“I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. I’m not proud. ” – Stephen King Danse Macabre
Posts Tagged ‘zombie apocalypse’
Obviously, the perfect weapon for survival—for getting food and self-defense both—is a firearm. However, there is a
If you find yourself in a survival situation and food is running low, you may surprise yourself by the things your brain tells you what animals it wants you to eat. Most of us who live in major metropolitan areas get the vast majority of our meats from mega marts and grocery stores in our area. For such large stores, the choices in meats are comparably few. Your choices are pretty much between poultry, pork, beef, and seafood. However, if Western civilization collapsed and we ran out of mega mart meat, what kinds of animals are good to consume in a pinch? The answers might surprise you!
Is the Walking Dead a realistic depiction of what it would be like to live in a post-apocalyptic world? Based on Robert Kirkman’s drama of the same name, AMC’s award-winning television show, The Walking Dead, focuses on an ensemble cast of characters surviving the zombie apocalypse in and around Atlanta, Georgia.
Optics Planet recently put together a zombie preparation kit. The Z.E.R.O (Zombie Extermination, Research, and Operations) kit can be yours for only $23,999.00! Packed with different items that Optics Planet believes you need to survive, you can purchase it all in one package, or each item individually. There is even a tongue-in-cheek sales video that entices you to buy. Their kit contains around 50 items, including reloading and laboratory equipment, because “if you want a safe world for your children and grandchildren you must find a cure. For this you need the best laboratory equipment.”
May is Zombie Awareness Month. Zombie madness reached a peak in 2011. Everyone was jumping on the bandwagon. Huge companies including Sears, Doritos, Toyota, Honda, Red Bull, and even BMW featured commercials with zombies in them. After the 2012 SHOT Show, we saw a run of specialized zombie gear from Hornady, Leupold, EOTech, Ka-Bar, Mossberg and special, one-off runs of zombie guns. I have reported in the past that zombies are a big business worth around 5.74 billion dollars from sales of books, movies, video games, and websites. However, that report was from November 2011. Since then, I’ve noticed a drop off in zombie imagery popping up everywhere.
The “preppers” movement has been around since, well, forever. There are plenty of preppers’ networks, blogs, discussion boards, and books written about how to be a survivalist. Survivalists, or preppers, have been storing extra surpluses of food, batteries, candles, fuel, ammo, and the like so that they can live through a total collapse of society or a natural disaster. You know what world ending things might actually happen. However, somewhere along the way, this movement turned into the Zombie Apocalypse, or Z-Day, as some call it. The Zombie Apocalypse started as just a general way to describe the end of the world as we know it, some thing or some one wipes out more than half the world’s population and chaos, shooting, and survival ensues. Following the apocalypse, those fortunate to have survived, usually those who prepped, proceed to ban together to rebuild. I don’t know when or who actually started taking Z-Day literally, but zombies are everywhere now, and plenty of people are cashing in on the craze.
Internet buzz abounds that the zombie thing is over. Some folks are saying that I was zombie before zombie was cool. Some say it’s a tired subject, get over it already, but it’s only been in the last couple of months have we seen some of the big players in the firearms industry jumping on the bandwagon. Ruger and Taurus have both released news about zombie guns, and of course, Hornady released the much-anticipated zombie ammo a few weeks ago. I’m betting that some of the bigger players still have zombie gear in the works too, but no one has leaked it yet. Are these companies playing catch-up in the phenomena, or do they know that it’s just going to get bigger?
Gun manufacturers are making zombie-specific products, like Ruger’s Zombie Slayer LCP, Taurus’ Zombie Responder Judge, and Ka-Bar’s Zombie Killer Knives. We have also seen a flood of zombie targets, lower and upper receivers from Zombie Defense and Spike’s Tactical. Companies are also adding zombie verbiage to their product descriptions, such as Advanced Armament’s t-shirts which depict, “a vital item for your zombie-apocalypse survival kit,” and CMMG’s tactical bacon, “good for zombie standoffs.” I’m not sure how exactly tactical bacon is good for zombie standoffs, but we do know that zombie sells, so why not add it as a reason to buy tactical bacon? Companies that sell these products are designing elaborate ways to sell zombie stuff. Brownell has their “Center for Zombie Awareness,” and even Cheaper Than Dirt had fun with our own Zombie Week.
Besides products, zombie competition shoots are getting bigger and bigger. DPMS has their Outbreak: Omega annual shoot. Our local range in Texas had a Halloween zombie shoot, and there is even a whole organization called the Zombie Shooter’s Association that sets up matches like the IDPA as well as other competitions.
MSNBC.com suggests that the zombie industry, in its entirety, including books, movies, video games, and websites is worth about 5.74 billion dollars. This clearly means that zombie related products are selling. Why wouldn’t companies cash in?
