I really want to sit here and type that I feel that the Outsiders won’t make another move on us, but you and I both know Mr. Journal that they will. I’m just not that lucky.
They haven’t made any moves that we’ve seen in town yet, but that might just be them getting their ducks in a row. The good thing about them taking time to get their ducks in a row, is that it allows us to do the same. I like our ducks. They kick ass.
We know how they’ll come at us. There is only one real way to get to town from the area they seem to be coming from. Granted there are some long, circuitous routes to take, but the distance you’d have to travel would be pretty excessive, a huge waste of fuel, and likely quite dangerous. And you know what Mr. Journal? These people don’t seem like brain surgeons to me. They seem more like the “see nail, hammer nail,” kind of folks. Linear. Kind of dumb. I know I am risking underestimating the enemy by saying this, but look at their track record. Every time we cross paths with them, they go home in body bags with toe tags.
They also appear to be really under armed. I’ve seen a mess of shotguns and lever action rifles in their possession thus far, and that’s sad. I’m guessing they used up the good guns or the ammunition for the good guns early on. I’m not saying shotguns aren’t good, but a 4 shell capacity turkey 12 gauge is not exactly ideal for surviving the apocalypse we’re balls deep in.
Not to mention our body armor stops shotgun shells pretty effectively. I mean yeah, we can still get peppered with some pellets due to spread, but the brunt of most shotgun shells should be handled by the IOTV. Famous last words. HEEELLLLLOOOO Jinx fairy.
Fuck off Bitch.
In an attempt to setup a preemptive strike in the event they make their way towards us again, tomorrow we are moving out and setting up an ambush site right off the interstate near Gilbert’s place. We’re setting up a double ambush. Well actually, one real one, and one fake one. Remember how we found an area near Gilbert’s Warehouse that was very sketchy, and looked like someone had set up some kind of road block? My brother and sister said it set off their “what the fuck” radar, and it forced them to go down the road the warehouse was on. We’re setting up that fake roadblock as a real one tomorrow.
There are several accident scenes right there, as well as a few abandoned vehicles. A handful of us are rolling out to that location, and we’re moving those vehicles in a fashion to indicate that there is a roadblock there, and it will be dangerous if someone moves through that area. That will hopefully give them second thoughts about going down the warehouse road. On the warehouse road we will be doing… nothing. This is just a little red herring to give them pause, and to make them think twice about coming our way.
About a mile from that location there is a decent sized church on one side of the road, and a decent sized house on the other side of the road. If we put someone in the bell tower, and someone in the upstairs of the house, we will have interlocking fields of fire on the main approach to town. If they come that far into town, they have a single purpose, and that’s to either steal our shit, or as I said to Barry, cause mayhem and discontent. We are setting up there for a two day hitch, then rotating a new team in. We have enough skilled shooters that if they roll in, we can simply light them up, and send them packing. I don’t think they have anything heavy for weapons to fight back with, and honestly, if we have four to six shooters fire at the drivers all at once, they won’t have much in the way of a response anyway.
Myself, Blake, Martin, Hector, Angela and Mallory are in the first squad to roll out. We are setting up four people in the house, and two people in the church bell tower. If we see anything come our way, I pull the trigger, and that’s all she wrote.
Next rotation will be led by Mike and Abby, and I think by then Caleb might be able to go out too. It’s been a long heal for him, but really he’s doing quite well now, and in another three days he could be mobile enough to set himself up as a stationary shooter. We’ll see. There is little sense in having him go out early if he needs the rest, and besides, having him back on campus makes me feel a little better about the level of security there.
Mike said he has an idea where we could set up a secondary ambush location, and tomorrow when we’re moving to establish the roadblock and the church/house location he’s going to scout out the secondary hide. He also said he is going to create some roadblock action to help steer traffic into our ambush site. Set up a few cars across the road, etc. Hopefully, all goes well.
I am concerned about the prospects of clearing the church though. I suspect on June 23rd quite a few people went into that place in the hopes God would rescue them. I’m betting God didn’t do shit for them, and the place is filled with formerly religious undead. So tomorrow might turn into a huge mess as we either empty the church of undead, or we find a different place to set up. I don’t really want to waste a day clearing a building we aren’t likely going to use more than once or twice.
