Gener@tion Z - 2. The Class
"Now, first things first," Mr. Glass said, scoping out each student in the class as he spoke. "Today is just an introduction class to get you informed on the purpose of the course, tips for future reference, and so forth so you all can get to know what you'll be dealing with for the next few weeks. There won't be any zombie hunting today."
Cecillia raised her hand quickly and Mr. Glass pointed her out. "Uh, is it true that we have to fight actual zombies? Cause that's the rumor that's gone around."
Mr. Glass smiled. "Not necessarily. I know there are a lot of rumors and lies spread about this class all over the school but if you could hold all of your questions till the end, I'm sure you'll have a proper understanding of what ZOSC is all about by the end."
Everyone listened intently as Mr. Glass leaned forward and began to pace around the front of the class. "Now, as most of you are aware, the development of this curriculum is in response to the outbreak of the Beelzebub Flu eight years ago in London and surrounding English establishments."
Sid immediately raised his hand and Mr. Glass called on him. "I'm sorry, did you say Beelzebub? Like in Bohemian Rhapsody?"
Several of the students chuckled and Mr. Glass smiled himself. "Yes, like in Bohemian Rhapsody. Beelzebub is a demon according to biblical mythology, known as the 'Lord of the Flies.' Biologists said that the Flu was developed when a well-preserved prehistoric Lotus was uncovered in Greenland, brought to London, thawed, and subsequently exposed to the critters inside of the greenhouse where it was being kept. It was only the common Housefly that developed a strand of mutation which led to the eventual outbreak, due to its exposure to the plant. The virus was spread through flies, thus the name, Beelzebub Flu. "
"That line still doesn't make any sense to me," Sid said, lounging back in his seat as the others snickered.
"Don't worry, this isn't a music interpretation course, so there won't be a pop quiz on it," Mr. Glass said, with his hands behind his back. "Any how, once the outbreak was contained due to the efforts made by the UN, preparation began for the possibility of another aggressive outbreak of the virus. That brings us to the Hornet Company, which I'm sure you all know as the business conglomerate that manufactures consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers, as well as their highly publisized rivalry with Apple in the late 2010's."
"Don't forget about Arc-Hive.com," Ross shouted triumphantly, pumping his fist into the air as the other students began to cheer behind him. Mr. Glass laughed warmly as he motioned for them to quiet down.
"Yeah yeah, can't forget about their social networking site, I know how much you teenagers are into that. Anyways, Hornet funded a project, approved by the National School Board Association, dedicated to creating a curriculum specifically to teach students how to survive in the event of another Zombie Outbreak."
At the back of the class, Phillip raised his hand. Mr. Glass almost didn't see him, but noticed just in time to point him out. "Why are they so focused on preparing us for a Zombie Outbreak and not focused on trying to prevent a Zombie Outbreak?"
Mr. Glass chuckled and shook his head. "I honestly wish I could give you a clear answer to that but honestly all I can say is....this is America."
The students burst into laughter and Mr. Glass shrugged before continuing. "I believe the idea is that some of America's enemies might gain access to a strand of the original mutation from the first Zombie Outbreak and try to use it as a biological weapon against us. But then again, this is just my personal thoughts behind it; there's no telling if the Government is even thinking that far ahead at this point but I would hope that they are making some effort to see that something like the outbreak in London doesn't happen ever again. So anyway, in truth, there are two separate Zombie survival courses funded by Hornet: the Zombie Outbreak Survival Course and Apocalypse 101. Both have very obvious and dramatic differences in their curriculum. ZOSC focuses primarily on the hypothetical apocalyptic world that we call the "Scenario" and the developments that are determined by you all, based on the decisions you make within it. Apocalypse 101 is a follow-up Course that is mandatory to be taken by a student that fails ZOSC. Apocalypse 101 is to be taken at a Community College and it focuses on individual aspects of a Zombie Outbreak in a nonlinear fashion."
The students were exchanging vainful looks. If they failed this course, it seemed like more work would need to be done to compensate for it than desired.
