I take the hint that I better make this count. I ask whether the Commandments are still as true and infallible as the day they were conceived. Has she, or more likely the Preservers, come across any cases that may have required an amendment, much like the original US Constitution?
“Absolutely not. After all, Mr Wright, these are simply victims of Neurological Zombosis. They are meagre both mentally and physically. There is no scope for evolution in their cells. They are dead bodies that have been given a bolt by Dr Frankenstein. Their genetic capabilities begin and end with eating human flesh. We don’t know why they have the urge to do so but, based on our experiences, it appears to be their one and only motivation.
“It’s quite simple, as are the Commandments. They were designed to inform and educate and I believe they’ve performed that task perfectly.”
Sarah reminds me before I’m allowed to ask my last question that I’m required to sign a confidentiality agreement regarding the location of our meeting and adds that the conversation has been recorded by the Preservation.
I have one more shot and I don’t want to waste it. I am not convinced that anything much other than international co-operation and good old-fashioned bravery were behind the Preservation’s victory. Sarah is smart and there’s no doubt that we are all safer with the Preservation to defer to in times of crisis. But I don’t think there’s a secret formula here.
So I ask her about the feasibility of a new threat. There has been an increase in community-driven programmes launched in the UK in response to the rising number of undiagnosed cases of Post-Zombosis Stress Disorder (PZSD). The sessions have been formulated due to a request from doctors to assist with patient overflow. Allegedly, there aren’t enough psychologists in the country to cope with the spike in those requiring therapy in order to make peace with the events of the past two years. For whatever reason, it appears that the mental wellbeing of a minority of the population is disintegrating.
At the time of writing, there were rumours that the sessions in the UK had been oversubscribed while other countries have indicated their intention to roll out similar programmes. The Preservation has stayed notably silent on this issue. Sarah has never issued a statement and there seems to be a reticence to provide an opinion until the situation reveals itself a little more.
I ask Sarah if she’s worried about these developments.
“First of all, let’s not jump to conclusions. These community programmes are not sophisticated enough to track patient care with any kind of accuracy and so talk of oversubscription is deeply unfounded. There’s a good chance that, if the numbers were analysed, you’d find cases of hypochondria or timewasting. Until such a time that the Preservation is provided with hard evidence that this is anything other than a minor concern we will reserve judgement on the situation.
“But I ask you, Mr Wright, has the Preservation let anyone down until this point? Do we strike you as appearing underprepared for anything? I hope it is quite the opposite. When, or if, we need to act and respond on the issue of PZSD, we will.”
Sarah thanks me for coming and the TV monitor blinks to black. The guards politely but expediently escort me from my location and my encounter with our face of the Preservation is over. I feel liberated by my involvement, however brief, in the project and reassured that the Preservation, thanks to minds like Sarah’s, retains our best interests at heart.
This is Society 2.0, though. There is no going back and our generation has to be strong to mentally survive the travails of the past few years. We need each other.
At the outset I made a confession. I told you how I survived when the Blood Turned and doing so on paper was an indescribable release. Now I want your stories to be told, too.
Whether the cases of PZSD are an anomaly or not, it hasn’t been good for us. We must acknowledge our atrocities to move forward positively.
The Preservation has kindly dispensed me with a Zombie literature licence that will empower me to publish the stories that you – the readers, the people – send in. I welcome submissions from all over the world but I implore you to be frank and honest about what you did in the name of self-preservation.
Below our obligatory re-printing of the Commandments you’ll find the terms of conditions of submission. I look forward to hearing from you.
Let’s do our part to make Society 2.0 a success.
COMMANDMENTS TO AVOID NEUROLOGICAL ZOMBOSIS
1. If a person is bitten, they will die and reanimate as a Zombie within three minutes.
2. NZ is transferred when an infected human bites another human, breaking the skin. There is no other method of contracting NZ.
3. Once bitten, there is no known procedure that can halt the spread of Neurological Zombosis (NZ).
4. The only motivation of NZ is to force the sufferer to desire human flesh.
5. A powerful blow that removes or severely damages the head is the only method of attack guaranteed to be effective in disposing of a Zombie.
6. After putting a Zombie down, you must burn the body to avoid the spread of infection.
Everyone has a story to tell from the day the Blood Turned and Alex wants to hear from you.
No matter where you were or how you survived, the best entries will be published in subsequent issues of this publication.
Limit is 2,500 words. All distribution rights are owned in whole by the Preservation.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]