-The Werewolf and Vampire Survival Guide-
An informative essay by Crash Ichimonji
Over the years, zombies have grown to become the feared foe of humanity thanks to popular media and culture. Zombies are the swarming threat of decayed and dehumanized corpses that wander the land to feast upon human flesh. Books, films, and comics alike have been made to educate the masses (one way or another) about the how-to-do's of defending oneself from the living dead. But, as preposterous as it may sound, there actually exist a threat far more dangerous than the possibility of a zombie attack, and that is the threat of werewolves and vampires. The purpose of this essay is to help those who understand little about vampires and werewolves (whether they know it or not) know how to defend themselves from an attack of the howling masses and the undead. Let it be known that this information is all based on scientifically-proven facts and highly-educated theories on the study of lycanthropy and its atrophic counterpart known as vampirism.
-Section 1: What Exactly ARE Vampires and Werewolves?-
A good question, indeed. A werewolf is typically one who is cursed/diseased with werewolfism. Though lycanthropy can start as a curse, it spreads like a disease. Modern science has shown that werewolfism is in fact a disease similar to rabies in that it is spread from the infected's salivary glands to the infectee's bloodstream but it can also be transmitted from mother to child as well. The origin of this disease has been traced to a virus-like pathogen known as Lupine-Lycanthropy, a strange pathogen that causes swelling of the adrenal glands and bones as well as the toughening of skin and muscles. Werewolfism is a nocturnally-activated pathogen that forces major endocrine changes in a matter of hours. The result forces the infected to lose control of their higher brain functions from a fermentation of sugars in the body from the newly-secreted enzymes in the body digesting them, and also causes the body's metabolism to increase dramatically to allow the transformative changes needed to occur. Contrary to popular belief, werewolves (when fully transformed) do not become complete wolves. Rather, a fully transformed werewolf is a mostly bipedal canine-like primate with a shorter muzzle and a more human (though massively muscular) body build. However, most of a werewolf's thought capabilities are animalistic, save the ability to learn quickly and strategize occasionally. Also, a werewolf can only assume its beast form during nighttime hours due to the condition's nocturnal nature. The process of transformation between forms is quite a painful one, as many captive victims of the disease have recounted, but their body regenerates any non-cerebral damaged flesh during the process, at the cost of much energy, hence the high metabolism.
Vampires are the opposite side of the same coin when it comes to lycanthropy. While a werewolf is more animalistic and brutish in nature, the vampire is a more 'civilized' and cunning. Vampirism starts usually from the death of a werewolf (but only if the beast has been improperly killed, as will be discussed later). The body's transference into atrophy forces the effects of Lupine-Lycanthropy to undergo a radical change in DNA sequence, becoming Chiropteroid-Lycanthropy. Chiroptera-Lycanthropy gives the body increased stamina and reaction-response time while keeping the body human in shape. The misconception with vampires is that that they can fly, but the truth is that they are simply nimble with graceful agility. Another misconception is that vampires are related to bats, but the truth behind this incorrect idea is that vampires are still primates, albeit severely infected ones. Vampires, though nocturnal, are not allergic to sunlight either. Like the werewolf, a vampire simply loses his powers and abilities during the daytime. Their bodies produce an enzyme that allows their digestive tract to not directly absorb blood as easily as a human's does, allowing them to consume much blood fro metabolism. Also, vampires' bodies produce a vast array of alluring human pheromones, which is where they gain their ability to 'charm' others into becoming bitten (the disease spreads just as Lupine-Lycanthropy) for either infection or for being feasted upon. One last thing to note is that vampires and werewolves, despite their relation in the diseases, seldom work together, and usually will try to kill one another. Use this to your advantage. In short, these are the typical definitions of who and what the enemy is and how they spread their diseases
-Section 2: How to Kill a Werewolf or Vampire.-
This is yet another misunderstood set of facts about vampires and werewolves. As we know, a vampire is a dead werewolf, so obviously whatever is potent against a werewolf will most likely work against a vampire too. Firstly, the most obvious material to use against both creatures is pure silver. Silver is considered a holy metal with purifying qualities, and thus, it sears the flesh of vampire and werewolves alike much like hot metals (such as a branding iron) do to organic tissue. Silver disorientates and weakens the creatures as well. Note, only the purest of silver will have the most potent effects on vampires and werewolves. Alloys such as sterling silver will have far less of an effect. It should also be noted that Quicksilver, a liquid-alloy of mercury and silver, is very potent against the creatures, and can destroy the heart if enough is injected into the bloodstream. Though the old myth is that a silver bullet will kill a werewolf, the truth is that any object of silver that imbeds itself into the vampires' and werewolves' flesh will weaken and wound it, from bullets to spears to even axes.