But that’d be my luck.
Things are moving along here on campus. The wall is entirely repaired, and I have Ollie to thank for that. He has kept things moving here despite a wife that is about the size of three watermelons. She has got to be spitting out about eight kids when she pops. I swear that woman cannot get any larger. Despite looking swollen, stiff, and exhausted most of the time, Melissa’s cheer is never ending. I can see how Ollie likes her, she’s something special. You should see the way he looks at her. It’s magical, really magical.
What else? Oh yeah, the plan for a barn is now completed, and the crew has begun to amass the lumber to build it. They’re scraping through every available house in the area to get wood, and we’re also cutting down trees and roughing as much as we can. Martin has been leading that with Blake, and to be honest, it’s crazy how much lumber they’ve got already.
The hydro setup is almost fully operational. We can thank Ryan and Becca for that. They make for a good team, and as much as I hate it, Ryan is a good guy. I’ll still stab him in the thigh if I find out he’s touching Becca, but that’s WAY better than killing him. Maybe in a few more weeks I’ll be downgraded to “punch him in the face” and eventually I might just be okay with him touching Becca. Now there’s no evidence that anything is happening, but I just got that feeling. I know my sister fairly well, and this is right up her alley.
Mallory molested me an hour before I started writing this. I’m happy to report that leaving her alone for a night here or there has increased her sex drive. That’s good news. The bad news is she seems bored of it all, and there isn’t a whole lot I can do about that.
We have instituted a social night here at ALPA. We set up the big screen television from Hall E in Hall A, and every Tuesday and Friday we put a movie on that is kid appropriate, and we try to gather for a few hours to get some positive time that doesn’t involve us busting our balls. It’s been a week and a half so far, and I can already safely say two days a week for this won’t work. The kids are assholes, the people are too, and there’s just too much to be done. Maybe we can just do Tuesdays.
We’ll see. I can’t be in charge of everything. I just don’t have enough give a fuck. The tank is running low.
Alright so that’s all I can give a fuck about for the night. We’re out early in the morning to get the roadblock set up, and the church cleared, and hopefully to get the entire observation site set up. Lucky for us the church and the roadblock area are in the repeater range, so we’ll be in radio contact the whole time.
Oh, and happily enough, when we stole that diesel truck from Barry and his dead buddy the other day, we got the radio they used for communication. Now we know what channel they are on, so with any luck, we’ll catch some of their radio traffic. Oh and incidentally, it was a radio from a police cruiser. Dash mounted. Older model. I bet they cannibalized an old patrol car or something.
I said hello to the Outsiders this morning in my special Adrian Ring way. Did I make friends, or enemies Mr. Journal? You be the judge. Keep reading.
I’m still not sure exactly where these assholes are coming from. What Mike Hector and I did figure out yesterday was that they are coming from the northern portion of the city’s suburbs. Every time we saw them moving yesterday and this morning they were coming from a northeast trajectory, which told us that.
It also tells me that they push through an area of the city that is fairly central, and that means they either drive right through undead central, or that area is actually cleared of undead. Either way you look it, they’re hardcore ballsy, or they’ve put some serious time into killing undead in or near the city. I’ve been petrified to do that for a long ass time, and these people appear to have been doing just that for some time now.
I have sudden respect for these dickheads, and I dislike that idea. I really want to hate them. I guess we are defined by our foes to some extent, and if I can overcome these people, it’ll speak to my prowess. Perhaps my enemies are my teachers now.
Of course… we’re teaching these people a few things too.
Like I said yesterday Mike Hector and I rolled out in the Prius about two hours prior to dawn. We ran blacked out and drove straight into the area we’d set up our sniper position in on our prior recon. We didn’t drive RIGHT to the same spot, we just drove to the same 5 or 6 block area. We didn’t want to drive into a counter ambush. Once we were in that area of the town/city, we pushed forward in the direction the Outsider assistance came in, and found ourselves a nice alley to park the Prius in.
