Have you ever had one of those days when you know you just... should not have gotten out of bed?
Like the kind of morning where you turn off the alarm clock, knock over the glass of water on your bed stand, then stub your toe like a motherfucker all in the span of thirty seconds? And at that point you make the game time decision to either call it a day thirty seconds in and go the fuck back to bed, or you tough it out like a fucking idiot and plod along anyway?
I should’ve gone back to bed this morning.
Our fuel run downtown was Grade A clusterfuck. I mean of serious soup sandwich proportions. Like, “I can’t quite figure out what’s going on right now, because my head is lodged in my upper intestines.”
I don’t even know where to begin. It’s like a fucking shopping list of injuries and broken shit today. And you know what pisses me off the most?!? My fucking Glock broke.
I know I have two, but fucking A. Never break a man’s gun. NEVER. That’s like fucking with the seat and mirrors in my car and then not telling me about it later, so I sit down and simultaneously smash my knee on the steering wheel and break my back at the same time.
Grrr. Granted, no one in specific broke it, but I feel like directing my anger at… some fictional character. Pisses me off.
After careful consideration last night we decided that we would roll out in three vehicles today. The HRT, the dualie, and the plow. The plow runs on gas, which obviously we didn’t want to use, but the dualie has less storage area in the bed than you’d think, with the fifth wheel attachment right in the middle. We needed the full dump bed of the plow to get shit done.
All the empty drums were cleaned yesterday and loaded into the plow bed along with our hand pump, the barrel jack, our barrel dolly, and the hand operated sump pump we used before to get the gas out of the in-ground storage tanks at the gas station.
In terms of personnel for the trip, we opted for the following people: Martin, Abby, Patty, Ryan, myself, Angela, and don’t laugh, but Danny junior. The kid can shoot, and he’s really calm and stable. We wanted him on the roof of the HRT as a lookout with the Marlin M60. Especially after I took him shooting with it last night.
Oh yeah. Speaking of last night.
After a really terrific day of progress on the wall work, I took Zach, Martin, and Danny Junior back out to the firing range area to see if they were workable. I knew at that point I wasn’t bringing Zach anyway, so this was partly for practice, and partly to placate the kid. Nothing more irritating than a bratty 18 year old, or however old he is.
Martin had largely gotten over his issues of being nervous and skittish with guns, so he was pretty much all set within a dozen pulls of the trigger. For the moment I’m having him carry something that’s fairly simply to operate. One of Gilbert’s AKs. For anyone who has fired one, they are really pretty much point and shoot. Sort of idiot proof. Plus with all the 7.62 Gilbert had in those boxes, we should spread the wealth and use it up so we can preserve our .223. Speaking of which… we need to get back on reloading. Mike brought us a crate again on their last visit, but he said they’re down to less than a pallet of it in their basement armory, so…. Yeah.
Zach was able to carry and fire his weapon like a big boy as well yesterday, and as a result he fired it accurately, safely, and earned the right to carry a .38 just like his hetero (still up for debate) life mate Ryan. Zach was half beaming, and half shitting his britches out of sheer terror of carrying a loaded weapon.
As you might have suspected, Danny turned out to be a dyed in the wool sniper with that Marlin. Seriously. He managed a two inch grouping while standing at a hundred feet with no effort. That’s some pretty serious shooting, especially for a kid his age. Angela was a pretty easy sell on the idea of him accompanying us when we explained the idea that he’d be on the roof of the truck the whole time.
Sigh. Just got angry over shit again. I don’t know why, not like today was bad. Not really bad at least. Shitty for sure, but not the end of the world by any means.
Where was I Mr. Journal? Ah. We rolled out in the three trucks like a convoy of fucking bosses, and we headed right straight back to the same convenience store we hit a ways back. The same place downtown we hit way back when. Remember how I found all the soda behind the coolers? We’re still drinking that shit. So much carbonated awesomeness.
So the trip downtown was fairly open and clear. Especially now that I can hit zombies with the HRT at full clip with zero fear we’ll run over one and blow out a tire. The newly affixed plow blade just sends those assholes flying to the side. I want to say I hit about ten undead in the road, and just like it was designed to, the undead just went flying.
The parking lot of the gas station was a huge problem. There were maybe fifteen undead in the area, and they were bunched up conspicuously right near the lids for the in ground tanks. Almost… as if on purpose. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised seeing as how EVIL is fucking with me. You know, evil. Pure evil. Worst thing ever?
Heard of it before?
So I drove the HRT right through the center of the crowd, taking about six of them. I took the truck to the edge of the parking lot and had the other two vehicles get out of the area for a minute. After stopping, we had Danny climb onto the roof of the HRT, and let him get some practice in killing some dead folks in a pretty safe way. Abby went out on the roof with him for safety’s sake, and from the prone position and kneeling position, he dropped the entire parking lot, one steady shot at a time.
Pretty special little shit. Once we had that accomplished, we radioed for the other trucks to come back, and we got to getting the gas up and out of the ground. Martin and Blake had discussed a way of testing the fuel, and it involved using a clear plastic tube that they managed to find somewhere on campus. Martin lowered it straight down into the tank, put his thumb on the end creating a vacuum, and then lifted it out. At the end of the tube, in the bottom three or four inches, you could clearly see water. I guess water sinks below the gas.
Once we knew how much water was at the bottom of the tank, we knew exactly how far we could drain the tank to and get mostly clean gas. It’ll still need to be treated with the shit Blake has, but it’ll be a lot better than if we’d just drained the bitch dry.
Once we were ready to go, we backed the plow up to the pumps, unloaded all the barrels, and the barrel jack, and started going to town with the sump pump.
We had ten barrels to fill, and we were eight in when things started to go awry.
