- Pages: 6
- Word count: 1399
- Category: Population
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After a mysterious plague wipes out most of the world’s population, humanity is reduced to small concentrated groups held behind massive salvaged sporting domes. The narrator is an undead who only remembers that his name once began with an “R”, one of the few who is still capable of thought. R is friends with “M”, an older male who is also able to think and to speak. Life is changed around every now and again by the governing “Bonies,” described as skeletons with skin stretched over them and a peculiar humming noise emanating from their otherworldly forms. The undead feast on living flesh, and consuming brains allows them to experience the victim’s memories. One day, R and M lead a small hunting party to the city, where they attempt to overtake a small party of living teenagers. R eats the brain of a young man named Perry Kelvin, and experiences his emotions regarding his lover, Julie Grigio, whom he was protecting. Acting quickly, R smears his blood on Julie to mask her living scent and convinces her to follow him using her name. Upon return to the airport, Julie tentatively lives in R’s abandoned 747. Julie begins to speak with R and they bond. Julie confides in R that her friend Nora witnessed R taking Julie, meaning people may come to rescue her from the zombie-filled airport.
R has kept a portion of Perry’s brain and continues to snack on it, experiencing other aspects of Perry’s memories, learning Perry had been an orphan and had developed suicidal tendencies. Wracked with guilt, R is unable to tell Julie that he killed Perry. R begins to have regular shutdowns that seem to be dreams. Waking up from one of the dreams, R realizes that Julie is being attacked in the Terminal by a group of zombies, including M. R promptly stops the attack, realizing it’s time to get Julie back to her people in the Dome. He discusses this with M, who is both curious and jealous of R’s new evolution. R accompanies Julie out of the Terminal, but they are attacked by Bonies attempting to kill Julie. They ultimately escape in the Mercedes R has been teaching himself to drive. After a long drive in the rain, R and Julie decide to stop at a house along the way. Julie tells R that her mother left when she was young. During the night, while Julie sleeps, Perry pops up in R’s head, revealing that he is still partially alive in there and is helping R to change, becoming R’s conscience. In the morning, Julie is able to contact her father in the Dome with a landline phone.
She sends R to collect some gasoline, but takes the car and leaves while he is gone. R decides to return to the Terminal, but encounters M and several other undead who have been banished by the Bonies because of the changes they are experiencing. M and the other Undead feign an act so that R can slip into the city and be mistaken for a living individual. R sees that humanity is in a state of unrest as more than 20,000 people are crammed into the small protective Dome. He reunites with Julie, who introduces him to her friend Nora. They take the time to get to know more about R, finding he has not been hungry or fed since meeting Julie. They disguise him as a living person and give him a tour of the Dome. Inside R’s head, Perry tells R that the world is changing and it is up to R to make the difference. Julie’s father General Grigio is critical of R until the girls claim that R is Nora’s new boyfriend from a neighboring Dome. During that evening, they participate in a night of drinking at a speakeasy. While Julie is in the bathroom, R tells Nora he is the one that killed Perry. Nora tells R that she forgives him and believes that when he tells Julie, she will do the same.
Upon Julie’s return, two men approach Julie and talk to her and she is visibly upset. Suffering from the debilitating effects of the alcohol for the first time, R goes outside, where he is approached by the two men who begin to say inappropriate things about Julie. R angrily dispatches the two men and leaves. During his walk, he runs into a guard who notices his undead status. He uncontrollably attacks the guard, attempting to feed on him but resisting the urge. The guard rises up as a zombie and walks off. R returns to Julie’s, guilty about the whole escapade. With the guard on the loose, the city discovers the presence of an Undead, namely R, and issue a quarantine order. While in Julie’s, R receives a call from M, telling him that hundreds more Undead that are changing have come to join R outside of the Dome and he needs R and Julie to come out to support them. General Grigio comes home to check on Julie and during conversation, stabs R, to see if he is an undead. During the ensuing chaos, Nora grabs Grigio’s gun and holds him off, while R and Julie escape. While running from a worried but persistent Rosso, R and Julie plunge off the eight story Superdome to escape.
Pursued by Rosso, they make it to the Zombie Horde outside. When they attempt to leave with the army of the Dead, a horde of Bonies begins to come in pursuit. R believes that the Bonies are coming to stop the change that he and Julie are about to cause. M convinces them to escape while they attempt to hold off the Bonies. As R and Julie run away, they discover that hundreds of Bonies have come to pursue them, both realizing that they scare the Boney population. They make a heroic dash towards the Dome, to have Security kill them off while they think of something. General Rosso decides to let them in after deciding that R is going to change the world somehow. They run through the city and meet Nora in an abandoned celebrity box overlooking the establishment. After being discovered by Grigio, they ascend to the roof over the Dome and see that the building is under siege by literally thousands of Bonies. Julie speculates that the plague was not cause by virus or supernatural causes, but by people becoming complacent and bringing it on themselves.
Having no idea what to do, and facing annihilation, R decides he has fallen in love with Julie and kisses her. The resulting action cases both to glow warmly and develop golden eyes. General Grigio and Rosso ascend to the top of the Dome to stop R and Julie. Upon arriving Grigio is insistent that Rosso kills both R and Julie. Rosso and Nora attempt to stop Grigio and he begins to fall off the building only to be saved by a Boney. It pulls him to safety and begins to consume him. Despite Julie’s protests, her father allows the event to happen as she looks on in horror. Julie then shoots the Boney and both it and Grigio fall off the building. Grigio turns to ash and bone during the descent and the Bonies all cease and disperse. R decides the Bonies were people that decided that they did not value life anymore and just wanted to die. Perry contacts R and tells him that he is ready to move on and is thankful for the time he spent with R.
He informs him that during the conflict he was fighting his own battle, and decides he’s ready for whatever comes next and moves on. Julie in her grief is held by R. Upon their embrace, Julie sees that R is alive and the two rejoice over R’s newly reinstated humanity. The Humans and the newly converted undead begin a tentative alliance. The undead are invited into the city with M introducing himself as Marcus to Nora as he makes a pass at her. The Bonies have become nearly lifeless and begin the process of dying off. R and Julie return to the terminal. Julie tells R he can pick a new name, and he decides to just remain as R because of his new and happy rebirth.