It’s been a while since my last post, but here’s another rant from the man you love to hate, That Guy. What’s it about today? Post-Apocalyptia. You know. The Earth AFTER the apocalypse happens. The place where all the great games are set. Well, most of the great games are set. Where it feels as though I’ll have the most respect, if I survive the apocalypse to get there… Yeah. I like Post-Apocalyptia…
So, why do I like Post-Apocalyptia? Because when I’m in Post-Apocalyptia, life will be so much simpler. Sure, society will crumble and humanity will lose its grip on the planet, but think for a moment. Who will have time to ruin people’s lives? No-one, at least, not for a few weeks if not months. I predict that when the end comes, there will be a 3 month wait until we get the bands of raiders that we see in games and films. You know why? Because EVERYONE will be looking for the perfect place to set up. Setting up properly can take, ooh, 2 months. That means that by the time the so-called ‘raiders’ can fins somewhere where they don’t have too far to go to do their raiding, it’s already 2 months in. They take a month to set up a sort of semi-base, in case they have to flee, probably setting up in a cave or something, before starting the actual raid ‘missions’. So, surely it’s better to be a raider, right?
No. In 3 months, you have enough time to set up a home, start the farming, construct some kind of weapons and get to know your surroundings perfectly. In this time, assuming that 1% of the current life on Earth has survived and using the population density levels of the UK, you can expect about 3 people a week to see you. In 3 months that’s a sum total of about 36 people. Some will be heading to an area where they think they will survive, and any decent person would invite you along with them. Others will be willing to set up in your home with you, making your survival more likely. Then you get the ones that will be passing through, heading a long way away from where you are. They’ll be the ones that provide news, maybe even telling you about raiders they’ve seen trying to set up. It’s an efficient system where everyone knows EXACTLY what’s going on and has time to repair. The only problem is weaponry.
We can assume that raiders will primarily hunt the creatures that have survived, whilst also stealing supplies from those that have farmed. Those that plan to survive the apocalypse will undoubtedly decide to farm primarily, whilst foraging or hunting when necessary. Those that decide to remain as wanderers, such as myself, will have another option.
Wherever you go in the world, so long as there are humans, there is currency. Heck, in some cases animals use money of some kinds. All a wanderer has to do is find something that can carry, that established groups would need, but are unable to get themselves. This leads to trade and generates a sort of economy. The wanderers start out hunting, foraging and maybe a bit of raiding, before moving onto the trading with the people who can help. But hang on a minute! Where will wanderers sleep? Anywhere. Literally. So long as they have a knife by their side and a roof over their heads, wanderers can do anything, anywhere at any time. A damn near perfect life with only your bodily limitations to hold you down. Brilliant.
Ok, so where would a wanderer go? Well, they’d have to imitate raiders for a few months, maybe even join a small colony until they have set up, just so that they know where they will be able to find people to trade with. After this? Well, they gather enough supplies to keep them going for a week or so, then they walk to the nearest city, jotting down where they can find established groups, raiders and resource supplies. When they get to the nearest city, they explore, hopefully being able to find something useful, maybe even a few more days supplies, before heading back to one of the groups they’ve found.
So by now you’ll probably be wondering where I think you can find groups. Well, observe the diagram below. It took a lot of time and research to create, so don’t mock the fact that I’ve used Google Maps (Registered Trademark)
So, what kind of apocalypse are we thinking it will be like? Well, there are four major choices we have, each of which being the product of the weak and stupid. These are:
- Environmental Disaster – You know. Like in 2012. Most people will be killed and the lucky few will live to tell the tale, probably settling on God decided to punish us.
- Deadly Virus – Someone, or something, will unleash a virus amongst humanity, killing a large number of the population, leaving the lucky few who are immune. Again, God will likely be blamed.
- Zombie Apocalypse – An extension of the Deadly Virus, but this time causing the victims to become mindless rage filled psychopaths who reproduce through infecting others, usually with bites or scratches. Personally, this is the one I’m hoping for. So long as you’re not part of the random 0.001 – 10% of people who get infected at the start, you have a 50% chance of survival past the first week. After that, a 40% chance of survival past a month. After that, a 70% chance of survival until either old-age or some kind of horrific accident involving your face, a knife and a drunken stupor. Then again, cholera is much more likely to kill you . Lets be honest. Those are some pretty good odds.