The undead presence was slightly heavier than our first trip out, but with not two but three suppressed pistols, we were able to make quick work. Keeping moving, and dropping anything in sight kept us safe. We searched for about a two block radius looking for a place to hide up in before we settled on a building on a couple fairly main streets. It was centered in a block on a main thoroughfare, and faced a street going away from it. Kind of like the top of a T intersection I guess. The building was retail on the first level, and had two floors of offices and apartments above it.
On the first floor at street level there was an insurance agent’s office, and Hector established himself inside there, deep in the back with a sniper hide that looked out and down the length of one of the main streets. If anything came straight at the front of the building Hector had a clear line of fire straight at it.
Mike and I kicked the door to the stairs leading upward in, and did a combat clear just as dawn was dying off, and the morning sun was taking over fully. The inner stairwell to the building heading up to the offices was devoid of anything living or undead, and when we got to the top floor, we actually chose the right fucking door this time. It helped that the door was already opened. Kicked open in fact. All of the doors inside the building were the same. It had been ransacked.
I don’t know if it was the Outsiders that did it, but the building had already gotten the once over by someone. Nothing of use was left behind which was the bad news, but the good news was that the undead inside had already been dealt with a long frigging time ago. There were a small number of desiccated, rotten, moldy skeletons on the floor here and there, which meant they’d been dead for a long frigging time. So cheers to whoever cleared this building for us. From my count, they saved us about eleven rounds of ammo. Yay for the little things.
Mike and I set ourselves up in the office facing the street. It happened to be a yoga studio, and we needed to drag desks and chairs into the space to set up a comfortable shooting position. Mike and I put the desks about ten feet recessed into the space so we weren’t visible from the outside. We also set up far to the outside of the windows, so I was looking across from the right, and out the left window, and Mike the opposite. We were invisible from the street level, and with about a three or four second adjustment, we could swing ourselves to the straight facing to back up Hector’s avenue of fire.
Mike dug his radio out and set it up to scan the channels for any radio traffic, and I left mine on our channel so if we needed to talk we could. I also sent a test message out, and Dwayne back at MGR came back all crackly. We were barely in radio contact with our backup should something bad happen. A little scary. Although, I went without any backup for a very long time, and I’m still here typing in this fucking journal.
We went radio silent after that.
Long fucking day. We observed a fairly small amount of undead wandering the streets, but because we were dead silent, and out of view they didn’t bother trying to mess with us. We could’ve popped them with our rifles, but frankly it would’ve made more noise than needed, and they were too far away for us to take them out with the pistols. They unlive to try and eat us another day. Fucking dead people man. What a nuisance.
So the entire morning and afternoon we observed nothing. Fuck all. Some birds flying around, the sun being warm, and the few random undead staggering to and fro, looking for someone to eat. Mike and I started to make bets on which way the undead would go when they came to the intersection at the end of our observation area, and I am happy to declare that I was correct 17 out of 25 times. I am the King of undead movement guessing.
Once the sun started to fade over the horizon things got more interesting. We knew if we were going to shoot at any point in time, we needed light to do so. When the first of the vehicles appeared coming from the northeast street direction, Mike and I decided it was a little too dark for us to engage, and we would just sit tight and observe. We saw three vehicles move across our location over the span of an hour. Two were large diesel trucks, and one was a large box truck, modified to have windows/openings in the back. Square holes just hacked in the back with a saw or axe. I didn’t see any people in the back of the truck, but that doesn’t mean anything. I wonder if that is their version of a gun truck.
None of the vehicles came our way, and they all came from the same exact road to get to our area of the ‘burbs. Happily, they moved out from that location starting around… 7pm or so, and all returned to that direction around 10pm or so. Once everything went dead for an hour, Mike and I decided we all needed to relocate right then and there, and get over on the road they were coming down.
We packed up, zipped downstairs, and told Hector we were displacing immediately. He was nervous as hell to pack up and move anywhere at about eleven in the pitch black in the city, but honestly, we had the Prius nearby, and it’s not like we weren’t ready and able to dish out pain should we run into the undead.
Having said that, and been all macho and shit, I was kinda scared too. I just don’t like moving at night. The undead are too quiet, we can’t see hardly for shit, and it is just damn risky. However, you need to take risks every once in awhile, and frankly, this one was worth it.
