C H Clepitt and Chloe Hammond have teamed up again, to bring you the next instalment of their Darkly Dreaming/I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse crossover. This one is set at the end of Everything is Better with a Cape, and you will find our protagonists in the South of France. Note, this is set out like a playscript, to give a sense of immediacy.
Missed the first instalment? Find it here.
Layla: Hey, Rae, is that Kerry over there sunning herself and muttering to her badger, who’s doing a really bad job of hiding itself in the flower beds?
Rae: Oh yes! Shhh, she hasn’t seen us.
Layla: So what’s your plan of action this time genius?
Kerry: You know, you aren’t very inconspicuous…
Badger: Well, we’re in France, no-one’s trying to cull me here.
Kerry: No… but they might try and get me committed…
Rae: I don’t know. I wasn’t expecting to see her here. Persuasion didn’t work very well last time.
Layla: Just compel her! Rae: That’s immoral!
Badger: Is that those two women from the pub? You know, the ones who smell like death…
Kerry: I don’t know, I didn’t sniff them.
Badger: You nearly licked them.
Kerry: Oh, be quiet, badger! I did not!
Layla: I don’t understand why you are so determined it has to be her? Wait til the apocalypse starts and there will be people queuing up for your ‘sanctuary’.
Rae: you saw how kick arse she was. How resilient. We want the best blood stock to establish the breeding program. And, I like her.
Badger: They’re looking at you like they want to eat you!
Kerry: They are not! Oh for god’s sake, fine. Wait here a minute. [standing up and walking over] Morning ladies, didn’t we meet before?
Rae: [whispering] Shit! She’s coming over. What am I going to say?
Layla: hmph. Tell her how much you like her.
Rae: HI KERRY! Ahem, would not have expected to see you here. What a delightful surprise?
Layla: have you got that delicious chap with You?
Kerry: You mean Tyrone? Um, no… he stayed behind. My partner’s work brought her here, and I sort of tagged along. I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your names…
Layla: I’m Layla, this is Rae.
Kerry: [holding out her hand] Hi…
Rae: Ah, no. Um. We don’t do touching. You er, wouldn’t like…
Layla: HAA HAA HA! Ignore her. She’s just a bit funny about germs. So, Kerry, I heard some whispers about zombies. What exactly did you see?
Kerry: [rolling her eyes but visibly relaxing]. It wasn’t zombies, it was government spy cams disguised as zombies, seriously, that’s what it was… and the bloody government got away with it by wiping… [there is a gush of wind and the badger is there]
Badger: What are you doing? You aren’t supposed to remember any of that!
Kerry: Huh? What?
Badger: Are you drunk? What’s wrong with you?
Rae: [Between her teeth] F*ck off badger. We need to know this.
Layla: But are you sure they were government spies?
Badger: That’s it, I’m getting help. [whizzes off]
Kerry: Yes, the chap from the government told me so, right before he sent me to wipe my memory… Wait… who are you?
Rae: Oh don’t worry, we’re not from the government. We’re worried about what they’re hiding.
Layla: Just spit it out Rae, you’ve got about 5 minutes before that bloody badger gets back with that vicious woman. If we are still committed to not killing people we need to be gone before she gets here.
Kerry: [snapping out of the compulsion] I’ll end you both before you get near her.
Rae: Don’t fret no one is hurting anyone. I’m just worried about the future. I think the government are covering up more than they told you. I think some of those zombies were real. That explosion did something bad to the environment. And it’s spreading.
Kerry: [Suddenly interested] Like what? I mean, if you’re really interested in an investigation… [studying them] How do I know I can trust you?
Sam: [appearing out of thin air] Kerry! The badger said you were in trouble. Oh, you two again. What do you want?
Layla: OK. Listen. We heard something bad. Some of those government spy zombies were really zombies. The government is trying to keep it hushed up, but it’s spreading. Am I telling you anything you don’t already know Sam?
Sam: [kissing her teeth] No. It’s actually why I’m in France. Well, that, and [glances at Kerry]. Anyway. Why are you interested? Zombies not edible?
Rae: No they aren’t. Which is going to make things very bad for survivors.
Layla: Very bad indeed.
Sam: We need to find the root of the virus, synthesise an antidote and prepare for… well, whoever’s behind it has resources. How big’s your team?
Kerry: That and what?
Sam: Not now, Kerry.
Kerry: Why not?
Sam: Because it’s personal! Jesus!
