GARRULOUS: So tell us, what will your starting loadout be? Keeping in mind, of course, that the points you earn from your kills can be exchanged for additional supplies, ammunition, and other items.

MAXIMUS: Well, Garrulous, I am taking three weapons with me into the Zone. As my long arm, a long-barrel Ithaca 37 shotgun with an extended magazine tube and a mix of 00-buck and 12-gauge slugs. My sidearm is a post-1962 Browning Hi-Power in 9mm Parabellum with an external extractor. As a backup, a Walther PPK/S in .32 ACP and a bolo machete from Las Ventosas in Manila.

GARRULOUS: Unpack that for our viewers at home a little bit. Why that specific loadout? I note that none of those weapons was made after 1962.

MAXIMUS: It’s all a matter of simplicity, ease of use, ease of repair, and ease of resupply, Garrulous. The Ithaca 37 is a tried and tested design, simple and easy to repair. It can be used ambidextrously with that lovely combination loading/ejection port on the bottom, helping to keep it clean. I carry a mix of ammunition for varied situations, of course, and it’s highly likely that my competitors will carry the same gauge, meaning that scavenging is very, very practical.

GARRULOUS: And the Hi-Power? Most of our competitors, as you know, prefer the .45 M1911A1 or a more modern 9mm Glock.

MAXIMUS: For me, Garrulous, the Hi-Power is the best of both worlds. It has many of the same design features as the 1911, making it very reliable and repairable, while it can chamber the 9mm ammunition that I will find on my competitors’ corpses. The 9mm Parabellum lacks the stopping power of the .45, true, but with nearly twice as many rounds I find it offers me more tactical choices.

GARRULOUS: And, again, we find many of your competitors preferring a revolver for their reserve firearm. Why the PPK/S?

MAXIMUS: If I am in a tight spot and I have to draw my reserve, Garrulous, I want to be able to put as many rounds as I can into the target. The PPK/S is easier to reload under fire, even if it fires a weaker round, and it also gives me the flexibility of having a cartridge that is not likely to be carried by my competitors. In a situation where I need to loan out a weapon, I prefer to strictly control how much ammunition is available.

GARRULOUS: And the Bolo?

MAXIMUS: Best, most lethal cutting tool around, Garrulous. Simple as that.

GARRULOUS: There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Maximus Carnage, two-time Zombie Games champion, spilling his darkest secrets! Anything to add for us, Maximus?

MAXIMUS: Don’t read too much into what I say and what I do out there. This is a means of entertainment making use of our large, if contained, surplus zombie population. It’s not a metaphor for anything, and the populace that is cowed into obedience watching me brain the brainless must be very dumb or very cowardly.

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