Get to know The Brock Press Staff: APOCALYPSE EDITION

I’ve always been told I had a “face for newsprint”, but today, we’re going to change that. For the first time, we’re going to take a look deep into the abyss of student journalism and introduce you to the faces behind all these words. While we normally ask the hard questions like, what’s your sign, and if you were a salad what type of salad would you be?, today, we asked staff members how they would go about surviving after the end of the world – post-apocalyptic style.

Dystopian city background Steve Greenwood

When I picture a post-apocalyptic dystopia, I think of a corrupt dictator ruling the world with an iron fist. There’s 24/7 surveillance, strict rules, people mysteriously disappearing; think V for Vendetta or 1984.

I like to picture myself as the savvy double agent who fits into the system on the surface, but secretly rebels and undermines the system behind its back. As someone who is not exactly physically intimidating or strong, I know that combat and survival are not things that I could rely on in a dystopian situation; I would have to rely on my skills with language and storytelling to survive.

I would work some sort of respectable political job for the corrupt dictator in the mornings. It would be something with enough access to know information that I could use in my rebel efforts, but also something with a low enough profile that I wouldn’t draw attention to myself. I would be one of those obscure administrative directors that have access to a bunch of information, but that nobody really cares about.

I would then subtly find ways to pass my information anonymously to underground sources who could then use it to plan strategic insurrection. I would secretly support and help these rebels as we slowly took down the corrupt government.

I would always secretly want to leave my double life behind, abandoning my respectable life above-ground to openly embrace the rebellion. However, I would recognize how important it would be for the rebels to have someone in the system helping to bring it down from the inside, and as someone whose skills are not related to the kind of combat or physical feats that the rebels would need, I would know that the double agent life would be what they need from me.

- Steve Greenwood

the time machine background Matt

Perhaps this has become a dated reference now. If it has it’s not really surprising since the book was written by H.G. Wells in 1895. However, The Time Machine is a classic example of post-apocalyptic science fiction that hopefully some still remember.

The story follows a young scientist who builds a time machine in the hopes of traveling to the future to see the utopia he believes it will be. However, it turns out that a catastrophic lunar event caused an apocalypse on earth and instead of utopia, it created a dystopia in which humanity is split into two species, the Eloi, a passive race of surface dwellers, and the Morlocks, a violent and carnivorous subterranean species who ventures out at night to devour the Eloi.

The question however, is not what world Wells imagined, but rather how would we survive it.
Taking that into consideration, I must answer as follows.

If I were alive at the moment that the moon was destroyed, all likelihood is that I would die along with most of the life on Earth. If I were to survive, the most likely bet would be that I went underground with the rich who became the Morlocks. However, since I’m living the #brokestudent life, this would not be possible. Instead, I would have to try my luck at the rest of the poor people whose descendants would become the Eloi.

Alternatively, if I were in the place of the time traveler and had to find a way to survive in this new world I would behave similarly to the way he had. I would attempt to assimilate with the Eloi. However, unlike the traveler, I would not have likely spent so much time learning the ways of the Eloi. Once I knew the Morlocks were eating them I would start teaching them to fight back instead of letting them keep on being eaten. That way we could form a militia to protect the Eloi in the future. Either that or I would just hop back in the time machine and head home. Maybe I’d even write a book about it and call it The Time Machine.

- Matthew Von Lukawiecki

Walking Dead background Laura

As an avid and active watcher of AMC’s The Walking Dead the thought of what I would do and how I would act if I were to ever experience an outbreak of the zombie virus has definitely occurred more than once.

Would I take on the leadership role like Rick Grimes? Or would I be the more silent badass type, who lets others make the decisions like Daryl or Michonne? The answer to both these questions is undoubtedly “no”.

I have a total of zero survival skills… I don’t even think I would be able to handle one night alone in a tent in my backyard. I am a world-class scaredy-cat, something as trivial as the dark scares me. Imagine me, can’t handle a B-level horror movie Laura, trying to fend for myself at night against a hoard of zombies. No, just no.

Should the zombie apocalypse ever actually break out, my best bet would be to find a group like Rick Grimes’ and hope for the best. But unfortunately, I would add the skill and assistance level of a newborn baby, and ultimately end up being a burden on the rest of the group.

I would guess I could survive maximum one week in a zombie outbreak, which would actually impress me if I could even last that long. So for post-apocalyptic Laura, the future does not look bright.

- Laura Sebben

the day after tomorrow background Melanie

I’ve always been intrigued by the thought of extreme climate change – The-Day-After-Tomorrow-type of glacial cold, Into-the-Storm-scale tornadoes or even San-Andreas-magnitude earthquakes. Faced with this kind of apocalyptic world, my strategy would be simple. I would pack up my few precious belongings (specifically the LOTR and Hobbit extended edition boxed sets) and keep on moving from place to place, going to wherever was relatively the safest.

A nomad at heart, I have no problems roaming around all over the world. With my skillset of language fluency (three at the moment with two-ish more in the works) I’ll able to communicate with people wherever I am. I’m also great with directions and can get to almost anywhere with a relatively precise degree of accuracy.

