I’m waking up to ash and dust
New on the Apocalypse Girls radar is the teddy apocalypse! Yes, really! With cagefighting stuffed toys in a fun video from Imagine Dragons!
I’m breaking in, shaping up, then checking out of the prison bars
This is it, the apocalypse
Video aside, this is one of those great tunes that rocks an addictive beat with some cool melodies to get you into the zen zone when all about you is going a bit, well, apocalyptic.
A librarian and archaeologist, Evelyn Carnahan has saved the world from three mummy apocalypses whilst raising a family, dealing with a slightly flaky brother, building a career as a romance novelist and occasionally taking part in a little bit of wartime espionage.
What’s her deal?
A librarian working in the Museum of Cairo, Evelyn’s passion is archaeology and when her brother turns up with an artefact connected to the legendary city of Hamunaptra, Evelyn gets her chance to break into the world of adventure-archaeology. After some smart negotiating with a prison warden she secures the release of her future husband Rick O’Connell and along with him and the aforementioned brother, they set off into the desert to find the lost city. Hijinx, quite naturally, ensue.
There are rival archaeologists and a secret group of mummy guardians to deal with, but those are just warm up for the mummy shenanigans that kick off after Evelyn accidentally says the spell to awaken Imhotep, cursed priest of Seti I. He wants to take over the world and resurrect his lost love using Evelyn as a sacrifice, but Evelyn’s not the type to go quietly – it’s her understanding of ancient Egyptian that proves the key to the creature’s downfall and with the first mummy apocalypse averted, she settles into a life of archaeology with Rick and young son Alex.
Except then Imhotep’s dead mistress gets reincarnated and manages to resurrect him and it’s time for mummy apocalypse the second: this time Evelyn must find her kidnapped son, deal with a rush of new visions suggesting she’s the reincarnated daughter of Seti I and stop Imhotep from using the Scorpion King and the Army of Anubis to take over the world. Again. While husband Rick is ultimately the one to stop the Scorpion King, it’s Evelyn and her vast store of knowledge on ancient things, that helped them find the secret lair and gave Alex enough skill in Ancient Egyptian to read the resurrection spell that brings her back after she takes a mortal injury. Not only that but she also proves herself an able fighter both in hand to hand combat and with a variety weapons – which comes in useful when assorted minions threaten her nearest and dearest.
Even after the world’s been saved a second time, she doesn’t rest on her laurels. She assists MI-5 with a little wartime espionage then retires to begin yet another career as a novelist; and that’s before you get to the unfortunate events with the undead Chinese emperor and his army of mummies doing battle at the Great Wall of China which tests her full range of skills once more…
Evelyn: Look, I… I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O’Connell, but I am proud of what I am.
Rick: And what is that?
Evelyn: I … am a librarian.
You know, nasty little fellows such as yourself always get their comeuppance.
You better think of something fast, because, if he turns me into a mummy you’re the first one I’m coming after.
The Mummy (1999)
The Mummy novelisation by Max Allan Collins
The Mummy Returns (2001)
The Mummy Returns novelisation by Max Allan Collins
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor novelisation by Max Allan Collins
Intelligent and adaptable, Evelyn is an expert at turning her skills to whatever is needed in order to protect her friends and family from the onslaught of undead creatures that seem to plague them. While her ability to quickly learn new combat skills is a handy thing to have, what is more valuable are the benefits brought by her extraordinary mind – and as an enthusiastic teacher of historical and linguistic knowledge, she doesn’t just use her knowledge to stop apocalypses but is good at preparing other people for future trouble too.
You don’t hear a lot about the fae these days – there’s no trooping rades to worry about, the standard protections of horseshoes over the door and rowan in the garden are more or less abandoned and any mention of the word fairy brings up visions of Tinkerbell and other scantily clad moppets. The fae only exist in fiction, or as spirit helpers to various new agers, and are easily dismissed by the mass populous as foolish fancies. And that’s exactly what they want you to think.
