Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Improvised Pyrotechnics and the "Chain Groan"

I have heard of a rather theatrical way of clearing a building of zombies. This is not for those who fear what hordes the noise would bring. However, be aware that it is an option that you may have to resort to if you get cornered on your way to get supplies!

1. DIY Zombie clearing method for enclosed spaces
As  mentioned before, in anaerobic decomposition methane is produced. In closed buildings that have not been opened post Z day, that contain significant amounts of decomposing matter (such as meat in supermarkets not yet cordoned off by gangs, or office complexes full of reanimated employees) methane accumulates and can do so to levels large enough to produce a volatile explosion. You, the desperate survivor with no other option to rely on (this is very noisy, and is likely to start a fire, also with its risks, mentioned before), may be able to exploit this. Methane is much lighter than oxygen, and will pool at the top of a rooms ceiling. In a methane saturated environment, try this. Take a cigarette, and a matchstick. Sharpen the back of the matchstick, and stick it endwise into the cigarette (butt end). This is just to put a hole so you can do the same with the phosphorous end without snapping the cigarette in half (reorient the match). Now light the cigarette (NOT IN THE BUILDING!), bring it back into the room.Put it on some light papers, and run! Once the "cherry" burns down to the phosphorous, it will flare and burn the paper, which will in turn light the methane! But be careful, methane is notorious for having a very low flashpoint. Try "davidoff" cigarettes, they would (probably, i've never been desperate enough to try) be thin enough to not burn too hot. Methane explosions are VERY volatile and aren't to be taken lightly!

2. The "Chain Groan"
Its been long enough through this apocalypse that all the myths and superstitions about zombies are beginning to be countered by empirical evidence. I've heard many people state that zombies have supernatural powers and can tell where "fresh meat" is without sight, smell or hearing. People have described the zombie as a herd animal that must have some remnant of a psyche in order to coalesce, and not feast upon each other. This is partially true. Max Brooks states that the desire to feed is only peripheral to a zombies state, as they can operate (possibly indefinitely) without food for extended periods of time. When they see humans, they emit "the groan" the deathly signifier of a supernatural demise. This utterance is what draws other zombies. Zombies all act as individuals except for this one characteristic; when one emits "the groan", every other zombie within earshot will groan as well, and head towards the original. This in turn draws even more zombies, and so on etc. All zombies are drawn towards noise, but only positive identification of a living person will justify a zombies groan. Other foods or noise will draw the reanimated, but will not potentially bring all of South East Queensland with it. So it can be seen that it is primarily through sound that the zombie locates its prey. Understand this, and ideally dispatch a zombie from long range before it can emit that fatal groan!

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