I know it’s been a little bit, but finally here’s the second part to the Zombie project that I’ve been working on. Enjoy guys!
(Oh, and for those that will wonder where I got my info from towards the end… Yes, I actually did call a crematorium to get the info.)
THE ZOMBIE PLAN – You can never be too Well Armed
FIREARMS are generally at the top of most people’s lists, and with good reason. They allow you to engage the undead at range, with very lethal force. A couple downsides to them is that they have LIMITED AMMO, and they are extremely LOUD and will attract plenty of unwanted attention. Since the majority of the undead will be civilians who were turned, the need for penetration is minimal as the majority will not have been wearing any type of body armor at the time of their demise. While there will be some who were equipped with armor at death [LEOs and Military for example], unless you are near a military instillation or a Police Department Building you should have minimal contact with them.
It is debatable on which caliber [Bullet Size] you should equip yourself with. While the .45ACP will have reliable stopping power for causing considerable damage, the amount you can carry is less then say the 9x19mm Parabellum round. Both will put down the undead permanently with well placed shots, but with the 9x19mm round you will be able to carry more on your person, along with it being more common as it is the standard issue ammunition for most local law enforcement agencies. There is a line however with how small you want to go. For example, a .22 may not consistently be able to penetrate a skull if you’re going for a headshot. There are many other options available for handguns, and you also have a considerable amount of options with the various number of rifles and shotguns out there. There is no true answer to what you should carry, but do your best to weigh the pros and cons of everything you are trying to carry.
BLADED WEAPONS are another common choice for people to carry with them. There is NO LIMIT on ammo for them, and they provide the ability to actively defend yourself in a close encounter with the undead. That however is the biggest risk with using a bladed weapon. The range at which you would be engaging the undead puts you at risk and should only be used as a last resort. Another downside is that even though these weapons do not put the limitation of ammunition that firearms do, bladed weapons will dull with repetitive use. It is best to carry a whetstone [Stone used to sharpen blade edges] so you can maintain a sharp blade.
You also have a number of different choices for blades available as well. You can decide from swords of various models, to knives, axes, spades, spears, etc. While all of these are appealing as close contact weapons, you have to take into consideration how much each one weighs and how large each one is. A spear for example is probably one of the lightest, but it is one of the largest, making carry options limited. A spear also presents a further reach, but at the same time makes it more difficult to engage multiple undead at once. A broad sword on the other hand, while heavier, is also smaller and can be strapped to a number of different carry positions ranging from the hip to the side of a backpack; and while the reach of a sword is shorter than a spear you can engage multiple undead more freely. One of the hazards of using a bladed weapon is that after you cut down the undead, you will have infected material on the blade. If you’re not careful with cleaning it off, there’s a chance you may get infected through some kind of accident.
Weapons that I DO NOT recommend using are bludgeoning and explosive weaponry. While both can cause serious damage to a living opponent, their effect on the undead will be less than that of the previously mentioned. Bludgeoning weapons, such as a club or baseball bat, cannot give consistent ‘one hit kills’, regardless of what the movies tell you. A ‘fresh’ undead who, in life, had plenty of calcium or was just born with a high bone density, will be able to take several blows to the head before the skull cavity will cave in.
Explosive weapons on the other hand may easily maim the undead, but their ability to ‘kill’ the undead would require precise timing and placement of the explosive device. Off timing or bad aim would result in perhaps removing the legs, arms or even the entire lower body. This however may not be enough to kill the undead and may even make the undead more dangerous. If it survives and is able to still move, an undead which is missing it’s lower body may still be able to pull itself along the ground using its arms and since it will have a much smaller profile, will be able to sneak up easier on the living; even being ‘invisible’ in tall grass or shallow water.
Electricity as a weapon is DEBATABLE. The normal amount of voltage to kill a human is only really enough to cause cardiac arrest. That is the case with 99% of the world’s electrocution related deaths. Since the theory of the undead has minimal use of the bodily organs to survive, the only effective way to kill the undead with electricity would be to use enough voltage to ignite the flesh that still clings to the undead. In igniting an infected, it would also serve as a dual purpose to ‘sterilize’ the undead flesh. However ignition of the undead through electricity is doubtful in its ability to completely burn the undead.
Crossbows and Bow and Arrows are also DEBATABLE. While they are silent weapons that use ammo that can be reacquired after being fired, they also pose a risk to the user. After the bolt or the arrow hits their target, it can be removed from the undead and used again, however each bolt will have infected body material on it. Unless you are willing to carry a jar of bleach or disposable rags to clean off the arrow or bolt, they will cause a risk that you may become infected just by using your weapon.
While many movies and games will present chainsaws as an ideal weapon against the undead, there are very high potential hazards with utilizing one. One of the main things that must be taken into consideration is if the undead blood will be able to transmit a virus or plague of some kind which will infect a living person. If the ‘virus’ can be transmitted by blood, then using a chainsaw is a very risky tool to use. For example, when you use a chainsaw to cut a log or some similar wooden object, you are showered in saw dust and wood chips as you cut. Now if that same log were instead to be an undead, you would instead be showered with blood and flesh chunks. Without any real first hand accounts, there’s no way to know if you will only get infected through blood-to-blood contact, or if it is simple skin contact which will transmit the virus. So due to these reasons, I have to advise you to NOT USE a chainsaw unless you are SEALED in some kind of environmental protection suit.
Fire based weapons (i.e. Flame Throwers) are another one of those weapons that movies and games put out there as one of the most able undead killers. While flame weapons are indeed very effective in both eliminating and sterilizing an undead threat, there are several unknowns too. For example, will the fumes from an undead be hazardous, or how long will an undead remain active after ignition? On average, unless the temperatures reaches over 1400’ Degrees Fahrenheit (Minimal Cremation Temperature), a body will take several minutes before the flesh, muscles and organs are burned away. At 1100’ Degrees Fahrenheit (The average temperature of an open wood fire, such as a campfire) it could take up to TEN to TWENTY minutes to render an undead immobile through incineration of either the brain or muscles required for movement (Based on the amount of time it takes for a non-decayed body to burn according to crematorium employees). For these reasons, flame based weapons should be used instead for sanitation purposes; or as an offensive or defensive weapon only when reaching at least 1700’ DEGREES FAHRENHEIT OR HIGHER. Knowing if the fumes will be hazardous is an unknown that will be a mystery until the actual event of a Zombie Apocalypse. However it never hurts anyone to be careful about things, so do your best to remain up-wind from a burning undead.