Trapped long ago in one of the many otherworlds touching ours, all they need is one break in the wall then they’ll be back to take over the Earth and we’ll all be in trouble. If they’re not kidnapping you, they’ll be cursing you with strange things, unleashing plagues, swapping your children with changelings or just killing you for kicks and giggles (and the chance to dip their heads in your blood).
Know Your Enemy:
Elves – the posh ones. Usually tall with a figure that would make a model weep, best identified by their pointy ears and a superiority complex bigger than Jupiter. Will claim to be above human affairs but will meddle anyway. Tend to be the top of the fae food chain so any alliances you may make with other fae will falter if the elves interfere. May seem friendly, what with the obsessive gift giving, but be warned, that’s how they get you – doesn’t matter if it’s a nice piece of fruit when you’re hungry, or some nifty looking trinket, once they’ve got an excuse to put you in their debt, you’re done for. Decline politely and never try to outsmart them as they have a grasp of loopholes and small print that puts any lawyer to shame.
Fairies – the famous ones. Found in both forests and urban environments – these are the ones that look like scantily clad moppets with wings. May look cute but are known to be vindictive and will definitely bite. Have a tendency to form attachments to humans and then do violence to any poor sod that takes away their human’s interest. On the plus side, they’re small enough to swat when they get annoying.
Pixies, known in some parts as Pictsies – best exemplified by the Nac Mac Feegle. Primary activities are drinking, fighting and stealing. Known to swarm their prey and will quite happily take down targets many times larger than them. If you hear a collection of voices bellowing their war cry of ‘Crivens!’ run fast. You won’t be able to out run them but you might get points for the effort.
Goblins – the short ugly ones that do the child stealing. The urban goblins build their towns around their king’s castle, usually with a tricksy maze surrounding it. These ones are not the brightest bulbs in the box but with proper direction will get the job done and legend has it that their king has a thing for music and tight trousers. The rural goblins tend to be a tad nastier – can be found lurking in hidden caves in the mountains and are prone to spouting bad poetry when they want to taunt any travellers they happen to have trapped. These ones think you look good enough to eat and will tell you at great length just how they’re going to cook to you.
Trolls – the big ugly ones that will accidentally on purpose squash you. Like their rural goblin cousins, they are both overly fond of going into extreme detail about your role in their next meal and have a fondness for hidden caves, as exposure to direct sunlight turns them to stone (and they need somewhere to store all the loot they nick off their victims’ bodies). That said, if you can keep them distracted until sun up, you can claim their loot and make a profit out of the encounter.
Elementals – back in days of yore, when the fae ran rampart, a wide variety of elementally inclined fae could be found lurking in perfectly innocent items of landscape. Trees conceal dryads, every body of water is teeming with nymphs, kelpie, mermaids and other beasties waiting to drag you in and drown you; there’s sylphs in the air and salamanders in fire and none of them want to invite you over for tea and cakes…
Fae are territorial by nature and take trespass very seriously. Not that they need much of an excuse to mess you up, mind, but if you can stay out of the areas they count as particularly special, you might live a few more seconds than the idiots who go skipping up the wrong hill or dancing around the wrong stone.
Fairy rings are clearly marked by circles of visible mushrooms or toadstools, or rings of darker grass (and rumours that this latter is an effect caused by harmless fungus is just propaganda designed to get you into the danger zone…). Rings can either mark gateways into fae territory or popular party zones for the feral little buggers, or they can simply trap any unwary traveller who happens to step into them. Mark them as something to be avoided at all costs and you should be fine.
Stone circles, bronze-age earthworks and iron-age hill forts are also known haunts of the fae, especially around Midsummer Eve, so time your tourist trips carefully or you’ll end up laden with curses, taken as prisoner or splatted across the landscape.
Know Your Weapons
Luckily they have allergies. Salt, iron, holy water, bell ringing, holy symbols and holy names all work as deterrents. Four leaf clovers can be used to break fairy glamours and St John’s Wort, red verbena and rowan are known to counter fairy spells.
