Challenge #02723-G166: Just Add Zombies

This prompt issues to an earlier story from two years ago. One that gave me a wicked little grin, though I did have to search a bit to find it again.

Zombie tag. That was a game, and an experiment, that was both famous and infamous. Since its inception a few years ago, it had become a wildly popular thing that became a new sport. How long could teams last against the "zombies"? Rules were drawn up, people could "defend" themselves against "zombies" with soft, fake "weapons" that, at worst, might give a level 4 havenworlder a slight bruise and, frankly, other than blotting a little ink on someone, nothing more. If the blot was on the head, the "zombie" was out. If you were tagged, you either "died", or became a "zombie".

But when the lights go down, the environment gets creepy, and the recording of frightening groans begins as the "zombies" are let loose on the "uninfected", the championship teams for that year were in for a bit of a surprise. Every year there was an odd twist for the championship, but this one? A messed up version of the human anthem, enough to keep anyone on their toes. How long would the teams last, and who would the champion be this year? -- DaniAndShali

Inexplicably, the Havenworlders loved it. Simulated danger without any actual danger. The rules were clear, and the options were multiple. When the Humans added Nerf Weapons and paintballs to the shenanigans. To make a bad pun worse, the nerf weapons were a hit. The paintballs were sponge, and softer than the projectiles Humans used for their paintball-oriented simulated combat. They would be felt, but they would not cause injuries hazardous to Havenworlders.

One hit to the head or five hits to the body could 'kill' a 'zombie', other players could fortify, hide, or attack 'zombies'. Play only occurred within the arena, and safe spaces were non-combat zones. Non-zombies who 'died' from a zombie could choose whether or not they became 'zombies' and therefore joined the zombie horde.

It was a game that gave Havenworlders a chance to wail on Deathworlders and win, even if it was simulated battle, it did immense good to both Havenworlder confidence and epigenetic drift towards hardier makeup. That, and there's nothing like almost unrestrained chaos to create a good time for all.

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