I’m feeling silly tonight. I had a couple drinks earlier outside on the porch of Hall A with some of the folks here, and despite the motherfucking mosquitoes, it was well worth it. We hadn’t really taken much time to sit down and put our feet up and get to know each other, so spending an hour or two with these folks was really nice.
Alex and George for example, our resident gay couple, are pretty awesome people. They both worked in the city before the end at a bank, and despite those skills being entirely useless now, they were both very creative people, and they’ve got a lot natural talent. Both of them can play a couple musical instruments each, and Alex can draw like a bastard. It was really nice to sit down and listen to the two of them play a song together. They both play guitar, and they played five or six songs for us. It’ll be nice to have some reasonably creative and talented folks around here. It seems like the bulk of us are “practical” types, who are far too no-nonsense.
Even Ollie was swayed to their side. That or he doesn’t give a rat’s ass they are gay. Who knows? I’m just happy to have everyone getting along, even if it is only for an evening.
Martin has about ten years as a welder, is pretty funny, huge, and can hold his liquor. His wife Julie is also a good sized girl. Not really fat at all, just tall. Martin is about six three or six four, and she’s gotta be at least six foot as well. She played college basketball, is pretty physical in general, and worked as a cook in a nice restaurant over in Westfield. She’s been helping Melissa make meals for us, and frankly, it’s been awesome. I know it sounds a little… what’s the word? Misogynistic? But it has been a blessing to have our meals prepared for us.
It’s like time has rewound several hundred years. All the men are out toiling, breaking our backs, working all day, risking our lives, and the women have stayed back, and are tending to all the things that don’t seem to require broad shoulders, and a penis. I know that sounds dickish, and it isn’t entirely true. Angela and Abby as well as Patty do as much labor/dangerous shit as any of the men do, if not more. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but I find it strange that our culture and day to day habits seem to have regressed so far, so fast.
I wonder if this is part of the grand plan? I wonder if the powers that be want us to live a simpler, old fashioned life? Although if that’s the case, how do we explain our gay friends, and the amount of women who shirk the roles of the past?
Alright, so where were we Mr. Journal? Ah, right. What the fuck is going on here? Well our two most impressive recent accomplishments are the following:
Martin is a welding fiend. We got his welding gear setup down in the maintenance garages and within 40 hours or less of starting work on the HRT’s upgrades, they are done already. Not only are they done already, but he did more shit than we asked for or could’ve even imagined.
The front of the truck now has a spare plow blade affixed that sits about six inches off the ground. We can hit undead at full speed now, and they’ll just fly off the front of the truck like a snow drift. Very exciting.
Keeping the weight of the vehicle in mind, Martin welded a few steel plates into the doors of the cab so if we take fire, the doors will be much more bullet resistant. He also welded small plates over the windows, as well as putting a pretty nifty lever in on the back door so once the iron bar is swung into place and latched, getting that door open will require The Hulk, or an act of fucking god.
He also welded some bolts over the rear wheel wells that have twin matching thin steel plates that slide into place to cover the wheels. It’ll dramatically cut down on the chance of the rear wheels getting cut or blown out, and it should stop light small arms fire. I’m thinking 9mm or less will just splash off the steel. Might not make a bit of difference at all, but I know I FEEL better seeing all that shiny metal attached to the HRT.
So… fucking awesome. Even Blake had to applaud all the shit Martin did. There was no way Blake was skilled enough to make all that happen, especially over the course of just a couple days in the shop. Blake’s been working on it in his spare time for what seems like forever, and he had… nothing done of note. Martin had two days, designed everything, cut everything, mounted everything, and now tomorrow he’s back on fence duty with us. Cut and goddamn dried.
