The New Breed are smart, but it's important to remember they're only smart for zombies. Basic problem solving is within their grasp, such as using simple weapons and tools, but their understanding of complex situations and objects is severely limited. When it comes to things that exist as part of predatory behavior, the New Breed are brilliant. Good tactical and strategic thinkers when it comes to familiar situations.
Complete morons when faced with something new.
To their credit, they were smart enough to keep themselves in the back of the zoo to escape cursory inspections. When the assault team showed up to hit them, the place looked deserted. That was an advantage since it gave them time to set up the defenses Dodger and Will came up with.
One thing that's actually really easy to make is a cage. More specifically sections of cage that can be loaded onto a truck in stacks and put together in about five minutes using interlocking hinges held together with simple steel rods. The cage itself was designed to be wide enough to block the front gate of the zoo completely and tall enough to prevent any easy climb over it. The thing has a top as well, making it practically impossible for the undead to get to the people inside.
A door section was left open, our folks milling about in front of it right in the danger zone. Exposed inside the belly of the beast. Two teams of two rode off into the zoo proper on motorbikes to get the attention of the milling horde of New Breed in the back. As you can imagine, the people acting as bait didn't have a hard job at all. Dangerous, but not rocket science. A few tasty human beings represented no threat to the vast swarm they ran into.
Those people came back to the gate and brought the party with them.
Preparation is a big part of every major assault. Our folks laid out some nasty surprises before sending out the bait teams. When the swarm hit, our people (and I mean everyone--the Louisville crew are 'our people', living people) hit them with some weak attacks, mostly arrows and a few bullets. They backed into the cage, the back wall of which was lined with better weapons.
Then they closed the door. Secure in their steel haven, reserve fighters on the outside of the zoo climbed to their spots on the cage top and fired magnesium fuses into the back of the zombie swarm. Undead that had stepped in the thermite gel our people left for them caught fire and fell, creating a mild barrier to the zombies in front of them. The sudden flares had the excellent side-effect of pushing the main mass forward toward the cage, packing them all into a relatively small space.
The people inside the cage unloaded on the ranks before them with handguns, then shotguns, then a variety of military-grade heavy guns. That was just to thin the herd somewhat, easy to do since every person behind those bars could pick and choose their shots at will.
Up top, the artillery began to fall. Grenades were chucked into the swarm, again at the back. I doubt they killed many zombies outright, but the grenades caused a lot of panic and did a good amount of damage. The idea wasn't to kill them with explosions, but to confuse and disable as many of them as possible. I expected them to use heavier weapons, but the tactics involved made rocket launchers too dangerous and in the end unnecessary. By forcing the New Breed ever forward against the bars, the whole structure butted up against the trucks that carried it to the zoo, the killing was actually pretty easy.
The entire task force was about fifty people. Not many when you think about it, but each of those fifty were calm and rational, either protected by the cage or on high ground. Each of them could choose their targets, aim their shots, and I'm told most shots were also kills. Even so, our folks didn't kill them all. That wasn't the point. The idea was to destroy the ability of that swarm to attack in numbers, the same idea we use in our assaults on the New Breed here. There had to be enough of them left to make any new arrivals wary of coming against human beings.
A few dozen new breed were left to wander, hopefully spreading the fear scent that warns other zombies not to fuck with the people in that area, at least not without overwhelming numbers. Just as an example to the other zombies there, our team decided to leave alone every disabled zombie that could barely crawl. Sure, the disabled that remained truly dangerous were killed. But there are more than a hundred burned and dismembered undead at the zoo, moaning and vainly thrashing as they struggle against the hunger and the damage to their bodies.
Let a zombie come across that, and I'd bet anything they decide to seek their dinner elsewhere.
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