Dec 22, 2022
once more, we return to the world of zombies....
Written and produced by Julie Hoverson
Editing and Sound: Julie Hoverson
[warning - foul language]
Tammuz Corporation has barely settled back in as top producer of
undead workforce, when something much worse comes out of
Fred - Leonard Streeper
June - Melissa Bartell
Dill - Mark Olson
Chambers - Dave Marshall
Dr. Plasmus - Kim Poole
Landon Frost - Chris Barnes
Pamela Frost - Julie Hoverson
Doctor - James Sedgwick
Nurse - Rachel Cavic
Interviewer - Russell Gold
Music by Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com
Cover art by Julie Hoverson
Cricket - Reynaud LeBoeuf, Julie Hoverson, M. Siero Garcia, Katy Fontenot
Courtroom - Carl Cubbedge, Tanja Milojevic
Champion Chum - Katy Fontenot, Rachel Cavic, Reynaud LeBoeuf
Save the Zombies - Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodard
New Year's Head Swaps - Justin Charles, Crystal Dennis
Life Insurance - Joe Stofko
Big Bob's - Richard Summers
Lecturer - Robert Cudmore
Classroom - Janny Hilverts, Katy Fontenot, Sirena Carroll, Mike Campbell, James Sedgwick, Julie Hoverson
Zombie Show - Gareth Bowley
Survivalists - Dave Fontenot, Matthew McLean
"Working Stiff" - Chris Stockett
Edna's Chum - M. Siero Garcia
Scam - Rick Lewis
Zombie Lib - Derek Koch
Old Zombie Spice - Morgan Brown
"What kind of a place is it?
Why it's a secret lab, deep in the Tammuz Corporation, can't you tell?"
Project Top Hat
[Opening credits - Olivia]
Landon Frost, TV show host
Pamela Frost, his wife
Fred and June
Doctor Plasmus, top researcher
Chambers - executive
Dill - less important executive
OLIVIA Did you have any trouble finding it? What do you mean, what kind of a place is it? Why, it's a Top Secret Lab, on the human side of the wall, in the world of zombies, can't you tell?
SOUND computer and lab noises
LANDON [on TV] I'm Landon Frost, and tonight on "the Z word," we'll take a behind the scenes look at how zombies are used in the manufacture of your dog's kibble.
FRED How can they feed zombies to dogs?
JUNE Ambulates make the food - prepare it. It's illegal to terminate them without "just cause."
FRED As opposed to "just cuz"? [laughs]
JUNE Hah. That's what "the Z word" is about - exposing the ways zombies are exploited.
LANDON [TV] You'll be watching this series throughout the holidays, and I'll be tucked up at home with my family.
JUNE He's always busy. Hardly ever gets to see them.
FRED Oh, boo-hoo. This Frost guy gets to fly all over the world, cussing on TV, and making zillions of dollars, and he wants sympathy?
JUNE Don't forget taking his shirt off... [chuckle] But he's also a romantic - always talking about how he misses his wife Pamela.
FRED So? He could retire.
JUNE Helping improve "life" for ambulates is like a crusade for him.
SOUND DOOR OPENS, CUTTING HER OFF
FRED [muttered exclamation] Oh shit!
SOUND CHAIR SQUEAK, SCRAMBLE
LANDON [TV] I'll be meeting my wife in secret at‑‑
SOUND SWITCH, TV OFF
DILL [coming in talking] We should be able to improve the bottom line.
CHAMBERS AND not expose Tammuz to any more... liability. We are just starting to get back to where we were before Mrs. Skray's...
DILL Unfortunate accident?
CHAMBERS [grim] Breakdown.
CHAMBERS I need your personal guarantee this won't come back to bite us in the butt.
DILL If it does, my butt will have your back.
DILL uh... nothing. Dr. Plasmus is expecting us.
CHAMBERS Plasmus? What kind of a name is that?
DILL Dunno. I only know results, and the good doctor facilitated the "crickets". Look what they've done to help us get back in good odor over the last 18 months.
CHAMBERS [favorably impressed] MMmm.
DILL And now - [announcing] Project Top Hat!
SOUND DOOR OPENS
SOUND MUSIC SCENE CHANGE
TV DUDE [ON TV] Do you ever have behavior problems with your ambulates?
OLD LADY [pleased] Cricket!
TV DUDE Do they sometimes seem to have a mind of their own?
ZOMBIE2 [weird noise]
MAN [smug] Cricket.
