Last week, the Interuniversity Consortium for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (ICAMES) held another one of its semi-regular zombie preparedness drills. As in the past, the scenario was set on the (post-apocalyptic) McGill University campus, or at least our rendering of it in 28mm scale.
The player objectives were as follows:
- Alejandra Espinosa: You are in need of additional research materials. Find one or two books (preselected from a longer list) and return to ICAMES.
- Émilie Noël: You are in need of additional research materials. Find one or two books (preselected from a longer list) and return to ICAMES.
- June McCabe: You are in need of additional research materials. Find one or two books (preselected from a longer list) and return to ICAMES.
- Heba Al Fara: You are in need of additional research materials. Find one or two books (preselected from a longer list) and return to the Leacock Building.
- Hillary Birch: The pressure was just too much. Kill four zombies. See what happens when someone gets bitten.
- Sean Anderson: Vengence time. Find any one book, watch Dick Danger die, and return to the Leacock Building.
- Thomas Fisher: You are Dick Danger—reality TV action hero! Get people to thank you.
- Prof. Juan Wang: Dick Danger is your childhood hero! Find Dick Danger, get his autograph, and return to the Leacock Building to mark exams..
The list of books used was the same as in the 2012 version of the exercise:
- Max Brook, The Zombie Survival Guide.
- Nathan Brown, Constitutions in a Nonconstitutional World.
- Ronald Brown, Homemade Guns and Homemade Ammo.
- Jason Brownlee, Authoritarianism in an Age of Democratization.
- Richard Curtis. How to Prosper in the Coming Zombie Apocalypse.
- Chistopher Davidson, After the Sheikhs.
- Mark De Lisle, The Navy Seal Workout: The Complete Total-Body Fitness Program.
- Michael Herb, All in the Family.
- Samuel Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies.
- Amaney Jamal, Of Empires and Citizens.
- Robert Kirkman et al, The Walking Dead: Compendium One.
- Erik Kuhonta, The Institutional Imperative: The Politics of Equitable Development in Southeast Asia.
- Marc Lynch, The Arab Uprising.
- Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortes, Go the F*ck to Sleep.
- Fiona Ritchie and Peter Sabor, eds, Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century.
- Lisa Wedeen, Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria.
The game started with June, Émilie, and Alejandra exiting ICAMES from the back door, and heading over to the adjacent McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. No sooner had they done so, however, then they were attacked by a group of zombies. June and Émilie fought desperately against the abominations, while Alejandra decided to abandon her erstwhile companions and run away towards McTavish Street.
Eventually they gunned down the creatures, but no sooner had they done so when a pack of feral dogs approached them and attacked. Émilie was torn to pieces, while a wounded June eventually retreated back to the safety of ICAMES
Hillary and Heba cautiously made their way down McTavish from the Leacock Building, but they too attracted the attention of a hungry pack of scavenging dogs. Heba was bitten. Fortunately Sean soon arrived and used his Alpha male bro-ness kept the beasts at bay, which were then scared off by a few shots from Hillary (who, whispering to herself, seemed oddly fascinated by how things die).
Juan Wang decided to just make a run to the south (and towards her hero, Dick Danger), hoping that her superior speed and nimble footwork would keep her from being injured. One small group of walkers intercepted her, but she slipped past them without a scratch and continued on her way.
Having decided that the back door and alley were too dangerous, June now departed ICAMES via the front door and made her way carefully down Peel Street, past a wrecked ambulance.
As the dogs trotted off, Heba decided to press forward past the crashed helicopter and towards the Institute of Islamic Studies. Sean headed into the parking lot of SSMU, hoping to carjack a baby blue convertible parked there, but was unable to start it. Hillary broke into SSMU itself, found a book, and then looked back out into the street. A group of zombies had rounded the corner from Dr. Penfield Avenue, and were now headed towards Heba!
Hillary giggled. Should she tell Heba? No! It would be more fun to watch!
These were no ordinary zombies, moreover, but a group of runners, led by the Department of Political Science’s zombified administrative officer, Andrew “Grrr Arghh” Stoten! They rushed at Heba, tearing her from limb-from-limb and devour her bloody, twitching corpse. Graduate school is rough.
