My name is Daniel Greene, and I am the debuting author of End Time, a zombie apocalypse thriller. End Time is a multi-point of view novel, primarily following elite counterterrorism agent, Mark Steele, and CDC virologist, Dr. Joseph Jackowski, as a zombie virus with a wicked bite is unleashed across the globe.
Many people have asked me: How will you survive the rise of the dead? What kind of weapons would you carry? What types of supplies will I need? Where would you go? How can I survive? Which friends and family members would you want by your side?
I love these questions. Any person who truly loves the zombie apocalypse genre can imagine themselves in the hero’s shoes as the dead walk the earth.
Well, first things first. I live in a city, which in my zombie world is basically a death sentence. Sorry, city folk, you are going to have a really crappy go of it. There are countless reasons why cities are the worst in a zombie apocalypse, but let’s cover the basics, and potential solutions to keep you alive out there. Knowing is half the battle.
Problem One: Snowmageddon + Independence Day + D.C. Traffic = Deathtrap
First, public transportation is going to be a nightmare (and you thought traffic was bad at 5:00 pm). We know from watching the news and research that in any natural or manmade disaster, people are going to try to leave town in their cars. Not just a few people, but everybody. Mass transit routes leading out of any city are going to be parking lots. Think back to 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, rain, snow, the dark…Roadways are going to be a disaster. Now add in people who are scared. They are going to be fighting each other, as well as the undead. Infection rates are going to skyrocket among the fleeing citizens, turning all roadways leading out of town into deathtraps.
Remedy: One solution to the highway deathtrap is getting a jump on everyone else, and literally Fast and Furious it out of town, as early as possible. There will be warning signs. News stations reporting a weird flu. Missing people from work. Unexplained closures of buildings by authorities.
Another option is to shelter in place. This is only viable if you are well-supplied. We are talking about storing enough MRE style food and adequate water, as well as weapons to defend yourself, or under more dire conditions, seek out someone you know who is a prepper. But I wouldn’t count on it…
Problem Two: Where is Detective John Kimble when you need him?
When zompoc goes down, the first people who will be infected/killed will most likely be first responders. Your EMTs/police/firefighters will be responding to emergencies but will quickly be infected or overrun because they will not know what they responding to. Even if the virus is known at the time, the danger involved with dealing with the infected populace will certainly take their toll. Either way, first responder numbers will dwindle. As their members fall, their ranks will thin for other reasons. Desertion, lack of leadership and fear will drive the remaining to fend for themselves.
Society will lack law enforcement not only to protect people from the undead but also from each other. People will not be prepared, but some will survive. If you have things that they want, they will do whatever it takes to get them from you. This means people, good and bad, will be on their own.
Remedy: The first thing I would secure on my person is a sidearm. With the world coming to an end, I wouldn’t want someone to get the jump on me and rob me before I was able to flee. I would recommend any weapon that can easily be wielded in close-proximity fighting. Practice is key here. Any firearm that you are comfortable with is important. If the only thing you have is a shotgun, I would use that. Contrary to anything you read or watch on zombies, headshots are difficult, even for seasoned gunfighters. Now, I am sure some people will disagree, but unless you are handling a firearm frequently, this is difficult. Slap on some stress, it’s harder and mix in shooting on the move, it’s harder still. Throw in moving targets and you have a very difficult energy-intensive task. You get the picture. Can it be done? Of course. Is it easy? No.
Firearms handling will increase survivability during zompoc, but the bottom line is, if you can’t hit something under normal conditions, you definitely are not going to do it when it counts. Training is key. Weapons handling is crucial.
Next, I would throw in enough magazines to be able to sustain a limited firefight, but not too much ammo where you would be drastically slowed down by its sheer weight. Mobility will be important in zompoc. Then again, you only have to be faster than the slowest group member, right?
