Episode 664: What Do You Want?

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Trust Issues

Surviving the zombie apocalypse isn’t likely something people will be able to do by themselves. People will need to band together in order to survive. That’s easy enough if you happen to know all the people you find yourself with, but most people aren’t that lucky. Odds are, most groups of survivors will have started out as complete strangers. In the early days of the zombie outbreak, it might be a little easier to trust others, but as people get more desperate, trust is going to become a very expensive commodity.

It becomes even harder to trust others when there is some sort of resource or power imbalance. For instance, Survivor A will have a hard time trusting Survivor B when A happens to control a large store of food and water, and B has almost nothing. On the other hand, if Survivor B has a number of weapons and other people with him, the threat he presents to Survivor A would affect the trust in another way.

About this Episode:

Whoever is inside sounds like they might be reasonable. At the same time, they seem like they want to make sure Sam isn’t just looking to score some narcotics.

Discussion Question: Helping Out

You’re in the midst of the zombie apocalypse, and have managed to find shelter someplace that has plenty of resources to keep you going for the foreseeable future. The only problem is that your shelter location is extremely desirable, and less scrupulous survivors could easily try to take it by force. Suddenly, someone is outside the door, alone, needing some of the supplies that you have. He seems desperate, but friendly enough.

What do you do? After all, you don’t actually own any of the supplies you happen to have at the moment, but you can never tell what a person’s real motivation is, or if they’re working with others.

17 thoughts on “Episode 664: What Do You Want?”

  1. Regarding the Discussion Question: If a shelter location I’ve found is extremely desirable, and someone else wants in on it, odds are I’d probably negotiate, unless they seem intent on brutally forcing their way in. We are after all in a zombie apocalypse, what’s to stop them from taking over the place and either killing or imprisoning anyone they don’t like or want around? Or they could just shove them out into the zombie horde that’s probably gathering around the location in question. If there’s one thing any raiding party will have to contend with, it’s making at least some noise that would attract zombies to the location.

    If I don’t actually own any of the supplies, the possession is 9/10ths of the law rule comes into play here. I’m in a zombie apocalypse, what exactly does owning anything mean, especially if the former owner might be a zombie out there? I feel that if I had defenses good enough to take on small raiding parties, like up to five people, that maybe I might not want to negotiate, and would either employ scare tactics, or shoot them, but only as a last resort. This is from a purely personal standpoint, I’d much rather negotiate than have to scare off or shoot anyone. 😀

    • “I’d much rather negotiate than have to scare off or shoot anyone.”

      I feel the same way. It’s not exactly the super cool action movie way of handling things, but it’s probably a lot safer (assuming the people you’re negotiating with aren’t psychotics, of course).

  2. Well well.. things appear to be looking up for Sam. Or… could this be a trap?!

    • Maybe it’s a Christmas miracle?

  3. Dave, I’ve been meaning to ask: When Sam finally goes back with the meds, is there any chance you could put together a panel or four of the route he’s taking from where the chemist is, to where Sarah and Gramps live? It shouldn’t be too hard to put together some shopfronts or even intersperse some greenery to make it look like a park or something is in between them. Something I sometimes miss is the actual journey between places in this comic! It’s little things like these that make this comic so well done! 😉

    • I can try. I have much more limited time to work on the comic these days, which is unfortunate. That means it’s harder to build sets that would only be used in an episode or two. Of course, I could probably use the backs of some modulars to make an alley, or something like that.

      • That would be nice, it at least makes an impression that there’s places to go! I look forward to seeing how inventive you get, give it a go, and show us what you can come up with! 😀

  4. It always comes to the same thing… Considering how much humanity will struggle in a situation like this you’ll always find selfish people that’s for sure… I still think this will be the majority.

    Now this doesn’t reflects my way of thinking. We have to help each other. It’s as simple as that… We say back in France that an orderly charity starts with oneself, but finding shelter in a pharmacy sound to me like a great place to start the sharing with other people struggling… Or die trying.

    You know my point by now I think… If people only live to kill each other, then what’s the point surviving?

    • Regarding selfish people as the majority. I think its conceivable that, in a long-term survival situation like this, selfish people might be more likely to survive, thus there being more selfish people than altruistic people after a while. At the same time, I think you could make the argument that being selfish would be a disadvantage in a lot of ways too.

  5. During a tragic event (be it hurricane, power failure, or zombie apocalypse), people often follow a set mode of thinking:

    FIRST: The world you know is over. This unlocks a lot of the human Id and people don’t mind breaking laws or polite behavior because there’s no tomorrow. Meaning there’s nothing to offer consequence.

    SECOND: Desperation sets in. After the basic needs of living (i.e. Food, shelter, and water) leave you become desperate. This is where the aggression truly starts out. We start to view others as rivals rather than fellow human beings.

    THIRD: New social dynamic. People form new social groups, be it a loner state or mass following someone offering promises. Doesn’t matter if promises can be delivered or not, they just flock towards a new social structures because, well, human beings are social creatures.

    FOURTH: New group either survives or it does not. This ISN’T to say that they’ll die off if the social group fails, just that someone new takes over leadership as it reorganizes…but in a zombie apocalypse setting usually that involves death.

    FIFTH: Society returns. In all events, some sort of society has formed from the past tragedies on earth. Mind you, we call it the zombie APOCALYPSE because that typically DOESN’T happen, but this is to help illustrate the mindset of people. With the new society (or return of the old society) we lead into the Sixth stage…

    SIXTH: Return to old mindset and ideals. There IS a tomorrow. I no longer have to be an ass or have my guard up all the time to survive. I can return to the ideas of a good human being and live out my life in relative safety.

    NOTE: Like in Freudian development, it is possible to get fixated in a step of developement. You believe that the world is STILL going to end, you CAN’T trust anyone, outsiders ARE going to steal your food, the government WILL fall–this is just a brief respite.

    People sometimes need psychological help to work their way threw tragedy, but in the zombie apocalypse, those psychiatrists we made fun of people going to see might not still be around to help us all out…so be nice to them! : )

    • “NOTE: Like in Freudian development, it is possible to get fixated in a step of developement. You believe that the world is STILL going to end, you CAN’T trust anyone, outsiders ARE going to steal your food, the government WILL fall–this is just a brief respite.”

      This is one of the things The Walking Dead does really well. Characters are introduced into what appears to be a safer, more civilized society, but have a hard time coping.

      • Yup, that’s why I put the note in. : )

        The Walking Dead did a very good job of this; Fear the Walking Dead…not so much…

        • Did Fear the Walking Dead do anything well? I honestly haven’t heard anything good about the show.

  6. Man finally caught back up after being away for a year or two.

    Ok, so about the discussion question, this is obviously a hard situation and it could play out in many ways. If any of you have played the walking dead videogame DLC by telltale games called 400 days, this situation comes up. But except your not alone, your with a group, and your choices are either to keep a fellow survivor alive that your group finds stealing some food or kill him. Well this plays out two different ways of course, if you kill him, your group is safe problem solved, if you let him go guess what? His crew comes and tries to raids the camp and you lose a few of your own. Now I’d like to think that if a single man came to a stronghold of mine i have supplies at for help, that i could help him out, possibly make a new friend/ally and go on about my business. But in a state of panic and desperation you never know what someone is capable of. and that always leads to trust issues I guess. I guess just make your choice, stick with it, and keep your eyes peeled cause you never know.

    • Man, I really need to go back and play the first season and DLC of The Walking Dead. I loved the second.

      • Yeah i loved the walking dead games, cant wait until the new one about Mishone’s backstory

  7. Hmm – publishing problem, Dave? 😀