If you think you can convert the fae to your side or just want to sweeten them up so they don’t bother you so much, then try putting out offerings of milk or food – rumour has it that the Chicago variant of urban fairy are especially susceptible to gifts of pizza (possibly they’ve been hanging out too much with the turtle apocalypse threats in New York).
And if nothing else, you can use their factionalism against them. A little well placed propaganda of your own will get them nicely distracted with a fae civil war and if they don’t manage to destroy each other, they’ll at least deplete the ranks enough for the human resistance to swoop in and finish the job.
*Fairy poster (c) Lars Elling Lunde
So, having hit up all contemporary and historic sources available, you’ve discovered that the cause of the apocalypse was either 1) mad scientists, 2) archaeological accident, 3) aliens, chthulhu or mad fairies breaking through to the world, 4) sorcery hijinx.
Now comes the fun part. You can’t do much to change what’s already happened to the world (unless your apocalypse has left an opening for some nifty time travel to mess with key events) but what you can do is minimise the current threat by applying your mad-research skills and all round kick-ass chickness, so gather your gang and get geared up to save the world through archaeology.
Apocalypse by Mad Scientist
Whether it’s a virus or a plague of genetic mutants, your treasure of choice is going to be found in the science labs. Since you’ve already done your research you will have found which laboratory caused the problem so your mission is to break into it and secure that secret cache of antivirus that is bound to be lurking. If there are no live stocks of clever chemical-brew in the ruins, then treasure choice number two is research notes on the virus and antivirus as information is gold. While paper copy is more adaptable, ideally you’ll want to download files from the main system (and you brought your resident genius along for that, right?) but failing that, grab any likely looking external storage devices and yank the hard drives of whatever computers are left.
Make sure you go in well protected and do not, under any circumstances, cut yourself while in the Mad Science Lab – the last thing you want is to pick up the infection or mutate into something weird. Assume the worst at all times. Odds are high that the strange noise you just heard is something nasty that probably wants to eat, infect or kill you for fun. Or possibly all three at the same time. Don’t trust innocent looking corridors. Mad Science Labs, like many other archaeological ruins, have sneaky security measures that remain fully functional no matter how old the site. Make sure you know where your exits are, tag potential cover sites and identify weak points that can be kicked in to create emergency exits for when the inevitable disaster happens. Always scan the high ground before entering a room – many scary mutants nest in the rafters and overhead pipes and vents make for useful alternate routes if something nasty is laying claim to the floor.
Once you’ve picked the site clean of goodies, switch your paranoia up to eleven because getting out is always more dangerous than getting in. Watch out for latent security measures, beasties lurking right by the exit and stray corporate clean up squads who really don’t want you getting away with intel on how they’ve screwed things up; and make sure everyone on your team declares their injuries immediately so you don’t carry any worse infections out into the world.
Apocalypse by Archaeological Accident
As you’ve seen from the mummypocalypse, sometimes archaeology can get you into trouble, what with the digging up of ancient evils and accidental speaking of curses. Luckily, with this kind of the apocalypse, the vital treasures to counter it are usually obvious. Spell books that have curses in often have the counter curses included, ancient tombs have ample inscriptions describing how the resurrected mad god can be put down (with bonus helpful pictures) and sometimes all you need to do is destroy the artefact that caused the mess in the first place.
Unfortunately, whatever artefact you chase is going to be well guarded because even the most brain-dead ancient evil has a basic survival sense. Expect to encounter hoards of minions – zombies, mummies, bugs, minor demons, gold-blind idiots who think a bit of bling is worth serving dark gods… The carnage will be high so make sure you and your team tote the heavy armament. Once you’re past the goons you’ll have the big boss to deal with – he or she will be throwing god-like powers at you so move fast, find solid cover and have a couple of distractions planned so your pre-picked expert can duck in and destroy or counter-curse as needed.
After that, run. Any encounter with a big-bad destroys the building so once you’re certain there’s nothing left that can cause trouble for you later, get out of there fast and don’t let anyone stop to pick up treasure. Not unless you want to see them squashed by falling masonry or eaten by scarab beetles.
