Man emerges from underground vault in New Jersey, unsure if world ended
PHOENIX, ARIZONA—On May 31, former professor of nuclear physics, Derek von Brotonblauch, known by the alias “Professor Apocalypse”, was gunned down, along with several of his accomplices by S.W.A.T. members of the Phoenix Police Department. The PPD had been tipped off about several bank heists and the use of “unorthodox weaponry” and laid in wait until the unsuspecting von Brotonblauch met with a fierce police offensive.
Today, The Daily Sprat received what appeared to be an automatic email a document attachment of von Brotonblauch journal entries preceding his death. Also contained in the email was the following message:
“Should you be reading this, I have been dead for more than 7 days and have fell victim to my own hubris. I ask that you think of me not as a tyrant, but as the Tyrant. With a capital T. Tyrannus Magnus. The one who would have ruled you with a mighty force powered by science! Also, please feed turtle. —Professor Apocalypse”.
The following excerpts are from these journals.
March 30, 2012 – Feeling: frisky
Ah, Spring. Life begins anew, sprouting fresh frondescence and burgeoning forth the fruits of this mad genius’s unfathomable intellect. For I, Professor Apocalypse, shall make this spring such a misery that the world will long for the warmth of the winter before it. Rightful domination of Earth will fall into my rubber-gloved hands! Also, it was my brother Dave’s birthday today, but I forgot to call him. I shall send him a card that a donation to the Apocalypse Fund was made in his name.
April 19, 2012 – Feeling: corpulent
Phase II shall commence, now that I have mustered a squad of worthy henchmen. Doctor Destructor, my sociopathic lieutenant, has secured the military hardware needed to carry out my dastardly scheme, with the help of the professional assassin, Miss Ivanna. Oh, how that Russian minx proved too seductive for the American military reserve… and too deadly. Once I successfully synthesize my gunpowder-filled lobster-chinchilla prototype, the next stage shall begin—bringing the world closer to its enslavement!
My porch-light has gone off again and Murmel, the pygmy house-steward, is nowhere to be found. She must have crawled into the mutant sloth pit again. It’ll take her days to fight her way out.
May 5, 2012 – Feeling: itchy
Something is off about my new laboratory assistant, Brad. He excels at the less glamorous aspects of the mad science biz: filing reports, keeping our stock of uranium cakes topped up. But he is constantly loitering in the bathroom, murmuring to himself as if there was someone else he was talking with. I’ve caught him on more than one occasion instagramming the Metabolic Radiation Machine. Disciplinary action has been taken—a night in the millipede coffin. It stopped the misuse of company cell phones, but made his murmuring in the bathroom more frantic. Well, it’s all about balance. He really needs to see a doctor about his ear problem—he’s always pressing his finger there.
May 17, 2012 – Feeling: saucy!
Phase II is complete! The Automatic Chinchobster Cannon is operational! No thanks to those meddling do-gooders, the Whiz-Bang Team. Curses to them and their hearts of gold—I ejaculate my potent, genius-bearing sperm in their direction! But the joke is on them: while their pre-emptive strike on my split-level house may have left me with my patio furniture turned to splinters and a gaping hole the size of Sputnik in the roof, my henchmen were able to steal not one, but three—do you hear that Captain Cool Hand? THREE—of their precious tachyon generators, guarded for aeons against evil, but swiftly captured during the distraction of battle.
Now I can fully power the quantum field of my tachyonic suit and keep this old heart of mine from turning into an onion. Oh, curses to you, Galactic Overlord Zarfonix of the planet Crelm, that breaking our evil pact would result in such a heinous misfortune—that my heart will turn into hamburger garnish without the power of tachyons! You are wise but cruel.
May 23, 2012 – Feeling: dickish
Phase III is at hand. With my Automatic Chinchobster Cannon and my fully-powered tachyonic super-suit, I shall unleash a great menace upon the city of Phoenix with a series of awe-inspiring bank heists.
Oh, if only Murmel could be alive to see this; but, the mutant sloths did not pay her any kindness. And it would seem Brad has disappeared, which is unfortunate as I gave the back-up files for my ultimate plans in his safe-keeping. Perhaps my pet iguanarilla ate him. Should he still be alive and of his own consciousness, he can catch up to my historic moment as I did give him the exact dates and times of each projected heist.
Soon, the glorious final phases will be at hand. When the funds are acquired from my successful robberies, my suburban lair shall be converted from its gypsum board and stucco to a steel and ebony fortress—not only will it be a monument of my vast intellect but a conduit of galactic power which will make me an unstoppable force! Not even Captain Cool Hand and his Whiz-Bang Team can stop me! I have the building permits!
