Episode 286: Free to Go

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: An Impasse

People can be a real pain sometimes. Even the best of friends who seem to agree on practically everything can reach a point where they simply cannot see eye to eye. The bigger the group, and the more diverse, the more likely this will happen. In zombie stories, groups of survivors tend to be ad hoc, random people from all walks of life pushed together by extraordinary circumstances. While these point should put aside petty differences and work together to survive, that’s generally not how things work.

Oh sure, generally everyone can get along well enough to survive the initial zombie onslaught, but in a lot of ways that’s the easy part. Things get a little more difficult when you’re not facing an outside enemy and actually have to figure out how to make things work day to day. Like the old saying goings, it’s a lot easier to blow up trains than to make them run on time.

About this Episode:

I remember when I was a teenager. I tended to think that I was smarter than I really was, and that I was able to somehow see a lot of things that other people missed. In truth, I was just kind of a pain in the ass that pointed out insignificant details to make myself look smarter. That’s pretty much what I’m going for here with Stewart, although it has the added benefit of laying out some group rules and opening them up to discussion.

Discussion Question: No Compromise

Say you find youself in some sort of unplanned group when the zombies show up to ruin everyone’s day. You guys manage to fight of the zeds, for now, and hole up someplace safe for the night. While you’re enjoying your meal of spam and roadkill, someone starts talking about how there needs to be all these rules, some of which you can get behind, others bother you. What sort of ideas would cause you to completely dig in your heels?

For instance, the group wanted to establish a rule that all individual property now belonged to the group, and if you leave your stuff stays. It seems like that one would bother me.

41 thoughts on “Episode 286: Free to Go”

  1. Typo alert: Discussion question: Last sentence, last word: should be “heels”. 😀

    Well with an unplanned group I would not be in favor of anyone wanting rules that grant them a monopoly on things that have nothing to do with the zombie apocalypse. Like what my personal preference would be when scouting for food, or whether people get shot without a trial if a crime is committed by a member of the group, the obvious things. They can lay down fairly obvious lawful rules, I’m fine with that but if they get to finicky with it, and start to sound like they’re nitpicking it down to the color of the clothes I wear, then that’s where I’d draw the line.

    • Oops, fixed!

      “start to sound like they’re nitpicking it down to the color of the clothes I wear, then that’s where I’d draw the line.”

      Hah, that seems like a group with some serious misplaced priorities.

  2. I’m pretty simple in that respect. I own my life, my liberty, and my property. I have spent a substantial amount of each gathering my gear. Anyone that lays eyes upon with intent of separating me from it gets a reminder about the Tenth Commandment. IF they insist, well, again, I consider any attempt upon my gear an attempted quadruple homicide, and I will react accordingly.

    Frankly, any violation or affront to life, liberty, and property will cause a prompt separation between me and the group; and my family and I will further leave at the earliest, safest convenience.

    Folks need to realize that courtesy is more important in a WCS than in our current situation. Ever read or hear someone say “Some folks are alive only because it’s illegal to kill them? What happens when those laws go away? The loudmouth, the know-it-all, and the busybody will become endangered species when the Schumer hits the fan.

    • “Folks need to realize that courtesy is more important in a WCS than in our current situation.”

      I really like this notion. Being a useless smartass is going to be a hell of a liability.

      • Yeah, it’s a surefire way to cause you to kose a turn in Survival Game.
        Robert Heinlein, himself no stranger to survival fiction, wrote that an armed society is a polite society. In this situation acting like a twenty-first century loudmouth might get ya anything from a rap on the beak to expulsion from the group to beng buried up to your neck near a fire ant hill. Who knows? Choose your friends carefully and mind your tongue.

  3. I wouldn’t go for a total community property rules unless it was the sharing of food.

    And the smart ass Teens, I’d be ditching if they couldn’t shape up and get their acts together.

    • Young Stewie does need a lesson in reality. I am curious, though, what his next words will be. I hope he chooses them carefully.

      • It seems like you both have had some bad experiences with teenagers?

        • Not particularly. Stew’s character has problems, to be sure, with being a know-it-all.

        • I’d agree, it’s character based here. Stew is meant to get under your skin.

        • From my perspective (safely on my couch) I find him amusing. From theirs, I might be sorely tested not to wring his neck.

          That said, let’s have more Stew and Murphy interaction. 😉

        • Definitely more Stew and Murphy.

  4. My stuff would be community stuff if I found it with them. Now if I happened to be prepared with a bug-out bag then probably not so much. Im sure most people would feel the same about preparedness. Most people will bond with one weapon at least and a couple of keepsakes also.
    As far as being a teen, I still haven’t reached the point of looking back and knowing Im am wiser than the last ten years… maybe not as strong or fast but wiser.