"Now, I know you've heard the things people have said about this class. How it's the most difficult, emotionally and physically demanding course imaginable and that nobody comes out unscathed and only a select few come out victorious. Well, I'm here to tell you that all of that is completely 100% true. If this class doesn't change your life, how you see the world, and how you interact with your fellow man by the end of these fifteen days, I highly doubt any of your life experiences past this point will have a profound effect on you either, no matter what they are. Your primary objective for the next fifteen days is to "survive" the Scenario from start to finish. Now, to whom much is given, much is required, and now that you know what's required of you, it's time you know your reward for passing this class. No matter your GPA, by the end of the fifteen days, if you've successfully completed the course, you will be awarded an A in all of your classes for the semester."
The enthusiasm of the students in the room increased from this news and they whispered amongst themselves excitedly. Most of them had speculated something similar to this, being told through rumors that circulated throughout the school, but now it was confirmed by the head of the course himself. Mr. Glass continued. "Now before we move on to the next part, are there any other questions you guys would like me to answer?"
Siobhan’s hand could be seen raising from the right side of the room, directly in front of Sid. Mr. Glass called on her. “What’s your story behind all of this?"
"Well, I primarily support the curriculum because I have a personal connection to the event that inspired it: I’m actually a survivor of the first Outbreak in London." The students were showing surprise at this new revelation. "That’s right. My older brother was studying abroad in the UK and I was there visiting him at the time of the Outbreak. When I returned to the states, I went through a brief bout with depression before I decided I should do something with my life to preserve his memory. So I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Zombiology at the University of Delaware and volunteered myself to be a representative of the Zombie Survival Project started by Hornet. And so, here I am."
Siobhan nodded in satisfaction. Mr. Glass looked around for anyone else who had a question, when Cecillia raised her hand once again. "What’re your thoughts on popular Liberal beliefs that the program was created to militarize teenagers for future use by the US Government?"
"To that I have to say, if it is true, it'd be a shame. But I wouldn't immediately cut my support of the program if I pondered on it a while because I still believe that it's necessary and it can definitely have long-term benefits, even outside the scope of a Zombie Outbreak. ZOSC doesn't just force you to survive a Zombie Outbreak, it puts you in a world where you have to use your head in difficult situations, forces you to prepare to endure dangerous environments and teaches you how to preserve resources; general things that you can benefit from in the future."
When Mr. Glass finished speaking, Kurt immediately rose his hand. "So what kind of zombies are we talking about here for this particular Zombie Invasion, the ones in the fictional thing you were talking about earlier?"
"Well before I answer that, I have to correct you on something just to clarify for everyone. What we're talking about here isn't a Zombie Invasion, it's a Zombie Outbreak. That's the politically correct term. I know it's weird using political correctiveness when we're talking about Zombies of all things, but the idea is that a Zombie Invasion is something purely fictional. A Zombie Invasion involves corpses rising from the dead. Although the Beelzebub Flu does reanimate some dead tissue, a Zombie Invasion refers solely to the use of magic or voodoo to bring back the dead, which is purely fictional. Just wanted to make that clear to everyone. As for the zombies themselves, it's apart of the cirriculum to save the more diverse infections for later discussion. I can, however, inform you that general zombies of the Beelzebub Flu are usually quick staggerers. They don't run but they don't stroll either. They're somewhere in between. They are slow enough to run away from but quick enough to catch you if your guard is down....Anything else before we move on?"
The students exchanged looks with each other but it seemed like all of their questions had been answered for the moment. "All right, great," Mr. Glass said, clasping his hands together. "Now, if you guys don't mind, I'd like you all to introduce yourselves to the rest of the class so we can get to know each other better."
Mr. Glass walked over to his desk and picked up a wooden clipboard, which held the names of the students assigned to his course. "All right, I'll name you off in alphabetical order from last name so it'll help me remember you guys. Just tell us your name, a few things about yourself, and why you want to be in the class or your opinions on it so far. First off, Mr. Acquarulo."
The Latino guy from the ROTC class sat up a bit in his seat. He was a handsome fellow with long black hair tied back into a ponytail and a leather jacket with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. "Uh, yeah my name is Gusta-"
"Could you please stand up so everyone can see you."
