Oracle: “Frenzied women from whose lips the god speaks” – Walter Burkert
Logistical expert, webmistress, guru of all things technical and little flashy pointing thingies on the ZSC website, the omniscient Oracle sees all, hears all and knows all. Once an innocent writer of young adult novels, LK Gardner-Griffie’s role in the upcoming apocalypse is perhaps the most crucial of all. Without her wisdom, infinite knowledge and uncanny ability to translate the often-garbled incoming transmissions from other commanders, we would surely be lost in a maze of utter confusion and mayhem. While only those higher up the chain of command and several very privileged others have actually seen the Oracle with their own eyes, many of us have caught glimpses of her in various social networking locations, and some have even received the occasional top secret memo that changes the course of one’s destiny…
LK is a woman of many passions and talents, and when the two are put together to take a stand against bullying, censorship, abuse and other issues that have likely affected all of us in some way or another, the possibilities are endless. She speaks up, shouts out and challenges us all to think before we act, and do what’s right no matter what the circumstances. Most notable of her pet projects is the drive to donate books to family and/or children’s shelters. See for yourself, and take action as you will. Purple brigade, salute your commander and heed of the shining example she sets for us all.
While duct-taped to her chair… a memo from the Chief, Juliette Terzieff
Okay… you know how much I love the Oracle, but I have to be honest … it scares the bejeebus out of me when LK says the words, I’ve been thinking…. I mean seriously, the entire command center shudders with the utterance of those words. So imagine my terror when I heard she was giving an entire interview … UNSUPERVISED??
If you haven’t read it yet, Green-Fly Media put out an ALL zombie magazine this month. The Oracle’s interview starts on page 47. She didn’t do half bad … even if I DO say so.
You’ve been hiking through the wooded areas of the Pacific Northwest, keeping an eye peeled for zombie activity. Things have been a bit quiet — which is good, you’re not complaining … when BAM! Out of nowhere, your sweet tooth kicks in and it’s running on overdrive. You eye your fellow travelers and wonder whether sweetbreads really are sweet. After doing a quick check to make sure you haven’t been bitten without realizing it, you notice some bushes in the distance.
Boo-yah!!! You’ve hit the jackpot. Wild blackberries for everyone. All you have to do is pick them. Then the monster idea hits… Blackberry Cobbler. A desert for kings served up camp-style for you and your fellow Zombie Survival Crew members.
Grab whatever you can find to hold the berries and dance your way to the berry patch.
Post a sentry to make sure no wandering zombies, or hungry bears try to fight you for the berries.
Do NOT walk through the patch of nettles. Or at least make sure you’re wearing boots and the thickest pair of socks you have with you.
Pick as many berries as you can carry. While some will go in the cobbler, the berries are great to eat on the go, and have plenty of antioxidants and all sorts of other good things for you.
When you get back to camp, melt a stick of butter (or margarine) over the fire.
Mix together 1 cup of self-raising flour, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of milk.
Pretend it is zombie brains and beat well.
Pour the melted butter into a 2-quart-ish pan (if you didn’t melt it in the pan to begin with)
Pour the floury, sugary goodness over the butter — BUT DO NOT STIR.
Add berries (about a quart to the mixture). DO NOT STIR
Keep on the fire until the crust rises over the berries and turns golden brown.
Try not to drool while waiting.
Serve hot with a little cream, or for a real treat, a scoop of ice cream … if you can find any.
This tasty treat is a favorite of the Purple Brigade leader and has the Oracle stamp of approval. Oh, and if you have an oven available, preheat to 350F.
After months of anticipation the day has finally come when we can release the cover art for Undead Uncensored, the second Zombie Survival Crew anthology. This year’s anthology is a vibrant collection of short fiction, poetry and non-fiction pieces designed to help you get your zombie freak on and prepare for what we might all face if the zombipocalypse hits!
Undead Uncensored features the work of yours truly alongside other ZSC Commanders actor Michael Rooker, award winning author LK Gardner-Griffie, and authors Jinxie G, R.C. Murphy and Amy Sundberg. ZSC crew members including Wendy Sparrow, Jessica Capelle, Robin Sellman, Amber Revelt, Stephanie Allen, Christopher De Voss and many others contributed their artistic endeavors to this creeptastic collection!!
From the laboratory of the Oracle Top Secret Alert Level: Orange
As you know, for quite some time we’ve been keeping an eye on our Orange Brigade Commander, RC Murphy. Her obsession with zombie bunnies and keeping them in the command center, despite the mischief they do, has been a cause for concern. I banned them from my laboratory last year … the third time they chewed through the top-secret communication lines was the last straw. There was much pleading and pouting, but I stood firm.
