While most of us run around campus because we’re late to class, there is a select group of students with much, much more on their plates every minute of every day. They’re all running for very different reasons: if they’re late to class, it could cost them their lives or leave them wandering aimlessly and slowly starving. There’s a war going on behind the everyday peaceful scenes in our idyllic New England college, a war to hold back the hordes of undead who are hoping to save points by snacking on the rest of us.
The noble warriors risking their well-being every day are dwindling in number even as I rush to get out this report and hopefully spread awareness of their heroic struggle. To better report on this epic campaign, I managed to get in touch with two friends and fellow oarsmen. These two, Peter Cornillie ’15 and Tenzin Masselli ’15, needed something equally dangerous to take up their time now that their fall crew season is over, so they started fighting zombies. I had hoped to get my two friends together and maybe spend some time with them as they scoured the campus, fighting the good fight. This proved impossible.
“You have to give up a large portion of socializing because it means that one could get tagged in those places,” Cornillie wrote in an email to The Argus.
Yes, the sacrifices these noble warriors make every day are more than palpable; they’re downright heroic. Cornillie could only be reached for comment over the computer because of the danger he faces every time he goes outside; he refused to make a risky trip outside for something as trivial as a newspaper story. I tried to convince him that raising awareness was a worthy cause, but he is the most battled war veteran that you’ll find anywhere. He remembers with fondness his first campaign in the zombie war: “It felt much more intense and nervewracking last year, but that was when I was a freshman, and I had never done the game before,” he wrote.
One has to wonder what’s going on inside his head and what he’s shutting out, that allows him to think of this as just a game. His cool head and easy demeanor when conveying to me a blow-by-blow account of his latest skirmish is certainly admirable, and a sign of strength that will surely be tested as situations like this continue.
“There was one time when I was walking to PAC, and crossing the street going in the opposite direction were two zombies—one on a bike and one on foot,” Cornillie described. “You can’t get tagged crossing, but they started following me. So I whipped around and fired my nerf gun at one of them, missed, and then my Nerf gun jammed. I had to sprint to a safe zone while wearing a backpack and outrun a person on a bike. That was the closest I got to getting tagged.” Harrowing stuff indeed.
This was all that Cornillie could share with me at the time, but I promised I’d try to keep tabs on his whereabouts. Then I saw the following on Facebook, clearly the most reliable means of communication in dark times like these: “And then there was one… I am the last human rower. I am Rower.” In a panic, I redoubled my efforts to get in touch with Masselli and discover his whereabouts, but the response I received wasn’t good. “I am sick and my mind is not coherent at the moment, I’m sure that has become evident by now,” Masselli said. No more needs to be said. Another brave warrior has fallen, who knows what fate holds for the rest of us.