While Martin was up to that, Blake was working on the fuel filtration I’d asked him to do. To his credit, he has been balls deep in the project, and he’s making great headway. Periodically he does need to yank someone to lend him a hand, but that’s fine. Lifting and moving the barrels is a bitch, even with the barrel dolly we have. He simply can’t move 55 gallon barrels and do all the other work and get shit done in an effective manner. Hence, we lend him some brute force labor in the form of someone else for a bit. I know Blake has been happy to get the social interaction. I also know everyone that’s gone down to the filter setup to help him is entirely fed the fuck up with hearing how awesome his little baby boy is.
New dad, right?
Oh shit I totally forgot to mention that Martin has an idea for a new project. Remember when we hit The Farm, and we took their horse/cow trailer? Martin is thinking with enough scrap steel/iron, and some raw materials, he can get that trailer more or less turned into a moving gun ship. We can latch it onto the dualie with no sweat, and drag the trailer slowly into heavily infested areas, and simply fire at our leisure. There’s little chance the trailer will get thrown over, and we can store food, water, ammunition, medical supplies, you name it back there.
On paper, it seems like a rock solid idea, so I’m going to give it some thought, and if it still sounds good in a few days, we’ll look into it.
I’m really wondering if that’ll be a huge asset on the run to Gilbert’s warehouse. A moving gun platform would be… fucking sweet, and you I both know Mr. Journal that the fucking warehouse is going to be covered in undead. If the dark side knew about it through Gilbert, then it’ll know for motherfucking sure that we are going to make a run into the place. The toe pushing will be fucking legendary, especially if we half ass it.
Something like that gun platform would put what? Ten guns into the fight? All from a nice, reasonably safe place? Seems like a fucking dream come true to me.
Clearly, I am overlooking some vital detail that will get me, or my friends killed. That’s why I am giving it a few more days while I think about it. We are in a hurry to get to Gilbert’s, but at the same time, we are not in a hurry. It makes little sense to rush it, despite how important the place could be to us.
The rest of us non-mechanically inclined assholes worked on the walls the past two days. We made pretty impressive progress considering we had no Martin. He easily counts as two of the rest of us. I think we got 35 or 40 feet up both days, which was a feat.
Oh you know, one thing that really gets my britches in a bunch is bug spray. We cleaned out all those houses so long ago, and it appears as if none of us had the goddamn sense to take any bug spray. Abby and Patty broke off yesterday morning and went back down Auburn Lake Road all the way to Route 18 and went looking strictly for bug spray.
Thankfully, the country in this neck of the woods is chock full of mosquitoes, so they managed to find about ten cans in an hour, so our DEET needs have been met at least for the remainder of this summer. That’s good news I suppose.
Um, what else?
We sort of discussed the idea of staffing MGR soon. Not one person raised their hands for the job when it came up, so we’re now thinking of doing it in a rotation. Basically we’ll send two or three people down there for a two or three day rotation. They spend their time at the top, monitoring town for movement and whatnot. If we can get the repeater from the police station moved up there and powered, they’ll be able to communicate directly with us keeping us in the loop in real time. At the very least, they’ll be able to fill us in when we do shift changes every couple of days.
I’m figuring it’ll be a largely indispensable place for us to control, and use. If we can accomplish staffing MGR, getting the repeater set up there, finishing the wall here on campus, as well as make the run and clear out Gilbert’s place and the plumbing supply store next to it, we’ll be sitting really fucking pretty.
Now the one thing we really do need to address kind of immediately is another fuel run downtown. As I said, we’re getting really low on gasoline, and Blake only made that more apparent when he told me he was already done filtering all our gas, and was now working on diesel. If we are going to use gasoline powered generators on a regular basis, we desperately need to gas the hell up.
In light of the sober face Blake gave me when he informed me of our fuel plight, we’re going to make a fuel run the day after tomorrow. We’ve had a little too much to drink today already, and I don’t want to make a run to a gas station hung over. Plus I guarantee two or three of us will be kissing the bottom of a toilet on their knees come dawn.
