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By Hugo Pecos

At some point in the distant past, one of our humanoid descendents—most likely male—picked up a stick and walloped someone upside the head. And thus, a new weapon was born. Like those humanoids, the stick weapon would evolve, eventually becoming the baton—a useful tool in the fight against the undead.

Batons were used by agents throughout the history of the FVZA, particularly against zombies. They generally fall into one of two types: expandable and side-handled.

Batons: expandable and side-handle
As the name suggests, expandable batons can be expanded or extended to strike the intended target. It takes only a flick of the wrist to expand the baton from the closed position to a length of up to two feet or more. The end of the baton is weighted with a steel ball for maximum impact.

Side-handle batons have a short handle that sticks out a few inches near the bottom of the baton. The side-handle version has advantages over the expandable baton, including better defensive capabilities. However, it requires more training to use effectively.

The first FVZA agents carried batons on their belts. Early versions—known as truncheons—were simple wooden clubs with a handle that proved to be a cost-effective weapon for the poorly-funded agency. Agents would crack zombies on the head or bash at their hands. Many agents found that a baton, when used in combinations with kicks, was quite effective in at least keeping a zombie at bay until reinforcements arrived. Against vampires, they were weapons of last resort.

From 1900 to 1950, batons gradually fell out of favor in the FVZA due to improvements in firearms, but they made a comeback in the last two decades of the Agency as wooden batons gave way to weapons made from stronger and lighter materials. Some Shadows favored them for their easy deployment and reliability. The Academy's Martial Arts Program eventually included courses in kobudō, an Okinawan martial art that involves the use of baton-like weapons to strike and parry blows.

Vampires: You're unlikely to survive such an encounter armed only with a baton, unless you are extremely skilled with it.

Zombies: I highly recommend keeping a baton around to use in the event of a zombism outbreak, particularly for those in urban areas. The baton is lightweight, can be carried with one hand and deployed swiftly to batter an attacking zombie.

Overall Effectiveness:



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