Mayor Diggs stood tall in front of the growing crowd at the Wilson Building on this overcast afternoon. There must have been over three hundred people in attendance. All watching with heads up and necks extended trying to get a better view of The Man Who Saved The District. On the façade of the building there hung a large curtain, covering the Mayor’s Grand Finale.

It had only been a week since the news spread that it was safe to return to D.C., and things were essentially back to how they were before the outbreak. It’s amazing how quickly people seem to forget. There are so many distractions around. Who could possibly dwell on the terror of the past few months?

Politicians. That’s who.

Without tragedy and disaster and disease and zombies, people tend to go about their business without much thought to who is running things around here. Mayor Diggs saw his moment. It’s an election year. It was time to frame the situation. It was time to coin terms and take credit for other people’s work. It was time for a speech.

He cleared his throat directly into the microphone:

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the District. Welcome home! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for being here today. Without you, this City is nothing. You are what make this City great!” [applause]

“But not all of us could come home. These past few months have been hard on all of us. We’ve lost friends and family members and colleagues. We lost Marion Barry to the infection. It’s been hard on everyone, I know, and we are doing our best to save those that we can. But for now, I’d like to take a moment to reflect in silence on those who didn’t make it…”

“But we can’t just dwell on the past. We need to look towards the future! I want you all to know that the Government will never let you down. I want you to know that my Administration has been working tirelessly since day one to get to this point, and I am proud to say that we’ve won the war! [applause, sustained] We never quit on you. We never gave up the fight. And that is why we are all standing here today.”

“It was through a great collaborative effort between my Administration and the Federal Government that I was able to start treating the infected, and we are making fantastic progress. It truly is a marvel of modern science and technology that we were able to triumph over this affliction and bring the living dead back to life! [more applause, Diggs waves them off with a wide, accomplished smile]”

“As you all know, we have been tracking the threat for some time now with the Zombie Threat Advisory Level system. I established the system with input from the Department of Homeland Security with the hope that it will serve you, the citizens of the District, in assessing the danger of a zombie attack. Well, ladies and gents, I’d like to announce that for the first time ever, the Advisory Level has officially been downgraded to Green! [rabid applause] What this means is there is no danger of a zombie attack!”

“We have combed the streets and alleys and every last zombie is now safely being treated at the containment site. There, life-saving medications are being administered and slowly, but surely, they are getting healthy. I urge you to be patient and understanding. We are in uncharted waters, but the path is clear. If you are missing loved ones, please file with the District, and we will help you with your reunification efforts.”

“This is a time to remember, a time to come together! [more applause] With dedication and conviction, we shall move forward and once again make this City great!”

“Now you may have noticed the curtains above. As your Mayor, I want to help you move on and recover from this tragedy. I want you to know that I’ve always got your back. I want you to know that you’re not alone, that we are all in this together.”

“And our future together starts today.”

With that, the Mayor raised his hands to monumental applause from the crowd. The curtain retracted, revealing a large LCD screen. Mayor Diggs held out a large, oversized remote and theatrically pressed the large red button in it’s center, which lit up the screen.

In huge red, white and blue letters, it read:

Washington, D.C. – Zombie free for  1  day.

The crowd loved it, and loved him. As far as they knew and cared, Mayor Diggs was The Man Who Saved The District. He’d be reelected in a landslide next Fall. With Barry gone, he controlled the City Council. He was sitting on top of the world.

But it was all just a show. And the speech was just a bunch of feel-good bullshit. I should know. I wrote it for him.