WHO ARE THE FLYING ZOMBIES?
Captain Gideon Argo: Age unknown, possibly in his 50s, though he appears to be in his 30s. Male, 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, lean and muscular. Dusky complexion and black hair hints at Latin origins, though some evidence points to his birth on an island off the coast of Greece. Piercing grey/white eyes. First formed the Flying Zombies during World War I (possibly in his late 20s/early 30s at the time). There are many myths about his origins, some of which he perpetuates, and none of which can be proven.
The Flying Zombies: Originally the name of a squadron of expatriate pilots flying Sopwith Camels over France and Germany under command of Gideon Argo, who was granted an official military title by the French Foreign Legion. The name was initially bestowed on the squadron by Baron Manfred von Richthofen, as his way of disrespecting those who would challenge his Jagdgeschwader unit, the infamous “Flying Circus.” The Zombies, however, embraced the nickname, because they followed orders, flew suicide missions, and (often) somehow (most of them) returned to fly again. Currently, the name identifies the crew of Shadow, Argo’s support team of specialists, traveling the world in the cause of justice and humanity. Crew members dress in funereal black fatigues. Their motto is “Immortui in Proelio!” (Zombies Fight On), and their emblem is a stylized skull with angel wings.
Cactus Bill: American Indian (won’t specify tribal affiliation), late 30s, red complexion, black hair cut short, brown eyes. Sometimes called “The Sagebrush Bard” for his habit of quoting Shakespeare ad nauseam. Favors “Western” wear (10-gallon hat, cowboy boots, big buckles, and six-shooters). Most people assume he’s lampooning the cowboys, but that would be incorrect. Composes and sings ballads about the Flying Zombies’ adventures. Was a teenager when he met Argo, joined him in France to fight Germany. Skilled tracker and scout.
“Doc” Riley: Caucasian male, 30, Irish heritage. His older brother flew with Argo in World War I, and later as the designated “Wings” piloting Shadow. Trained as a surgeon but drummed out of residency for unspecified reasons. Recruited as a field medic when both his brother and the crew’s previous “Doc” died on a mission in Romania. From California. About 6-feet, 180 pounds. Brown hair bleached light by sun, chlorine pools and salt water; brown eyes. Surfer. NOTE: Doc narrates the extant adventures because Argo doesn’t have the time, patience or inclination.
Johnny-D: Caucasian male, 30s. New Yorker. Tells people different things about what the “D” stands for. Crack shot, demolitions specialist. Decent hand-to-hand street fighter. Hair color changes with mood. Hazel eyes. 6-foot-1, 185 pounds. Wiry. Serves as second in command after Argo and leads Team Phantom during infiltration missions. Flew with the original Zombies as a teenager (lied about his age).
Mr. Li: Chinese national; 5-foot-5, 155 pounds. About 35. Gifted engineer. Mechanic. Builder. Speaks the languages of flying machines, which makes him a potential mentor for Wings. New recruit to the team, after aiding them during a still-classified mission. The Lost Lemurians marks his first official mission as a Zombie. Man of few words, though he speaks many tongues.
Sparks: African-American male, early 30s, 6 feet tall, 175 pounds. Black hair close cropped (sometimes shaves his head), brown eyes. Radio operator and electrical engineer. Friendly rival of Doc’s for the affections of Wings. From Akron, Ohio. Multilingual. Inventive; dissatisfied with the portable radio backpacks he designed, he’s now working on a long-range personal communications device that could be worn on the hip like a sidearm, no larger than a flare gun.
Tallahassee (“Tally”): Seminole female. 30s, 5-foot-9. Strong enough to wrestle alligators. Smart enough not to. Weapons specialist. Trains Zombies to shoot. Also, a pacifist who prefers to talk her way out of trouble. This does not make her a liability. Has a soft spot for Johnny-D.
Wings: Caucasian female, mid-20s, 5-foot-4. Natural pilot. Flies Shadow, the Zombies’ mobile base of operations. Has a bit of a Southern accent, but she’s no debutante. Background a mystery. Wears blonde hair cut short, has crystalline blue eyes, round baby face that belies her toughness. Fights dirty. Joined the Flying Zombies just before Doc Riley; she replaced his deceased brother as Shadow’s pilot.
Zed: Caucasian male, age possibly 40. Enthusiastic brawler. Big fisted, big emotions. Over 6-feet, 230 pounds of solid muscle. Easy to rile, quick to laugh. Impulsive. London accent; sometimes assumes a Cockney accent for effect. Smarter than he acts. Red hair, pale complexion. Likes knives; fights with them, throws them with great accuracy.
Shadow: Rigid-frame dirigible. Mobile base of operations for the Flying Zombies. Within the framework of the envelope are the training room, conference/ready room, bunkhouse, and mess. Within the partially enveloped gondola are weapons, communications, sickbay, cockpit, electrical engines. Propellers situated on both sides of the frame at fore, amidships and aft positions; can be rotated through 90 degrees; thrust can be reversed, which, combined, allows shortened turn radius and enhanced climb/descent speeds. Normally painted black for night/stealth operations and to make an imposing daytime presence; the Flying Zombies symbol prominently displayed on both sides of envelope. Currently plastered with white banner on both sides and large Red Cross emblem covering the Zombies’ skull-and-wings for humanitarian mission to Japan.