    • With regard to “bonding” to weapons, I endeavor to follow the admonition of John Steinbeck:

      This is the law.
      The purpose of fighting is to win.
      There is no possible victory in defense,
      The sword is more important than the shield,
      And skill is more important than either,
      The final weapon is the brain.
      All else is supplementary.

      • I agree, that my brain does rule and I do consider it my final weapon but because I can’t bludgeon the dead for very long with it (Its to squishy) I’ll have to rely one of my carbon beauty queens.

        • only the brain’s outside is squishy, the rest is cold and rocky, the tissues even make shapes in the brain of what your life is like, pretty neat, huh?

        • yeah, i really am a nerd…

        • Point is, don’t get attached to one weapon. On any given day I have two or three distinctly different non-improvised weapons on my person. Don’t have favorites. Even Miyamoto Musashi said that in The Book of Five Rings.

        • I’ve shot an M4, but i couldn’t hit anything… but i guess a kid my age should stick with the melees and low-kicking handguns.

        • The 5.56mm NATO round is actually only mildly recoiling. It is only a .22 bullet after all. The gas system eats up whatever recoil is left.

          The problem most folks have with shooting is that they never get any formal training. Its like they think they can see a John Wayne movie and shoot like Carlos Hathcock by sheer virtue of being an American. Then there is the male ego that gets in the way. Again, they think all American males should be able to shoot (and they should) so their pride is a barrier to learning.

          In general, it is much easier to shoot a rifle than a handgun due to the rifle stock being an added point of contact between the weapon and the shooter. Instead of two hands on a handgun you have two hands on the rifle and the stock in the shoulder pocket.

          I would rather have a rifle than a handgun in a majority of survival situations. The exception to the rule is concealment.

      • “This is the law.
        The purpose of fighting is to win.
        There is no possible victory in defense,
        The sword is more important than the shield,
        And skill is more important than either,
        The final weapon is the brain.
        All else is supplementary.”

        Well said here. Without the ability to think, you’re boned. It doesn’t matter how big your gun is.

        • A smart and trained man can kill with a newspaper. A mewling idiot could not kill with an M4. It’s like one of my mentors used to tell me, “Willingness is a state of mind. Readiness is a matter of fact.”

  5. i think that the last people sranding will be the ones with assault rifles, and machine guns, with a moving shelter (trailer, tent etc.) because shotguns dont hold more than 10 bullets tops, and those guns go to the millitary ther also take forever to reload, a rifle, i once shot a 22 rifle, it had a nice 15 bullets in it, but took too long to reload, so like i said before, the last ones standing will be the people who have assault rifles, its all that simple.

    • Please don’t call them “assault rifles”. An “assault rifle” has a very specific definition, including full-auto or burst fire and an intermediate cartridge. They are generally unavailable on the American market (since closure of the NFA registry in 1986); and please, please do not call them “assault weapons, either. That term is an artificial construct of the hoplophobes and Leftist media with no definition whatsoever (just ask them). It means whatever they say it means to scare people into supporting gun control measures.

      • Scary black rifles.

        • They walk themselves right out of the gun safes and mow down busloads full of nuns before breakfast…

        • Curse them!

        • Yet we have people in this country afraid of their own shadows; and they vote, too.

      • Heh, im going to luagh when all of the monk’s try to show the zombies the cross… then he get’s his face eaten off, stupid monk.

    • Re: Shotguns

      They have their uses. In close quarters, it’s hard to beat buckshot. You don’t have to aim too closely, and it’ll do an incredible amount of damage.

      Shotguns are pretty versatile too. Load up with birdshot instead and you can feed the family.

      Not everything needs to carry 30 rounds in a removable magazine.

      • A niche weapon, to be sure, but within that niche, a scattergun instills terror. A decent pum-action is cheap, easy to take care of, rugged, and will indeed kill about anything in North America, if you can get close enough to it. Just remember that birdshot is not for people, unless you like inflicting large, bloody, and superficial wounds. Buckshot is for people, at least #4 (again, buck, not bird); but for my money I still prefer plain ol’ nine pellet 00. It’s cheap, available, and you can (occasionally) practice with it, even though the recoil will eventually give a cigar store Indian a flinch.

