Achilles’ Heel: Theories of Possible Zombie Weaknesses
Achilles’ Heel: Theories of Possible Zombie Weaknesses
By Steven Mosley
So what is a Zombie? There are usually two definitions that are agreed upon by most experts. One: a Zombie is a dead human that has been reanimated to a state between life and death and its only function in life is to eat other human flesh. Two: a Zombie is a human in a death-like state, who is stripped of all human cognition, will and all other mental or spiritual faculties. It really does not matter which definition you subscribe to–what truly matters is how to capitalize on a Zombie’s possible weaknesses for the sole purpose of dispatching the creature.
Based on what is known about Zombies, the mainstream thought is that a Zombie’s only true weakness is the BRAIN. I cannot disagree with this assessment. If one causes major trauma to the brain, one will destroy the Zombie. The main concern should be to cause “severe” traumatic brain injury (TBI). A penetrating or closed (blunt) blow to the head can achieve this, and it matters not which method is used to dispatch the Zombie. The deliver the most effective strike, one should aim at the temple, the bridge of nose/eyes, or the base of the skull. Hitting one of these areas with brutal force will help ensure maximum damage. It should be noted that there are many different types of weapons that can cause TBI, and they include firearms or other projectile-style weapons, blunt or cutting implements, and/or puncturing weapons. The bottom line is this: destroying the brain destroys the Zombie.
In addition to directly destroying the brain with any of the aforementioned implements, there are additional weaknesses upon which one can capitalize: possible intermediary measures leading towards the end goal of Zombie destruction. Consider the following.
A Zombie’s eyes: in the extremely interesting paper entitled Madore’s Zombie War Doctrine, the two brothers, David and Robert, describe the blinding of a Zombie as a serious alternative to attempting a very difficult headshot with a firearm. Based on my three decades of firearms experience, I have to agree that headshots are extremely difficult, and blinding a target would seem to be much easier. According the Madore Brothers, Zombies first perceive the human shape with their eyes, and then due to the excessive production of Rhodopsin in their eyes, Zombies utilize their “infra-red heat vision” to sense the human heat signature. It stands to reason that destruction of the Zombie’s ability to see can effectively keep them from locating human prey. Nevertheless, one must keep in mind that though its ability to find human prey has been effectively shut down, without destroying the Zombie brain, it still possesses the ability to hone in on and relay other Zombies’ prey alert signals. In other words, it can continue to attract other Zombies to an area, so the Zombie must ultimately be killed as quickly as possible.
This blinding tactic can be accomplished using either a Destructive or Obstructive method. For example, destruction could be accomplished through shotgun pellets, a crossbow arrow or a pistol bullet to the eye. A simple obstructive method could be paint pellets from a paint ball gun– I particularly like this idea. Shoot the Zombie in the eyes to blind it, and then destroy its brain with some type of impact weapon; my personal preference is a Kukri knife. I believe actual field testing needs to be conducted on this new Zombie war doctrine, but I must say that based on my training experience, it can work.
Another potential weakness to exploit is the Zombie’s single-mindedness. As we all know, Zombies eat human flesh. It is all they desire. Their inability to think or do anything else can certainly be used against them. Once a Zombie pinpoints on a human, that Zombie will not stop until it reaches that prey, finds another prey, or erodes. Of course its prey alert signal will attract additional Zombies to the same location. One killing strategy could be setting up either a booby trap or an ambush for a group of Zombies. Drawing one Zombie into the trap and allowing others to follow suit could lead a sizeable horde to destruction. This is a very simple tactic that could yield a high-kill ratio.
Two additional potential weaknesses that I will mention are the act of breaking a Zombie’s jaw and cutting a Zombie’s Achilles tendon. The former affects its ability to bite, and the latter hinders its ability to move. It is my personal opinion that breaking the jaw is a waste of time. If one is going to strike the jaw area, why not just strike the entire head and achieve the ultimate desired effect of permanent brain injury? Although it requires some accuracy, the Achilles tendon, on the other hand, could be used with effectiveness. When facing multiple threats, if one can navigate towards the back of the threat, one could possibly sever the Achilles tendon. This would affect the Zombie’s mobility and afford time to regroup and destroy it at a later time. Please remember: neither of these actions will terminate a Zombie. They may slow Zombie progress, but brain trauma is the sure thing!
In the interest of fighting and destroying the menacing Zombie population, I hope that I have given you some food for thought. Unlike fully-functioning human beings, Zombies do not have many weaknesses. However, the weaknesses they do possess can be effectively exploited by adept and motivated individuals who possess proper weapons training and a winning mindset. The key is to hit first, hit fast and hit forcefully. I cannot over-emphasize that brain trauma is the sure thing for Zombie destruction. All the other weaknesses discussed are just a means to the coup de grâce!
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