Mystery Ape: Going Mad
Augustus Silver rushed into the library where Inspector Nesbitt and Professor Pinkley were discussing matters of an extremely British nature. Augustus slammed the double doors behind him and turned to display a broad smile.
"I've done it," he said. "I've solved the murders."
"Excellent, lad," Nesbitt said as he puffed on his Meerschaum pipe. "Don't keep us in suspense. Who is the murderer? Out with it."
"I'm afraid it's a fairly involved story."
"Nonsense," Pinkley said. "The guilty party is that Doubleday chap. Why, it must be him. He's quite disagreeable."
"He plays a role," Augustus said, "but not quite as one would expect. You both recall, of course, that this began as a missing person case."
"Yes, quite. The Abernathy girl. Poor, unfortunate creature."
"Yes, very much so," Augustus said, "and then the case grew to include other missing persons, all of whom work or study at the academy."
"Yes, and when we began to stumble upon pools of blood in large quantities, including blood identified as belonging to Ms. Abernathy, it became a murder investigation," Nesbitt said. "We are well aware of the component parts of the investigation..."
"Quite," Pinkley interjected.
"...but you've put it all together, you say?"
"I have," Augustus said as he effortlessly lifted a desk and jammed it against the double doors.
"Well, out with it, lad."
"I'm not sure how to describe it exactly," Augustus said. "It's all so incredible."
"I suggest being as succinct and direct as possible," Nesbitt said. "The details will reveal themselves in their own time."
"Succinct? Yes, I can be very succinct. In fact, I can sum things up in one word."
"And that word is?"
"Zombies," Augustus said as he stacked a couch atop the desk against the door. Nesbitt and Pinkley stared blankly for a moment before Pinkley turned to Nesbitt.
"What did he say?"
"Zombies," Nesbitt repeated. "Which is to say balderdash. I had dealings with a zombie cult here in the Carribean back in 1957. The whole thing was all smoke and mirrors. A voudon had convinced some weak minded fools that they were the walking dead, creatures without will. It was more akin to mass hysteria than anything else. I'm sure you will find that to be the case here. Just give these 'zombies' of yours a firm slap across the face and they'll snap right out of it."
"I truly doubt that is the case here."
"These creatures are ambulatory despite having their torsos ripped open and their internal organs hanging out."
Nesbitt and Pinkley stared blankly.
"What did he say? Pinkley asked.
"No, no, no," Nesbitt said. "You must be mistaken. I refuse to believe that such a thing is possible."
"I'm sure you would have said the same thing just a week ago about the prospect of meeting a well spoken, crime-solving Sasquatch."
Pinkley laughed. "He's got you there, old boy."
"I stumbled upon Dr. Doubleday's notebook while I was out there. He'd been studying a truly bizarre virus."
"Phah!" Pinkley said. "Him and his blasted viruses."
"This particular virus kills it's host and takes control of the hosts body, effectively reanimating it. The virus then feeds upon the host's body and whatever animal tissue the host can ingest. The virus spreads itself by saliva transmitted through bites. Ms. Abernathy became patient zero while working in Dr. Doubleday’s lab, succumbed to the virus and spread it to her roommate and then on and on across the campus."
"Is such a thing even posible?" Nesbitt's question was directed at Pinkley. Pinkley shrugged.
"Come now, Pinkley. You're a man of science, now tell me, can Mr. Silver's wild story be true?"
"Augustus strikes me as being a level headed chap. I say we give him the benefit of the doubt."
"Thank you, Professor Pinkley," Augustus said as he jammed a bookcase into his increasingly impressive barricade.
"You're quite welcome, lad." Pinkley stroked his chin as he thought. "I would think that the virus would not forestall post-mortem decay. In fact, it may accelerate the process. This being a tropical island the problem should solve itself as these zombies rot, bloat and explode in the tropical heat. This being a small and remote island should keep the virus from spreading. The process should only take a few days during which we should be quite safe behind Augustus' barricade."
"I doubt that we're safe here," Augustus said.
The barricade trembled and shook as something began to bang on the library doors.
"The zombies are incredibly strong."
"Oh," Pinkley said. "The virus must maximize muscular performance as it burns through it’s host. How unfortunate."
"Quite," Nesbitt said.
"Hopefully, Doubleday started work on an anti-virus."
"According to his notes, he had completed one," Augustus said.
The doors began to crack.
"Splendid," Pinkley said. "I should call him and discuss the matter."
"I'm afraid that won't be possible," Augustus said.
"Right before coming here I had occassion to tear off Dr. Doubleday's head."
"He became a zombie, did he?" Nesbitt said. Augustus nodded. "Drat."
The library doors began to splinter. Rotting hands reached into the room accompanied by the stenchof rotting flesh.
"Inspector Nesbitt," Augustus said, "May I have your jacket?"
"Of course you may." Nesbitt removed his jacket and handed it to Augustus who ripped it in half and wrapped the halves around his fists. Nesbitt harrumphed when he saw his favorite jacket mistreated.
"Do you intend to fight these creatures?" Pinkley asked.
"I'm afraid I have no choice. My hope is that this padding will protect me from bites and other lacerations."
"It should," Pinkley said, "but be careful."
Zombies began crawling through the barricade. They made gutteral rasping sounds.
"I suggest you gentlemen find cover," Augustus said as he assumed a martial stance. "I believe I can keep them at bay."
Inspector Nesbitt and Professor Pinkley stood in a far corner of the room and watched their Sasquatch companion kung fu the crap out of the pack of zombies.