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Management Strategies for Zombie Outbreaks

Cleanslate hurried back to his office at City Hall. He was preoccupied – not an unusual state of affairs for the Maceholder of New Babbage – and moving quickly. The shipping quarantine had been initiated, which had raised a host of questions and a litany of steps needed to be taken. He glanced down at the list on his omnipresent clipboard:

  • First, food. How long would the city’s supply of perishable foodstuffs last? Visit the warehouses in Wheatstone and Port Babbage, supplement the engine-calculated inventory with a quick eyeball estimate. Make a note: draft eminent domain writ in case we need to confiscate; get Tenk to initial.
  • Steam. Pneumatic note to Kahruvel and Miss Falcon at the power plant: how long can we go without coal or aetheric filament? Heliograph to mines in the Badlands: postpone production and stop the ore and coal trains. Make a note: ask Steamweaver’s engine to calculate how much of a pressure reduction will buy us another few days. 
  • Transport. Personal visit to the portmaster for arrivals and departures schedule. Make a note: how long can we ask a merchant vessel to stand off in the Vernian before we start seeing … unfortunate developments? Likewise with the automated airship deliveries, given this is air kraken season. Floating squid are far smarter than those big dumb robot airships.
  • Medicine. Telemessage to the hospitals: report the outbreak count hourly, and supplies of ether and laudanum extract. Make a note: call a conclave of medical personnel to discuss antidotes or preventive serums. See if Tenk wants to summon Obolensky or (shudder) Underby for consultation. 
  • Ammunition. ((Underscore)) Given the nature of the outbreak, this is urgent. Undertone is busy with emergency relief, get the other militia officers to report in: how are we on shells, cartridges, black powder, howitzers. Make a note: Will severing body parts of the affected stop them or do we have to go for their heads? If we see someone we know does it make sense to subdue them or do we have to actually kill them? Will blood spatters spread the contagion?

The questions went on and on, and the To Do list got longer and longer: foreign relations, water supply, get the DPW streetsweepers out and affix the special blood-and-body-part brushes, do we need an emergency city ordinance to license private zombie extermination businesses? Cleanslate’s head was down as he climbed the staircase leading out of the Visitor’s Hall, so he didn’t notice the noxious green vapor drifting ever closer to the brass and cut-glass of City Hall’s dome…

 

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4 Comments

  1. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon October 9, 2010

    Dear Mr Cleanslate,

    Currently the power station is well stocked for provisions, strangely the clockwork strike earlier in the year has stood us in good stead as supplies mounted up while the plant was out of action. I would say that baring any unexpected breakdowns we will be able to run at full capacity for the next three months without any real issue.

    My main concern at the moment is defense as the power station was never built to be defended against attack, the structure was built more to show off the riches of the former Aetheric Power & Engineering company than provide for practical defense. The walls are covered in large fragile windows and there are many points of entry from above ground and below.

    I will of course put the clockwork into defensive mode, they should be able to hold the line for a short time.

    On the matter of the portal, the red code card needed to reactivate the difference engine is well hidden and secured so no one will break the quarantine, even if the power plant is overrun.

    Best Regards,

    Avariel Falcon.

  2. Grendel Footman Grendel Footman October 9, 2010

    if needed, the eel plant at Footman Industries produces enough power to supply city hall at least, in case it’s needed, I’m away, but the pengi know how to run cables, just offer fish and they will do the work.

     

    -G.Footman

  3. Wiggy Undertone Wiggy Undertone October 10, 2010

    BABBAGE UNION TELEGRAM

    06 OCT 18xx 21:06

    TO: Aeolus Cleanslate

    FROM: Wiggy Undertone

     

    HONERABLE MACEHOLDER

    MAKING ARRANGEMENTS FOR AIR DROP STOP SEND LIST OF NEEDED SUPPLIES STOP FORTUNATE FOR ME THAT I AM TRAVELING BUT I CAN THINK OF NOTHING ELSE BUT THE MISFORTUNE MY FELLOW BABBAGERS ARE SUFFERING  STOP

    IN MY ABSENCE, BOOKWORM HEINRICHS HAS AGREED TO LEAD MILITIA FORCES PLEASE COORDINATE WITH HER STOP

    YOURS FAITHFULLY
    WIGGY UNDERTONE

  4. Mr Salazar Jack Mr Salazar Jack November 29, 2010

    November 28, 1882

     

    Dear Maceholder:

    As I was cleaning up the remaining debris from the recent collapse and preparing the steamworks for the winter, I discovered your message that had been stuck in one of the damaged pneumatic tubes. Although this news may come too late to help with your planning (indeed, you will have no doubt been aware of a rather steep decrease in the amount of pressurized steam available currently), the steamworks has been out of commission since the collapse in August. I will be working on repairing the damaged machinery over the winter and hope to be up to full capacity in the spring. I will endeavour to keep both you and the Clockwinder better informed in the future.

    Sincerely,

    Mr Salazar Jack
    #13 Brunels Railway
    Babbage Square, New Babbage

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