Zombi Hookworms

By James Walker


Zombis are normally useless as spies. Normally without Perception and always without Celestial Forces, a Song of Cacophony can go off a foot away and the zombi won't notice. But if the zombi is touching the performer of a Song... then they can detect it. Enter the zombi hookworm.

With only a single (Corporeal) Force zombi hookworms are incredibly weak; but then they don't need to fight. Typically, they are made in large batches and dumped into a bucket of blood for a few days; those that survive (and therefore have a Need for blood) are carefully youthened by Sotto Voce performances of Corporeal Entropy, washed in an alchemical preparation to age them when they encounter gastric juices, and then given to Demons of Gluttony. The Haagentians mix them into food dishes which are served to unsuspecting demons, angels, Soldiers & Saints.

With continual contact with their host, the zombi hookworms will eventually learn all of the Corporeal Songs that their host uses - unless they are detected. Soldiers rarely realise what is wrong with them; the blood loss (3 body hits a day!) is normally put down to a mundane infection, and as zombis are immune to poison, the hookworms are unlikely to be hurt by normal treatment. Also, the only Songs Soldiers normally know are the Corporeal versions, so the hookworm normally learns several Songs. Of course, they're incredibly unlikely to be taught secret Songs, making the operation pointless; and if a Soldier does know a Secret Song Saminga's normal way of learning it is to zombify the Soldier's corpse and interrogate it.

Demons, angels & Saints do learn Secret Songs, but are more likely to realise what is happening. The normal Hellish strategy is only use zombi hookworms in regions where food must be regularly eaten to maintain Roles & where that food is often tainted. Given that the food tastes awful anyway, needing to heal damage after eating isn't as surprising.

Recovering the zombi hookworms isn't difficult - every time the angel/Saint goes celestial, the zombi is left behind. So Demons of Death and Gluttony make a point of checking any disturbance caused by going celestial in the hope that a zombi will be found. If the host goes Celestial frequently, it may be necessary to reinfect them with the hookworm, but that's rarely difficult. More often, the demons recover a zombi with an array of Corporeal Songs; a surprisingly effective strategy for Saminga.


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