Problem Three: That’s not a Knife
A very important piece of preparing for the rise of the living dead is your choice of melee weapon. It always blows my mind when I watch The Walking Dead and they are using little knives to dispatch the zombies. While a small knife does offer certain mobility and an option for stealth, it also creates an encounter that is up close and personal. Why would you use a weapon that forces the handler to get within inches of a disease-spreading zombie’s mouth? For example, what if you miss? Now, you are stuck in a grappling contest. Or why would I want to have to grab the back of the zombie’s head to utilize my weapon effectively?
Remedy: To me, it would make much more sense to have a main longer-ranged melee weapon and an emergency short-ranged melee weapon. Just something where I do not have to touch or get close the zombie’s mouth. I have a machete and a tomahawk that offers some range, but I am thinking of investing in a spear. I played lacrosse back in the day, so I feel I have a good grasp on an accurate spear thrust, and if you miss your mark, you can always transition to a smaller melee weapon such as a knife.
Problem Four: Doogie didn’t make it…
Well, he may have made it, but odds are you won’t find a teenage doctor prodigy in the apocalypse or much other medical help.
Remedy: I would invest in a trauma pack. A med pack that includes tourniquets and Quik Clot is essential. There is a wide range of bad things that you could happen to you and hospitals and urgent cares won’t be around to help. I mean, do you really want to go to a hospital during a zombie outbreak? Tourniquets and Quik Clot are easy to use and could save your life.
Problem Five: You’re dressed like John Matrix, so you feel cool, but you are wondering if you forgot something.
Looking like a commando will probably only get you so far, albeit you will look awesome doing it. There are other necessities than lots of weapons to help you survive the zombie apocalypse.
Remedy: To ensure you make it further than day one, I would also pack a bunch of MRE, or Meals Ready to Eat. These stay good for a long time and require minimal preparation to be edible. Since there could potentially be a water shortage or only access to questionable water, I would throw in my pack a water filtration pump, as well as fire-starting materials.
As awesome as it is to sleep under the stars, I would definitely bring a lightweight tent.
With the survivor basics covered, I would throw in my laptop. I mean, someone has to record the fall of mankind. It could be the only source of knowledge from a cataclysmic event. That’s saying we have enough juice to run it. Bringing a radio would be nice too. Never know when you want to rock out to Metallica while taking on a zombie horde…
A bit about End Time and Writing…
The book started with a question. What would happen if there was a zombie outbreak onboard a commercial aircraft? Nowhere to run. No place to hide. Everyone is seated practically right on top of each other, with basically no weapons at their disposal. A terrifying prospect to say the least. I hadn’t read or seen anything like it before.
The novel morphed from there, and I was able to include many of the things that I wanted to see in the genre with a focus on the initial outbreak.
One of the main reasons I started writing End Time revolved around my love for the genre and the lack of books that showed the viral outbreak from the beginning. We are talking about Patient Zero here. I am constantly reading really good books that show society after the collapse of the government, or thirty days after everyone is infected, or even years after the spread of the disease. Many of these are awesome books, but I am always left wondering, how did we get here? What does the fictional collapse of the government and society look like? What does it take to turn perfectly normal respectable human beings into corrupt, primal animalistic versions of themselves?
That is why I set out writing End Time. I initially wrote the first pages on an iPad. Yes, it took forever, but as more and more words flowed onto the page, I quickly graduated to a laptop. My intention is to show people how easy it is for society to evaporate as the thin layers of order that keep us safe are removed from play. Then, I wanted to show what would cause brave public servants to turn their backs on each other and the public. Corruption? Family? Leadership? Self-preservation?
These questions are the foundations of the End Time series. Simply, I wrote a novel that I wanted to read. The novel shows the struggles of a counterterrorism agent as he wrestles with his identity, his dedication to duty, his love for his family and survival as the dead annihilate the living.
Readers, thank you for stopping by. I wish you the best of luck if the dead rise from the grave. If it happens, give me a shout. We will rebuild together.
I hope you had as much fun reading this piece as I did writing it.
Disclaimer: This piece is just for fun. By no means do I guarantee survival if you follow my methods laid out above…I had to put this on here, just in case a few lawyers make it out of the zombie apocalypse.
Lisa, thank you, for having me on.
– Daniel Greene
End Time – a Review
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