TV DUDE Would you ever have them in the house without it?
WOMAN Around my kids? Forget it!
KIDS Just CRICKET!
TV DUDE Yes, Cricket, the "behavioral reminder" Implant that reminds zombies to toe the line.
TV DUDE [quiet, rushed] Results may vary. Some side effects may occur. No guarantee of bodily safety is implied or express in the sale of this product. Not available in all areas. [up] Get Cricket today! Brought to you by your friends at Tammuz Corporation.
SOUND WALKING, DOOR SWOOSHES OPEN
SOUND ZAPS and SQUISHY NOISES
PLASMUS You're early.
DILL Uh, no. It's - um - six?
PLASMUS It is? Hmm. Well, just let me finish this, and--
SOUND BIG ZAP
CHAMBERS What are you working on?
DILL [hushed] Sorry, the doc doesn’t multitask.
SOUND ONE FINAL ZAP
PLASMUS Done. He means I do not work and talk. When you have worked directly in as many brains as I have, you begin to value each function for its own worth, and not merely as a gestalt whole.
CHAMBERS Uh, right. So are you ready to gestalted [get started] now?
DILL Gestalt isn't--
CHAMBERS I KNOW.
PLASMUS It was a bit of a joke? [small dry chuckle] Am I right?
PLASMUS I thought as much. I fear that the humor seat of my own brain has probably been left a wee bit underdeveloped. Oh well. Could be MUCH worse. I could have an atrophied hippocampus! [laughs riotously]
DILL Uh, yeah. [toady laugh]
CHAMBERS That would be unfortunate, indeed.
PLASMUS [stops laughing suddenly] But you are not here for pleasantries. You are here to see what I have wrought!
CHAMBERS Aha! So that's the smell in here.
MUSIC SCENE CHANGE to TV
LANDON What the fuck do you think you're doing? You can't have rats in any ambulate work area, you moronic lavat'ry brush! They may not decay, but can still be damaged - do you want to be the one providing your workforce with replacement parts every time rats gnaw a bit off? Or perhaps rats are the only protein going in to your fucking kibble?
DILL So now the doctor will demonstrate--? [hint]
PLASMUS Have you forgotten the name again?
DILL [uncomfortable] No. no, I just was giving you a chance to - you know - take the glory.
PLASMUS You should have warned me. [sigh] It is project top hat for a very simple reason--
SOUND METAL CLANK
CHAMBERS It looks like a top hat. Original.
DILL And what does it do...? [hinting]
PLASMUS Stop doing that.
PLASMUS [launching into lecture mode] The ambulate workforce is sturdy, capable - albeit slow - and cheap, since all they require is chum, unlike human workers who not only need food, shelter, sleep, etc., but also WANT things.
DILL [muttered] Zombies want things too. That's part of the problem.
PLASMUS Shush. It is this volition which is the only real drawback to the use of ambulates for many sorts of work - and which gives rise to the various debates over ambulate sentience, and to use an inexact phrase - over their "personhood".
CHAMBERS None of this is news.
PLASMUS I am setting it up. So if there was a way to mix the useful qualities of the ambulate with the mindless diligence of, say, a computer, wouldn’t that improve their value?
CHAMBERS [interested] Yessss....
DILL Of course.
PLASMUS So this mechanism will do that - replacing the corpse's brain with a limited function computer, only able to obey commands.
CHAMBERS You specify "Corpse"?
PLASMUS [pleased] Ah, you caught that. [chuckles] Much like the pre-edict abortion debates, this idealization of ambulates leads to the nasty question of when, precisely, one goes from human, to dead human, to ambulate.
DILL You've seen the courtroom reality shows.
COURT REPORT We'll catch the plaintiff as she leaves. Missus Feinman, Missus Feinman? How do you feel about the jury's ruling?
MISSUS Act of god, my eye! My husband had a very clear "do not reanimate" clause in his will - but that doctor failed to catch him at the exact moment to remove the head and prevent reanimation, and now he's stuck.
MISTER [zombie moan]
MISSUS I can't even have him decently put down, what with the iffy legal status of zombies. [sniffles]
COURT REPORT [bland] You have our sympathy, I'm sure. In just a moment, we'll speak to the doctor and his attorney.
PLASMUS So we must catch them in that window - that tiny "between states" period when we can still legally treat them as objects.
PLASMUS Remove the head. Once the head is gone, the body may yet convert, but does not move, as it has little sensory input to motivate it.
