Read part one of Nemesis here
Following my initial altercation with the hateful terrorist Jacq and her alien henchman Lena, I had resolved to retire to my hotel room to prepare for my next attack. It soon occurred to me that I knew almost nothing about Jacq and Lena beyond the obvious terrorist threat that they posed. I had mistakenly assumed that the surprise nature of my first assault would catch them off guard and that my victory would be swift and almost effortless.
It was of the highest importance that I gather as much information on my enemy as possible, and fast. Intelligence is key in war, as the ghost of George “what will a few Indians be able to do about anything?” Custer will tell you. The problem I was faced with was that my one reliable source of intelligence, Ellie, was dead in her flat where I’d left her earlier that morning. Luckily, I knew that there was something I could do about that.
Contrary to popular belief, resurrecting a reasonably fresh corpse is surprisingly easy. It would be irresponsible and more than a little dull for me to set out the entire method in writing. All I will say is that with the correct application of an ordinary electric toaster, a selection of garden herbs, a bicycle pump and a little plutonium (note to self: buy a bullet proof vest in case the Libyans catch up with me) you can resurrect almost any corpse within two or three hours.
The difficulty in necromancy comes when you have to get your reanimated corpse walking and talking normally. Walking had never been a problem for Ellie. She’d been walking just fine since the day I met her (and even before then, I guess) but talking was another matter entirely. Her speech was barely intelligible as a living person. As a living corpse her speech sounded like a male elephant seal vomiting in Welsh. It would have to do.
The rigor mortis hadn’t quite worn off by the time I was ready to take the bus back to the hotel so getting her to the bus stop was tricky. After half an hour of watching her scuttle sideways like a crab, I decided to grab her under the arms and drag her onto the next bus.
“MAARRRGHGRAARRRGGGHHH!!” she screamed at the bus driver, covering him in phlegm.
“Soorry aboot thet,” I said to the driver, in my best Scottish accent, “she’s Ainglesh.”
The bus driver raised an eyebrow and held my gaze for a number of seconds in what I assumed was an attempt at telepathy. Are Scottish people telepathic? I seem to remember reading something somewhere. Was Highlander telepathic? It’s been a long while since I’ve seen it. That’s something I’ll have to look into later.
“Take a seat please, sir,” he growled at me before muttering something that sounded like, “Fuck’n’ English,” and driving on.
I first realised that something had gone wrong with the reanimation process when, at the next stop, Ellie tore off the arms of the driver and beat him to death with them. Zombies can be somewhat unpredictable, but I certainly hadn’t anticipated this. Still, once she’d cracked open his skull and devoured the brains inside, she seemed perfectly calm and harmless again. She took her seat, belched and waited for the bus to start up again; oblivious of the frozen, slack jawed stares of the other passengers.
“Muurghrrraaaagh,” she grumbled impatiently as the headless, armless bus driver resolutely refused to restart the engine. I wrestled her off the bus just as the other passengers began to emerge from their shocked state and started screaming.
Needless to say, we attracted some attention as we completed the journey back to the hotel on foot. However, the fact that no one actually stopped us leads me to believe that the sight of a woman being manhandled down the street with blood and gore dripping from her mouth is not an uncommon one in Edinburgh.
Once back in the hotel room (the Travelodge receptionist seemed to view Ellie’s appearance as fairly standard, if not totally bland and uninteresting) I began trying to coax some intelligible speech out of Ellie, or Zomb-Ellie, as I was beginning to think of her. I started with simple everyday conversation:
Me: Can I get you a cup of tea?
Me: I can’t remember if you take sugar.
It carried on like this for a while with no progress. I changed tactics; deciding to try to trigger an emotional response from her:
Me: Did you read in the paper that David Cameron is planning to pass a law stating that a woman should be seen and not heard?
Zomb-Ellie: GRRRAAAAAARRRRGRGHHHGHG!!!! GGAAAARRRAAAGHGHGH!!!
Which, accompanied by her lifting up the bed and hurling it through the window, was certainly the emotional response I was looking for, but was definitely not intelligent speech. I carried on like this for half the night, eventually resorting to shaking her violently by the shoulders, before finally admitting defeat.
As the curtains billowed in the draught created by the bed sized hole in the window, I reached an epiphany. Why did I need information, when I could simply use Zomb-Ellie as a weapon? She had already demonstrated her super-human strength. I tested her durability by hitting her with a chair a few times. Perfect. I had myself an undead killing machine. I was ready to take the fight, once more, to my nemesis. My nemeses.
I shut Zomb-Ellie in the bathroom (zombies can’t work doorknobs) after feeding her a couple of packets of hotel soap. I was mildly irritated that I was going to have to spend the night sleeping on the floor. I peered out the broken window to see three men carrying the bed to a van which was waiting with the engine running. Apparently beds flying from second storey windows were as commonplace in Edinburgh as gore covered women.
Still, as I tried to make myself comfortable on the carpet where the bed used to be, I couldn’t help grinning in eager anticipation. My new plan was genius in its simplicity. Zombies. Nothing could go wrong.