Re: AMC's The Walking Dead Season 1 Discussion & Spoilers
Two nitpicks however. The US Strategic Petroleum Reserve. the largest in the world, has a 160 day supply of oil on hand. I think it was mentioned at some point that they were at day 60 something since the zombie thing started? There should be plenty of petrol around, assuming distribution(a big assumption) continued.
But then what do you do if you get to day 160 and you haven't "won"? You run out of fuel and get eaten is what, so the more logical course of action is to pull back, conserve resources to just a handful of strong points and dig in for a long siege.
As to headshots being the only way to stop a walker. Unless the CDC doctor was keeping physical changes to walkers a secret, the only change is in the brain stem. That means over-pressure(which is the the main way bombs kill people) will kill walkers as sure as a headshot. Whether the brain is turned to mush by a bullet or over-pressure, the end result is the same. Also, limb wounds and such might not kill a walker instantly, but they still have blood, they still have internal organs that require certain processes to work. Just because walkers are governed by pure instinct doesn't make their biology any different from ours. They'll bleed out just like any other human.
In the first episode we saw a "walker" that was basically a half eaten torso, complete with a full exposed rib cage and the thing was still going, so I don't think bleeding out is an issue.
I have WWZ open here and there is a mention of...bugger it, I'll just quote a few paragraphs from the Battle of Yonkers chapter. (I don't usually like to quote this much but I think it all seams pertinent enough.)
"...Zack started entering the first kill zone, the one designated for the MLRS. I didn’t hear the rockets launch, my hood muffled the noise, but I saw them streak toward the target. I saw them arch on their way down, as their casings broke away to reveal all those little bomblets on plastic streamers. They’re about the size of a hand grenade, antipersonnel with a limited antiarmor capacity. They scattered amongst the Gs, detonating once they hit the road or an abandoned car. Their gas tanks went up in like little volcanoes, geysers of fire and debris that added to the “steel rain.” I got to be honest, it was a rush, dudes were cheering in their mikes, me too, watching ghouls start to tumble. I’d say there were maybe thirty, maybe forty or fifty, zombies spread out all across this half mile stretch of freeway. The opening bombardment took out at least three-quarters of them.
[Todd finishes his cigarette in one long, angry drag. Immediately, he reaches for another.]
Yep, and that’s what should have made us worry right then and there. “Steel rain” hit each and every single one of them, shredded their insides; organs and flesh were scattered all over the damn place, dropping from their bodies as they came toward us…but head shots…you’re trying to destroy the brain, not the body, and as long as they got a working thinker and some mobility…some were still walking, others too thrashed to stand were crawling. Yeah, we should have worried, but there wasn’t time.
The trickle was now turning into a stream. More Gs, dozens now, thick among the burning cars. Funny thing about Zack…you always think he’s gonna be dressed in his Sunday best. That’s how the media portrayed them, right, especially in the beginning…Gs in business suits and dresses, like, a cross section of everyday America, only dead. That’s not what they looked like at all. Most infected, the early infected, the ones who went in that first wave, they either died under treatment or at home in their own beds. Most were either in hospital gowns, or pajamas and nightshirts. Some were in sweats or their undies…or just naked, a lot of them completely buck bare. You could see their wounds, the dried marks on their bodies, the gouges that made you shiver even inside that sweltering gear.
The second “steel rain” didn’t have half the impact of the first, no more gas tanks to catch, and now the more tightly packed Gs just happened to be shielding each other from a possible head wound. I wasn’t scared, not yet. Maybe my wood was gone, but I was pretty sure it’d be back when Zack entered the Army’s kill zone.
Again, I couldn’t hear the Paladins, too far back up the hill, but I sure heard, and saw, their shells land. These were standard HE 155s, a high explosive core with a fragmentation case. They did even less damage than the rockets!
Why is that?
No balloon effect for one. When a bomb goes off close to you, it causes the liquid in your body to burst, literally, like a freakin’ balloon. That doesn’t happen with Zack, maybe because he carries less bodily fluid than us or because that fluid’s more like a gel. I don’t know. But it didn’t do shit, neither did the SNT effect.
What is SNT?
Sudden Nerve Trauma, I think that’s what you call it. It’s another effect of close-in high explosives. The trauma is so great sometimes that your organs, your brain, all of it, just shuts down like God flickin’ your life switch. Something to do with electrical impulses or whatnot. I don’t know, I’m not a fuckin’ doctor.
But that didn’t happen.
Not once! I mean…don’t get me wrong…it’s not like Zack just skipped through the barrage unscathed. We saw bodies blown to shit, tossed into the air, ripped to pieces, even complete heads, live heads with eyes and jaws still moving, popping sky high like freakin’ Cristal corks…we were taking them down, no doubt, but not as many or as fast as we needed to! The stream was now like a river, a flood of bodies, slouching, moaning, stepping over their mangled bros as they rolled slowly and steadily toward us like a slow-motion wave. The next kill zone was direct fire from the heavy arms, the tank’s main 120s and Bradleys with their chain guns and FOTT missiles. The Humvees also began to open up, mortars and missiles and the Mark-19s, which are, like, machine guns, but firing grenades. The Comanches came whining in at what felt like inches above our heads with chains and Hellfires and Hydra rocket pods. It was a fuckin’ meat grinder, a wood chipper, organic matter clouding like sawdust above the horde. Nothing can survive this, I was thinking, and for a little while, it looked like I was right…until the fire started to die."
The next bit goes on about them basically running out of ammo because of a lack of foresight then the line breaks when Land Warrior basically allows a handful of soldiers to spread panic when they get a headshot but no kill (as in the bullet goes through the head and misses the brain) and it all goes to shit. Keep in mind though that this part of the book is relatively early in the crisis, the "war" itself doesn't really begin until much later, by which point the military had leant it's lessons and adapted to the new threat.
There's even a later "interview" with this same character as he describes how they retook the country...on foot...armed mostly with just modified entrenchment tools and semi-automatic rifles.
Of course for all I know this could all be BS, but to a layman it seams pretty well researched.