Not to mention, we’ve got a bitch of a day on the fencing tomorrow. There’s some really rocky ground coming up, and we’ll need Blake’s assistance on the backhoe to get it done. On the plus side, we can use any boulders we dig up as roadblocks, or mobility deterrents in other areas. Blocking roads, etc. We really need to put up some staggered weave roadblocks on the road heading to the bridge so if anyone does get by the semi at Jones Road, we can light them the fuck up as they slalom through the obstacles.
More shit to do.
So yeah. Not much else going on. I mean shit that’s enough for sure. I’m tired just thinking about doing it all.
Little worried too. We haven’t done a fuel run in... fuck, months? Open ground, flammable fuel everywhere, we might need to bring a few rookie guns too... Seems like a pretty fucking scary proposition all in all. Tomorrow night we’ll go over the logistics of who should go, what they will bring, and how exactly we’ll get it done. I really want a zero mistake run here.
There are still two more gas stations in town that we haven’t visited yet, plus the convenience store that we already hit once, which for the life of me I cannot recall if it still had fuel in it. I want to say yes it did, but it seems like forever ago. Old age is just destroying my damn memory. Good thing I’m writing all this shit down Mr. Journal.
Headache is setting in. Gonna pop a Tylenol, and curl up in bed next to my man Otis.
We all do. Mr. Journal, we knew MGR was chock full of grossness when we did our clear of it and made the whole place safe, but we had no idea the extent of the gore and filth. The place was the literal definition of wretched. I am comfortable saying that too, because I took the time and looked up what the dictionary definition of wretched was, and it’s perfect.
Three full floors covered in a year’s worth of death and decay does not come clean easily. We have the fresh vomit to show for it too.
We rolled out in a huge party yesterday morning to get it done after I took Zach, Ryan, and Martin to the firing range area in the back of campus. I wanted to test their ability with a firearm before we took them back out anywhere, plus I want everyone able to carry a weapon carrying. It’s just safer if we’re all armed and skilled enough to be useful.
We spent two hours there starting right after dawn, and I was somewhat surprised with the results.
Martin is awful with guns. His safety is perfect, but he’s kind of twitchy on the trigger, and sends everything slightly wide right. Now that wouldn’t be a big deal at all but the simple fact is we are aiming for the head, and a slightly wide head shot is a wasted bullet, and a zombie still coming at you. He will need a lot more time at the range before he’s able to carry. I thought about having him carry one of the scatterguns, but he seemed hesitant when I asked him if he’d ever fired a shotgun. Ironic that one of the biggest guys here on campus is skittish around guns. So as I said, more firing range time for Martin.
Zach is a wee bit unsafe with guns. I caught him twice slowly tilting a handgun to the side like you see in the bad gangster movies, and that shit will just not fly with me. The good sign is that when he held the gun like an adult, he shot reasonably well. I just need to break him of the bad habit. I told him if he could shoot like a big boy the next time we hit the range, he could get a gun full time.
Ryan is a pimp. He was safe, smart, fired well, and immediately earned the right to carry a gun. I didn’t want to give him anything too heavy until I saw him in more robust situations, so I hooked him up with one of our .38 revolvers, because we’re swimming in the ammo, and spare weapons should it break. Plus it’s got low recoil, is easy to operate and clean, and if he loses it, it’s not a big deal.
After we got that all said and done, we headed out en masse with major loads of people and cleaning supplies. We really only wanted to get the upper floors cleaned out. The bottom two could wait if we didn’t get to it. We did get to it, but I sort of wished we hadn’t.
We hadn’t gotten the dead bodies out yet, so that was nasty. There were a lot of dead bodies in that fucking building. We tossed them off of the balconies and into the garbage pile in the street, or as close to it as we could get them. Some of the bodies exploded when they hit the street, which made for a pretty foul scene too. Speaking of foul scenes, there was a fairly steady stream of zombies coming at us all day both days.
We were never overwhelmed either day, but I want to say Abby counted a total of maybe 80 over the two days. Our second day was slightly heavier than the first, which makes sense due to us making lots of noise on day one. No injuries outside, and to be honest, it’s good to know we’re still trimming the proverbial undead hedges in town.