And unlike Laura, I can survive quite well in the bush. Growing up with two brothers on a dairy farm can teach one a surprising amount of useful things that will come in handy if the earth were to be ravaged by a series of natural disasters. Unfortunately I did not inherit my mom’s green thumb so it is very possible that I’ll die by eating a poisonous berry.

If I do survive and the earth’s climate settles back down, I’d gather any survivors and we’d start up anew, growing from a little colony to a global empire. All in my lifetime of course. I’m not a very patient person at all. When you get the chance to rule a galactic utopia, you move quickly. The start of my regime would present the perfect opportunity to eternally banish any last remnants of “Android” devices. Apple for the win. And peaches. I also really like peaches.

- Melanie Pfaeffli

28 Days Later background Chace

I wake up as the sun rises; preparing myself the simple breakfast that has sustained authors since Hemingway, coffee and cigarettes. I take an early morning boat ride towards land from my secluded island paradise. I begin the day by scavenging and looking for perishable food supplies, ideally canned and with a prolonged expiration date. My obstacles; numerous in quantity and possessing a ferocity unmatched by even the most physically capable humans, stalk me constantly seeking to tear and ingest me limb by limb. Following scavenging, I quell my hunger by cooking a fish I caught yesterday and dried out using a recipe of lemon juice, salts and various other preserves. After eating, I continue sweeping the coast in a desperate search for supplies, weapons and companionship; even willing to settle for a dog or cat at this point as it has been over 28 days since I have seen any person who does not demand my flesh.

As the sun sets, I make my way back to the island, stopping by an old bait shop on the coast of Breaker’s Point to see if I can acquire more fishing line. As I enter the store, I quickly realize what a mistake I have made being immediately jumped by a corpse of rotting flesh who as evident by his name tag, was once named Bob Smith.

Attempting to throw the zombie off myself, I trip and fall over an old beat up-guitar, once a passion of mine turned into the product of my own demise as Bob’s teeth sink several inches into my throat, clamping down and enjoying the sweet nectar that once made my life possible. Mustering up all of my strength I throw Bob off and push him into the pole of a fishing net hanging off the wall, ultimately ending his feeding frenzy and preserving my life for at least a few more hours.

As I make my way back to the island, the coastal line seems like it is still, almost as if peace had finally come to the lake I had grown so accustomed to following the end of society. I make my way back to my complex, a bar which conveniently for me had no windows and had provided excellent habitation. I proceed to read a chapter of Stephen King’s “The Stand”. Before going to bed, I say my prayers and beg whatever God is left in this world for the privilege of seeing my family before my eyes close forever. I shut my eyes and expect to never open them again or at least as a being with the ability to think and reason; to live and love.

Dawn: I cry and curse and swear, smashing everything that is around me before exiting the opening of the area which I am in. I come across a person on the side of the road calling out for my help and slaughter them with my teeth, blood pouring down my face. It tastes good.

-Chace King

Deathclaw Nadon background

Thanks to Bethesda’s recent open-world action RPG Fallout 4, if there’s one age group that’s most ready for post-apocalyptic living, it’s males between the ages of 18 and 25.

They are mentally prepared and physically capable with all the necessary skills and knowledge to survive in any nightmare scenario that one can imagine. They are innovative, multi-tasking problem-solvers.

Moreover, this age group has dedicated an insane amount of time to getting itself ready. All those Friday and Saturday nights sitting on the couch, vegetating to death have given these unassuming gamers the edge that they need to survive the apocalypse.

While your partner, parents or friends may have warned you to limit your time in the Wasteland, it’ll pay off when the world we know bites the dust.

Personally, I don’t think English majors like myself are built to survive. Sure, I might be the only one in the post-apocalypse that can identify a petrarchan sonnet over a Shakespearean, but that doesn’t help much when the geiger counter starts to climb.

It’s likely that it won’t be my physical prowess that keeps me alive. My ideal living situation might be entrepreneurial: like starting a small business collecting milk and (eggs?!) from Deathclaws.

It might take a while to figure out where the milk comes from, but that seems like a dangerous and rewarding task for The Brock Press interns.

-Steve Nadon

1984 background Nick

With political unrest between major nations like the USA and Russia, and the developing strength of North Korea, I personally believe that a nuclear incursion is the most likely apocalyptic event that will take place in our lifetime. My post apocalyptic world would mirror the Mad Max franchise almost identically. To begin, the impact of the nuclear conflict wouldn’t really effect us Canadians (every one loves beavers so we would be spared) and life as we know it would change gradually. Just like in the first Mad Max, society would slowly deteriorate allowing bands of viscous yet horribly dressed motorcycle gangs to begin to pop up and vie for power. At this point I would don the tightest 80’s style leather outfit possible and fight crime to maintain law and order. However, despite my efforts the nuclear fallout would eventually scorch our once fertile and proud Canadian landscape and all life on earth would equate to the tone of a My Chemical Romance music video; miserable and angsty. At this point the entirety of our planet would be consumed by desert and tribes would form in pockets where vegetation and water still exists. Having lost all hope for humanity, I’ll look out onto the desolation and madness and muse to myself, “Well, at least Harper didn’t get re-elected.”

-Nick Blasiak

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