The 11 Things You Should Know About Jackalopes

…#5: they are all left handed

The Doclopedia #2

Islands Of Adventure: Isla de los Muertos

 

On an alternate Earth, it is the late 19th Century. Europe is divided up between England, Germany and Spain. The United States stretches from the Arctic Circle to South America. China includes Korea, Japan & part of Russia. Africa, India, South America and the rest of the world are all either independent or part of the great empires. Technologically, it is the Age of Steam and great mechanical wonders abound. War looms on all fronts as the Great Powers build ever more powerful weaponry.

But on an island far out in the Atlantic, the Spanish government may have stumbled on the weapon that even the great steam powered tanks of Germany can’t destroy…the living dead.

Isla de los Muertos measures 18 miles long by 8 miles wide and has been the site of a Spanish fortress and ship supply port for 300 years. At it’s height, it was home to 7,000 people, from soldiers to farmers to fishermen. That was 3 years ago. Now it is home to just over 3,500 flesh hungry zombies.

According to the few records that government agents could gather before they had to get back on board their boat and haul ass, things started going bad when a small meteor crashed on the island. A local priest, Father Emiliano, who had a great interest in geology, went out to locate the meteorite fragments. He took two young monks and four village boys with him. When they returned that afternoon, all of them were feverish and very weak. Within hours, they were all dead. Less than a day later, they all arose and began attacking the living, hungry for flesh, particularly brains. Those living folks who did not get killed, but merely bitten or scratched, soon died and arose. By the time the Navy cruiser “Tiburon” arrived a week later, half the population was gone and the other half were wandering the island looking for humans to eat.

Not surprisingly, the Spanish government hushed the whole thing up (especially from the Catholic Church) and sent scientists to study this new phenomenon. Inside heavy steam powered “exploramobiles”, the scientist were safe as they learned several interesting facts.

1: Sea water will dissolve a zombie like acid destroys living flesh. Ordinary salt water won’t, but it does scare them, then piss them off.

2: Blowing a zombies head off takes it out permanently.

3: Oddly, zombies are quite fire resistant. Ditto acid and electricity.

4: Cold temperatures down to -10 Celsius do not have much effect on the living dead, but at colder temperatures, they slow down and go into a suspended state. Once warmed up again, they are good as new.

5: Zombies do rot, but slowly. If they eat fresh human flesh, the effects of rotting are reduced.

6: Zombies only eat people.

And finally…

7: There are three types of zombies. Type 1 is slow moving, rather weak, pretty much mindless and not much concerned with eating brains. Type 2 are quite a bit faster, strong as the average man, about as smart as a dog and very hungry for brains. They can also speak, though only a few words. Type 3 zombies are very fast, very strong, about as smart as a young child and very cunning. They can hunt in packs and use simple weapons. They can speak in short sentences. They are always ravenously hungry.

For now, the living dead are contained on the island, but there are those in the government who see these creatures as potential weapons to use against old enemies like the English and Germans, or maybe as a way to slow the rapid growth of those upstarts in North America. Teams of scientists are attempting to figure out how zombies might be trained and weaponized without getting out of control.

While nobody outside of a few dozen high ranking Spanish government officials know the truth about Isla de los Muertos, there are rumors floating around about the distant island that Spain has cordoned off with a good sized fleet. It is possible that recon teams might be dispatched to check it out. Odds are, they won’t all come back.

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