So in addition to the dead bodies upstairs there was just a lot of blood, and shit too. Dead bodies lose control of their buttholes and poop everywhere as I’ve said before, so the apartments had chunks of turds all over the place, as well as huge smears where it fell out of their pant legs and they stepped on it or fell in it. Instead of cleaning the rugs and carpets, we cut them out, and tossed them right out the windows and balconies into the street.
Hard surfaces were purged with bleach. Fortunately we’ve been stockpiling it and we had enough to clean the areas we’ll be using regularly in the building. We also went though bottle after bottle of air freshener and Febreeze too. Anything to get the fucking smell out. The people had died during summer of last year so luckily they had their windows open at the time. Of course there’s only so much an open window can do to alleviate the smell of that much death.
We opened the few windows that weren’t already open and with the chemical bath we gave every dirty surface, by the time we were done today, most of the rooms were brought down to palatable levels. Some of them though… will never be habitable. The damn smell and aura of what happened in them is just in the walls permanently now. Like spiritual residue or something. I wonder what kinds of dreams we’d have if we slept in those rooms.
I bet they wouldn’t be of The White Room.
While we were working on all that, we managed to get half of the solar panels off the roof and loaded into the trucks for the gym. We took really careful notes, and some pictures and such so hooking them up at the school would be a lot easier. I wish some of the STIG guys were still alive to help, but that’s a huge fucking reach.
Yesterday, I forgot to mention, I spoke with Blake. I said in an entry a few days ago that I needed him retasked to work on fuel stuff, and I spoke with him about it. He wasn’t pleased to hear that I thought his efforts on the HRT needed to be abandoned. He wasn’t too bad about it, just sulked a bit, but when I explained to him how bad off we were for fuel, and how important it was that we had gasoline for the generators so his woman and baby boy could have electricity, he changed his tune right the fuck off and went straight to the filtration system we built. I think he’ll be on that for a few days or more, but really, I have no fucking idea.
I do know that he’s changed since the kid was born. He is much more serious, and doesn’t have that.. rambunctious energy he used to have. He also hasn’t raised his hands once to leave campus since he returned. I can understand that. New father, afraid of dying, doesn’t want to take unnecessary risks, etc. I just hope he doesn’t lose that hardened edge he developed on his own for so long out there. That Blake was a huge asset to us, and I’d hate to lose him.
Where the fuck was I?
Alternative energy sources. We are going to run out of gasoline much faster than I had anticipated. We’re going to have to start hitting the gas stations on the other side of town and flat out hoping that there is some usable shit in the tanks. My gut tells me there won’t be much at all, or it won’t be usable at all. Either way, we need to find more juice.
We need different kinds of energy, and we need it soon. It’s that, or we find entirely new ways to live, which I suppose is the eventuality anyway. I got a sinking feeling the refineries aren’t operating anymore, and with the shelf life of gas, we will be out of it long before anyone gets a refinery up and running again.
We need solar panels. Lots of them. Every roof here needs to be covered in them. Henceforth, whenever we leave campus, I’m instituting a protocol that if we see solar panels, we are stopping and removing them, or making a plan to return and get them later. Even the ones that just warm water would be good. If we could figure out how to harness the power of the river to make juice, that’d be great. Sadly, I know fuck all about building a hydroelectric dam, and I don’t think anyone else here does either. Maybe there’s a book in the library on that esoteric subject.
Bio-Diesel is an option. I know we’ve got the stuff around here to make it, I just don’t know how to do it. If we could find someone nearby with the knowledge.. man that’d be great. I remember a few years ago some of the ski resorts up north switched all their grooming machines to bio-diesel, and they had the operations to do it right on site. I wonder if that asshole ski resort Lindsey and Doug ran from was one of them. If that’s the case, then those fuckers are Oprah rich. Being able to make and sell diesel fuel in this world is an amazingly powerful position to be in, and they’ve got barter out the ass for anything.
