Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Everyone Freaks Out The First Time

Time to introduce another character to this circus..

After some persuasion, my dear friend Muse will be contributing to this blog when her busy schedule allows. We've practically been best buddies since we were 12 and spent most of our teenage years watching the X-Files and dreaming of saving humanity from extraterrestrial threats.

So we felt it was fate when we both scored jobs here at the Agency. However, two years ago, Muse got a lucky break and transferred to London where she has studied hard and risen in the ranks to become a full agent. This year she has been assigned to patrol the London Borough of Camden, but more on that in a later post.

First though is an account of our first mission together.
(Muse - Thanks for your input with this. The details are a little fuzzy after 9 months!)

Saturday September 29, 2007
55° 56′ 58.4″ N, 3° 9′ 37.04″ W
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

"Are you sure he's going to come down here?", I asked while nervously clutching a steel bar with sweaty hands. There was no answer from the agent beside me, just a look of steely concentration in the direction of the alley's entrance that sloped up the cold stone steps above us. We crouched down in the shadows and waited.

I silently chanted a mantra in my head as I was terrified that, when the moment came, I would forget what I was supposed to do. Remove the head. Destroy the brain. Remove the head. Destroy the brain.

I felt an unnaturally cold breeze on my face as if Death himself had walked past and, when I looked up, I saw a silhouette against the late afternoon sun at the top of the steps. It appeared to be a tall, slim man but something was odd about the way he was standing. It was an awkward pose, head cocked to one side and arms suspended stiffly away from his torso.

Suddenly breaking the silence, Agent de Mented called in a low, taunting voice: "Cmon, Haggis Head...or are we too much for you? Hey - did anyone ever tell you that your mother was an English spy?"

The tall, slim gentleman turned and lurched forward down the alley at an angle I was sure would send him tumbling toward us. But he managed to keep his footing despite the rigor mortis giving him obvious trouble in the knees.

More of his features came into view as he slowly staggered down the stairs and I was struck by a sudden thought. This man was somebody's son, brother, lover.. and now I was going to crack him over the head with a steel bar. I consoled myself that his spirit had long departed, and what we saw before us now was just a decomposing husk. Better he was dead (properly dead this time), than let him continue his all-you-can-eat brain buffet.

When he came into range I quickly sent a sharp side kick into his knee. To my horror I heard the crunch of bone and saw that his knee was now bent in a way that God had not intended. He quickly lost his balance, face-planted into the stone steps and tumbled a few feet past us.

Now, I don't mean to be graphic here but I feel the need to point out that with zombies, parts just fall off. They are, after all, decomposing bodies. And the trail of mess this guy left made me feel physically ill. I must have visibly paled, or perhaps it was due to the fact that I dropped the steel bar of death, but my dear friend stepped in and finished the job.

An elegant silver blade was suddenly in her left hand, slid out from some hidden pocket of her backpack (I still don't know how she smuggled it through airport security). The blade was an unusual shape, two-edged at the hilt, like a dagger, but narrowing into a long, thin spike at the tip - and it was SHARP. It was polished so brightly that I could almost do my makeup in it and, even in the dim light of the alley, it had an otherworldly shine.

Stepping over the zombie's....unmentionables....Muse made quick work with the blade, using it as a small sword to cut off the head, then like a poker to....well, I won't go there, but let's just say I have a good story to discourage any future child of mine from picking its nose.

I picked up my steel bar - not that I would need it now, but it made me feel a little more safe to hold it again. "Sorry.. I was lame".

My friend just grinned up at me. "You brought him down, and that's all I needed," she said. "Don't worry about it - everybody panics on their first go." She wiped the blade clean and held it up for me to see. "A handy little gift from Gazza. Real, hardened silver." (Gareth "Gazza" Van Helsing is Agent de Mented's mentor. I've always found him a bit odd, but maybe that's just because he's about ten years older than God but still running around after the undead.) "It's more effective on vampires and warewolves, of course, but it does the job with zombies."

Before long the cleanup crew from the Edinburgh Office arrived in Hazmat suits, and what was left of Mr Tall Slim Gentleman was scooped into a bodybag and taken away. As we were ushered away from the scene, the Tabloid Relations Crew went into gear and quickly spun a story about a chemical leak from a nearby shop to the local media.

After we'd cleaned ourselves up, we headed down to The Last Drop Tavern for a well deserved glass of wine but for some reason the chunky steak & guinness pie didn't seem all that appealing..

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