You’d have thought I was sending them all out to face a firing squad or something. *rolls eyes* Because of the delicate operations being conducted in my laboratory and all the top-secret communications being processed, compiled, and analyzed, I need a clean room environment and simply can’t have rabbit droppings everywhere. Out they scampered, little ears drooping, while following Commander Murphy as she shuffled in the lead. But enough of that ….
Our concern escalated when RC attended San Diego Comic-Con, ostensibly in stealth mode, but carrying her furry infatuation with her through the crowds. Please note the white fur-ball attached to her waist in the picture to the right. How she managed to pull off incognito while strapping a zombie to her side, even if it was a bunny, is beyond me, but it is a testament to Commander Murphy’s ninja skills. It is a known fact that zombies become excitable in crowds, like a busload of senior citizens when dropped off at a smorgasbord, so on the surface it would seem our Commander carried her fascination to the point of jeopardizing the security of the Zombie Survival Crew. However, there were no incidents. How did she convince the bunny to play dead, instead of undead?
To be clear—it is not Commander Murphy’s dedication to the Zombie Survival Crew that is in question. Her loyalty is beyond reproach. I have wondered, as the bunny horde has increased, whether or not one or more of them have been plants by the UGA (Unnamed Government Agency), exploiting the Commander’s love of small furry objects for their own nefarious ends. There has been a distinct behavioral change and Commander Murphy is not to be seen outside the command center without one of her pets lashed to her side. Come to think of it, even while IN the command center, she doesn’t move without at least one or two as her cadre.
In order to protect the Zombie Survival Crew and the safety of its members, I have taken matters into my own hands and have begun testing on the zombie bunnies. We need to know with certainty that our actions are not being reported, despite all precautionary measures, through these bunnies. So far, no recording devices, cameras, or anything foreign has been identified, but I will continue my investigation. Hmmmm—I am beginning to see why Commander Murphy has a fascination with them …
… they are EVIL CUTE.
The PROBLEM is that while they are cute, they are ALSO bunnies—which means we are quickly approaching bunny infestation level.
*ACTIVATES CRISIS MODE*
So here’s the deal *leans in and whispers* Don’t tell Commander Murphy … I have been keeping back those which I have vetted and ensured are nothing more than a normal zombie bunny. I don’t want to return them to the regular population—and they are too cute to kill—so the Zombie Survival Crew will let them go to a good home for $16.95. Let us know your brigade colors and we’ll make sure their bandages are brigade specific.
From the undisclosed location of LK Gardner-Griffie
Your Zombie Survival Crew TM commanders are always on the lookout for not only stories of potential zombie uprisings, but ways to improve survivability come the apocalypse. So we were intrigued to learn from Motortrend’s Wide Open Throttle that Robert Kirkman of The Walking Dead fame has collaborated with Hyundai to create the Zombie Survival Machine. Check this bad boy out:
Just imagine plowing through a horde of zombies with that sweet spiked cow-catcher. Wouldn’t you like to get up close and personal with this car? Well, you can. The 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe Zombie Survival Machine will be on display at Comic-Con, which runs from July 12-15 in San Diego at the Future US booth, along with a limited-run illustrated owner’s manual. This beauty will be unveiled as a part of a four-episode behind the scenes series on HyundaiUndead.com on July 11th.
The word on the street is that our Orange Brigade commander, RC Murphy, may be among the merrymakers at San Diego Comic-Con in stealth mode. And I’m sure she’ll be taking the opportunity to size up this newest possibility to keep us safe from the shambling hordes.
Zombie Survival Crew command has been working on the appropriate strategy for mobilizing the crew in the event of a Zombiepocalypse or other global cataclysmic event. Honorable Brigadier, JL Coburn (SAPPED), has amassed a great amount of data and provided it to the Oracle for her to sift through to come up with the best plan.
We’re now looking for volunteers to help take this to the next level. In order for you to see how you can help Mission: RESUPPLY, you must be registered for this site and logged in.
To ZSC Brigade leaders and 1st Lieutenants: I’m sending this from a tiny town outside Moab called End of The Line. I’ve holed up in an Old West museum with a Navajo named Joe Holiday. The walkers have thinned out, but that won’t last long. I’ve had a lot of time on my hands, so— We Take Care of Our Own is about a tight-knit family dealing with survival amidst the Zombie Apocalypse in a small Midwestern town and was inspired by the The Walking Dead. The treatment of both the graphic novel and the TV series inspired this tale because it’s brilliantly complex, poignant, and shockingly real. We Take Care Of Our Own examines the human reaction in the shadow of the Zombie Apocalypse. I’ll be moving on in the morning with Joe. We’ll be heading to Monument Valley, where his people are. In the meantime, keep up the good fight…I know I will.