- Nuclear Warfare – Yeah. You know the one. The Fallout style apocalypse. Chances are that if you survive this, you’re either rich, lucky or going to become one of a long series of mutants. To be honest, I’d love being a mutant. I’m barely human as it is, so surviving the apocalypse by sacrificing the little humanity I have left, would be fine. I’d cope.
So, what would I prefer? Well, the ZA is my personal favourite, although I’d be fine with the NW as well. Think about it. The best chances of survival and with the latter, I won’t know I’m dying until it happens, so I won’t have time to worry, because it’s already happening and by the time I can acknowledge that it’s happening, it’s already happened. Complex, but true.
Now, I’ll give you a quick step by step guide to surviving each one of these types of apocalypse. We’ll start with the environmental disaster.
Let’s be honest. Chances are that there would be a handful of people who would survive this. Who would this be? The best and brightest of the youngest two generations we have. Also, the richest, who will buy their way onto whatever project falls into place to save humanity. Think 2012, with less capitalism. Only a little bit less though. That kind of thing really would happen.
So what can we do to survive? Well, here in the UK, there are a few places that would survive any kind of flooding, such as that thought to be caused by Global Warming. Then there’s the whole ‘land shall fall into the sea’ idea that people have. NO! Only at the coast, maybe a mile or so in at most. Anything further than 10 miles and the sea is your smallest worry. A 50m tidal wave would be more of a concern, losing about 2 metres a mile, depending on wind pressure, air speed and of course, where the tidal wave started. It would devastate everything within 20 miles of the coast, with major flooding for 5 miles, irritating flooding for 3 miles and some damp socks for the last 2 miles… In comparison to those at the coast of course… I mean, a 10 metre wave is still pretty big. It would almost definitely take down a house, but the point is, that 2 metres a mile is very unrealistic. We see massive waves (I can’t think of any particular heights) that manage to go for 20 miles, maybe 25.
Rule 1 – Stay at least 60 miles away from the coast.
Next you have to deal with cities. When the apocalypse comes, people panic. Why do they panic? Because they think they’re going to die. Simple as that. To be honest, I’d panic. I may seem to be quite calm about it, but that’s because it’s not happening. Simple as that! When people panic, they do stupid things, maybe try to commit a few of those crimes that they’ve never had the chance to commit before. Me? I’d maybe kill someone. Someone who had always got on my nerves and ruined those few precious moments I’ve had in life. Would I regret it? Hell yeah, but it’s my way of coping. Chances are, that by the time I get safe, supposing that I do, most of the people I know will have died. Friends. Family. Partners. Ex-Partners. Pets. Random acquaintances. That guy that lives down the street and watches you do your newspaper delivery job through his binoculars – Yeah, that’s the one… The Pope…
All these people are going to die and the sooner you realise that, the sooner you can get over it and deal with it. Heck, what’s worse than refusing to cope with the deaths of a few billion people? Well, having died with them, but that’s not the point. The point is, that they were always going to die there. Sure, mourn them, but don’t let it get to you. They died, but you survived.
Rule 2 – Don’t get hung up on the deaths of others.
Also, back to the point about cities. Stay away. London, at high tide during that water thing that happens in spring, is a lethal place. Chances are that anyone who is there when that happens, is already dead. Also, there will also be the people who survive the initial incident that decide that looting, rioting and later, raiding, is the best course of action. These are your enemy. You must avoid these or be prepared for a fight. Simple as that! Remember that time you played Fallout and you had a random encounter on the way to that town you have to go to and the people attacking you want your stuff. That’s the problem. You get seen, you get mugged. It’s annoying, but true.
Rule 3 – Avoid cities, but more importantly, people.
So, imagine you’ve survived the initial disaster. The floods have swept across the country, with most of the UK being safe. You have to head towards high land. So, where do you go? I recommend 3 places. The Pennines, Snowdon and the Scottish Highlands. Why? They are three high areas that based on my mathematics, should be perfectly safe from any flooding.
