just omission."
<Jenny> "Has it eaten any living people?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Lying? Pretty sure *he* lied to you, what with the whole 'there are no zombies living here' thing."
<Capn_Ascii> "People? Not that we know of, but that's only because they all ran off when we and it showed up. It does eat wild animals, though."
- Selphie_ sidles up to Andrea and conspicuously whispers to her, "What would a zombie do with its phone it had left here by accident? Surely once its owner is registered as dead, its contract would be void. It would have no subscription. What has it been using it for? There might be clues... photos... something if we could get a look at what it's been using a phone for."
<Capn_Ascii> "And dogs. It loves dogs. Lots of dogs got left behind when their owners fled. Not many around any more."
<Andrea> Andrea nods and shrugs, knowing that what Selphie said was probably heard, so there's no point in acting on it.
- Jenny rolls her eyes at Selphie. "My 2yo cousin uses an old unregistered phone to watch Youtube videos. I'm sure if I was going to sit around a campsite with nothing to do, I'd want my phone too, contacts or no."
<Capn_Ascii> "What would I do with it? What *wouldn't* I do with it?" Frank gets a gleeful(?) look on his dessicated features. "Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, games..."
<Capn_Ascii> Chuck rolls his eyes. "The padre hooked us up with phones so we wouldn't have to live out here in the middle of nowhere like a bunch of asocial tribals. We're dead, but we're still people."
<Andrea> Andrea nods. "Can I get your email address?" She prepares to load it into her contacts. "Just in case we need to reach you."
<Capn_Ascii> "Sure, it's--"
<Capn_Ascii> "Frank." Chuck frowns. "What did I tell you about giving out your e-mail to random people? You've bricked two phones already. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a virus on a *phone*? And you still did it somehow. Twice."
<Capn_Ascii> Frank pouts. "They said they wanted me to help with a money transfer..."
<Jenny> "Jeez, even I know that's a scam," Jenny comments.
<Capn_Ascii> "We're farmers, not tech wizards."
<Andrea> "Awww, but I love giving spyware out!"
<Selphie_> "So you are just using phones as fancy walky-talkies? Because surely everyone you used to know is either a zombie out here with you or... didn't make the same afterlife transition you did."
<Capn_Ascii> "Back in my day, if we wanted to spy on someone we did it from the bushes outside their window."
<Capn_Ascii> "Nah, we're online, same as most of the world these days. But that doesn't mean we know how to fix a computer."
<Capn_Ascii> "Although Frank here certainly knows how to *break* one."
<Capn_Ascii> Frank winces.
<Andrea> "But seriously, can we have some way to contact you? Like if the mysterious beast starts chasing us or something?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Sure." Chuck gives you his cell phone number. "I'm what passes for the leader of us folks around here, so give me a ring if there's any trouble. I can't promise we can save you if the thing gets its teeth into you, but we'll do our neighborly best."
<Andrea> "Sounds good," Andrea records the number and gives hers out as well.
<Suyana> "Well...I've given my number to weirder people," Suyana says and shares hers, too.
- Jenny joins the phone-sharing fray.
- Selphie_ is a bit lost.
<Capn_Ascii> "Whoo, phone party!"
<Andrea> "Guess we go beast hunting."
<Suyana> "I'm sure we'll be able to handle whatever that thing is."
- Jenny nods confidently in agreement.
<Selphie_> "Do we want to go for Confession with the padre, or skip that and just get to the excitement?"
<Andrea> "Good case to be made either way."
<Jenny> "Might as well find out what he knows, get all the info."
<Andrea> "Okay, let's head back."
- Selphie_ feels exhilarated at her first Near Death Experience.
<Selphie_> "I reckon you guys could get work at Hollywood you know. If you're ever at a loose end, that is."
<Selphie_> She starts making her way out of the workshop through the silently banging door to the undertaker's display room.
- Andrea starts going back, still looking for anything interesting using her phonelight.
<Capn_Ascii> You leave the store, watching your new zombie friends shuffle off into the darkness outside of town. Frank is waving at you like a doofus the whole way. Sheesh.
<Capn_Ascii> Soon you find yourselves back at the threshhold of the church.
<Selphie_> "What will we say? 'Sorry padre - couldn't sleep.'?"
<Andrea> "We're going to tell him that we encountered zombies."
<Selphie_> "Cool! Let's all go in this time."
<Jenny> "Hey Pops, your zombie friends said you might have more to say."
- Selphie_ tries the door to see if it's locked this time, and if not, strides in.
<Capn_Ascii> The door is unlocked!
<Capn_Ascii> People in these small towns can be so trusting...heh heh...
- Jenny also strides in, looking for the priest.
<Capn_Ascii> It's the same scene as before - the priest is kneeling before the altar in quiet prayer.
<Jenny> "Hey, Pops," Jenny says. "Your zombie friends said you might spill some more beans if you knew we weren't going to narc on you or cause trouble of that sort."
<Capn_Ascii> He doesn't turn around. "Zombie friends? I believe perhaps you young folks have been watching too many movies. I am a man of the cloth - I do not believe in such nonsense."
<Andrea> "Chuck. Frank. Those names ring a bell?"
<Capn_Ascii> A pause. Then, a weary sigh, as he stands up and turns to face you. "I told those two to hide with the others. Now look what's happened." He looks at you, a serious expression on his face. "I suppose they informed you of their...unique situation?"
<Selphie_> "That they'd lost a phone?"
<Jenny> "They didn't really have to INFORM us that they were corpses. Kinda obvious, just looking at them."
<Andrea> "We're not exactly ordinary individuals ourselves. Nonetheless, all pertinent information helps. I almost shot them, not knowing any better. If there's anything else we need to know... we should know. Red herrings make this harder."
<Capn_Ascii> "Very well. I suppose there's little I can do at this point anyway; I will tell you what I can."
<Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---