Chapter 9 - Zombie Queen Showdown: Margo Jessup vs Elana Mycrovitch
Captain Clint Raymond sat hunched over on the floor, his head supported by his hands. He was grateful for his son's safety now, but also felt spent from all that was happening. His mind reeled over Margo's reveal of Phil's plans. He had a tough time believing that Phil was capable of the evil Margo warned about. He wondered if Margo's undead makeover could have altered her mind, and all of this was a trap on her part. But despite her zombified changes, she still was the genuine article. Then there was the issue of Elana Mycrovitch, who should be dead. Well, she was very dead, but thanks to her new zombified status, with abilities to command an undead army to boot, she also posed as a major obstacle for survival. The only bright spot was that Phil and Elana didn't appear to be in cahoots per Margo's intel.
A loud clang and footsteps down the hall brought Clint out of his ponderings and back into the moment. Clint stood up, prepared to defend his sons and comrades if it was the last thing he did. Margo and Jules also stood at the ready, Jules ready to utilize some of the combat training he was able to glean from Margo before she was turned.
A decaying man who looked much like the other monsters outside stumbled into the room. He held an electronic PDA in his hand and looked up at the five with lifeless eyes.
"Dr. Addams?" Jules exclaimed. "Should have known if Mycrovitch was behind this, you wouldn't be far behind!"
Darryl said nothing and gave no reaction, leading the party to believe that he wasn't a conscious undead like Margo and Elana. He simply held up the PDA for them to see, and the screen flicked on, revealing Elana sitting on a pile of bones.
"You know, when the zombies were attacking me, I thought the survival pistol from my grandfather was unlucky, but it turns out that wasn't the case. Thanks to your attempt to get rid of us, I am now more powerful than ever!"
"Good for you Elana, you've gone from brilliant scientist to comic book supervillain!" Margo responded sarcastically. "Did you send Darryl here to do your dirty work, just like before? Even with your power, you're still pathetic!"
Despite his stress, Clint couldn't help but smile at his scrappy zombie ally. Remembering Margo's wrestling days, he had a feeling she could still hold her own, even with a decaying body.
"On the contrary Jessup. I sent my stooge here to propose a challenge. You're a conscious undead, as am I. You led these weaklings to safety before my hoard could do to them what they did to me and Darryl. As long as you are in the picture, my plans for this world won't come to fruition. So, I think we should meet up for what they would call in ancient times, a duel. Winner takes all, survivor becomes the leader of the undead!"
"Bitch please, I know this is a trap to get us back outside. You don't want to challenge me, the second we get out there you'll sic your hoard on us again."
"On the contrary." Elana laughed playfully with a sinister undertone. "I didn't think I would ever meet another conscious zombie, and I definitely never expected it would be you. A brilliant teacher, archaeologist, and strong fighter like you? Putting you down would cement my place as the queen, and I want to do this fair and square. Besides, I managed to slip Darryl in there. Do you really think you, or Clint's sons for that matter, are safe?"
"As much as I hate to say it, she's right Margo." Clint conceded. "I hate to put it on you, but can I ask you to kick her ass for us?"
"Are you kidding, I didn't even like her when we were alive!" Margo laughed. "I would be happy to shut her mouth permanently!"
"Splendid!" Elana squealed. "Darryl will safely lead you and your friends to the location of our duel. I promise no cheap tricks on route. Trust me Jessup, I can't wait to personally kill you and prove that I am the better zombie."
Darryl led Clint, his sons, Jules, and Margo through the zombie hoard to a dilapidated, abandoned office building. Elana wore a yellow and red dress and smiled a sadistic grin at the party.
"Welcome Jessup, I'm glad you had the guts to make it! I mean, I guess that's obvious, with our guts being visible and all."
"Spare the pleasantries Mycrovitch, what is your game here?" Margo replied warily.
"The only game is to prove that I'm better than you. Of course, once you're disposed of, your allies here will be easy prey, so they are the prize that I'll accept. Not that you're going to win, but what would you claim if you had a choice?"
"This world is a shit show, but you no longer being part of it would make it a little less terrible." Margo answered. "Of course, being able to personally put you in your place will be nice too."
"Then let's begin!" Elana yelled, charging towards Margo. Margo stepped to the side as Elana got close, grabbing her arm, and flipping her face first onto the floor. Elana rolled over and pulled herself up, grinning.
"That's the spirit, this is going to be fun!"
Elana lunged at Margo again, this time being stopped with a fist to the face. Elana kicked Margo in the chest, causing her to briefly double over. Margo then slammed her head into Elana's, pushing her back. She then struck Elana's head again with a roundhouse kick, knocking her back down to the floor once again.
"I was a champion wrestler, and I've still got it." Margo stated, standing over her zombie rival. "You're out of your league here Elana. Give up now and maybe I'll let you go."