We moved literally at a sprint back to the car. Hector was out of his mind afraid, and I am now reasonably sure that dude is just afraid of the dark. Luckily we had a little bit of moonlight when we were moving, so we were able to see enough to not need any flashlights. We wound our way back to the Prius, and in the alley where we parked it I had to pop a single undead dragging its way down the side of a building, slowly scraping its own face off on the rough bricks. Nasty. Plain old nasty.
We piled into the car, and sat still for ten minutes to ensure we hadn’t drawn a crowd. Nothing happened, and Mike drove us in the black about six blocks over and north until we found another good parking spot. Ironically, it was in an old used car dealership. The cars were trashed something fierce. Smashed out windshields, flattened tires etc. I don’t know why anyone would do that, but if I had to guess, it was because they were assholes. We parked our ride far to the back of the lot, and in between a large Dodge truck and a used Pathfinder. For all intents and purposes, it was invisible.
The three of us set ourselves up in the dealership. The building itself was wide open. I imagine they were open for business on the morning of June 23rd when everything went down, and the salesmen just up and left when things went down. The building wasn’t that large, just a corner showroom floor with some desks inside it, and a small two bay attached garage and parts room. Nothing fancy or particularly clean. The rotten food in the small fridge in the back room still reeked. Not sure how the fuck lasted over a year, but it did.
Hector popped one undead that was roaming around in the garage with his pistol and nearly shat a giant Mexican brick when he heard how much quieter the pistol was with the suppressor on it. He literally shot out an “aye carumba” just to get a laugh out of Mike. Hector’s too damn funny man. Just a genuinely funny guy. I think he enjoys the whole “I’m Mexican, and can be ridiculous at will,” aspect of his life with us. I mean he can literally be completely retarded around us, and we will always laugh. I like him.
Anyway, we set ourselves up in the glass windowed showroom. We tugged the desks back into the room and placed them behind a couple of used cars still sitting there. We had a good vantage point for the road, and Hector pulled security for us to ensure nothing slipped into the building behind us. We had to leave the garage doors open because that’s how we found them, and the door going into our sales floor area from there didn’t lock, and we didn’t want to barricade it should we need to move in a hurry. Ergo, Hector pulling security for us.
We rotated naps on a couch in the sales area to make sure we got rest during the night. Our plan was to exfil like a motherfucker at dark today after another full day observing, but that changed in a hurry when we wound getting into an unexpected engagement. Now we haven’t really seen these people move much during the day. Primarily, it seems to be at dusk or dawn.
About an hour after dawn another vehicle came through the road we were on, and I shit you not, pulled right into the fucking dealership lot and drove straight to the garage. We were not expecting that. It was the same diesel truck we’d seen the other day, and it had two people in it.
Mike and I exchanged looks that could’ve either passed for “fuck our lives” or “sweet tits, we get to shoot assholes today.” All in all not too much of a problem. I leapt up and drew the Beretta, and Mike did the same. Hector was rear facing, looking out the door that headed to the garage, and when we got to where he was sitting in the back of the dealership he was pulling his chair out of the way to make space for us to come through. The glass door he was looking out of afforded us zero cover, and we all went to the side of the door to hide. I stood with the Beretta held at temple height.
We heard them coming before they pushed the door open to come in. I didn’t make out exactly what their conversation was, but as soon as that door opened, I motioned for Mike and Hector to duck, and when I saw a head appear, I squeezed the trigger. The gun popped off a single round, and I blew the first guy’s brains out all over the glass door. The round didn’t penetrate the skull thankfully, and the door was spared.
I screamed FREEZE and took a step out to threaten the second person. It was a young man, no older than 18 or 20. He froze solid when he saw the look on my face, and his shotgun clattered to the concrete of the garage. I took another step into his space and threw an elbow into his jaw. He was so rooted to the ground he didn’t even try to duck, and I hit flush, sending him straight to dreamtime. He went down hard on the hard floor, and we moved to clear the truck in case something was out there in the back.
Long story short, we stole the truck.
