Bite Me: No shots, no socks, no survival


HvZ day 1 is over (well, almost, I guess I could still get bit on the way to the bus home), and against all my expectations, I somehow survived! Thank God for living off of other people's skills, man.


Unfortunately, today was the definition of a manic Monday, which means I didn't have much chances to really take part in the zombified culture. After rushing out of my house at 7 a.m. when the school finally announced that the campus would be open, enduring half an hour of downright-stupid weather while I waited for the bus, and then finally getting to campus, I first spent the better part of an hour liking every Facebook status, comment or tweet related to how inconsiderate the school was for even opening today. Seriously, if I end up sick in the latter half of the column, you know why. Actual zombies would be less braindead than the people that decided to run classes today. /rant


So after my administration-directed rage had subsided, I realized I still had two midterms today, and so I spent most of the day studying. My main base of operations is SLC, which is a safe zone, and I also had the good fortune of only having to walk to SJU and back for all my courses. Couple that with the low zombie conversion rate on the first day of HvZ, and I didn't see a single zombie during the day.


Around 5:30 p.m., I'd finished all my midterms, which gave me plenty of time to focus on the main mission. When I heard that there'd be a “main mission” for the day, I imagined some sort of human vs. zombie firefight where only the strongest were left standing. Instead, what I got was considerably more layered.


There was no battlefield for the two sides to duke it out. In fact, it wasn't even totally clear where I was supposed to go for it. At about 5 p.m., I got an e-mail giving me a list of cryptic clues about where the objectives were. The “objectives” were actually posters that the humans had to locate and then take with them back to one of their headquarters, while the zombies tried to intercept them. While I was pleased to figure out some of them (“Find this code hidden amidst the writings on the walls” referred to the walls of QNC, for example), I'll admit I only had five or six locations by the time I headed out at 6 p.m.


Fortunately, after scouting out two locations with my friend (which other people had already reached), we ran into a couple other players. Two more players became four more players became a party of about 15 as we searched the area around EIT, and as our group grew I began feeling pretty powerful — most likely because with this many people surrounding me, my chances of getting wiped out were considerably smaller.


I also learned a couple of handy things, most importantly the importance of socks. While Nerf guns are great for longer-range fights, taking out zombies that are nearby or hiding around corners is best done by tying a chain of socks together into a whip. This is extremely basic crap, but being the complete rookie I am, I didn't understand their importance until I had to jump out around corners with my shotgun and hope there weren't any zombies around.


Fortunately, there usually weren't. With so few infected thus far, I only saw four zombies the entire night, and none posed much of a threat to our horde. Instead, the majority of the drama came from figuring out which codes had already been found, finding routes where we could lose track of any zombies that had given away our location, and debating with others on what the most practical course of action is. Those with a trigger-finger will probably have their bloodlust sated later in the week, when a lot more people have been converted. I'm kind of hoping that the people who play it safe and smart are the ones who survive, though, cuz I am definitely not the run 'n' gun type.


In the end, the humans we did pretty well. We got 19/20 objectives, far above the amount needed. If we got the last one, we would have earned some sort of reward, but time ran out and staying in one place for too long was just asking for zombification. Still, I learned a lot and none of my squad got bitten, so I'm chalking this one up to a win.


Tomorrow I should be better prepared — ready to check the good hiding spots, prepared to whip any zombies into submission, and hopefully with another squad who will cover me when I inevitably slip up. I'm just hoping that there aren't too many more zombies running around.


… And that I have enough socks lying around to make a whip. I should probably do my laundry soon…


Good night, and good luck.


Matt Lawes



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