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Z War : The Council Interviews

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Summary: In the aftermath of the zombie war, interviews of survivors were conducted. Those done with International Watchers Council have now been published.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Horror > Author: Max BrookszTiamaTzFR18514,1294246,97512 Oct 1131 Oct 11No

Kennedy Fitzgerald

Z War: The Council Interviews

Author: zTiamaTz

Email: WMullen78@Yahoo.com

Beta By: Starway Man


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SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA

[After receiving my pass at the front gate, I stand in the middle of a production lot on Olympic Boulevard, looking for someone to help me out. People here seem to be in constant motion, and I find it hard to stop anyone to ask directions. Finally, a young man takes pity on me, and leads me to the trailer of my next interview. Once inside, I am greeted warmly by Miss Fitzgerald, and we sit down on a large couch that dominates an entire wall of the cramped trailer.]

Sorry for the mess, my usual trailer's in the shop. Some drunken idiot T-boned it on Wilshire while it was being moved...


That's alright, I've been in a lot worse places over the years.


[She snorts.] Given your reputation in the media world, that doesn't surprise me. Heck, a lot of places in the U.S. still look like they belong in a Third World country.

Still, it beats being crammed into a tiny room with six other slayers in Rio. Once you've lived like that, this place [Motions around the trailer.] is like a freaking castle. And considering the conditions some people are still living in, I've got nothing to complain about.


Shall we get started, then?


Fire away. Or as my uncle used to put it back when we were vacationing in the Hamptons: fire when ready, Gridley.


Interesting that you should mention the Hamptons; you've been accused of being arrogant and spoiled by some parts of the popular press. What are your thoughts on that?


Yeah, I know exactly who you’re talking about - plus who's behind them. And I’m spoiled, because I grew up rich? Because my family was able to keep hold of its money through the war? I swear, you have to love that double-standard the Council has for some people...example. Cordelia Chase was the biggest rich bitch in Sunnydale way back when, she treated most people - including and especially my ex, Willow Rosenberg - like complete trash through most of their high school years...

Now look at her, Little Miss Pious. "Oh, look at me, I glow real bright, and adopt orphans like some kind of pre-war celebrity." But you know what? [Name withheld for legal reasons.] she's not, and never was either.


Do you know if the source of Ms. Chase’s power is similar to what makes a girl one of the chosen, like yourself?


[She shrugs.] Don't know and don't care, really. If you're going to be interviewing the eggheads in the Council, why don't you run it by one of them? If you can get one of them to unstrap their chins from their reading desks, I'm sure they can give you an answer.


I’m sensing bitterness. Where exactly did this animosity between you and the IWC come from?


Oh, you didn't hear? [She gives me a faux-shocked expression.] Between the 'insiders' of the Council talking to that resurrection of the National Enquirer, and Andrew's tell-all books, I thought the entire world had heard about it.


Whether or not that’s true, for the purposes of this interview - I want your perspective...


Certain people in the Council, who shall remain nameless, are pissed at me - on account of they think I broke up with Willow because of how she looks. But that's complete bull; ask any of the six girls who were there in the Rio safe zone. I was crashing in that cramped room with them for nearly a month before Willow went all vein-y.


If it’s not too much of a personal question, then, can you tell me why it ended between you?


Didn't you ask her? Word is, Willow was at the top of your interview list.


Miss Rosenberg declined to answer any questions regarding you, or your relationship.


[She sighs.] We were just too different, I guess. It started off as a wartime romance in Sunnydale, back when that town still existed. It developed into more, and it was fun when we were spending all day on the beach, and all night humping in our hotel room - but when things completely went to hell, it just didn't work any longer.

See, I'm a night person; I’ve always been that way, even before I got called. I liked patrolling the barriers at night - with my senses as good as they are, I could see a break coming before anybody else. We never really had to worry about carriers like other places did. But Willow? She liked the daylight, you probably know the type - up at the crack of dawn, just as I was about to crash after a long night’s work.

You know that saying, 'absence makes the heart grow fonder'? As far as I’m concerned, that's pure bull. All we did was fight when we were together, and I’m ashamed to admit - it was always about stupid stuff, too. Which of us ate the last bit of food without mentioning it to the other one, things like that. It finally came to a head when Willow and I almost had a brawl in the room we shared...


The two of you actually came close to a physical altercation?