CHAMBERS You remove the head? [Slowly gets it] And then you do - oh - ohhhh. The Top Hat.
PLASMUS I see you are a quick thinker, Mr. Senior executive. Yes. The unit replaces the so-called "mind", by which we truly mean the physical brain, giving the animated carcass sensory input, all the while leaving complete control with the human controller.
CHAMBERS Can the body re-animate, without the head?
PLASMUS Do you know how the ambi-twist works?
CHAMBERS The what?
DILL [muttered] The T virus.
PLASMUS No, no! That is a trademarked name and cannot be used without possible reprisal!
DILL Sorry! That's what most people [call it].
PLASMUS I don't want to hear it! Besides, the ambi-twist does not make ravenous beasts. Animates are gentle. Like kittens.
AMB GROCERY SHOPPING
SUSY Gee, mommy, Rolf pushes the cart real well, don't he?
MOMMY That reminds me! We need to pick up some chum!
ROLF [eager zombie noise]
SUSY He knows THAT word!
ANNOUNCER Of course he does, but can he tell the difference between Champion Chum and the bargain brand?
MOMMY Is there a difference?
ANNOUNCER Just ask Rolf!
ROLF [sticky zombie eating noises]
SUSY [laughing] Oh Rolf!
ANNOUNCER Every zombie, every day, chooses Champion brand chum!
CHAMBERS They're tame enough with the cricket. If they were naturally docile, we wouldn't need it.
PLASMUS And with the top hat, there will be no need for the cricket. Let me show you.
SOUND CAGE OPENS
CHAMBERS [horrified reaction] Oh!
DILL ugh [bland]
PLASMUS This stray dog was humanely euthanized, and the top hat was immediately attached--
SOUND COMPUTERIZED BARK
PLASMUS We had to use a fairly large dog, so the top hat unit wouldn't overbalance it. It was designed for a human frame--
SOUND COMMOTION OUTSIDE
PLASMUS What is this?
SOUND DOOR SLAMS OPEN
JACKIE All of you! Over by the wall! [to june and fred] Get in there!
FRED Right, of course.
JUNE Excuse me. Just - um - going through.
CHAMBERS Who the devil are you?
JACKIE I'm the one with the gun! And I said over by the wall!
DILL She means it. Move it! Move it move it move it....
PLASMUS But the dog--
SOUND COMPUTERIZED BARK
SOUND GUN SHOT INTO CEILING
JACKIE And don't get any funny ideas. I'm not alone.
CHAMBERS [reasonable and placating] Tell us what you want.
JACKIE [almost a yell] I want you all over by that wall!
SOUND COMPUTERIZED BARK
DILL Already here!
JUNE Me too!
PLASMUS Allow me to-- [take the dog]
JACKIE Leave that poor thing!
SOUND COMPUTERIZED BARK
JACKIE That is exactly the kind of horrid monster we're here to put an end to.
PLASMUS Ah. Activists. [chuckling]
CHAMBERS Don't mock the woman with the gun!
PLASMUS Oh. Of course.
JACKIE And what's behind here?
PLASMUS No! Don't! It's not ready yet!
CHAMBERS What IS it?
SOUND CURTAIN OPENS
JACKIE Mother of god!
MUSIC SCENE CHANGE, AND then WUSSY
POPSTAR I know all of you have heard and most of you have enjoyed my hit single "walking away with my heart" about the plight of the ambulate.
ZOMBIE [pathetic moan]
POPSTAR Too many of these poor once-human creatures are abused, neglected, and sometimes even abandoned to fend for themselves - forced to sell their bodies, bit by horrible bit, for the chum they need to survive. Can’t you spare just a little - the price of a cup of coffee - to help?
CHAMBERS Just tell us your demands, and let's get on with this.
JACKIE [horrified] What have you done to this man?
PLASMUS It is not a man. It is a corpse.
JACKIE It's moving.
PLASMUS There's no one there. As you can see, the computer has taken the place of its entire head, thus removing all chance of--
CHAMBERS [hissed, annoyed] You didn't say you'd already done this to a human - [correcting himself] a human corpse, that is.
PLASMUS I simply hadn't got to that part of the presentation, yet.
JACKIE [distracted and horrified] But why?
SOUND THUMP, SCUFFLE
SOUND GUN GOES OFF
DILL Stay back!
JUNE [indecisive but encouraging] Get her, Fred!