Please note because the characters are dealing with a zombie outbreak, this excerpt may have some strong language.
My brother and I are the only two left in Churchville, Illinois, population once 112. I’d say last two alive, but that’s not really right. I’m alive, but my brother, Tom Nolan, is very dead. He’s a zombie now. An undead man walking. Tom used to call them flesh-heads, like the towel-heads he fought over in Iraq, but that was before he got bit. I know I’m supposed to put him down, but he’s my brother, and we promised Dad that we’d take care of each other no matter what. Dad always said, “Us Nolans, we take care of our own.” It’s the six hundred and sixty-sixth day since we stopped using calendars. I only know because 665 is written on the little chalkboard I keep up here. Beneath it are the thin remnants of all the numbers that have been written and erased. I take up the nub of chalk, erase the 5 with my finger, and draw a 6 in a looping motion. 666…the number of the beast. I think of the Iron Maiden song. It was one of my brother’s favorites. I remember their mascot, Eddie; tight dead skin pulled over his skull face. In one of their posters Eddie was dressed like Uncle Sam, grinning and pointing his rotten knife of finger. That’s right; UNCLE EDDIE WANTS TO EAT YOU! Welcome to The Zombified States of America! I lie still for a minute, breathing in the warm attic air; wood and dust, mixed with my own stink. I’ve long taken to sleeping in my clothes. Tom used to say they’d stand up on their own if I bothered to take them off. I don’t sleep very well anymore. Mostly because my mind always goes back over all the things that have happened, and partly because of the Metallica that plays all night long. I play it for Tom, and for me. They were his favorite band, and it helps to drown out the racket he makes the minute darkness falls. I don’t know what it is with flesh-heads, but the night wakes them up, like rats or coyotes; gets their zombie engines runnin’ full throttle and sharpens their senses. Even though Tom is walled up in Grandpa’s bomb shelter, he always knows when night has come. I sit up on my mattress. My butt sinks down through whiny, shot springs to the wooden floor beneath. The emptiness in my stomach howls. Man, I’m hungry. Maybe I’ll find some food today in town. Maybe. The lone window in the attic glows white hot with sunlight that blots out Illinois farm country below and beyond. I pull on my boots, and remember buying them with Dad and my brother. I reach for my brother’s belt and stand up, careful not to whack my head on the low eaves thick with shadows and cobwebs. I thread the belt into my jean loops, and pulling it tight, see I’ve punched six new holes in its cracked leather. My brother used to say I looked like one of those starving children on TV. I take up my shotgun that stands against the wall like a cowboy leaning on a post. It’s a Remington 870 express pump action. Dad gave it to me when I turned thirteen. I’m seventeen now, and I miss being thirteen something terrible. I start down the attic steps, each one creaking its own note like piano keys.
The basement is cool and dark as a moonless field. Morning quiets my brother, and all the Metallica albums on the mp3 player usually run out about four in the morning. I snatch the mp3 player, with its cracked plastic face, out of the speakers it spends the nights docked in. Mom gave us the mp3 player and the speakers. She bought them right after she got herself a eBook reader. Mom said we shouldn’t be afraid of technology, especially if it helped a person appreciate the arts. I guess Metallica, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen are as much art as Mom’s books. I stare for a moment at the thick steel door that keeps my brother safe. I touch my hand to it, wishing I could still touch my brother. I wish I could still muss his hair, or try and make him flinch. He stirs behind the door. I hear the slow clicking and clacking of his teeth, tired from gnashing all night, followed by a low, growling grunt, then silence. I slip the mp3 player into the front pocket of my jeans and bound up the steps, thinking of Mom instead of my zombie brother.
The sunlight leaks into the kitchen around the edges of the ply boards that cover every window on the first and second floor. I hate it because it makes the whole house feel like a cardboard box, lit by seams and cracks, but without them, there’d only be a pane of glass between you and death. Not that plywood keeps death out, ‘cause it doesn’t, but it’s a good first line of defense. I set my rifle on the kitchen table, next to the boxes of shells, and go to my bike angled against the counter. I check its chain and return to the table. Man, I’m tired. I sit down. Just for a minute.