Liabilities

We’ve told you about Baddies. We’ve suggested the types of people you might meet. We’ve informed you of things to take into account while forming your group.

Now I’m going to list a very specific group of people: Liabilities.

These are people who, despite their skills, despite their talents and charming personalities simply aren’t worth it. Any benefit to having them around is massively overshadowed by how extraordinarily likely they are to get you killed.

The Innocent:

We’re not talking children here (children are savage with a black and white sense of wrong and right: They can learn) but adults. Adults who think the world should be butterflies and bluebirds and unicorns shitting rainbows. Not only that, but they think that deep down, everyone is good. The horror of post apocalypse life hasn’t touched them, and at every turn, they’re telling you to be peaceful, to assume everyone means the best, and judging you when you stab the raider leader in the back because ‘he was walking away’.

Well, that’s annoying and all, but why is it a threat?

Ok, bear in mind we aren’t talking about an idealist here. I like idealists. Idealists are great. I plan to have one on my team so that when they tell me I’m heading into despot territory I can laugh in their face and watch their mind break drag myself back from the brink.

I’m talking about someone who is so insistent on seeing the world as a good place and people as good people they are pretty much delusional. The sort of person who when they’re forced to think about things that aren’t fluffy kittens, hide inside their own minds.

If that’s not clear enough, think of it like this: This person will second guess every tricky decision you have to make. They will browbeat you into meeting agression with crawling obedience. They will make you weak, and therefore a good target for bad bad people, as despite what they think- There are a hell of a lot of really nasty people in the world.

The selfish sociopath:

The polar opposite of the Innocent is just as dangerous. The selfish sociopath is someone who simply doesn’t care about anyone else. I’m not talking normal selfishness here people, the urge for yourself to get ahead faster than anyone else: I’m talking about the willingness to do anything to achieve that aim- the willingness to lie, cheat or even kill.

I’m talking about people who only care about others- even those that are closest to them- as things that can get them to where they want to be.

Well, that’s annoying and all, but why is it a threat?

Are you an idiot? Why would you think this wouldn’t be a threat? This person would quite literally sell their own mother into sex slavery to get themself into a position of greater power. They don’t think like you. You can have no possible idea how their brain works, but I can tell you this. They want power and control, and they will happily murder you to get it.

The Alcoholic:

The apocalypse will make even the most stable of us want to turn to drink: but we know that’s a bad idea. For a start, the booze supplies are likely to be limited, and I for one want to save the mind-boggling drunkeness for when we’re safe. But the alcoholic- Oh dear. Maybe they drank before, maybe they started when their world fell in around their ears. Either way they can’t control their intake.

No matter what they do, they do it with a bottle of booze nearby, and as they go along it just gets worse.

Well, that’s annoying and all, but why is it a threat?

I’m gonna go ahead and assume that, if you’re asking that question, you’ve never spent an extended amount of time around an alcoholic. Here are some simple reasons you don’t want an alcoholic with you, every single one of them a symptom of the illness.

Alcoholics are emotionally unstable, just as likely to lash out at friends as foes. You can’t rely on them- when you need them they could be sober and shaking with withdrawal, or so drunk they can’t stand. They’re sick: their liver is rotting inside of them and as a result their immune system is messed up. Alcoholics often do awful things they wouldn’t do if it wasn’t for booze. In short, you simply can’t trust them.

If you’re getting angry at this bit it’s possible you’re the alcoholic. Sorry.

The (heavily) pregnant woman:

Hoo, boy is this gonna get me a lot of hatemail. And here’s the thing: Yes, women capable of having children are going to be very important come the end days. Yes, motherhood is amazing and wonderful and precious and all that. But in those first, few desperate months, you simply can’t afford a pregnant woman.

Pregnant women require more nutrients, more time to get from place to place. They will go into labour, and while T.V. makes labour in dramatic circumstance look amazing and touching an exciting, it will in fact be stressful, messy and noisy- all things you can’t afford. Then you’ve got a baby to look after, too.

Well, that sounds annoying and all, but why is it a threat?

Noisy child that needs lots of attention and food. Slow, tired, emotional woman. This is a guaranteed way to get you caught by bad people.

So what should I do with these liabilities?

Here’s the thing: You probably see yourself as a good person, right? So killing them would probably make you feel really guilty. Personally, I wouldn’t feel any guilt about the sociopath, but I am fully aware that most people aren’t like that.

I wouldn’t feel guilty for refusing to let them join my group, however. Some of them can come along when I’m set up in a safe location (not the sociopath, NEVER the sociopath) but in the lean, hungry days of early post apocalyptic wandering we can’t afford to have them with us. Let them join other groups. Don’t feel guilt. Shoot the sociopath as he sleeps.

What other personalities would be liabilities come the end? How would you deal with them?

anninyn

Anninyn lives and works in the UK, though she writes in a world of her own. Raised on a steady diet of sci-fi, intellectualism and political thinking by hippies, she looks at modern life through a somewhat-...unique... lens. She is obsessed with the apocalypse, and can be reached at anninyn@incaseofsurvival.com for all apocalypse-based inquiries. She is working on her first novel. You can find out about her and her other work through her website http://cbblanchard.com/

6 Replies to “Liabilities

    1. Well, You aren’t the innocent, and you certainly aren’t a pregnant woman.

      Despite your increasingly desperate attempts to prove otherwise, you aren’t a sociopath, though if you or I were in serious danger I am in no doubt of your ability to murder to get us out.

      As for the alcoholic thing… drink less, and I won’t have to murder you in your sleep. Deal?

    1. I’m in quite high demand, it’s true. Me and the James up there that I’m insulting. However, we plan to be in control post-apocalypse.

      However, people of use are allowed in our Post-Apocalyptic compound, so as long as you;ve survived long enough to get there, you’re gold.

    1. Every time. My article on ‘assumption will get you killed’ was inspired by a person I know who is confident that their way is THE ONLY WAY TO SURVIVE. The gaps in their knowledge are obvious, but they’re too egotistical to see it.

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