“So, Mr. Robert, how do you feel about the killing of zombies?”

I was sitting at my desk, looking through a stack of field reports from last week, trying to find any mention of my recent exploits when I heard the voice. Startled, I looked up. It was Dr. Cadore, the District’s Medical Director, whom I’d met on my first day here, almost a month ago. How long had he been standing there?

“Oh, hi, hello Dr. Cad…Cade…um, I’m sorry, I,” I was struggling to gather my thoughts, shifting from the life in my head to my life at work. Which one was he talking to?

“Cadore, Mr. Robert, it’s Ok,” he replied. “I was curious. How is your report to the Mayor coming? The one discussing the legal rights of zombies?”

“Yes Dr. Cadore, forgive me, um…I’ve been reworking my first draft this week [that was a lie]. Interestingly enough, I’m having a lot of trouble finding precedent to base any legal position on [that was true]. And to be honest, I haven’t exactly been given any direction by the office about what is expected.”

“Does that surprise you?” was his reply.

“Well, I expected to find at least a case or two out there, maybe even a habeas corpus writ or something in a Reporter…”

“No, no, no. You mistake my question. You should know by now that no court is going to decided this issue on paper. I’m no lawyer, but it can’t be a good move for judges to do so. No, I meant does it surprise you that you have received no direction?”

“You know, I haven’t really thought about that, I’ve been pretty busy keeping up with all these reports and D-37s to file,” I replied, slightly defensive, slightly embarrassed.

“You should worry less about these things,” he said, his heavy Spanish accent doing most of the talking. “You will be surprised who is, and who isn’t, watching over you. So tell me, Mr. Robert Dingle, how do you feel about the killing of zombies?”

“My legal opinion, or my personal opinion?” I responded.

“If they are different, then both.” He smiled, his squinty eyes gleaming back at me as his eyebrows raised.

“Well, they are dead, right?”

“Technically speaking, this is correct,” he affirmed.

“And dead is dead. The Constitution, God, Society, whatever – grants rights to those who can exercise them. And also, creates rules of law to protect those rights. But all these authorities are silent as to who gets these rights and rules beyond ‘man.’ We can only infer that they refer to living man.”

“Yes, yes, please continue,” he agreed.

“The only thing I can think of where the dead have a say, is in a Will. But even there, the dead need someone still living to execute those wishes.”

“Be careful what you are saying here, Robert Dingle.”

“Well it makes sense though, doesn’t it? The dead still have a say in some things.”

“Yes, but what happens if there is no Will? If a man doesn’t say what is to be done if he is turned into a zombie?” Asked the Doctor.

“Well, normally, if there is no Will, and no relative steps forward, or makes a claim to the assets, everything will revert to the State.” I replied, grasping at a details from a class I took 6 years ago.

“A very interesting point you make.”

“Thanks, I guess,” still not sure why Dr. Cadore was asking me all of this.

“So, you would agree then, that absent someone stepping in as a legal authority on behalf of a zombie, that the zombie would not benefit from the laws of man?”

“I guess so, that seems pretty logical, though it feels strange to say out loud.”

“Well, we live in very strange times, my friend.” Said the Doctor.

He stroked his beard twice and looked straight through me, his mouth slightly open, but he said nothing. He placed his hands on the arms of the chair and promptly pushed himself up. As he was walking out the door, he turned back towards me.

“Thank you for your time Robert Dingle, I’ll be keeping a watch over you.” He smiled, and disappeared down the hall.