Colin Slark | (New) Editor in Chief
As you may know, all of Over The Edge’s 2014/15 editorial staff are moving on from their positions. This is exciting; they are going out into the world to apply the skills and knowledge they have learned at UNBC. However, I am an anxious person. I am fretting about their chances of success in the outside world. To ease my fears, I am harnessing the vast computing power of my nearly 3-year-old Macbook Pro to simulate Jasmine, Kelley, Isabelle, and SuIn’s real world chances for success.
Simulation 1 – Oregon Trail (1990)
The four editorial staffers are on the US East Coast in the 1800s, and have decided to journey to Oregon. They are Bostonian bankers, because none of the choices really scream “student journalist” to me. Oh dear, I need five people for my Oregon Trail dream team. Since I am going to be the next Editor in Chief of Over The Edge, I guess I should volunteer myself. We are leaving for Oregon in May with ample supplies.
May 29 – A woman passing by tells us not to drink ground water because of cholera. Duly noted.
June 23 – SuIn is over exhausted by our travel, forcing the group to take a rest.
July 16 – We ferry across the Green River safely. River appears blue, confusing OTE staff.
August 13-14 – When I told Kelley that I was writing this pi
ece, she requested that I try not to kill her with dysentery. Request granted. SuIn got dysentery instead. Isabelle has typhoid. I decide to rest the group.
August 17-19 – Someone steals three of our oxen. SuIn breaks an arm. A thief, presumably the same one, steals the rest of our oxen the next night. We have to wait for someone with an extra ox to come by to barter with. SuIn breaks a leg. How is she not dead? I also have a broken leg. Broken limbs are contagious in this part of America. Kelley gets cholera and succumbs to it. Come on Kelley, that lady warned us about bad water!
August 20-22 – SuIn has died. Some asshole steals most of our oxen again. At the next fort I will be talking to the marshal about the ox-thirsty bandit. He is my nemesis, I would swear vengeance upon him, but I die after break my leg. Isabelle breaks an arm and a leg, and not idiomatically.
August 25 – The ox-thirsty bandit, my nemesis, steals our last ox. Jasmine and Isabelle starve to death waiting for someone to trade with. I think I feel saddest for Jasmine, having to drag a sick, broken friend across a wasteland. Game over.
Simulation 2 – Organ Trail: Director’s Cut (2013)
Oregon was a pipe dream. It would have never worked. I need to try something different. I assume that the zombie apocalypse will be happening soon, so I am digitizing the intrepid editorial staff and inserting them into Organ Trail, which is like Oregon Trail, but with zombies. Again, we need 5 party members so I am going to insert myself into this game as well.
April 1-2, 2015 – The zombie apocalypse is upon us. Humanity is in ruins. A priest saves OTE’s editorial staff and we head off in an old Buick station wagon for some reason. The priest breaks a leg, gets dysentery, and is bitten by a zombie. Jasmine puts him out of his misery.
April 22-25 – A bandit steals from our car in our sleep. I hope my nemesis has not crossed games. A bike gang appears out of nowhere. Jasmine runs them down mercilessly with the Buick.
May 17 – The bandit kidnaps SuIn in the middle of the night. Now he is stealing our friends! Jasmine goes to dispense wasteland justice, but accidentally kills SuIn while aiming for the bandit. Oops. RIP SuIn.
June 26-29 – I break an arm. Kelley gets cholera, but her immune system fights off the disease within 5 hours. Zombie wolves attack Jasmine, injuring her.
July 10-15 – Kelley gets cholera again and breaks an arm. Kelley seems to be a cholera magnet. Kelley is rid of cholera within days. Kelley seems… inhuman. Jasmine makes the decision to wade into zombie-filled hedge maze in order to acquire a sno-cone machine. No one protests because she has the gun.
September 23 – A stray bullet hits Isabelle. I bet it’s the bandit. I break both my legs, nearly dying. In our agony, Isabelle and I start arguing about who is more miserable until we find out that Kelley has gotten cholera again.
October 18 – Kelley’s cholera has been defeated once again, I would write more, but I fear her genetic superiority allows her to read my mind.
November 4 – OTE staff find a potential new home on America’s west coast, but the generator powering this community’s electric gate is out of gas. As Jasmine ventures out into a zombie covered field to retrieve gas, she is seriously injured. Kelley leaps out of the car and massacres the undead, saving Jasmine and collecting the essential fuel. As OTE’s staff enter this safe haven, Kelley eyes the weak forms of the inhabitants. They are clay to her, and she will mold them into superior beings as their queen.
What has all this told us? If these games are as accurate as I think they are, OTE’s departing editorial staff will have brittle bones, cholera, are lousy 19th century explorers, but are surprisingly handy during supernatural disasters. On the whole, things seem positive, but the ox-thirsty bandit concerns me greatly. I am slightly afraid of what Kelley might become, but you do have to allow for a certain margin of error in simulations. In any event, I wish the departing staff luck in their future endeavors. My final advice to them? Avoid strange ground water, it leads to cholera (and mutation).