Thursday, July 15, 2010
Dead 2 Synopsis, Part 2
Okay, so I'm leaving for California late tomorrow night. The picture above is not California, but it's Utah, and it's in the west, and so's California. Nice change from those other pictures, which are a bit grim, wouldn't you say? Oh well. Back to the zombies...where were we?
Story settles down a bit.
The column commander is Colonel Milius, a crazy but impressive guy kinda modelled on Chesty Puller, the semi-psycho marine from World War Two. Milius found himself in a Fallujah type situation in Iraq, and went ahead and won the battle even after his superiors called for negotiations...they stuck him behind a desk in the aforementioned NJ base. Deeply frustrated, he got nuttier than ever....this end of the world stuff is right up his alley. He really loves it, and he’s having the time of his life. His men are of two minds about him...he’s the guy when the fighting starts, but otherwise, he’s pretty much around the bend.
Him and Max locks horns...there’s a certain amount of philosophical sparring...Milius represents a particular type of atheist peculiar to armed forces...he’s completely into Nietszche, and he’s rather cool, but he doesn’t cotton at all to Max prosletyzing about a transcendant way out. He’s also really ruthless about keeping his equipment going, and he doesn’t mind running zombies through wood-chippers for their juice, which can be used to counter the ongoing mechanical failures...Needless to say though, when the action starts, Max and Milius wind up fighting side-by side a lot.
The characters sort themselves out in various ways...about halfway thorugh, the dead start attacking in earnest. We get progressively bigger and scarier onslaughts, sometimes involving bonewolf-type monsters, and leviathan-type critters of the sort we merely glimpsed in the first book. The dead even trot out some living human prisoners and use them to negotiate...they reel them out at the end of long strings of barbed wire, then reel them back on their faces when they’re done.
The dead finally break through at the eastern end of the bridge, overunning the M1 nd the APC’s there...as the corpses come swarming across the middle section., Milius orders the remaining M1 to swing its turret round and shoot out the bridge’s main support cables.Before the dead can close in, the bridge collapses, halves smashing down into the ice on the Delaware river...ten thousand corpses go screaming down into the drink.
But that still leaves the ones on the east side...up they come, and the worst battle yet commances...the M1 runs out of ammo...so do the APC’s...Milius has it out mano-a-mano with Legion atop the M1, and loses in a very larger-than life way. Max and a bunch of survivors, including most of the original folks from Barclay’s, have no choice but to get into one of the main piers, which have little access doors down at road-level...climbing up metal rungs inside, they head to the top with the dead screaming up after them...our characterrs resolve themselves one way or another...at least three of them remove themselves from the situation through spectacular acts of self-sacrifice, al la the first book....
Max, however, gets caught.
And since his salvation is assured in the long run, the dead can do just as they please with him...he volunteered for purgatory, and now he’s going to get it.He’s brought down to Legion, who decides to slice him up and unravel him and thread him through one of the bone-monsters...
The book ends with those three protags, the one’s who’ve made it out, deciding to go back and extricate Max...the last book, entitled “Where the Worm Dies Not,” will be about them heading straight onto into Legionland and rescuing Max...it would be a real-time sort of thing, taking place over four or five hours...that’s if anyone cares what happens to Max.
Needless to say, there’s a bunch of stuff that can’t really be shoehorned into this synopsis. There will be a whole lot more Legion... I’m also going to have a bunch of stuff with Steve Jennings, the guy who killed his wife in the first book. I haven’t decided whether or not he’s dead, or being used as one of those human negotiators....no matter what, he’s going to have decided that his previous outlook on life left something to be desired. He’s going to be a POV character inside the enemy camp on the eastern side of the bridge. I’ll also be serving up a whole lot of freaky details and non-zombie monsters...the whole thing, seeing as how it takes after the end of the world, will be rather more fantastic than the Dead, and a lot more violent. There will be a lot less set-up, seeing as how most of that was taken care of in the first book...most of the philosophical stuff is going to revolve around hell-fauna and infernal political arrangements....whether people who were pissed off by the first book will find this one as off-pissing, I don’t know...
I would be about as long as The Dead. There would, of course, be illos...once again, about as many as in the first book. The cover would show a grinning zombie with a “II” carved into his forehead. The title of the book would be “Dead II: Bridge of Saints.”