November 15th, 2005


The Life and Times of Artemis Hemmingway

The hallway stretched on before our heroes, longer than the outside of the James Clark Maxwell Building would suggest possible. Artemis Hemmingway raised one Hell-pistol warily. The four-barreled marvel could turn a man into red mist at fifty paces, but nothing moved apart from Hemmingway and his assistant.

Artemis' barrel-chest rose and fell with ragged breathing. He'd been shooting science-zombies — ex-students deprived of caffeine and internet porn, turning them into mindless automata hungry for life — for the past four hours, and the strain was obvious. A door opened further down, causing Stamforth to jump.

"Stay calm, man. And pass me some booze."

Ten figures shambled through the door, glazed eyes ignoring the world. Tattered ThinkGeek t-shirts flapped around sallow flesh. The scent of warm, living meat drew them towards Hemmingway and Stamforth like teachers to a free bar.

"Are you sure, Artemis? You've consumed a considerable amount already."

"You expect me to shoot these things when sober?" Hemmingway roared. "Hand me the damn booze and be quick about it!"

Stamforth passed across a bottle of vodka as the first shots rang out. Hemmingway opened it with his mighty beard and drank deep.

"Pwah! What muck? Glens? I asked for booze, you feckless dog. Instead you give me this poor excuse for bleach. There's only one thing that this piss is good for."

So saying, Hemmingway stuffed a filthy handkerchief in the top of the bottle and shook, saturating the cloth with immitation vodka. He flicked the Cigarette Lighter of Justice, touched the rag to the flame, and flung his improvised molotov at the advancing science-zombies. The bottle burst, spilling flaming spirits over the poor souls condemned to wander the halls of JCMB after some evil genius had turned off the internet connection and swapped the coffee for decaff.

"Fire in the hole!" Hemmingway chuckled heartily before fixing Stamforth with his powerful gaze. "Now pass me some real booze and be quick about it."

[I appear to be writing too much at lunchtimes, though this could be because I'm in full swing at weekends. Deal. The full tale of Artemis Hemmingway vs. The Science Zombies of JCMB will appear when I've not a contract to fuel with insane ideas.]
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