That’s the kind of thing people kill for nowadays. Not that I’m saying I’d mount a mission to take it from them, but shit. If we could make the trip north somehow to check some of the resorts and see if bio-diesel gear was still left behind… that’d be terrific. I’m also wondering if any of the farms in the region here had bio-diesel set ups. I know it was all the rage there last year, so there’s got to be one around here somewhere. Of course there are no large farms in town, but a few towns over in a few directions I can recall a few places that might’ve been big enough to do it.
More shit to put on the growing to-do list. This is where having more people is nice. If we can split up and do two or three things at once, it’s so much better for everyone. Unfortunately, we desperately need to secure ways to feed more people first, otherwise…
Busy beavers once again Mr. Journal. But, we are productive and lucky beavers. Lots going on here on and off campus, and once again, it seems to be largely all positive. The Jinx Fairy appears to be on vacation right now. I’m sincerely hoping I can shove that bitch down the drain with my big toe when she comes back, but she’s an elusive cunt.
That sounded really bitter. I’m not even bitter today. I’m very positive. One might even describe me as being… happy.
I typed that and ducked. Usually when I say shit like that I get hit in the fucking face with a brick, or a dog bites my crotch.
Yesterday we broke off into two groups again so some of us could hit some houses near that welding shop again. The street it’s on had maybe 10 houses on it, and we all felt like it was unfinished business just leaving them be. Plus I wanted to try and find more food and god forbid another generator so we could get the hydro set up operational. Once that was done, we can worry about staffing MGR as the observation post we were talking about. Of course, who is gonna staff it?
Cross that bridge when we get there I suppose.
Abby, Angela and I did the trip downtown yesterday while everyone else stayed behind. We wound up doing four houses, which was a neat coincidence, seeing as how it was July 4th. (no fireworks either, which sort of blew) Most of the houses had little to nothing of use inside them, but we did manage to find a small gas generator. It was a tiny one though, and I’m really hoping in conjunction with the other generators we’ve gotten it’ll be enough to keep our hydro operation working.
The house clearing was a little more dicey than the other day. We had a few undead in each of the houses, and working with Angela on a more direct level made for some scary moments. At one point we’d just breached the front door of a small cape, and were moving through the living room towards the kitchen in the back, and all at once one fucking zombie came down the stairs to our left, one through a hallway at the corner of the room, and one through the opening into the kitchen. Angela was the ass of our stack, and without calling out contact, or any kind of helpful warning she started shooting at the one coming down the stairs.
Now as you can imagine, the head of the damn thing wasn’t visible, and she wound up shooting the legs of the fucker to bits and it tumbled down the steps ass over tea kettle. Fortunately, it bowled the one at the bottom of the stairs over, and Abby popped the one in the kitchen as it was all going down. I wound up crushing the head of the one Angela shot the legs of, and to be honest, it came out fine. Just not a good way to do things. Angela apologized profusely, and it was fine. I do guarantee though that the next time she sees something dangerous, she’ll call out contact before opening up.
Plus, very rarely do we ever need to open up in a hurry. These fuckers are pretty damn slow, and unless they’re a foot away, we’ve got a second or two to communicate clearly with each other before firing.
I can’t spare the goddamn underwear. Shit myself far too easily to risk it.
As I said, we didn’t find much. Clothing. Which is important with all the bodies we have now I suppose. We really need to make sure we’ve got stuff like that on hand. Especially baby clothes. We’ve got one at the school here now, and Melissa is getting fatter every day. I guess the good thing about baby clothes is we can reuse them. That and if we have to, we can let them run around nekkid. Although nekkid babies post zombie apocalypse seems really fucking irresponsible.
On the way home from the house clearing yesterday Abby saw a van parked in someone’s yard. Thank god she has decent vision, because she hollered out to stop over the radio, and when we checked it out, it was an abandoned electrician’s van. We desperately needed more electrical gear and supplies, so getting it back here was a real great find.