We formulated a plan and after getting our shit together, we sat the kid up in a chair in the sales room, and woke him up. We figured he wouldn’t run when he saw the guns pointed at him, and we were right. I will always remember how big his green eyes were. He had brown, unkempt hair. All I could think of was how respectable he’d look if Mallory gave him a haircut.
“Hi. I’m Adrian.” I said.
“Hey.” He said after coughing a few times and looking at the guns pointed in his direction. We knew he was staying put.
“I run a settlement of survivors that I think your people have been harassing. Are you from the Factory?” I tried to keep my tone safe, and low.
He nodded in the affirmative.
“Excellent. I’m sorry about your friend there, but I couldn’t afford two folks in here. One I can deal with. If he has family, you tell them I said I was sorry about that, but you know how it goes nowadays.”
He nodded again.
“Where is the Factory?” I asked.
“I can’t tell you. Seriously. If you find it, and attack them, they will definitely kill me.” He pleaded.
“Well if I find it, and find what I suspect is going on there, you won’t need to worry about anyone killing you. I fully expect to put a hurting on the folks there. You know your people attacked my sister and brother the other day? Told them they were going to kidnap them? Told them they had to fuck and suck dick to eat?”
“You killed Ed and Larry? Holy fuck they were assholes. You’re gonna pay dearly for that though man. They were family with the two women who run the Factory, and they’re hot as hell to find you people. They’ll hunt you like an animal once they catch wind of who you are, or where you are from.”
“I hate to say this kid, but I am not afraid. In fact, I’m excited. Because knowing they want to kill me because I protected my family just makes me feel better about burning that place to ground. Are there innocent people there? I don’t want to kill folks that don’t deserve to die. Do you deserve to die?” I asked him as I thumbed the hammer back on the Beretta.
His eyes opened wide as all hell. “Nope. I’m one of the good ones. The women are just used to running the show. They’re sisters. They’ve taken a lot of folks in, and frankly, they think women are useless, but having the women there brings in more men, and they think the men are useful. Most of the women are innocents there. Some of the men too. But dude, there are a lot of us. At least thirty.”
I thanked him in the back of my head for telling me that little factoid without pressing for it. “Where have you gotten all these diesel vehicles?”
“The Factory is down the street from a used diesel dealership. There were dozens of the damn things just sitting there. We confiscated the dealership early on last year, and we’ve been using the cars and trucks from there ever since.” Barry said.
“Okay. Here’s the way this is going to work. I’m going to let you live to bring a message to these sisters. Here’s the message: stop going west. If we see anyone from this area of the city heading west, we will shoot them on sight. One by one, bullet by bullet, every single brave cocksucker in your Factory will get put down like a rabid dog. You can have your city, we want our town. Pass that message along.”
He swallowed hard and nodded.
“What’s your name?”
“Sorry we are meeting under these circumstances Barry. But pass that message along please. I don’t want more bloodshed here. If we see no more of your people come our way, we will consider this matter resolved. But if one more set of vehicles comes in our direction with mayhem and discontent on their agenda, I will consider it an act of war on me and mine, and I guarantee you, this is one hornet’s nest you do NOT want to stir.”
I smiled like a poisonous snake, and we left Barry.
I am not kidding. If I see one more of their vehicles in my town, I will not rest until they are dealt with.
We rolled out on our first recon to contact op yesterday, and it went very well. In fact, it went so well, we are planning on going out on another tomorrow. The next trip out will be for longer than a day and a half too. Exhilarating. Thrilling. Sneaky.
Mike and I went out just the two of us yesterday. Patty, Mallory, and everyone who cares about the two of us was entirely against the idea of us moving about in an unsupported pair in the wilds, but we had radios, and frankly, the two of us are far more capable on our own. Not to mention Mike sprung a fucking sweet surprise on me the night before we left.
He’s built some homemade suppressors. We have extra Beretta M9s, and with a tap and die set, and his relatively extensive armorer’s background in the Guard, he managed to thread the barrels, and with some of the metal and stuff that Martin has been accumulating the past few weeks, he’s built six poor man’s suppressors.
When he and Patty arrived on campus two nights ago, he showed me them, and I had to laugh. Seriously Mike? Homemade silencers? Suuuuure.