SOUND SCUFFLE ENDS
FRED Got her.
PLASMUS Can I have her as a specimen?
JACKIE You can't do that to me!
PLASMUS Of course we could. We simply record that you died in an attack on our security, and your corpse will be ...recycled.
CHAMBERS That's a bit much, isn't it?
PLASMUS [quiet] Drat. [up] Heh-heh. Of course. Just a bit of - intimidation. Hah. Hah.
PLASMUS What this young lady doesn't seem to understand is that there are many people who don't wish to return as a shambling, slow, and stupid ambulate. Many would rather know that their mind - their "soul" - had been allowed to pass on.
JACKIE How the hell do you think you're doing that?
PLASMUS Cutting off the head. The body is still useful - as you can see. It can be of service to the living.
JACKIE The soul isn’t in the brain. The soul is - the soul. It will stay around no matter what.
PLASMUS [derisive laugh]
BRANDON And we're here on the dead side with the new years crowd! They start a week early, since they know it'll take 'em that long to arrive! Whoo!
ARIA And the hottest thing this year is head swaps!
BRANDON [prompting, not really questioning] Head swaps, Aria?
ARIA That's right, Brandon! You know how zombies can cut off and attach body parts? They recently discovered that they can swap heads! They say it's totally the ultimate!
BRANDON Unless they sew it on backwards! Man, that would be a pain in the ass!
ARIA Yeah, but at least you could see your ass!
CHAMBERS Where's security when you need them?
JUNE I just called them, sir. Apparently, they've had a number of ...insurrections.
DILL Must be how she slipped by.
JACKIE You won't get anything from me!
PLASMUS I suppose you two will have to take her to the security office for detention.
JUNE Oh, me? Oh all right.
SOUND SHE CROSSES
JUNE What was it she was looking at, anyway? [horrified gasp!]
PLASMUS What's wrong?
JUNE [too quick, very nervous] Nothing! I just thought it - he - it - moved.
PLASMUS Nonsense. I haven't even woken the unit yet. Get along.
JUNE [still nervous] Yes, yes of course! Come on!
FRED What's wrong?
JUNE [growl] Post traumatic stress! Get moving!
SOUND THEY LEAVE
PLASMUS Some people simply cannot handle pressure. Come have a look at my human automaton.
CHAMBERS [slightly suspicious] He looks ... fresh.
DILL Nice physique!
CHAMBERS You didn't - uh - kill him, did you, doc?
PLASMUS [laughs flatly] No. He was killed in a car wreck, this afternoon. His legs sustained some damage, but mostly superficial, and his head was completely severed.
CHAMBERS How did you get him so quickly? The notice to the family won't even go through--
PLASMUS [pissed] I could not wait for petty family concerns when this perfect specimen fell into my very lap! And he is perfect!
PLASMUS So I snatched him out of the hospital upstairs. Besides. He is an organ donor.
INSURANCE Do you wonder about your insurance coverage? Concerned that you may some day cease to be human, and therefore void your policy? We here at Practical Undead National Trust can fix that for you. For only a few dollars a day, you, too, can have coverage that extends beyond the expiration of the body.
SOUND HALLWAY, DOOR SHUTS, FOOTSTEPS
FRED Whew. Should we go back, do you think?
JUNE [still bothered] I - I don't know.
FRED OK, what's going on?
JUNE Oh, Fred! This is horrible!
FRED It was just a gun. I don't think she would have shot either of us anyway.
JUNE Not that.
FRED Then what?
JUNE That body back in the lab? That perfectly sculpted torso? Did you see that tattoo on the shoulder?
FRED Not my type. Sorry.
JUNE [very important and horrible] THAT was‑‑ [cut off with a gasp]
SOUND DOOR OPENS
LANDON [outside, loud over background noise] You would think this was a prime place for ambulates - garbage reclamation.
SOUND CRUNCHING EQUIPMENT
LANDON They don't mind bad smells, can't catch diseases -- and yet, most of the workers hired on at this particular municipal tip don't stay. Let's find out why.
CHAMBERS [gritted teeth] What do we do if there's a lawsuit?
PLASMUS [shrug] If they push it, there is an incinerator in the basement, and as long as we first remove the computer unit, the organic evidence could be reduced to ashes in a matter of hours.
CHAMBERS [annoyed, but not knowing] Do you even know who this person - corpse - is?
PLASMUS [shrug] I read the driver's license. Why?
