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October 8 — Waiting to Die

((Private journal entry, but feel free to comment))

It’s the middle of the night, but I’ve no hope of sleeping. Not after what has happened, and what I’ve learned. Mr. Mornington kept assuring us that this should be temporary, that he can cure us all, but it still feels quite like a death sentence.

Early this evening, as I was working here at this very desk, I happened to glance down and saw…it. Bandages, unnatural stride–I had a dreadful feeling I knew what it was. I grabbed my rifle and attempted to follow it, but it disappeared into the sewers.

I found several others nearby, including Mr. Melnik, the Clockwinder, Miss Sky, Miss Anatra, and Dr. Sonnerstein. I told them about what I’d seen, and we conversed for a while on this and the zombies appearing in the graveyard. (I’ve not dared approach too closely and try to contact “my” spirits to see how they’re faring.) Miss Sheryl also came to us, telling us she’d seen something like what I’d seen, in the Palaeozoic Museum.

After a while, I faintly heard a cry from the west. We traced it to the museum, where Miss Elleon was trying to recover from actually being attacked by it. She also informed us that a crate in the upper room of the museum was now open–which led us to understand that the…thing had come from that. While we were ministering to her, it came in, literally rising up through the floor!

We all, except for Miss Elleon, were armed, and attacked it as well as we could, but our ammunition had no effect on it. All we could do was try to keep it at bay. It even got close enough to scratch me on the arm! Eventually, we either drove it away, or it decided it wanted to find new targets. It left the museum, with several members of the party in pursuit. I stayed behind with Miss Elleon.

After a little while, Dr. Sonnerstein and Miss Sheryl returned; the Doctor helped to bind Miss Elleon’s and my wounds. Mr. Mornington came, hearing news of the upset. It took a great deal of talk and persuasion on all our parts, but we finally got most of the facts out of Mr. Mornington. They are…not good.

There is an infection loose in New Babbage, one that will turn people into zombies. But it isn’t spread by the mummy that attacked us; it is airborne, and has already been released to spread throughout New Babbage. I know I’m already infected; I was feeling a chill in my hands and feet all day, and that is one of the symptoms. (I’m having to wear gloves now while I’m writing this, even though the evening has been quite clement.)

So what have I to look forward to? Tomorrow I shall have rashes and greying skin. And the next day…

The next day, I shall be a zombie.

My hand shakes almost uncontrollably writing that. Especially as I wonder what kind of zombie I will be. Mr. Mornington said that some will retain their minds even as their bodies become zombies, and others will become insane.

I honestly cannot decide which would be worse. If I go insane, at least I won’t realize the full horror of what I’ve become. But I’ll also do…terrible things. Or try to, at least.

Pity Mr. Frakture isn’t able to be here, and healthy. He’d enjoy turning the tables, I’m sure.

Mr. Mornington says that once the virus has fully matured–once we’ve all become zombies–he can cure us, even those who go insane. I pray that he’s right.

Still, even with all my worries, I couldn’t let that get in the way of duty. I managed to find Mr. Cleanslate and tell him of the situation. I also wired Captain Undertone, who is, luckily for him, out of town. He gave me authorization to impose a quarantine on all shipping, to ensure this doesn’t spread outside the city. I believe Mr. Cleanslate is working on a more general quarantine announcement. I’m not sure how well we can enforce it, but try we must. It’s the only way to make sure the cure can be administered to all.

My foot warmer has gone cold, so I’d best move back closer to the fire. I hope this won’t be my last journal entry…

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3 Comments

  1. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs October 9, 2010

    Bookworm wakes up after a few hours of fitful sleep, a sudden thought bringing her to full consciousness. She hastily throws on her clothing, including a hat with a veil to hide the greying skin on her face, and hurries out the door in the early morning light.

    Arriving at the European Consulate, she lets herself in with her key quietly and hurries over to the telegraph. She knew this was one message she’d best send herself.

    BARON WULFENBACH
    UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ENTER NEW BABBAGE STOP
    ZOMBIE PLAGUE AIRBORNE AND HIGHLY INFECTIOUS STOP
    CURE WILL BE ADMINISTERED SUNDAY NIGHT BY VICTOR MORNINGTON STOP

    BOOKWORM HIENRICHS

    That errand done, she hurries back home.

  2. Klaus Wulfenbach Klaus Wulfenbach October 9, 2010

    The Baron was seated at his desk, frowning over a staff review memo when the messenger hurried in, waving a transcript from the Interdimensional Lab.  His frown deepened; abruptly, he stood and left the room, headed back to that same laboratory to spread the word to the Steamlands.

  3. Sheryl Skytower Sheryl Skytower October 9, 2010

    *listens to noise in apartment above her flat/bookstore*

    *mumbles to self*

    *begins to rock back and forth, rubbing stomach*

     

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