Altercation? [She snorts.] Seriously, do you have any idea the kind of damage a slayer and a witch of Willow’s level can do? At the time neither of us were thinking straight, and between the two of us, we could have ended up leveling that entire building.

What happened was I came home and found her tanked from a bottle of tequila I had stashed away for an emergency. Even with all those witch-y powers, Willow never could hold her liquor. She'd gotten a call in the middle of the night; some kid had been running around and tripped, ended up with a corkscrew through his eye.

The medical staff we had was a former EMT, a couple of nurses, a podiatrist and a gynecologist. They couldn't do anything for him, the tip had punctured his brain, but somehow, he was still alive. Willow was called in, with the hope that she could magic the thing out and somehow heal him. She tried her best, but he still ended up bleeding to death.

It sounds nasty, I know. Still, that sort of stuff was always happening back then; usually not that severe, but the kinda stuff that you could have just gone to a hospital for. Willow was always getting calls like that, but something about that kid just made her want to get plastered that night.

So there I was, ready to hit the sack - I'm already pissed off because I'm on the rag, literally... [She smirks.] That's another thing people never talk about, you know.


What do you mean?


All the survival stories you hear - people running out of food, medicine, bullets...but what do you never hear about? Feminine hygiene products. Trust me, it was a major contributor to the situation. With a couple thousand people all stuck in a three city block area, we burned through pads and tampons fast.

And let me tell you, having what amounts to a dish rag stuffed down your panties while you’re bleeding like a sieve - that does not promote nice feelings toward your lush of a girlfriend. Especially when all you want to do is get some sleep after battling zed all night.


I'll take your word for it.


[She laughs at my response.] I kinda thought you would. The only guy I ever knew whose balls never shrank whenever the subject of FHP's came up was Harris. But then, he always spent way too much time around women; hell, the closest thing to a guy friend he had back in Sunnydale was a vampire, and they hated each other’s guts.


Would that be Angel or Spike you’re referring to?


[She laughs again.] Harris didn't get along with either one of them, as far as I know. With Spike, before Sunnydale collapsed, I saw for myself how Harris definitely did not like him. Willow told me it was because of something that happened just before the bloodsucker left to get his soul in Africa. She didn't know what it was, though.

And as far as Angel is concerned, after everyone relocated from Sunnydale to Los Angeles? Harris definitely liked to needle him a lot. Guy poked fun at the vampire’s clothes, his hair, even his convertible - but there wasn't any venom to it like there was with Spike. Kinda odd, considering the stories Willow told me of what things were like during their high school years.


What do you personally think of the two gentlemen in question?


Well, this is all just my opinion, and I’d like that noted for the record. But to be absolutely honest, I never really liked Spike - he was an annoying loudmouth who apparently took advantage of a girl whose soul had been yanked out of Heaven, by her well-meaning, but irresponsibly idiotic friends.

I remember that night Spike called all of us a bunch of “sad, ungrateful traitors” for telling Buffy that we weren’t going to go along with one of her attack plans; it was proof enough for me that the only reason William the Bloody was on our side was his slayer girlfriend, soul or otherwise.

Having said that, I’m sure it’s common knowledge that I'm not part of the Buffy Summers fan club, and I never will be. But looking back on everything that happened both before and after Sunnydale imploded, I know for a fact that when the chips are down, Buffy is someone you want to have in your corner.

I may not like her, but I do respect what she did to keep all of those people alive. The best thing Buffy can do, in my opinion, is find herself a nice living guy, have a couple of kids with him and settle down somewhere once zed is finally gone. If the war made anything clear it's that life is way too short for trivialities, and that goes double if you're a slayer.

As far as Angel goes, I never really had a lot of contact with him while we were in Los Angeles. I mean, he was nice enough to let us crash at the Hyperion when we had nowhere else to go, even if he didn't have to do that. It's just really messed up what happened to him; sure he's a vamp, but he didn't deserve that...


So, is there any truth to the accusations Andrew Wells made about Angel in his book, 'Saviors of Humanity'?


I'm not going to get into that, for one thing it's none of my business and for another, everyone knows how I’m not the most objective person around where Wells is concerned. All I’ll say is, I can't believe how anybody actually buys anything that guy has to say. As a fellow author, you should be insulted that he even found a publisher for all that crap he wrote.


