07:00; Waking in a curtained bed not my own, I find myself competently injected intravenously and cleverly cathered for my . . . comfort. Disabusing myself of these interesting abuses, I go to the ground floor to be surrounded by acetylene torches, munitions scorches and electrical plans for the building.
08:00; The house’s grand dame, Ms. Open Palm, explains. Almost all of the girls here are working their way through university, or did so in the past. As nobody dances naked for a degree in sociology (an STD of the mind, as I think of it) all of the girls and most of the boys are grads in as many aspects of the sciences one cares to name.
My team of engineers, I presume.
08:10; Barbie Bay-Bee, M.D. in physics, tells me the application of my design to the larger scale they proposing is mathematically sound. I would question this, but as I used her paper on helium density(written as Dr. Maturnina Ken) to devise my own airship design, I concede the point.
Density of what helium, though?
08:20; Daisy Bloomers, who makes her own make-up, perfume and experimental Noble Gases, says that La Pantalon Rouge was a main target during the days of love of the Helium Princess and they still have a tank of industrial-grade helium. When I ask why, she states client confientiality. Helium and make-up – I suspect a coulrophelia fetish.
She puts me in mind of Paradigm, and I resolve not to take my eyes off of her. But can this clown-love contraption actually fly?
08:30; Lulu Lollypop, whose interests were listed in her Page 3 spread as ‘boys, animals and experimental aviation design, with an emphasis on (but not exclusive to) alternative means of flight – rocket science and airship design a double major – tells me that a low-level rocket launch followed by a high-altitude expanding gasbag with an affixed propeller should see us through.
Rocket launch with what?
08:40; ViVi LaBoom, vital statistics 36-32-36 measurements and 156 IQ, has discovered and repurposed the cache of heavy explosives kept in the basement. With placed charges detonated in precisely calculated sequential bursts, she believes the building can be launched free from the foundations.
ViVi has the same crazy eyes Dinahmight did in the WW1 newsreels. But won’t the conflagration compromise the structure?
08:50; Big Mama Mammary, beautiful and aged well, is the kind of lady whose age would scare off an arrogant baby of a man from being treated as such, would attract an older man to the concept of being treated like a baby, and has a perfect grasp of Euclidean geometry as pertaining to architecture. She is slow-speaking and oddly hypnotic.
This place will hold.
09:00; Ms. Palm tells me to call her Open, that I am free to go and that she thanks me for helping to save their home.Open, Free, Thanks and Home. There are a few aphorisms I haven’t heard in some time. Who would ordain a demimondain to get me so sentimental? Appropriate, though.
09:15; Doorstep again. I draw a few zombie wards on the doorframe. La Pantalon Rouge doesn’t usually have them, given that the Day of the Dead is one of their busiest days – another reason to order a shroud with pockets and take your money with you when you die. The girls are proud of that their reputation raises the dead, who are often a sweet bunch of older men, with one part of them raised more than others. Those dead fellows flatteringly compare the ladies to heaven, whereas Nation’s zombie deadbeats reminded these scarlet women of hell.
Interesting. Open tells me the elohim letters I draw are like a series of quantum symbols she is devising in an approach to, if not unified field theory, then a way to interpret its existence in nature.
Oh, talk nerdy to me.
09:30; The Milk Maids arrive down this end of town. Well, they can’t be everywhere at eight-thirty (not since the time machine regressed and progressed the milk to cud & cheese respectively, though Lady Jane tells me she is repurposing it now). They, of course, aren’t going to Eldritch Bill’s, and there is a marked lack of milk deliveries on Cemetary Road, but they will get me close enough.
10:00; Apparently everybody got an anti-zombie dose this morning with their milk. Full city immunity. I congratulate them, but inform them that unless they have a serum for breathing underwater, immunisation may be in vain. I fill them in on the dam-blow plan. I remind them that their float will float on water. The ‘something all natural’ antigrav underneath it will not fear water.
10:30; Knowing that I’m blowing a town with these two in it leaves me feeling conflicted. With a bottle, I brain a braindead Australian, while screaming “Got Milk? I got your milk right here!”.
Derivative, yes, but it takes a figuratrive load off of my mind and a literal load off the ghoul’s mind.
11:00; Walking the last few streets to Eldritch’s, with a milk pint in one hand, valise in the other and a harpoon gun strapped to my back, I spot the local landmarks. The pillory where we stoned the adulteress. The gallows where we hung the mime. The pond where we drowned the midget arsonist. He did so love to burn things.
Ah, happy childhood days.
12:00; To Eldritch I give an anti-zombie serum. He laughs it off with “Science is naught but the illegitimate dog-faced boy of Magic!” With a surprising lack of malice, I confront him with the revelation that his ‘language of the angels’ can also be interpreted as a mathematical symbology which can truly describe an objects place in space and time, without a requirement for reference! A revelation revolution that Marshall Lore, aka the Masther, is leading. Apparently Angelic immateriality can be explained as function of the geometry of spacetime, as much as the force gravity is and the force of electromagnetism might be.
To the tune of twelve cannon, I declare ‘Magic is naught but the pederast rat-uncle of Science’s long lineage’.
12:30; Eldritch admits this. Lore visited Eldritch on my suggestion, scientifically analysing and refining Eldritch’s sorcerous symbology. Meanwhile Eldritch imparted the parables and legends related to these rare runes, thaumaturge’s tales which, while still a mystery to Lore, seem to metaphorically describe the higher, as-yet-unknown relationships between these symbols. I concede there are bonds between the two methodologies beyond our comprehension, then genially kick him in the crotch for Isaac Newton, John Dee and the audacity for lying to me earlier.
