Archive for February, 2012

What’s worse than being in a zombie filled apocalyptic world? Being all that and broke at the same time. Society rebuilding from the ashes and in some cases where fire was deployed against the Zees ashes is meant literally, we need a method of commerce. I do not know what passes for money in the Green Zones, though if I were to guess it will be actual money held in banking systems still running along with running water and flush toilets. Out here in suburbia hell we handle coin in three methods. First there’s what you can find of old world money, actual cash, dollar bills and coins. If you find someone’s stash hidden away I heavily suggest you avoid the coin collection and stay with the bills. Get weighed down too much and you might just become one of the richer Zees out there when the dead catch up with you. I know it happens because I’ve popped a few Zees in the head that have had way more money on them than they should have. On the up side what slows you down in life slows you in your unlife too. Zees that shuffle slower than the others but still look fresh usually have something decent on them. The biggest problem with old cash is that raiders notice when you have it. So do small children with quick fingers. So your fellow survivors might raid your camp and steal some and while exploring you might run into a skilled but small pick pocket who will take some. On the positive side if you are actively hunting or you have a lot of trade posts set up you will make more money than you lose.

Gold remains a favoured method of commerce and if you happen to have a good place to stash it, having a few bricks of gold is not a bad way to go. Thieves won’t take something so heavy, and on the current market value you can purchase a $4500 value bar for $5000 which is a decent exchange rate. Keeps your money safe from raiders and helps you save up a bit for a rainy day. Still storing such items gets costly if you want to keep them safe in the new banking system. Everyone can carry around one brick, but soon as you want more than one you pay for it. You can’t expect not to, nobody can keep safe on move with several bricks of gold and therefore storage fees at the New World Bank, our new method of banking, will add up depending upon how many spaces you pay for your gold. I spent the ten Credits for a second space so that at any given time I can pull out $9000 from my bank account for emergency funds. I have debated buying a third space, but currently I funnel too much money into my safe house maintenance and improvement program to make it worthwhile. Space costs go up as well and it would take me 15 Credits to buy a third space.

This brings us to the third commerce choice, “Credits”. Note the capital C. When the New World Bank was established a lot of us did not place trust in the new money that came out. Someone had found a stash of old poker chips destine for a casino that never took off and decided to set up their own bank. But eventually some of us realized that not only did these people have the chips, they also had managed to secure some major banking buildings and somehow find the man power to secure them against Zees and raiders. Many of the banks are on upper floors of banking structures, some requiring walking ten or more flights up to the office. But they are secure and really with a bank that’s what you pay for, a safe place to keep your assets. As if to further win good will the New World Bank hosted a “Kill a Zombie Banker Day” event, handing out the bullets for free. More than a few who are still bitter about events prior to the Zee outbreak participated in popping off banking zees and investment zees. That event alone bought a lot of good will. With current inflation 1 Credit is worth 100 dollars. So for smaller things, such as a frying pan we use old world money, but storing up Credits is a smart idea.

Credits are safe from raiders within the New World Bank. More important, different factions in society are trying to make the Credit replace old money completely. If you want to purchase a gun it might cost you $250 but if you use Credits that same gun costs you 2 Credits. That’s savings in the bank right there. So let me repeat that very important lesson. Always, ALWAYS buy your weapons and protective equipment with Credits. It is way cheaper to do so.

The problem with Credits is that you won’t find them on Zees. You also can’t turn in old world money to gain them, since the New World Bank is trying to discourage the use of old world money. Instead we have modern day time share specialists out there giving away free Credits if you are willing to listen to their sales pitch. I know it sounds tedious but it is not. Every time you end up buying equipment or repairing equipment or even just look at your equipment check out the sales pitch under advertisements that say “Earn Free Credits!” The best sales pitches are pre recorded videos but there are other options. Thirty seconds of my time gives me a free Credit. I don’t even have to really pay attention. And you never know, maybe they will advertise something you can’t live without. In this world “can’t live without” could be literal.

Advertisements

Most of what has survived this rat infested world with the Zees has only done so because sturdy walls have kept out that which sought to enter, be it animal, undead, or human. Most of what we find in the ruins is well picked over and we are now just fighting over scraps. I hear this is not the case in the Green Zones and only take heart in that fact because sooner or later the elite will realize they need us, the little people, as a work force to maintain their healthy and happy life styles. In the meantime we have what is left, such as it is. A locked door is a coveted surprise and I find on average when searching I come across one about once an hour.

Therefore it is imperative that on finding such a door I get inside. There is almost always some expensive goodie waiting to be picked up, and no matter how slim the pickings are behind the locked door I will make back enough money to pay for the expense of the lock picks I used to open the door. In fact at my current skill level (rated by the CVC as 16) I average about 500 dollars per locked door. Minimal effort, maximum profits if one can get inside.

