These are my moderators. They're the guys that make sure the events run
smoothly and that everything is legal.
This year I was determined to play. I followed the event on Facebook. I signed up on the website. I even read the rules. This year, I was going to actually get to play Humans vs Zombies. I mean, come on: imagine a 40,000 acre campus, with over 1200 students actively playing, trying to neutralize the zombies / turn all the humans into members of the infectious horde. I mean, who wouldn't want to play that? I heard about this game for the first time last year. Unfortunately, I couldn't play because being in another country seriously hinders being able to play at my particular campus. Oh well. Better late than never.
Sooooo, I signed up on the website and wrote down my ID code on a little piece of cardboard. This code is very important: it's what separates human-me versus zombie-me. If I get tagged, then I have to give this scrap to the zombie who "bit" me (a zombie bites a human by tagging them with both hands). Meanwhile, I have to arm myself against these cerebrally ravenous creatures. Obviously, we humans can't use real weapons to arm ourselves with, as this would certainly cause trouble as headshots would be a little more permanent. However, we are not left defenseless: our weapons consist of Nerf guns and sockbombs. It sounds a little simple, but let me tell you: those little darts can sting if shot from the right weapons. And the sockbombs are a good way to take out zombies if your aim isn't all that it should be. So, knowing this, I promptly forget about buying any ammo the weekend before and go to school completely unarmed. Fortunately, I also forgot my identifier (in order for players to know if someone is also playing or not, we all had to wear bandannas. These bandannas also had to have neon duct tape on them, so the police would know you weren't actually a terrorist but someone who is trying to save the human race from complete zombification. If you're a human, you have to wear the bandanna as an armband. If you become a zombie, then the bandanna has to be around your head or neck. Zombies also need duct tape so the humans can know which people are actually playing and which people are trying to make a fashion statement).
Day 1: I ran civilian throughout the first part of the day. As I was on the bus heading to class, I saw people at almost every bus stop with colored armbands and these ridiculously HUGE Nerf guns. I kept kicking myself at my lack of preparation, but swore that I would come back in the afternoon to hunt zombies, fully armed and merciless. When my classes finally ended (I get out at noon, but it seemed like I was stuck in class for 35000 hours), I made a beeline for my car and drove straight home to drop off my books. While I was there, I picked up my roommate Allie who also wanted to play. I loaded up with sockbombs and tied my bandanna around my arm. Once armed, we then headed out...to Walmart (we needed a lot more firepower than a couple of socks. We needed Nerf).
|What my gun looks like.|
We arrived on campus, only to realize that our guns were battery operated. The nearest convenience store is on campus, so we had to sneak around, armed with two non-functioning guns and 4 sock bombs running around and hoping that no zombies try to attack us. Even though we both know that it's only a game and it's for fun, we're both completely terrified and on edge. Thankfully, we arrive at the store unpursued, and we purchase our batteries, only to discover that we have no idea how to actually turn the things on. What you can't see in the above picture is an orange knob with "on" on one end, and "off" at the other. Seems fairly straightforward, right? Well, there's no clear way to indicate exactly how you're supposed to turn it on. It looks like a dial, and it spins like a dial, but nothing happens. Finally, one of us figured out that it's a switch, not a dial. tl;dr- Nina's not so smart sometimes.
After finally getting everything started, Allie had obligatory school things to do, so we separated ways. I canvased the entire campus alone (NEVER a good idea), but didn't seem to see any zombie or horde-ish activity. After a few hours, I finally found a human hunting party of about 10 heavily armed guys. Around this same time, I was supposed to rendezvous with Allie. We set up a designated meeting spot, and the guys were nice enough to provide cover for me while I waited. Unfortunately, we waited in vain. While we were waiting, I suddenly heard a scream with a most familiar voice...Sure enough, it was Allie. We decided to set a new rendezvous point: my car.
I walked with the guys for a few more minutes, but eventually we had to part ways, as they were hunting in a different area than my final destination. My car was in the opposite part of campus from where I was, and it was late enough that the buses weren't running anymore. Not to mention I was completely alone, with any number of shadows that could easily hide a clever zombie... Paranoid doesn't even begin to describe how I felt as I walked to my car. Every single leaf that rustled, every tiny bit of motion in the corner of my eye made my heart pound a little more, made me just a little more tense. Finally, I saw my first zombie: my roommate. She was in the parking lot, but her back was to me. I turned on my gun and shot her (if you shoot a zombie, they can't attack you for 15 minutes). She wasn't too amused. When we were finally in my car, I felt all the tension that had been mounting drain from my body (vehicles and off-campus sites are neutral zones). I would live as a human for another day.
Day 2: This day was by far the most uneventful day of the week. I somehow managed to sneak my way into class, only to discover that two of my classmates had been turned the day before. I saw the other remaining humans eyeing them warily, but I wasn't worried about them: my next class was in the same building, so I was safe no matter what. Once I got out of classes for the day, I literally walked throughout campus again without seeing a single zombie, got into my car and went home. Sleep deprivation demanded that I pay penance to the sleepy gods, and I once again survived to fight another day.
Day 3: I started the day similarly to Day 2. I managed to sneak into my class, give a presentation completely decked out in ammo, building hop though buildings between my next class, which garnered me no end of strange looks, and successfully make it to my final class of the day. Afterwards, I once again walk to my car without any sight of an undead. Today, however, I decided to hunt again instead of taking a nap. I walked back up to where I was, and I saw a fellow hunter. He needed an escort to his next class, and I agreed to go with him. Along the way, a seemingly innocuous moped drove by. The next thing I know, I feel hands slamming into my back. I turn around, and I see the zombie that just attacked us both. Now I have to switch teams: the humans are the prey, and the zombies are the good guys. After I get turned, I decide to call it a day and go home.
Day 5: This was the day that every player was looking forward to: Final Mission Day. Our ultimate goal was to protect our Zombie King and take out all remaining humans. Our "hive" was at the top of a parking deck at the edge of campus. The humans' objective is to take what they called the "Big Bad Bow" up to the top of the deck and shoot the king, thus making zombies mortal. We interspersed throughout the deck and lay in wait for the attack. Those poor humans didn't stand a chance. They didn't even make it halfway up the deck before we had eliminated all the carriers of the B.B.B. (only the mods were allowed to carry it, so no more mods = game over). In the spirit of fun, we decided to make the run a second time. All the humans who were turned went back to being humans, and we all had to start from the beginning. However, this time the zombies decided to create a line at the beginning and go on the offensive. With a cry of "LEEEEROOOOOY JEEENNNKIIINNNNSSS!!!", we ran and attacked the waiting humans. This time I was the one who took out the mods and caused the victory for the horde (I'm still pretty proud of myself about that, even if it didn't technically count :) ).