There was a brief span of time when I pulled up in front of the hotel for Monster Mania 17 where I considered not stopping at all. Front of the hotel was jam packed with big, long-haired, tattooed guys standing in groups and looking like they could kick my backside with a toothpick.
Turns out? I probably should have taken the hint it was going to be a wild weekend….
I was on my own as our brave #zombiesurvivalcrew volunteer Lora – known on twitter as @loral31377 – was going to arrive at the venue a bit later in the evening. And, seriously? I swear I did do my best to stay out of trouble until she arrived.
Frankie and Guy at the table next to us – who would collectively become the ZSC saviors for the weekend – took one look at your fearless leader and realized they needed to spring into action. Those of you who know me? Yeah. You know I don’t do well without backup from the faithful Zombie Survival Crew cadres. I forget to eat, remain hydrated, sit down, sleep, or stop moving for even a split second. In this case, it wasn’t until Frankie shoved a piece of pizza in my hand that I realized I hadn’t eaten in almost 24 hours.
Within minutes I was accosted by Michael Myers (twice), three versions of Jason Voorhees and a dude with fangs in a top hat. Huh? Have no fear, your fearless leader sprang into action and promptly dispatched all comers. Yeah, moving on. By the time Lora arrived, I was a little jumpy, and *may* have responded just a bit sharply when a male voice suddenly queried: “Are you Juliette?”
Much to Command’s delight it was Kevin – @KgOr3693 – a ZSC loyalist who was promptly crushed in a bear hug by yours truly and then forced to smile for pictures immediately afterward. I know for a fact Lora was shocked he had enough left in him to come back for a second visit on Saturday! (Just kidding! Kevin was awesome and we had a blast! He even saved us seats at The Walking Dead panel Saturday night.)
I left Lora to protect the temporary command center we’d established and hiked off to hunt The Walking Dead, and make contact with Norman and Steven. Neither one of them ran away screaming when they realized I was in the room, so I’m counting that as a win. We talked ZSC strategy for a bit but covert ops would have to wait until later.
Even with the Freddy’s, Jason’s, zombies, ghosts and bloody-what-the-hecks roaming around it was after the Con shut down for the evening that things got really interesting.
Norman and I discussed ongoing missions and discovered our communication lines may be somewhat compromised. Needless to say I agreed to some adjustments in strategy with Norman, and have instructed Command to thoroughly check our security precautions in the coming weeks.
Shortly after this most important meeting, it was brought to my attention *clears throat* that someone *points at Lora* forgot to grab the computer cord so we could charge the machine overnight. I had to laugh when Lora insisted there was no way security could stop me so I should go on the retrieval mission.
When I entered the vendor room, I realized Lora is a lot smarter than I initially gave her credit for – and she should either get a promotion, or a crossbow bolt. To get the necessary accessory I had to walk across the empty darkened room, with the creepy muzak coming from a location unknown, then squeeze my backside in between tables while ignoring the life-sized Hannibal and Michael Myers dummies that were right behind me. Seriously? I think I completed the mission in Olympic time.
At some point before we collapsed in heaps, we wandered into the uber-crowded hotel bar where Lora ended up accosting a waiter – in the nicest way possible – in a desperate bid to get us drinks. (This is important later.) We wandered outside for a bit of fresh air only to have me physically manhandled by a rather “happy” gentleman insisting on telling us really, really bad jokes. Lora ducked. He didn’t. It wasn’t pretty…
…and then? The fun really started.
(Come back for Monster Mania – Part II on Wednesday, March 23)