Saturday, 8 October 2011

Cards, and the Barter Economy

If you have lived this long, congratulations! Obviously what you are doing is working. You have met all your immediate needs, and avoided the most pressing dangers of the zombie apocalypse. But that is where the good news ends. The honeymoon period is over, and now you must realize that this way of life you have adopted is for the long term. To advance your long-term survival you are going to need to think beyond what you need to exist on a day to day basis. I will try to give some examples on how to get supplies.

1. Understand the current situation.
Most survivors have continued to live because of their experience with guns, and their ruthlessness with regards to dispatching group members that have been bitten. The largest groups of people left in Brisbane seem to be bikies, criminals, and other ruthless elements of society. The camaraderie of the army and police, however, seemed to do the armed forces a great dis-service when it became necessary to euthanase fellow members. This resulted in many unnecessary re animations by bites while people still hoped for a cure to aid their comrades. Most resources have been stockpiled by gangs of survivors, and the largest groups of survivors are people with no qualms with taking living human life. Bartering with criminals, whilst incredibly unsafe, may be unavoidable. Understand that it takes numbers to successfully defend a resource rich building such as a supermarket. Anyone that looks to be in good health is most likely a member of such a gang. It will be difficult to present a member of such a gang with anything they need, so try and go for novelty items, such as katanas or fashionable looking guns. It must be valuable as a trinket, but not TOO valuable, because if you require a price too high, they can easily threaten to kill you to take it. If its value is extremely high, you might incur their curiosity as to where it came from, and they may do unspeakable things to you to find out. Most gangs have instituted a system where if other survivors wish to trade with them, they allow them into their makeshift guarded fortresses one at a time at certain intervals. This is so that if that gang chooses to execute an individual for a perceived insult in the process of trading, others will not find out about it. You will be outnumbered at least 10 to one in such a scenario, so pressure can easily be used to coerce a lone survivor to part with a highly useful item for very little or nothing. 

Obviously such a scenario does not favor those not already affiliated with a gang. I find the best way to gain useful items such as weapons or medical equipment (i won steak once, evidently hells angels in Brisbane has a generator to run a freezer. What a day!) is by gambling with drunken gang members.
 Remember this is not a game anymore, and the result absolutely dictates your chances of survival. Gambling is useful because you can trade, but disguise it as a game, which protects you from the process mentioned earlier. You are NOT aiming to play a good game, because if you win significantly, they may still shoot you and take all your possessions. Rather you are going to attempt to play a game that only just gets you what you need. Initiate card games with gang members in a context where they do not have the power of numeracy to intimidate you. I find that this often happens around liquor stores. Depending on the numeracy of a gang, after one source of alcohol is depleted, they send out scouts to find another. When they find it, often the individual sent invariably drinks all the most expensive goods before it can be distributed amongst the hierarchy. If you can find a lone drunkard who looks like you might be able to approach them without being shot, this is how you might gain an economic advantage. Play the worst game possible, and make sure they get something of yours that they covet. I have personally taken to the habit of wearing 6 wristwatches on each arm so that i have something of worth to gamble with (they also act as a wrist guard to avoid bites). Gangs tend to have a monopoly on firearms, so you wont get one unless its through a member. Guns aren't cheap however. Its the currency of modern life. Try to have something unique, like an artistically painted motorbike (getting it there without drawing the horde wont be possible with the engine running, you'll have to push it to a bottle store beforehand, hide it under some rubbish, and watch the store closely for a few weeks until the scouts arrive). Without peer pressure, they are less likely to be violent to non-gang members, but do not get too complacent with your safety! Be able to get out of there as quickly as possible if things go bad. Skills such as field surgery can also be traded, but remember, it cant be too valuable. If they find out you are a doctor, or can use your electrician skills to wire up an alarm system using shredded car horns (for instance), they may kidnap you to do so for them.

Life has returned back to the rules of "the wild west". You are going to have to be incredibly cunning in order to gain resources from a monopolistic gang. This strategy works for me, but is not the only way to gain leverage. If you've lived this long you are obviously not naive about what you need to do to survive!

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