Monday, May 12, 2008

Ask a Moron: Zombie Invasion - They Live


Sleep It Off
Our Hero Ash had a long night Friday night. He went down to the local pub with his friends and drank too many pints so Saturday morning will not be an early one. This perhaps was not the best night to celebrate (or maybe it was). At about the time he was driving himself home the dying were finding the doors to hell shut tight leaving them no choice but get back up and start eating some brains.

In fact, had he paid attention (and not been so buzzed), he may have noticed how many police and emergency vehicles were racing toward downtown (the location of the only hospital in the city) instead of thanking God they hadn't noticed his drunk ass. By the time Ash sleeps this one off, it will be a very different world.

Hell Is Full
Being that these are 'Hell Is Full," not "disease," zombies there is no patient zero but instead a generalized, global dispersal pattern concentrated in health care facilities, war zones, and urban centers. For this reason, effective quarantines will be nearly impossible to enforce and early attempts will result in these military and law enforcement assets being outflanked and routed if not totally obliterated.

Initially, the media will report riots or a disease outbreak while government and emergency agencies attempt to isolate or, eventually, merely slow the spread of this seemingly random violence. Nearly all police and military first responders are totally obliterated before being able to report any valuable intelligence. Similarly, media correspondents sent to the scenes of the chaos will only be able to show fractured accounts from survivors and short, abruptly ending video clips.

By the time the haphazard trickle of information begins to paint an accurate picture of the events that are unfolding, most military and government institutions will have decided to drop back into fully defensive positions to evaluate their options while the media's ability to disperse useful information will have been limited to studio broadcasts. If you can't get a reporter to leave the Green Zone in Baghdad. What fucking reporter would go out into a full-fledged fucking zombie invasion? Well, other than Michael Yon.

Media Matters

This is about when Ash finally stops ignoring his vibrating cell phone and confronts his hangover. A friend from the bar the previous evening simply instructs him to turn on the television. Ash spends the next several minutes flipping through the channels that haven't dropped to test patterns, absorbing as much information as possible. He also reads through as many blogs as possible picking up survival tips from first-hand witnesses and attempting to ignore Glenn Reynolds' "I TOLD YOU SO" about disaster preparedness.

"An Army of Shauns. Heh."

Drudge's deadline is so big that readers' heads often explode. Kos blames Bush. MoveOn shouts "We Let Bush Ramble, Why Not The Dead Shamble?"

The information he gleans is a checklist of zombie movie basics. A seeming army of infected individuals are violently attacking every living human they see. Any human that is bitten, even on an extremity, is immediately infected and within a short interval becomes as aggressive, dimwitted and contagious as the others. The only method by which these undead can be pacified is severe head trauma. Anything less seems only to inconvenience them. Of course, the government is 'doing everything they can' but that doesn't seem like much.

Everyone is pretty much on their own. You know, fucked.

The First Hours

There isn't much to do in the first few hours but ensuring it be done effectively is crucial. First, all doors must be closed, locked and barricaded with large, sturdy furniture. Any window must, as well as possible, be covered and blocked. Ash knows his apartment building has controlled access but doesn't trust the security of the lower levels (sliding glass windows don't make the best fortress walls) and already begins formulating a plan to blockade the stair case should the need arise.

He loads every spare magazine for his pistol and holsters it on his hip. He won't want to be without it for even a moment from now on. Looking outside, he doesn't detect any living dead but he can see large plumes of smoke rising in the distance and, sporadically, the sounds of gunfire or screaming waft in the window. Danger is evidently nearby.

It is critical in these early periods to utilize any technology still available before it inevitably ceases to function. Immediately calls to local family members and friends are made in an attempt to determine who is in a defensible location and who, if not, must relocate. He also uses this time to establish a rendezvous point outside the city that will be the initial staging area after escape has been accomplished. Everyone agrees that time must be taken to study and understand the situation before leaving secured locations. There will only be one shot at this.

Finally, it is determined that three friends will be going to Ash's apartment either because they were at work or because their homes are indefensible. While awaiting their arrival, Ash checks with his neighbors and helps them to secure their apartments as effectively as possible. All first floor apartments are abandoned after the doors are locked and barricaded. Remaining furniture from the downstairs apartments is used to make a blockade of the central stairwell and the double (airlock) security doors are secured. Unfortunately, it is discovered that there are only two firearms among the 12 residents so that will have to do. Ash wishes he lived in Texas about now.

Strict Rules, Tough Decisions

The sun is beginning to dip beyond the horizon by the time Ash's friends finally arrive but still no obvious zombie activity is detected outside the apartment. Before being buzzed in, each of the friends are asked to disrobe completely and allow themselves to be examined through the glass of the security door. After it is demonstrated that they have no bite marks on their body, they are allowed to enter.

Ash knows it is intolerable for someone who is infected or could be infected to be allowed near the living. Were one of the individuals to have a bite mark, it would be imperative that they not be allowed to enter no matter how lucid they seemed or how believable the explanation. At this point, group survival takes precedence over any other consideration. This means absolute adherence to the rules even when following them means certain death for another.

No exceptions.

The First Night
Later that evening the first zombies can be heard rummaging around outside the apartment in the dark. Also, the television and computer are finally shut down as all major media has either gone to test patterns or simply ceased to function. While the power is still on, cell phones have also stopped working. Ash and his tribe of 15 are alone. They settle in for their first night's sleep after the end of the world.

(to be continued...)

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