To properly kill a werewolf or vampire, one must destroy or severely damage the creature's brain or heart, preferably with a silver object of some sort. If the silver merely imbeds itself inside the creature's body, it will not kill the creature, but instead will weaken it and impede regeneration (the severity of the effects is dependent on how much silver is inside the vampire or werewolf, and also how close the silver is to the heart and/or brain), otherwise, almost any non-cardio or non-cerebral wound will regenerate over the course of a day. As stated, improperly killing a werewolf, that is, damaging it to the point that it should be dead by normal animal standards without the destruction of either the heart or brain, will turn the werewolf undead and into a vampire. The transformation, however, takes many hours, sometimes even a day or so, but is a definite process if true death is not correctly dealt to the beast. Improperly killing a vampire will merely allow it to survive as a vampire and spread its disease, just as merely wounding a werewolf will do the same.
Now, what weaponry should one use to combat werewolves and vampires alike? Silver is the obvious choice, but since it is a precious metal, there is very little of it that one can acquire without putting a major hole in their wallet. For this, there is one logical option: firearms. Should there be an outbreak of werewolves and vampires, there are three types of firearms you will need to acquire as well as bullets (silver and regular) for them: a 9mm pistol, a compact submachine gun, and an assault rifle of some sort. (NOTE: silver bullets will cause more damage than normal bullets, but this does not mean that regular bullets can't be used to properly kill a werewolf or vampire). Auto-loading 9mm pistols are very affective against vampires and werewolves in close-quarters combat, or, CQC, as they allow one to fire anywhere from six to even sixteen shots at a time (depending on the gun model). Two good choices for pistols are the Beretta M92 and the Glock 18. The M9 is a good and reliable gun used by soldiers not just in the United States, but in other countries as well. The Glock 18 is a supreme choice for combat because of its incredible durability and its ability to be switched to fully automatic fire, making short work of any pack of werewolves or a stalking vampire.
When it comes to automatic artillery, 9mm submachine guns like the MP5 or smaller SMG's such as the Uzi or the Mac 11 are perfect for suppression fire against groups of werewolves. Submachine guns have one drawback: they are made for suppression fire primarily, NOT for accuracy. Still, a spray shot of silver or lead slugs will easily tear through tough werewolf hide and sinew, giving them something to think about before attacking immediately again. The importance of 9mm ammunition is that it can be used for both pistols and submachine guns alike, making the ammunition versatile.
Finally, assault rifles are perhaps the key to stopping werewolves and vampires in battle. In the world of assault rifles, there is a divide between ammunition: NATO round 5.56 mm bullets, and 7.62 mm bullets. The difference? NATO rounds, due to their ballistics physics, bounce around the insides of a body once they penetrate, providing lethal damage to the flesh and bone. The obvious pro of this ammunition in using it against werewolves and vampires is that a shot to the upper chest with the bullet (even if it is NOT a silver bullet) will have a great likelihood of severely damaging/destroying the heart. The drawback is that this ammunition is limited to CQC with werewolves and vampires as the ammunition cannot hit targets behind others. The best gun to use for this ammo would be the United States' official infantry assault rifle: the AR-15. Any variant of this gun is fine to use, however, since it will be close-quarters that this gun will be used in primarily, the M4 A1 carbine is a superior choice with its low recoil, high accuracy, and easy-to-wield design. The only problem with the M4 is that it does require cleaning quite often due to the fact that its firing system is reliant on gas-blowback, causing carbon to build up in the chamber which can lead to jamming. If there is an opportunity to buy one, purchase an HK 416: the German-made M4 that relies on a piston to drive back the slide and pin, meaning less cleaning required.
With 7.62 mm ammunition, the bullets are able to pierce steel armor, so to say that it damages flesh and bone would be an understatement. This caliber of ballistics is perfect for destroying brains and hearts of even the most biologically or artificially fortified werewolves and vampires. The most reliable assault rifle that utilizes this ammunition is the Russian AK-47. However, if you do plan on using an AK variant, use either an AK-103 or a model utilizing the 7.62 x 39mm ammunition but with the AK-74's flash-hider. This is because these models with the flash-hiders have been designed to have far less recoil than the old AK-47 design, thus making the shots more accurate in full-automatic fire mode. AK's are very common in the world, and are VERY rarely prone to jamming or breaking, making them a good choice for suppression-fire, due to their bullets' ability to go straight through the beasts' bodies and into any others behind them.