From her hiding place in SSMU, Hillary shot a couple of the zombies. The feral dogs then returned to bring down Andrew and feast upon his decomposing limbs.
Juan finally met up with Dick Danger, and obtained his autograph. Her heart-throb was rather more of a Dick than she had imagined, however, and she decided to run back to the Leacock Building. Dick noticed a small zombie child stumbling around the corner of the Bronfman Building, and gunned it down.
Meanwhile, Alejandra had managed to run across McTavish, through the ruins of the Islamic Studies and Redpath libraries, and successfully reach the main library building. There she started to look for the books that she needed. A huge and surprisingly intelligent boss/clown zombie, however, had noticed where she had gone, and started to head towards the building, groaning to attract an ever-growing number of undead followers as it stumbled forward.
Just then, a group of strangers arrived—students from nearby Concordia University. One, from the John Molson School of Business, wore a suit and packed a pistol. A second, from the Faculty of Science, carried a sword and machine pistol. The third—possibly from Fine Arts—seemed to be a dominatrix of some sort with a 0.50″ Barrett M82 sniper rifle and a latex-clad man on a leather leash. Performance art, perhaps?
Dick Danger flashed his trademark smile at them—but it was soon clear that it wasn’t going to work. Perhaps they knew him personally!
He shouted at Juan to run from the hostile gang, as he prepared to hold off them off. Moments later his head exploded in a spray of pink mist as a heavy 0.50″ slug tore through it. Dick Danger was gone!
Further to the north, Sean spied a pick-up truck in the alley and tried that. It worked! He also befriended some of the feral dogs, who scampered around him. “Into the truck, boys,” he drawled. “Woof,” they responded, tails wagging.
By this time, Alejandra had exited the library, and headed to the Bronfman Building—pursed by a quite large group of zombies and their boss. The building itself contained a small group of survivors. Such was Alejandra’s Colombian charm that they decided to join her.
The group made its way to the roof of the building, where they spied the hostile Concordia students using the ladder on an abandoned fire-truck to climb to the top of a nearby office block. The fired upon their rivals, dropping the dominatrix—only to see the sword-wielding science student grab the heavy rifle.
The noise soon attracted even more zombie toward Sherbrooke Street. Alejandra crossed the roof into the adjacent building, then rushed down the ground floor, out into the streets, and headed back to the library. Moments later, “Pennywise” the zombie boss and her minions burst onto the roof of the Bronfman Building and killed all of Alejandra’s new-found allies. Was there no one she wouldn’t sacrifice in order to complete her MA thesis?
One Concordia student started up the fire truck, while the other perched on top of the ladder with the rifle, taking shots at whatever McGill students she could see. Would no one be safe?
With grim determination, Sean considered the scene. If only he had a drone! Instead, he gunned the pick-up truck, turned into Peel Street, and headed towards the approaching fire-truck, running down a couple of zombies on the way.
Moments later, there was a sickening crunch as the truck and fire engine collided. Sean and most of his dogs were thrown free of the wreckage, miraculously unscathed…. until, that is, the sniper atop the ladder regained her balance, and put a round through Sean’s head.
June, who by this time had finally made her way to outside McGill Bookstore on McTavish Street, paused for a moment, then headed in. It was full of zombies, and she was in no condition to fight them. She quickly ducked back out. Damn.
It took a few more minutes for the fire truck to extricate itself from the wreckage, by which time many of the surviving members of the McGill community had found shelter. The ICAMES Zombie Drill 2014 thus ended:
- Alejandra Espinosa: Hiding in the library, with one of the library books she sought.
Émilie Noel: Killed by zombies and dogs.
- June McCabe: Cursing in frustration outside a zombie-filled bookstore.
Heba Al Fara: Killed by zombies.
- Hillary Birch: Killed many zombies while giggling. Watched people die. Sung to herself. Winner!
Sean Anderson:Gunned down by sniper. Thomas Fisher: Gunner down by sniper.
- Prof. Juan Wang: Obtained autograph and returned to office. Winner!