I know that you and he have sparred in the press before.


Sparred? Is that what you want to call it? [She becomes visibly angry.] Wells actually had the nerve to compare me to the Whore of Babylon! He even had a Bible quote at the beginning of the chapter on me.¹ Things between Willow and I didn't work out, so, what - I'm supposed to become a fucking nun for the rest of my life?


1. Revelations 17:4 - And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.


And what was Wells trying to accomplish by writing what he did about everyone in the Council, kiss their asses? If so, he burnt those bridges in the very same book with all of those crazy superhero names he gave them. He actually called Tamika [Slayer Tamika Lawson 1986-2008] the 'black death' for how many zombies she killed in Boston, during the big retreat.

Seriously, who even says stuff like that anymore? Racism is practically dead in this country these days; if there was one good thing about the war, it was that. People were too busy worrying about not getting eaten, to get antsy about the skin color of the guy next to them holding up the barricades.

The thing is I never met the girl, but she was Faith's number two in Boston, so she had to be one of the best. I hated it that Wells took the memory of a girl who went up against three hundred zeds by herself, and turned it into a race issue.

Because whenever her name is brought up nowadays, do they talk about how many people survived the war because of her? No. They talk about this 'black death' bullshit, and that's just wrong.


Yet people continue to buy his books...


Of course, because everybody wants to know about the IWC. Since they weren't free with the information, and that idiot was, of course they'll buy his stupid books. Plus, since he's got a heavy socialist slant on things, the lefties 'overlook' the fact that he was less than PC in some things he wrote about.

And the truly ironic thing is, Wells wants to quote the Bible at me? Of all the books in existence, he chooses the one written by members of a religion that isn't exactly fond of his lifestyle choices, if you know what I mean...


But aren't you...


A lesbian? A homosexual, if you want to get technical about it?


Yes.


Sure, but I'm not the one using the Bible to attack people. Besides, the way I look at it, if God actually cares who we're doing what with - he'd be on my side of the sidelines, anyway. Think about it; if He's constantly watching over us like the Bible says, then what kind of porn do you think He would rather see? The one with two guys, or two girls getting it on? Hey, I think we both know the Catholic Church’s answer to that one.


That's an interesting way to look at things. But aren't you worried about losing sponsors with those kinds of statements?


My fans and my supporters know me for who and what I am, so the fundies aren’t a major issue. It's not like there's that many left anymore, anyway. Heck - how many of them thought the outbreaks were the coming 'Rapture', and got themselves and their kids purposely infected? I’m sure there's a special place in Hell reserved for those people.

Sure, before the war, there were enough of them to get pretty much any show they wanted off the air if they cried foul loud enough. But with the kind of ratings KtZS is pulling in right now, there's no way we'd ever get shut down. There’d be instant riots outside the studio gates, and no one wants that.


How did the show come about?


Well, the reality show I was doing ended because there weren't really that many places left here in the States with significant zed numbers. After the first five episodes, that was pretty much it. There was some talk of going overseas, but the budget just wasn't there for it, even with how popular the show was...


Is there any truth to the rumors of the producers contemplating doing the show in Iceland?


Not that I know of. And even if they had asked me to do it, I would have laughed right in their faces. Those small towns I did, with one or two hundred zeds, that's one thing. With the proper backup, weapons and game plan, it wasn’t all that hard to pull off. But Iceland? I'd rather knock on North Korea's bunker entrance stark naked, and ask for a cup of sugar.

There's what, over half a million zeds there? Even Boy Scout Harris won't touch that place for at least another ten years, when they're all finally dried out and slow enough to take care of. There's no way there's any human survivors left there, and it's not like the world needs the space.

Anyway, when that whole thing fell through, Roy Elliot - you've heard of him, right?²


2. Director of such war time films as: 'Victory at Avalon: The Battle of the Five Colleges' and 'Dos Palmos'. His films have been directly linked to the decline of ADS [Asymptomatic Demise Syndrome] cases in communities up and down the west coast during the war.


Yes, I have an interview scheduled with him next week in Malibu.


Right, well, he came to me and asked if I'd be interested in doing a serialized, hour-long TV show. At first, I wasn't too sure about it; I’m sure you know how many bad TV shows there were, even before the war. But how could I turn him down, though, look at all the good his movies did...


