The world is a frustrating place. There are times, when in the midst of shaking my fist in rage at some perceived inequity, that I wish I had the god-like force to make things right. At these times, I am prone to mutter “If I had an army of the undead…”
Let’s face it: once you get past the ‘ick’ factor, there are few underlings more reliable than the undead. Granted, they aren’t much for improvisation or abstract thought, but they follow orders, they require relatively little upkeep (you know, provided you get the ones that don’t eat brains), are hard workers, and are even recyclable, provided you’re a necromancer of passing talent.
See, I don’t think of the undead as some inherently evil plague to be visited upon mankind. The dead are just dead–they don’t hate the living or wish to destroy life or anything. Dead things have no opinions; they are precisely as good or as bad as their master makes them be. Just imagine if you could marshal a large force of undead minions and put them to work for the public good! Think of it: legions of brightly clad, well-perfumed skeletal creatures on every street corner, insuring public safety and guarding the public trust. Ahhhh…utopia.
Here would be some of the tasks to which my army of undead would be routinely assigned:
- An auxiliary of zombies clad in flame-resistant shrink wrap would be on hand for the fire department to dispatch into burning buildings judged too dangerous for living firefighters to enter. Rescues would go up, firefighter injuries would go down!
- Much of the staff of the MBTA (bus routes excepted) could be quickly and easily replaced by skeletons with, I imagine, little notable loss in the quality of service.
- I would employ wraiths and other ethereal creatures to serve warrants and pursue fugitives. The odds of folks running when they know the cold, dead hand of death is liable to follow them would be rather low, I imagine.
- Need a lot of volunteers to systematically search an area for a missing person or body? Hmmmm…I seem to have a couple thousand zombies sitting around with nothing better to do…
- Disaster relief? Well, seems to me my legions of skeletons can carry plenty of water and supplies just about anywhere, given enough time. They don’t mind much if they’re getting electrocuted by downed power lines or covered over by sewage-filled water.
- Bomb squads suddenly have anthropomorphic bomb-defusers that can be commanded via remote. If the bomb goes off, who cares?
- Need Witness Protection? Want to secure your property from vandals? Want to scare the crap out of those punks painting swastikas on your synagogue? Boy, have I got the ghouls for you!
Sure, sure, I can hear all the negative nellies now–something is bound to go wrong! What if the dead get hungry? Stuff and nonsense. I know exactly what I’m doing, okay? Nothing is going to go wrong, and when a zombie pulls you out of your burning car wreck because I had thoughtfully stationed a team of them on the shoulder of the Mass Pike, picking up litter, you can thank me later.
(Or, for that matter, you can thank your Great Aunt Patrice, whose corpse I reanimated and put to work)