My dead diary – on the art of maintaining a seige when your zombie troops are tripping on illicit substances
Saturday. The stalemate has been dragging on for months now and I’m heartily sick of north London. Back when I was alive you could starve a town into surrender within a few weeks, but of course it doesn’t work that way with ghosts, and the self-satisfied lot inside Highgate Cemetery have been through this so many times before.
If we weren’t so close to Camden I wouldn’t mind. I can cope with half my army intoxicated – it’s hard to avoid with the centuries-old undead (and some of them fight better that way). The trouble is there’s a particularly nasty hallucinogen doing the rounds. Nobody’s sure where it’s coming from, but Camden’s vampire families are top of my list. If we ever manage to finish things off up here and I have some troops to spare, I’ll be heading straight back down the hill and the bloodsuckers will wish they’d never peered out of their coffins.
The zombies are the worst affected – they can hold their drink better than anyone else and are capable of absorbing frankly impossible quantities of amphetamine when that way inclined (they say they get a buzz and it helps them cover more ground, but you’d be lucky to notice any difference). Hallucinating zombies are another matter entirely and I’m wasting valuable manpower on damage limitation. Mostly they imagine giant worms moving below the ground and start ripping up the roads in an attempt to catch them. I simply haven’t the time or resources to repair the damage before daybreak. Luckily I tracked down a team of willing Huguenots from one of the old City crypts who don’t like fighting but are quite happy running around with road cones trying to make it look official. Sooner or later the living world will begin to notice that their streets are disappearing under these supposed repairs but they seem remarkably oblivious so far.
Highgate have won battles this way in the past – by settling down for a siege and wearing out their assailants. I can’t afford to let it happen again or we’ll be back where we started. Negotiating with the neutrals on Hampstead Heath may be the only answer, but I’m not sure I’m quite that desperate yet …