Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Walking (in circles) Dead

Friday, October 12, 2012 By

I think, by now, my love of the zombie genre of everything is well known. So I thoroughly enjoyed the second season of The Walking Dead - although I'd have tied Carl to his bed if I was Lori. Stop wandering off, kid!

But at the end of the second season, the group of survivors - having enjoyed some relative peace at Hershel's farmhouse - has now been reduced and scattered by a large roaming horde of zombies. The barn has burned, the property is overrun, and lots of people got killed or eaten - so long, Dale, Shane, and those random relatives in the farmhouse, whatever your names were. Also, goodbye to innocence. Your time is up.

Season three of The Walking Dead starts this Sunday. And I'm stoked. Because I hear there will be blood. At the beginning of the episode, they group should still be camped out in an old grist mill. Shortly, they'll discover a nearby prison - which, as fans of the comics know, does not actually turn out all that well for the group. Not everything deadly is a zombie, ya know?

('ello, Guvnah!)

This prison, once cleared of zombie former prisoners, probably seems like it could be a fortress to them. High walls. Secure entrances. Shelter. Most likely, a food supply in storage. But it is, at best, an endangered island in a sea of death - kind of like the Maldives.

In addition to the obvious dangers, there are some that aren't so apparent. We know there's a shadow government doing god knows what. We know that everyone is already infected, and will turn when they die. And we know Merle is lurking out there.

Out of those three things, Merle would scare me the most. I'm not convinced he didn't steal their van back in the city in season one, load it with zombies, and then release it on the camp site by the quarry. Merle's a bully, a sadist, and very, very pissed off. But I guess we'll see what happens.

(Shhhh! It's a secret.)

These folks need to stop asking "Where?" while looking for a place nearby to hole up. Instead, they need to start asking "How?" while figuring out what they need to survive in the long term.

Zombies have weaknesses. They're persistent, and strong, but not smart or agile. They're also subject to environmental weaknesses, like everything else. So what should the group look for?

1. Somewhere cold. Zombies don't feel cold, but they're still made of flesh, even if it is rotting. Anywhere that drops below 30 degrees Fahrenheit is a good spot to hole up. A frozen zombie is no danger, unless you trip and fall on its teeth. So the group needs to stock up on cold-weather gear at REI and get moving north.

2. Somewhere complicated. Zombies aren't masters of fine motor skills. They don't reason or learn. So don't go for somewhere with raptor-friendly doorknobs. Don't head somewhere with easy access. Don't go to, say, an old quarry with a sunken lake that basically serves as a big people-soup bowl. Go somewhere that is an effort to get to, to enter, and to navigate. A castle with a moat, surrounded by gardens designed in a maze would be good. But as we're nowhere near Versailles, they'll have to be creative.

3. Somewhere strong. As we saw at the farmhouse, a horde of zombies can tear down a house if they want to. Wood and chain link fences are not going to hold them back (Hershel. You delusional wacko). Whatever barrier they put between them and the zombies have to hold up against a horde. And a large enough horde can push down the prison fencing. So that place is not a permanent solution. Your best bets are thick stone, wrought iron, and hard metal. Adding cinderblock and concrete walls around wherever you decide to land is a good idea. So maybe, after you raid REI, swing by Home Depot and grab some QuickCrete.

4. Somewhere high. If a ladder is your entrance, this is a pretty decent idea. Because Zombies can't climb. (No, Zombieland, they can't climb an amusement park ride) They can't scale a rock face. They can't operate heavy machinery. They can't climb a mountain, or power a boat. Look at a map and get to high ground.

5. Somewhere that will last. Zombies aren't just mindless people-eating machines. They're also machine-like people who are being eaten - by bacteria and other organisms essential to decomposition. They can't "live" forever. At best, they have about a year to 18 months. So if you can outlast them, eventually people will survive. Maybe. The mathematical models that have been completed by the scientific community don't give us much hope. In a city of 500,000, a zombie outbreak would take only three days to decimate the population.

So, it looks like my original blog post from the first season might still be on the money. Get thee to a mountainside fort: why wouldst thou be a breeder of zombies? Stone Mountain is close by and will work for a short while, with the eventual goal of making it to Brasstown Bald.

Unfortunately, no matter how many times I yell at my television, the actors can't hear me. So good luck with Ricktocracy, Sheriff. And, Carl? Stay in the freaking house.

(Bonus bad-assery)


Post a Comment