Post-apocalyptic baddies: The possibilities

We here at In Case of Survival talk a lot about the baddies you’ll potentially run into post apocalypse. I have no doubt that there’ll be bad guys aplenty after the world ends; after all, everyone will be fighting for survival.

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The possibility of death usually doesn’t bring out the best in people.

What kinds of baddies will there be?

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I really have no way of knowing—I don’t think anyone will, until we’re actually in the post apocalypse. But I’ve compiled a list of possibilities for you, along with what I think is the likelihood of that particular bad guy’s existence.


Likelihood of existence: Very low

While there’s always the possibility that the baddies won’t be human, I think it’s unlikely that a group of aliens will come calling. (I’m slightly disappointed by this, of course.) I wouldn’t worry too much about being taken to the mother ship.

Well, in an apocalyptic setting, anyway.

Rogue robots

Likelihood of existence: Low right now, though that may change

Rogue robots make a nice science fiction villain, don’t they? There’s always the possibility of artificial intelligence evolving. And maybe those newly-evolved intelligent machines won’t want to do our bidding anymore. Then they’ll rise up and fight back. (Well, that’s what happens in the movies, at least.)

I guess I should make friends with my computer before the robot rebellion starts.


Likelihood of existence: Low

They’re fun to think about, but I really doubt that zombies will take over the world. Of course, I could be wrong, but in that case we’ll all have other things to worry about.

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Wild/feral animals

Likelihood of existence: High

Even if animals in the wild don’t survive, zoo animals might. And as much as I’d like to believe that captive lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) are nice and friendly, I know they’re not. These guys will still eat you when given the chance. Especially since their keepers won’t be around to give them food.

And don’t forget aquariums. If, for whatever reason, your post-apocalyptic world includes a lot of water, be careful around aquariums. When those tanks break, the sharks, piranhas, barracudas, alligators, and other marine life with sharp, pointy teeth that they hold will escape. And they’ll be hungry.


Likelihood of existence: Very high

Food, water, and supplies will be scarce. If you have any of them, people will want them. People will really want them if you have some of all three. Keep a close eye on your stuff, because looters will most certainly be trying to conduct raids on your supplies. And if you’re the one without supplies, you’ll be out looting other people’s supplies.

Bullies/tough guys/gangs of marauding survivors

Likelihood of existence: High

Where there are people, there are bullies. And where there are desperate people, there are desperate bullies. Watch your back. And your supplies. And your weapons. And your clothes. Be especially watchful if they’ve managed to get vehicles of some sort, since they can chase you that much faster.

Tyrannical despots

Likelihood of existence: Medium to high

After things have calmed down a bit (as much as things can calm down after the world’s ended), someone somewhere is going to want to take over the world. Someone always does, after all. Tyrannical despots tend to be ruthless creatures, willing to sacrifice anyone or anything to reach their ultimate goal.

Power-hungry, territory-hungry survivor groups who attack first and introduce themselves later

Likelihood of existence: Medium to high

See despots and bullies. There’s a progression, after all. Well, usually, anyway.

Survivors with no survival skills and are a danger to themselves as well as others

Likelihood of existence: High

These people will have gotten through the apocalypse, but no one will be sure how. That doesn’t mean they know how to survive, though. Watch out for these people. They could be your best friend or your next door neighbor. They’re nice on the surface and could even be genuinely nice, but they’re also genuinely clueless. They’re “bad” because they can get you killed. Since the point of survival is to, you know, survive, anything that threatens your survival is a threat. Even when that threat is really nice and can bake you cookies.

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If you had ovens. And cookie dough.

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