DILL [confident] We'll fabricate records. Show it was cremated by mistake. Apologize. Give the widow some ashes and a check.
CHAMBERS Sounds like you've done this before.
DILL [smug] Things... happen.
BOB Come on down to Big Bob's bob-o-rama for the finest in pre-owed ambulates! We have 'em all from this big brute for heavy lifting--
ZOMBIE [deep moan]
BOB To this hot little number, [hinting] nice for in-house work.
GIRL ZOMBIE [sexy moan?]
BOB Come on down this weekend, and my own gramma, an ambulate herself, will be here with her special milk and cookies! Trade-ins are always given full greybook value.
NURSE I'm so sorry. There's been a little mixup. He's... um... missing.
PAMELA [low snarl] As god is my witness, if my husband's body turns up somewhere - anywhere - on a celebrity zombie show, I will personally sue you, the hospital, Tammuz, and anyone else our lawyers can think of!
NURSE But I--
DOCTOR What seems to be the problem?
PAMELA Are you the person I should be screaming at?
DOCTOR Well, I don't know about that--
PAMELA Then you best point me at the right one, since some screaming is well overdue.
DOCTOR Just tell me - calmly - what this is about.
NURSE It's her husband.
PAMELA My husband's BODY, you mean! [starting to move from anger into tears] I was informed of his accident, that he was declared [suppressed sob] dead at the scene, and when I come to claim him... [deep breath, furious snarl] He's missing.
NURSE I'm sure it's just a paperwork snafu.
PAMELA AND I know how some of you bastards are about selling celebrity corpses! Don't think you can pull that crap on me!
DOCTOR Celebrity? What was -uh, is - your husband's name?
SOUND ZOMBIE MOAN
LANDON This fucking pisses me off no end - look at that poor bastard.
SOUND ZOMBIE MOAN
LANDON Look at this hand. Three fingers gone, from a bloody hazardous environment. [up] They may not be human any more, but you sons-of-bitches still have to look after these beggars!
JUNE Landon Frost!
JUNE I swear it was! It's the snowflake on his shoulder. He got it for his wife!
FRED Oh. That can't be good. Should we ... tell them?
JUNE Well...he IS dead. Nothing'll change that.
SOUND DOOR OPENS, MANY FEET COME STORMING IN
PAMELA I already have Landon's private security at all your exits, and will personally go through each and every room until I find him - so you might as well hand him over.
DOCTOR But, but..
PAMELA First, you are taking Big bill, here, and I down to your bloody incinerator -and don't try to tell me you don't have one.
PAMELA So no one has access to destroy the [falters] the ...evidence.
SOUND DOOR OPENS, THEY PASS OUT AGAIN
FRED Is that--?
JUNE [fatalistic] Oh boy!
LECTURER We must stop treating ambulates as objects and start treating them as people - people very nearly like you and me. With a bit of practice, anyone can speak clearly and slowly enough for a zombie to pick up on it.
SOUND ZOMBIE MOAN
LECTURER If we could only follow the moans and groans of a group of zombies, I'm sure complete and fascinating conversations are going on, right under our disinterested human noses.
DILL [on phone] So soon? Well, I guess we move on to plan B. [pause] She is? [upset] oh.
SOUND PHONE DOWN
CHAMBERS What is it?
DILL I - they--
PLASMUS Quiet, please! Time to turn it on!
DILL This may actually be a very bad... thing
SOUND A COUPLE OF ZAPS
CHAMBERS Is that it?
PLASMUS Do you need me to shout "it's alive"?
LANDON [computer noise, not quite speech]
DILL Ohhhh boy.
CHAMBERS Does that thing make it able to talk?
LANDON [machine, more gobbledygook]
PLASMUS Ambulates have always been able to talk. They simply operate on a much slower scale than we do. It is something about the brain synapses, the ambi-twist simply cannot get them back to normal speed.
DILL [prompt] They're how much slower than humans?
PLASMUS I said not to do that.
DILL I was just asking,. Really.
PLASMUS They operate somewhere between 20 and 50% slower than humans. That is why they have to be spoken to slowly.
LANDON [machine] Fuck you!
PLASMUS [chuckles] Or not.
DILL [gasp] Is it supposed to do that?
CHAMBERS I thought you said that removing the head should negate the personality.
PLASMUS I'm sure it is just something programmed in. My computer expert has quite a sense of humor.
LANDON [machine] What the hell is going on?
