The podcast of Mark's Brum Radio show, Mondays from 2pm

16 Mar March

This week Mark is joined by Moselele organiser and Eye on Moseley writer Daz Wright. They talk local community engagement, singing in public and of course zombies, as Daz plays chapter 10 of Zombies on a Spaceship.

The story so far

You are an Ensign aboard the Spacey McSpaceFace, and reality is falling apart. You've just been introduced to the Seamstresses, a horde of inter-dimensional killer arachnoids that eat away at realities that have diverged from their course.

Inside them the spiders carry a virus that eats away at organic life, while the creatures themselves destroy everything inanimate, boring holes through walls and slowly devouring the ship.

You know there must be three realities: you've heard them referred to as D1, D2 and D3. You're making your way back to your home reality with the captain you left behind, and the captain you picked up in this universe. From your home world you'll need to find out what's caused the spiders to come out of hiding, and reverse whatever decision was made, so you can bring balance to the spacetime continuum.

Opening scenario:

As you cross the threshold from one copy of the captain’s ready room into the other, you wonder if you’ll ever get used to the sensation of crossing dimensions. Also, what are the long-term implications? You try not to think about this, as the two Spallettis compare notes on their near-identical lives.

You gather you’re going to need some way of distinguishing the two captains by name, so for a first draft you opt for “Home Spalletti” and “Away Spalletti”, and figure you can circle back later if you think of something better.

“Listen”, says Home Spalletti, “we need to find out where our realities diverged, and which one is the broken timeline. Nicoletta -“ she looks squarely at the other captain, and you make a mental note of her first name, “you might have to face the possibility that your world is already history. It won’t take the Seamstresses long to multiply and chew up everything that doesn’t comply with their view of the universe”.

They continue talking as you all head from the ready room to the lifts, taking a trip five decks up to Operations.

“But if I’m still here in this world”, says Away Spalletti, “aren’t I just another aberration the spiders will want to wipe away? How long can I expect to outrun them before they end up turning me into… one of those things?” In the awkward silence that follows, you note that you’re surprised she doesn’t use the word “zombie”, given it’s already been established as canon.

As the lift doors slide open, you see a long corridor, lined with windowed offices, whose doors bear nameplates denoting the various different departments aboard the ship.

You discuss how the trouble started, and trace it back to the AMS Donald Trump which you set foot aboard, less than 36 hours ago.

“But how will you find it?” asks Away Spalletti, and just as she does so, from out of a door marked IT, bursts a thin, terrified man in glasses and a checked shirt, pursued hotly by a larger woman in jeans and a black top. Her eyes are bloodshot and her jaw is working constantly up and down. Now it seems the infection has made it to Pauline from HR.

As you begin to draw your weapon, your captain stops you with a quiet “no”, gently lowering your arm. “We don’t want to cause a panic; we don’t know how many other infected are in there, and if everyone stampedes, we could end up losing half the admin staff in two minutes.” Given your annual appraisal is due in two weeks, you can’t help but wonder if this would be so bad, but you take her point. Now you need to figure out how you can safely dispatch the zombie, without causing a panic.