I advise the now crotch-clutching, floorbound and foetal Eldritch to bunk down in the watertight necropolis the dead demanded, and depart in my airship.
13:00; I can see my house from here. The zombies are attempting to trample my man-eating plants, with little success.
14:00; I can’t escape the military until the town floods. A few strategic explosives will take out some of the dykes. The three mighty Atlantean Water Engines, discovered in the bay during the smaller, original, reclamation, will do the rest at winged-sandal pace. They aren’t really Atlantean. They have R’LYEH stamped on one side and CTHULHU on the other.
Eldritch never did divulge what the squid pictographs meant.
15:00; Former boy wonder sidekick, Mayor Burt Ward, appears to be attempting negotiations with the zombie insurgents in a bid to escape town. Great minds. The amount of planning permission swindles and construction bribes he has gotten away with, he must have a small island somewhere.
Unfortunately, he has run into some grunts greener than the money he is offering them. By the way they ate his assistants, talks seem to have hit a standstill . . .
16:00; Do I dare do something truly heroic? Truly idiotic? Well, if I save him and we both die, then nobody will never know. But if we get out, I’ll just have to kill him later, and take his money. Oh, wait, that works. Time to be a hero!
Oh lord, sorry, thought I could say that with a straight face.
16:30; He is semi-consumed and I cannot keep my hands from shaking with fits of the giggles . . .
I shoot Mayor Ward in the posterior with the harpoon gun. A medal winning shot, one would imagine.
17:00; After a brief giggle by twisting the harpoon out and splashing the wound with iodine, I focus; The town is zombie-infested, militarily-surrounded and on the precipice of an Old Testament flood. I have only one question – why the hell did Pequod get planning permission for a battleship ballroom and not me my photon shunt skylight?
I may have gestured with the harpoon at this point. Vigorously. Mayor Ward is a pathological liar, and I myself would crumble under nothing less. A vague threat is nobody’s friend.
18:00; Apparently it was all perfectly legal. That is an actual ship Pequod lives in afterall. It was found on the bay bed during the reclamation, as stated, and such conversions are legal by town charter. So long as it passes a maritime maintenance test and a building safety surveyor’s exam, it is both and neither a house and boat, which gives Pequod an extremely enviable tax loophole to found his business empires on. Several of the rich and famous of the town have followed this theme for their own purposes of tax evasion.
I remind him that my house is not so constructed. He reminds me I am neither rich nor famous.
As mine and the mayor’s statements will testify later, my harpoon slipped out of excitement. He does have another foot after all.
19:00; Such civic, criminal corruption. As every bad man says in such a situation, I am obviously in the wrong business. I can hardly be blamed, can I? Most of the town’s politicians hold hereditarily inherited positions. The only way to enter the ranks of that inbred and batrachian bunch is to part the ribs with a rusty blade, or to part the legs of their ugly young maids-
Sweet Tartarus, that is it!
20:00; I hold the Mayor close, twirling him around until his screams of pain bring me too much happiness to dance further. I declare, like a good little hero, I intend to save the townsfolk, defeat my nemesis and outrun the swirling vultures of army and navy alike. Fearful and cynical, the Mayor compliments me on my hope for the future, but he reminds me that the situation is quite dire. I laugh merrily, then cuff him to the floor.
20:30; I remind him that he maybe a hereditary middleclassman, but I am an aristocrat, though not inbred. I remind him that he may be a convivial political criminal, but that I am a bad, bad man, though not a vaudevillain. I remind him that the situation may be dire, but that I am going to make it much, much worse. For fun and profit.
For expediency, the Mayor goes overboard. His old acrobatic training allows him to keep his life, but lose his feet.
21:00; Crossing the low walls of the parade balloon enclosure, I tie up my dirigible among his fellow inflatables of Bluto, Olive Oil, and others. Descending the rope, I call out to Ailface Boonkeeper and his daughter/sister Incestua. Coming trotting up on their hind legs like a couple of humans, I see their surprise – but not at the balloon. They were expecting it, but with someone else riding it.
The daughter’s belly, full as gibbous moon, is not merely her fat frame, but a foetus fermenting. This is how Nation altered the balloons so secretly.
22:00; One of the sweetest parts of playing the hero is telling the truth, and seeing its disasterous consequences on those involved. I lay out, simply, for their eager, dull little minds that Nation has raised a zombie army by killing the tourists, the only ones to attend their dreary parades, and intends to drown the town for fresh bodies. Twisting my testicles gently beneath the table to keep the giggles from arising, I congratulate them on their masterly plan devising.
21:00; After all, they must have been part of this plot, because Nation has taken to Incestua so dear, and the concept that he might callously kill them and the unborn babe would seem quite queer. Just about able not to roll my eyes, I throughly enjoy the craven twos mutual looks of surprise.
Ah truth, you terrible, beautiful, bitch goddess. Though I do tell Incestua that Nation said her hair smelled like poo, just to stay in practice.
23:00; Amid their cursing of Nation, I remind them that their fellow fecund famous and rotten regal rich are about to drown also. Ailface clicks his congenitally claw-like digits in terror, while Incestua flaps her flipperish fingers in frustration. I present them with plans for the marvellous airships. Far too late for a full conversion, and only for the elite. But the illitterati glitterati may still be saved by a few modifications . . . and a great many balloons.
Phase One complete.
00:00; Departing my grateful grotesques in giggling glee, I can’t wait for Phases Two and Three, where the Dear Dr. Quatloo does more harm in the guise of good, and the loud Lord Daftwager makes himself heard in the neighbourhood. Like the Helium Princess from above, I shall spread the love, accepting the mantle of peaceful, deceitful dove, which fits me clawed-hand to iron-glove.