The key to surviving a zombie apocalypse? Strategy and a healthy dose of paranoia.
At least that’s how the Pink Nomads squad plans to survive UNC’s third Humans vs. Zombies game with the fewest casualties.
The five-day manhunt between students posing as humans and zombies began Monday. With more than 400 players — and only 22 zombies as of Monday evening — this semester’s match promises to be epic, organizers said.
Humans, who wear bandanas around their arms, attempt to stun zombies, who wear bandanas around their heads, with Nerf pellets and socks to aid their escape.
On certain nights, humans are tasked with a mission to complete. They win the game by surviving long enough to complete their final mission Friday night. Zombies win by turning all of the humans into zombies, which makes many of the humans constantly wary.
“Check your six,” warned Nomads squad leader Joe Passalugo before exiting Davis Library.
Armed with automatic Nerf guns, Passalugo and three of his teammates escorted a fellow squad member to Wilson Hall.
Members of the squad covered the distance quickly, all the while glancing over their shoulders in case a zombie attacked from behind.
The team seemed oblivious to the confused glances their guns and bandanas elicited from others as they avoided crosswalks and sprinted up the slope leading to Wilson.
Buildings, dorms, dining halls and other indoor areas are safe zones, but anywhere else on campus is fair game.
“We might have improper paranoia-to-zombie ratio,” said Stephen Hunn, but that paranoia is necessary to survive the first day.
“Until he makes his first kill, the original zombie looks just like every other human player, so for the first few hours we’re all extremely paranoid,” said Ben Keilman, captain of the Pink Nomads.
“By Thursday, humans will be rolling around really low-key and zombies will be prowling in force.”
Sophomore Preston Burnett said he survived until Wednesday during last semester’s game, when he was cornered by a pack of zombies and chose to fight instead of fleeing.
“It’s more honorable when you go to class and play to the fullest instead of hiding in your dorm room,” Burnett said.
He added that if he does get changed into a zombie, he’ll use his insider knowledge to target his friends because he knows they’ll make good zombies, too.
Burnett said that, if given a choice between survival and protecting other humans from zombies, he will always put the Nomads first.
“My team is definitely focused on putting a lot of fire down to keep zombies at bay.”
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