Despite not being on her feet, Elana laughed maniacally.
"You may be stronger physically, but can your mind compete with mine? Darryl, go eat Captain Raymond's sons!"
"No!" Margo screamed, running after Darryl. Before she could grab him, Darryl backhanded her, knocking her to the floor.
"Ha ha ha ha, so the champion wrestler can't stop my minion. Tough break Margo dear!"
Darryl froze in place, then turned to Margo for his next instruction.
"What? You can control them too?" Elana screamed in shock.
"I guess so." Margo shrugged. "Never tried it to be honest."
"You bitch! Darryl, go rip Jessup's head off!"
Darryl began approaching Margo with malice in his eyes.
"Darryl, go rip Elana's stupid hair out!"
Darryl turned around and began approaching Elana to give her a haircut through unorthodox methods.
"Darryl, freeze!" Margo yelled once more.
Elana looked at Margo with a puzzled look.
"Why stop him Jessup? What are you up to now?"
"Apparently Darryl responds to both of us equally. If we keep going at this rate, this will never end. I may be dead, but I have better things to do than continue this pissing contest with you."
"Hmph, so that's how you view our duel, eh? OK Jessup, what are you suggesting?"
"A final, decisive maneuver. We give Darryl a weapon that could destroy both of us, and we stand on opposite sides of him. We order him to attack at the same time, and whoever he strikes loses. You like duels Mycrovitch, think of it like an apocalyptic quick draw finale!"
"Oooooh, I like it!" Elana cackled. "Too bad I hate your visible guts, otherwise we may have worked well together in a different life. Let's finish this. In fact, I have just the firearm in mind. Darryl, get the flamethrower!"
Darryl walked off as Elana continued smiling sadistically. Jules, Clint, and his sons looked at Margo with concern.
"Are you sure about this Margo?" Clint asked his comrade. "Neither of you had an edge in controlling Darryl, and this could go either way."
"Trust me Captain, I've got this." Margo replied, flashing a reassuring smile.
Darryl returned with a flamethrower in tow, and Elana and Margo approached him until he stood a couple of feet between the pair.
"You're going to regret this Jessup. Darryl was my partner when we were alive. He will respond to me first, not you."
"Guess we'll know soon enough Mycrovitch." Margo answered, still smiling. "Jules, we'll have you count to three, then we will both give Darryl the order at the same time. Does that work for you Elana?"
"Absolutely. I can't wait to watch you burn."
"Is this really OK Captain?" Jules asked timidly.
"Whether we agree or not, this is their fight now." Clint said with a nervous, yet confident smile. "I trust Margo's judgment. Fulfill her request whenever you are ready."
"Very well." Jules conceded. "Alright.... one, two, three!"
"Darryl, light her up now!" Margo and Elana screamed.
Darryl turned to Elana and blasted her with the flamethrower. As the flames engulfed her body, she screamed to Margo once more, feeling no pain as the flames were melting her away to nothingness.
"I should have known that Darryl would betray me in the end. Well congratulations Jessup, you are the alpha now. But remember, we aren't the only conscious undead out there. Your position of power will be challenged at some point. The burden to defend the title of zombie queen is yours now. Enjoy!"
Elana laughed maniacally until nothing of her remained but a pile of ashes. Darryl turned to Margo, awaiting his next order.
"Give me the flamethrower Darryl, now."
Darryl gave Margo the flamethrower, which she then presented to Clint.
"He's all yours Captain. Vengeance for your family can be yours now."
"How did you know this would all work out Margo?"
"Well, the two of them didn't really seem to trust each other to begin with. I had a feeling that I had a sporting chance."
Margo released her control over Darryl as Clint aimed the flamethrower at him. Darryl fell to his knees and began begging for his undead life.
"I've done terrible things I know, but please have mercy!" Darryl cried.
"I want to do the right thing and help you guys now, please let me do that for you!"
Meanwhile, in the Phoenix Air Base Hospital
Dale Caruthers continued resting, the bite wound from his zombified comrade Brad Marconi still looking gruesome. He still felt like himself at least. Brad's body was taken to a different section of the hospital, also being treated. Dale hoped for Brad's survival, even if he wasn't himself anymore. Lizzie needed a live zombie to generate the cure, and if what was left of Brad didn't make it, they were back to square one.
Coincidentally, Dr. Harlem ran to Dale's side a moment later.
"Dale, how are you? Please tell me if you're still, OK?"
"You called me Dale this time." Dale grinned. "Never been better Lizzie. This flesh wound looks worse than it actually is."
"I'm relieved to hear that." Lizzie said as tears rolled down her face. "I needed some good news today."
"Good news, what do you mean?" Dale asked with concern. "Lizzie, what happened?"
"We lost Mr. Marconi. He's gone.... truly gone."
Written By: Roses311Sublime