Their explanation was as obvious as it was stupid – fear. You’ll be surprised how easily society will conform when they think there is a threadbare line between them and their families being eaten alive. They suggested that the existence of this content would prove confusing to the ongoing war effort despite the fact that it largely only existed because of the war we had predicted would eventually come. I know why the Preservation thinks it had to do this; to distance itself and the rest of us from the source material, making it more difficult for anyone to put the pieces together. It was terrified of what the response would be if people found out that it had been preparing for this event, in one way or another, for half a century. Personally, I didn’t have any intention of going public and I told the Harbingers as such. No-one needed to know. It wasn’t in anyone’s interest at that point to place doubt in Society 2.0 and the system we had created.
For a long time, I remained totally passive, my existence exterminated, while the Preservation positioned itself as the saviours of mankind and formulated an overwhelmingly positive public opinion.
That is how the story almost ended.
I’m old. I need a legitimate reason to fight at this age because, Zombies or not, my time isn’t far away. I know that. And thanks for listening. I felt I had to say this and get it on record. It’s important to provide you the background for why I’m here, talking to you right now.
A few months ago, in the absence of anything more to offer, I decided to contact my Harbingers one last time, to say goodbye. There have been over a hundred members since 1968 and I made a point of making one phone call to each – the ones that are still with us, anyway. If I reached them, I’d say what I had to say. If I didn’t, life goes on, for a short while at least.
Everyone who isn’t dead answered the phone to me. From the first call to the last, there was a common theme; each distraught and disappointed that all of our good work was not only being forgotten, but totally destroyed.
But that wasn’t their main concern. They had heard things. They had been sent things. Letters, video files, photographs, invitations, small pieces of evidence coming from random sources without prompting, all helping to create a wider picture. From Edgar Wright in London to Mikami in Tokyo to Plaza in Barcelona, they were all desperate to express one clear concern, that the Preservation and its vision of Society 2.0 is at best, flawed. At worst… it is an organisation growing increasingly dangerous with each passing day.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that, my own personal dismay at the Purge Act aside, I had accepted The Preservation at face value. The flaws in its make-up seemed, to me, to be superficial and surfaced as a result of the immediacy required in our response. I was an outsider with no proper understanding of its inner workings and so I maintained the position that much of us did; when the Blood Turned we were overrun by Zombies. Now we weren’t and we had The Preservation to thank for that. For many, many people, it is that simple; Preservation success is gauged by whether the ones they care about are being eaten alive. Given that the answer, now, is an emphatic ‘no’, then anything else the Preservation proposes, from the Purge Act to the Mandatory Census to the next piece of legislation, will be acknowledged and conformed with.
I have no doubt that Preservation intentions at its inception were noble. But… let me say that I trust each and every one of my Harbingers. When they told me they were concerned, I listened. And then they asked me to expose the Zombie sub-genre we had created for what it really was; a carefully co-ordinated release of content to prepare the population for the day that my ghouls came for them. They wanted me to do the one thing I promised to myself I never would.
And so, as much as I trusted them, I needed evidence. To convince me, they sent me everything they had. It arrived in all kinds of formats that an old man like me shouldn’t have to decipher. I spent months going through it. I had to be sure that the Harbingers weren’t being woven into an intricate conspiracy.
They had heard things.
Now I’ve heard things, too.
Sometimes you think there is a wrong that you desperately want to expose, or a piece of information that you might like to know, but the reality is so far beyond your expectations that there is no reverse gear. And so, for me, there is no going back. I had to assist my Harbingers. I had to appear on your television screen. I had to record this confession. There was no alternative.
The flash drive currently plugged into your computer represents just a fragment of the things I’ve seen and heard.
This is also your point of no return. If you are still wondering what any of this has to do with you, it is a perfectly natural reaction. You are attempting to shrink an impossibly large event to a manageable level. Despite hearing my confession there is no commitment to our cause at this stage. You can choose to walk away and return to the life you lead.
This is a warning – if you chose to proceed, the purpose provided by the journey towards the truth is often more satisfying than the destination. Bear that in mind. Make the right choice.