[Editor’s Note: Caidid is one of the editors for Gunpowder & Lead, writes Clausewitz for Kids, and is one of the driving forces behind Twitter Fight Club. We’re honored to have her here, even if only one of the Jedi Council qualified for her survival team.]
First off, thanks to the crew at Grand Blog Tarkin for having me. I know this is a bit off the usual scifi path, and I appreciate them giving me the venue. I hope this will be only my first of many contributions to the site.
Last night/this morning @UnaDispatch tweeted out 20 #recessionlessons (which, by the way, are totally worth reading for serious) one of which was about befriending people with practical skills because “do you really want to face the Zombie Apocalypse with a bunch of social scientists?” Which begs the important question: who do you want to face the Zombie Apocalypse with?
I set myself the problem of drafting my Zombie Apocalypse (ZA) team from Twitter. I decided to go with a team of nine, because baseball is my first reference, plus nine is a magic number in Norse mythology (which I love). So if I’m a manager looking to field a ZA team from Twitter, who am I taking? There are many candidates who are qualified in many ways, so this is just one possible permutation off the top of my head. In addition to their individual skills, I’m looking generally for people who are smart and adaptable. (It goes without saying, I think, that this is all in good fun).
1) @petulantskeptic No question. He’s a doctor and a soldier. He hikes and shoots and back-country skis and camps and all that survival-y good stuff. Plus, he’s thought more about the ZA than anyone I know, so I know he has plans within plans for how to face it. The ZA hits, my first play is to get myself to where he is.
2) @abumuqawama A social scientist, yes, but also a Ranger. No one can question that he has all the lethal skills required for zombie disposal. He’s extremely competitive, a helpful mindset in this case: this is a man who will not be defeated by a few stinking zombies. He has combat leadership experience, and have you met the guy? Oozes leadership. I’ve told him before – and I’m quite serious – that if he ever runs for office, I’m quitting whatever jobs I have at the time and working on his campaign (if he’ll have me). No-brainer. This is a guy your whole team will follow into the teeth of Hell, no questions asked, and even better, this is a guy who won’t waste that team once he gets them there.
3) @FrostinaDC She travels all the time, all over the world, so she’s clearly adaptable and familiar with a variety of terrains. She’s a hiker, a climber, and a diver too, which could be quite handy. She works at the Pentagon, so she has a lot of experience figuring out how to cut through the crap to get things done.
The problem with #zombiesurvival planning is it focuses on survival and defense. Cedes initiative to the zombies.
— B. A. Friedman (@brettfriedman) September 5, 2012
This is a guy who’s ready to make sure you don’t just survive the ZA, you dominate it and put it down.
5) @guinpherson She’s got the military background (bit of a theme, I realize, but hey: lot of handy skills there). She’s a fitness and nutrition enthusiast, so she’ll know how to keep everyone fueled. Crucially, she is also an aviator. If the team can get access to a chopper and some fuel, that will be invaluable.
6) @RBStalin Two reasons: 1) I know he’s fully capable of cracking zombie heads (the helpfulness of this is obvious); and 2) he makes me laugh (the helpfulness of this should never be underestimated).
7) @cjchivers A Marine who has survived I don’t even know how many war zones in his next life as a war correspondent. Patient, observant, smart, and knows everything there is to know about small arms. You always want Chivers on your team.
8) @securityscholar She speaks six languages, has a military background and martial arts training, has traveled extensively, and she’s tough as nails.
9) @qtu There were a lot of contenders for the last spot, but I’m going to follow the advice of @brettfriedman who recommended her saying, “an integrated obstacle plan and explosives expert will be key.” Plus, she went to my high school, so I know she’s smart. (Sumus primi!) 😉
Other individuals I considered include linguistics expert @justaddnotes, @UnaDispatch who inspired the whole exercise, @wjrue, @timmathews, @dianawueger, @jeffemanuel, and dark horse candidate @atavistian who made a compelling case, saying “I used to teach survival skills and I can sew like a mad bastard,” any of whom I would be happy to have on my ZA team.
So what do you look for in a Zombie Apocalypse team? I might be overly relying on the military types, but I can’t say for sure whether that’s totally appropriate, or a sign that I’m putting too much of a premium on zombie-killing skills, or just a reflection of my Twitter circle…I’d love to hear what other people’s teams would look like, and why.