In A.Z.03 a small girl named Ophelia Thurber was born in Rubikelle, Midland. In A.Z.06, her family was driven out of Avicennia, Midland by the increasing hordes of Infected zombies. She joined her older sister, Immogen Thurber, in the backseat of their family station wagon on the ride to Northland. Her father, a mechanical engineer, and her mother, an avid gardener and seamstress, believed that the zombies would freeze in Northland and that they would be safer than in the newly stilted architecture that was gaining a foothold against the zombies in the Southland.
Unlike so many who started out on the great highways to the frozen promised land, Ophelia, both of her parents and her two youngest siblings reached the Northland alive and prosperous enough to buy an abandoned property from the local Ranger’s Bureau in Nasmyth in A.Z.15. Less than two years after settling on their family farm, Ophelia and her youngest sister, Juliet, were forced to flee the homestead for unknown reasons. Ophelia and Juliet were not seen again until A.Z.17, two years after the picnic, in Turington, the largest urban center in Northland.
Reported by James Petzval, a lab assistant at The Clinic of Charitable Cures, Ophelia Thurber became one of three then-known immune survivors of Zombie Infection. Unlike the other two specimens, she was not violent or impaired beyond speech capabilities. Ophelia’s regular blood donations to CCC became a critical tool in the development of Antizomb, the first aerosol zombie toxicant.
In return for her participation with The Clinic of Charitable Cures, Ophelia was allowed to live freely in Turington, where she became active in the Anti-Auction Movement of the early A.Z.20’s. Witnesses report that she attacked an open air Girls for Wives auction in A.Z.21, before partnering with the renowned print and flyer artist, Kite Kittering, and the famous Anti-Ranger activist, Carlos Chavez. Ophelia helped with the construction and maintenance of Chavez’s Safehouse For Girls, and was an ardent supporter of literacy for the girls in her charge.
When the Anti-Auction Movement embraced fishing in A.Z.22, Ophelia enthusiastically championed the feeding of the urban poor by orchestrating large, public cooking festivals, spreading as much food as possible through the crowd, until Ranger’s Day A.Z.22, when Ophelia left Turington. Ophelia made a brief and unobserved visit to her family’s farm in Nasmyth, before heading south to manage her deteriorating health in a more hospitable climate.
As Ophelia traveled south and became the radical that we know her as today, she recorded her travels and adventures in the letters that she wrote to James Petzval, her old bioresearch friend, and her family in Northland. While she occasionally notified Dr. Petzval of her location, she never gave her address to her family, often sending them a bundle of letters on her last day in an area. Her correspondences were retained by Dr. Petzval until A.Z.75, when he donated them to the Musee de Scientifique in Turington and publicly condemned the sometimes violent tactics of one of Ophelia’s namesake groups, The Free O’s.
The letters sent to Ophelia’s family were kept in labeled boxes on the family farm until the death of Ophelia’s brother, Hector Thurber in A.Z.76. A sibling that Ophelia had never met, Edmund Thurber, removed and published her original autobiographical manuscript, Ophelia Immune. As the existence of her memoirs became widely know, the Federal Rangers of Peace issued a warrant to remove the seventeen boxes of remaining Ophelia Thurber correspondences from Edmund’s care, as well as from the Musee de Scientifique.
Edmund battled the federal confiscation until his death in A.Z.82 when his daughter, Juliet Thurber II, continue the legal struggle for the release of Ophelia’s letters and documents. In A.Z.85 the Superior Ranger Court of Northland awarded the complete collection of letters to the University of Northland Archives, granting only partial viewing permission to relatives, scholars and officials of the state.
Championed by Juliet II, many petitions have circulated to grant full and public access to Ophelia’s letters. While many scholars have been granted access to Ophelia’s records, papers and notes, all of the volumes remain off-limits to the public, often under the excuse that the documents have not yet been fully catalogued and guaranteed free of national security risks.
Her last known letter was sent in A.Z.74 from Curnu, Southland, a week prior to a water-based zombie purge, and her last attendance of a guerilla Ranger Resistance meeting was recorded on October 17th, A.Z.74. After leaving the Ranger Resistance meeting, she is believed to have taken herself on evening walk, alone through the jungle, unaware that she should not drink from the poisoned riverbed. She was never again seen by her co-conspirators, and she was reported missing in action by her then domestic-partner, Josanna Mezcal, after her arrest in December of A.Z.75.
Ophelia used her almost fully human mind and her enhanced zombie physique to serve all of humankind for seven decades. She inspired countless individuals and organizations to stand up on behalf of those who have been marginalized, brutalized and sold. She has truly been a champion for women, race radicals, scientists, writers and all those who seek equality. The public deserves access to her first hand accounts of justice in the face of oppression. Please join with us in having our voices heard.