The Adventures of Captain X-Ploit:
– Part 4 of the week long Halloween special –
28 Stores Later
David boarded the first flight to Minnesota on his way to The Mall of America. Surely he could spend a relaxing Halloween in a mall he thought. Never have malls been a scene of horror he thought.
Several hours later at the mall:
David walked from store to store enjoying the sights and sounds of the biggest mall he’d ever visited. After a while, however, the people seemed to start acting strangely. Their normal strides devolved to leg-dragging hobbles. Their eyes glazed over and their ability to give him proper change had all but vanished. David continued to shop, determined to not have his Halloween ruined by the simple emergence of zombies.
Try as he might however, it did interfere with his plans, because after about four hours all of the dead-eyed monsters promptly dropped their thin pretense of humanity and wandered out of the stores and began to commit, what David considered the most disgusting, vile act imaginable. They started distributing advertisements for Viral-agra.
A well dressed, clearly non-zombie man walked up to David and spoke hastily. “My name is Joseph Webster. President Ted has sent me to ask if you could help fix this zombie outbreak. I am to lend as much aid as possible.”
“I think fate has destined me to have a crappy Halloween,” David sighed, “I assume simply killing the infected is unacceptable?”
“Ted said he’d prefer an outcome in which the infected NOT die. After all, election season is upon us. He said we don’t necessarily have to cure them, just stop the outbreak and preferably stop them from distributing those tasteless ads.” Joe paused gauging the scowl on David’s face, “In case it matters, I have managed to track the source of the infection.”
“Really?” David brightened visibly, “That’s certainly a step in the right direction. Take me there.”
A few minutes later:
They were standing outside a local adult bookstore. David could see how Joe had discovered this. Healthy patrons walked in and monsters walked out. David bowed his head in shock and shame. “They are disgracing the once respectable name of porn.”
After walking into the store it was immediately apparent what was going on. People were filing into a room with a door labeled “free porn” one by one. Those leaving seemed to have some strange device attached to the back of their heads. After entering the room they saw that people would walk-in, sit in a chair and put their face into a view screen expecting porn, but instead a control device was attached to the back of their head and they were kicked out of the room. David promptly walked over to the machine and when the room was empty, placed an “out of order” sign on the machine and waited for the next group.
After informing the next group that the machine was broken he wandered out of the room, over to the counter and promptly demanded to speak to the owner of the store. The attendant walked off and returned with the owner, a tall dark haired man who’s outfit and demeanor all but screamed “hacker”.
“The ‘free porn’ machine is broken. I sat there, like forever, man, and NO PORN!” David said, attempting to sound stupid enough to impress the poser, “I’m pissed man, I want my money back!”
The owner raised an eyebrow, “You want your $0.00 back?”
“Yes! and I want it fixed NOW!”
The owner agreed to fix the machine if David agreed to be first in line once it was fixed. When they entered the room David explained, “See dude, when I sat down there was no porn! All I saw was these stupid credit card numbers flashing with names and stuff.”
A huge grin appeared on the owners face as he promptly sat down and put his face in the view screen.
A few minutes later:
The owner of the store was trying to sell them “Viral-agra”, while Joe and David discussed what to do next. “I’m afraid if we destroy the machine it might kill the zombies for good or at very least return them to their previous pseudo-zombie existence. Besides this situation seems too potentially beneficial to just destroy,” David remarked.
“Agreed,” Joe said, “Any ideas?”
“Well, yeah actually. I was thinking, if you could reprogram the machine, I could stop people using it.”
“I can do that!” Joe agreed, happy to assist, “But what do you want the zombies to do?”
Several hours later:
Joe had reprogrammed the machine and David had changed the sign from “free porn” to “free print newspapers” they found themselves back at the mall enjoying the rest of the shopping day. They were only occasionally interrupted by a dead eyed shopper asking if they had heard the million reasons they should re-elect Ted for president.
David shoveled another handful of candy into his mouth and looked at Joe saying “You know, I think my Halloween is finally going to be normal… well, as normal as a Halloween spent in a mall full of political zombies can be.”
“I’m glad, Ted’s told me about what you’ve been through,” Joe said, “It sounds like you could use a rest. Especially with this competition with Sara coming up.”
“Indeed.” David said, “Yes, indeed. But, that’s another story for another week I believe. For now I’m just going to enjoy the candy and watching the zombies try to walk up the down escalators.”
“Sounds like a plan. Mind if I join you?” Joe asked.
“Not if you keep that candy coming,” David responded as his default, worry-free smirk crept across his face.
So finally after all these episodes of Captain X-Ploit, I get to make an appearance! Not just a cameo but an actual feature performance! And it is in an homage to one of my all time favorite horror masterpieces, George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. While the title of the episode makes a perfunctory nod to the more recent, and vastly inferior, zombie flick 28 Days Later, it’s all about Dawn. I love how these zombies exhibit behavior we’ve all come to expect – distributing spam for erectile dysfunction products. In a stroke of classic Captain X-Ploit genius, rather than shut down the zombie network our heroes – that’s right there’s two of them now counting moi – decide to exploit the network for their own ends. Namely to distribute campaign spam for President Ted. Happy Halloween from everyone at Security For All!