Zombie Walk 2012: Examining the Zombie and Surviving the Apocalypse
Everyone's seen zombies as we know them now, and everyone has their own personal idea of the perfect zombie and ways to survive when they overrun the planet. Everyone is different in their opinions, view-points, deas, strategies, and so on. Here are my ideas.
Distinguishing young zombies from old ones
Zombies are always seen as slow, dumb creatures, but I don't think that's right. They are the living dead, and I think they should be portrayed accordingly. Zombies exist because, for whatever reason, their brains have been re-animated. But they're still dead, so things are naturally going to decompose. Someone who died two days ago shouldn't be quite as decomposed as someone who bit the bullet twenty years ago. Rigor mortis is what happens when the blood in the body starts to pool in certain spots. This causes the limbs to stiffen, making it difficult to move. This usually happens three to six hours after death. So if someone happened to die right before the zombie pandemic started, they would still be pretty fresh. One week after death, the skin body will start to become very brittle, and parts may fall off at the slightest touch. So younger zombies would be less fragile. The younger zombies would also still have all of their hair, nails, and teeth. Those don't go until one month after death. Also, since full decompositon has not yet occurred, I think it's safe to say that the brain will still be partially in-tact, allowing for a higher intelligence than older zombies.
So an older zombie would move very slowly; it would have no hair, nails, or teeth; its eyes would be bulging from their sockets, its tongue protruding from its mouth; and it would smell something awful. Since it has no teeth or nails, it would be 100% harmless, unless it plans to gum you to death. Zombies aren't known for working together (some people think they hunt in packs, but I don't think they're hunting together; they're competing.), so I don't think any other zombies are going to be feeding you to their older counterparts. Plus, these zombies will be extremely close to full decomposition, and will soon become a skeleton--no brain = no life. That zombie will soon be dead anyway, so don't even bother.
Look for zombies that still look somewhat human; they will be the younger ones that can truly cause some severe damage. They will be much harder to kill than the older ones, but they're also a lot more dangerous. Also look for pregnant zombies. I know it's horrible to think about: killing a pregnant woman. But it's the apocalypse, and she's not really a woman anymore anyway. Try to watch out for a fetus somewhere. There's a process known as coffin birth, where gases that build up after death cause the fetus to be expelled from the body. If there's no fetus, then the lady has been dead for a good while. If the fetus is still inside the woman, then she might be a problem.
Hiding vs. Fighting
Both hiding and fighting might be good strategies, but it should depend on which sort of zombie you're dealing with. If you're messing around with the younger zombies, you could either hide or fight. If they can't find you, they can't kill you. Keep in mind that these are still walking corses, and while they're smarter and faster than other zombies, their brains still aren't as sharp as yours. Their attention spans will still be somewhat short, and they should lose interest rather quickly. But then again, they're the ones you need to be concerned about, so killing them is an extremely good idea, if you can pull it off. That all depends on what type of person you are. If you're proactive, you want to save yourself and your loved ones (if there are any left), get out there and kick some zombie ass. If you're more laid back (or chicken), then...grow a pair, get out there and kick some zombie ass. Don't hide from these guys, beause if they do happen to find you, you're in a world of trouble.
When it comes to the older zombies...it really doesn't matter. If they're close enough to being fully decomposed, they won't be able to hurt you anyway. They should be really easy to kill, though, so why not get rid of them? Put them out of their misery. Or you could hide, and leave them alone to starve to death, rot, and turn to dust. Then you'll be free to wander the streets as you please (as long as you've already killed all the younger ones, which I doubt). There's no way to tell how close they are to full decomposition, though, unless you're a doctor, so that isn't the best path to take. So stop being a chicken, and get out there and fight!
Choosing a Weapon
Guns are cool, I guess, but they shouldn't be your main source of weaponry. You should have them in stock, yes, but you souldn't rely only on guns to keep you safe. They should only be used as a last resort, when you're faced with a horde and have to kill a lot of zombies really quickly. Here are some smarter weapons to keep in your armory.
Crossbow--Long-range weapons are the best way to go. As long as you practice and you've got a good aim, there's no going wrong with a crossbow. It will be effective (just aim for the head), and you'll keep yourself out of harm's way. When you've killed the zombie, you can retrieve your arrow, securing a never-ending supply off ammo. These would be best used for younger zombies. They would work just as well, but you could kill an older zombie with just about anything. With younger ones, you want to be as far away as possible, while still getting the kill shot.
Machete/Sword--If you're confident in your abilities, these could be used for younger zombies as well. They're fairly long-range, and as long as you make sure to keep them ultra sharp, they can chop off a zombie head with the greatest of ease.
Baseball bat/crowbar--These should only be used for older zombies. You'll have to be pretty close to get some hits, and you'll have to be pretty strong to actually bash their brains in. If you're dealing with younger zombies, they'll be digesting your brains before you can get the second hit in.
Knife--I wouldn't feel safe with nothing but a knife in my arsenal. They should be okay for older zombies, since they have no teeth or nails to hurt you with. But for younger zombies? You won't even stand a chance. I'd throw away the knives and get something bigger and stronger if you want to survive.
Whatever you do, don't try to kill a zombie with your bare hands. You might be successful one time out of ten, and those aren't very good odds. Get some good weapons, and get out there and kick some zombie ass!
So, you've survived the zombie apocalypse?
Congratulations! Don't let the human race become extinct. Once you've eliminated the zombie threat, get out there and repopulate. It's your responsibility as the last living members of the race to ensure its growth and survival.
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