Any fan of sci-fi can tell you there are dozens of ways the world will end. Luckily for you, we've put together of the top eight most survivable scenarios, so you can live long. And prosper.
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By John Scrovak
8. Alien Invaders
Alien invaders are subversive and discreet because their entire mission depends on secrecy. They come down to Earth and burrow into your mind to take over without anyone knowing just what's going on. But there is a way to fight back.
As hard as they may try, these pesky sumbitches cannot seem to duplicate a personality or the knowledge a person has. This makes it difficult to determine who's been infiltrated and turned. They know everything your best friend knew, every last secret, and they'll try and use that information to get close to you. If you notice the personality change, though, back away and go somewhere safe. It may mess you up emotionally, but you can't be afraid to shoot your best friend dead, since there is no known way to remove these parasites without killing the host. The best test you can perform to verify their presence in a person is an MRI or x-ray of the brain. You will be able to see these little buggers as a lone dark spot on the brain, or lit up and wrapped around the spinal cord.
You may want to try and figure out their plans, but don't go listening through every radio frequency with that old radio in your garage. They'll simply use our own communications technology and talk in code we can't pick up on.
Your best bet for survival is to establish multiple bases, compounds, more specifically, and allow entry only to those confirmed human. You may have to take your group of rebels to the nearest airport and steal a full body x-ray scanner to place at the main gate of the compound, so you can determine infiltration immediately. Stockpile on guns, and limit your use of computers (which they undoubtedly know better than we do) to the Internet, and look for the small sites that pop up around Weekly World News articles because, chances are, one of them has it right. Your best shot at victory, as shown by the majority of sci-fi TV shows and movies out there, is to capture one, and show it we have emotions and a right to live. Show him the happy side of humanity, and turn him into an enemy turncoat. Use him for intel gathering, and strike at any enemy bases you can. Fear for humanity will be your rock.
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Contrary to popular belief, you do not want to run within days of the first zombie outbreak. It is recommended you keep a closet in your house full of enough food to last you two weeks, along with enough ammunition for any weapons you own. The best weapons to have in this situation are shotguns and M4-style assault rifles. Pistols are not recommended, as shotguns would be equally as effective at close range, and they're more brain-scattering.
Hold out in your abode with plywood and bricks or mattresses in your windows for one full week. You don't want them hearing you plotting their extermination. You should already have a map with the three largest stockpiles of weapons in closest proximity to your house, and a map of the nearest food retailer warehouses. We don't mean Costco and Wal-Mart (everyone will think of that). Those places will be jam-packed with people which, if but one of them is infected, turns the place into a hotbox of death. We're talking about distribution centers for groceries and major chain store hubs. Wherever you live, chances are, you're close to at least one.
Set out in a pickup truck, not an SUV. Pickup trucks allow for the welding and creating of pintle mount turrets in the cargo area, so any survivors can help suppress the walking dead with flying lead. After you stock up on food and supplies, remember not to confront or steal from other survivors who don't want to join your party. That's a dick move, and you could very well end their life with that sort of douchebaggery.
If you want to survive, your only real option is to join or create a caravan, constantly on the move, stockpiling fuel, weapons, and food at every stop you can. If you want to rebuild humanity, that's a different story all together, and you're going to need to obtain large quantities of generators, chain-link fencing, and building materials. Take your caravan out to the Midwest, or anywhere flat, so you can see at least a half mile in all directions, and erect a fenced in colony, with enough fencing to contain farmland, so you can become self-sufficient and no longer rely on traders and caravan trips.
6. Alien Conquerors
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Here's the difference between alien invaders and conquerors: Invaders are all about subtlety and infiltration. Alien conquerors, on the other hand, want to destroy your existence, steal your planet, and they don't give two damns about who knows it. They'll come in here all War of the Worlds-style and start messing your s**t up.
The only way to conceivably fight back against a sure-to-be overwhelming force of aliens with advanced machines and weaponry is to dig yourself down into cells. I'm not talking about micro-nuclear invaders. I'm talking about resistance cells. Cells should be no larger than 40 humans. That allows for up to eight teams of five to act in tandem, all reporting to a single cell commander. That cell commander would be conferencing with other cell commanders, or more likely receiving his orders from a higher-up via Morse code, since the conquerors would have most likely cut all our power and communications lines.
The best way to stock your cell is with high-powered rifles, high-capacity pistols, and explosives. You don't want shotguns because if the aliens happen to be filled with that acid blood-goo, you'll probably kill half your team with a single shot at an alien. Stockpile gasoline and generators to run your equipment and radios to stay in contact. You should set up these cells in major cities in the basements of large buildings (so the buildings and their natural electromagnetic output help mask your presence) or in the countryside, in old tornado shelters, so it's harder to find.