Critics have said you took on the show not to decrease cases of ADS, but because of the lucrative contract FOX was offering you.


People want to call me Ice Queen, and compare me to that pre-war celibri-cunt [Name withheld for legal reasons.] - that's bullshit. People jump all over me for being rich, but I don't need the money from the show. I don't need it to be famous either, I'm a slayer for Christ sakes.

That bitch’s little sister has even been trying to hire a slayer to play bodyguard with her for months now. What? A little dog that could fit in a purse isn't hip enough anymore? It seems to me like she has to one-up her big sis, even though that woman got killed live on TV for being stupid.

That had to be the smartest thing [Name withheld for legal reasons.] did in her entire life. [She laughs.] But now, she's right back to following in her footsteps. I guess all those years of hiding out in the penthouse of one of her Daddy's posh hotels was too much for her.


Didn't your family in Connecticut do something similar?


Yeah, but the difference is my parents took in as many people as they could. When the great panic started, they told the staff to get all of their family members to the mansion. Every single room in the house was filled with people.

What did the [Name withheld for legal reasons.] do? They blew up the stairs three floors from the top so that they'd be safe up there and have plenty of room to keep living large. How messed up is that? They could have packed that hotel and blown up the stairs between the first and second floors.

So why didn't they? Because they didn't want to have to mingle with the 'commoners'. Those scumbags could have saved hundreds, maybe even thousands of people, but they couldn't have been bothered.


Could it simply be that they were worried about infected persons being let in as well?


Like they didn't have any rat dogs at that place? The Israelis proved even before the great panic that dogs could sense those that were infected, nobody could hide it. My father had Romeo and George, his two Bull Mastiffs, do the same thing at the gates for everybody coming in. It went off without a hitch.

You're telling me those people couldn't have done the same thing? Of course they could have, they just didn't want to. You want to know who else didn't? Try [All names withheld for legal reasons.] I'm sure you've heard of them, right?


Yes.


All has-been actors before the war, and who loved going down to kiss the ass of that commie South American dictator. They all hid out together in North Carolina, in what would have amounted to a freaking castle in Europe.

And can you believe they had the nerve to complain about the smell of burning zed bodies when the Army showed up and took out all the zeds that were surrounding them? They wouldn't even let those guys in so they'd have a safe place to crash at night.

And why? Because they 'couldn't condone military action'. Funny how when their dictator pal was using his military to arrest anybody who wanted fair elections before the war, they never said a word.

They were always bitching about the people this, and the people that. Where were the people when they moved into that place to hide? And where are they now? Back in LA attending cocktail parties now that's it's safe, and trying to get that fat bastard back into power.


It seems from your comments that you aren't a big fan of either party...


You could say that. [She grins widely.] The lefties hate me because I'm a rich lesbian who won't support their silly causes. And the righties hate me because I'm a rich lesbian who won't pretend to be straight.

I'm fine with that, though, my show is still number one on TV and I'd say the majority of America likes it. Both sides can go screw themselves; as long as I have the ratings, they can bitch all they want, I'm not going anywhere.


Speaking of your television show...


Yeah, sorry about that. I kinda went off on one hell of tangent, didn't I?


That's perfectly fine, I'm interested in anything you want to talk about.


About the show, what can I say? The pilot script they gave me was good, the people they cast were solid...sure I needed to get an acting coach, but I've always been a fast learner. And almost before we knew it, we had the number one show on Monday nights.

Roy makes sure the scripts are realistic, and we do what we can with the limited acting pool we have. There are a lot of really good people out there, but you can only use the same actors so many times for new parts.

The biggest problem though is getting people to play zed. Before the war, people would come from hundreds of miles away to play a zombie in a movie for free. Even if they were just in the background, and never got a close-up, they were happy.

Now we have paid extras, and every once in a while, someone will go into Z-shock. You can't blame them; being in the middle of a pretend zed horde, and suddenly having a flashback? We have to keep therapists on set all the time for exactly that reason...


What about the criticisms leveled by members of the IWC that the characters on your show are parodies of themselves?


I guess people see what they want to see. For the record I reached out to a lot of those guys, telling them to come to LA and have some input into the show. But they're always complaining about how they're perceived by the public, and they won't do anything to actually change things.