But they fucking work. They reduced the sound of the Beretta’s shots by at least 75%. From a loud crack down to about the level of noise smashing a 2x4 into a door might make. Loud enough that if you were paying attention you might hear it, but the undead will probably miss it.
The tradeoff appears to be range, and accuracy. The rounds are sailing after about 75 feet it appears, so we’re talking about using these pistols strictly for up close dirty work. And yesterday and this morning, we did just fucking that. Good times. Mike is the man. If Patty doesn’t bear his babies for him, I gladly will. Someone has to take one for the team. I don’t think the suppressors are all that durable, or will last that long, and Mike said as he finds more of the better supplies he can use, he can upgrade or build new ones.
Oh, he also fixed the Glock that plugged on me when we hit the gas station a month or so ago. Apparently the dud round was freed up with some work, and after a wee bit of minor tender loving care the gun is now fully operational again. I am still carrying the 10mm Kimber though. It’s a small homage to Gilbert, and I still haven’t drawn and fired the bitch, and until I get that itch out of my system, it stays on my hip. Riiiight next to the new suppressed Beretta Mike made for me. Granted, carrying the extra ammo and magazines is a bitch, but when I need it, it’s there, and frankly, I can manage a few extra magazines of weight.
After all, it didn’t slow me down yesterday.
Mike picked me up here in the Prius and after laying out an extensive plan and setting up where we wanted to try and find this mythical Factory, we took off yesterday before dawn, before anyone else here was really aware we were leaving. On the outside chance our arsonist is in leagues with the Outsiders, we felt it best that we kept all but the closest to us out of the loop. Too many hands in the cookie jar of information in my opinion.
Sounds awfully communist of me. I suddenly feel VERY dictatorial. I need to revisit my control of information theory. Need to be a good leader. Need to be a good leader.
Yesterday, I focused on being a good hunter of men.
Fortunately, Mike and I are VERY good at that game.
We took off in the Prius and headed past MGR and towards Gilbert’s warehouse where we felt the boundary of what we claimed as ours, and what they claimed as theirs. It was clear to us that in order to find them and make an impression, we had to go where we hadn’t gone before.
The interstate and beyond.
Right at the ramp where we found the van Caleb Sophie and Becca abandoned we parked on the shoulder of the road in an inconspicuous way. The next exit heading towards the city took you to some surface roads where we knew there were multiple small industrial parks and larger businesses. It stood to reason that the Outsiders were using a large building that was fortified in some manner. It just made sense. So naturally we headed in the direction of the more industrial portion of the city’s fringe on foot.
Mike’s older than I am, but he’s in really good shape. Like I said before, it’s the P90Z workout plan. We made excellent progress on foot and happily put the new suppressed Berettas to work. Mike and I got a good feel for our pistols on the way down to the industrial area. Random undead on foot approaching us, or just wandering about got put down. That’s pretty much when we figured out that 75 feet was the far end of our predictable accuracy. Ideally we’d like to be somewhere around 50 feet or less, which for the most part we were able to achieve while we were out.
Moving on foot has the advantage of being almost entirely silent. The undead were unable to hear us for the most part, and as long as we were using the Berettas, we were able to engage at will, with little risk of being heard and drawing any attention to us. What was noteworthy was the fairly low amount of undead. I think Mike and I had to drop maybe 15 or 20 while we were moving into the area, and maybe another 15 or 20 on the way back out. We were both expecting far more than that.
One thing that’s interesting is that my suppressor is quieter than Mike’s. When Mike shoots his gun the report is more of a crack, whereas my report is like a “thwipp” noise. Much less obvious. As a result, I did slightly more shooting than him, and noticed that at really close range, I can actually hear the slide of the gun hitting closed sometimes over the sound of the shot itself. Kind of cool. I can also hear the crack of the bullet penetrating the braincase, which is also highly satisfying.
Anyway, enough suppressor porn.
Mike and I wanted to setup a place to observe. Preferably somewhere high up, or on a hill where we could get a good view of some city streets so we could observe traffic if the Outsiders were moving about. Luckily, we found a small apartment building on a man set of streets that had three floors. Mike and I had to pry the building’s front door open with a halligan and a heavy boot, and once inside, we cleared our way up to the top floor until we got to the doors that appeared to be the ones facing where we wanted to be.
