and ate the man at the lemonade stand….
“He comes from the grave. His body a home of worms and filth. No life in his eyes. No warmth of his skin. No beating of his breast. His soul as empty and dark as the night sky. He laughs at the blade. Spits at the arrow. For they will not harm his flesh. For eternity he will walk the earth smelling the sweet blood of the living. Feasting upon the bones of the damned. Beware for he is the living dead.”
-Obscure Hindu Text, c. 1000 BCE
Since we all have different ideas of how a zombie works, I will define the type of zombie that we will be dealing with during a Zombpocalypse. The body of the Zombie is dead, killed by a virus in the brain. This virus travels through the body via the bloodstream, from the point where the individual was bitten to the brain. Such an infection can only occur via direct fluid contact. The victim slips into a coma in approximately a day after experiencing fever, chills, sweats, dementia, vomiting, joint pain, paralysis and an ever slowing heart rate….
The victim dies soon after reaching a coma and a few hours later wakes up as a zombie. As these zombies are truly dead, their bodies constantly deteriorate and will cease to function after 3-5 years. There is no logical reasoning to the zombies and they do not communicate to each other except through primal moans to alert other zombies. These zombies are not superhuman; however they use all senses equally, while humans tend to rely on eyesight. Moreover, they are anaerobic, without the need to breathe.
Zombies only stop attacking if there is a loss of contact, a successful kill, or they are destroyed. The only way to kill the zombie is through the destruction of the brain. [Although technically they are already brain-dead too] Once a person is infected they will die and there is no cure for the virus, which affects nearly all human life. Those not infected cannot provide a cure for others. Yeah it sucks….
What would lead people to survive such a twist of fate? Are there pre-dispositions to a person’s ability to survive? Do groups of people together survive longer or is a lone wolf untargeted? Before too many questions are asked here is the situation:
Male, 21 years of age, average build, average strength and fitness, no attached company, lives in a semi-rural area. Knowledgeable in gunpowder and explosives, but not handguns.
Now being in his twenties, “Karl” as we will call him, is a mix between being young and being experienced. The younger you are the more agile you are, but the older you are the more experienced you become. However, after 25 you begin to lose agility, and a large amount of experience still may not save you from the zombie hordes.
Since Karl is a loner, he can avoid the “hospital syndrome”. The more people in the group the bigger the risk that someone will become infected. Since doctors may not recognize the disease as the onset of “Zombism”, your loved ones could bite you while you grieve for them in the hospital. Either way, the more people you are in contact with the more zombies you will attract as they can smell you. [There are no showers in the Zombpocolypse].
Since Karl does not live in an Urban Center, he can easily evacuate the area if need be and there are not a lot of potential zombies around. If he were in the city and a panic broke out, more than just zombie could pose a danger.
Given that zombies do not stop until the end, how can Karl defend himself? Explosives are always a good tool to have, but abusing them is never a good idea. Moreover, the noise will attract zombies, which can distract them from your location. The classic tool is the crowbar. What else makes a relatively little amount of noise while trying to smash zombies’ brains while avoiding a deadly bite? The crowbar also is a tool, not only a weapon. A machete is acceptable, but not as useful and a handgun only has so many bullets and is loud. This noise will only attract more zombies as food begins to dwindle down….
Remember that since that your body is your main form of travel, staying or being in shape is incredibly important as zombies are only as strong as normal humans, just they never sleep…. [is it from their lust for carnal pleasure?] But remember that you can’t get scared because the end is nigh. Karl has to keep his wits about him or he will become just another zombie. In the likely event Karl is bitten, he has to be willing to chop off the infected portion if he wants to survive. Remember that only a little amount of the virus is necessary to infect you brain.
Where should Karl stay in the event of a outbreak? His home. He knows the layout, he can fortify the building reasonably and will not get stuck in the panic-traffic that will clog the roads. A stalled car in the highway is a very easy target for a horde of zombies. Remember that you first priority is to seek shelter and cling to hope. Water comes next, then food. Without a good line of defense, the zombies will kill you faster than thirst or hunger. If Karl does begin to find others, he should not assume to be the leader, but instead function as part of the team. There might be a better leader who can keep the whole group alive.
As mentioned before your fitness is key to your survival. Zombies can run until their legs give out. How far can Karl run? The farther he can, the more likely he can run and successfully flee from a zombie encounter. This subject leads to general transportation. In the event of zillions of zombies, walking or biking is the best option because vehicles need fuel, and make a lot of noise, which attracts zombies.
If Karl runs into injured people, as ruthless as this seems, he should move on quickly before zombies arrive and kill everyone. Stealing their material may infect you, shooting them wastes ammunition, and approaching them is an un-necessary risk. Traveling in general should be during mid-day as light increases your chances of survival. Moreover, some countries only have light during the middle of the day in the winter.
Since Karl ended up being with a group, someone got bitten. What is the course of action? First aid it crucial to know, but it would not help an infected person. Unfortunately, that person will die no matter what. His best course of action is to use a bullet to the brain after heart stoppage. This respects the person as their life was human, but keeps them from harming others as a reanimated zombie. The more zombies around, that more chances the rest of the will become infected also.
Supplies will be crucial to your survival. The more Karl eats, the faster he will need to restock, that being said, eating too little will leave you weak and vulnerable. Once again a balance of food is the best choice for survival. Sleeping is necessary, but always be ready to GTFO when the zombies come, otherwise you will be caught.
Since Karl does not have training in killing others [thought that was a good thing right?] he will need to get used to eliminating zombies. Adrenaline can aid in his decision making, but you never really know until the zombies start coming.
When Karl does begin to search for supplies and comes across a Harris Teeter, how should he approach the building? If you run in guns blazing, zombies will swarm and kill you, retrieving no supplies will eventually kill you, and slowly opening the door will give zombies the opportunity to surprise you, which typically leads to death. Good reflexes are great, but only get you so far. You want to attract them, giving away their position, without giving them yours. A whistle can do this, but not too loud as it may attract too many at one. A slight knock and then repositioning will work too.
Remember that traveling is going to be dangerous after the zombies take control. Even if rumors of a zombie-free zone creep up, trying to get there may not be worth the risk, and in 3-5 years the zombies will begin to die off. Remember though that if zombies continually infect others, there will always be a zombie…. Somewhere…. Out there…. In the dark.