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1998 A.D., Zabrovst, Siberia

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Jacob Tailor, an acclaimed documentary filmmaker for the Canadian Brodcast Company, arrived in the small Siberian town of Zabrovst with the intention of photographing an intact, and potentially cloneable, Smilodon carcass. The body of a man in his late twenties, whose clothing matched that of a sixteenth-century cossack, had also been found. The shoot was due to take place in July, but Tailor arrived with an advance team in February to familiarize himself with the area and his subjects. He believed the human corpse would not be the subject of more than a few seconds in his film, but asked that it be stored with the tiger’s until his return. Tailor and his crew then returned to Toronto for a much needed rest. On June 14 a few members of Tailor’s crew returned to Zabrovst to prepare their frozen subjects and the dig site for filming. That was the last time they were heard from. When Tailor arrived by helicopter with the rest of his film crew on July 1, he found all twelve buildings at the site deserted. There were signs of violence and forced entry, including broken windows, overturned furniture, and blood and pieces of flesh on the walls and floor. A scream brought Tailor back to the helicopter, where he found a group of thirty-six ghouls, including local villagers and the missing members of his advance team, feasting on the pilots. Tailor did not understand what he was seeing, but knew enough to run for his life.The situation seemed grim. Tailor and his cameraman, soundman, and field researcher had no weapons, no supplies, and, being in the middle of the Siberian wasteland, nowhere to turn for help. The filmmakers sought refuge in a two-story farmhouse in the village. Instead of boarding up the doors and windows, Tailor decided to destroy the two staircases. They stocked the second story with whatever food they could find and buckets of water filled from the well. An ax, a sledgehammer, and several smaller tools were used to destroy the first staircase. The arrival of the zombies prevented the destruction of the second one. Tailor acted quickly, taking doors from the second-story bedrooms and nailing them onto the second stairway. This created a ramp that prevented the approaching zombies from gaining any traction. One by one they attempted to crawl their way up the ramp and were pushed back down by Tailor’s team. This low-intensity battle went on for two days; half the group kept their attackers at bay while the other half slept (with cotton stuffed into their ears to deaden the sound of the moans).On the third day, a freak accident gave Tailor the idea for their eventual salvation. For fear the ghouls would grab their legs if they attempted to kick them back down the ramp, the filmmakers had resorted to shoving the zombies down with a long-handled wooden broom. The broom handle, already weak from so much use, finally snapped as it was grabbed by one of the attacking fiends. Tailor managed to kick the zombie back down, and watched in amazement as the sharp, broken tip of the handle, still clutched in the falling monster’s hand, went right through the eye socket of a fellow ghoul. Not only had Tailor unwittingly killed his first zombie, but for the first time he realized the proper way to dispose of them. Now, instead of trying to force their attackers back down the ramp, the film crew aggressively encouraged them. Each one that came close enough to attack was given a devastating blow to the head with the team’s ax. When this weapon was lost (stuck in the skull of a dead zombie), they switched to their sledgehammer. When its handle broke, they resorted to a crowbar. The battle took seven hours, but by the end the exhausted Canadian filmmakers had dispatched every one of their attackers.To this day, the Russian government has no official explanation of what occurred at Zabrovst. Any official asked about the incident will explain that it is being “looked into.” However, in a country with as many social, economic, political, environmental, and military problems as the new Russian Federation, there is little interest in the deaths of a few foreigners and backwoods Siberians.Tailor, amazingly, kept his two cameras rolling throughout the entire incident. The result is forty-two hours of the most exciting footage ever recorded, digital video that the Lawson Film cannot hold a candle to. Tailor has tried, for the last few years, to have at least a portion of this footage released to the general public. All international “experts” who have viewed the video have labeled it as an expert hoax. Tailor has lost all credibility in an industry that once hailed him as one of its finest. He is now in the process of settling a divorce and several lawsuits. 

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