Dead... and Back is a survival horror Role Playing Game. The Anarchy Zones is its official setting - aliens, reanimates, and the ruins of 2055 America.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Undead Tracking 102

Everyone back from their coffee break? Ok, good. Lets get on with part two - following reanimates in the wilderness. I hope you already know a little about wilderness survival and tracking, or at least know someone who has been hunting and can give you tips, cause I'm not about to go into depth of footprints and running patters and and all the outer stuff some Indian scout knows by heart. Just what is pertinent to reanimates.

The good news is, for at least some of them, its not that hard. A type one is fairly uncoordinated. and walks upright and stiffly like a person who has cracked a rib or two. They're pretty oblivious to pain and discomfort, so they aren't inclined to walk around minor obstacles like mud puddles and low branches. Generally they leave fairly regular tracks at a marching pace, and broken twigs or dirty footprints behind them. Really, the only difficulty here is that there still just the size of people, and the woods are large.

Alphas are a bit trickier. They're more human like in movement, and while still fairly dense most of the time, they don't always take the path of least resistance like their brethren. Type ones will attempt to walk around big obstructions like rocky outcroppings and abandoned cars, alphas will weave through or climb up. They're still not careful, and they damage things in ways people don't. If you find an old car - you pop open or pry up the hood, check the handle to see if its unlocked, then carefully break glass to open the door. Reanimates will step on the hood, put a foot through the windshield, struggle to pull it out, and keep going.

Twos are a bit more vexing. They stagger more than the ones and alphas, have kind of a hunched profile, move drunkenly. But aside from sidewinder like tracks, they're a lot more careful about the environment. No airborne ranger or criminal trying to shake a tail, but a two doesn't just call out "I'm here". However, they do drip that silver pus stuff occasionally, or slough off hand sized chunks of skin. All the others seem to stay intact despite what should be harsh conditions of weather and starvation - these ones just seem to shed anything that isn't necessary to being a Beta as time goes on.

Betas are a problem for trackers, because - you never know who is tracking who. These ones ambush, harry, and travel in small packs of four to a dozen. You're best thinking of them as slow wolves that can climb trees. Be sure to look up. Sometimes they will even make large nest like hunting blinds. Ones go around, alphas will try to find a path, but a Beta will always default to going up if that is an option.

A Type Three is kind of the worst of all of them. On one hand, it leaves pretty clear trails like a type one and  like an Alpha, it doesn't always take the path of least resistance. Of course, "path of least resistance" is kind of relative when it can punch through brick walls. It usually goes through obstacles, not around them.  It has climbing ability on par with the various twos. But, it can also ambush you like a Beta. Somewhat worse actually. A beta will just come from above or below, but won't actively make a new door. Nor do betas have night vision optics or other tracking systems, while a type three might. Remember, these are cybernetic enhanced reanimates, if not up to the level of assimilating armor and cars like the Lambda.

Now, as for the lambda. I'll let each of you guess and give you two hints - its two words, one begining with an S, and the other with an M...

...Nice try, but it isn't "Scorch Marks". Silent Movement.

No one has really tracked these things in or out of a city. Once the thing is there, and encounters resistance, it will make itself known. Smashes through walls, throws concrete traffic divider sections, will even collapse small buildings to trap it prey.

But until then, they don't seem to wander that much. Maybe they're territorial. Possibly the damn things are built on site. They have been encountered in the wilderness, but don't usually seem to be transient like the others.

During the break, I was asked if I'll talk about tracking type four and five reanimates. It had crossed my mind, but there wasn't much that originally occurred to me to say.

No one has really confirmed seeing a type four, and type five, well reports differ and aren't all that reliable. Its generally agreed that a five in intelligent, and capable of taking on many lesser reanimates or armed humans by itself.

There are a lot of theories as to what a five might be. A citizen infiltrator that looks human. Some sort of government super soldier kept under-wraps that escaped during the event. A transgenic experiment from the free city of Tesla. A few wackos think they are vampires. Laugh if you want to, but it isn't a conclusion derived without evidence.

Now that I think about it, there is one thing about the type four. Now this isn't widely accepted, but they might be some sort of controlling intelligence for lesser reanimates. As I said before, most of the time, reanimates move like herded cats...

I didn't? I thought I... Well damn. Good catch sir. Right. Groups, groups groups. They come together somehow. No one has heard them speak, or even moan - many of the ones the boys in lab-coats have dissected lack vocal cords. No scars, just no voice box. Creepy. Don't really seem to be pheromones either. Best anyone can guess, its an organic cellular network, but that wouldn't have sufficient transmission range...

Speculation is going to get us nowhere at the moment. Anyway, they tend to be disorganized groups, but groups none the less. Ones will form gangs of anywhere from a half dozen to nearly a hundred. No apparent communication or leader, but they just kind of wander about in a general direction, occasionally just freezing for a few minuets to listen or watch for movement. Alphas tend to be either on the edges of these groups, or as lone scouts. Twos might be part of this, or off on their own, six to a dozen. Betas are not usually seen as part of these gangs, but might follow one opportunistically, waiting to strike at someone who gets overwhelmed or distracted by the horde. Entire platoons thirty or forty threes, and perhaps a dozen lambdas at a time were spotted during the event, smashing through army strongholds, but no one has reported that many in one place in a long time.

If you're an optimist, that means there aren't that many left, or are too spread out. If you want to be a pessimist, its unlikely anyone would see that many and survive to report it, so gangs that size could still be around.

Back to type four. If you see reanimates moving in formation, get the hell out of dodge.  Reports talk of them marching in lock step, even rows. Betas on the sides like chariots supporting the legion, Twos or Threes at the front like screening tanks.

Of course, the only people who have seen that are friends of this guy with a radio that heard a broadcast from California. And we all know how much comes out of eternally dark citizen infested California, now don't we?

This information will save your life if you're trying to find them, or avoid them. But what life is worth saving if you're spending it all in an old classroom? That is enough for today. Class dismissed!

No comments:

Post a Comment