This popularity could also pose a potential problem. Does the rise of zombie popularity lessen the seriousness of our industry? Does it perpetuate a stereotype of gun owners? In fact, Hornady has put a large warning and a disclaimer on the Zombie Max ammo stating that the ammo is not a toy. Gun enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike buy up zombie books, movies, comics, and TV shows. Should we be worried when an anti-gun enthusiast sees the things we see as fun, such as exploding zombie targets, and thinks, “Oh wait, you guys are serious about this zombie stuff”, and proceed to deem us certifiable crazy. That doesn’t help our sport, does it?
We like zombies, we like shooting zombies, we like preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse, and gun and gun gear companies are making it even more fun for us with the zombie targets and guns, and all the other zombie swag. What it boils down to is this: as long as we keep buying it, they are going to keep selling it.
Well they said we were all crazy. We rolled out of bed one morning and the world had changed. Red Dawn became a reality, the zombie apocalypse finally happened, or some terrorist decided that it would be good idea to spread smallpox in a high traffic airport. Whatever the cause, nearly everyone is dead or dying and the world is in the beginning stages of total destruction. Being the hardcore survivalists that we are, we stocked our basements with food, water, ammunition, medical supplies, and of course, firearms on firearms. We have firearms to fight our way back to a stack of more firearms, which are stacked behind that other stack of firearms. Therefore, in our mind, we have the supplies to fight off the commies, the looters, and even the smallpox-infested zombies roaming the countryside. But what happens when the smoke clears and we have no more power, our supplies run low, and we have to go on the move to find more? Certain conveniences that Americans in particular are used to, simply aren’t available. What skills will we need to help us should the feces hit the fan?
Reading a map sounds easy. Many of us are used to looking at our smart phone or GPS when we get lost on some highway somewhere trying to find the one remaining shooting range that lets us shoot those 2,ooo rounds of FMJ .233 ammunition you got for next to nothing at that gun show. However, in a world-ending scenario, the GPS devices we rely on will cease to work; those of us who survive will rely on paper maps and compasses to tell us not only where we are, but also where we should go. Learning these skills is essential to knowing which way to the safe zone, or which way to the easily defensible mountain pass.
All you can eat
Eating habits would change drastically. Canned food will last a very long time, but not forever. Finding ways to sustain ourselves is very important in staying healthy and allowing our bodies to have the energy to fight off disease, infections and of course communist zombies. Learning to hunt, trap, and track prey is valuable in a world without Walmart. After you capture your prey, gutting and processing the meat is just as important. Salting meat for storage may be your only option for having meat supplies through the winter. It is also important to study which wild plants are safe to eat. The last thing you want to ingest in a survival situation is something that will make you sick, or worse. More important than having food is having clean water. There are many different ways to clean a water source, but boiling is probably the easiest. Remember that a few drops of bleach in a five-gallon jug sitting over night might also work.
Paging Doctor Gun Nut
If you find yourself wounded with no access to a hospital, being able to patch up moderate to severe wounds is an essential skill. Basic combat first aid could be the difference in saving your life or someone you care about should the need arise. Anything from patching up a sucking chest wound to setting the bone after a fracture are just a few of the hundreds of life saving techniques that may come in handy. Being prepared to be your own physician might just save yours, or someone else’s life.
I Would Gladly Pay You Tuesday for an AR-15 Today
Work on your bartering skills. Remember that money will be useless and supplies will be the new currency. Bottles of alcohol, cigarettes, canned food—all of these items and more will be worth their weight in gold. As Americans, we tend to be bad at bargaining because our culture typically doesn’t haggle over the price on small items. When the supplies run scarce though, we may find ourselves willing to squabble over the last piece of stale bread.
These skills may help you in your post apocalyptic quest for normalcy. What other skills or talents would be handy in a world without mega malls and restaurants? I would like to think that we as survivalists and gun enthusiasts would have a veritable leg up on the competition should the need arise. Remember what they say, a man with a gun never really goes hungry.
Halloween falls on a Monday this year, so undoubtedly you have parties to attend on Friday and Saturday night and if you are lucky, you will be able to dress up on Monday, too.
If you don’t have any fresh ideas, I threw some together for you. If you order now, your costume should arrive by Friday October 28.
What you are going for here is like a grosser, bloodier Aron Ralston the rock climber who cut off part of his own arm with a cheapy knife. Have you seen 127 Hours? It was nominated for a lot of awards and is pretty excruciating to watch.
Wear torn-up cargo shorts or pants, and a shirt and hiking boots. To complete your look, go to the party store, your costume shop or Halloween Super Store and get fake blood, scar skin, and other wound make up and make yourself look as bloody and banged up as possible.
