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Thursday, December 16, 2010


Steve Cole writes:

Steve Cole and Steven Petrick lock themselves into the ADB offices to finish Captain's Log #43. They turn off the phones and internet (no radio or TV in the office). After four days, the magazine is finished, but the electrical power fails just after CL#43 is saved to the hard disk. They turn the phones back on, and they don't work. Stepping outside, they encounter a small number of zombies, and say to each other: "We have seen this movie and it does not end well." What do they do?

1. If the number of zombies is large, the Steves jump into one of their cars and depart. If the number of zombies is small, the Steves might go back into the office, lock the door, and gather things before trying to leave. (There is some canned food, but the only "weapons" are a crowbar and some 2x4s. Those will do in a pinch. We gotta remember to buy a pistol at a gun show and put it in the safe.)

2. Guns, we need guns! First thought is a gun store less than a mile away. Going there, perhaps the Steves find too many zombies around to take time to break into the well-secured store. They make a note to go back later and then head south to SVC's house, which is closer than SPP's and in a less populated area. (Both Steves have a number of firearms locked in their gun safes.) The Steves might or might not decide to take a shot at getting to SPP's house for more guns and more ammo.

3. Arriving at the SVC house, they find (let's say) a note from Leanna that she took the cats and headed for a safe zone to the south. Being in an isolated sub-suburb, there probably aren't a lot of zombies around (since there were not that many people around to start with), and most of those are probably off chasing the cows in the nearby fields. This gives the Steves some time (perhaps hours, at most a day) to make plans.

4. They pull the car into the garage and secure the building. They load the available weapons and food into the car and debate where to go. They also load some assorted things that seem to make sense. (If there were electric power, they would check the more recently recorded shows on TIVO for any news or other broadcasts as to what is actually going on.)

5. The Steves decide to go somewhere that they have a chance of contacting someone else. After some discussion, they decide to head for the airport and get to the control tower, which will have backup generators and radios and be in a less populated area. (Also, control towers are secure against terrorist attacks.) If anyone in the US is still alive with electric power and a radio, the Steves will be able to contact them (assuming that the last people leaving the control tower conveniently left the door unlocked).

6. Let's say that the Steves find out there is a secure and well-defended bastion 300 miles away. That being just six hours (and one tank of gas) away, the Steves would probably make no real effort to do anything else but go there, but they would delay leaving until they had plenty of time to get there during daylight hours. That might mean spending the night in the airport tower and leaving the next morning. They might well take two vehicles just to be sure they have one running vehicle.

7. Let's say the Steves find out that the nearest secure defended colony is 700 or more miles away, farther than they can travel in one day. This trip will take more planning. They'll need a larger and better-protected vehicle, with extra gas and food stored on board. They might want to take that vehicle and a smaller car, just in case, but carefully manage the load so that either vehicle can make it without the other. (This might mean loading up the smaller vehicle for only one day's travel, and reloading it each night from the bigger truck.)

8. Before such a long trip, the Steves might well want to stay in Amarillo for several days (even a week), trying to gather up more supplies, and (most important) more living people. The Steves might find a good enclosed truck, and bolt plywood to the sides of it to better protect it. They might store two motorcycles inside for a last-chance escape (or recon). The Steves might place signs around Amarillo telling others where to find their airport bastion, and leave this bastion secured (and stocked with food, water, and guns) so that others can use it even after the two Steves leave. (They'd also be sure to leave word where they went and when they left.) The Steves would certainly search for signs of other living people and put signs on the highway. The Steves will raid gun stores for ammunition, and search houses for guns, ammunition, and canned food. (A portable generator would be nice.)

9. All of this has to be done, of course, while dodging zombies. Every "check this house" mission must include the vehicle parked in a way that it is ready to leave, and one man on watch outside while the other searches the building. Contact with a few zombies means the Steve just leave that area and go a few blocks away. Contact with more zombies may mean having to kill them to facilitate departure. (Killing zombies makes noise and attracts more zombies. One or two zombies might be dispatched with a machete, but more than that means shooting them: see noise.)

10. The big question is the future. Do the zombies eventually die (for real) due to the decay of their bodies? Do they die (for good) when they run out of food? Do the zombies get smarter as time goes along, learning how to use tools? Would it actually be possible (with a larger body of trained soldiers) to kill all of the zombies in a given area? Or all of them in the whole country? One thought we had, assuming a bastion of a few hundred armed people exists, is to fly to Puerto Rico, or some small island like Saint Thomas, kill every zombie on the island (surely there is enough ammo for that), and have a safe headquarters to work out of.

Our assumption is that the zombies eventually die (for good) due to lack of food (or gunshots to the head), after which we're back to a hunter-gatherer wild-west lawless world in which each colony tries to survive as best it can.


Zombie Wars (what really happened): Steve and Steve exited the office with the pistol they always meant to keep locked in the safe. (They will probably start keeping one now, since the zombie show has really upset them.) Encountering a couple of zombies coming up the sidewalk (said zombies making noises and waving their arms and obviously attempting to attack and eat them), whoever has the pistol shoots them. Heading on to their car, they see two more zombies, and the other Steve (demanding a turn) shoots them. Reaching the traffic light at the end of the street, they see a sign that says: "Science Fiction Convention Parade Route".