He shrugged and got out of his seat, standing up and looking around the room at everyone who had his attention. "My name is Gustavo Acquarulo, I'm a Sophomore. Don't call me Gus, I hate that. Just call me by my full name. I'm in ROTC. I like cars; I like to work on them, design them, stuff like that. I'm an amateur mechanic; I work at my Uncle's shop in the Eastland District. I like to race occassionally, all legal of course....most of the time. And uh...I guess that's it. I wanted to be in this class because my councelor told me it could help me improve my grades."
Gustavo took his seat and lounged back in it casually once he was finished. Mr. Glass nodded in approval. "Okay, very good. This class is a requirement for Seniors and Juniors in order to graduate, but underclassmen are welcome to sign up early. Nice to meet you, Gustavo," he said warmly, then looked back down at the clipboard. "Next up, Mr. Blacksworth."
Louis stood up from his seat quickly and scoped out each student in the class. He spoke smoothly and efficiently. "I'm called Louis Blacksworth. But that's not my name. That was the title I was given as a child but that's not who I am. I'm a revolutionary. I'm a Free-Thinker. I'm the Watchdog in a world of sleeping people. I'm the needle to the bubble of society. I'm a shepherd with a pack of wolves as my flock. In short, I'm everything that society hates. So if you’re a slave to the public, I give you permission to hate me, because it's only going to fuel me in the end. They call me Louis Blacksworth, I'm a Senior, and I'm here because I want to be. That's all."
Several of the students were smirking as they looked pathetically at Louis, although he knew he’d draw this type of reaction from a closed-minded culturally-brainwashed generation. He’d expressed himself in a way that satisfied him and he was happy with his presentation, so he sat back and relaxed as he waited for the next student to stand up.
Mr. Glass nodded in approval and smiled. "Awesome, nice to meet you, Louis. On to the next, Ms. Camacho?"
Tammy immediately stood. As mentioned before, she was a petite Spanish girl with her hair tied back into a tight ponytail. When she looked around at the class, she looked very bitter, like she was being forced to address the scum of the earth. She spoke with a bored monotone voice. "My name is Tammy Camacho, I'm a Junior. I'm an actress and I'm here because it's a requirement."
Tammy sat down quickly as the students kept their eyes on her in some ways waiting for a follow-up, seeing as she'd had the shortest introduction so far. When she looked up at them, they immediately turned away, intimidated by the scowl she presented. Mr. Glass nodded. "All right, nice to meet you, Tammy," he said simply. "Next is Ms Cohen."
After being called on, Robyn followed Tammy. "Hello, everyone," she said to the class with a beautiful vibrant smile. "My name is Robyn Cohen. I'm a Junior. I was a Cheerleader last year but I recently left the squad. I'm an active member of DECA, an avid singer, and I also play piano. I'm in this class because it's required, but I believe it'll be an interesting experience to say the least."
"Sup," Sid said lazily, standing up once called on after Robyn. "My name is Sidney Dunn. I'm the exact opposite of Gustavo: I hate being called by my full name, so call me Sid. I'm a hardass of the worst kind, so don't get on my bad side. I curse all the fucking time. I like to smoke and listen to music. I love punk rock but Ska is where my heart's at. Ska is a mixture of rock and reggae, for those that don't know. I'm a Senior and I honestly don't want to be here."
Royce stood after Sid. "Hey guys, I'm Royce Ferguson, I'm a Sophomore. I'm an aspiring film director. I want to make horror movies, particularly zombie films. I have an unhealthy obsession with zombie culture, which led me to actually sign up for this class for my own personal reasons. As you can see by my clothing, I'm a proud Struckcore Kid. I like listening to popular Struckcore bands like Foar Squod, Level Won, Singularity, The Horde, Bleu Foam, stuff like that. And uh...That's about it for me."
Woodrow immediately followed Royce. "Hey, my name's Woodrow Gould. I'm a Senior. I'm into Parkour and MMA. That's about it. I like girls-"
Phillip snorted with humorless laughter as he stared off into space. Woodrow turned to him quickly.