I tested the door of the first apartment, and after finding it was locked, I ripped it open with the halligan and Mike went in. He snapped off two rounds right off the bat, dropping two undead that had been locked inside for who knows how long. Instinctively I braced for the sound of the gunshots, but they were mild, and I think I did an internal dance of joy. Perhaps I won’t actually be deaf by 40.
I drew my Beretta, and the two of us went room to room, making the apartment safe. In one of the rooms in the far back of the apartment we found a child’s bedroom with the door smashed in. There were claw marks all over the wood, and it appeared as if the two adults had slowly scratched and smashed their way inside their own child’s bedroom. On the floor bitten apart was an animated dead girl about 5 or 6 years of age. Her spindly legs had been chewed apart, and she was unable to walk or even really crawl anymore. Mike coughed at the stench, and snapped a quick shot off, putting her down. I can’t imagine how horrible it was for a little girl to die like that. I wonder how long she was locked in her own bedroom, with her parents beating at the door, scratching their way inside to eat her alive.
Fucked up shit.
As it turns out, it wasn’t even the right apartment. We had hit the one NOT on the corner of the street, so we had to clear the one adjacent to it. This time Mike halligan’d the door open, and I went in, pistol up. No bodies moving in the living room and kitchenette, but the smell of the dead was wafting from the hall, so I kept the weapon up. I booted the first bedroom door open and saw it was empty. The second bedroom door was also kicked in by Mike, and it was empty as well. The bathroom at the end of the hallway though was a different story.
I kicked the door in and as it went inward it smacked off a middle aged female zombie, sending it tumbling backwards into a large claw footed tub. Old apartment buildings always have cool plumbing fixtures it seems. The zombie landed head first in the tub, sending its legs up and over. I noticed immediately that there was dried blood everywhere in the tub, and on the floor, so I took a step back and tried to hold my breath from the smell while the scrambling, stilted dead body righted itself in the tub.
The left hand of the dead body was tied firmly to the faucet of the tub. That same arm had two huge gashes running from elbow to wrist, and immediately I knew it was a suicide. The woman was kind enough to tie themselves to the tub first though. Thoughtful way to go I suppose.
Once the dead girl got her head in a spot where I could put my front sight on it, I snapped a 9mm round off, sending her permanently where she wanted to go when she cut her arms open. Mike and I double checked both apartments and the hallway again, and after dragging her body into the other apartment, we barricaded the door, made sure the fire escape was a viable exit, double checked all the open hallway spaces to ensure they were empty of undead, made sure all the other apartment doors were locked as well, and we settled down in sniper hide.
It was a long and boring day, but I got to know Mike really well. Mike asked me a lot of questions about my dreams, and how I felt about them, and I was as honest as I could be. I’m weirded out by them frankly. I don’t like the fact that I appear to be a conduit to the dead. I don’t like the idea at all, but it is, what it is. Mike seemed comforted by the fact that I was not entirely happy about it. I think if I had represented to him that I was stoked, or honored, he’d have thought I was an asshole, or crazy as hell. Mike and I are definitely closer today than we were before. That in and of itself is good, never mind the shooting we did late yesterday evening.
Proper sniping is about firing, and displacing fast. Smart people will figure out where the gunfire is coming from fairly quickly, suppress it or move on it, and deal with the threat. Look at what happened to their sniper the day we returned to the warehouse. Abby caught on, maneuvered on them, and shot the dude dead before he was able to do any real damage. Had that prick fired once or twice, moved five or six houses away and shot a couple more times, we would’ve been chasing his ass all damn day to no avail, and he would’ve put some serious hurt on us as we wandered around either looking for him, or looking for a way to get the fuck out of his range.
He should’ve done it like Mike and I did. During our downtime and conversation Mike was observing a fallback position we could get to out of the site of where we were aiming our rifles. He found us a convenience store we could hide out in about a block and a half away in one direction, and a small candy shop in the other. Either way, we had an exfil route.