PLASMUS [worried now] Or... not.
DILL This was supposed to make it docile!
CHAMBERS At least the thing is tied down.
SOUND RIP OF RESTRAINTS
PLASMUS [frightened] Or... not!
TEACHER Turn to page 40. The chapter on the ambi-twist. Amy, will you start?
[grade school students, who read more or less well]
AMY The ambi-twist was a genetic modification first pioneered by Tammuz Corporation.
BOBBY With the best of intentions, this benevolent corporation was trying to help people.
CORA To overcome the issues with tissue rejection and make transplants one hundred percent successful.
DESMOND But the ambi-twist went a bit awry.
[after a pause]
ELLIE [whispered] You have to read more.
DESMOND nuh-uh. Not my fault it's a short sentence.
ELLIE Fine! [ahem] The ambi-twist altered the genetic makeup of the intended cells, yes, but it did not stop there, instead running amok through the entire body and giving the cells a life of their own.
FRANK Most of the population now carries the ambi-twist virus, which has little to no effect on them ... during their lifetime.
DESMOND [spooky noise] ooo-OO-oo
EVERYONE [joking zombie groans]
NOTE LANDON IS COMPUTERIZED FROM HERE ON OUT
LANDON Why so gob-smacked? Where the fuck am I?
SOUND THUMP GETTING OUT OF BED, FOOTSTEPS
PLASMUS This is very bad.
DILL It's coming over. Let me guess, it can see and hear through the computer unit too?
PLASMUS [wry] Of course. What use is a unit that bumps into walls and can't follow orders?
LANDON Is anyone planning to answer me?
CHAMBERS Look, you. You've died and are now property. Just lay back and shut up.
DILL Oh boy.
LANDON No, you look here, you lump of festering dog turd! If I were dead, and I don't believe it for a minute - I have very specific contingencies in my will.
PLASMUS [chuckles] Speaking of contingencies--
SOUND SHOTGUN RACKING
PLASMUS I would call this experiment a conditional success.
SOUND SHOTGUN BLAST
HUSHED MC And the ambulate "Gracie's darling" is now approaching the steps. This is a level three hazard, since it typically takes an ambulate several tries. Oh! She's on the first step! Very nicely corrected a stumble and managed to stick the second step. Ah, but she's faltering -- Momentum can only carry one SO far, and this is where balance truly comes into play. [gareth bowley]
SOUND DOOR SLAMS SHUT
CHAMBERS Holy cow!
PLASMUS [gleeful] Did you see how fast it was?
DILL You mean when it walked off with your shotgun? I thought we were done for!
CHAMBERS Looked like it nearly took your hand off, too.
PLASMUS [dismissive] It's broken, It's fine. [up] We must follow it!
CHAMBERS Get security on all the doors!
DILL On it.
PLASMUS Try not to hurt it!
CHAMBERS Belay that order. Take that thing down at all costs. And definitely before it leaves the building!
SURVIVALIST1 I don't care how many times they take this feed down and report me - I ain't gonna stand by and let them goddamn walking dead take over. Since every one of us as dies turns into one of them, ain't no way we can keep ahead unless we thin the herd a bit.
SURVIVALIST2 Hell yeah. Now on the chart behind me, you see a human--
SURVIVALIST1 or zombie--
SURVIVALIST2 right, "or zombie," body with various areas marked in red. Those are your standard targets, right there. The head is, of course, the primary, since the bastards won't stop walking without that being gone.
SURVIVALIST1 Even that don't put 'em down right away, but if you can get it GONE--
SURVIVALIST2 Sure is funny to watch them bump into walls, in't it?
SOUND ALARMS, RUNNING FEET IN DISTANCE
JUNE Why do I suddenly feel like a job change?
FRED I'll help with the resume. Let's scat.
SOUND RUNNING FEET APPROACH
JUNE Oh shit! [dragging him out of the way] Over here!
LANDON Run, you little buggers! I'll blow your fucking pop stand wide open!
FRED Holy crap!
JUNE Ssh! Maybe it won't notice us!
LANDON What are you looking at?
FRED Too late!
JUNE Please don't hurt us!
LANDON Hurt? HURT? I'm going to ruin you snotty little gits!
FRED Ruin, I can live with.
SECURITY Stop right there!
SOUND ASSORTED ZOMBIE MOANS
JUNE Sock troops!
LANDON [machine] Is this some kind of a sick joke? Turning THEM against ME?