"You say something, Slybourne?"
Phillip whipped his head in Woodrow's direction. His teeth were gritted, his upper lip twitched with anger and he hesitated in speaking, trying to stop from saying what he really wanted to say, though his eyes never left Woodrow's. "No," he muttered in a whisper before Woodrow turned his attention back to the others.
"Anyways, yeah I'm just here because of the grade but it looks like it'll probably be awesome, so who knows?" Woodrow sat down but turned to Phillip briefly, who's vengeful eyes were still glued to him. Phillip finally turned around when the next person was called on to make their introduction.
"Hi everyone," Cecillia said with a load of preppy excitement. "I'm sure you all already know who I am, but for those of you who don't, my name is Cecillia Greer. I'm Junior Class President and head of Yearbook. I'm on the school Volleyball and Softball team and I'm also apart of the Tennis Club. I'm 100% ready for this class and whatever it has to offer."
"Nice to meet you, Cecillia," Mr. Glass said, checking her off of his list. "Alright, next is Ms. Griffith?"
Mr. Glass looked up to see which student announced herself as such. Everyone was quiet. "Ms. Francine Griffith?" The students began to look around for her. Mr. Glass spotted a young girl with a hoody covering her head, which was layed down on the table. He pointed her out and the student next to her leaned over and shook her. She pushed the student's arm away quickly. "Ms. Griffin is that you in the back?" The girl slowly appeared from under her hoody. Her thick glasses were fogged when she finally stood timidly before the class.
"Um," she said, taking them off and wiping them with her shirt tail. "I'm Francine Griffin. I'm a Freshman." The students exchanged surprised looks with each other. She had to be an exceptional student to qualify for this class so early, as it was only meant to be accessible to 10th through 12th graders. "I like to draw. I'm here because my parents wanted me to sign up for it."
Francine sat down quickly and put her hoody back over her head, ignoring the soft laughter of the students around her. She waited patiently for the next person to be called on before coming out from under it.
"Hey Guys, it's Dylan Hodge talking," Dylan said, jumping from his seat vibrantly. "If you do not know me, you don't know life. If you do, you probably know me as co-creator of SEX-ER-CISE, the famous Sex-Related Exercise program. It's been proven to work wonders for the people who use it, increasing their body physique, confidence, labido, and sexual organ size, the last of which is only a good thing for the guys. I'll give you an example of this workout. In my regular routine, I do 37 Dick-ups every morning after I eat nails for breakfast and shit excellence. I'm a Senior and after passing this class, which I definitely will do because I'm that awesome, I will then proceed to morph into a giant lizard, defeat a horde of giant robots, and then start a 4-year College. That's it....Oh and I'm in this class because it's about zombies."
As everyone was caught up in laughter of Dylan's introduction, they just as immediately rolled their eyes and lost interest as Knapp stood up and addressed the group.
"Yeah!" he shouted, fist pumping. "What's up guys, it's Hymon Knapp in the house. I'm an ROTC Cadet 'cause I started the class late, but it's all good because I'm repping my hood, all the haters wish they could, and they try to step to me, man I wish a hater would. No, I'm kidding, I'm not really a rapper. I'm pretty good though, I think I might come out with my own mixtape some day. Anyways, I'm a Junior and I like to party, so you guys should hit me up when you're having something and I'll be over to bring the real fun. But yeah, I'm in this class because I was required to take it, but it seems pretty awesome so far. That's about it, so I'll check you guys later."
Hymon winked at the lot of them, snapped, and sat down smoothly while the others turned away from him quickly, waiting for the next person to start their introduction after being called on.
"What's up, everybody?" Lamar said, standing up and waving to the class. "I'm Lamar Lancaster. I'm a Senior, Captain of the Basketball team, and part time B-Boy. I'm into music and relaxing with friends but I take my education very seriously. I took this class because it was required but I also want the survival knowledge. That's all I've got."
