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So...the world has ended. What do you do now?

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Ok, I've reworded this a little bit as it was kind of confusing.

So, let's say the world has ended and you are one of the few survivors. It doesn't really matter how the world ended, but I'll post some facts to make things a little more interesting:

  • The majority of the water supply is no longer available (dried up, tainted, whatever)
  • Of the population (per state/province) 5% survived as normal, living human beings.
  • Of the population (per state/province) 30% turned into mutants/zombies/[insert something else mean or scary here].
  • The remaining population has died.
  • Animals, buildings, the landscape, etc were unaffected by the tragedy.
  • There are a few known 'safe havens'

    As I stated, you're one of the survivors, so what would you do? Obviously there are no right or wrong answers and you can post whatever you think. You can also post more than one idea.

    This is a question that I've always been curious about; I know (or rather, I'm pretty sure) what I would do, but I'm curious what others would do.

    Anyway, I'll start off:
    I'm kind of a scrounger, but with the threat looming overhead I would find weapons and armor first. Then, I might just go looting. I'm also the protecting sort, so I would probably be looking for other survivors/people in need while doing said looting. On top of that I'm smart enough to realize that I'd have to rest eventually and that usually goes better with someone watching your back so I'd either start looking for one of the safe havens or start building a fort of my own. Edited by Programmer16

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Well that's easy. Learn the secret art of Hokuto no Ken and declare myself as Raoh the Conqueror.

Can there be any other options???

Lol, nice reference and an excellent choice. I haven't seen Fist of the North Star in quite a while, but how are you going to fare against a gun or a car? *thump thump*

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Hmm. Few survivors, but multiple (presumably sparse) known safe havens, and obviously not all survivors are good people because some of them are bandits or mutants. Possibly ex-cons from Philly.

And then next thing ya know, the old man at the farm you're staying at is keeping zombies in his barn, and then what's her name flips her car. O_o

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So in a world like this, you'd either:

  • Join a group of deputies (law enforcement)
  • Join a gang
  • Join a group of pirates/runners/underground sellers
  • Create a reputation of being a killer/thief/hero/a legend (where the NPC wonder if you are or are not real)

    To answer you're second question, first you have to be able to aim. Second, you have to be able to pull the trigger. So if you can't do either, then I win and you lose.

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In reality, you'd need to be agricultural, and you'd need to defend your settlement. Given your description, it doesn't actually sound like you'd need to defend against much. Some bandits and some mutants. Hmm. Not many, because by your definition, you're one of the few survivors. That said, you may need to move camp until you can actually find a good place to settle.

One of the first places you'd need to go is actually a library that has survived, and find books on agriculture, because chances are you are one of the hundreds of millions of people who knows little about it. (Like me, that's why I'm not being too specific. :) )

An existing farm would be great, actually. As with the library, you haven't said if any structures are still standing or how this end came about. Perhaps there are still some structures standing, perfectly intact, with no one around, ripe for the taking.

Who's you? Who's we? Are you capable of reproduction? Because you're going to need to repopulate and grow your settlement, for many reasons beyond what you might think. You will quickly meet the economic law of diminishing returns on your settlement if it is only you.

You won't necessarily need electricity, but you'll find use for it to aid you. Back to the library. On the way, perhaps there's a Freightliner or Peterbilt intact with enough diesel to get you where you need to go. You would also be interested in the fact that Rudolph Diesel originally fueled his engines with peanut oil, and was quoted as saying that vegetable oils may one day be needed. Despite the cost ineffectiveness of biodiesel in today's economic climate, you are not today's population, and you will want to grow your fuel. Oh, and you'll want to know how to drive that truck. :)

Don't fool yourself with any kind of barter system idea. Adam Smith may have claimed it and every economics textbook since then may claim that barter systems predate modern economics, but history does not support this. That's not how primitive people ran things and it's not a healthy way to build a civilization, for the simple reason that you want to build healthy relations with your neighbors where you can. You want to conquer all-under-heaven intact, not in pieces. So don't buy some idea that money and currency is somehow evil and that you wouldn't need it at this point in human history. Indeed, territories in Europe in the dark ages didn't always have Roman coinage, yet they continued to use that system of currency as the empire declined and broke up. And it was millenia-old Sumerian cuneiforms that contained financial records from that time in history.


Also, what's up Programmer16. :)

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I'm not sure, but a few points occur to me:
- Cities may become too dangerous. They're focal points for all types of bad people to raid, buildings are close together so fires could rage out of control, and if there are dead bodies it could rapidly become a health hazard.
- Major infrastructure would likely be lost. Do you know how to control a power station safely? I don't.
- I heard that petrol tends to evaporate or suffer other badness within a few years unless sealed in airtight containers. Cars might be out after a while.
- There is likely enough canned etc food to support a decimated population for a few years before things get tight. Becoming a farmer too soon may just make you a target.
- Libraries etc would be good. Early looting of essentials would be important, as would hiding and securing them.
- You need other people, as someone else said you need to sleep some time.
- "Decent people" may not prove as decent as you hope when desperation kicks in.