Wear torn-up cargo shorts or pants, and a shirt and hiking boots. To complete your look, go to the party store, your costume shop or Halloween Super Store and get fake blood, scar skin, and other wound make up and make yourself look as bloody and banged up as possible.
I took the time to add up the total cost of this costume without the rope and grappling hook, and it’s just $30.37 before sales tax and shipping. It’s hard to find a great costume for less than that.
Post Apocalyptic or Zombie Apocalypse Survivor
Well, duh. Did you think this wasn’t going to be included? It’s one of our favorites here at Cheaper Than Dirt. Think Mad Max, but with a modern twist. The point here is to look a little tactical, a little steampunk, a little rugged, a lot ready to kick some ass! It’s all about found objects for this look. Start with a MOLLE loading bearing vest so you can attach a bunch of crap to it. Wear a shotgun bandoleer, because we all know you can’t kill zombies without a pump-action shotgun. Fingerless gloves are for shooting and that cool authentic look. I think elbow pads make this costume more Mad Max Thunderdomey. The giant goggles are a must have for this look. I don’t see how this look is complete without it. You can wear them on your face or on top of your head all Tremor Brothers-like from Smokin’ Aces. Add your own gear, machete, holsters, axe, and other random things you have laying around. This one is a tad more expensive, but it is all gear you already want and will wear again.
Deliverance or Backwoods Mountain Man Scary Guy
I’m going to tell you a secret; this whole persona scares the crap out of me. Deliverance is about the scariest movie ever. In fact, I’ve never seen it all the way through. And I don’t want to. When I hear, “He got a real pretty mouth ain’t he?” it kinda makes me throw up in my mouth a little. Anyway, when I thought about what this dude would look like, I came up with this:
Wear some old, stained jeans. If you don’t have any, I know you can find some at Goodwill, a flannel shirt, again at Goodwill, and the Flecktarn Camo Commando Vest with a full face camo mask– this thing is really creepy! and a plastic game-dressing apronsplattered with fake blood. This whole get-up is only $15.86. I’m sure you can find some other accessories to add. Attitude and accent will help a lot, too. If you could drive around on your ATV while wearing this costume, whoopin’ and hollerin’ it would just take the cake.
If you don’t like any of these ideas, maybe a few suggestions will help you come up with your own idea:
- Gas mask– always creepy, always useful
- Camo face paint
- Tactical ID Leather Neck Lanyard
- Nylon Duty Belt Equipment System
- Blackhawk Tactical Knee Pads
- Shotgun Shell Belt
What are you going to be for Halloween?
Yesterday four of us managed to get ourselves cornered in an alleyway. Two of us laid down covering fire while the other two pulled a dumpster sideways, creating a choke point. We radioed for help to the remaining members of our team. We held off the crowd of dead heads for what felt like an eternity. Shortly afterwards, a truck pulled up at the end of the alleyway, and a towrope came flying through the air. We clipped the tow strap to the dumpster and jumped in. The truck tires squealed and we started sliding to safety, firing out of the side window of the smelly metal container. Next time I hope it’s a recycle bin instead.
Last night, Sharp-Eye showed me a rash she had developed overnight. I was in my make-shift lab all day, so I’m not sure what the group got into yesterday. Everyone seems to disclose just enough that is relevant to the situation at hand and hardly anything more. So, I’m quite pleased she feels she trusts me enough to tell me. Or maybe it’s just because I’m the only one with such extensive medical training. I dressed her wound and applied some Antiseptic from the first aid kit. To avert any suspicion, I encouraged the whole group to dress in long sleeves to avoid sun exposure. I lead them to believe that our first aid supplies are dwindling and that heat stroke is detrimental to our survival. In regards to the rash, I’m not too worried, though I did take a scrape of it to take back to my lab for dissection.
I’m not all by myself no more! I had to risk the sporting goods store because I was running low on filters for my Katydyn water purifier, and I wanted some other necessities, like clothes that don’t smell like burned zombie. And candy bars. I tried out the camera tripod spear and it works real good so I didn’t burn up all my ammo getting around. I’d already scavenged all the 9mm I could carry and I was shopping around for a new backpack when I heard the same machinegun as the other night, but this time real close. I got down on my belly and started yelling out as loud as I could that I’m Duke Jenkins, famous photographer and author, and I ain’t no zombie. I need to write a chapter in the book on how to not get shot when you run into people that are still, you know, people.
There’s a whole crew of these survivors and they seem alright to me. Not a good ol’ boy among ‘em, but if they made it this long they can’t be total idiots. And boy are they well armed, this feller that calls himself “Rampage” totes an M60 belt-fed machinegun around with him everywhere he goes, and it’s the same gun I heard the other night. Turns out they saw the fire from the gas station I torched too. None of ‘em has a radio or we might’ve found each other days ago, instead of me almost getting shot up in the men’s dressing room.