Apocalypse by Otherworld Invaders
For this type of apocalypse, your target treasure is going to be specific to the race of beasties that were idiot enough to think they could get away with invading the Earth. Alien invasion usually doesn’t need an artefact to counter it as aliens are easily dealt with by their allergies or a well placed computer virus; but with the rest, all that research you were careful enough to do should point the way to specific exploitable weak points.
Mad faeries are vulnerable to standard household goods such as salt or iron and can be stopped large scale by permanently shutting down any portals to their home world. If accidental activation of an artefact caused the portals to open in the first place, then, naturally, destroying the aforementioned artefact is key. Make sure your team is kitted out with four leaf clovers to break fairy glamours, and keep stocks of St John’s Wort, Red verbena and rowan to counter fairy spells. Holy objects also work well against your fairy enemy.
Solutions for a cthulhu apocalypse are tricky as most survivors are said to go mad, however if you can keep your sanity, look for artefacts relating to the Elder Gods and try summoning them up and appealing to them to intervene. Otherwise, stay away from coastal towns as these are where their loyal worshippers flock to and under no circumstances go near the sea. Unless you happen to have nicked some major weaponry capable of splattering the fell beasts.
Apocalypse by Sorcery
Doesn’t matter whether your apocalypse was caused by resurrected ancient witches or modern mages getting a bit excitable on a Saturday night, the main key to stopping the magical mayhem from getting worse is going to be their spell books. Whether it’s a traditional tome bound in human skin, a cute moleskin jobbie or an app on their iPhone, everything you need to know about undoing their spells will be in there, just don’t make the mistake of trying to use the other spells in the book. Burn it. Salt it. Scatter the ashes. Move on.
For lack of a book, the artefacts to look for will be either staffs, wands or some piece of gaudy gimcrack jewellery that emits a strange glow at inappropriate times. Usually to be found on the main magical offender but check out any shadowy people lurking nearby as the obvious suspect may simply be a puppet ruler. In all cases, the goal will be to get close enough to nick said artefact and destroy it. With any luck, the backlash of power will take out the naughty magic user. If not, they will be weakened enough for you to use the more traditional methods of decapitation or a few dozen rounds from a semi-automatic.
Once the main threat is neutralised, efficient body disposal is essential. Burn the body, salt the ground and scatter the ashes in as many different places as you can sensibly manage to avoid a sneaky resurrection as the last thing anyone needs is an undead sorcerer prancing around and getting up to shenanigans.
Just because the archaeologists keep managing to put down the armies of the undead, doesn’t mean the world’s been saved – one of these days the mummies will triumph and then it’s march-of-the-undead, dust-of-the-ages and rotting bandages all over the place.
Bad news: once you’ve got an infestation of mummies you’re looking at a relentless hoard of killing machines that can scale most surfaces and adapt to most injuries. Any attempts to slow them down by chopping off limbs will result in those limbs reanimating and coming after you so decapitation is best although a grenade down the throat has also proven to be effective.
But killing each mummy in the hoard will be time consuming so what you really need is a mass solution – luckily there’s The Book of Amun-Ra which will give you all the spells you need to control the armies of the undead. Made of solid gold, most treasure hunters worth their salt will know something about it – look for it under the statue of Horus in Hamunuptra if the site is still intact, otherwise look for any reincarnated royal mistress who’s sending minions out to dig the sands. Once you’ve recovered the book you’ll need the key to unlock it and a good knowledge of Egyptian Hieroglyphics or you might accidentally end up summoning more mummies.
Once the mummy hoards have been dealt with, you should turn your attention to the leader because as long as he’s walking around he’ll be looking to raise more mummies, steal armies of undead minions from forgotten Gods, unleash a few plagues and generally do whatever he (and it’s usually a he) can do to keep himself in the evil overlord hotseat.