I mean, look at me; nobody gives me grief about zed or the supernatural in general. And as much as I hate to admit it, you can say the exact same thing about that limp-wrist Wells. So why all the hot air from the IWC, you ask? Because the Council is still trying to be a secret organization, ‘tradition’ and all that.

Some of those people in England, especially the older types, I swear that’s all that their brains are wired for. But it's kind of hard to pull off, when everybody knows who and what you are.

Still, if the Council people think they’re being lampooned or whatever, they’re entitled to their opinions - however right or wrong they may be.


Does all that explain the very public cat-fight during the Hyperion Charities fundraiser recently, between you and Cordelia Chase?


Yeah, she insisted the 'Hannah Hunt' character on the show was based almost entirely on her, and that we were portraying her as a complete slut. But if Cordelia thinks she has something in common with a girl who bangs a different guy each week in the midst of a zombie apocalypse - well, I’m sure you can draw your own conclusions about what that means.

We'd been sniping at each other back and forth all night, and then it just came to a head. Everyone knew it was coming, having us both at the same place like that pretty much made it inevitable.

And sure, she managed to rip off my top in front of all those paparazzi, but that was just a shredded top. Cordelia was the one that had her Versace dress ruined. [She smiles.] The funny part is, I could go and buy a new top just like that; but she has to save for her new dress.


Don't you think it was the wrong place and time to do such a thing, at an event for orphaned and feral children?


Maybe, but I bet that fight got a ton of press, even from outfits that weren't covering it. If anything, it was the highlight of the evening; they hired a boring orchestra like every other party in that town. No wonder the average Joe thinks rich people are snotty, why can't they ever hire a normal band?


How is that-


I mean, people were practically cheering when she threw me into the violin section. That stopped the music fast, and the crowd sure as heck weren't cheering her kicking my ass...


[She pauses, before giving me an easy smile.]

Sorry, tangent again. Honestly, though, if people are going to give, it's because they care about the kids, not what the people at the party were doing. I may not like Cordelia Chase; but she, along with Charlie and Anne, do a lot of good work for those kids. If the cause wasn't worth the effort, I wouldn't have gone.


Any comment on the characters ‘John Taylor’ and ‘Ken Adams’, who Ms. Chase publicly identified as imitations of Mr. Giles and Mr. Harris?


Nothing you can’t read for yourself on the show’s various websites all over the Internet. Okay, I will admit - ‘John’ was based loosely on Rupert Giles as the patriarchal older male authority figure, but that’s where the similarity ends. I mean the character isn’t British, and he hates tea!

I think we've portrayed the character in a good manner. My original watcher before Sunnydale was kind of a dick; I see it as a compliment that my TV one is based on Giles. The character is smart, has a sense of humor, and doesn't have a stick up his ass. What more can you ask for?


And the Ken character, and his disability?


Yeah, I know. So the character has a leg brace, you think people with disabilities didn't survive the war? What about that guy, Joe something, in the wheelchair.³ They made a war memorial with him in it...


3. Joseph Muhammad, a member of the Wenatchee, Washington Neighborhood Security Teams. His famous, bronze Neighborhood Security Memorial on the mall in Washington, D.C., consists of two standing figures, and a third, seated in a wheelchair.


Seriously, just because Harris only has one eye, that's the comparison? The character Ken is pretty much a complete pussy, someone who only cares about himself. Every time he sees a zed on the show, he runs and hides. You can't get any further from Boy Scout Harris than that...

And as for what Cordelia screamed about that night, concerning me pushing for ‘Hannah’ and ‘Ken’ to end up together to mock what happened to her in high school? It’s not true. As far as I know, the writers have no such plans in mind for the characters anyway.


Some critics have said that it's in poor taste to show a disabled person in a bad light.


What, since the guy has a bum leg, he can't be an asshole? That has to be some kind of '-ism'. I'm sure if I were like the rest of the whiners in Hollywood, I'd walk off the set until someone changed it. Luckily for everybody involved, I live in the real world.


One final question. If the IWC called upon you for help, would you answer their call?


I may be a TV star, but I’m also a slayer. My first priority is make sure the world is still there in the morning. If they need me to help prevent Armageddon, I like to think my ego isn’t that tender that I’ll refuse out of spite or something.

Granted, it’s unlikely the Council will ever ask me for anything, at least with the current administration in place; but if anything as bad as another zed war crops up, you can believe me when I say that I’ll be there to help save the planet from the bad guys.



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