There are many resources out there to help us know what to do if we find ourselves under attack by zombies. Survival guides, books, and web pages, you name it. But where do they get their info from? From movies, for gods sake?!
The best thing to do is talk to people who have had a real experience with an attack. Unfortunately, most of the people that have gone though such a thing are probably missing and dead! If you do know somebody, listen to them! Their experiences could be the difference between you and a long dirt nap. Or worse yet, eternal damnation as a member of the walking dead! The next best thing is to read about “real” experiences. Find them and study! If you are already doing your own research, congratulations on being a survivor. By now, you should have read FVZA, the graphic novel from Radical Publishing written by David Hine, and if you haven't DO IT! It is a bounty of important information and is based on a real person, Dr. Hugo Pecos and his website FVZA.org.
Dr. Hugo Pecos, now retired, was the Federal Vampire & Zombie Agency's Regional Director. He is the go-to expert on zombies and vampires. He now spends his life making the public aware of the undead threats around us. We interviewed Dr. Hugo Pecos recently, and this is what he had to say.
HAZ: First and foremost, it is a true honor and a privilege that you, Dr. Hugo Pecos, are willing to do an interview with us at Hug A Zombie. The graphic novel FVZA is based on yourself and the agency. That must be exciting?
HP: The graphic novel is very exciting and it's fun to see myself as a character in a fictional story. The story is based on what might happen if there were to be a zombie outbreak and/or evidence of vampire activity. I'd like to think my expertise would be useful in such a situation, and I've often thought of what it might be like to restart the Academy, but the story is fiction. I have not trained any of my grandchildren in the undead fighting arts. I think the book does a good job of de-romanticizing vampires and capturing the pathos in those infected with the zombie virus.
HAZ: How much of the graphic novel is based on true events?
(This question was not answered; we assume he is not allowed to talk about it.)
HAZ: You lost your brother “Orlando” at a very young age; this must have influenced your life greatly. Can you tell us what happened?
HP: My brother Orlando was seized by a vampire pack when we were just children. It was a transformative event in my life, and I still remember it clearly. It's funny, I can't remember what I did last week, but I can remember every detail of that event from so long ago. Obviously, it gave me a lot of incentive as an adult to make sure the tragedy was not repeated for some other family.
HAZ: I understand you gained a great deal of experience in World War II. Due to your experiences, you were summoned to Washington D.C. to work on the Zozobra Project. This is really were you got your start in Vampire Research. What can you tell us about the Zozobra Project?
HP: The Zozobra Project was a concerted effort by the world's leading scientists to develop a vampire vaccine. The project took place in a secret location in the mountains of New Mexico. In 1950, we succeeded in creating a vaccine, and the next decade saw a precipitous drop in vampire activity. It remains one of my proudest achievements.
HAZ: In your time with the Federal Vampire & Zombie Agency, was there an encounter that really “stands out” in your mind? If so, would you like to share with us that encounter with a vampire or zombies?
HP: There are so many encounters that stand out. I was bitten several times, by both vampires and zombies. I would say one of the most memorable was in New Orleans. It was one of my first times as "bait." I got dressed in some ragged clothes and pretended to be a drunk homeless man in an attempt to lure vampires we believed to be operating in the French Quarter. The assault team was close by, but it was still pretty terrifying when the scout vampire leaped down on me from a balcony. He then dragged me into an alley, where three other vampires were waiting. Fortunately, my team saved me and destroyed the pack, but not before I was bitten on the neck. I still have a scar from that attack.
HAZ: We at Hug A Zombie have warned our audience about possible zombie threats. What can you tell us about zombies?
HP: The zombies I dealt with were victims of a virus passed from human to human through bites. The virus attacks the brain and creates a kind of automaton: an aggressive killing machine. Humans are like vectors that carry the virus from one host to another. These "viral zombies" were very dangerous, and could be in the future should another outbreak occur. Unlike in the movies, outbreaks are more easily containable.
HAZ: How many zombies do you think you have killed in your life time?
HP: I would say I've been involved in the killing of hundreds of zombies. Probably between 500-600, if I had to estimate. While we would encounter many lone vampires in our work, the zombies tended to be in groups. Sometimes we worked outside of the country. In a Third World area, you might see an entire rural village taken over.
HAZ: We know you are a busy man, so this is our last question. As civilians, what can we do to protect ourselves against vampires and zombies?
HP: Civilians can protect themselves by, first and foremost, not putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations. Vampires prey on the vulnerable, so don't be caught wandering around alone at night, especially in cities. Learn martial arts and weaponry. Keep yourself in shape. Have a "bug out" kit available should there be an outbreak; if you can live off the land, your chances of surviving are much better.
It could save your life!!