Meet the Army.

“Who?” I asked. I continued staring at the maps as they moved slowly around and rotated and glittered.

“God, Inc.” Steve tried to pull me back from the maps, but I was looking at another circle, or sphere, I guess, and reaching out my hand and I pulled away from him. I reached out and stuck a finger in, my hand passing through it without resistance and feeling a wash of heat and warmth and color come over me. Yes, I felt color. I felt what blue and red and yellow feel like and how they swarm together and mix and hug as they create other colors, too, and I felt pulled around, a little, wrapped up, and kind of dizzy, as I smelled and heard and saw and felt all at once and I felt compressed, a little, like I was being pushed and pushed and pushed from all sides at once, like someone was standing on each of my pores and pushing inward.

I stumbled backwards and Steve said “There are some dimensions people really can’t go to. That’s one of them.” He shook his head. “They’ve got it all muddled up there. Their war is particularly bad. Someone there managed to fold them, warp their reality so that all the lines blur.”

I kind of knew what he was talking about.

“So now there, men are women and things are not-things and everyone, I think, is going mad. You see what we have to do, don’t you?”

I stood up. “No,” I said, simply. I was still looking at the maps. A man walked by carrying a few small boxes and stopped and looked at me.

“You,” he said. I turned to him. He was wide-eyed with excitement. “What are you doing here?” he asked. “No, wait. Sorry. Are you with us, now?”

“Um. No,” I said. Steve sucked in through his teeth. “Maybe,” I added.

The guy reached out his hand. I looked at it, not knowing what to do.

“Go away. Do you have business to do?” Steve said.

“I’m sorry,” the man said. “I’m just such a fan. Such a fan.” He gave a sad look to Steve and picked his boxes up off the desk and moved on.

“What was that?” I asked.

“Nothing,” said Steve.

“You’re lying.”


“Shouldn’t you maybe tell me the truth if you want me to help?”

“Shouldn’t you help if you want the truth?”

I turned away from where the man was and looked at Steve, trying to concentrate, which was hard because he was in front of the map and I just wanted to stare at it.

“The truth first,” I said.

“No,” he said simply. He glanced down at his hand. I looked at him and then realized what he was looking at.

“Hey, no more reading my mind,” I said, and reached out, but he lifted up the Read-Or unit and held it up. “Give me that,” I said, jumping up. God, he was tall. I couldn’t reach his hand. Not that I’m much of a jumper. “Give it back to me,” I said. “Those are my thoughts.” He just held it up and said

“So you really do want to know what that was all about.”

I tugged at his shirt, trying to ignore the clammy, oystery quality that revenant skin has. “Give me my thoughts,” I said.

“I can tell you,” he said calmly.

I stepped back and thought for a second.

“Okay,” I said. “Give it to me or I’ll wipe it off.” I licked my hand and held it over my forehead.

Steve laughed. “Then you wouldn’t be able to do even the limited things you do now, like when you touch the map. You won’t be able to see those dimensions. You won’t even see the map like it is now.”

I held my hand over my forehead, still, and said “So?”

Steve shook his head.

“Plus, if you leave it on, you might be able to Share with Brigitte,” he said.


“Maybe I’m mad at her.”

Steve looked up at the Read-Or, still held over his head.

“Apparently, you’re mad at her breasts,” he said.

I put my hand down, and thought about Brigitte’s breasts for another moment or two. The two guys near Steve, the guys that had been watching me, moved closer and tried to see the screen. Then I dove at Steve as quickly as I could, trying to tackle him, but he simply turned a little and stepped to the side and I went flying straight into the map, falling into it as I passed through two or three of the spheres – glimpses of horses and a starry sky and some kind of giant machines shooting at each other and once, a boat sinking and a woman sitting in a window—and fell to the ground, knocking the wind out of me.

“I knew you were going to do that,” Steve said. “Now, shall we calm down? Trust me. If you’re not prepared to cooperate, I’m prepared to make you cooperate. But I’d rather that you help us voluntarily. It will make you feel better and me feel better.”

“Revenants don’t have feelings.” I said, gasping.

“Neither do zombies, then.” Steve said.

“You’re not very nice.”

“I’m an undead man who survives by sucking the life force out of the living, and I’m the field commander for a group of people who are trying to stop Armageddon using a lesbian zombie operating out of a base in Hell. No, I’m not,” Steve said.

I sat back on my knees and tried to catch my breath.

“What do you want me to do?” I asked. “Not that I’m agreeing to anything.”

“Follow me again,” Steve told me and started walking off. I had to try to stand up and get after him while still out of breath. The two guys stayed behind me. I noticed neither of them had ray guns that I could see.

The people that were working in the map room had watched this, but they went back to work now and we walked around the map and out a little cave in the other side. It was darker here, the lights dim and the cave looking new and rough. Ahead, I could see a little flicker of light here and there.

It wasn’t a long trip. We went through the cave and came out onto a ledge where Steve stopped. I almost bumped into him and moved to the left, but he held out a bony arm and stopped me. He felt like a dead lizard. His hand fell right across my breasts.

“Hey,” I said.

When I did that, I heard a whole fluttering kind of sound, a shuffling or movement or something. I realized we were on a ledge and there was no rail. I’d almost walked right off of it. There were flickers of light, like lightning bugs, almost, every now and then here and there throughout the cavern but it was very dark, for that.

“This is what you want me to see?” I said. Again, that sound. I’d heard it before, almost. There was a feeling in the air and a sort of undercurrent. “What is this?” More of that sound, or hush. I didn’t know what it was.

“You’ve actually been here before, do you know that?” When Steve talked, that extra current didn’t follow him.

“I have?”

There is was again.

“Yes. Not long ago. You were over there,” I couldn’t see where he was pointing. My eyes were trying to adjust to the dark. I tried to focus on the little flickers of light but they were either very small or very far away. “In fact, I tried to come talk to you.”

“I…” I didn’t know what to say, and that echoey-thing that was happening after every time I tried to talk was unnerving me, freaking me out.

“You were sitting by some rocks and there was a girl with you.”

“Naked girl,” I said. More shuddering echoes, and somewhere, a sound like a slap or handclap or footstep.


I thought back. “That was you,” I said. “Outside the cave, trying to talk to me or get me?” I could hear footsteps now. I looked over my shoulder. Those two guys were there, nobody else. Besides, it was coming from the dark.

“If you had talked to me it would have made things so much easier and we wouldn’t have had to grab you with the giant. But I suppose this way you were able to see just what Samson and God, Inc. are really like.” I kept hearing those footsteps. “So it might have worked out for the best.”

“But…” That shuffling again, and the footsteps were closer. It was weird. I stopped talking and Steve looked at me.

“Turn on the lights,” he said. One of the men reached over, and the first thing I saw was blurry lights and cavern walls and rock ceilings.

The second thing I saw was Naked Girl, walking towards me. She was the footsteps that I’d heard. She was naked again, and barefoot, of course.

The third thing I saw was hundreds, maybe thousands, maybe more, of other naked girls, lined up in rows. Rows after rows after rows of naked girls, standing there mutely, staring at me.

“What…” I said.

“This is our zombie army,” Steve said.

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