SECURITY Lay down the weapon and come along quietly, Top Hat.
FRED Top hat? What is he, a Batman villain?
MOVIE ANNOUNCER He was a normal boring man.
NORMAL MAN Hey honey - be late tonight.
MOVIE ANNOUNCER With a normal boring Life.
NORMAL MAN Yes, sir, I can get that done for you this afternoon.
MOVIE ANNOUNCER Until the day he died.
NORMAL MAN Excuse me - I feel - my chest - urk.
SOUND THUMP, DROP PHONE, ERROR TONE
MOVIE ANNOUNCER Now he was to work his way back to the top, against all odds... Coming soon--
NORMAL MAN [zombie moan]
MOVIE ANNOUNCER --A NORMAL MAN starring Justin Bieber and an undead Jim Carrey.
JUNE [up, yelling] We're not with him!
JUNE We DO work at Tammuz.
LANDON This is Tammuz?
SECURITY You have a count of 5 to put down the shotgun. ONE. [continues] TWO. THREE. FOUR.
FRED Haven't you noticed the logo everywhere?
LANDON My vision is ... strange. [musing] Tammuz. The one place I could never get into...
FRED Not surprising.
SECURITY FIVE! Get him!
JUNE They won't shoot in here - too many things might blow up.
LANDON What? Helping me?
JUNE I love - loved your show.
LANDON Don't be surprised if I'm back on the air soon.
SOUND HIGH PITCHED WHISTLE
JUNE What the heck?
SECURITY I said get him, you maggoty turds! Why are you stopping?
LANDON huh. Funny how I knew to do that.
NOTE Ad also plays, under, at very slow speed - for the ambulates watching.
EDNA Edna's chum on the go! Whenever you're out and about, and no time to get home and feed the ambulate in your life, drop round to Edna's Chum. We have the best quality, tastiest chum around - hot and fresh, just like mother might have made. Available for dine-in, drive through and even delivery!
PLASMUS They have him cornered in sector five, west corridor! Checkpoint X-14. I must reclaim the unit after they take the body down.
SOUND PHONE RINGS
DILL I'll catch up. You guys go on ahead.
CHAMBERS Hah! You're not weaseling out that easily.
DILL One sec [to phone] Yeah? Oh brilliant. That's just the cherry on top.
SOUND HANGS UP CELL
DILL [annoyed] Guess what?
PLASMUS [threat] I have a taser here somewhere--
DILL Okay! Okay! There's a woman upstairs demanding her husband's body. And because this night isn't deep enough in the shit, I have a feeling she's related to--
CHAMBERS Oh IS she? [chuckles] We might be seeing daylight. Come on.
NIGERIAN SCAM With reverence I am contacting you. I hope you will overlook my poor typistry. I am a recently deceased individual that managed to conceal a large sum of money before joining rank one of the walking dead.
SECURITY Tell me you saw that, too.
FRED You mean how he just, like, whistled and all the zombies trotted off after him like the pied piper of Hamlet?
SECURITY Yeah, that. Good. Now when I make my report, you two can back me up.
FRED Oh, uh-- We were actually leaving.
SECURITY I don't think so.
JUNE Not Leaving leaving. We have to get back to our -uh- posts.
SECURITY That's different. I'll give you an escort.
FRED Oh, boy.
SOUND DISTANT FOOTSTEPS
PAMELA You! You there! I want a word with you!
JUNE Him. you.
SECURITY Oh, me. Yes ma'am?
PAMELA You look like someone in charge here. You will tell me where my husband's body is!
JUNE Oh that. He went thataway.
ZOMBIE LIB If you can understand this, you are one of us, my zombie brother or sister. Come to the house with three crescent moons over the door, and we will guide you safely to our side of the wall. Liberty for all!
SOUND SHOTGUN SHOT INTO CEILING
LANDON I'm done fucking around. You let us past, or the next shot brings you to OUR bloody side!
COP I can't! I-- the door is on autolock! Please, uh, mister - I got a wife and kids--
LANDON You stupid little shit! I have - had a wife to, but whatever genius did this--
PAMELA [off a bit] Landon?
LANDON Oh my god. Pamela?
PAMELA What did they-- [more concerned than panic] your head!
LANDON It's some insane experiment. I'm dead.
PAMELA You can still see and hear me? [wonder] But you're not slowed?