Rule 4 – Stick to high ground.
You’ve found the high land you want to live on until all this blows over. What do you do? Well, any smart person would decide to find food, shelter and start to develop a home for themselves. It’s as simple as that. Assuming you have a pre-packed emergency supplies bag, you’ll survive at least a week. Anything after that is entirely up to you. You put the effort in, you can survive. Simple as that!
Rule 5 – Gather supplies, build a shelter, survive!
For any of you who wish to join me, I will be heading towards the Pennines, if I’m still living in the UK at the time. If, by some chance, I’m in America when it happens, I’ll head to Mount Rushmore. It’s a nice enough area and to be honest, I might as well live somewhere that stands out. RUSHMORE! Where dreams come true… (No, I’m not being paid to advertise the landmark. Shame to be honest…)
If you do decide to join me, be aware that I like hob-nobs, I can be trigger-happy (I will make a cross-bow for hunting) and I live my own personal space. Bring hob-nobs, alcohol, a lot of wood and some women. We’ll make the most of this situation, even if it kills us…
Next, I’ll discuss the Deadly Virus survival technique
Want my advice? Live somewhere remote. A desert island with no-one else around you in damn near perfect. You know why? Because then, there’s no-one to infect you. If there’s no-one to infect you, you wont be infected by humans. If you won’t be infected by humans, you only need to worry about animals and to be honest, I think they’ll be too busy infecting everything else to worry about you. Just make sure that you be careful when fishing. The last thing you want is to catch and eat an infected one… That’s be ironic.
However simple that may seem, I still have to do my Survival Rules thing, so here goes. It should be a quick on this time.
Rule 1 – Isolate yourself.
Rule 2 – Ensure you have the chance to get fresh supplies.
Rule 3 – Expect stuff to go wrong.
Rule 4 – Be careful when catching fish.
Rule 5 – Don’t get hung up on the deaths of others.
That’s pretty much it. If I’m honest, I expect to die when the virus comes around, but that’s fine. I’ll just be one of billions, so I can live with that. I gave it my all and that’s what really matters. The biggest flaw with the plan? You need at least 1 man and 1 woman. Isolating yourself from people includes the woman who you’re restarting the human race with…
Next, we’ll discuss Nuclear Warfare.
Nuclear Warfare. Sounds fun doesn’t it. Nuclear Warfare. Not my cup of tea, because I drink coffee, but still. What’s all this hype about Nuclear War and WW3 and stuff like that? Seriously? The last major war (The Cold War) that was going to happen didn’t really pick up like it was expected and just about everyone realises that the use of nuclear weapons is overkill, if you’ll excuse the pun. You’ve seen the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch? Think of the impact of a thousand of those, all in a 5 mile radius. That’s Hiroshima. Think of that happening again. That’s Nagasaki. That did a lot of damage, and they were just TWO bombs. Imagine a couple of thousand, all detonating in the same few hours, aimed at a country. 1000 bombs, if aimed properly, could devastate about 5000 square miles of land. That’s about 0.05% of the UK. And of course, you wouldn’t carpet bomb these places. Only about 1/10th of the UK is populated, which means that half of the populated area of the UK could, in theory, supposing my mathematics and supposition is accurate, be annihilated by 1000 nuclear devices. The UK alone is thought to have at least 385 nuclear devices, so to be honest, we, if things get fucked up, could end up destroying about 1/6th of our own country. Now that’s a scary thought.
Then you need to factor in the weapons of other countries. Chances are that we wont be troubled by our own countries weapons, unless there was a misfire, but what about China? Russia? The USA? Sure we’re all friends now, but that could change at pretty much any time after RIGHT NOW. I just did some basic maths, based on the figures that I can find on Wikipedia. They may be inaccurate, but it’s the best chance we have to measuring this. You know how friendly we are with China, Russia and the USA? Well, TOGETHER, they have a sum total of ABOUT 25347 nuclear devices. Assuming a 5 mile blast range, that’s a total of 126735 square miles of devastation. Guess what that means. They could destroy 1.3 copies of the UK at just about any time they want. That’s not the populated areas. That’s the whole country. THE WHOLE COUNTRY. And that’s just three countries. Factor in Libya, Korea, Germany, France, Japan, and all these different countries. Even then, the maths I’ve used accounts for 1 Megaton devices, which were supposedly used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki (although my most recent Wikipedia research states otherwise), instead of the supposed 200+ megaton weapons that were available during the Cold War… That would be 200+ TIMES the range, in theory. It would probably equate to more like 20 times the range, meaning about 100 miles of damage, either radiation or explosion based (mostly radiation).