Granted, the driver was still in the van and dead and biting at us through the window, but I had Abby open the door, and he fell out on the ground, and I clubbed the poor bastard like a baby seal. He was still wearing his electrician’s blue uniform too. On his forearm was a nasty gouge that looked like a fat ass bite wound. I bet he died right there in his own yard from that bite a year ago, and has been sitting in that van the whole time.
Of course, the inside of the van smelled like death warmed over. Dead bleeding man trapped inside for a year can’t be touched by one of the little tree air fresheners. Smelled like someone died in a goddamn pine tree. Nastiness. We held our breath, and of course the van wouldn’t start. Fortunately, we had brought chains with us, and after tossing it in neutral, we pushed it into the road, and chained it to the dualie.
I asserted seniority, and the girls did rock paper scissors to see who had to sit in it to steer it as we went home. As it turns out, Angela won the best of three, and she got to drive the plow truck home and Abby got to gag for ten miles in the electrician’s van. We made it all the way back to campus without any issues of note, and parked it in the lot where it remains. We need to inventory the stuff inside it I suppose, but to be honest, I doubt any of us would have the foggiest idea of what to do with most of the shit. However, we have it now, and I’m sure it’ll be beneficial soon enough.
Today we went back to working on the wall. All of us except a few tending to the gardens, fields, and hydro shit. We made crazy progress. We split into two teams and focused one team on cutting down trees, and the other on rooting them into the trench we’re digging with the backhoe.
It was awesome. We wound up cutting down a ton of wood and getting them all cut to length and trimmed and such, and without having to take breaks to move the whole crew back and forth like we had been, we were able to basically stay 100% on task the entire day, right to dinner time.
I didn’t measure it exactly, but I think we got around a hundred feet of wall in the ground today. Blake was a goddamn ninja with the backhoe too, and managed to completely catch up on all the berm we’d been awkwardly doing while he was gone. He’s got some time behind the controls of those things, and he certainly showed us how it was done.
I do have a bit of a dilemma with Blake right now though. He’s largely back to being obsessed with getting that ram/plow blade on the front of the HRT, and while that is an admirable and good thing to be working on, we really need his efforts elsewhere now. Two reasons for that in my mind.
Firstly, Martin is a welder, and can likely get that whole project done in a quarter of the time. Plus Martin was looking at the work Blake had done so far, and casually commented that it was “good for a kid that ought to be wearing a helmet to school.” God bless Blake, but I’d feel a lot better if Martin was working on it.
Secondly, we really need our fuel filtered. We built the damn filtration system here quite some time ago, and it has sad idle since, waiting for Blake to take our drums of gas and diesel and get them clean. I did some quick checking, and we are TEARING through our fucking gasoline supply. Hardcore. All the extra generators we are running are really eating into it.
We’ll be out in a few weeks and then we’ll be forced to use the stuff that’s likely to be wet, or dirty, and that might gum up the works of either the generators, or any gas operated vehicles. We’ve got a ton of diesel still, so that’s fine and dandy, but gasoline is really important for us now.
We also need to have an all hands meeting here to remind everyone that hey, electricity is a luxury, not a fucking privilege. I see some of the new people running generators during the day to make soup in a microwave, and guess what? That’s got to stop. Light a fucking fire and cook it in the can. Electricity needs to be rationed, because we get it all from gasoline, and that’s a very fucking finite resource.
I’ll be talking to Blake tomorrow about it, and hopefully he sees the light, and doesn’t pitch a fit. That’s of course I can tear him away from little Adrian.
Man it’s weird to say that. Little Adrian.
Off to bed. Tomorrow we are heading back to MGR to take off half of the solar panels, and get the place cleaned up so we can start using the roof as an observation post. If we can get the gear from the police station and figure it out, there’s a good chance we can set up a radio repeater tower on the roof of the joint, which may or may not give us enough radio nut sack to communicate directly with Westfield. At the very least, it’ll give us enough power so that we have radio contact with campus no matter where we are in town.