Friday, January 23, 2009

Dead Rising 2

As a big fan of horror, particularly zombie movies, I have typically always had a plan in my head. A zombie escape plan. You know, for if the day ever comes. I had a great one for my old house with Bob that involved walking over roofs and utilizing trees, but that plan is no longer. I have no new plan.So, give us your zombie escape plan. Or your plan for when the apocalypse comes. Or your vampire/serial killer/Frankenstein's monster escape plan.

I once asked my friend Dylan why it seems that I gravitate toward post-apocalyptic entertainment. I love the Road Warrior movies, Damnation Alley, even the one two sucker punch of Kevin Costner's Waterworld and the Postman. I just finished reading "Eternity Road", about a group of survivors, centuries in the future who have lost all sense of history, except for a tattered copy of "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court". And don't even get me started on the amount of time I've lost recently playing FallOut 3 aka, "the greatest game since GTAIV".

But I digress. i asked Dylan why i seem to gravitate toward this stuff. He looks me in the eye and replies "Because secretly, deep down inside, you want the shit to hit the fan. You want chaos, you want road warriors, you want zombies, but most importantly, you wanna survive, so you can be around to see it."
Well, those might not have been his exact words, but that was his exact sentiment. Can't say he's too off the mark. I mean, it would suck to lose the advantages of all the modern conveniences that I'm addicted to. And okay, all that destruction and loss of innocent life would be BAD. I'm not arguing in favor of Armageddon. Plus, we might lose our best chance for total annihilation after inauguration day. (Does anybody get the feeling that Bush is watching the shit hit the fan in the MidEast right now, wishing he had a chance to get in on some of THAT action)

All I'm saying is IF the Zombies come, I'm ready. At the very least, more ready that the average bear. Most people move into a place and wonder where the couch will go. I think about Zombies. Most people picture the wall fixtures, I picture Zombies. Bedroom sets. Zombies. My last apartment was absolutely Zombie proof. it had bars on the back windows and door and there was really only one weak spot in the front living room window, but upending a couch and pushing it against the window would help fortify it. It was perfect protection against Zombies, thieves, hoodlums and damn fools. Flood waters were something else altogether, but I guess when the fan is covered in shit, you can't choose how you go out. You just have to be ready.

My new apartment is flood ready. The third floor will keep the water away for a while. The Zombie proofing needs work. Not that I haven't contemplated it.

Firstly, the complex itself is fairly well suited for fortification. It's gated for one thing, and has minimal foot access. You need to type in a code to drive in or use a key to get in through a walk in gate. Now this is by no means perfect. The gate opens automatically as you drive out, thereby allowing shambling Zombies to come in as you attempt to leave, but I'm thinking in the long term. Eventually, after the panic, the runners will have fled, and those that have chosen to stay and fight can get to the business of securing the homestead.

Living on the third floor gives me the advantage of a slight head start. Zombies, or at least classic Zombies don't climb stairs too fast. If it's a plague of those new post modern running Zombies, then we probably won't make it. But, if the new dawn of the undead shuffles and crawls and shambles as God and George Romero (I know, redundant) intended them to, then I should be able to fortify my abode until such time as I am able to mount an offensive. But I can't do it alone.

The top floor of my building is arranged in such a way that there are four units per floor, with two units in symmetrical opposition to the others on each side. Each end has it's own staircase that serves the units at that end. The problem presents itself at the top floor. Rather than merely ending at a front porch landing in front of the top floor units, a common walkway extends across the front of the building and connects both sides. So, every unit above the bottom floor becomes accessible from two different entry points, making fortification more difficult.

But, this same weakness can be exploited to an advantage.

Assuming that I have enough of a head start to begin fortification, the first order of business is open my front door and push my couch onto the stairwell. Zombies tend to not be particularly coordinated and don't possess the necessary agility to easily maneuver over large obstacles. Depending on time, additional furniture can be stacked as needed. The next step is the key to the entire defense.

The walkway that extends in front of the building, and passes before the front windows of the adjoining apartments is made of good old fashioned wood. Beginning as far over on the other side as possible, I use a cordless power saw to cut the boards at each end point, enabling the removal of the board for possible alter use. As I work my way backwards toward my own apartment, the rift not only grows wider, thereby preventing zombies from walking across (they're crap at jumping) but beginning the gap as close to the other side as possible eliminates the need for my neighbor or myself to fortify the front window since they will no longer be immediately accessible.

After this, it is simply a matter of playing for time. After the first 24 hours, most of the initial panic will have begun to subside and the situation can be reappraised. At this point it becomes a matter of head counting. Since the vast majority of the legions of dead will head for areas of high population, having the University of Texas at he center of town is advantageous. Still, there should be a fair number of Zombies meandering throughout the apartment complex. These will have to be dealt with, in a series of fast hit and run attacks. The idea is to deal with them quickly, without getting bogged down with any ONE zombie. Repeat after me. ALWAYS GET 'EM IN THE HEAD!!! My biggest disadvantage is that i don't own any guns. You don't need guns to kill people and you don't need guns to kill Zombies. Bats. Hammers. Knives. Canes. Scissors. Any of these things can be used. The idea is to thin the herd as much as possible. Hopefully, by this time, other resourceful neighbors can assist. If everyone does their part, the Zombie count in the complex can be brought down to zero by the end of the third day with only a minimum of lives lost in the process.

Now this plan of action should be effective for an outbreak lasting no more than a week. Ideally, by that time, the military should be well on it's way toward dealing with this problem. Having an Army base in Kileen assures a fairly quick response time. If, however, the Army proves incapable of dealing with the situation, then this initial plan of defense becomes less than ideal. However, if that's the case, then the odds of humanity in general surviving are fairly slim, so perhaps a strong rope, a razor blade or a fistful of Vicodin and Vodka might be the way to go.

Fela Kuti - Zombie

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