Your best shot at victory is to capture one of them alive, and learn anything you can from them. If you can't do that, can't communicate, kill the hater and focus on capturing an enemy ship. As we all learned form Independence Day and a variety of other movies, they will never expect us to take their own ship back to them and nuke their ass. Unless they read this article before they come...
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Dinosaurs can smell fear. It sounds like a cliché, but scientists will tell you they haven't discovered that part of a dinosaur's olfactory system yet. Yet.
So you're sitting at home and be it a nuclear blast, a meteor strike, a volcano, or "sciencing" gone wrong, but somehow, those loveable death-beasts started walking the earth again. As I alluded earlier, the first thing you have to kill is your fear. Of anything. Primarily because a Tyrannosaurus rex cannot see you if you don't move. So if you find yourself trapped in the presence of one of these mammoth creatures, don't move. Don't even piss yourself, they'll smell it, and you're just marinating yourself for an extra tasty meal. Don't be that meal.
To survive, you're going to need an off-road vehicle. My preference would be an F250 with a lift kit, because you can take those bad boys anywhere, but a Jeep would be fine too. Stock your vehicle with high powered rifles, and large caliber handguns, preferably a .45 or a .50 Desert Eagle. The larger the caliber, the greater the chance of doing some serious damage. Also, you may want some grenades, but those are harder to come by. Bring spare clothes and ammonia. You may be asking why ammonia, well here's the answer. It's a foreign scent to them, and it doesn't smell like meat. Plus it's strong enough to mask the scent of your meat. Not that meat, you dirty-minded fool, your body flesh.
You want this vehicle because you don't want to travel roads and cities, as they are high population areas, and magnets for flesh-hungry lizard-heathens. You want to travel the plains and the back roads. When you encounter the Tyrannosaurus, aim for the eyes, the mouth, and the neck, the most vital parts of the beast. When you encounter a raptor in front of you, turn around and start firing like mad, because these sumbitches are smart. They will distract and flank you, pouncing you from behind, utterly ravishing your body, and not in a good way.
Lastly, for shelter, find a concrete or cinderblock building with limited entry points. Randall Munroe has the right idea:
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If it sparkles, kill it. Let's face it, folks: Twilight has spoiled us. Nowadays it's hip to be a vampire, all sparkly and vegetarian and stuff. Hell, throngs of underage girls would die for a chance to be a vampire. Well, when the vampires start to take over, trust that they will certainly use that to their advantage.
Traditionally, vampires love turning children and hot/underage girls into kinship. Why? For the exact same reasons the Vietnamese used children and women as secret soldiers: no one suspects them. As a bonus for the vampires, any man who starts getting hot and heavy with a gorgeous woman would never question if it were too easy, or if she's going to bite his neck and suck out his lifeblood.
As soon as you start hearing reports of people found dead in alleyways with puncture wounds in their neck, you know to start acting. Your first trip should be to your local hardware store. Stock up on electrical wire, 2x4 lumber, and UV lamps. You're going to want to outfit your vehicle with UV lamps attached to the roof pointing away, because it's the ultraviolet radiation that burns the vampires skin right the hell off. You want to outfit your vehicle and not your home because you can be attacked in your vehicle. In your home, however, vampires are incapable of entering unless invited in. So as long as you park your car or truck in the garage, you should be good to go.
With that lumber, carve out bolts for a crossbow. When you do so, slightly blunt the tip, so you can carve a cross directly on the front of it, and soak each bolt in holy water for about 5 minutes, and you'll have your weapon. If you're a better shot with a gun, take a soldering iron and solder the sign of the cross onto the front of each bullet, then load them in your magazine and you're ready to rock and roll. Remember, while holy bullets will hurt any vampire, it is a stake or bolt through the heart, and removal of the head, which will prevent them from coming back. This is why it's recommended you keep a head-bag, for transportability of all those heads you'll have.
Lastly, don't even think about praying. Prayer won't help you, because God won't come down to stop these things. You need to splash holy water at them, or wound them with religious artifacts, because all praying will do for you is give you a split second while they laugh, immediately before draining your blood. Or killing you. Or both.
3. Satanic Army
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Unlike with vampires, praying can and might help you in this scenario. Granted you would have to be a fervent believer in God and a non-sinner, so if you're anything like us, you'll need the rest of this advice.
As Bruce Campbell taught us, your two weapons of choice should be a shotgun and a chainsaw. Assuming you lack the forearm attachment capable of wielding a chainsaw with one hand, a sword should suffice for mowing down the legions of evil as they come upon you. However, you should carve some sort of religious insignia onto the sword, like a cross on the hilt, or even a prayer on the blade, to make holy your weapon of light. The same applies with your shotgun shells, though rather than soldering, use a knife to carve a cross into the tip of the plastic, where it's folded. There is nowhere to hide and no way to vanquish evil, short of slaying Satan himself, so you may want to hole up in the closest thing you can find to a castle: a National Guard Armory.
