Artful Interviews with F.V. Shmoobenduffle
You came back, I knew you would. After all, you realize true art when you see it, even if it might be buried beneath the disorganized thought of the unworthy. Prior to this, I, Fabio Von Smhoobenduffle, introduced you to a sophisticated summary of undead summoning. I defined terms for the simple-minded, and explained techniques in an elaborate, prose-filled manner. Unfortunately, my time to share the quill has come. The rabble has appeared.
Without further ado, I introduce you to the interview section of this article. I do hope you ravish in the quality of my work.
Interviews with the Undead… and their Masters:
Fabio Von Shmoobenduffle (FVS): I am forced to be at the “newspaper” headquarters today on account of my underpaid freelance assignment. I have here with me a zombie whose former name shall remain anonymous so as to avoid unneeded uproar from the undeceased’s family. Take note of this zombie’s taut skin and the swarm of flies buzzing around their head; this is an old specimen. Apparently, this one was some sort of an ambassador for Darigan Citadel over 350 years ago. Isn’t that right, zombie?
FVS: Of course, of course. I could never have expected such a refined answer from a semi-functional hunk of living flesh. But please, do go on.
Zombie: Ehhh. Ehhhhh. Ahhhhh!
FVS: He claps sarcastically.Riveting. Simply riveting. And did you find your shoes there, too?
Zombie:Its head turns. Ehhh?
FVS: It makes about as much sense as everything else, I dare say.
FVS: Right. This is getting ludicrous. Why don’t I instead turn to the cultist who made it all happen, Ms. Th—
Ms. Th?: She covers a paw over his mouth. You must understand. This is a business that requires a certain level of anonymity if we are to remain in this profession alive.
FVS rolls his eyes from beneath the cover of thick glasses, pointing to his still covered mouth.
Ms. Th: Oh. Silly me, habits and all.
FVS: He coughs. I’m sure. Now, on to business. What is it like being a zombie master? For what purpose are they summoned?
The zombie goes into a coughing fit, releasing several Grumblebugs from its mouth.
Zombie: Blergh. That was a completely awful experi—
Ms. Th: Now, now, zombie. You know better than to talk.
Zombie: If I had any control, I swear I would—
Ms. Th waves a red, glowing wand and the zombie disappears.
Ms. Th: Where were we? Ah, yes. If you haven’t been able to tell by the fact that every inch of me is covered up by an enormous blanket, exciting. Also dangerous. Not everyone in Neopia is happy about our practices.
FVS: Fascinating. And their purpose for being summoned, hm?
Ms. Th: Oh, right. They do everything from household chores to other she pauses abruptly classified things.
FVS: Erm. Classified?
Ms. Th: Oh, yes. If you join today and put forth a nominal donation, you can learn our secrets and raise your level of necromantic power. Plus, our initial arcana test is free! Aren’t we a generous bunch?
Ms. Th: Don’t you think we’re a generous bunch? 9/10 Necronetics Experts think we are!
FVS: I’m thinking quite a few things right now, like why is our next guest over an hour late?
Ms. Th: Oh, they can wait! We still have MUCH to talk about, like how the mass assimilation will work in the name of our eternally-smiling leader.
FVS: Are you perhaps referencing that fringe comic about the so-called “Sloth Faerie?” (http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=567029&week=689)
Ms. Th: Goodness, no! Our cult considers “comics” to be very low brow. We’re high society occultists and arcanists, after all!
FVS: You and every other Order reject out there, but I digress. We have time for one more question--
In the distance, an explosion is heard followed by angry shouting and the sound of squeaking noises.
FVS: … It appears my next appointment has arrived. You’d best leave now or he may try to uncover nasty truths about you.
Ms. Th: Eep! My secret identity!
The blanket cloaking her drops to the ground, leaving nothing behind as if she vanished from thin air. Mere moments later, Doc bursts through the door.
Doc: Honey, I’m home… with SCIENCE!
FVS: An hour late.
Doc: One is never late when experiments are involved!
FVS: Experiments? Wait, forget I asked…
Doc: Glad you asked! They were part of a project to assemble an army of rubber duck warmachines! I could send them to battle in quacking, squeaking splendor! Forward march, my duckies!
A small army of automated and weaponized rubber ducks hop toward the entrance and through the building.
Doc: Now, go forth and loot everyone!
FVS: He sighs Must you do this now? I like having a job, even one as demeaning as this.
Doc: We have time to kill, right? Besides, I need to get that funding somehow!
FVS: He deeply facepalms. Speaking of low funds, let us begin with the interview… assuming they still have money to even pay me. Please, let's try to stay on topic... even if that's hard for you. Enlighten us on super-science-based monstrosities, if you would.
Doc: You’ve come to the right mad scientist, old friend!
FVS rolls his eyes from behind tinted glasses.
Doc: One of my zombies has that same eye condition! You’d best get that checked. Speaking of the Living Dead, there are many ways to use SCIENCE to accomplish my only-slightly-nefarious goals!
Doc: My personal favorite is brought back through my reanimation reagent! With just a simple injection administered by a medical professional, any corpse will start flailing maniacally in seconds. Doc pulls out a comically oversized slingshot. For extra fun, I load the needles into my "Sling Shot!" Get it?
FVS: Yes, but I don't want to encourage you.
Doc: ... Ahem. Thanks to this handy-dandy reagent, the engineer on my duckie machine was brought back to life after a terrible incident with sentient spaghetti! I wonder how he’s doing?
Rumbling sounds are heard in the distance. Another explosion goes off as mechanical duckies and a zombie Mynci’s head fly through the now-broken windows.
Doc: Ah, there he is now!
Zombie Head (Zom): Oi, boss! Da machin ish all bushted, real da’stroyed loike! Nah mo’ duckies!
