• Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us!

How can I maintain a zombie workforce in good working condition for the purposes of e-commerce?

Erebus

Troubadour
I am a corporate executive who owns an e-commerce business that ships products to individuals directly to their homes. As I have built one of the most successful companies Westoros, I have achieved much influence and status in my nation's government. However, this new generation, having been spoiled by their forebearers from too much easy living, are less willing to work hard and make sacrifices to improve their position in lives. Lazy and spoiled, they regularly protest about low wages and rising cost of living, and have begun organizing to form "unions" with the intent to force self-made men like myself flinch from achieving my goals. This sort of nonsense has put a strain on my business, and now I must look for alternate ways to continue to provide services to customers all while lowering cost of production. The only solution to this is to create a zombified workforce that would obey every command without resistance. Zombies are the perfect solution as they don't complain about workplace abuse, don't require sustenance and can essentially do repetitive tasks for eternity. However, as national policy is to cremate the remains of the deceased to prevent another White Walker situation from a thousand years ago, I must first use what some would call "questionable" methods to create the zombies.

The king of Westeros has allowed my company to construct gas chambers in isolated areas of the country to eliminate criminals, illegal immigrants, and other undesirables. As I already have necromancers on my payroll, I can then raise these individuals from the dead to add them to my zombie workforce. These freshly killed bodies will then take the place of my still living workforce. As they need no rest, they can increase production time by a factor of ten. However, there are still issues that need to be resolved with my ingenious plan. These bodies will eventually rot away to skeletons, which will also crumble to dust at some point. The magic of my necromancers only raise the dead, but does nothing to maintain them, and much more mundane methods must take preeminence in that. One can only do so much repair and stitching together of bones to flesh and muscle. Once these bodies have been rendered useless, a new workforce must be created in its place. The grim necessity of liquidating undesirables and raising them back to undead life can get exorbitantly expensive, to the point of making my margins razor thin. As such, it would be difficult to turn a profit for my investors, who would eventually sell out of the company.

I need to maintain these bodies in good working condition for as long as possible to cut down on costs and reduce the need to create zombies too often. What methods can I use to allow for this? And how long may I be able to realistically keep them in working condition before they need to be changed?
 

pmmg

Myth Weaver
Use Robots.

I would suggest investing in a lot of air conditioning, and keep tasks to minimum repetitive movements.


Maybe when the workforce thins, use existing zombies to create new zombies...just have a cattle call for job openings.
 

Insolent Lad

Maester
Certainly a cold work environment would help. Zombies would not complain about working in freezing temperatures (though they might be even stiffer than usual). Locate your factories in an arctic zone and there is no cost for refrigeration (though shipping might be more costly). Some sort of disinfectant baths on a regular basis? Maybe not cost effective—would have to see the figures on it!
 

Queshire

Auror
No need to bother with any fancy solutions. Once the revolution comes through that'll solve the CEO right quick.
 
It depends on what's required for the zombification process of course. But the 3 directions you could investigate are:
- meat preservation techniques
- mummification
- disinfectants

For meat preservation techniques (think dried sausages or hams), they commonly consist of 3 things: salt/sugar, drying, and accidification. Many organisms don't like high amounts of salt or sugar (it's why honey has a pretty much indefinite lifespan). They need moisture to live. And they don't like accid environments. You can salt and dry the dead bodies before or after zombification. And accidification is achieved by promoting lacto-bassilic bacteria which then drive out other bacteria which cause meat to spoil. Most preservation techniques use all 3 in some combination in different amounts. The amounts give different end results. Experiment a bit and buy a book on sausage making.

Mummufication is more or less the same thin. Generally you just draw out all the water, leaving nothing that can spoil. The more sophisticated techniques remove the bits that rot easily; organs. Determine which bits your zombies can do without, and remove those if they rot easily. As an added bonus, you could use the brains you remove in this manner as bonusses for the zombie of the month employees...

Disinfectants is basically nuking the bacteria with whatever disinfectant you have on hand. More or less the modern day equivalent of the above. I think it probably works less good, since the zombies might disintegrate from too much exposior. But you can always experiment a bit.
 

Maggietron

New Member
Use Robots.

I would suggest investing in a lot of air conditioning, and keep tasks to minimum repetitive movements.


Maybe when the workforce thins, use existing zombies to create new zombies...just have a cattle call for job openings.
Oooh there's a fun story idea. A job interview that ends in being devoured by a zombie!
 

Death

Acolyte
I would say maybe give them some sort of reinforcement like heat protection or if you can't at least keep what you need for summoning them close by
 

K.S. Crooks

Maester
Give them all a cell phone and force them to go on instagram in their off hours. I find this can keep anyone in a zombie-like state.
 

Azul-din

Troubadour
I don't know if you are aware of this, but actual Zombies (as in William Seabrook's 'Magic Island', which is not Fantasy but rather Anthropology) are not resurrected dead, but unfortunate individuals who have been given a drug that puts them into a state of catatonia which mimics death. This also makes rational thought impossible, rather like a permanent hypnosis. There are well documented cases of Zombie workers used for cane cutting and similar tasks; they obey simple commands and will work tirelessly at whatever they are given to do. The folklore is that if they taste salt, they immediately realize they are 'dead' and return to the grave, but this is undocumented. Your unscrupulous magnate has only to make use of this drug, which ought to be fairly easy to ascertain, and never have to worry about decomposition thinning his workforce. Of course there is the need to eliminate salt from their diet...here is the reference, if you are interested: Dead Men Working in the Cane Fields
 
Top