Unfortunately we no longer have accessed to the manufacturing goods of the past. Nobody wants to work for a noisy factory that will attract the Zees. Therefore like everything else we scavenge lock picks or make them out of what resources we can find in the ruins. A paperclip can do wonders with the right tools, but its flimsy material will only survive one door being picked.

I make it a practise to always have two lock picks on me, no more, no less. There is never a need to have more than two lock picks in my experience; however, two are necessary in case of accidents. If you get through the locked door and find yourself cornered by Zees you may end up having to drop all supplies and cash you gathered to run for your life. That means you entered a door using up a 50 dollar lock pick and came away with no benefits. This is where the second lock pick covers your ass for the next locked door.

When I exit a locked room successfully, the first thing I do is go and purchase a lock pick to replace the one I used. If I had previously lost my scavenging and find myself at zero lock picks I will then purchase two. Maintain the balance, and always be prepared!

Some might argue that you don’t need to purchase lock picks until you find the door, and you could use this approach. I know of some who sell off supplies at that time to purchase their lock picks. However, I have found no end to the use for my money and would rather commit the resources right away to future success in my scavenging. This ultimately is why I recommend my two lock pick policy.

Stay safe and good hunting!

I have been asked why of all places I would pick an elementary school to build up a safe house. Sure there are many locations that I could have picked, and it was not my first choice, but it was close when the shit really hit the fan. And at that point fences, locked doors and supplies were all that mattered.

The outbreak had pretty much spread global by the time I started to take the lead. Most of those I had huddled with had been lost, either to Zees, circumstances, or to raiders. It is tragic that we few who live and are locked out of the Green Zones still take violence to one another. Worse I have participated, raiding camps both weaker and stronger than my own for needed supplies, but I am getting ahead of myself. Beebles, Malkoris and I are all that is left of a group of ten when we first huddled for mutual protection.

We lost Joseph and his wife along with their teenage son after the second week. That is to say we parted ways, the three joined a caravan heading north under the leadership of a man named Charles Wagner. Apparently Mister Wagner promised those following him that the Zees would freeze this winter in the north and they’d be safe. I do not know the outcome of the caravan, but if winter taught me anything, Zees don’t freeze. People, the living, do. And what’s worse, we need food, and there wasn’t much left to the North. I hope they made it. A drifter named Larry got taken by a Zee when we were scavenging a gas station. Larry was taking a piss behind the dumpster. Good of him to protect his modesty and not flash us ladies. Bad that he boxed himself into a little space and had no way of avoiding the Zee that stumbled into him. There’s no cure, everyone knows that, except the few fools that hold out hope and often have some raving lunatic loved one who wants their brains and is in chains in the basement. Larry took himself out before any of us could argue the fact, not that we wanted to. Shelly was a little blonde bimbo cheerleader sort. She drove me crazy with stupid “what if” questions. What if the government opens up the Green Zone and we all get across the border? What if we search labs and find a cure and save everyone? What if we stop at the mall and give each other manicures, won’t we feel better? I wasn’t sad to lose her in a positive way. The silly wench hooked up with a group out of New Westminster and last I heard she’s expecting her first. Live births, they’re rare enough these days, and are they reason for celebration in this bleak world? As for the twins, Danny and Samuel, they sold the rest of us out to a group of raiders, choosing to join them. When the three of us woke the following morning all our supplies, our weapons, our food and the twins were gone.

This was the state we found ourselves in when I decided I had had enough. I took Malkoris and Beebles to the first solid structure that I believed we could defend. I don’t understand how the school had remained vacant. Only a few Zees had been inside and we were able to clear them out without too much trouble. The benefits of the school have quickly become apparent. There’s a second floor we can defend from, having blocked off the stairwells on the north side, one can only enter from the south. The roof is accessible for emergency stand offs. Water, showers, and some medical supplies were within the building as was some canned goods and, glory be, soda pop of all things. Desks and chairs make good barricades once you stack them correctly, and the hallways are narrow enough that a few people can defend against a large number of Zees. Most classrooms have two doors allowing us to corral zombies into a room and shut them in before setting up a kill zone to wipe them out. These classrooms also have doors that lock so we can secure ourselves and our supplies at night. The janitor area had tools and further supplies. The school zone has large grass fields so we have a clear view of anyone approaching; unlike many of the buildings or residential selections others have chosen. And ultimately the size of the building allows for growth in population but is not so large that a smaller group cannot defend. I stand by my decision as I’ve led us here. Terry Fox Elementary is our new home, come hell, high water, or zombie horde.