Lamar sat down and Sarah took his place after being called upon by Mr. Glass. "Hey everybody, I'm Sarah Lowe. I'm a Junior. I'm really not that interesting at all, so there's not much I can say about myself, except I'm just your average non-pregnant American teenage girl. I'm in this class because its required, but it seems pretty okay so far."
Ross immediately followed Sarah. "Hey guys, I'm Ross Malone. I'm a Junior. I'm on the Wrestling team here at Quick. I'm really into MMA and UFC, stuff like that. Not much to me other than that. I guess I want to be in this class because I want to see if it's possible to wrestle a zombie."
The students chuckled lightly at his comment, Austin being the loudest, trying hard to relay his sarcasm in Ross' direction. Ross gave him a dirty look before sitting down and Kurt was called on to give his introduction.
"Hey people, my name is Kurt McCormick. I've got the title of Head Lieutenant in ROTC and I take that title very seriously. I'm a Senior and once I graduate, I'm immediately going into the Army. Not to sound arrogant or anything, but I think I can handle my own in a Zombie Outbreak because of my extensive Firearm knowledge and my own military expertise. I'm an Army child at heart; all of the men in my family were in the Army before me and it's my duty to follow in their footsteps. I want to be in this class to hone my skills."
When Kurt was seated, Austin was called on and he stood up to address the class. "Hey everybody, my name is Austin McGowan, I'm a Junior. Born and raised in Tennessee, very proud of it. I'm on the Baseball team and I do a little bit of Soccer every now and then. I love to listen to Country music, so if you're the same, you're a friend of mine. Other than that, I'm a pretty all-around guy, so I encourage you to get to know me. I guess I want to be in this class because I get to see what it's like to bust open a zombie skull with a metal bat. Always wanted to know what that would feel like."
The students once again chuckled, to which Ross repeated Austin's earlier antics and laughed louder than the others. Austin was soon replaced by Siobhan.
"Hey guys, I'm Siobhan Newton. The name is Irish, if any of you are wondering. I'm a Senior. I play drums for the Unorthadocks, a local band. I like tattoos, piercings, coffee, and music. That's about all there is. I want to be in this class because it seems pretty sketch."
"I'm sorry, 'sketch'?" Mr. Glass repeated.
"It means cool," Sid intruded. "She also likes to use questionable early decade lingo."
Siobhan turned around and hit Sid playfully in the chest as the class giggled. Kristy was called to introduce herself next.
"Zdravstvujtye," Kristy said in her native language. "Zat means Hello in Russia. My name is Kristina Sidorov. I am a Foreign Exchange Student from Moscow. I am apart of ze ROTC Program here at Thomas Quick High School. I enjoy hunting, hiking, swimming, and outdoor activities of any kind. I vant to be apart of zis class because it has good opportunities for life progression."
"She's so cute, when you don't know what she's talking about," Louis whispered to Royce, who chuckled as Kristy took her seat. Next to be called on was Latasha.
"Hey Ya'll," she said with energy, standing up. "My name is Latasha Shields. I'm a Sophomore. I like to sing. I love music. I mainly like rap. My favorite rapper is lil Juicie. I like getting work done on my hair. I've got a boyfriend named Tyrekis who is not afraid to whip all of your little asses if any of ya'll mess with me, just letting you know right now. And I want to be in this class 'cause I want to meet new people."
Phillip stood up after her when he was called on, shoving his hands into his pocket casually. He looked at the students around him but was mainly looking past them, avoiding eye contact completely. "My name is Phillip Slybourne, I'm a Senior. I'm a Parkour activist and Skateboarder. I play guitar to relax and I'm in this class because it's a requirement and I need the grade."
At another time, Phillip would have said much more, but in a class where there were many people that knew what he was all about already, rumors and all, it seemed irrelevant at the least, and he didn't particularly care to share anything new. He took his seat and waited for the next person to go.
"Hi, my name is Beatriz Spencer," she said casually. "I'm the lead singer of the Unorthadocks, the band that Siobhan plays drums for. I'm a dedicated artist, I mainly draw surrealistic designs. I play piano occassionally. I'm a pretty big music enthusiast. I like all kinds of music but I mainly enjoy Ska. I was the one that got Sid into it."