[This was the final entry of von Brotonblauch’s journal. Von Brotonblauch’s body will be interned at the Arlington National Cemetary of Supervillainy alongside Colonel Vengeance, Grand Master Misfortune, and Richard Nixon.]
M. Scott Caldwell is The Daily Sprat’s resident henchmen psychology expert. He’s also a cheesemaker on the side.
ROCHESTER, NY—The complete collapse of society and the fragmentation of human civilization after a catastrophic zombie apocalypse has been nothing but a fun experience for local survivor Bobby Lornet, who is about to be devoured by merciless hordes of the undead.
“I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve been having,” said the former stock market analyst, who remained oblivious to the fact that a few dozen famished zombies nearby had taken notice of his laboured breathing and clanking weaponry.
Since the violent plague of an unknown pathogen swept across the globe when contaminated goat cheese was served in Wolfgang Puck’s Grille in Detroit, Lornet has been making the best of the new zombie paradigm, even though his best isn’t enough to prevent an unscheduled evacuation of his lower intestines from his abdominal cavity.
“Finally, all those years of considering what I’d do during the zombie apocalypse and it’s finally here,” said a gleeful Lornet, gripping his looted M16 assault rifle for which he had neither the skill to handle competently nor the cognisance to understand how the loud report of the rifle would almost certainly decrease his already minimal life expectancy.
From a third-storey balcony in a Rochester, New York apartment complex, Lornet has established an exit-less position from which he could be spotted by any zombie or looter with less than 20/50 vision. With him he carries an assortment of looted weapons including a flare-gun, a pair of frag grenades, and a decorative Klingon Bat’Leth—all of which he would more likely injure himself rather than the undead.
The apartment was not his first choice—Lornet’s had tried the The Marketplace Mall but found it ransacked and swarming with zombies. He then doubled back and headed to his second imbecilic choice, Jackson Guns & Ammo.
“Right next to the Tally Ho Gentleman’s Club, so I could get a steak,” said Lornet, who wasn’t long for this world. The gun shop, however, had long been taken over by gangs of armed looters by the time Lornet showed up. “The dancers took pot-shots at me from behind the barricade—I guess residence gets taken up in these places fast.”
Despite these setbacks, Lornet would not let a simple thing like the complete breakdown of universally agreed-upon deference to higher authority and law get in the way of enjoying the apocalypse and found a decent apartment (about the $1500 range) to make what would be his final, fleeting stand.
Before setting out on his own, Lornet, along with his wife, Melissa, and their four-year-old son, James, had originally been running with a band of survivors for which Lornet had been inappropriately selected as leader as his resumé claimed that he possessed the skills required as such.
His tendency to push the group into dangerous situations and firefights with an almost sadistic joyfulness eventually led most of the group to disband.
“I don’t think Bobby understands the hopelessness of our situation,” said Sarita Patel, Lornet’s neighbour. “Loved ones have been killed and turned into walking abominations; this is Hell on Earth, not a Chuck E. Cheese shooting gallery.”
When a majority vote suggested the group’s best course was into the mountains where the cooler climate would slow down the rotting, walking corpses and shelter them from urban gangs, Lornet would hear none of it.
“The mountains? Pfft, why would I want to go there? And shoot at what, mountain goats? What a waste of an apocalypse.”
The survivors left him to join up with other bands in the hopes of rebuilding civilization. The last holdout, his wife, eventually left with his son, lying to Lornet that they were heading into town for more toilet paper.
“He didn’t question me—he just let us go on ahead, unarmed, so he could pretend to be a sniper on the lookout,” said Melissa, who now packs a hunting rifle with sound suppresser and a katana, her son long-since eaten by the cannibalistic gang she eventually joined. “I won’t complain too much: by his own stupidity, I was able to leave him for dead.”
On his own, Lornet now poses much less of a threat to the few remaining survivors of humanity, though he regularly shouts at wanderers passing under his balcony, inviting them up for beers and a “sick sniping spot”. No one has taken him up on this offer; in some instances, he has been fired upon.
“They can live out there in the chaos and death if they choose—up here, I’m having the time of my life,” said Lornet, oblivious to the fact that the zombie horde in the units across the hall had begun to splinter the cheap, hollow apartment doors.
Luckily for Lornet, his cheerful mood will not be spoiled by the telltale moaning and groaning of coming death, the sounds drowned out by Lornet’s innocuous rifle fire and his iPod docking station playing Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.
M. S. Caldwell is The Daily Sprat’s resident shoe-shiner.
Photo Credit: imagerymajestic