Ayrnham, Alabama’s very first megagame, organized by Mooseketeers of America Herd #791, had been a resounding success. Little did the players know, however, that while they had been playing the city had been overrun in a zombie apocalypse.
Could everyone escape to safety?
The characters (played for the most part by members of the Control Team of the recent NWO 2035 megagame at McGill University) were as follows:
- Mr. Moose, Herdmaster of Mooseketeers of America Herd #791. His objective was to exit the city successfully to the airport, preferably retrieving his luggage from his Airbnb en route while protecting the children in his charge.
- Jessy, Tommy, Willy, and Bobby, four young members of Mooseketeers Herd #791. Collectively angered by what they felt was a weak megagame design, poor adjudication, inferior graphics, inadequate attention to American exceptionalism, and excessive reliance of Eurogame mechanisms, their secret objective was to kill Mr. Moose without anyone knowing they did it.
- Samiha, Polly, and Lucy, three more children who had played the megagame—but this time from a nearby residential girls’ school for young offenders. Their objective was to loot four items from ransacked buildings, then exit the city in any direction.
- Dr. Ginger Barton, a feminist anthropologist who had been studying the megagame so as to better understand the role of patriarchy in mass participation wargames. Theorizing had made her hungry, and so she needed to find four food supplies, then exit the city in any direction.
- Eric “Che” Leibowitz, sociology graduate student. He felt that Dr. Barton’s feminist lens was useful, but failed to appropriately frame the class nature of megagaming in the context of neoliberal post-colonial structural repression. His objective was to exit the city, ideally to the north.
- Dick Danger, former reality TV star. Since Dick is a bit of a jerk, his objective was to help people, get thanked, then abandon them.
All characters except Dick Danger started at the town hall, where the game had been conducted. Dick Danger started at the northern edge of the city, on foot. After all, “Danger” is his middle—and last—name.
The exit from Ayrnham across the river to the south was blocked by abandoned vehicles—it’s clearly a bridge too far. (The red markers are “incident tokens”—possible zombie encounters that move randomly until spotted.)
A few zombies stumble about the WalMart chemical factory on the edge of the city. Why would WalMart be producing mysterious chemicals? No one knows.
A zombified child approaches. The Mooseketeers exercise their Second Amendment rights to quickly gun it down.
Che surveys the area. Dr. Barton can be seen exploring a building, while young Lucy stands in the street wearing a gas mask. She can hear the zombies calling her in her mind…
Dr. Barton and the residential school girls meet up in a ransacked laundromat, trading food supplies for loot, and discussing the gendered nature of the apocalypse.
Dick Danger is running into trouble! He fends off a fearsome “runner” zombie, while smaller “ankle-biters” converge upon the sound of his .357 magnum.
Across the stream, with Che is in the lead. It seems to be a clear path towards the west.
The last known picture of Dick Danger. Dr. Barton, farther down the road in a building, peeved by his constant sexist remarks, seems reluctant to help him. The residential school girls simply don’t care. He would be torn apart moments later.
Tommy and Bobby cautiously reverse course, and start to head east—back the way they had just come.
Never leave a Moose behind! An elite Moose Extraction Team (MooET) fast-ropes into the city by helicopter, and heads off to rescue Mr. Moose and his young charges.
Danger lurks everywhere. A zombie can be seen the distance, beyond the fence.
And another! Three bursts of automatic weapons fire bring it down.
Mr. Moose leads the way. Bobby–still angry at his megagame experience and suspecting that his herd leader is a closet Eurogamer, takes aim with his revolver. The shot misses, and Bobby explains it away as an accidental discharge.
The MooET covers the escape of the Mooseketeers.
When no one is looking, Bobby takes another shot at Mr. Moose. He misses again! Mr. Moose will later throw a screaming Bobby over his shoulder and exit the city under the protection of the Moose Extraction Team.
The zombie clown is joined by another. Together with little Lucy, the pack of feral dogs, and a tame racoon, they all dance atop the Town Hall in triumph. (There was an entire subplot involving a Moroccan archaeologist and an ancient scroll too, but no one bothered to take pictures of that in what, had Che survived, he would have undoubtedly condemned as a rampant display of Eurocentrism.)