You know what that leads to? A handful of safe people underground and waiting for the radiation to subside. Do they have enough food? I bloody hope so. Were they on a desert island which was kept away from the action due to its lack of use or importance? I bloody hope so. Will they be able to restart the human race and keep our legacy going? I bloody hope so. If not, we’re pretty fucked. No, that’s not a joke. I mean that.
Of course, the chances of this happening are quite low, depending on how the current stuff in Iran goes, how friendly we stay with the USA once the war in Afghanistan is finally over and whether Pakistan and India decide to do battle… Personally, I hope that they don’t…
So, how can I survive total planetary destruction? Well, there’s not many way you can, but, if you want my help, here’s how you can do it. By the way, chances are that the latter of the rules will end up being fulfilled by your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great,great… Great, great, great, great, great, great-grandchildren… Remember to bring the wife with you…
Rule 1 – Hope to God that you have access to one of the many bunkers built to withstand nuclear warfare (usually referred to as Fallout Shelters),
Rule 2 – Enter pre-mentioned shelter,
Rule 3 – Hide in pre-mentioned shelter until the external radiation levels have dropped to safe levels,
Rule 4 – Emerge from pre-mentioned shelter and repopulate the Earth, whilst also taking on the challenges of finding a safe water supply (the shelter should have one, supposing it hasn’t broken like in Vault 13), coping with any surviving mutants, be it humanoid or otherwise and most difficult of all, finding a maintainable food source. Good luck.
There is a 2nd option, which I recommend you don’t do.
Rule 1 – Pray.
There is also a 3rd option, which I, again, recommend you don’t do.
Rule 1 – Hope that you stay outside of the actual blast range of a device, only having to cope with the radiation, which, let’s be honest, could give you super-powers.
Next, I’ll discuss my favourite of all the apocalypse… The Zombie Apocalypse.
So, here we are with my final apocalypse. I’ve saved my favourite for the end as such, this will be an extra long and extra informative section. Hold onto your hats, caps or baseball bats, as we explore the wondrous realm that is, the Zombie Apocalypse.
Now, I’m sort of like a connoisseur of fine zombie films, games and novels, so I know exactly what to do if I’m being chased by John from the down the road, who just so happens to have worked with Kelly, whose sister Janet is married to Brian, who was bitten by Micheal, who just so happened to be working in the lab where zombititus was released…
Yeah, it’s far-fetched, but it always happens in some absurd series of events, just like that. Seriously. Find a single example where it’s much simpler and not in some way scarily unrealistic. Word of mouth, or rather bite of teeth, is the only way that the world would get completely infected. Even then, look at the gestation time you’d need in order to, for example, get a zombie from the UK to the USA by plane! It’s a 5 hour flight. What about from the UK to China? That’s, oooh, 8 hours? Got to be a long time. So what if a zombie turns whilst you’re in mid-air. Well, you on the plane are screwed, especially if it’s an airborne infection. Chances are that everyone on the plane, including the pilot and co-pilot, have already been infected. It’s just a matter of containing everyone once they’ve landed the plane, supposing you can survive that long.
But, enough about planes. We already know that chances are that everyone’s screwed anyway, with about 0.1% of the world’s population actually surviving the first few weeks of infection. Anyone who survives the first, we’ll say month, has an average life expectancy of about 3 more years, based on the chance of finding someone to survive with, insanity setting in, food sources, water supplies, lack of useable energy, sexual requirements and worst of all, human error. We all make mistakes and the last thing we need is for someone to set up a Ravenholm style area, filled with zombies, traps and the corpses of those who tried to settle there. You’re fine if you’re a priest though…
The first real thing we need to find out is what kind of zombies we’re dealing with here. I mean, it’s all well and good assuming that it’ll be the ‘Oh no, I’ve been bitten and now I’m turning into one of them’, kind of zombies, but there are quite a few actually TYPES. Plus, what if they infect you just by touch? Just because bodily liquid transfer seems to do it, doesn’t mean that it’s the only way. I mean, sure, I won’t ask a zombie to donate blood, but do I need to avoid any splatter I might face if I bludgeon one to death? I have to assume, yes. Why? Because it’s not worth the risk! So, what kind of zombies are they?