"Not true," Sid intervened.
Bea rolled her eyes and continued. "Anyways, I want to be in this class because I think zombies are cool. I probably won't after this class, but whatever."
When Bea sat down, Jay followed her, immediately drawing in everyone's attention. "All right!" he exclaimed, as the eyes fell on him. "I'm Jay Steele and I'm a Senior. I've got the name of a bad ass, the personality of a smart ass, the bravery of a hard ass, and the imagination of a dumb ass. I'm the co-creator of SEX-ER-CISE alongside my best friend, Dylan Hodge. Our slogan is 'It's a Cock Out With Your Cock Out.' Anyways, I'm into Parkour and I never go anywhere without my lucky Pikachu Keychain right here. I want to be here because I am in this class. Thank you for your time and good night."
Immediately following Jay, Mr. Glass called on Jonah to introduce himself.
"Hey, kids, I'm called Jonah Thao. I'm a Sophomore. I've got the name of a bad ass, the personality of a smart ass, the brave - oh wait...."
The students laughed and Jonah smirked at Jay, who gave him a thumbs up. "I'm a B-Boy at heart but I'm good at all kinds of dance. I'm an avid listener of Old School and Underground Hip Hop. I can be a bit of a perfectionist at times with almost anything I do and I know that can get on a lot of people's nerves sometimes, but that's how I plan on becoming the best at what I want to do. Basically, I want to be in this class because it's a new challenge I can take on."
Jeremy was the last to be called on after Jonah and got up to address the class.
"Well as you all may know," Jeremy said energetically, gesturing his hands with almost every word he spoke. "My name is Jeremy Witt. I'm a Junior. I'm in Yearbook with Cecillia. I like to sing, dance, cook, and listen to music. I can also be pretty sassy, so I don't mind kicking ass if need be, okay? That's your first and only warning; take it to heart, children. I want to be in this class because....I guess I feel like I've got something to prove."
"And what would that be?" Mr. Glass asked curiously as Jeremy took his seat.
"That a kid like me can survive the apocalypse," Jeremy said with a lot of attitude.
Mr. Glass shrugged and smiled, turning and reaching down behind his desk, before pulling out a rather large box. "I respect that. I respect you all for standing up and presenting yourselves like that. I know that can be nerve-wracking at times but it's one step closer to your objective. Now that you all are acquainted, it's imparative that you know the five most important Principles of Survival in the Scenario. I'll go over them in a bit, but right now, I'm going to pass out these vials to you all."
Mr. Glass walked down the aisles in between chairs, handing the cylinder inch-sized glass vials to each individual student from the box he held in his hands. He continued to explain as he walked by. "The Scenario is a hyper-reality virtual world made to simulate the city of Ocean Valley and its surrounding environments during a Class-3 Zombie Outbreak. When I say hyper-reality, that means quite literally that it's hyper-realistic. In layman's terms, that means you might as well be there at that exact moment. You will feel pain, you will get fatigued, and if you slip up, you will experience what it's like to die in the most realistic sense. I wasn't kidding when I told you life will be much different for you all after the next fifteen days."
Mr. Glass walked back to his desk and picked up a small cylinder-shaped device with a button on top of it. "I'm going to pass around this shocker. When pressed, the device will send a small shock to whatever is under the cylinder attached to it. You're going to want to make a single incision into your fingertip and let a drop of blood fall into the vial. Don't worry, the device is desiged to also apply a substance that heals the incision within thirty seconds. When you're finished, pass the shocker to the next person. Please be extra careful and let's all be mature about this. It's a very important part of next week's agenda. If anybody requires assistance, I'll be happy to help."
Mr. Glass handed the shocker to Royce, who put the cylinder device over his fingertip and pressed down sharply, wincing at the pain. He squeezed his finger over the vial and let the drop of blood slide in and hit the bottom. He then handed the shocker to Louis, who repeated the process.