Unfortunately he’s a little harder to kill than his mummified minions. You’ll need a spell to take away his immortality, which can also be found in the Book of Amun-Ra (a handy thing to keep in any post-apocalyptic library) – but if you don’t have the fabled book in your possession you’ll need to make use of his weaknesses to turn away his attacks while you yell at your resident tomb raider to hurry up and get the big gold tome.
As distractions go, pretty women seem to be quite effective. Specifically, pretty women who bear a vague resemblance to his long lost love. As weapons go, this one cuts both ways as he’s just as likely to decide to use your plucky bait as a sacrifice to reincarnate the aforementioned ancient girlfriend. Nobody wants that.
So your best bet is to throw a cat at him. Legend has it that the cat was the eternal enemy of the mummy, legend also has it that the Egyptians knew this and worshipped their feline overlords accordingly but be careful as you don’t want to swap the mummypocalypse for a cutepocalypse.
With luck and some killer combat moves you will eventually get all the pieces in place to cast the de-immortalising spell and once you’ve whammied him, a quick blade to heart will finish him off nicely. Just watch what happens to the remains because that long dead girlfriend we mentioned? Just as likely to reincarnate and try and bring him back so we’d advise you burn the body, scatter the ashes in multiple very-hard-to-reach places and give the local ancestral guardians your mobile number so they know who to call if things start looking a bit hinky…
Despite it being a tad annoying that the automatic ‘girl’ version of anything means painting it pink, or, god help us, adding decorative flowers, there are some items in your survival kit that you can get away with having prettied up. Like guns. Doesn’t matter what colour they are, no one is going to accuse you of being less than a hard-ass if you’re pointing one at them.
If you want to go subtle, there’s plenty of small pink guns on the market –
This one is easy to conceal with just enough pink to accent it without being overwhelming. Especially useful if you’re off on a night out in zombie-town as you can stash it in your handbag but still be ready to do violence if the hoards try anything funny.
Anything in hot pink is always a fun addition to your weapons cache and this has a certain kind of disco-diva vibe to it. Another one good for a night out but can be worn openly as it’ll finish off your dancing outfit perfectly.
For extra awesome-sauce, check out this Walther P22 – James Bond wishes he had something this sexy to take out the bad guys with. There’s digital style patterning in khaki and pink which makes it a bit more subtle than the above but still very funky.
Sometimes you need something that’ll let you shoot over distance, so here’s just the thing, with handy telescopic accessories. You can snipe the zombie hoards from the safety of a gun perch while still being safe in the knowledge that you’re bringing a little much-needed glamour to the post-apocalypse.
And then there’s Hello Kitty. More specifically, the Hello Kitty assault rifle which no self-respecting post-apoc princess should be without. Again, could do with being in a slightly funkier shade of pink but it’s a fun piece of kit and if nothing else, you won’t be accused of toting boring weaponry.
And if pink guns aren’t enough for you, there’s a host of other pinkified combat equipment out there – just avoid anything that comes in pink camo, because the only place the camo part will work in will be the girls’ section of your local toy store and how often are you going to need to hide out there?
Though having said that, just because they’re all trying to kill you, doesn’t mean you can’t be practical and glam at the same time, and a little pink camo will go perfectly with your new weapons so you can kick ass and splatter brains in style and who doesn’t want that?
So here we have Gold Guns Girls by Metric – not strictly about the apocalypse, but hey, guns and girls, right? That totally counts as Apocalypse Girl interests.
And check out the video – not only does the abandoned city-scape look like a classic post-apoc scenario but you just know that behind the camera there’s zombies chasing them through the streets…
Just because it’s the zombie apocalypse, doesn’t mean love is dead (although it might be a little undead…) And so, for a dose of musical fabulousness, have a listen to The Zombie Song by Stephanie Mabey.
I blame our mighty leader Honeybadger for this one entirely as The Zombie Song was used in the closing credits of the excellent Un:Bound Video Edition: Zombies (otherwise known as what happens when Leicester is over run by zombies in the middle of an author interview…)
And it’s such a wonderfully catchy song…
I’d just want your heart, yeah I’d want your heart…”