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HvZ, Part Three: The Mission and The Turn

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Hey all! Sorry I’ve been so quiet these past few weeks–I have a lot to get done before Thanksgiving so I’ve been a bit busy. Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled HvZ!

I signed up for HvZ on a Tuesday. On Wednesday night, I joined the Humans for my first mission. Armed with all the socks I own, I exploited the fifteen-minute “grace period” humans were allowed in order to walk across campus to Reid without being threatened by zombies. When I arrived, a small group of Humans had already formed on the front steps and were talking strategy. They were a ragtag bunch of survivors, battle-weary from four days of evasive maneuvers, all armed with at least one Nerf gun, if not more. In fact, someone was kind enough to lend me a pistol for the night. Our mission: to find blueprints left behind by Stephen Penrose, who had built a zombie-killing prototype weapon centuries ago. The blueprints were hidden all over campus, and we had to solve puzzles to find their locations. One problem.

The puzzles were Sudoku puzzles. Which are fine, if you’re doing them in a stress-free environment with plenty of light. So hiding behind Cordiner in the dark and cold, armed with only a flashlight and constantly looking over your shoulder for the undead hordes is not a conducive environment for these puzzles, as we soon discovered. Luckily for us, we only needed three key numbers to find the location, so we solved for those numbers and looked up the location on the location sheet. Our first clue to the blueprints was hidden under the chessboard in front of the Hall of Science…in full view of Ankeny, and most likely the zombies. So we took a longer, more circuitous route to the chessboard, which was fine…until we heard a whistle.

The whistle was followed shortly thereafter by a cry of “HUMANS!” and a pack of zombies. Half the humans, myself included, made a break for it and ran onto Isaacs. The other half stayed back to cover our backs, as we had the clue. We sprinted to a clump of bushes behind Olin and dove behind them. It would have been a pretty good hiding spot, except for the guys sitting on the porch of Beta Theta Pi (one of the fraternities), who found it highly amusing to yell “HUMANS BEHIND OLIN!” at the top of their lungs until zombies came and chased us out. Thanks guys. They continued to shout out our location as we ran past Olin, behind Jewett, and around the corner toward Lyman, at which point they lost sight of us. We ran instead to the backyard of Penrose House, at the corner of campus, and attempted to solve the clue there…only to discover that the location sheet had been left with the decoy group.

We could solve the new puzzle to our hearts’ content, but without a location to match the solution with, it was pointless. We tried to make contact with the decoy group and attempted to solve it anyway. But then, a ray of hope! The decoy group came running around the corner, and we sprang from our hiding place to join them…and the horde of zombies right on their tail. At that point we knew we were done for, and we surrendered, running into Olin (a safe zone) as a mark of our failed mission. To top it all off, the decoy group didn’t even have the location sheet–they had dumped it with their backpacks at someone’s house.

But the terror didn’t end there. THEN, we had to all get to our respective dorms/houses from Olin, while the zombies were still lurking outside. A group of three Jewetters (myself included) and one Lymaner made a break for it and got halfway to Jewett before setting off the zombies’ whistle alarm. The Jewetters managed to get into the building (though I slipped and fell trying to swipe the door open, hurting only my dignity), but the Lymaner had disappeared. We had survived.

Until the next day, when my next-door neighbor turned me into a zombie. Thanks for that.

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