If you’re reading this, then you’re a survivor, because we all know zombies can’t read. And if reading this chapter saves your life, remember the name Earl “Duke” Jenkins, world famous photographer, journalist, and documenter, no wait, that ain’t right, documentarian? Is that even a word? Anyhow, I’m a world famous fact writer downer of this here zombie apocalypse, and ya’ll better remember the name of Duke Jenkins. So here’s some stories and advice from me to you about one of my very favorite topics: machine guns!
Even before the undead came (and monster truck shows ended) I knew all about machine guns. The littlest ones are called machine pistols, and I sure wish I had one. They’re just a pistol with a switch somewhere that takes it from pop-pop to yee -haw. The Germans and Italians made some HK and Beretta models that would shoot a 3-round burst, but the king daddy of machine pistols is the Austrian Glock 18, a true full auto that can dump its entire magazine with one pull of the trigger, if you’re desperate enough. Some machine gun dealers modified regular Glocks to go full auto in the past few years but I ain’t run across one yet. If I ever find one, my Viridian green laser and 33 round magazines will go right on it. Anyhow, 9mm ammo is real easy to come by and works great at close range, and a machine pistol can be shot with one hand while you do something important, like locking a door behind you, with your other hand.
Submachine guns are like little rifles shooting pistol ammo. They weigh less than a rifle, and they have a stock so you can aim better than with a pistol. Now, I think the ultimate submachine gun for the zombie apocalypse would be the American 180, which looks like a tommy gun but in .22lr instead of .45acp. It feeds with a drum magazine on top that holds, get this, 275 rounds of .22lr ammo. Remember, at close range .22lr does just fine to stop them zombies right in their tracks. The American 180 was mostly used by prison guards, so if you’re holed up in a prison keep your eyes open for one. Around here, you can find HK Mp5 submachine guns in police stations or even the trunks of police cars if you get lucky. You do always search police cars for good scavenge, right? The Mp5s are accurate and controllable and don’t use up your 9mm ammo too fast. When you’re faced with an undead mob of shuffling zombies outside a gas station ‘cause you took too long in the toilet laughing at the funny papers, one of these is just the ticket to carve yourself a path to freedom. That was a close one, I had to drop a whole load of snack food and flee for my life. I hate running, damn zombies.
One more step up bigger and you got yourself the select fire assault rifle. Far and away the most common are M4 carbines and M16 rifles, in places where the military made their last stands you can find ‘em lying around everywhere. Try to pick up a clean one, they don’t work as good with gunk in the action. With a good red dot scope aiming is fast and they are plenty accurate, so most of the time you’ll keep ‘em on semi auto, one shot one kill right? Except you can’t kill the undead, so heck I don’t know what to call it now. Anyhow, the .223 ammo they use goes through them soft zombie pumpkin heads real easy and if you take your time and wait for ‘em to line up, you can get a two-fer if you time it right. I do it all the time ‘cause I’m a real trick shot, sometimes if I get a two-fer I’ll reward myself with a candy bar right then and there. You gotta appreciate the little things in life, that’s what separates us from them.
The biggest machine guns of all are the belt-feds. I never got to shoot a belt-fed before the zombies came because the military was prejudiced against fat people and wouldn’t let me join up. One of the survivors I’ve been thrown in with totes an M60 and he showed me how to work it. You don’t want to have to load it in the dark or in a hurry, so he keeps it loaded all the time. I got to try it out once and it was more fun than a raccoon in a pillowcase. But it weighs 25 pounds, which is like carrying around four Mp5 submachine guns with you all the time, and the ammo for it is heavy too. The best thing about it when I tried it was that its 7.62 NATO ammo hits so hard. Let me tell you, zombie heads and arms were flyin’ off everywhere and the rounds just kept going through even more zombies behind ‘em. I got so excited I forgot to look down the sights and I just watched where the rounds were hitting instead, and with all the noise and smoke and the long bursts I was laying down, well it was the best Fourth of July show since Travis Tritt at the state fair. You gotta pick up as many ammo links as you can after shooting it though, because if you run out of linked ammo the party’s over. Honestly, I love the M60 but its not worth the weight if you’re on foot. Go with something lighter and you’ll move faster and you won’t be tired and crabby all the time.
Well, its time for some shut eye so I’m done with this chapter. Till next time remember, you can’t have too much fresh water, fresh batteries for your lasers and flashlights, or fresh ammo. And never, ever give up! Keep on going and maybe one day you’ll meet me, Duke Jenkins, out there documenting this here infested wasteland. I always have a candy bar to share and I don’t charge for autographs.
