We huddled in the shack, shotguns and shovel blades held ready.
“What next, man?” Bobby’s voice wavered across the silent room.
He was the most shaken. I kept waiting for him to start yelling “Game over, man!”, but that was a different genre and different generation. Bobby was maybe fifteen, and had liked the AvP franchise instead. A totally different kind of horror, I’d told him, but he didn’t get that joke either.
“I don’t know, Bobby.” I tried to sound reassuring and caring, but mostly I sounded annoyed.
“Bobby’s right.” Joan, the physician’s assistant. She managed the soothing tones I couldn’t muster. “We’ve all faced a lot in the last month, and things have been getting worse. The slow zombies were bad enough, but then they got faster.” The others were nodding at the edges of the lantern’s light. “And then when they started talking…”
“…my sister, man!” I’d had to knock Bobby down when the decayed corpse of his sister kept begging to be let in.
I held my hand up. “You’re all right. Things have gotten bad and…”
“I see ’em!” Zach burst in. He’d been on lookout; he had a good eye, and wouldn’t hesistate to interrupt if it was important. “They’re coming up over the ridge, and they’re saying something… wierd.”
I went and looked, and listened.
“We’re screwed,” I told them. “Listen.”
They all listened to the undead mouthing the words: “I think, therefore I am.” “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” “Ambition is the immoderate desire for power.” “And if you gaze for long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” “Nothing is divine but what is agreeable to reason.”
“What’s that mean?” I think Bobby might have wet himself. “What are they?”
I loaded my shotgun.
“Philosophical zombies, Bobby. God-damned philosophical zombies.”
(Because this post demanded it…)