A couple of weeks ago MMOGC recommended that I pick up a new book called The Girl With All The Gifts. It’s primarily about a girl who starts out in this weird school-slash-prison where the reader quickly finds out that she’s a high-functioning zombie that humans are testing. Trust me, that’s not a big secret or anything (although there are tons of great twists as the story trundles along). It’s not only a terrific read, but a genius-level zombie kid makes for a surprisingly compelling protagonist as she struggles with what she is and what she wants to be.
I’ve been thinking of that book a lot this week while getting reacquainted with a Mordesh character. It’s by far the most interesting of the Exile races, as all of them are high-functioning zombies that are one missed medicine treatment away from becoming irrevocably ravenous. Their bodies have large chunks replaced by SCIENCE, and in the case of Syp here, she doesn’t even have a mouth. Reminds me a lot of my favorite Forsaken face in World of Warcraft, with that thing covering the lower part of the face. I think her expressive eyes more than make up for it, though.
There’s a certain ruthless pragmaticism about the Mordesh that is both sympathetic and disturbing. They are so driven to find a cure that they aren’t as bound by medical ethics in the experiments they perform and the way that they harvest Nexus. I found it really weird how they’re paired with the Aurin in the first couple of zones, since at first glance both races couldn’t be further apart in their makeup. But both sides reluctantly do care about each other and try to work together on some level, even if the Aurin are all nature-huggy and the Mordesh are one botched trial away from creating an unstoppable army of Frankenstein monstrosities.
For me, knowing that I’m a zombie that’s not only facing challenges on the outside but from within the very makeup of my body makes this character much more real to me. Sure, WildStar is all pulp scifi to its core, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be interesting pulp scifi, even when we’re talking about space zombies.