Layla: [Leaning forward and narrowing her eyes] You hadn’t told Kerry any of this had you Sam? You were going to keep this from her? Wow I see what you meant Rae.
Rae: Eh? Ow! Ah [catches on] Oh, yes. Very untrustworthy. Not really how you want to approach a real apocalypse is it? With someone you can’t trust. Did you know you were being dragged around while she looked for a cure to a situation you’d been programmed to forget?
Kerry: [Looking at Sam] Um… no… [unconvincingly] I’m very cross with you about this.
Sam: You absolutely should be. I completely understand if you need to storm off. Now. Um, right now, I’d understand.
Kerry: Well, um… screw you then? [Hurries off]
Sam: Not the best way to enlist my help, ladies…
Rae: [to Layla] go and get us a drink. Quickly. Now, Sam you are a sensible lady. Let’s drop pretences. You know who we are. You aren’t supposed to, I’m supposed to kill you or turn you for knowing. But I won’t for as long as keep your mouth shut and don’t tell anyone. Layla and I don’t eat human. But we know a lot of vampires that do. And we are worried about the future. To be brutally honest, we don’t think you’ll get a cure in time.
Sam: I have a very good team behind me. Speaking of…
Ms Meles [lands next to her] I thought I heard something dodgy. What’s going on Ethereal?
Sam: Vampires, Ms Meles, they want to help us with our zombie problem.
Ms Meles: Sounds like the makings of a very strange buddy movie.
Rae: Well, I don’t think there’s much we can do about the zombies, they’re springing up all over the place. I’m thinking more long term than that. As Sam so astutely pointed out, vampires can’t eat zombies. And vampires are very partial to human. They can also be a bit brattish about long term planning. In other words, they don’t. I’m thinking we need a sanctuary. Several breeding pairs, hidden in a farm, protected by my Pride. I want to offer Kerry a place. I’m being very selective about who I choose and she’s very resilient.
Sam: She’s not breeding with anyone but me, and I don’t think that’ll help you!
Ms Meles: You want to farm humans?
Badger: [Returning] Great, I know some lovely well fed dairy farmers you can start with!
Ms Meles & Sam Together: Quiet Badger!
Rae: You, as a species, aren’t going to survive on your own. You’re too vulnerable. And Sam, I hate to break it to You, but biology is going to intercept that plan. I would offer you a space too, but I know people like you, you won’t be able to resist sacrificing yourself on the front line. Wouldn’t you like to know she’s safe while you fight?
Ms Meles: Oh piss right off! I… She’s not a child. And not a bloody brood mare either!
Badger: So, that was a no to the dairy farmers then? What about Tory ministers? They may be too old to breed…
Rae: Badger, do you really want a future peopled by Tory spawn? I’m talking about an ark here. The only humans to survive the end of the world! No one else will be hidden away an protected by vampires. Sam, I thought you loved her, I thought you’d be happy she would survive.
Badger: That certainly is a fair point. OK, here’s a thought. How about we train dogs to herd the zombies towards the next Tory Party conference, two birds. Surely not even zombies could survive that?
Ms Meles: Badger, will you let up?
Badger: I will when they do.
Ms Meles: [facepalms]
Sam: I love her. And she’ll be fine, she can take care of herself. You can help us with the zombies, or you can go. You aren’t farming us.
Badger: What if someone wrote to Number 10 about the existence of vampires? You’d have to do something then, wouldn’t you?
Ms Meles: Will you stop?!
Rae: Badger, I’m 100% with you on proactive politics. Have you not noticed the recent increase in ‘accidents’. [Smiles fangily]. I’d be delighted to support any future plans you have. And you are of course welcome at the sanctuary. We can invite a lovely lady badger too if you like? Sam, I’m disappointed in you. Of course Kerry can fight off the zombies, that’s why we’re offering her a place. It’s the hordes of ravenous vampires that will descend afterwards that she won’t be able to survive.
Badger: She’ll survive, she has me. Now, leave these two to it, we may not have a zombie problem. Let’s us go hit a wine bar and chat politics.
To be continued…
We would like to state that neither author actually condones the use of zombies or vampires to solve your political problems. That’s what the ballot box is for. Whilst we have mentioned Tories here, other political parties are available.
You can buy Darkly Dreaming by Chloe Hammond on Amazon. I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse by C H Clepitt is available in paper, ebook and audio. Search the authors for more.