Zombies woke me up again early this morning. It’s like they know I want to sleep in till noon sometimes and they just want to take that away from me too. I lost my temper and torched a bunch of ‘em at a gas station. It don’t usually stop ‘em and it smells terrible bad, but I enjoyed the show anyway. I should have been embarrassed, I screamed at ‘em the whole time like they could hear. “Its your fault there ain’t no more pro wrasslin! It’s your fault there ain’t no more NASCAR!” I sure made a scene, but nobody was there to notice.
I got a real fight coming up but I gotta do it. I stink real bad right now, I need some new clothes or I’m gonna start smelling like they do. And I can always use more ammo and food, so I have to head into town tomorrow and see if I can find me a sporting goods store and resupply. There’s bound to be more of those undead moaners around than I can easily deal with. If I have to shoot my way in, then shoot my way back out, I’ll have risked my life all day and still be out of ammo. And that don’t make no sense at all, but I’m going anyhow.
Working with these untrained civilians is proving to be quite an adjustment. They have no regard for military bearing, hierarchy or the chain of command. They insist on doing things their own way, and I find this unsettling. When it comes to neutralizing the zombie threat however, some have proven to be useful. We have set up safe areas around the city that are fenced off and electrified; these small areas have food sealed up in airtight containers along with basic medical supplies. Ammunition was running low until yesterday when we raided a local gun store. We managed to carry out several weapons, and I am anxious to try some of these new 00 buck shotgun shells on our dead head friends. At close range nothing beats a tactical shotgun. Laying waste to a large crowd of zombies in just the thing I need to let out a little frustration.
I never thought I would be a killer. I spent so many years studying on how to SAVE people’s lives. Not end them. Increasingly, I find it difficult to go with the team on scavenger outings. It is inevitable we all have to fight. Sometime when faced with the Reanimated, I feel hesitant to shoot. Survival instincts win out every time, though. I have become well versed in operating any weapon I am given. You have to, in this day and age. Dirty has trained me well on the tomahawk. I find it easy to sever the cortex of the reanimated fairly quickly and easily with the tomahawk. In my heart of hearts, I just know I could develop a cure. If I could just get to the lab…
It’s been a hectic week battling off the zombies. We’re pretty certain we’re winning. However, I’m not totally sure. I’ve been working to get the team all on the same page and feel like there is still yet more to do. The work never ends. It’s a drudge at times, but somebody’s got to do it.
We press on, keeping the zombies at bay. Who knows. We may need these skills later down the road. Could it be “Zombieageddon”?
I discovered some of my team’s journals. I know it’s rude to read what others have to say, but in this case, never knowing if they’ll return from the field or not, I thought, why not? I decided this would be a good time to share some of their entries. Maybe this will help put the pieces together so we’ll all know what to do next.
I’ve also been working on extracting hydroxicine, benzotrilyamate, and toxalymene from local plants in order to create a form of toxicalplymosis. I believe I can replicate the virus of the reanimated.
My compound so far: q-(prydoxyethal)-, 7-doxyethal-7-xneroutioxidie, stp-8-ry ethnayal, [9(X)-hydroxymil]-HrS,3rH-, Poxin-2a-y8
Dispatching these slow moving dead heads has become routine, but I don’t want to lie and say that I don’t get a small amount of pleasure out of my new found career. A favorite tactic of mine is to use bait. My team and I used to use human bait, but willing volunteers are becoming scarce, the zombies have resorted to eating any living thing they can find. Cats, dogs, cattle, and horses, are all on the menu. We found a goat one day and tied it to a pole on the inside of a warehouse. We rigged the doors of the building to all close simultaneously and once a large enough crowd of dead heads heard the dinner bell, we hit the switch and rained down lead from an upper railing. I used my ArmaLite M15A4CB, a few Magpul mags, and a Burris red dot fast fire sight to make quick work of our guests. Good times. We even made a game of it, Specter thinks he’s ahead, but we only counted claymore traps as one kill each, so the overall score is up for debate. Fortunately, we used a steel pet carrier from a burned out pet store for the goat, so the zombies could not spoil our dinner. There’s nothing like chowing down on a little goat after a long day of killing zombies.
So this here journal is to help organize my book thoughts and such. The book will sell better after all this is over because I was orderly with my thoughts while the apocalypse was on. I picked me out a new camera on scavenge because all good books have pictures, and I used some parachute cord to strap my Ka-Bar knife to a tripod leg so I have an extendable spear. Its kind of a bulky deal so I can’t carry a long gun no more, but I’m stocked up on 33 round mags for my Glock anyway so its all good.
I heard a lot of shootin’ yesterday, someone was really letting fly with a machinegun and not too far away from me. I burned up a set of radio batteries last night but didn’t reach anyone. I tried every frequency I could so either they don’t got a radio, theirs works on different frequencies, or… they didn’t make it. I hope they harvested a bumper crop of zombies either way.
