Things I’d Want to Have in a Zombie Apocalypse: Mightier than the Sword?

Pens. The lifeline to sanity.

Mind, the whole “mightier than the sword” bit doesn’t usually come into play with zombies. Not unless you get really close, have extremely good aim, and whatever passes for a zombie brain can be put down with one stab. I’d rather not count on being that lucky.

…Or perhaps, under the incredible stress and near-insanity generated by a zpoc, you’ve invented a pen-shooter. Huh. I’d rather use sticks, in that case….

Still, the right pen makes all the difference in the world when you’re trying to hang onto some scraps of sanity. They let you think out loud and save it for later. To-do lists are one subset of this, covered in an earlier post. 😉

And given what the brain tends to do on adrenaline – mostly dump everything you were trying to think about in favor of dealing with the monster trying to eat you – writing stuff down for later is important. You need to make sure you finished watering those seedlings you’d just planted when the outbreak alarm went off!

Oh, speaking of adrenaline – don’t chew on the pen caps. You know that hole in the top? That’s there so an unlucky pen-chewer has a chance of still being able to breathe if they choke on a cap. Read somewhere that saves something like a hundred lives a year. Kind of makes me wonder if we really need a zpoc to do ourselves in….

Anyway, there’s just something satisfying about the right heft and rigidity of the right type of pen in your hand. Makes it easier to think about the writing, not the instrument. Sure, if the zpoc goes on long enough we’ll be back to trimmed feather quills and oak-gall ink, or at least ground iron filings and fountain nibs. I’ll hang onto my Bics, as long as I can.

And yes, I do plan to write, even in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. I doubt I’ll reach NaNo levels of wordcount, but sooner or later a zpoc will be over. And then we’ll want something new to read!

Of course, if the next big genre is alien invasion apocalypses-

Well. One world-ending disaster at a time….

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18 thoughts on “Things I’d Want to Have in a Zombie Apocalypse: Mightier than the Sword?

  1. Which is why no one should have to deal with more than one Ren at a time . . .

    Or Sinbad in really, really, really bad mood . . .

    And I think if you pushed him far enough, Alibaba would be equally scary . . .

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  2. *Wry G* Well, yes. Which is why I have to wonder how getting all the Djinn Warriors together to fight the Medium didn’t end in bloodshed right after. If they could talk sense enough to not kill each other then, why not keep talking?

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    1. Because too many of the involved parties were men?

      Okay that was biased but it does seem like a lot of the time, they would rather punch people out than talk to them like reasonable people.

      Or the author just through prolonging that particular conflict instead of dealing with the already horrifically powerful bad guys was important . . . to which I feel the need to point out that having them keep talking and maybe acting reasonable doesn’t mean that particular conflict is entirely over. After all, there is still misunderstandings due to culture gaps, the fallout of what Kouen and Koumei finally realizing “oh that’s actually kind of stupid and horrible”, and of course, the fact that Al-Thamen would hardly taking this laying down and attempt to sabotage stuff like talks . . .

      Also maybe we would have that Alibaba having to help the people who hurt him and his people because he isn’t mean enough to leave Kougyoko (sp?) stuck holding the bag after her brothers were shifted to other plots . . . and because you can’t have a big good to counterbalance all the big bads, oh no, the big good is always secretly or ‘becomes’ the big bad so the heroes can be even more screwed than they already are and let’s see what dues ex machina or something the author is going to pull to allow the heroes to actually win . . .

      *cough* Sorry but I hate this plot trend in shounen and not just because it seems like they all freaking do it . . .

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  3. Pens are very handy. And besides being your brain back up, let’s all remember that people can more easily disregard verbal agreements than they can written ones because it breaks down to he said, she said.

    Granted both of those require a certain amount of trust that all parties will keep their word but still . . . I’m of the trust but verify school.

    And heck maybe hashing out the agreement on paper will cut down on some of the miscommunication problems (while also introducing new ones. Because humans).

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    1. Writing is key to a higher-trust society. Because having something down in black and white means you don’t have to rely on “my crowd that believes in me is bigger than yours that believes in you. Or says they do.”

      …Of course then we get forgeries, stolen documents, and lawyers. Because humans. 😉

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  4. Black Tide Rising is a very good look at zpoc and then post zpoc work. I recommend it to everyone, provided you like the idea of characters who will not bow, no idea who the real mastermind even was, guns, and the people who are the sort to spit in death’s face.

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  5. Stuff like this makes me want to put some actual work towards that zombie survival boardgame I was toying around with, at one point. Kind of like imagine if Doom, Left4Dead and XCOM had a lovechild.

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      1. Left4Dead is a zombie shooter series with a cast for four players in each game.

        XCOM is media property founded on turn based tactical games about a covert paramilitary versus alien war. My bunnies insist that XCOM and Star-Gate are compatible.

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      2. Left4Dead is your basic cooperative zombie apocalypse shooter. Up to four players working as a team, fighting off hordes of zombies (with a handful of more powerful special mutated zombies thrown in for interest – like the walking vat of explosive zombie-attracting goo known as the Boomer, or the Hulk’s undead cousin, the Tank).

        XCOM is a series of turn-based tactical combat games. The basic premise of the game is that aliens are invading Earth – you head the titular paramilitary organization known as XCOM, controlling squads of marines on the battlefield and conducting research and construction off it. The idea is that at first, you start out with flak vests and assault rifles against a technologically superior foe, but via researching, reverse-engineering, dissecting dead aliens and outright stealing everything that isn’t welded down you can eventually reach the point where you’re matching the aliens – before you invade them right back. So yeah, it’s essentially Stargate SG1 without the ‘Gates. (XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the reboot for the series, is currently around twenty bucks on Steam, thirty with the expansion pack and various DLC – if you have the time and inclination I heartily recommend you check them out!)

        The idea for the game I was building is kind of combining these two with some Doom elements. The basic premise is that these strange underground rifts have opened across the world, spewing all sorts of nasty and otherwordly critters out – and you’re tasked with figuring out what’s going on and striking back. You recruit a squad of marines and send them down into this occasionally-changing, disorienting, really-bigger-on-the-inside labyrinth that’s crawling with zombies and other beasties – each mission is a ‘floor’ of the labyrinth, where you have to perform a mission objective before finding the exit, while fully aware that the deeper you go and the longer you stay in a given area, the more attention from bigger beasties you’ll be attracting. Marines that survived a mission would gain experience, becoming tougher and more capable, while hidden supply caches and other goodies found along the levels and purchased between missions would let you kit out and customize your squad further.

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  6. Mmmm. One thing I’m using to ground my self-image; I know the correct way to cut a pen-nib. And I once cooked my own ink (out of red kale).

    Flavia/bv97045

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