"At the end of class every day, we will assess a specific characteristic of your enemy in detail, based on your experiences within the Scenario, given the event that you survive said encounter with that enemy," Mr. Glass continued as the shocker was being passed around. "You will also be given a written evaluation of your progress at the end of each week. The Scenario slows down the mental conception of time when you're in it, so inside, it begins at 7AM and ends at Midnight, real time. Missing a day of the class will result in your virtual self being inactive, exposed, and completely vulnerable in the Scenario, leading to your eventual death and your failure of this class. I'll repeat that again. Do NOT miss a day of this class for any reason or you will fail it. Even if you have a good reason, you will still have to take the Apocalypse 101 Course at the local Community College to compensate. Now, the first five days of class will feature the Scenario undertaking a harsh summer climate for you to endure simultaneously while trying to survive. The second five days will feature a seasonal change in the Scenario, shifting immediately to a chilled Autumn environment and then the last five days will be an icey winter climate.
"Now the purpose of collecting your blood in these vials is for me to send them to the lab over the weekend to have them tested and have the results in by Monday, which will allow me to inform you nf whether or not you need to take extra precautions while in the Scenario. As I mentioned before, the Beelzebub Flu was spread through common Houseflies. The Beelzebub Flu itself is actually an aggressive and mutated strand of the infectious disease known as Malaria. That means those of you who carry Sickle Cell Disease or Sickle Cell Traits are immune to catching the Beelzebub Flu via Housefly or other insects that carry the virus. Everyone else is still in danger of catching the virus in this manner, although everyone will be in danger of catching the virus from a infected bite. Now, I know a lot of you aren't sure if you carry Sickle Cell Traits or not, which is what will be determined for you over the weekend and I'll have your results on Monday before you start the Scenario."
Tammy was the last to administer her blood into the vial before she got up and laid the shocker back down on the Mr. Glass' desk. When he saw that they were finished, Mr. Glass walked down the aisles again to collect the vials. He slid them back down into the box and once they were all collected, he laid the box down on his desk and he turned back to the class.
"Alright, before we wrap up things for the day and get to the real action on Monday, we need to go over the Five Principles of Survival." He walked to the white board directly behind him and grabbed a marker. He began to write the term "Five Principles" on the top, underlined it, and started with the first bullet point under it. He soon turned around and saw most of the students either staring at him absent-mindedly or off into space. "This would be note-taking time, guys."
The students looked as if they'd snapped back into action, grabbing their bags and pulling out their notebooks and sheets of paper, ready to copy down what was being written on the board and stated by their teacher. Mr. Glass continued.
"The First Principle," Mr. Glass said, simultaneously writing it on the board. "Resourcefulness. It's the key to life during a Zombie Outbreak. Your most valuable possessions are going to include food, water, a weapon of some kind to defend yourself with, and, in the case of those that don't carry Sickle Cell traits, bug spray. Cry now, smile later: Save what you have with you until you know you need it. If you're greedy or gluttonous, it could be your downfall in the future. Your gold is definitely going to be water in the first and last season changes, the first being because it's going to be dangerously hot and dry, the last because most other water outlets will most likely be frozen and you'll be in danger of dehydration. Be careful of what you eat or drink because if you're not, it can make you sick while you're in the Scenario. Now to go ahead and answer the future question of 'Will my injuries and illnesses transfer over into the real world?' the answer is no. This is merely a simulation. All injuries, illnesses, and other things you may find yourself exposed to will be in your mind, but they will seem very real to you in the Scenario and after a day's session, when you return the following day, any injuries and illnesses you contracted before will still apply.
"The Second Principle," Mr. Glass said, turning back to the board to write again. "The Trust Factor. Now that you all have become acquainted with each other, this is going to be one of your most important principles to follow. I couldn't help but notice that there was a little bit of tension between some of you. That's perfectly understandable. It's High School, I was in the midst of the drama too when I was your age. But I have to warn you not to let personal feuds get in the way of survival of this magnitude. Remember, given the circumstances, this might as well be the real thing, so treat it as such. Don't take likely to it just because you think you might come out of it in the end or else you could find yourself in a world of pain like you've never experienced by the end of it. That's the point of it being so realistic, so students will take it seriously. Working together is both a smart and foolish thing to do. It all depends on if you can trust your fellow survivor. If not, it's more profitable to travel alone.