So I guess get a crew, make the most of the old world stuff while it lasts, but keep a view to a radical change in circumstances. Set yourself up as best you can.

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I don't have a particularily good plan. I think I'd try to head north and see if I could maybe get accepted on a reserve or something. If they turn me away and don't shoot me as I try to leave, maybe I'd try to go work at the toxic waste facility in the hills. Gotta immagine business there would be booming.

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[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif]

"- Major infrastructure would likely be lost. Do you know how to control a power station safely? I don't."

[/font]

Much, much worse than that -- what happens when the fuel running the generators running the cooling systems in the nuclear power plants runs out? You want to be a few hundred miles away from any of them.

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif]

"- I heard that petrol tends to evaporate or suffer other badness within a few years unless sealed in airtight containers. Cars might be out after a while."

[/font]

Six months to a year.

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif]

"- There is likely enough canned etc food to support a decimated population for a few years before things get tight. Becoming a farmer too soon may just make you a target."

[/font]

And when you decide to become a farmer? Where will you get livestock from? If someone hasn't been feeding them in the last few years, they won't be around. Where will you get seed from? Seeds can survive many years, but only if you store them properly. What power sources will you be using? Horses? Again; unless someone's been keeping those breeding populations of horses alive while everyone is off being Mad Max, at the point the world needs them there won't be any.

Modern farm buildings are modern buildings - they need maintenance. The farms are likely to have fallen down by the time you decide you need to be growing stuff. The fields will be overgrown and overrun. Even if you have fuel for it (alcohol say), a tractor that's been parked for a couple of years may be unusable.

This is actually what will kill everyone else -- by the time they get organised to remember to go and feed the animals at the nearby farms (remember, they're probably locked in and will have a few days food at best), then the breeding populations will be gone. And then you've got five years before the cans and MREs run out.

{Personally, I'll be raiding the pharmacy for a nice painless exit. Because I've at best got a couple of months before my meds run out.}

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I'll probably get branded as one a nut now, but, I'd do exactly what I already plan to do. Unlike I guess the majority of people, I have a disaster plan. I carry a pistol 24/7, even at work or at home, and in the back of my truck are 40 gallons of gas, a bag containing everything I need for 7 days as far as food, clothing and shelter go as well as a water purification kit. With the bag is are two sets of US military issued body armor, and a few changes of BDUs (everything is multicam, seemed the most appropriate.), a .308 hunting rifle and an AR-15 and a compliment of ammunition for both rifles and my pistols (pistols are all the same caliber, only 3 types of rounds between all my guns).

I've got 8 months worth of food and supplies to support 6 people stored securely (buried) at 3 seperate locations. One is near a house (I don't own, but feel I could appropriate and protect), a second is in what I consider a fallback location from the first, and the third is what I consider to be quite remote, all three have access to water, and reasonably close access to food. I rotate the food every 4 years and check the conditions of the supplies to replace as necessary.

In the event of a disaster, regardless of it's nature, if I feel that it has put me in a position to abandon my life as I know it, the first order of business is a hastry retreat to the first location, the only detour involved being to retrieve my dog (which I admit could be a hinderance to my survival but, I wouldn't feel right leaving her to die), afterwhich it's straight to the first location. I keep 4 maps with seperate routes in my trucks center console, each with multiple routes from different cities I've lived in or work in/visit regularly, generally seperate by direction of approach depending on where I am when things go south.

I've made provisions to allow 6 people to live for 24 months, however only one other person knows of my planning, and even they don't know where it is, I've agreed on a rally point with them, and promised them I'd check it every 7 days, afterwhich they'd be on there own. I have no intentions to retrieve family or friends, and assume the other slots would be filled with people I feel could benefit myself and whatever group we formed. I'm not a typically loving or empathetic person, I'd be looking for people that have no qualms about doing whatever it takes to carry on, stone cold without being sadistic. I have no reservations about taking from others to guarentee my own survival, even if doing so requires killing them or making their own survival impossible otherwise. If I were to take on a group, I'd protect them with the same fervor as I'd protect myself, and for that reason I'd keep that group small and functional.

If it were a civilization ending event as you described, my next step would be to find a self sufficient group, and implant myself and/or my own group as the law, by force if necessary. I'd offer protection from anything that comes, and guarentee safety in return for sustaining myself and/or my people, and I'd uphold that agreement with swift consequences to anyone who threatened it, insiders or otherwise. That'd be my position.

I don't care for growing food, I don't care for saving those who didn't plan ahead and can't help now. I wouldn't go to the lack of morals you see in most post-apolocalyptic stories, I don't believe in rape or torture and wouldn't stand for it. I wouldn't kill someone who left me with a choice not to, but not giving up food or supplies I need, or the threat of exposing myself to worse things (a party of even less poral people, for example), or taking part in things that destroy the group I'm with (stealing from within the group, killing another group member, rape, treason - whatever), I wouldn't hesitate to kill for.

Anyway, that's about what I'd do. I'll survive it if something happens, will you? wink.png

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