If you are forced to engage in melee combat with a werewolf or vampire, a silver blade and any form of silver armor on your arms and hands will allow you a way to block bites to your upper extremities. A good way to ward off werewolves and vampires is with the plant wolfsbane. This herb does not weaken a werewolf or vampire in any way, it merely has a disgustingly pungent and acrid sent/taste to the beasts. It won't kill them, but it will make them hesitate from attacking immediately. Still, avoid melee-combat at whatever costs you can afford, as survival from such battles is very slim and the risk of infection is almost always certain.
-Section 3: How to Recognize a Werewolf or Vampire.-
The danger behind hunting werewolves and vampires in their more human forms is that it is easy to make a mistake and accidentally kill a normal human. There are signs to identify a werewolf from a normal or vampiric human.
-Taste for Raw Flesh-
This is perhaps the easiest (and messiest) test to find out if someone is a werewolf. Present a slab of raw and bloody meat (beef will do just fine) to the suspected during the daytime. If they are indeed a werewolf, they will ravenously devour the meat, uncaring of manners or stains from the juices and blood.
-Vulnerability to Silver-
Another easy method to finding a night-beast. Find a way to nonchalantly place a highly silver object into the suspected's hands. If they drop or get rid of the silver, wincing in pain (NOTE: use something smooth and free of sharp points or edges to avoid confusion), examine their hands to look for burn marks.
There are two types of markings to look for on a werewolf: natural, and inflicted. A natural marking to look for is a crescent moon tattoo on the skin, but this may be coincidental with a real tattoo. The inflected marking is a far more accurate way to determine if one is a werewolf. If you are forced into a fight with a werewolf, and manage to wound it into leaving you without infecting you, take note of the wound's location. If there is someone you know who is the beast, the next day they should have a wound or scar in that same area you wounded the werewolf. Obviously, you need to wound the werewolf in as many different places to make sure the suspected is the werewolf.
Unlike the old wives' tale, hairy palms is NOT a sign of one masturbating frequently. It is actually a sign of a werewolf. However, to avoid detection, most werewolves shave their palms, so note if someone's palms are rough and/or stubbly.
Vampires have only a few tell-tale features, and some vary. This makes identifying them harder than a werewolf.
Vampires are said to grow hair at impossibly quick rates, sometimes instantaneously. Look for people who have hair that grows many inches in a matter of days by, say, finding a way to cut their hair short in vampiric form.
Vampires are also said to have glassy, even claw-like nails. Try to find people with long nails that seem glass-like and unnatural. Careful not to mistake such nails with fake nails.
This is the hardest one to tell by. An older vampire usually has darker skin, because of the atrophic qualities of its body, while a 'younger' vampire will have paler skin because of the lack of blood content from its 'recently' undead body. In other words, look for the extremes in the skin tones for people you suspect.
-Section 4: The Big Day; How to Protect Yourself and Others-
The day has arrived…or rather, the NIGHT has. Werewolf packs are assaulting and killing, and there are reports of people dying of extreme anemia. Now is the time to strike. You want all your weapons to be easy to access, yet still hard for children and the mentally-ill to access for themselves, and to have a somewhat-fortified vehicle capable of transporting you and your family/friends to a safe place. And what would a safe place be? Try to find areas that are rural and excellent at spotting intruding forces.
A desert is a good place because of its harsh conditions, but this is also dangerous to stay too long in. Make sure you have a plan for where you and your fellow refugees are going to head until you have hit safer territory, that is, territory that is less hospitable for vampires and werewolves. Prairies and low-grass fields are good places to go in large numbers so that packs of werewolves and clans of vampires will have a disadvantage in numbers and field-strategizing for attacking you and your group. You want an area that is more or less flat and has an easy to see horizon, so that you can fire at the creatures without worry of missing any in your sights.
Water ways can be good as well. Taking a boat along a very wide river or across a lake or even an ocean is a good way to escape. The problem is that if a vampire or werewolf stows away on your boat, you risk a close-quarters fight with them. Be sure you test any new people you bring onto the ship with the methods previously discussed.
After that, it's a matter of time until the government task forces take out the werewolves and vampires, or, if that fails you can just make tracks for another country across the ocean. If you are prepared for the enemy, you have an advantage to survive, so start planning, folks!