"The Third Principle," Mr. Glass stated, writing it on the white board behind him. "Vigilance. This goes without saying. Stay on your guard at ALL times. I know you guys like to swear, so I think you'll understand what I mean when I tell you these are some crafty motherfuckers."
The students erupted into laughter, surprised at their teacher's relaxed attitude to profanity, a rarity in this type of school. Mr. Glass smiled. "I'm serious, you'll see what I'm talking about when you're actually in there. In fiction, zombies are depicted as mindless, only coming after humans to consume their brains and organs. In real life, zombies are actually being controlled by the virus, meaning they do have minds of their own. They may not be sentient, but the virus gives them basic primal instincts and the way it reacts with our DNA amplifies that, allowing them to develop cunning and strategic ways of obtaining what they want. Think of them as those intelligent chimpanzees you see trained by Astronauts and Scientists. They almost seem like they're smarter than us, right? That's what you guys are up against out there, so keep a keen eye open, be prepared for anything, and make use of your quick judgment skills when needed.
"Now, the Fourth Principle," Mr. Glass said, writing it onto the board. "Common Sense. Think smarter, not harder. Analyze all of the possibilities you can before you act on something because it could save you and another person's life. If at all possible, study your enemy. Each zombie is different in their own unique way. Some make repetitive actions that can prove useful for you in the future if you take advantage of them. They aren't at all organized, which makes them both more dangerous but at the same time, more vulnerable, especially when in small gatherings. Use your head in tricky situations, and you'll almost always come out on top. Common sense is your greatest weapon. And for God's sake, please keep a level head out there. I can not tell you how many students I've seen get freaked out by some event and run away from the group only to die horrifically a few minutes later. Spontaneously too. In a gruesome way, like a vertical slash or something. It happens, so don't think because it's real life, horror movie-type stuff doesn't apply here too. In real life, anything can happen.
"Alright, now, the Fifth and Final Principle," Mr. Glass said, turning around to write the last bullet-point on the board. "Determination. You can quit, but the zombies won't. They'll tear away at your carcus even after you're out of the simulation and going home, crying to your parents about how horrific this class is. You give up and they'll show no mercy. You give up, and I'll show no mercy. There's nothing I can't tolerate more than cowards. I was around your age when I was forced to survive and I didn't have the knowledge of what was going on like you will, neither could I bail out when it got too difficult. If I could get through it, you all sure as hell can."
Mr. Glass pushed the cap back onto the marker and laid it down on the rail at the bottom of the whiteboard, giving the class his full attention. "That's it. Just a few more things I need to cover before I dismiss you guys. Number 1: Killing another student within the Scenario calls for an immediate discharge from the class. It is strictly illegal unless...the student is infected with the Beelzebub Flu at the time of their death. By that moment, it's fair game. Number 2: Speaking about the developments of the Scenario outside of class is the equivalent to sharing the answers to a test outside of class, so don't do it. It is not only cheating, it's also detrimental to you and your classmates' success in an actual Apocalyptic Scenario. I encourage you guys to be mature honest adults and take this experience to heart instead of just for the grade, understood? Number 3: There's more to the Scenario than just surviving. There are objectives that are set in place all around the wrecked Ocean Valley Cityscape that need to be accomplished or the entire class is in danger of failing by the end of the fifteen days. The objectives call for you survivors to make your presence known to the American Government before the Air Force nukes the entire area, believing that there are no survivors of the outbreak. This is primarily put in place for the majority of students who think they can board up in a specific location and stay there for the duration of the class."
Mr. Glass made eye contact with each of the students as he spoke and now he was looking at the entire class as a whole. "That's all I have for you today, guys. I want you to go home and focus on everything but this class, because it's all you're going to be thinking about once it starts. I'll see you guys off by telling you exactly what my brother told me years ago. Go into this with your heads held high and your barrels at eye level Godspeed, guys. Class dismissed."