Friday, August 5, 2016

Exploratory Writing: Ken Makes Some Survivors The Offer

(This would be well after The Burning of Hugo, when the world blows up and The Wars of the Damned begin.)

"I hear you got a dead problem."

The group looked on at the strange man addressing them. Hairless, skin white like show, eyes sunken and of an eerie yellow hue. In one calloused hand he held the severed arm of a former zombie, from which he bit into and tore off another piece as one would from a chicken leg, and loudly chewed.

One of them, the eldest man, stepped forward: "We do."

"I can solve it." the dead-eating man said, his mouth full, "Of course, I see rifles in some of your hands, so I guess you can do that yourselves, but you normies got to take that risk now." He finished. "And I know you folks would rather not."

One of the women in the back leaned into another's ear: "It has to be him! The one that eats zombies."

The strange man turned his eyes to them. "I am that man." he said, looking right at them as he would to mischievous children, "I am Ken, and I have an offer for you."

The eldest man looked over to the others and gave his own commanding glare. They nodded, one by one, their submission, and then the eldest man looked back at Ken: "Go on."

"You people are much like others I've come across since the end of the world. You prepared. You planned. You stored your food, stockpiled your supplies, chose remote locations filled with exploitable resources, and most of you got out in time." Ken waived the arm he held. "You never really expected this to be real, and you aren't able to do what you planned to do and deal with this."

Ken looked over the faces before him. He saw them confirm what he suspected: they already lost people, and had to deal with their own dead re-animating.

"I offer you this: I will deal with the monsters. Call, and I will come to your aide."

"In return?"

"Fealty" Ken said, "You will join with others like yourselves, cooperate under my guidance and protection, until such time as I am no longer necessary because you--and they--will be able to do this on your own."

"We stay where we are?"

"I insist. You're all better off in your prepared homesteads. I focus on keeping the roads and paths between them clear."

An older woman moved to the eldest man's side and whispered into his ear: "He'll not need food from us. Take it."

The eldest man nodded. "What else?"

"No aggression between any of your settlements. I decide them, and my word is law. Handle your own affairs as you like, and be ready to support me as required."

"Is that all?"

Ken eyes a young woman in the back, clearly out of place here by her hair color. "You have a burden among you." Ken said, pointing to her, "I'll take her off your hands."

The old women whispered again: "Take the deal! She never should've been here anyway, what with just being a girlfriend to one of your grandsons. She's not one of us, she has no useful skills, and has no children. Cast her out!"

The eldest man nodded. "Done, Ken." he said, and they shook hands to confirm agreement.

"I'll take the girl now." Ken said, "Prepare her things."

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