In my previous life, I was a member of the Air Force Security Forces. My typical day consisted of checking identification at a gate in some far off corner of the globe. I saw some heavy action in Afghanistan and Iraq, and have to take pills to sleep a full night. My tenure in the military was coming to an end, so I was looking forward to sleeping in, eating chips on the couch, and mowing my lawn on Sundays. A week before shipping home I heard something about a serious sickness that was going around in my hometown, but I wasn’t the type to get ill easily. After another six-month deployment, my plane landed and I drove my jeep through town to the front curb of my house. There was almost no traffic and several cars looked abandoned on the side of the road. The tall grass in my front yard looked like a Southeast Asian jungle. I grabbed my messenger bag out of the passenger seat and walked up the narrow concrete pathway leading to my front door. The un-kept grass was so tall I almost tripped over the pile of newspapers that had accumulated around my front porch. I looked down and saw several headlines alluding to a mysterious viral outbreak. I shrugged and unlocked my door as I took a huge step over the trash.
When I walked in I immediately noticed an overwhelming smell. It smelled like death. I had seen death a few times and I will never forget the smell it makes in the desert heat. I reached in my bag and pulled out my Beretta 92 and my Insight Technology HX120 flashlight, not sure what I would find. I cleared every room in the house, checking under beds, looking in bathtubs until all that remained was the kitchen. I moved quickly and quietly and for a moment, I forgot I was home, the rush of adrenaline you get just before a firefight had become all too familiar, and I could just as easily been clearing a random hovel in Kandahar. I reached the kitchen and immediately focused on the pantry. I put the flashlight in my mouth and reached for the doorknob with my left hand. I threw open the door and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Potatoes. I didn’t throw out the potatoes before I left. Ugh, it smelled like death and my stomach started having a mind of its own. I immediately leaned over the sink and dispatched everything I had eaten in the last couple of days. Six months in the pantry with no A/C; I really need to improve my domestic skills.
I set my weapon down and laid my forehead on the edge of the sink when an almost euphoric sense of well being came over me, it’s the kind of feeling you get after eating some bad chicken, and then getting rid of it. I let out a heavy sigh and reached for the shiny chrome faucet to wash down the half-digested grossness. When I looked up at the handle to turn on the water, I noticed something move in the faucet reflection. It was the shape of a man; his greenish silhouette was walking slowly in my direction, and that adrenaline rush hit me once more. My heart was pounding so hard I could feel my whole body rattle with every beat. I rolled foreword over the top of the counter to put some distance between us. I spun around as fast as I could and reached for my leg drop holster. That holster spent the last six months attached to my leg, and I had gotten used to it being there. To my horror, all I felt was an empty cargo pocket, and my sidearm was on the other side of the kitchen counter, right next to the intruder.
I quickly sized up my opponent. He was heavyset and wore a badly stained tank top. He was looking in my direction but not right at me. He had a blank expression and drool was pouring over both of his unshaved chins. It was right then that I recognized him, behind that blank stare I saw my neighbor Carl. He was a truck driver whom I had become acquainted with through several disputes about my overgrown foliage that was pouring onto his property. In response he often let his little rat dogs do their business on my front walkway. I began to do the math in my head. The virus I heard about, the newspaper headlines, and now poor Carl.
Just then Carl lurched forward over the counter with both hands, I had the strangest feeling that this fat dude wanted to take a bite out of me. I lunged to one side to dodge his hand and noticed my old 13-inch tube television sitting on my side of the counter. I grabbed it with both hands and slammed the glass end of the idiot box right on top of this clammy bloated head. He leaned back with the television still attached as I jumped over the counter to grab my gun. I put six rounds through the side of the TV effectively turning what was left of his brain into Swiss cheese. He slowly fell backwards into the pile of rotten potatoes and everything got quiet, all except for his left leg, which was twitching a bit. I put three more rounds into his leg, he finally stopped moving, and I began to calm down. I made a mental note, no need to worry about poodles pooping in my yard, and zombies don’t like being hit with televisions.
It’s time to start eradicating zombies at Cheaper Than Dirt! We’ve been strategizing for weeks. We must end the apocalypse now! Won’t you join us?
Thomas “Dirty” Poole
When it comes to zombie survival, this primarily involves breaking obstacles so the team can keep moving and then setting up new obstacles to slow down the horde. This usually puts me pretty close to the zombies. When the opportunity presents itself, I try to get a smile out of the team with an explosion or two. I’m a survivor because I just don’t want to end up like one of them.
Personality Type: I’m an explorer and a risk-taker. I also tend to “treasure hunt” a bit more than most others. I just don’t want to miss any really good supplies that could help keep us alive!
Best Zombie Kill: While covering a narrow doorway, I simply bayoneted the first zombie in the chest and held him at arms length. I did it because I was waiting for another few to stack up behind him in the doorway. I then fired a 1oz slug and dropped four at once. Rinse. Repeat. Ammo conservation is important with a shotgun!