If you slay enough skeleton foot soldiers, you're bound to start seeing the more powerful evil, such as demons, legion, dark angels, etc. It's like customer service: if the basic employee can't take care of you (or in this case, rip you limb from limb and send your soul spiraling into eternal damnation), you work your way up the ladder until you find someone who can. Be careful never to look any of them in the eyes, because according to biblical mythology, the eyes are the gateway to the soul, and they could very well steal yours just by looking through your gateway. So go the badass route and wear sunglasses, even at night, because the sun never sets on a badass.
If you finally do make it through the ranks and survive long enough to warrant the big man coming up himself to take care of your smarmy arse, this is the point where any man woman or child of any faith can call on the archangel Michael, the sword of God, to lend a hand in vanquishing this evil, as seen in the Puppetmaster series. No matter what happens though, if you die fighting evil with truth in your heart, you'll go on to see your 72 virgins, God, Allah, Buddha, FSM, or whatever it is you believe in.
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Your squishy human self has the second lowest chance of survival with these tyrants. Why? They're brilliant. They can perform millions of calculations per second that would take the average person a year to ink out. That, and they're physically hard to kill. The brain is tiny, the limbs are almost indestructible, and they feel no pain.
This means your first task after Skynet becomes sentient is to make your way to the local science institute or museum of science. You're mission there is to retrieve the biggest electromagnetic bomb (EM Bomb) you can find. But be careful, because amidst the EM bomb and walls of the place are other sciencey things, most likely at the control of Skynet. Get in, get the bomb, and get out. Make sure you have a location to hide out in, devoid of all computer equipment (including digital watches). What you're going to want to arm yourself with is high-powered rifles, assault weapons, shotguns, and explosives. Essentially anything shoots a projectile, holds an edge, or goes BOOM. Knives are good for cutting the hydraulic lines that allow these mechano-monsters to walk, rendering them immobile.
Once you have one, you can't interrogate it, so you'll need a scientist/computer whiz friend to work out a virus he or she (hopefully it's a hot she) can download into the robot. While he is immobile, he is still communicating with Skynet, so make sure you don't take him straight to your bunker, as GPS and video signal will be able to pinpoint your location. With any luck, a virus can be uploaded that will piggy-back the communications between that particular robot and Skynet, shutting down the brain. In this case, all you'd need to do now is mop up the remaining robots that are acting alone and without a central leader.
If the virus does not work, you will need the bomb. Sacrifice a human to be captured, but leave a GPS transponder on him or her (hopefully it's the annoying, ugly him) so you can track where the Skynet brain is. Once you have that location, survival, and in fact victory, is contingent on your ability to get the EM bomb shoved right up their ass and detonating it, which will fry anything and everything they have, immediately shutting down their robot army.
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If you went to high school in the United States, chances are you read Cat's Cradle. If not, I'll brief you on exactly what Ice-9 is. It's a weapon developed by the military to change the freezing point of water to about 114.4 degrees Fahrenheit, in order to eliminate mud as an obstacle for troop movement. Unfortunately, at some point, the formula went haywire, so every body of water that contacts Ice-9, or contacts any water that previously contacted Ice-9, turns to ice, melting at 114 degrees. And that straight sucks.
I'm going to level with you. There is no rebuilding humanity after this one. There is only survival, as a civilization cannot prosper when the substance that makes up 78% of our body is altered so drastically (unless we have space travel at that point, and feel like seeking out another world that's habitable and friendly). But chances are we won't have that technology by the time we commit civilization suicide. So here's what you do to survive...
You are going to want to carry a single bag for supplies, as any more would hamper you down and make you sweat, losing what precious water you still have left. In that bag, you should carry enough materials to start a large fire wherever you are. Carry a single change of clothes, a knife, a rifle with ample ammunition, and rope. You are now a rambling man.
Your only hope for survival is to travel inland, away from the major oceans and lakes, and seek out the mountains, with their tributaries, snow, ponds, and small lakes. Since the freezing point is so high, the water cannot evaporate, preventing the rain from being your enemy, so inland water sources that are not connected to major oceans should still be good ol' water. Whenever you find one of these sources, build yourself a shelter and set up camp until you dry it up. If you're still rambling and dying of thirst before you find one, you can always hunt. Shoot an animal, and while it's still fresh (minutes after killing), cut the throat, and drink their blood, since that is mostly water as well. It's nourishing, hydrating, and will keep you going until you find your next pond.