At that point we started to have a problem with approaching undead. We had Danny trained to holler out “contact” and the direction it was coming in when he saw something and was about to shoot it. We knew we had problems when he started to pretty much yell contact one right after another. The Marline M60 only holds 17 shots, and he was a bit of a rookie when it came to reloading it, so the rushed, fearful reloading process was a problem. Our other shooters started supporting him with their heavier guns, and by the ninth barrel in, we were firing on a constant basis.
I was helping Martin pump and load the barrels, so our guns were out of the fight. I was trying to watch what was going on around us, but it was hard to do both things at the same time safely. We reached a tipping point thought when the firing started to abate. Thankfully, none of the undead got through our perimeter, and no one got hurt badly. We had two freak injuries though. Patty was doing a magazine change on her AR15, and when she slapped the magazine home, she somehow managed to pinch the webbing of her left hand something fierce. Literally split the web about a half inch deep. I’ve seen that injury before, but it’s pretty freak.
Our second injury was Martin. When he and I were moving the barrel on the tenth and final barrel, the dolly wheel hit a fucking spent shell casing that wasn’t there earlier, and stopped cold, spilling the fucking barrel right off the dolly. The barrel comes down like a fucking flammable sledgehammer, smashing open on the pavement, and sending the dolly backwards right into Martin’s foot and gut. He at least broke one toe on his right foot, and he’s got a bruise right above his junk that looks an awful lot like he was hit with an anvil shot out of a cannon.
That’s where it gets spicy.
So I said the barrel smashed open right? Well, being full of fuel means that the gas started to run, and it ran right straight towards the dualie, which fortunately was unoccupied at the moment. Now just because the firing had abated, doesn’t mean it stopped entirely. I still don’t know exactly how it happened, but the most plausible causes I can think of are either a spent shell casing hitting the gas, or maybe some kind of muzzle exhaust from the guns, or maybe even the hot exhaust pipes from the dualie itself, but not one fucking second after the fuel ran underneath the fucking truck, ka-motherfucking-pow, the gas lights up. At first it was just a few moments of flaming fuel, but I saw it start to creep back our way, and it was heading right at the plow truck, which had all nine other barrels sitting in the back of it.
I freaked my shit.
I pointed and hollered to Martin to get the fuck out, and I jumped inside the plow, started it, threw it in reverse, and punched it. I’m gonna go with me being lucky here, because had I gone forward, the other barrels in the back would’ve fallen out. Going in reverse kept them from cascading out the ass, and we’d have lost all of it.
So as I slowed down, maybe thirty feet away, the dualie catches fire, and within maybe a minute, the whole fucking thing was engulfed in flames. Luckily as a diesel it didn’t explode, but the damn thing sure as shit went up in flames, and car fires suck. Lots of thick, dark smoke, and the fumes are just awful.
Everyone started to run around like chickens with their heads cut off, moving the other vehicles out of the way and such, and after about five minutes of all of shitting our pants in unison, we calmed ourselves, and realized we were fucking surrounded again by undead.
Danny was already back up on the HRT plinking into the crowd that had entirely surrounded us, and the people who could get their vehicles away and free were getting out and firing again. We couldn’t travel without securing the barrels though, so we were kind of stuck until we were free and clear of the dead.
Despite my fear of being eaten alive, I stepped out of the truck. Martin was hobbling really bad, and in our panic to get the vehicles moved, he’d been left on foot outside. I couldn’t risk orphaning another kid.
I got out and started opening fire with the M4. I needed heavier fire, and with the M4 I was able to start dropping everything that had somehow managed to get close to Martin. Martin had sat his AK in the back of the plow bed, so he was entirely unarmed. I snapped off an entire magazine before I reached him, and while I was changing mags out, he limped his way to the rear of the truck, and got his AK into the fight.
I stopped to make sure he was okay, and to check on everyone’s safety real quick. All my people were firing accurately, and backing into a circle so we couldn’t get our lines broken. It was damn near picture perfect. Almost one whole magazine later I had a misfire. It was a jam, and at that very moment Martin was struggling with getting a fresh magazine into his rifle, so instead of taking the time to clear my jam, I slid the M4 to my hip, drew my Glock, and dropped the three undead that were danger close to him.
I went to drop a fourth zed, and the Glock fired, but no bullet came out. I knew I had a plugged barrel, and I knew I was fucked. Both guns jammed. I keep the Walther in an ankle holster still, but after swearing like a drunk Irish sailor with his balls jammed flush in his zipper, I opted to holster the Glock, and clear the jam on the rifle.
It was a fairly easy jam to undo, and I only had to throw maybe five more rounds out before we had time to get the barrels strapped in, the lids back on the fuel tanks at the station, and get us the fucking hell out of dodge.
Oh, and somehow I managed to cut the fuck out of my left forearm. It isn’t deep, really just three nasty scratches. It’s already really red, which means it inevitably will get infected, so I have that to fucking look forward to.
The Glock’s barrel is a wreck. The round jammed up bad for whatever reason, and I can’t fix it. I’m saving that one for parts for the moment, and I’ve switched to the 10mm Kimber. We’ve got a plethora of 10mm on hand, plus it’s a 1911, and after Gilbert’s death, I’ve really wanted to carry a 1911 in his honor. I rarely need to use my handgun, so the magazine capacity isn’t a do or die issue, especially when you consider I’m not out there alone all the time now. I’ve always got at least two or three guns with me in the hands of good to great shooters.
I’m frustrated. Lost a truck today, lost a Glock today, and damn near had someone set on fire.
The good news is that based on our measurement of what was in that gas station’s in ground tank, we should be able to get at least another nine barrels out of the ground there, which is a fair amount of fuel. As I said, there are also other stations in town we can check.
I’m out. Angry masturbation while watching widescreen porn is calling me. Otis might get kicked off the bed here.