Dr. Narcissa Ravenblack
I am an Epidemiologist who worked with a highly classified group of scientists developing a biological weapon, a project called Ninth Gamma. I secretly concocted an antivirus and have been taking it the entire time, which is how I was unaffected by the catastrophic event at the lab that released the toxins in the weapon.
All my notes, research, and vials of antivirus serum are secretly buried in cache storage behind the lab. I have failed to tell my current team of survivors that I have what I believe to be a vaccine to the virus. I am waiting for the right time to reveal my secret, so I can be hailed as the one doctor who saved mankind.
Personality Type: Megalomaniac, slowly descending into complete madness
First Zombie Encounter: When the lab exploded and released the virus. My entire team was infected.
Favorite Zombie Kill: When I had to relieve the head of funding for Project Ninth Gamma of his condition with a jagged edge of a broken Petri dish.
Specialty: Excellent at fixing the team’s physical and psychological wounds
Earl “The Duke” Jenkins
Role: Photographer and novelist, documenting the Zombie Apocalypse for future generations, with plans to make millions off of the book and movie rights afterwards.
Weapon of Choice: Glock 19 with green laser and 33-round mags
Modus Operandi: Tends to hold camera in one hand, Glock in the other, and photographs zombies until the last possible moment before popping them in their gory heads.
Secret Shame: Once artfully photographed the grisly death of a politician rather than try to save him.
Thing he Misses Most about the Old World: Playing “Left 4 Dead” online with friends… all of whom later became zombies.
Zombie Kill of the Week: Zombie got too close during a photo shoot. Duke stunned the zombie with his camera flash, then impaled him with a Ka-Bar knife he has strapped to a leg of his camera tripod. Then took a picture of the dead zombie with the camera (and zombie) still attached to the tripod.
Favorite Conspiracy Theory: Lady Gaga was the first zombie, years ago. Many suspected even then, but nobody knows for sure.
Role: Deployed in Afghanistan conducting anti-zombie operations to include vehicle interdiction, helicopter assault force, and foot patrols in hopes of finding the cause of the world’s outbreak. Responsible for 20-man reconnaissance/ surveillance team.
We currently have teams deployed in the Horn of Africa, Europe and South East Asia conducting similar missions in hopes of gaining intelligence in counter-zombie asymmetrical warfare.
Highly motivated to find the root of the outbreak which will in turn lead to a possible cure. It is also fun to waste zombies.
First Zombie Encounter: 14 July 2011 (female, approx. 23 to 30 years old, unable to determine due to decomposition, Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan)
Too Close for Comfort, Those taken by the Zombie Apocalypse: Too many to list, I stopped counting after the first 100 team mates.
Weapon of Choice: FNH SCAR 17 (.308) with EGLM 40mm grenade launcher attached. Leupold 1.1-8X scope.
Little Known Factoid: Never bitten by Zombie
Closest Call with a Zombie: Vehicle convoy was ambushed IVO Asadabad Afghanistan. Lost everybody in my vehicle but was extracted via SPIES system from HH60 Blackhawk. During extraction operations, male zombie became entangled in SPIES rigging approx. three feet from me. I was saved by the door gunner who opened fire on zombie with Dillon precision Mini Gun.
David “Rampage” McCormick
Role: Former U.S. Air Force security forces who’s entire unit was wiped out by the zombie plague. Heavy weapons and entry team expert. Surviving to kill the maximum amount of zombie trash.
Weapon of Choice: M60/M4 or wooden bat with nails hammered in the fat end
First Zombie Kill: Hit him with the kitchen television
First Zombie Encounter: Encountering my zombie neighbor in my kitchen
Personality: Team oriented soldier
Blood Type: O neg
Sharp-eye “SURVIVOR” Sophie
Role: Sharp Shooter
SURVIVOR is my middle name…I was stranded on some left coast island and managed to outwit and outlast the Zombies.
Weapons of Choice: Match set 1873 Bird’s Head SA Colt .45 (gotta have one for each hand); SA Model 92 .45 rifle; Browning 1885 .4570 High-wall
Best Kill: Head shot at 800 yards, but can take ’em down at a mite over 1200 yards
Motto: Kill ‘em all, let God sort ‘em out
Personality Type: Rogue, loner
Shoots Pistol and Long Gun: Left-handed
Weapons Carried for Recon and Supply gathering: M24 – Rifle (carried in drag bag not on all occasions); M4 – Rifle; M9 – Pistol; Ka-Bar Knife
Mounted and Stationary: M60 – Machine Gun (one at each safehouse); M24 – Primary weapon
Closest Call with a Zombie: While taking a high position and providing high level cover for my old team the door leading into one of the safe houses was not securely locked down. By the time I heard them they were about five feet from me and closing in. I reached for my handgun but there was at least 25 to 35 on the roof top. Having my quick escape route I latched into my rappelling rope and bailed down the side of the building into my secondary safe area. This area is a fully enclosed location where the only way in is through the window. I stood at the window watching zombie after zombie attempt to fly.
Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry
When it comes to zombie hunting/survival, this primarily involves going out and away from our group in order to survey the area. I’m a survivor in order to provide for my family, as well as help anyone else who is still among the living.
Weapons of Choice: primary rifle — customized AR-15 SBR with 10.5” barrel in 5.56x45mm NATO; secondary rifle — customized LaRue Tactical OBR in 7.62x51mm NATO; pistol — Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm with Apex Tactical DCAEK; whatever else I can or have to use.
First Zombie Encounter: While engaging in a little target practice one day, there was a flock of zombies that started coming out from behind the target berm. At first, I didn’t believe what I was seeing, but once I saw them take out the guy who was coming back from setting up targets, it became pretty clear what was happening. Luckily, I had just finished getting set up at the 1,000 yard bench with my secondary rifle (LaRue OBR), and was able to pick off each one of them with single head-shots. No misses!
Personality: Will kill as many as is necessary, or desired, until there is no longer a threat to my family and/or myself (all-around “gunny”).
Best Kill: One Monday morning, I woke up and looked out of the windows in the back of the house. I saw my neighbor aimlessly wandering around his backyard, looking rather pale. Upon further inspection, it was obvious that he was a zombie. Since he had previously let his dogs bark almost constantly for approximately two years, I retrieved my AR and shot him…with very little hesitation.
None of us like those days when we run low on ammo. It just seems like no matter how careful we are to conserve it, we’ll use up the last just as a big swarm hits. So, when I’m running out of triple-aught (because over-penetration is the name of the game!), or they’re too close for me to reload, I reach for a big blade.
The main defensive blade I’ve used since the outbreak is the machete. With zombies around it’s really pretty much just used like a sword. Real swords are generally a bit heavier, but then again it’s not that often that you can scrounge a nice broadsword from an abandoned hardware store. So, we make-do with what we’ve got. I got lucky in finding this one. At 18 inches long, it’s about average length for most machetes. Where this one shines is that it’s a bit more thickly constructed than most. I really like the knuckle guard, too. See, when slashing with a machete, things have a tendency to drag down the blade and hit you in the hand. This knuckle guard keeps the infected (or what’s left of them) from getting to me. In general, I would prefer weight to length in a machete. For example, if I run across one of the Ka-Bar Grass Machetes I’ll definitely be keeping it. It’s not quite as long, but it’s thicker. It would still do fine for a slashing defense, but it would pull double duty at chopping through obstacles.
Speaking of chopping through obstacles, the next largest blade I keep on me is a Tomahawk. In a fight, I tend to use it kind of like a shield– keeping a zombie at bay until it’s his turn for the machete. I’m just not quite ninja enough to just go in swinging with both arms. The tomahawk works great by itself, though. It doesn’t have the reach of the machete, but it’s got plenty of heft to work over a pack of zombies in short order. That spike does exactly what it looks like it will do, too. I don’t throw it! I like to keep my tools with me instead of tossing them into mobs of infected. Now, the even better reason to have the ‘hawk around is for getting through objects like doors, boarded up windows, drywall, etc. Pretty much any light-skinned modern construction is easy work for the ‘hawk. This is important because there’s been plenty of times where our group would have been overrun if we hadn’t been able to make a hole in a building to get away. If you play your cards right, you can make a hole just big enough for everyone to get through quickly. Once you’re all on the other side of the hole, the team can take turns defending the choke point you’ve created until you can block it back up or the threat’s over.
The other bladed weapon I keep close at hand for defensive use is the M7 Bayonet on my Mossberg. I think of it more as a “zombie standoff device.” See, with a bayonet your goal is to jab at the bad guy in your trench until he stops trying to hurt your buddies. With zombies, it’s not quite as easy because in order for that to work I’d have to do all my jabbing from the zombies’ noses up. Good luck with that! What I can do with it, though, is use it to keep zombies at arms length. The trick is I have to use it that way in a choke point. If I’m in a parking lot and I stick one zombie, the rest will just go around him to get me. If I stick a zombie in a narrow doorway though, I can lean into him with the gun and keep him from coming in and he’ll block the door and keep all the others from coming in, too. It’s not fun, (you know, because there’s a hungry guy at the other end of my shotgun taking swipes at me), but when ammo is tight and the team needs a minute to figure out how to keep moving it can be handy.
None of us likes the infected being anywhere near us, but the edge of my machete lasts through more zombies than an M&P9 magazine will. And I can just keep sharpening the machete.