At the stroke of midnight Monday night, a hush fell over Kirkland House. The moon shimmered eerily and the trees quivered. At long last, the pent-up wrath of the Alpha Zombie was unleashed….and trust us, he/she is hungry.

“I’m going through the list of humans right now trying to pick targets,” said the Alpha Zombie in an exclusive, anonymous interview with this FlyBy correspondent. “I want to make everyone in the house afraid. I want the last thing people experience when they go to sleep and the first thing they experience when they wake up to be fear.”

For the next two and a half weeks, about 140 Kirkland residents—including some tutors and many newly placed freshmen—will have to watch their backs and tote around socks, water guns, and blood-red headbands to make sure they stay alive in zombie-ville.

The masterminds of this elaborate house-bonding activity are the three Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) “Overseers.” They are Michael J. Chance ’10, Jonathan K. Tam ’10, and Winston H. Luo ’12, who were inspired by a Web site which outlines a version of the game.  But the rules for the Kirkland edition have their own spin, they said.

We’ll leave the nuances of the rules to those students who will be spending the upcoming weeks in mortal peril, but here's the gist: the game starts off with one unidentified—and headbandless—Alpha Zombie. He or she started “killing” humans Monday with a two-hand touch, turning Kirklanders into zombies left and right.

Both zombies and humans have to eat to stay in the game: humans eat by obtaining and turning in “supply cards” with their teammates, while zombies, wearing red headbands, have to feed themselves at least every three days by creeping up on unsuspecting humans and executing a flawless kill.

For protection from hungry teammates who have gone over to the dark side, humans can “stun” zombies for an hour with either a water gun, nerf gun, or by pelting them with a sock.

“We’re just trying to make it more interesting, give it a story, give it more character,” Chance said. “We designed it so that a good way for people to survive is to band together and form teams and work with strangers.”

“But of course you have to be careful because they might be zombies in disguise,” Luo added.

But you may be asking, won’t the humans just stay crouched in their rooms or the Kirkland D-hall, both of which are safe zones? Not if the Overseers have anything to do with it.

“We’ll be sending Emergency Broadcasts over our network to announce supply drops for survivors,” Chance explained. “They’ll have to go to an abandoned warehouse—like Mather House—to pick up more supply cards from a man in red, or something along those lines.”

The Overseers also have some tutors lined up to role-play, assuming the personas of scientists or arms dealers.

The Alpha Zombie refused to reveal any of his/her strategies, but left us with these chilling words:

“I’m not a mindless zombie. I kill, but not at random.”

So keep your eyes peeled for some Thriller action around Kirkland Courtyard until April 16, the designated “Rescue Date.” And Kirklanders, beware: the Alpha Zombie is on the prowl.

Photo courtesy of sookie/Wikimedia Commons.