        Yeah, AC, if you want to experience recoil, give a shotgun with buckshot a try. 😉

        • well of course, my uncle has a pellet gun, im pretty good with teh sawned off

        • When you’re ready to get serious, pick up a copy of a pamphlet (can’t really call it a book) called Fred’s Guide to Becoming a Rifleman and a .22 rifle (single-shot, bolt-action, or semiautomatic- doesn’t matter) and a surplus USGI rifle sling. You can teach yourself most of what you need. Eventually you’ll need a coach, especially if you have problems you can’t work out on your own, like a flinch or trigger jerk.

  6. If things go the way I imagined them, my Zombie Apocalypse begins tomorrow!
    Based on a comic I drew at a young age with a friend, things start getting messy round the Northern Hemisphere in 2014. According to the comic, here’s how the legomiles Zombie Apocalypse will go down!

    Day 1: Kibera, Nairobi. A poor shantytown where people live off £1.20 a day, a man eats some infected mushroom. He shows signs of serious sickness and is taken to a charity-run hospital.

    Day 2: The man dies in the early hours of the morning. He comes back as a zombie to attack some early arriving staff, who in turn come back shortly after. The LMZA is on a roll!

    Day 3: Due to poor health conditions, the hospital is still up for service, with some infected staff who were scratched but not killed in the first attack.

    Week 1: The largest slum in the world was overrun in less than a week. Nairobi police struggle to control the massive groups of zombies.

    Week 2: British and US troops are brought in to help with the problems,the infection makes the news in the developed world.

    Undetermined amount of time later: US and British citizens campaign to bring their soldiers home. They are eventually scheduled to be brought back in 2014.

    2014: Soldiers taken home to US and UK. The infection spreads to the developed world, and several individuals across the world, who have prepared for the upcoming ZA on a LEGO fans’ webcomic, begin fighting what they have prepared against.

    What do you think? If this happens, I am hoping to prepare a bit more around 2013, all I’ve got right now is a hammer, a midgety crowbar and an old, cracked walking stick.

    • Not a bad little patient zero back story there…. I like how you have worked it into a real present scenario with countires wanting to pull troops out of different theatres of war.

      Why is it that people generally think about weapons first when it comes to survival in a zombie apoc? What are you going to eat and drink, how long will your current supplies last? Where will you stay? if you have to bug out of your safe house, are you ready for that…. to me these are the much much harder things to sort out, and are more important, because not only will you then be prepared for zombie apocolypse, but you will be prepared for a lot of other survival scenarios. A weapon? Well, like has been mentioned above… your brain, even a rock can be used by a human as a weapon to good effect 🙂

      • “Why is it that people generally think about weapons first when it comes to survival in a zombie apoc?”
        Easy answer, movies and tv. On most shows or films they hardly convey the importance of food. Most of the time its weapons and shelter and thats it. Besides in a real world scenario the masses are never fully prepared, including governments and countries. I work at a News station and it never seems to surprise me how unprepared people are even when they are warned. Scariest part is we as a race will never fully change.

        • True story, that. I remember sitting on my computer, chatting with a buch of preppers the day before Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast- the day before. we knew it was coming, and we were scattered all over the country. We talked about how stupid it would be to stick around. Taking a taxi cab (like the singer Taylor Hicks did), walking, or even hitchhiking would have beed preferable to sticking around.

          One of mankind’s greatest sins is denial. When you see signs of an impending disaster don’t stand there and deny it. Listen to that little voice in your head, pick up your skirt, and run!

        • The reason I’m saying weapons first is because there aren’t that many weapons where I am. The hammer’s my best option, but I’ll need an alternative soon. I know a few places I can get food quick from, and my road has only one road way in- it’s easily fortified.
          I know my friend has a wood chopping axe, but he plans not to use it, and instead refers to the large collection of fruit knives in his family home. As throwing weapons.

  7. I would put a stand against when people try to start breeding… Thats just wrong, I don’t care who you are! If nessasary, I would join one of the raider groups that will surface, for they shall, and as soon as they start the breeding, be it by force, and not consent, then I will use a knife, and kill the bad men and women who want that kind of path, then I will take the ones taken for breeding, and then make a nicer raider group, just no killing of Humans, unless they try to take over, and do that. (Yes, I know that I would be in the wrong for killing them… but That is how strongly I feel for that!… though in actuality, I would probably just knock them all out, and throw them into the cages.

    • I don’t get it. You don’t want people to have kids in the aftermath of a WCS?

  8. If I’ve got plenty of something and someone else in the group is hurting for it, I would likely share some. But someone tries to steal everything I have? Well, lets just say that I would let them have my ammunition, so long as they didn’t mind getting it one bullet at a time.

    …That’s hypothetical of course, since I can’t get a gun in my country. Maybe I should have said they could have my spear pointy end first?