LANDON Yes, I--
[REMEMBER STUPID ZOMBIE DOG ALL THIS TIME]
COP Sorry, sir, but I have to--
ZOMBIEDOG Leaps in the way of the bullet, body drops and hat goes flying,
COP Oh, shit.
LANDON Give me a minute, dear.
PAMELA [furious] Give me your gun.
LANDON No need.
COP I was - I didn't - oh!
LANDON Poor stupid animal.
PAMELA If not for that thing, you'd be dead.
LANDON I'll take this.
SOUND PICKS UP TOP HAT
CHAMBERS [coming in] No, we'll take that. Both of them, in fact.
ZOMBIE MAN Look at me. Now look at your zombie. Now look back at me. Your zombie will never look as good as me, but it can smell as good as me, with special deodorant soap from--[danar?]
FRED [quiet] back away, quietly.
JUNE [quiet] If we can just get past the corner...
LANDON Who the fuck do you think you are?
FRED Helps that he's keeping their attention.
CHAMBERS We're the owners of that gadget you're currently wearing, and we want it back. YOU, on the other hand, are expendable.
LANDON And you think I'm afraid of your gun? If anyone knows how durable the undead are, I should bloody well think it was me.
FRED [quiet] I'm clear!
JUNE Just a bit more...
CHAMBERS The next one goes into HER.
JUNE [off] Her? [gasp, then relieved] Oh - her - his wife.
LANDON You wouldn't.
PLASMUS You might want to consider--
CHAMBERS Shut up - this is all your fault anyway.
LANDON Get behind me, dearest.
PAMELA He can't be mad enough to shoot me!
CHAMBERS Oh, I'm flipping furious, lady!
LANDON She doesn’t mean that kind of "MAD", you festering moronic baboon!
INTERVIEWER We have an interview with someone actually on the scene. What precisely was going on?
JUNE It was pandemonium! The ambulates were just walking away after the ... uh, stranger.
Interviewer Like the pied piper of hamlin?
JUNE Or like spartacus.
FRED And when Mr. Chambers - I mean the defendant - shot Mrs. Frost--
JUNE We're not supposed to talk about that!
FRED That's why they're pixilating our faces, isn't it?
JUNE That's next week's interveiw - this one is live!
FRED Oh shit. Oh!
INTERVIEWER Now that you've started, you might as well finish. What happened next?
JUNE [exasperated sigh] There goes our exclusive!
SOUND HIGH PITCHED WHISTLE
SOUND ZOMBIE MOANS IN RESPONSE
LANDON [snarl] Bring me THAT one!
PLASMUS Which? Oh!
CHAMBERS Stay back!
PAMELA [expiring] Landon? It hurts!
LANDON Hold on, dearest. Keep breathing.
SOUND ZOMBIE MOANS
CHAMBERS Get out of my way, you maggots!
FRED Come ON, June!
JUNE I have to see how it ends!
SOUND GUN SHOT
JUNE [gasp] Or not!
SOUND ZOMBIES MOAN
PLASMUS Let go! don't touch me! Ew! Does anyone have some purell?
PAMELA [very weak] Landon? What- [gasp] what are you thinking?
LANDON Is it hard to implant the top hat device?
PLASMUS It's quite simple really - the connections are made remotely inside the wiring, so the longer it is on, the more enmeshed the interfaces become--
LANDON Take this.
SOUND CLANG OF DOG'S UNIT
PLASMUS What do you--? [realizing] Oh.
INTERVIEWER But the zombies didn't harm Mr. Chambers?
JUNE He wanted - Landon wanted for him to stand in a human court for trial.
FRED He said something about rotting in hell, but his accent was getting really thick.
JUNE He was crying!
FRED He's a computer. I mean, the voice, at least, is computerized. Why would it get choked up?
INTERVIEWER [to camera] Even now, Chambers is standing trial for the murder of Mrs. Pamela Frost. While the videographic evidence is very convincing, the lack of an actual body has been a point hammered on by the defense.
SOUND CRACKLE of STATIC, THEN FOCUS
SOUND [both are clearly computerized]
LANDON Can't broadcast too long, don't want you to trace us.
PAMELA We want to reach out to everyone who has been affected by the blight that is Tammuz.
LANDON Know this - relief is coming soon. For now, just walk away, wherever you are. We'll find you.
PAMELA And Merry Christmas, everyone.
SOUND HIGH PITCHED WHISTLE
SOUND ZOMBIE MOANS FILL SOUNDSCAPE