Fast? Slow? Special? Voodoo? WHAT!?! I guess the only thing I can do is a one by one analysis and plan. First up, Slow zombies.
Slow zombies are the ones from Shaun of the Dead. You know! The ones from all the old zombie horror films that shamble towards you as though they’re drunk, stoned, blind, death and dumb… THEY’RE the ones…
Chances are that the initial outbreak would be caused by these. I’m kind of hoping it is. A high chance of survival, with all the potential for re-murder. I like!
What’s my plan? Well, I’m going to grab a few beers, maybe head up to the local town centre with a baseball bat and just swing. I’ll grab a few friends along the way, so that we can work in shifts, but generally speaking, it should be quite a safe plan. In a worst case scenario, assuming everyone found out on day 2 of the outbreak, we can assume a one country problem, with at most 50% of the population turning into zombies. Simples!
Next? Fast zombies!
Fast zombies are the ones from films like 28 Days Later, games like Left 4 Dead and dreams like the one you’ll be having tonight. In short, they are the tough ones. The ones that run. The ones that once you start to fight them, there is no chance of running. It’s kill or be killed. These are the ones I don’t want it to be.
Why would that be? Well, I estimate, without having done any real maths, that we would probably end up losing somewhere between 97 and 100% of the world’s population, if a fast zombie infection occurred. That’s not good. That’s DEFINITELY not good. I mean, I like zombies and the possibility of the planet being revamped, so to speak, but bloody hell!
So, humanity would be reduced to its most developed people, be it physically or intellectually. It’s just a matter of where the infection started and how it spreads. In stuff like Feed (Mira Grant – I previously reviewed it. Check it out…) the infection is airborne and when people die, they become zombies, but normally, it’s usually a virus which has been introduced as a result of testing and failed security personnel. Just like in 28 Days Later.
There’s just so many factors to tie in when it comes to fast zombies, for me to write all the different plans. Chances are that you wouldn’t know all the details you need until it was too late anyway. As such, here’s three generic plans for you to follow. The first one is my own personal favourite.
- Find a blunt weapon and some friends,
- Secure a suitable home for you and your friends,
- Find a large food and water supply,
- Barricade an area around your new home (allow for farming space if possible),
- Start to farm / breed animals / breed,
- Send out occasional teams to find out more about the situation at hand,
- When you have a small army of 100 or so people, make sure that everyone has a weapon, then start to clear a city, making it safe for people to live in,
- Live in this city until you die of old age, or a random zombie comes along and manages to infiltrate your defences and transforms you.
Not a perfect plan, but at least I’m surrounded by people I trust… Sort of.
You could always:
- Grab a weapon,
- Go to a heavily populated area,
- Go out swinging…
Again, not brilliant and I recommend against it, but it is an option for those who have nothing left to lose.
Finally, option 3:
- Pray for salvation… Lots and lots of salvation…
Well, to be honest, I think I’ll stick with plan 1. It’s a good plan. If anyone reading this manages to get to step 2, head towards The Isle of Bardsey, off the Welsh coast. It’s about 2 square kilometers and is, as the name suggests, an island. I’ll be heading there. It might take a long time to do from Lincolnshire, but either way, it’s worth doing… I hope.
So, in conclusion, there’s a shit load of prayer, a bit of dumb luck and a good swinging arm connected to your survival in the apocalypse. Chances are that you won’t survive any of these ends, but for those of you that do, I’ll see you on the other side…
Unless I die. Then I won’t be seeing any of you. In that case, good luck to you all. I mean that. I genuinely want you all to survive. ESPECIALLY if you’ve got good child-bearing hips. They’ll come in useful later, if you know what I mean…