Exactly fifteen minutes after watching Night of The Living Dead, Leonard wrote 'In The Event Of A Zombie Apocalypse,' on the whiteboard.
"First of all, are we all working on the basis that destroying the brain is the accepted method to kill or permanently incapacitate a zombie?"
"I think it's a sensible place to start," Raj agreed, and Howard nodded.
"Are we also working under the assumption that bites from the shambling horde lead to infection, swift death and zombification."
Sheldon picked up a red pen and started making a list of accepted zombie facts underneath Leonard's title.
Leonard had no hope whatsoever of overwhelming Sheldon's terrifying red with his less dramatic blue, but he was willing to quietly delude himself in the interests of self-respect.
"What if it's not a virus, what if it's some sort of genetic experiment gone horribly wrong," Raj protested.
"Yes, I think we've all seen the 'zombies, as government experiments released from a secret laboratory' plot line," Howard agreed.
"I think accepted biology will be our life raft in the waters of ignorance here," Sheldon decided.
Leonard couldn't resist smiling.
"Did you just admit to being in the waters of ignorance?"
Sheldon pulled a face of disapproval at him.
"Now, the accepted overland speed of a zombie I think we can base on several factors." Sheldon filled the board with calculations. "Damage to the tendons and ligaments aside. I think it's fair to put the average walking speed of a zombie at roughly 0.7 miles per hour."
"We've all seen people lulled into a false sense of security, only to encounter -" Howard paused for effect. "- the running zombie."
Sheldon scowled at him.
"I refuse to believe that the dead body, once it's started to decay, would be capable of even short periods of increased momentum. The damage to the brain stem -"
"Didn't we just accept the possibility of genetic mutation?" Leonard was forced to play devil's advocate. "Which suggests, not undead zombification, but genetic mutation zombification. There is a slim chance of a running zombie."
"Genetic mutation is notoriously difficult to measure thoroughly," Sheldon protested. "We'll have to accept all manner of unforeseen variables into our plan. I'm not happy with that Leonard."
Leonard chose to ignore Sheldon's displeasure, mostly to avoid its expansion into something epic and un-containable.
"I wouldn't want to be the man who discarded running zombies only to be surprised by one on an empty street," Raj said, slowly and seriously.
Leonard nodded. "I agree."
"There's no way to tell what we'd discover about them in a real world environment." Howard threw his hands up.
"Zombies that fly," Raj suggested, Leonard was absolutely certain just to annoy Sheldon.
"Flying zombies would be terrifying," Howard agreed again.
"Well then why don't we just throw accepted biology out of the window," Sheldon said tartly.
"I'm just saying, if we plan for them they'll be no nasty, and possibly terminal, surprises later." Raj shakes his head sadly.
Sheldon sighed. "Fine, I'm forced to bow to your protest, under the firm belief that you really never can be too prepared." He reluctantly added 'addendums' to the zombie facts. "And, might I add, this is just one more time when our lack of a doctor is a glaring deficit in any possible apocalyptic scenario."
"Maybe we can kidnap one when the apocalypse starts," Leonard told him.
Sheldon seemed to be seriously thinking about this, so he left him to it.
"We'll start with 'Phase 1: Apartment.'" Leonard wrote it on the board.
"Barricading ourselves in is obviously suicide. The zombies either break in and devour us, or we starve to death," he said.
Raj and Howard nodded agreement.
"Or we're all killed when the government drop a nuclear bomb on the city intent on destroying both the zombies and all evidence of their experiments," Howard added.
"What's the time frame on this? Do we need to dig out our pandemic notes?"
Sheldon shook his head. "There's no way to accurately measure the duration of a zombie attack without also knowing how virulent the infection is or what, if any, quarantine procedures the government has in place. Or how long the infected can survive without eating,"
"Either way, we need to leave the apartment."
Leonard wrote 'Escape the Apartment' underneath 'Phase 1: Apartment.'
"The first thing we need to do is secure the stairs, since it's our most obvious means of escape."
Raj pointed at the board. "We could always rig up some sort of flame trap to kill any zombies that happened to be on the stairs before we made our escape."
"I feel there's an important flaw in your plan there," Leonard said slowly.
"The important flaw being the building catching fire and us burning to death?" Howard offered.
"That would be the one."
Raj shrugged. "We'd be leaving anyway."
"I don't like the idea of leaving the impassibility of the stairs to chance," Sheldon protested.
"Ok, fine, we'll make sure the stairs are secure before we venture out of the apartment." Leonard added 'verify escape route via digital feed' underneath 'Escape the apartment.'
Sheldon made a noise.
Leonard sighed and lowered the pen.
"It's all very well making sure the stairs aren't groaning under the weight of zombies, Leonard. But we'll have absolutely no way of knowing what sort of structural damage the city will sustain. If at any moment the stairs could collapse in smoke and flame. I'm not comfortable leaving my survival in the hands of digital imaging."
"If the stairs are impassable we could climb down the elevator shaft?"
Sheldon made another noise, something even more dismissive than the first.
"Even if we could construct some sort of rope ladder that would make descent a viable alternative with our lack of upper body strength we would, in effect, be descending into darkness. And if, for some reason, the elevator shaft was obstructed by smoke and debris our only avenue of escape would be the roof."
"We all know what happens in a zombie movie when you're pursued to the roof," Raj cautioned.
"The roof is unacceptable," Howard agreed with a shake of his head. "Perhaps some sort of inflatable slide -"
"In a raging inferno?"Sheldon pointed out.
"- coated in some sort of fireproof material, of course."
"Where we will no doubt, slide right into the shambling zombie horde."
"Sheldon stop thinking up ways to kill us," Leonard said sharply.
"I don't want us all to die horribly Leonard, you're the one who seems to be ensuring that our escape plan is full of wild speculation and unnecessary risks."
"This is a rough draft Sheldon, we can add notes to everything later. I'm just outlining how we'll emerge from the building alive. When we eventually make our way down to the street."
"The streets are already impassable, and, might I remind you, one fire." Sheldon interjected in his 'obviously' tone of voice.
"My god, you really do want us all to die don't you?" Howard accused.
"Do we even want to be on the street," Raj points out. "I mean the zombies will be down there."
"We have to reach the street, since our escape plan involves transportation. Staying in one place almost guarantees death via infection or being devoured by the zombie hordes. In fact it carries an almost ninety six percent mortality rate, whereas this is lowered significantly if you remain mobile -"
Leonard looked over his shoulder.
"Penny," Sheldon said without looking. He'd gone back to filling in possible ways in which the stairs could kill them.
"Leonard I picked up your batteries." She waved them and set them down on the table.
Then she came over to see what they were doing.
"'In The Event Of A Zombie Apocalypse.'" Penny read out loud.
She just looked at all of them.
"Is there something you guys think I should know?"
"We don't know of any imminent zombie apocalypse, this is merely an evacuation protocol," Sheldon told her.
"We'll be leaving the actual zombie-killing to trained professionals," Leonard added
"There are professional zombie killers?" Penny asked curiously.
"I think, that both law enforcement and people with experience with firearms will rise to the challenge."
"Uh huh," she said simply.
"In defence of the city." Leonard shrugged.
Penny stole the red pen out of Sheldon's hand and wrote two words underneath 'In The Event Of A Zombie Apocalypse.'
She smiled, brilliantly and just a little smugly. Before nodding and heading for the door.