Doc: What do I pay you for? Oh right, I don't. We’ll make do with what we have. He coughs. Back on topic, this is Engineer 1A, a successful specimen from my reanimation project. He’s retained his intelligence, but I still don't understand that strange dialect of his!
Zom: I’m Neovian, sirrah!
Doc: Our kind host has seen enough, back to work for you!
Doc loads the head into the oversized slingshot and fires him back towards the machine.
Zom: Thannnkkkss, bosssss!
Doc: Not only is it good for dispensing reagent, it’s also a great method of travel!
FVS: That was almost amusing. Now, do you have any other methods of using “science” to do your bidding or can I let in my next guest… and look forward to my meager paycheck.
Doc: Speaking of travel, I can help you with your next guest! Duckies assemble! You too, Engineer 1A! Just kidding, you have NO-BODY to go with!
Mechanical duckies full of coinage, gold and various other valuables bounce over, squeaking incessantly. FVS covers his ears.
Doc: Ooooh, nice acquisitions, my little duckies! Now, bring out the portal transdimensional displacement glove!
FVS: Now I know you’re just speaking pseudo-scientific bunk.
Doc: Nonsense! Did you hear my lecture on dimensionally displaced spirits during the Obelisk Wars? Or maybe that class I taught at Brightvale University? Good times!
FVS: You taught a course? When?
Doc: It’s a long, SCIENCE-filled story, my friend. So instead of talking, let’s rip a being out of a parallel universe. For my long-time fans, that means making barbeque sundaes!
FVC: Excuse me, but—
Doc: Live from an alternate universe where the Wraiths prevailed, it’s Xandra!
More duckies come out of nowhere with animatronic limbs. He flicks a switch on the side of the glove. It glows as he plunges the glove into a murky abyss of shadows. He yanks out a wraith that looks vaguely like Xandra.
FVS: I touched upon this subject already, but—
Wraith-Xandra (WRA): *incoherent gibberish* I AM XANDRA *more incoherent gibberish*
FVS: Sweet Fyora, it’s like speaking with that zombie all over again. If I must play this silly game, tell us about Shadows and Wraiths, you strange little… thing.
WRA: I’ll eat your souls! I’ll eat your souls! *incoherent gibberish* I AM XANDRA!
FVS: Did I say I rooted for the Wraiths? No, I meant the Faeries all along, even if they are pompous dolts. Really, you’ve degenerated so far, I doubt you’re capable of intelligent speech...
WRA shrieks in rage and lunges towards FVS. Doc grabs WRA with his glove and shoves her back into a rift, which closes immediately after.
Doc: That wasn’t very nice! She seemed like a very lovely ex-Neopian! I understood her clear as a bell.
FVS: You would. We’ll have you stay around for translations then… and only for translations.
Doc: Oh no, I must leave. I’ve overstayed my welcome! Away, duckie army! AWAAAAAAYYY!!
The mechanical ducks pick up doc and haul him away as the compound’s security arrives, alarms are sounding off throughout the facility. FVS points in Doc’s direction as they pursue.
FVS: Well, lockdown may be over, but the higher ups demand that I squeeze one more interview to earn my money... So, I've invited my least favorite huckster conviction artist (that's "con artist", for the verbally inept): the Coconut Shy Salesman.
Coconut Shy Salesman (CSS): For the record, my name is Orville. Anywho, I'm darn glad to be here. Between you and me, my trade secret has been precious to me for ages. Since business has dropped, I figured it can't hurt me none if I drop a few trade secrets and family traditions.
FVS: ...About soul binding. That's why you're here. If you wanted to talk business, there's a separate columnist for that.
CSS: Right... Anywho, I've had tons of horrible customers over the years after many failed business ventures with weird coconut sculptures. Would'ja believe I went to art school? Please don't answer that...
FVS: I take it back; I’d prefer Doc or the Wraith.
CSS: You ain’t the nicest, are you? Well, anyway, I moved out towards them Haunted Woods. Two creepy little girls offered to share their arts if I gave them one of mah coconuts and a basket of candy. Sounds like a done deal for a disgruntled school kid like me!
FVS: Creepy little girls, you mean... those eerie, sentence-finishing things?
CSS: Darkly nodding Yes! And, you better watch yer mouth, they're good friends of mine! So, they showed me some weirdo art utilizing some gonzo tech alongside of their spooky spell stuff... Snatch a soul outta some poor sap and plant it in something else! It's tons of fun. So, all those folks gawkin' at my displays suddenly realized they were part of it! Being raised in a carnie family, I decided to turn my new wares into a game would make me a killing... and hoo boy did it! In fact, lots of folks sought after this beauty! CSS takes out a Wailing Evil Coconut.
Wailing Coconut: GOOD NIGHT!
CSS: That's all he says, sadly. I don't remember why. Or why lotsa folks from that big town newspaper want to see him.
FVS: Marginally interesting. Well, you have been shockingly helpful, comparatively. Care to stick around after the interview to help with some projects of mine?
CSS: Sure! CSS grins. That is, if you got some money to talk with.
FVS: I'll get back to you on that. FVS ushers CSS out the door.
Well, that was a dreadful set of interviews… but there you have it, essentials on creating your army of the undead, straight from the masters' mouths. Before I demand my overdue paycheck, let's take a moment to review everything that you’ve seen these past two weeks.
First, I provided you simpletons with a framework as to what the many kinds of undead are and how I defined such terms. I then provided you with high-class information as to how one might summon these piteous creatures. Finally, I stooped to hearing the babbles of a zombie, a soul-eating demon, a cultist, a quack, and a surprisingly business-savvy carnie. Do tune in next time when I eagerly interview the Neopian who shall bring justice to this Fabio Von Smoobenduffle. Please come with a new waste bin, preferably one that can wail.