Just as the light was fading we heard cars in the distance, and lo and behold, we saw one of the diesels that the Outsiders escaped in the other day coming our way slowly. Engaging them was a little hasty, but I clearly recognized the vehicle, and frankly, Mike and I were ready and able to prove our point. I was in position to fire, and Mike quickly slid over on his end table firing position so we could both fire at the same time. All in all from sighting to squeeze of the trigger it was ten seconds.
“I have the driver.”
“I have the passenger.”
“Fire on three. Fire, fire, fire.” And on the third fire, we both gently pulled the trigger. Our two rounds punched through the windshield of the van, hitting our targets about 300 yards out, center mass. The van immediately went to its right, and plowed right into a fire hydrant. Mike and I threw the bolts on the rifles, chambering new rounds, and as the van’s slider door opened we discussed targets again.
“Leave one survivor. I have the first on exit, two tangos in the back.”
The first target was another middle aged woman, and just as she made her torso visible I pulled off another loud round, and she tumbled backwards into the van, leaving a bright red smear of her own blood on the door she’d just opened in an attempt to escape. The fourth and final passenger in the van looked like he hit the deck, and as soon as I saw he wasn’t actively searching for targets, I told Mike we were displacing, and in under thirty seconds, he and I were out the door, and heading down the stairwell.
We ran like a motherfucker out the back exit of the building to the convenience store, and took cover quickly in an aisle after Mike popped a round off in the face of an undead customer. It was smooth as hell. I switched weapons inside the store from the Savage to the M4, with Mike simply keeping his pistol up. He’d engage first, and if I needed to put more lead downrange to support him, I’d fire second. Luckily, it didn’t come to that. We sat still, barrels aimed at entrances, and after twenty minutes we displaced again.
We were out the back of the store and through an alley as fast as a cat, and we sprinted and jogged for twenty minutes until we had some good real estate between us and them. It was another hour or two before we got to the Prius, and that was around midnight. We decided we should head back to the same area nearby our first firing, maybe a mile away, and then we could set up another sniper hide overnight, and hopefully we would see more movement, and get a better idea of where they were coming from.
We drove blacked out in the Prius slowly through the surface streets skirting where the engagement was. We knew there was one survivor, and as we were pulling into the parking lot of a small business to get out of the Toyota, we saw two sets of headlights coming our way from the general direction of the city. Mike and I bailed out, and took firing positions behind a guardrail and some posts dividing the parking lot up. The two vehicles sped right by us towards the scene of our ambush, and didn’t take any notice. Mike and I conferred quickly, and decided that we’d shot enough for the moment. Three body bags sent enough of a message for one night. Plus, based on where those vehicles came from, we now have a much better idea of where to look when we go back out tomorrow.
We stayed low for an hour, and the two vehicles that came later sped by us, heading away towards the city. Once we were sure everything was okay, which was another hour, we slipped away silently in the electric car. No shots fired, no sign or trace of our movements.
We arrived back here on campus late at night, I want to say maybe 3 or 4am. I went right to sleep on one of the couches in the common room, and Mike did the same. When we awoke, we had an all hands meeting of the important folks. Everyone was pretty happy with how things panned out, by Mallory was sort of pissed that I was in danger alone. She brought that up just a bit ago in private. Guess she really does care.
One thing that was pointed out to us that is a big oversight on our part is not checking other radio channels for communication. How did the other vehicles know where to go? They had to be in communication somehow, and neither Mike nor I thought to go through the channels to see if we could pick up on their chatter. Huge mistake on our part.
Next time, we’ll keep one radio on our channel, and have one set to cycle through the channels. They have got to be talking somehow, and I’m fairly sure cell phone service is still down. Oh well, missed opportunity for good intel. I’m too tired, and happy about the success we did enjoy to be hard on myself.
I think we are taking tomorrow off, giving the Outsiders a chance to think about what just happened, and then we’re going out again in similar fashion. Caleb still isn’t well enough to go with us yet, but Hector is, and he wants in something fierce. If the three of us roll back out the day after tomorrow, we can establish two places to fire/observe from if needed. Overlapping fields of fire would be nice.
I think next time we shoot them, we should think about sticking around to fire on the responders too. Let them know that when they rush out to help their pals, things aren’t safe.